Preparing for a through hike of the John Muir Trail

In less than 30 days my buddies Taylor, Phil and myself will be heading out to give a try at a 10-day (well, 9 1/2 day) through hike of the John Muir Trail from Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney.

I did this hike with Taylor probably 4 years ago now and it was an amazing experience – The trail is 220 miles long and a large majority of the trail was covered in snow last time we went, so we’re excited to see what it looks like when you can actually see the trail and the lakes aren’t all frozen over.

Today I sat down and ordered a bunch of new gear (last time we tried to have a base weight around 20 pounds or so, but this time I’m aiming for about 10 pounds!!!) and I also mapped out our mileages for each day. It looks like we’re going to have some constantly brutally long days on the trail which should make for a challengingly fun trip.

Here’s the predicted breakdowns for our hike:

Day 1 – 13.8 to Sunrise High Sierra Trail Camp

Day 2 – 24.2 to short of Marie Lakes Trailhead

Day 3 – 22.4 to Reds Meadow re-supply pick up

Day 4 – 26.4 to Pocket Meadow

Day 5 – 22.2 to Muir Trail Ranch trail head

Day 6 – 1 to muir trail ranch from camp 8 a.m. – Re-supply, then – (11.6 to muir pass base) 25.1 to Big Pete Meadow – short of Le Conte Canyon

Day 7 – 22 to Taboose Pass trail head

Day 8 – 23.4 to Vidette Meadow

Day 9 – 22.3 to short of Timberline Lake

Day 10 – 8.5 to Whitney Summit – 11 to Whitney Portal total of 19.5
Yeah… it’s tough to look at the mileages for each of those days, and seeing how outta shape I am right now, it will be interesting to see how we do with our goals. I’ve started training this week to try and prepare and can’t wait to see how we do pushing ourselves to the limits over and over.

Here are a few shots from our last hike of the JMT:

LOTS of snow!

Hiking and post holing through days and days of snow on the JMT

Camping in the snow…

lots of snow and ice on the John Muir Trail

Camping on the John Muir Trail early season with lots of snow

Hiking at sunrise through the frost covered grass in Yosemite

John Muir Trail sunrise in Yosemite National Forest


John Muir Trail and one of many high altitude passes

Hitch hiking home after we couldn’t get anyone on the phone to pick us up

Hike the John Muir Trail and then hitch hike home

John Muir Trail hitch hiking 2004

Can’t wait to share with you guys as I prepare for this year’s through hike as well as pictures after I get back from the trail!

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