Friday, August 31, 2007

JMT stats, gear list, & food

Location / Distance /Time of Day / Elapsed Time

Depart Whitney Portal / 0.0 / 0400 / 00:00 / (8/24)
Arrive Whitney Summit / 11.0 / 0809 / 04:09
Leave Whitney Summit / 11.0 / 0828 / 04:28
Forester Pass / 31.4 / 1507 / 11:07
Glen Pass / 43.2 / 1909 / 15:09
Dollar Lake (rest) / 48.2 / 2037 / 16:37
Depart Dollar Lake / 48.2 / 0316 / 23:16 / (8/25)
Woods Creek Bridge / 51.9 / 0424 / 24:24
Pinchot Pass / 59.1 / 0720 / 27:20
Mather Pass / 68.9 / 1104 / 31:04
Middle Fork Jct. / 79.4 / 1411 / 34:11
Muir Pass / 90.6 / 1845 / 38:45
Piute Creek Jct. (rest) / 107.9 / 0030 / 44:30 / (8/26)
Depart Piute Creek Jct. / 107.9 / 0427 / 48:27
Selden Pass / 117.1 / 0813 / 52:13
Lake Edison Jct. / 130.9 / 1208 / 56:08
Silver Pass / 137.4 / 1512 / 59:12
Duck Pass Jct. / 148.2 / 1917 / 63:17
Red’s Meadow (rest) / 159.8 / 2245 / 66:45
Depart Red’s Meadow / 159.8 / 0307 / 71:07 / (8/27)
Garnet Lake Jct. / 173.2 / 0801 / 76:01
Donohue Pass / 182.1 / 1132 / 79:32
Tuolumne Meadows Jct. / 193.9 / 1528 / 83:28
Sunrise High Sierra Camp / 205.4 / 1928 / 87:28
Half Dome Trail Jct. / 212.5 / 2154 / 89:54
Happy Isles / 218.5 / 0000 / 92:00 (87:32 from Whitney)

Nathan Women’s Intensity vest
One 20 oz. water bottle w/hand strap
Steri-pen Adventurer
Patagonia Active Classic Cami top
Patagonia Desert Dusters shorts
Patagonia Capilene 1 & 2 LS crews, or
Mountain Hardware Imogene LS crew
Montrail C4P baseball cap/Julbo shades

Montrail Hardrock shoes (same pair for both JMTs)
Socks, various brands
Dirty Girl gaiters
Patagonia Dragonfly jacket (carried but never worn)
Columbia lightweight fleece turtleneck (never worn)
Ibex lightweight wool hat
Mountain Hardware gloves
Timex watch
Tom Harrison JMT map pack
Paper & pen
Petzl Tikka XP light & spare batteries
Princeton Tec Blast light (backup)
Emergency space blanket
Toilet paper
Tampons, OB Super
Ziplock bags for garbage
Electrolyte caps
Tylenol 500 mg. (8 taken)
Caffeine pills 50 mg. (1 taken)

Zombie Runner 40 spf sunscreen, .27 oz. packets

Clif Shot Bloks
Clif Nectar bars
Clif Shot gels
Clif Mojo bars
Snickers bars
Mrs. May’s Naturals snacks
Sport Beans
Hammer HEED
Hammer Perpetuem
Hammer Recoverite
Mary Jane’s Farm organic pastas, cous cous, spuds, & oatmeal
Top Ramen
Starbucks Doubleshots
Instant coffee

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

John Muir Trail: 3 days, 20 hours!!! *

What an adventure!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm sitting at the Mammoth Library checking email and still processing all that happened during the JMT speed trek... suffice it to say it all went better than I'd ever dreamed it would! I'd originally planned to go for the women's record of ~5.5 days, when a previous record holder Peter Bakwin (his record subsequently broken by Kevin Sawchuk) suggested last winter that I go for the whole enchilada... I figured what do I have to lose?

This was a supported adventure, and my crew of Chris and Deborah (JMT vets both) was stellar -- without them I didn't have a prayer of the record. They met me at the end of each very long day and had the tent set up, "real food" cooked, etc. Mind you, this meant some VERY long approaches for them, in addition to the tent, each carrying TWO sleeping bags, TWO Thermarests, a bear can, my food for the next haul, etc. Deborah joined me for 16 miles thru Evolution Valley at the end of Day #2 and kept me on target. She also was kind enough to accompany me for the entire final day which was over 60 miles between Red's Meadow and Yosemite. If not for her, I think I would have finished but not under the old record. I owe both Chris and Deb BIG TIME!!

Weather was key, and I lucked out. On the day I finished, friends attempting to climb Whitney were turned back due to lightning and drenching rain; I merely got sprinkled on for an hour or so! Also key was backpacking the Trail beforehand. I cannot imagine going into this one blind. It truly is an adventure of the "postgraduate" variety!

I'll compose a full report within a few days. Hopefully my feet won't still look like sausages by then..... :)

* 3 days, 20 hours is my time from Whitney Portal to Happy Isle in Yosemite Valley. My time from the summit of Whitney, i.e. the official southern terminus of the JMT, was 3 days, 15 hours, 32 minutes.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Still playin' in the Sierras & HP #39

The past week was one of a lot of R&R post-JMT, first at the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains, including, according to this website, Earth's oldest living inhabitant, the 4,700+-year-old "Methuseleh" tree. This tree, and many other very, VERY old trees, can be seen on a beautiful 4-mile loop hike from the visitors' center. For the safety of the tree, however, the Methuseleh is unmarked, i.e. "I saw it but didn't know exactly when!"

After a peaceful night of camping at the appropriately named Grandview campground--the view of the night sky, sunset and sunrise were, indeed, grand--the next couple of enjoyable days were spent at the Millers' in Ridgecrest. We were fortunate to be in town during the annual wine walk -- woo hoo! Then we were off for Mammoth and an overnighter over Duck Pass and Pika Lake. Neither ducks nor pikas were seen; however, some bear prints were finally spotted near Duck Lake! And in the morning the coyotes yipped and howled. :-)

Wednesday evening we headed back to the White Mtns., this time via the Nevada side, in order to climb the state's high point,
Boundary Peak, elevation 13,140 ft. This beautiful mountain is located in the Boundary Peak Wilderness, and other than a few grazing cattle, we had the place to ourselves -- I was the only person on the peak yesterday! (Contrast that with Mt. Whitney a couple of hours away, its hoards, the permitting system, etc.) The hike could be neatly broken into 3 distinct segments: 1) winding through sagebrush via what appeared to be predominantly cow paths, 2) ascending a rather long & steep scree slope reminiscent of Grant-Swamp Pass on the Hardrock course, and 3) navigating the fun, blocky ridgeline to the summit. To give some indication as to the steepness of the scree slope--which I actually really enjoyed--my time from car to summit was about 3 hours, while my time from summit to car was just over an hour! (Yeah, I ran down!) :) 11 more high points to go!!.... Maybe??

I write this from the Boyds' in Bishop, where we are staying for a couple of days. They are "parents" of two giant year-old bull mastiffs, a brother & sister. These dogs are HUGE (!) but incredibly gentle and sweet, and I am happy to be getting my doggie fix. Until next time...

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.