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#157194 - 11/11/11 12:34 AM Re: 1 month on the John Muir? [Re: oldranger]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6371
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
The Pacific NW is to get hit with the remains of the great Alaskan storm (basically a hurricane with snow) this weekend. There will be lots of mountain snow, perhaps a foot above 3,000 feet elevation, starting tomorrow night. I don't know if this is the same storm you're getting down in CA, but I wouldn't be surprised!


Edited by OregonMouse (11/11/11 12:34 AM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#157208 - 11/11/11 08:11 AM Re: 1 month on the John Muir? [Re: OregonMouse]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Interesting enough, it has just started to rain on my roof, about twelve hours ahead of schedule. My guess is that we are in for a wet/snowy winter.....

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#157209 - 11/11/11 08:30 AM Re: 1 month on the John Muir? [Re: oldranger]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
The forecast here is for a 30% to 50% chance of rain for Saturday through Tuesday in the area in which I live (elev 3400') and low temperatures of about 47F. I am sure that this forecast means snow at higher elevations. Daytime temperatures are forecast to be in the mid-70's which means daytime temps around 40 to 45 at 7000'. There will probably be some snow accumulation in the mountains. Next week, after Tuesday, is forecast to be sunny and mid-70's for highs and mid-40's for lows.

By all means, check the long range forecast before planning a trip here, especially one in the mountains. The 1958 storm that OldRanger mentions resulted in the death of three Boy Scouts in the Santa Rita Mountains. OldRanger was one of the search and rescue people who went looking for these unfortunate young men.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#157216 - 11/11/11 12:40 PM Re: 1 month on the John Muir? [Re: oldranger]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Got rain last night! which meant less need for the heater this morning - it has been really cold all week!

Since I am going out to walk in the Veteran's Day parade with my SAR team, this is great - I am allergic to freezing my toes off. goodjob Much better to need rain gear than to have cold toes.

I think you are right, it is going to be a wet and cold one this year... good for snowshoeing and skiing, and spring flowers!
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#157276 - 11/12/11 03:34 PM Re: 1 month on the John Muir? [Re: MPCWatkins]
MPCWatkins Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/11
Posts: 40
Loc: Middle Georgia
Well, the reality of it is this. If it snows, it snows. I'll be there either way. So, the thing to do is plan for how to get through it. I am sure I will encounter snow, and it very well may be over what would be easiest. I'm not worried about that. My question is what can I pack/plan/prepare myself to over come this obstacle.

Here is my clothing system currently.

Upper Body
Patagonia Capeline 2-Base Layer
North Face down Jacket-I do not have a link for this one. It is the liner of my snowboarding jacket. This will be my mid layer.
Atom LT- Outer Layer
REI Ultra Light Rain Jacket- Rain Jacket/Wind layer

Lower Body
Basic synthetic underwear(Breifs)-Base layer
Patagonia Capeline 3-Mid Layer
REI Sahara-Outer Layer for warm days/lower elevations
Soft Shell Snowboarding pants-Don't have link. Will use these for tramping through snow.

Feet
Regular wool socks-Warm/cool days
Snow Socks- Snow Tramping
Mammut Mt.Cascade GTX boot-Great 3-season boot

Accessories
Outdoor Research Peruvian fleece hat-Liked it because of the ear flaps.
Marmot Exum work glove- Best blend between warmth and dexterity
SmartWool Neck Gaiter(Baclava)- Name speaks for itself.

I believe with this clothing system I will be able to make it through the colder sections of the trail. If you've got any thoughts on how to improve this system, I would love the hear them!

