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JMT in July 2015

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  • camerondoefm1
    I just had a few questions regarding a possible hike on the JMT starting in July of 2015. I was a pretty avid backpacker in Utah and have been wanting to get
    Message 1 of 10 , Sep 3, 2014
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      I just had a few questions regarding a possible hike on the JMT starting in July of 2015. I was a pretty avid backpacker in Utah and have been wanting to get on the JMT after a good friend of mine did it a few years ago. But I did have a few questions and I’m hoping to see if anyone has any input.


      1.       I’m planning on starting the hike in early July. I get 3 weeks’ vacation from work and July seems to be the only time for me to take off that amount of time. I’m hoping to be traveling up to Yosemite right around the 4th of July and be starting the hike anytime the 5th-7th. Has anyone had any experience hiking that early in July? I know a lot will depend on the snowfall this winter, but are there any points of concern that I should be worried about? (my buddy that did it, did it mid-august, so he’s not of much use)


      2.       As far as pulling permits, is there a threshold for how many people you can have in a group before it starts to get difficult in securing a permit? Right now our group ranges from 2-5 people, and while I will definitely get a better idea of the # of people coming when it’s time to pull the permits, the Eagle Scout in me wants to know worst case scenario, how likely is it to be able to pull a permit for 5 people?


      Thanks in advance for any and all input!

    • ravi_jmt2013
      ... the Eagle Scout in me wants to know worst case scenario, how likely is it to be able to pull a permit for 5 people? This link provides the trailhead
      Message 2 of 10 , Sep 3, 2014
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        "..."the Eagle Scout in me wants to know worst case scenario, how likely is it to be able to pull a permit for 5 people?"

        This link provides the trailhead quotas for Yosemite, including the number of slots available for reserved and first come first served permits:

        http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/trailheads.htm

         

        For the summer months, it is routine for reserved permits to be entirely allocated for the popular trail heads accessing the JMT.  I think that your best chance is for the Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley trailhead which has 18 reserveable permits per day.  The Happy Isles to Sunrise/Merced Passthrough only has 6 reserveable permits per day and your group would realistically need to come up first in the lottery to have a shot at that, which is really unlikely. 

        If I wanted to reserve a permit for five hikers, my first choice would probably be Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley with my second choice as Lyell Canyon which has 21 reservable slots.  Obviously the problem with Lyell Canyon is that you miss the first 20+ miles of the hike but realistically, you would have a much better shot at a Lyell permit than a Sunrise/Merced Passthrough permit. 

        Another option might be the Glacier Point to Illilouette permit which has 15 reservable slots per day.  The Happy Isles to Illilouette permit is a non-starter with only 3 reservable slots per day. 

        So come to think of it, my three three trailhead choices for  a party of five would be Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point to Illilouette, and Lyell Canyon, in that order.  In aggregate, there are 54 reservable slots for those three trailheads so your party of five may have a decent chance if you come up early enough in the daily lottery.

        One other strategy to consider if you can't get a permit for five is to split up your group and arrange to meet up later in the hike.  For example, maybe two in your group secure Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley permits and three secure Glacier Point to Illilouette permits and then you meet up on the second day of the hike.  As far as I know, that is perfectly legitimate as long as the total group size doesn't exceed the maximum group size and you camp in the area specified by your permit on the first night.  Good luck!




      • Joe MacLeish
        All three of my JMT thru hikes have started in the first week of July. Sometimes its snowy, sometimes it s not. All three times I picked up a tropical
        Message 3 of 10 , Sep 3, 2014
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          All three of my JMT thru hikes have started in the first week of July.  Sometimes its snowy, sometimes it's not.  All three times I picked up a tropical depression and got lots of rain.  This year was not special in my experience.   For others it is different.  As Chief Dan George said, "Sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it doesn't."  By the by all of my trips were great and I think early July is the best time - good wildflowers, fewer people, and plenty of visual water.

          Joe

           

          From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com]
          Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2014 2:59 PM
          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [John Muir Trail] JMT in July 2015

           

           

          I just had a few questions regarding a possible hike on the JMT starting in July of 2015. I was a pretty avid backpacker in Utah and have been wanting to get on the JMT after a good friend of mine did it a few years ago. But I did have a few questions and I’m hoping to see if anyone has any input.

           

          1.       I’m planning on starting the hike in early July. I get 3 weeks’ vacation from work and July seems to be the only time for me to take off that amount of time. I’m hoping to be traveling up to Yosemite right around the 4th of July and be starting the hike anytime the 5th-7th. Has anyone had any experience hiking that early in July? I know a lot will depend on the snowfall this winter, but are there any points of concern that I should be worried about? (my buddy that did it, did it mid-august, so he’s not of much use)

           

          2.       As far as pulling permits, is there a threshold for how many people you can have in a group before it starts to get difficult in securing a permit? Right now our group ranges from 2-5 people, and while I will definitely get a better idea of the # of people coming when it’s time to pull the permits, the Eagle Scout in me wants to know worst case scenario, how likely is it to be able to pull a permit for 5 people?

           

          Thanks in advance for any and all input!

