My pose on top of Pinchot Pass
My original plan this year was to complete the PCT with Ken (and maybe Wes) by doing all of Washington this summer. But Ken went off and got married, and was therefore unable to hike with me. In the meantime, my friend Paul invited me to hike the JMT with him and his daughter Jane, and his son Van. This is the same Paul that I hiked with on the JMT for the first time 2001. In fact, we have hiked together for many times in the 1990s as our familys grew up. Paul pretty much taught me most of what I know about camping.
The JMT is the big leagues of hikes. After all, the trail features the highest passes on the PCT, all spaced within a day's walk of each other. There are eleven passes worth mentioning: Sunrise, Donohue, Island, Silver, Selden, Muir, Mather, Pinchot, Glen, Forester, and Trail Crest. And of course the trail takes you to the top of Mt. Whitney. There are hundreds of waterfalls, lakes, and canyons. The weather varies from hot sun to rain, hail and sleet, and even snow. The weather can change from best to worst in just an hour or two. Finally, there are many side trips that are famous, such as climbing Half Dome.
Before this trip, I have successuflly hiked the JMT twice. Once in 2001, and again in 2004. Our 2004 hike is named "JMT Revisited" and is documented on this site (here). Since 2005, I have hiked over 1500 miles on other parts of the PCT. I was eager to try the JMT again to see the places that have so much beauty, but also to see how much I have improved as a hiker.
As you might have guessed, I have improved. In 2001, the JMT was the hardest three weeks of my life. In 2009, the JMT was the most pleasant hike I have ever taken part in. This is partly because I am smarter about hiking, but also because I am in better condition. Extended hikes every summer have made a big difference. The JMT was easy this time and I enjoyed every step. In 2001, it took us 19 days to hike the 220 miles of the JMT. This time, it took only 14 days.
Unfortunately, I did not keep a journal this time. But I did snap over 1000 pictures with a new 12 megapixel camera. I tried to pick out the best pictures and post them. They can be accessed with the links above.
Thanks for your interest... Dal.