Hopefully, I'll have my itinerary up by tomorrow evening. Keep an eye out!
_________________________
"Brothers. What we do in life, echos in eternity."
-Maximus Decimus Meridius

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#157277 - 11/12/11 04:39 PM Re: 1 month on the John Muir? [Re: MPCWatkins]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Just bear in mind that there is no high elevation part of the southern Arizona mountains that is more than about 8 trail miles from lower, desert, elevations. You can usually walk out of the snow in 3-4 miles if you decide to bail. It may still be cold and wet lower down but I'm sure you are accustomed to that in Georgia. It can get icy on the trails so you will want some sort of traction appliance with you. And, usually, the snow is not deep enough along the AZ trail part of the mountains to stop you; I have never had to deal with more than ten inches in the ten years I have been hiking around here. You can get wet feet from it so have a spare pair of socks to change into at night. You can encounter some high winds. As I write this in my rural desert home, the wind is gusting to 30 mph outside. I am sure than it is closer to 50 mph in the mountains. Have a good wind proof top and bottom and consider something to cover your face such as a Balaclava. A pair of light fleece mittens would also be of use; mine weigh about an ounce and have kept my hands warm in some pretty miserable weather. The neck gaiter is a good idea. A tent is a better option than a tarp for the weather you might encounter; tents are better in wind.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#157278 - 11/12/11 05:39 PM Re: 1 month on the John Muir? [Re: Pika]
MPCWatkins Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/11
Posts: 40
Loc: Middle Georgia
That is some AWESOME info Pika. Thank you for the input.

From the way that Terri(REI employee and AZTT Aid) pitched it, it seemed like I was going to do some crazy high altitude passes slogging through deep snow! I am quite used to cold and wet in Ga, so no worries there. Perhaps I will remove the Atom LT for this trip. I will have two pairs of regular socks, and one pair of the icebreakers(Which can potentially be worn as a regular sock), so that is covered.

As far as traction goes, I'm lacking a bit. I've got a Black Diamond Raven ice axe, but I would hate to carry that extra weight for a couple of sections. Maybe I could ship it, and pick it up before "danger" areas. The Mammut boots I linked in my list are made for snow and such. They have a fairly aggressive sole, so if I went with those instead of my Vasque Breeze I think they would deal nicely. What do you think? Stick with the Breeze's and bring the ice axe, or go with the Mammut's, potentially with the Ice Axe as well?

As far as wind goes, I'm mostly relying on my rain jacket and pants. They are very wind resistant(up to 60mph), so if it did get windy I could just throw them on. If it does get that windy I'll just bring out the neck Gaiter and pull it up over my face. Gloves will come out at the same time. I've got some lighter fleece types that I will use if my hands are getting just a little too cold.

Tent is a definite for me. I've got a REI Half-dome(The older, more boxy model) and it has stood up to some pretty severe winds. I camped with it on the edge of Linville gorge where the winds were pretty blowing hard. It did very well. Love that tent!
_________________________
"Brothers. What we do in life, echos in eternity."
-Maximus Decimus Meridius

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#157285 - 11/12/11 08:11 PM Re: 1 month on the John Muir? [Re: MPCWatkins]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
You might want to consider a pair of gaiters - very good for keeping deep snow out of your boots. I didn't see them on your list; if I missed them, I apologize.

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#157289 - 11/12/11 08:57 PM Re: 1 month on the John Muir? [Re: oldranger]
MPCWatkins Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/11
Posts: 40
Loc: Middle Georgia
No, you didn't miss them, I forgot to add them! Thanks for catching that!
_________________________
"Brothers. What we do in life, echos in eternity."
-Maximus Decimus Meridius

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#157376 - 11/14/11 09:31 AM Re: 1 month on the John Muir? [Re: MPCWatkins]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
MPCWatkins...Still keeping an eye on this thread. I also have been digging up info on the trail myself to see where I might meet up with you. If it works out, I probably have my local ride in and out already set up.

sK

The gaiters are good for more than snow...definitely bring a pair.

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#157641 - 11/18/11 10:45 AM Re: 1 month on the John Muir? [Re: skcreidc]
MPCWatkins Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/11
Posts: 40
Loc: Middle Georgia
skreidc,

I know I've missed my own deadline to put in my trip itinerary, but school is on the upturn both with Thanksgiving holiday being next week and end of the semester/finals coming. I'm flying to Europe later this evening, so I'm sure I'll be able to nail down my full trip outline. I'm glad to hear that you are still interested in coming out. That'll be fun!