        • rnperky@sbcglobal.net
          Ummm, I guess wish for a below average winter again. Way too hard to guess on an early July 2015 start now. I went with a late June start this year based on
          Message 4 of 10 , Sep 3, 2014
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            Ummm, I guess wish for a below average winter again. Way too hard to guess on an early July 2015 start now. I went with a late June start this year based on our complete lack of snowfall through Feb, then I started getting nervous when we received several late season snow storms. I ended up being alright, but there was still snow on a few passes even in a bleak winter like this past one. If we get a winter like 2010/11, then plan on lot's o' snow to contend with. Watch the film 'Mile Mile And A Half' to get an idea of what a great winter snowpack looks like in early July. 
          • camerondoefm1
            That s some pretty good advice, especially breaking up and then meeting together later on in the hike. Now this may be a stupid question, but as far as pulling
            Message 5 of 10 , Sep 4, 2014
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              That's some pretty good advice, especially breaking up and then meeting together later on in the hike. Now this may be a stupid question, but as far as pulling permits, do you have to get it trailhead to trailhead? I was under the impression that as long as you pull a permit for starting in Yosemite it will carry you the whole way through, am I mistaken?
            • ravi_jmt2013
              You only need a single permit for the entire trip. Permits issued by Yosemite National Park are not subject to Inyo s Whitney Portal exit quota. You do have
              Message 6 of 10 , Sep 4, 2014
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                You only need a single permit for the entire trip.  Permits issued by Yosemite National Park are not subject to Inyo's Whitney Portal exit quota.  You do have to indicate Whitney Portal as the exit trailhead, but the bottleneck on getting a permit from Yosemite is the entry trailhead, not the Whitney Portal exit.  And the main restriction on the entry trailhead is where you can camp on the first night.  After that point, you can camp where you like (except in the few restricted areas) as you proceed on the JMT.
              • Larry Beck
                I just returned from a 4 day outing over Duck Pass to the JMT and then to Purple Lake. We camped at Purple Lake all 4 days and did day hikes around the area. I
                Message 7 of 10 , Sep 4, 2014
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                  I just returned from a 4 day outing over Duck Pass to the JMT and then to Purple Lake. We camped at Purple Lake all 4 days and did day hikes around the area. I only hiked the JMT between Virginia Lake and Duck Pass but...
                  • The weather was perfect.
                  • There are virtually no mosquitoes. I never applied deet.
                  • There was plenty of water
                  We hiked from Purple Lake up the drainage to Ram Lakes and Frankland Lakes.. It was my first time to explore that area and I definitely recommend it. On our second day we hiked down to the Cascade Valley and then up the other side to Olive Lake. Also spectacular.

                  For the short time I was on the JMT (4-5 miles) I did see a lot of JMT hikers. One guy was carrying an Osprey Atmos 58 with 42 lbs. It's only rated at 30 lbs and he did mention it was uncomfortable but he was young and youth trumps all anyway!

                  I ran into an older gentleman who was carrying at least 60 lbs too. He had a monster backpack loaded to the gills plus he was carrying a second bag strapped to his chest. I met him coming up the hill southbound from Duck Pass. He had started at Deer Creek that morning and was barely making it up the hill towards Purple.
                • Peter Hirst
                  You met Steve! Two-Pack! On Sep 4, 2014, at 10:48 AM, Larry Beck becklaurence@yahoo.com [johnmuirtrail] wrote:
                  Message 8 of 10 , Sep 4, 2014
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                    You met Steve!  Two-Pack!


                    On Sep 4, 2014, at 10:48 AM, Larry Beck becklaurence@... [johnmuirtrail] wrote:


                  • Larry Beck
                    Peter, He was an older Asian man. Is that Steve - Two Pack ? Larry ________________________________ From: Peter Hirst peter@newenglandbiochar.org
                    Message 9 of 10 , Sep 4, 2014
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                      Peter,
                      He was an older Asian man. Is that Steve - "Two Pack"?
                       
                      Larry
                      From: "Peter Hirst peter@... [johnmuirtrail]" <johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com>
                      To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Thursday, September 4, 2014 11:07 AM
                      Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Trip Report: Duck Pass to Purple Lake over Labor Day weekend

                       
                      You met Steve!  Two-Pack!


                      On Sep 4, 2014, at 10:48 AM, Larry Beck becklaurence@... [johnmuirtrail] wrote:




                    • Peter Hirst
                      I don t know. Could there be two of them out there? His picture is on the JMT FB page somewhere On Sep 4, 2014, at 5:07 PM, Larry Beck becklaurence@yahoo.com
                      Message 10 of 10 , Sep 4, 2014
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                        I don't know.  Could there be two of them out there?  His picture is on the JMT FB page somewhere

                        On Sep 4, 2014, at 5:07 PM, Larry Beck becklaurence@... [johnmuirtrail] wrote:

                         

                        Peter,
                        He was an older Asian man. Is that Steve - "Two Pack"?
                         
                        Larry
                        From: "Peter Hirst peter@... [johnmuirtrail]" <johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com>
                        To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Thursday, September 4, 2014 11:07 AM
                        Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Trip Report: Duck Pass to Purple Lake over Labor Day weekend

                         
                        You met Steve!  Two-Pack!


                        On Sep 4, 2014, at 10:48 AM, Larry Beck becklaurence@... [johnmuirtrail] wrote:






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