120 miles on the John Muir Trail, not the JMT Speed Cult part 1
Mary and I just returned home from trekking and fly-fishing roughly half of the John Muir Trail. We started our adventure at South Lake, on the east side of the Sierra Nevada below Bishop Pass after a fun hitch hiking adventure from where we left our car in Yosemite National Park.
We were trekking the untraditional direction of south to north for pure convenience. During the whole trek from start to finish, we did not see as many people on the trail proper as we imagined we would have. From LeConte Canyon to Yosemite we probably saw on average 8 people a day, with many crossing the trail to find adventure in other areas of the region.
Of the many trekkers we met, we were amazed how unprepared they were for the more difficult sections of the trail to still to come, that being Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park. Most of the trekkers had cross-trainer type footwear with little or no ankle support, but still were carrying at least 40 lbs some 50 lbs. Many of the novice type had sprained ankles and much blistered feet. A few that we had meet at the Vermillion Resort at Thomas Edison Lake were already considering plan “b” to their attempt at “JMT in 21 days”. Some of these “Speed Cultist” even had other issues that ranged from infected full depth blister wounds, debilitating raw chaffing in their genital area and shin splints. Yow! I was just very surprised, when fellow trekkers, particularly one in the Duck Lake section, asked me if the trail was going to keep getting harder, unfortunietly with a dumbfounded look, I didn’t tell him what he wanted to hear, but what he feared. “ I said from Yosemite to wear the South Fork of the San Joaquin River comes out of Goddard Canyon is some of the most manicured and graded parts of the JMT you’ll hike, from there on to Mt. Whitney you get into some rugged trail in comparison, more wilderness and no easy way out. Oops? I guess I should not of said that. I was just stunned! Where are you from? Oh, well…Mr. dark cloud…
Mary and I did very well, we decide that we wanted to enjoy our 21 days doing half of the JMT, spending the afternoons painting, journaling, fly fishing or simply enjoying each others company and a leisurely swim.
Neither of us had any injuries not even a blister. We do wear good footwear; Asolo and Vasque backpacking boots are necessary especially on the freshly graded trail in Evolution Lake Basin. Soon I will post a gear list of what we brought and the individual weights of everything.
To see photos from our adventure
120 miles of JMT
To see trekking journals
JMT Trekking Journals