1. jack conrad
    jack conrad October 25, 2016 at 6:05 am

    Hey Ray,
    Last two times out on the JMT I referred to a spreadsheet I made in 2014 for a llama packing trip. I used every source I could find including your wonderful book and guides like “Fly Fishing on the JMT”, Black’s super trail guide and of course all the NP and NF grazing info.
    I used it again this year for an in and out trip on the NF part of the JMT…adding a couple of ‘finds’ to my list.
    If you’re going to have a plan be sure to factor in days where you might fall short of your goal, your daily goal and maybe a couple of campsites further on. You’ll be able to pile on more miles a day as you get acclimated and hardened up a bit. Generally speaking I don’t walk five hours a day in my daily life.
    Except for a few pinch points on the trail I don’t usually share campsites with backpackers. Purple Lake comes to mind as one of the exceptions. If that’s going to be a stop for you you’re better off getting in there early before the campsites fill up. Up over the next hill is Virginia Lake where there’s a lot more room for campsites.
    Thanks as always for the great service you perform for lovers of the JMT.
    Cheers, jc

  2. Karen Jensen
    Karen Jensen October 25, 2016 at 7:38 am

    The colors in your photo looks like a Turner painting. If I hadn’t seen such scenes before, I wouldn’t believe it.

  3. Ravi
    Ravi October 26, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Like Ray, I am a planner by nature and have spreadsheets for everything including my hikes. But I usually abandon the exact plan a few days into the hike and feel rebellious when I do so! It has become part of the fun of backpacking.

  4. Nev
    Nev October 28, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    September 2015 I section hiked from Mammoth to Yosemite and found my 2nd night near Cathedral Peak. There was a forest fire nearby to the North which the Park Service were monitoring. Coming from New Zealand I’m not used to forest fires in the wilderness. I was flexible about where I camped, so sought out the same meadow as you near Lower Cathedral Lake, figuring being in a clearing and near a lake was the safest place to be (just my guess). The weather was calm, clear and mild so I too just slept under the stars in the open, enjoying a beautiful sunset and rising full moon. Your guide, which I used on an iPhone, proved invaluable for assessing mileages and times, and helped me with changes on the fly. Thanks for the effort, much appreciated.

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