I do know that I will be starting from the Mexican border and stopping at Oracle, a total of 204 miles. That would mean an average of 10 miles a day with 3 rest days, and 1 day for cushion. My first day of hiking will be on December 13th, and last day on January 4th. Starting and ending on those days will give me three days travel time each way.

Gaiters are a must for me. They're part of my gear no matter what.
_________________________
"Brothers. What we do in life, echos in eternity."
-Maximus Decimus Meridius

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#157713 - 11/21/11 06:03 PM Re: 1 month on the John Muir? [Re: MPCWatkins]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
No worries! School comes first for you...I understand. When I was back in college I pulled some pretty heavy trips together in about 2 days. It was sort of, Hey! I have the time to do this...so lets go! But for this kind of trip, you need to more organized than that. I'm thinking if I make it, it will be for the Superstition Mountains section. Would like to get an overview of that area so I can know where to go in spring for the bloom.

Good luck with the studies and planning!

sK

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#157715 - 11/21/11 06:08 PM Re: 1 month on the John Muir? [Re: skcreidc]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
The Supes are great in February and March, especially if it is a wet winter. You will have an amazing amount of water.


Edited by oldranger (11/21/11 06:09 PM)

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#157722 - 11/21/11 08:14 PM JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: oldranger]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6371
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
While the consensus was not to try to split this thread, I did take the liberty of editing the original title so that both topics addressed here are included in the thread title. I hope that's OK with the OP!

This thread is becoming an excellent repository for info on the Arizona Trail, and I'd hate to see it ignored because it isn't in the title! On the other hand, the info on the JMT in winter is also important!


Edited by OregonMouse (11/21/11 08:18 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#157761 - 11/22/11 09:47 PM Re: JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: OregonMouse]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Here is a great account of a winter JMT trip on skis. These people were expert winter ski mountaineers and it was still ridiculously dangerous. FYI, if you don't know, Doug Robinson and Galen Rowell, who are mentioned in the first paragraph were legendary climbers in Yosemite. Rowell was a renowned photographer who was killed in a plane crash a few years ago.

http://www.jamesalutz.com/index_JMT1.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galen_Rowell




Edited by TomD (11/22/11 09:58 PM)
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#157766 - 11/23/11 08:59 AM Re: JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: TomD]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Excellent post Tom! THAT's what I call an epic 16 day adventure. And with my ski skills, one that I will never do. Doug Robinson still is a legend and still somewhat active (and therefore another source of inspiration for me to keep doing things), RIP Galen Rowell.

Old Ranger, my intent is to hit the Superstitions in spring to see the bloom some year...maybe this coming spring. I have heard it is really something to see.

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#157770 - 11/23/11 12:50 PM Re: JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: MPCWatkins]
MPCWatkins Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/11
Posts: 40
Loc: Middle Georgia
Hey all,
Just wanted to chime in quickly while I had access to the internet.

I think everyone will be happy to know that my outline is done. I was only able to plan up to passage 10(The section that takes you 15m E from Tuscon) since the AZT website has a gap in the guide book from passage 10-20something. I will post the outline in a seperate reply when I have a little more time to type it up. Should be later tonight.

As far as renaming the thread, that is perfectly fine with me. The more people that this thread helps out, the happier I am!

Skredic, some bad news. I don't think that I am going to make it to the Superstition Mountains section. I'm not exactly familiar with where/what section you mean, but on the AZT the only mention of anything Superstitious is after Oracle. Maybe I'm thinking of a different section than you are?
Hopefully it will work out.

Also. I was talking with my Brother and Sister and they said that a 15 degree bag is in no way sufficent for this trip. My brother reccomended I take his -30 degree bag, but I declined telling them flatly that they were wrong. Since then I've had a small seed of doubt growing about how cold a 15 degree bag can take me. I had thought a 15 degree bag plus clothes would take me down to 0? Am I wrong? Can I get everyones thoughts on this?
_________________________
"Brothers. What we do in life, echos in eternity."
-Maximus Decimus Meridius

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#157775 - 11/23/11 02:35 PM Re: JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: MPCWatkins]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
It depends. What do you mean by "clothes"? I have a -5C (+23F) rated bag and that rating is very accurate for me. I can use it down into the low teens by wearing my Capilene base layer (old Patagonia midweight), socks, liner gloves and a fleece hat, and my overbag (MEC Emperor Penguin) and bivy sack (BD Winter Bivy, which is just a very light bivy).

