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[pct-l] RE: JMT

> From: 	Philippe GOUVET
> Sent: 	Friday, May 22, 1998 11:27 PM
> To answer Peter and Sonja's question, I'll be hiking the JMT too-starting
> on July 15 in Yosemite. OK for the ice ax, but will crampons really be
> necessary ? I have another question : what could be the effect of such a
> potential amount of water in the Sierras of the mosquito population (which
> I found quite appalling in '96 for my first JMT hike) ??
> Philippe

The mosquitoes are bad in the Sierra every year.  The worst time is just
after the snow melts.  Their population seems to be water and temperature
limited, so the warm days with puddles everywhere are the worst.  Exactly
when that is depends on elevation and time of year.  Bring your bug

Crampons don't seem necessary to me.  They're for walking on ice.  There are
no glaciers on the JMT, only some icy snow conditions during the very early
morning hours.  Then they might  be useful, but I don't think they'd be
worth the weight.  If you know how to use your ice ax to cut steps, you can
do that instead if you need to.  Or you could wait for softer snow

River fording will be a bigger problem this year.  Bear Creek and Evolution
Valley are the worst.  Plan on getting your feet wet regularly, and make
sure you know how to safely cross fast water that is at least thigh-deep.

The basics:  Find a safe spot.  Don't cross where you'll be swept into
trouble if you slip.  Make sure you can get out of your pack quickly if you
need to.  Unbuckle the hip strap if you don't have a quick release.  Use a
wading staff for balance.  Wear shoes.  Step between the rocks, not on top
of them.  Jump across only if you can do so safely.   Wet feet are much
better than a bad fall.   Many streams volume changes greatly throughout the
day.  Wait for lower water if you need to.  

People are killed every year fording streams.  Be very careful.

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