Sept 4-18  -  Happy Isles (Yosemite Valley)  -  Mt Whitney ï
 218 mi  ï 
+Elev: ~38,000 ft

[Intro] * [Day 1] * [Day 2] * [Day 3] * [Day 4] * [Day 5] * [Day 6] * [Day 7]
* [Day 8] * [Day 9] * [Day 10] * [Day 11] * [Day 12] * [Day 13] * [Day 14]

So youíve done Whitney by the Portal, by the Mountaineers route, by the East face, but how about the back side from Yosemite? During the winter and spring when incessant El Nino rain kept us inside wondering  when we would ever get out climbing, Mike Rinaldi and I started working on trips we wanted to take this year. We both wanted to do the John Muir Trail, but I couldnít afford the normal 3 week trip, family and work responsibilities precluded that. I convinced Mike we could hike 21 miles a day and blaze the JMT in 10 days, and Mike agreed to come. With the trip nearing, Mike, Rich Calliger and I went to Tuolumne Meadows and attempted to do three 21 miles days. The results werenít very encouraging, we did 2 x 20 miles and decided to climb Mt. Dana on the third day, convinced our earlier goal was unrealistic. I knew we had to extend the trip a few days longer and so I reluctantly asked my wife and boss if I could take 2 weeks off. This was not met with approval at home or at work, I had to threaten to quit my job and I ended up forfeiting my climbing rights for 1999 to satisfy my wife, but the trip was on! And so it was that myself, Mike and Jimothy Farhni planned to do the JMT in 13 days, averaging around 17 miles per day. We would resupply twice, once at Tuolumne Meadows, 1.5 days into the trip, and again at Vermillion Valley Resort on Lake Edison, 6 days into the trip. Earlier experience indicated we would need about 2 pounds of food per day, making food the heaviest part of our packs. Yosemiteís bear reputation as well as other trouble spots in Kings Canyon, convinced us to buy bear canisters which added another 2.7 lbs. to our load. We went light other wise, Jimothy and I used bivy sacks and Mike used a solo tent, however we were far from the ì Ray Wayî, we had packs that weighed 40 to 55 lbs. depending on the food level. The day before the hike, my wife dropped us off in the Yosemite valley, about the same time hurricane Isis was homing in on the baja peninsula. A light sprinkle started to fall, a trend we would see for 6 of the next 7 days.   

by: Dewey Dumond

Site Webber: Mike Rinaldi