Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Wenk and Morey's Guide

The girls and I took a seven mile walk to Dunkin Donuts and back last Friday instead of hiking a mountain.  We had house maintenance stuff going on that day and needed to stay close to home.  Happy to say we only took three hours for our jaunt -- that includes a long fritter break and lounging at a nearby dam.  We averaged 3 miles an hour on hilly roads at what felt to us like a casual pace.  Looking forward to getting back into the now-snowy mountains with the girls on the 22nd.

I am studying John Muir Trail: The Essential Guide to Hiking America's Most Famous Trail by Elizabeth Wenk with Kathy Morey.  This book is a fantastic resource.  I'm in the process of creating a trail itinerary I think the girls can happily handle.  Of course, once we're out there, we'll do whatever works in the moment and throw the itinerary out the window...but still, it's good to have a decent of idea of what to expect.

Even though our JMT hike isn't for another nine or ten months, you can still donate to Feeding America today.  Your contribution is tax deductible, and every penny goes to the virtual food drive.  Click on the Feeding America link at the top of this page to help families in need.

More next week, after the girls and I hike some peaks.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Resupply Issues

Still wondering how to best deal with the southern half of the JMT.  We plan to stop and resupply at Muir Ranch...then there are no more easy resupply options for the rest of the trip.  There's over a hundred miles between Muir Ranch and our Whitney exit, and I cannot carry 8-10 days worth of food for three people.  If I was going solo, there wouldn't be any problem, but I'm not going solo...and my daughters can't carry 8-10 days worth of food each.  Well, maybe they can, but I don't think they'd enjoy the experience if they did.

There seem to be three options.  One, hire someone to bring your food to you on the trail.  That option is expensive, and it probably requires being very specific with our timing.  Two, we can hike down to the Onion Valley trailhead and hitch a ride to the nearest town.  That option means getting off the trail for a couple of days and walking over 16 extra miles.  Three, we can suck it up, take on some extra weight (with me carrying most of the burden) and attempt to do the rest of the trail in seven days instead of 8-10.  That option probably isn't the safest move, though.  We could always try it, but then do the Onion Valley trailhead thing if we found we couldn't go as fast as we wanted and/or we were running out of food.

I'm fairly certain we'll easily be able to average at least ten miles a day.  The girls are strong hikers and we're used to the steep and rough terrain of the Whites, so I don't anticipate having any problems with the trail itself.  The altitude, however, is a bit of an X factor.  The girls have done well with their high-altitude highpointing thus far, though, so I think we'll be fine with proper acclimatization.  We didn't feel the altitude at all and the girls hiked two and a half miles an hour on our last highpointing trip (Kings Peak in Utah),  hence my optimism.  Still, I don't want to count on being able to handle the southern half without resupply, so I've got a lot of thinking to do.