Loc: Berkeley, California
I did it! I completed the whole JMT...solo! It was super hard (for me)...and I worked so hard to do the best I could every day...and I did. It took me 24 days (funny reading the posts on breaking the 5 day record...). I confronted many new challenges that held some fear. I made Forester something scary in my mind...and then it was completely fine! ok...lots of breathing hard. I hike 1 mile an hour...up, down...sideways....so I hiked long and hard every day to meet my personal goals. I even ended 4 days ahead of schedule!(my partner was soooo proud of me!) I was on top of Whitney just last Tuesday! I am really proud of my accomplishments! Thanks to everyone for answering all of my questions and encouraging me right before I left (when my anxieties grew). I wonder if I saw any of you unknowingly on the trail. I was most often wearing a rainbow scarf, and had a bunny hanging off the back of my pack...and a sticker that said "Whitney Portal Or Bust!" I met a lot of great people (who passed me of course...hahahaha!) and was never really alone. i actually tried occasionally to be alone...hopeless on this trail! Anyway...while "light" was an aim...I have a lot more work in that direction to make that happen...sigh. I know I can continue to work towards that. Mostly...I want to say thank you soooo much to everyone on this forum!
Loc: Fountain Valley, CA, USA
Congratulations, you have every right to be proud of your accomplishment. Any pictures? Tell us a little more about the trip. What did you enjoy most? What did you enjoy least? What was easiest. What was hardest, etc.
Loc: Berkeley, California
hmmmm... My favorites: Rae Lakes, the top of each and every pass, marmotts, pikkas, deer, the rabbit that soothed my worries about being lost, nearly every lake, sunrises, sunsets, all the people I met, working through pain...and coming out on the other side, Vermillion.... the good vegetarian pasta the cook made me and the shower! In fact, people who work there are soooo nice! The look on people's faces when I answered where I started from! Every meadow. My tent. My down matt (I was actually warm for once in my life while backpacking!) The hike out of Muir Ranch next to the San Jauquine (sp?) river...gorgeous! The top of Whitney...even the trail from Trail Crest to the top(hard as it was on my lungs). Blue skies, gray skies, mountains for miles, being enclosed by mountains...and knowing the only way out...is up! oh...and the weight loss! I am half the woman...and hope to keep some of that off! Of course...running out of food and also not really ever consuming enough calories to replace the output may mean that those 15 lbs will be back. sigh. ooohhh...I really was struck by the fire damage near Red's Meadow. It was very stark, intense, and beautiful...all at once. I took some amazing...artistic photos there.
The rythmn of life...hike, rest/eat, hike, set up camp, eat, sleep, wake, pack up camp...hike.
My not so favorites: The descent from Muir Pass (beautiful to look at, but painful on the ankles!) The descent from Whitney...how many switchbacks was that? 97? Someone counted more than 100. I was woken up at Trail Camp by someone shouting about coffee while holding a french press...so weird following quiet mornings for days. Not so sure about hiking in hail...adventuresome...but cold. Could have skipped Muir Ranch...but glad for the resupply service. Bear canisters...yuck! But it made a great laundry basin! The solar recharger...worthless...erased my music! Flies. They were super annoying in a few spots...but not so bad given what mosquitoes could have been like in a non-drought year.
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I've been back a week now from doing the Rae Lakes Loop. Many nice lakes out there, more people than I am used to camping by, but it was nice chatting with them. With my early morning starts, I didn't have to pass many people on the trail. After a day and a half at Rae Lakes fishing and day hiking, I breezed up Glen Pass, it was easier than I thought it would be. On my trip, I talked with many people who were doing the JMT and heard about others out on it. As usual, all the pretty ladies were going the other way except the one who kept hiking after I had made my camp destination for the day, I got a nice smile and hi out of her at Woods Creek and JMT/PCT Jct. My goal when I retire, hike the JMT in one stretch. Congratulations on your trip completion.
congratulations! i will do the JMT someday, probably once my boys are old enough to come along. the drop from Muir is pretty terrible - i did it while hiking the north/south lakes loop and when i saw how far i'd have to drop down in the valley before climbing up to Dusy, i admit i cried (that was a very long day).