Friday, August 10, 2007

John Muir Trail #1

(The hut at Muir Pass)

Hi all! I'm back... for just awhile anyway. :) Yesterday I finished my northbound traverse of the JMT, from Whitney Portal to Happy Isle in Yosemite National Park. WOW - WOW - WOW!!! What a fulfilling, calming, & happy trip!!

After wisely calling it a day at mile 50 of the Tahoe Rim 100--my head was so ON the JMT & NOT into the race!--and a 3-day "shakedown" hike of ~40'ish miles over the backside of Mt. Whitney (full moon ascent!) with 8 buds, on July 31 I set off for my adventure with a happy heart & a full pack... which in Sierraspeak means not only the requisite sleeping bag, tent, stove, food, clothing, etc., but a BEAR CAN as well, i.e. a lot more than I'm accustomed to carrying--ugh! Fortunately, Chris was sweet enough to schlep in food & clean clothing every couple of days--no small feat on the JMT as most of the approaches are 15 miles or more. As well, we hiked the middle section of the Trail, from Bishop Pass to Piute Pass, through the incredible Evolution Valley together & enjoyed a couple of lower mileage days. If you happen to be going to Evolution Lake, ask me about the best campsite in the universe. :)

I averaged 20-some miles/day, but mileage was all over the place, with a low of ~11 and a high of ~36. No bears were seen (of course--I was carrying the damn bear can!), but I did see many marmots, pikas, squirrels, new-to-me birds, and a 4-foot rattlesnake... and it was rattling! The only downside of the entire trip was the "kitty litter" (both clumping & non!) footing that prevailed for much of the last 4 days. Next time I'll wear gaiters! (Speaking of which... I had such a good time, I think I'll do it again later in the month. Stay tuned......)

The Grand Finale was summitting Half Dome (OMG!) yesterday afternoon. Un-freaking-believably steep & scary! After DEATH-GRIPPING the cables on the way down, my hands & arms are very sore today! So glad I did it though.

Many, many photos were taken but won't be up until after Labor Day. Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! Gotta run.... my time on this library computer is almost up.


Jamie said...

Awesome! Big congrats, Sue! You frickin' rock. Sounds like a grand time as well. And might be doing it again, eh? ;-)

Krissy Moehl said...

sounds like a great trip. jealous? yes I am! thanks for sharing!


olga said...

Waiting for pictures, Sue! Rattle snake and cabels sound downright scary to me:)

Sue J. said...

Olga, I thought it was scarier than Mt. Hood! Krissy, are you recovered from HRH?? How 'bout you from VT, Jamie?? :)