The 1998 John Muir Trail Practice Trip

The point of this trip was to see if our demented idea of doing the entire JMT (228 miles) in 10 days was feasible. We were to hike with full packs (35-40lbs) on three consecutive days at about 20 miles/day. On day 1 we hiked up Lyell Canyon for ten miles. This years El Nino really made the summer season late so even though we were in Mid-July the Canyon was typically what you would find in early to mid-June.

After this first day were all quickly coming to the conclusion that 10 more days just like this or harder was wimsical daydreaming. The next day we went into the Glenn Aulin area. The hike was to be a bit shorter at about 16 miles and it was mostly downhill to start. We were hiking next to the Merced river most of the way and had gorgeous views of the many cascades

that grace the river as it makes its way into the Hetch Hetchy Resevoir. We made it as far as the top of the Waterwheel

The hike back was uphill but very enjoyable nonetheless. We were becoming acclamitized and our spirits were quickly returning. On the last day we decided that we had enough of the experiment. We changed the JMT schedule to reflect a 12-13 day schedule. With this done we decided to bag Mt. Dana. It was a gorgeous day and the hike up was fast and very enjoyable. The views were spectacular and we both had our mandatory summit shots.

by Mike Rinaldi