Without the overbag, I will toss my parka on top and that seems to work about as well. HOWEVER, that parka, which I am wearing in my avatar photo, is a TNF Baltoro down parka that is almost as heavy as my bag. It is designed for subzero weather. Plus, I have insulated pants as well, which I could wear in my bag if it got really cold. With everything on, I could probably sleep quite warmly in zero or even slightly lower temps.

So, the bottom line is unless you take clothes for very cold weather, being comfortable down to zero in a +15F bag may not be a realistic expectation.


Edited by TomD (11/23/11 02:44 PM)
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#157777 - 11/23/11 04:18 PM Re: JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: MPCWatkins]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Here is a web site for Summerhaven, AZ. This is a small village located at about 8,000 feet in the Santa Catalina Mountains. The trail goes right through the village if I recall correctly. This is also about the high point of the trail until it reaches the Mogollion Rim country further north.

http://www.pocomas.net/weather/almanac.htm

As you can see, it can get cold in the Arizona mountains but, frankly, for the amount of time you will be spending at 8,000' a -30 bag would be massive overkill. All of this presumes that you have a true 15F sleeping bag and not one made by an optimistic, high-metabolism manufacturer. Mostly you will see temperatures in the teens and low twenties at night. For those few nights when it might be colder than that you can either put on all your clothes and possibly shiver a bit, or seek a lower elevation. Most of the southern AZ trail is between 3500' and 6,000 feet.

The Superstition Mountains are well north of Oracle. They lie just about due east of Phoenix and are well worth another trip. The hike between the Superstition Mountains and the Mazatzal Mountains is a part of the AZ trail I hope to explore someday.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#157779 - 11/23/11 06:21 PM Trip Outline [Re: MPCWatkins]
MPCWatkins Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/11
Posts: 40
Loc: Middle Georgia
Here it is! The legendary trail outline I've been talking about for so long. I was only able to get to day 17 out of 24 since the guide book only goes to Passage 10. When I return home I will see if I can pull info from the data book to figure out what that next week will look like. Chime in with your thoughts. I'm glad to hear them. Oh, and if a day is bolded then it means rest/resupply day. The first number at the end of every day is the mileage for that day, and the second is the overall mileage. Chime in with any further questions. Look forward to hearing from everyone. All the best.



Dec 13(Day 1)- Tag Mexican Border(1.9m), turn around, camp at Bear Saddle/Bear Canyon TJ(Camp;W3 .5mS)(9.8)
Dec 14(Day 2)- Bear Saddle/Bear Canyon TJ-> /FR48(Seasonal store/water at Parker Canyon Lake)(10.9m)(20.7)
Dec 15(Day 3)- FR48->Middle Canyon(W1)(11.5)(32.2)
Dec 16(Day 4)- Middle Canyon->Gate Spring(W2-3 .06mS)(12.3)(44.5)
Dec 17(Day 5)- Gate Spring->Patagonia(Town Day)(6.6)(52.8)
~Resupply Food,Water,Butane(Care package)
Post Ofice-100 N. Taylor Ave., P.O 9988
Dec 18(Day 6)-Patagonia->Anaconda Spring(w1, Spring/Seep;Small creeks)(~9.5)(~62.3)
Dec 19(Day 7)-Anaconda Spring->Tunnels Spring Trailhead(W1;T2)(9.9)(72.2)(Might summit Mt.Wrightson. Will make the decision when I can assess the situation)
Dec 20(Day 8)- Tunnel Spring Trailhead->Kentucky Camp(W3-4, Shelter)(6.6)(78.8)
Dec 21(Day 9)- Kentucky Camp->End Of passage 5(W0-1)(9.8)(88.6)
Dec 22(Day 10)- End of Passage 5->Join Road(10.9)(99.5)
(Depending oon Water, may go to Lakes Road: W2-3, 1.25mW)(101.6)
Dec 23(Day 11)Join Road/Lakes Road->Road Jct.(9.2)(110.8)
Dec 24(Day 14)- Road Jct.->La Posta Quemada Ranch(7.1)(117.9)
Dec 25(Day 13)- Walk to Colossal Cave Mountain Park(5m there and back)(Refill food, fuel, water from care package)
Dec 26(Day 14)- La Posta Quemada Park->Rincon Creek(w1)9.1)(12.7)
Dec 27(Day 15)- Rincon Creek-> Manning Camp(W4, Camp)(13.8)(140.8)
Dec 28(Day 16)- Manning Camp-> Italian Trap(T4)8.8)(149.6
Dec 29(Day 17)- Italian Trap-> West Spring Cistern
_________________________
"Brothers. What we do in life, echos in eternity."
-Maximus Decimus Meridius

