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  1. #1

    Cool Advice on permits, when to start 2020?

    Hello!

    I'm looking to hike the JMT in August of 2020, aiming to summit Mt. Whitney on Sep. 4.

    I also want to summit Mount Baden-Powell along the way.

    I figure getting a permit and my start date might be a little tricky but not entirely sure how that will work. I am just starting to plan my trip. I am thinking about 3 weeks start ti finish but am open to recomendations on that?!?

    Any advice regarding when to start, permit process etc... would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by bcok; 10-01-2018 at 09:41.

  2. #2
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    If you're looking for the classic Happy Isles to Whitney permit... give up your dream of summiting Mt. Whitney on a specific date.
    Permits out of Yosemite NP are done by lottery system, and looking at the Yosemite NP FAQ page on JMT permits, it looks like you're wanting to start at what appears to be the most popular time of the year to start.
    To give you an idea of the odds... from what I've heard in recent years, on any given day during the popular JMT season, there are 1,000 people entered in the lottery that will only offer up 40 permits (and only something around a dozen of those are for starting at Happy Isles).

    So if you want to summit Whitney on a specific date, go ahead an apply for the lottery system (someone had to win it), but also look into other possibilities. I've heard of people having much better odds doing things like a flip-flop (get two permits starting from some place in the middle, hike from the middle to HI, then go back to the middle and hike to WP) or start somewhere north of Yosemite. I'm not familer with the details of what are all the popular alternative starting points, but if that sounds interesting to you, simply ask about it, there are those here who should be able to direct you to specific suggestions.

  3. #3
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Just got back from JMT thru-hike, August 28-Sept 21st. Won the lottery, BUT thankfully did not get the dates we wanted. Yosemite was closed due to fires on the date we shot for.

    As you may know, your application will be "rolled over" to the next day if you don't get your initial requested date, for up to 21 days of automatic roll-over. We finally "won" a permit after about 18 days of rejection emails.

    Start date is critical (you must start on your permit date). Finish date is not critical at all, so far as I know, so you can speed up or slow down to meet a finish date of your choosing. (Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, I trust.)

    BTW, our permit was checked on the JMT itself at least three different times by volunteers and rangers (both NPS and Forest Service).
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    I thru hiked the JMT June 29-July 16 2016 with the Golden Ticket (Happy Isles to Whitney). We had 1 zero day at VVR.

    It took 3 of us applying for a permit several weeks before we lucked out. 2 members of my group had a limited schedule because they were school administrators/faculty.

    While not as romantic as a thru point to point hike a Flip Flop would have broken up the big food carry.

    Limited resupply options deep in the Sierras unless you have time in your schedulers go off/on trail.

    Best of luck on your hike.

    TF


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    Quote Originally Posted by tflaris View Post
    Limited resupply options deep in the Sierras unless you have time in your schedulers go off/on trail.
    For a 3 week trip, it's possible to do a final resupply at MTR for a Whitney exit.

    It takes some effort and planning, but you can get 10 days of supplies into a Bearikade Expedition Bear Canister. The Bearikade is expensive, but for a 3 week trip, a JMT thru hiker can rent a Bearikade for about the same price as the cost of a cheaper bear canister.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    For a 3 week trip, it's possible to do a final resupply at MTR for a Whitney exit.

    It takes some effort and planning, but you can get 10 days of supplies into a Bearikade Expedition Bear Canister. The Bearikade is expensive, but for a 3 week trip, a JMT thru hiker can rent a Bearikade for about the same price as the cost of a cheaper bear canister.
    Yes. We resupplied at MTR, VVR and I carried a Bearicade Weekender.


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  7. #7
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    Mt Baden Powell is not that near the JMT. Why Baden Powell? There's a short ridgeline and a bunch of switchbacks, Some cool gnarly ancient Bristlecone pines and a good view at the summit and along the ridge. I don't know how you would make this logistically happen other than making a loop involving the PCT from the town of Wrightswood. You'll prolly need a vehicle or trail angel shuttle. Can't say anything more.

    Here are other suggestions: 1) Mt San Gorgonio. Bunch of trails in that area. I would check for the latest fire impacts though here and the next suggestion. Water will have to be accounted for. 2) The PCT over MT San Jacinto from Anza Borrega SP possibly using the side trail into Idyllwild proper and IWild trail angels. Never have been through there in Aug though. OR, taking the tram up and hiking down into Idyllwild or back onto the side of the tram area via the PCT into the Cabazon/Palm Springs area . Prolly an on trail overnighter. Some nice cliffs and views at elev to make the temps cooler. Still a hot time though. On either of these suggestions or Baden Powell I'd ping PCT trail angels.


    Wait until the second wk of Sept to apply for JMT permits starting at the HI TH. Get done before the end of the first wk of Oct. So many alternate ways to arrange for non conventional JMT thrus other than the HI to MW agenda which is MOST difficult to get JMT permits.

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    I live close by to Baden-Powell (45 minutes or so from the trail head) and it’s an enjoyable hike, but it is a 5+ hour drive by car from Yosemite Valley if you go up the west side of the Sierras. If you are coming from out of the area, this is not a very convenient hike to precede a JMT hike. I recommend it only if you plan to pass through the area anyway.

    Some of the reasons that it appeals to me is that it’s part of the PCT. I try to hike it in late May/early June when the first PCT’rs start passing through. I’ve met some pretty interesting people from all over the world. You may catch some stragglers or section hikers in August. It’s also on the north side of the San Gabriels, which gives it generally cooler temps (SoCal can get hot in August, and Baden Powel borders the Mojave Desert) than the trails on the south facing aspects. It’s easy to get to the trailhead as it doesn’t require an excessively long drive up a twisty mountain road, and it’s close to the town of Wrightwood, where good food and refreshments can be found.

    Its not THE most scenic of the trails in Southern California, but it is quite nice. You hike along some ancient Limber Pines, and there’s at least one water source (Lamel Spring) along the way a few hundred yards off the trail.

    So if you are in the area, or flying into something like Los Angeles or Ontario for your JMT hike and are looking for a SoCal hike to do, it’s a pretty good one. But I wouldn’t travel all the way down from the Sierras just to hike it.

  9. #9
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    Never hurts to apply for a traditional route, Happy Isles to Whitney, you never know. I think you apply 168 days in advance IIRC. May I ask why Sept 4 holds so much significance for you? You could also try for a walkup, and I'd say you stand a pretty good chance of getting one, which would increase your odds of summiting on a particular date. Tuolumne would be where I would try for a walkup. The folks I met during my JMT trek had no issues with walkups at TM. And lastly, don't discount the much easier to get NOBO permit. And if you absolutely have to summit Whitney 9/4, it would be much easier to do going NOBO only a few days into your trip than try to time a summit 3 weeks out. In fact if I ever do the JMT again, I want to go NOBO. Good luck!
    While searching for that unknown edge in life, never forget to look home. For the greatest edge you can find in life is to stand in the protective shadow of those who love you.

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