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[pct-l] Urgent request for alternatives to John Muir Trail - 3 Scots need advice
Here are some recent reports from various places in the southern half of the
trail. They are from http://www.nps.gov/seki/trailcdt.htm
Based on these reports (note the dates), I would not change your plans (others
may disagree). The weather here has been very hot this past week and is expected
to continue to be very hot for at least the next week (at 8,000' day temps of
low 80s, nighttime temps in high 40s-low 50s). The snowline in Yosemite Park is
reported to be around 9,000-9,500'. You will therefore walk on some snow just
before and just after most of the passes, but it sounds like trekking poles are
all that's required.
Evolution Valley Basin - 7/18/05: Some downed trees. The crossing at Darwin
Creek is difficult. Patchy snow between Sapphire and Wanda Lakes. Crossing below
Wanda is deep. Fairly consistent wet snow cover with sun cups above Wandw Lake.
Mosquitos are plentiful.
Muir Pass - 07/18/05: Continous wet snow above 10,800 feet with sun cups.. The
use of poles is recommended on both sides of the pass. Dangerous snow bridges
across creeks. Be prepared for wading as creeks are deep.
LeConte Canyon/Dusy Basin/Palisades Creek - 07/18/05: Patchy snow on both sides
of Bishop Pass. Heavy mosquito population in Dusy Basin.
Glen Pass - 07/11/05: There is about a half mile of snow on both sides of the
pass. The trail is mostly visible. Ski poles are recommended for going over the
Kearsarge Pass - 07/11/05: The trail is mostly snow free. Expected to be stock
passable by July 25.
Forester Pass - 07/11/05: The south side of the pass is mostly snow free except
for the gully at the top. The north side of the pass has about a mile of snow
but doesn't pose any significant problems. Ski poles are recommended.
Forester Pass - 07/15/05: The south side of the pass has patchy snow above
11,000 feet. There is 90% snow cover in the bowl before the pass. The lower
switchbacks are still snow covered and there is a snow chute near the top of the
pass. The north side has snow cover for about 1 mile from the top of the pass.
Ski poles and morning travel are recommended.
Tyndall area - 07/08/05: Patchy snow on the JMT from Crabtree to Tyndall. Not
stock passable at this time. The crossings at Lower Tyndall Creek is extremely
dangerous and not recommended. The Wright Creek Crossing on the High Sierra
Trail is high. Use extreme caution.
Crabtree Meadow/Whitney area - 07/05/05: The west side of Mount Whitney is about
20% snow covered from Guitar Lake to the switchbacks. There is a small section
of snow on the switchbacks that should be avoided by inexperienced snow travelers.
> Dear fellow hikers,
> We are a group of three Scots with a permit to walk the John Muir Trail from
> 29th July (next week) to about 22th August.
> As you can imagine we have been planning this carefully and are set for a
> lightweight long distance trek, expecting dry warm conditions and no real snow!!
> We were intending to use public transport as much as possible to and from the
> JMT (North to South)
> We are experienced long-distance, mountain walkers (full Pyrennean Haute
> Route etc.)
> But we now have alarming news about the freakish snow conditions in the
> Sierras and are expecting to be told that we should not attempt what we intended.
> Can you please offer any useful suggestions for alternatives, bearing in mind
> what you know about us and what we intended to do? We fly into San Fran on
> 25th so please reply soonest.
> Thanks for your help in anticipation.