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#157781 - 11/23/11 06:41 PM Re: JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: Pika]
MPCWatkins Offline
member

Registered: 10/23/11
Posts: 40
Loc: Middle Georgia
Thanks for your thoughts Tom! HAha I'm glad you mentioned that behomoth of a jacket in your picture! To be honest though, I though you were going to tell me that you were wearing your sleeping bag! I think that I will have sufficent clothes to get me down to zero. If you look back in the thread(Page 3) you can have a look at my clothing system to see if you agree. I may nix the Atom for this trip. May be overkill. Not sure just yet.

Pika!

It is very good to hear from you again! I was hoping that you would chime back in! I will take a look at Summerhaven. That may end up being a crucial resupply point. I think you are correct. I am comfprtable again with my 15 degree bag. Thankfully it is a Mountain Harware Phantom, thus I feel comforted that if MTN Hardware calls it 15, then it sure will be. Yes, I was sad to see that I wasn't able to do that section this trip. I will most definitley be looking at making a second trip to finish off the remaining trail. I would love to go further than Oracle, but there wasn't a town that I could find that I could imagine my self finding a ride back from.

Pika, I'm staying on you about coming out and doing a section of the trail with me. I have really appreciated you advice, and to be honest, without it, I wouldn't be going on this trip. I'd really like to be able to meet you. I think it could be alot of fun, and a great opportunity for me to learn from a more experienced hiker. I realize it's a tough time with the holidays, but I thought I would atleast let you know that I was looking forward to the chance of meeting you out there. Hope all is well.
_________________________
"Brothers. What we do in life, echos in eternity."
-Maximus Decimus Meridius

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#157785 - 11/23/11 11:56 PM Re: JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: MPCWatkins]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Your list is similar to mine, except I have the parka and pants added to it. I'm sure my parka is warmer than yours and my pants would be too-they were made by Go-Lite a few years ago, but were discontinued. I also have a fleece balaclava, a fleece watch cap (beanie), a couple of pairs of gloves. I plan to buy a pair of expedition mitts of some sort, maybe a BD or Marmot-REI sells several different ones.

However, these may be the ultimate cold weather mitt-
http://www.empirecanvasworks.com/thebigmitt.htm


Edited by TomD (11/24/11 12:07 AM)
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#157794 - 11/24/11 02:13 PM Re: JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: MPCWatkins]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
MPCW please check your PM's.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#157807 - 11/25/11 01:50 AM Re: JMT in Winter? Or Arizona Trail? [Re: TomD]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
I have a pair of the PT300 Double Mitts with a set of overmits, which have been very nice. I only use the overmits while snowmachining - the double mitts by them selves are good to -30s (proven last two weeks here.)

http://www.akgear.com/hats-mitts.html#anchor722902

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#157840 - 11/26/11 10:53 AM Re: Trip Outline [Re: MPCWatkins]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
So that's your schedule and your sticking with it? When I get home I will check it out and see what I can pull off.

The Superstition Mtn section is east of Phoenix....check out the attached map. I am also thinking about the parts north like Four Peaks and south of the Mogollon rim.

Arizona trail map


Edited by skcreidc (11/26/11 11:42 AM)

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