This is just a quick post to let everybody know, that I’ve successfully completed my thru-hike of the John Muir Trail in California. What an awesome adventure, it’s probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever done! The hike and the scenery have by far exceeded my expectations!
I did not encounter any problems, was fortunate enough to have no injuries at all (not even blisters, chafing or a twisted ankle) and also all the gear held up well, nothing important was broken or lost. I’m really surprised everything went so smoothly!
Some of the highlights from my point of view were (just google for nice images, I will post mine when I’m home):
- Half Dome (the cables are just insane!)
- Lyell Canyon
- Thousand Islands Lake (swimming at 3000 meters a.s.l. in front of an impressive mountain scenery)
- Evolution Valley
- Mather Pass (what a view into the Upper Basin!)
- Rae Lakes (swimming again)
- Forester Pass (first time above 4000m)
- Bighorn Plateau
- Sunrise on Mount Whitney
I started at Glacier Point above Yosemite Valley on 16th July at noon, summitted Mt. Whitney on 2nd August at 5:30 a.m. and exited at Whitney Portal on the same day around lunchtime. I hiked two days faster than I had originally planned.
Some random facts:
- # of miles hiked: roughly 230
- # of days on the trail: 19 (including an extra day in Yosemite)
- # days I used my raingear: 2 (only once it was really necessary)
- # of bear encounters: 0 (they weren’t even interested in my food at night)
- # of days above 4000 meters: 2
- # of ‘nicely graded switchbacks’: (feels like) gazillions
- # of times I used soap on the trail: not sayin’ 😉
- # of mosquitos: hardly any (even threw away my Deet at Muir Trail Ranch)
- # of rest days: 0
- # of resupplies: 1 (at Muir Trail Ranch the pack got about 5 kg heavier)
- longest descent: ~2000 meters from Mt. Whitney down to the Portal, but it was worth it – a burger was waiting there!
- # of pictures taken: ~1500
Thanks to all who I met on the trail who made this hike such a joyful experience, especially Kevin, Nick & Shenan, Rob & Peter & John, Frederick, Mark, Lars (and many more – I’m so bad at remembering names) and those at home who were tracking my progress and were “virtually” hiking with me! It was a new and quite ‘interesting’ experience not to be able to contact the outside world for about 10 days!
Would I hike the JMT again? Yes! Not tomorrow, not next year, but someday – definitely!
Currently I’m looking forward to going home, but I’m stuck in Lone Pine, CA – no busses going out of this place on the weekend 🙁 Yet I’m lucky to be still hanging out with some fellow hikers…
Update (1): Here’s a first set of photos:
Must be said: Thanks to Lars for letting me use his computer and to McDonald’s Lone Pine for the free WiFi!