JMT AUGUST 2018
JMT 2018 Adventure begins!
I’m flying in 2 days to Mammoth Lakes, Ca (from home in Hampton, Va) to begin this years JMT attempt, NOBO (northbound) from Cottonwood Lakes/Pass Trail Head(s)(aka) Horseshoe Meadows.
This is outside the town of Lone Pine, Ca, which is also the entrance to the Mt Whitney portal.
This is my 3rd trip out there;
2015 – started NOBO from cottonwood, exited out to the town of Independence, Ca over Kearsarge Pass due to bad smoke from the Rough Fire.
2016 – Started back up in Independence, made it Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite NP, where I ran out of time and gas to make it the last 20 or so miles down into Yosemite Valley.
2017 – Record snow fall in the Sierra’s, so wound up cancelling, didn’t want to bother with the snow lingering on passes, honestly..getting too old for that shit.
2018 – (to be written!)
BOULDER MAIL TRAIL, GRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE
I was fortunate to backpack the Boulder Mail Trail outside the tiny town of Escalante, Ut in May. Three days, two nights. Led a group of 5, had a great time. Followed up with a 2 day backpack down the Escalante River to view several arches.
Had originally planned to drive down to Coyote Gulch after the BMT to camp and view the arches, but the group ‘voted’ (rebelled) to switch to the easier Escalante hike instead, which enabled a sweet evening of beer and pizza at the Escalante Outfitters restaurant.
The hiking over the ‘slick rock’ was incredible. Death Hollow was amazing. The constant ‘not knowing’ the status of water availability at the next camp site was always frustrating.
Lessons learned; If you’re not walking on ‘slick rock’ (not slick when dry!) you’re walking on sand paths which are akin to walking on the beach and really slows down the pace.
Regular tent stakes don’t cut it as the ground is extremely sandy and loose. You’ll need to have longer, flatter stakes. Or just cowboy camp and look at the stars! (Fantastic!!)
Seneca Creek – Spruce Knob, WV
In July we did a 2 night backpacking trip to the Seneca Creek area in the Monongahela NF in West Virginia, so I could get some training in carrying my 35lb (plus or minus) JMT pack. Hot. Humid. Hot. Humid. As soon as I get the photos loaded I’ll post the link