1. Roleigh Martin
    Roleigh Martin March 29, 2016 at 6:31 am

    I’ve talked to a lot of Rangers about when it is best to get up and over a Pass (or down from Whitney Summit). The general rule I’ve heard is to get up and down by 11 am, as the vast majority of Lightening and Thunder risks occur after that time. I use this rule for the major passes — not for Island and Cathedral Pass — I’ve camped at Island Pass many years.

  2. Footprint
    Footprint March 29, 2016 at 6:38 am

    Hi Ray, My husband and I always enjoy your blogs. Very informative. We always try plan our hikes based on your first strategy – camp near the bottom and get up and over a pass early in the day. As you know, the Sierra’s cab be unpredictable weather wise, however there is always a greater chance of a thunderstorm later in the day. My idea of enjoying the JMT does not include being stuck on a pass trying to find shelter as the lightning bolts strike around us. Besides, it allows us to get our miles in early and set up camp to enjoy and rejuvenate for the next day. As you said, neither is wrong, we met others that enjoyed hanging around camp in the morning, relaxing and not feeling rushed and would tackle the passes later in the day..mind you most of these were 20 somethings…my husband and I are in our 50 somethings..lol thanks again for your posts. We look forward to another thru hike in 2017.

  3. Ham
    Ham March 29, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Me and my 14 year old son
    Ended getting over most passes just on dusk
    And had to set up camp just below the paases
    But it worked out ok

  4. victor
    victor April 1, 2016 at 10:57 am

    I took the passes as I encountered them, sometimes mid-day, sometimes in the afternoon. There often aren’t campsites near the top of the pass (no wonder), and to stop in the early afternoon to tackle the pass the next day wasn’t realistic for keeping my schedule. It was always impressive how on the more southern passes (Forester, Glen), several times I’d think I was nearly at the top, but there’d be much further to go.

    Remarkably, I was able to get weak cell phone service from Verizon at the top of Forester Pass (in 2013). This was not the case for any of the other passes (I didn’t try at Trail Crest, but there was some service on Mt. Whitney as well).

Leave a Reply