Friday, August 7, 2015

JMT Day 14: Rae Lakes Day Hike

I was not sure where my SOBO friends were, but I hoped to run into them some time on July 23. Meanwhile, I had to part ways with my NOBO friend because he needed to continue north, and I had to finish the trail going south. I decided to do a day hike, going as far north as I could before noon and then turning around. I figured I'd go slower on the way back because it would be up hill. I hoped to get as far as Wood's Creek, but I ended up stopping about 1.5 miles short of there.

Shortly after setting out, I ran into 3 friends I'd met earlier in the trail. Two of them said they were running out of food so they had to pick up their pace in order to finish without going hungry.

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View of Fin Dome

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The Painted Lady

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When I hiked back south to my campsite, I saw this deer:

Mule Deer

Mule Deer

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Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel
Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel

The Painted Lady

At the end of the day, I found 2 other friends, the two I had hoped to hike the rest of the trail with (and did hike the rest of the trail with). They, too, were running out of food. So were two others they had been hiking with. That means that in all, out of the 10 people I camped with at Deer Creek, 8 of them ran out of food and had to either hike faster and finish earlier or get food from others on the trail who had enough to share. In other words, running out of food during the last half of the trail is a common problem. I don't know whether it is because people underestimate "hiker hunger" and the amount they will need to eat, or because they only pack what fits in a bear can for their last 110 miles of hiking. The people I met who did NOT run out of food were the ones hiking 15-20 miles per day. The ones who had to pick up their pace to keep from going hungry ended up doing 15+ miles per day as well. If I were planning another JMT thru-hike, I would absolutely plan to resupply at Kearsarge OR plan to do 15-20 miles per day during the last half of the trail.

Day 14 miles hiked: 11
Day 14 elevation gain: 1600 ft
Total Distance Hiked to date: 98.6 mi
Total JMT distance hiked SOBO to date: 52.9 mi

All of my JMT photos can be seen here.

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