1. Debra
    Debra October 14, 2014 at 4:50 am

    Conversely, when I’m flying over the Sierra on my way from Sacramento to points east, drink in hand, I always gaze downward at that rugged beauty and think, wish I was there!

  2. Betty
    Betty October 14, 2014 at 5:08 am

    Great attitude-check tip! My hiking partner was bummed about the younger / fleeter hikers who were passing us or making more miles than we were, and lamenting that she wasn’t as fast as she used to be (or thought she was before she set out on the JMT with a 27-lb pack). In my opinion, any of the following help banish such thoughts: 1. Thinking about how many people our age (59 and 64, respectively) are sitting on the sofa in front of the TV, physically unable to hike the JMT at all; 2. Thinking about the people we met or heard about on the trail who had to leave the trail because of injury or fitness issues; 3. Thinking about the many people we encountered on trail with heavier packs than ours; 4. Thinking about the many people who were hiking faster (or longer hours) out of necessity, because they couldn’t get the amount of time off from work that we were able to spend on the trail (22 days). How lucky we were, compared to any of the people in those categories!

    1. Dan
      Dan October 14, 2014 at 5:31 am

      So true Betty,

      My brother-in-law and I attempted to do the whole JMT last year, between the two of use we could only manage to get two weeks off, both of us are in pretty good shape, but the pace we had to keep to try and finish the trip sucked the joy out of backpacking for us. We ended up bailing because we were pushing ourselves close to the point of injury and it just wasn’t worth doing that. I would love to be able to take 3 or 4 weeks and take another swing at the JMT. I am glad we tried though, and some day we will return!

  3. Arla Hile
    Arla Hile October 14, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Nice article. I needed an attitude adjustment this year after climbing out of my tent at 3 pm, following a long night and most of the day in a constant downpour near Center Basin Creek. I wanted to bail. I looked up at Forester Pass and saw snow…and then started to cry. I was ready to go home.

    Well, guess what? The next day was a GREAT day! Yes, Forester was snowy and we couldn’t see the trail, but we had a great time anyway and felt physically fantastic, easily getting up and over the pass first thing in the morning. It was beautiful with the fresh dusting of snow, and little late-summer flowers peeking out here and there, including our first sighting of sky pilot just before the pass. I’m SO glad we didn’t bail out to Road’s End!

  4. Wayne
    Wayne October 17, 2014 at 6:50 am

    I have not done the JMT yet. I am training for it and saving a months leave to enjoy it.
    It is great to hear the advise and encouragement on here.
    When I hear ya’ll I know I am doing the right thing. Happy trails to
    all of you.

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