John Muir Trail Trip Report

Day 2

September 8, 2010

Little Yosemite Valley to just
before Sunrise High Sierra Camp

8.9 miles
Elevation Ascent: 3625 ft

Day 2 Profile
JMT Day 2

Day 2 MapSource
day 2
Google Maps Terrain

Woke up at 6:30 to 47 degrees.
I started hiking at 8:00. I can't figure out why it takes me so long to break camp! I didn't even eat a hot breakfast!!     
It was a stiff climb up to the Half Dome trail junction. Lots of folks on the trail. About 1/2 mile past the junction, I stopped and ate breakfast on a rock overlooking the Little Yosemite Valley (granola with Nido milk). No people, no noise, just incredible views and solitude. Sweet. My first taste of solitude, and I REALLY enjoyed it.

Leaving LYV
  Leaving Little Yosemite Valley
Trail to Half Dome
  18 miles to Toulumne
Trail to Half Dome
  Half Dome Trail junction

It was cold and cloudy all day. It rained just a bit, and snowed just a bit. After the Half Dome junction, it was a fairly easy for the next few miles. I met my first JMT thru hikers today, NOBO (Northbound) so they were almost done! It was strange, with hordes of people on the first part of the trail, nobody said hello, or acknowledged me in any way. Once past Half Dome, almost everyone had a friendly word or two or wanted to chat for a minute.

Half Dome
Half Dome from the backside
Gathering clouds
Gathering storm clouds

I climbed 3600 ft today. I'm tired and felt out of breath more than normal due to the elevation. Made camp just before Sunrise High Sierra Camp at site 1.16 from Wenks' campsite list. REALLY nice spot with views. I sat on a log overlooking the valley reading a book after dinner. Looks like more rain or snow tonight. It's also 34 degrees at 7pm. Two guys that I had leapfrogged with all day finally went past around 6pm. I hope they get a spot picked out and camp set up before it gets too dark. I know that I can setup my tent just about anywhere and be fine, but I do stress about finding my campsite each night before dark, and whether I will find water. I think this is because of my experience on the Superior Hiking Trail where I was dead tired, and the only spot for miles was taken. I had to hike 2 miles back the way I had just come to get a spot, and I was beat! On that trail, the vegetation is so dense that finding out a spot outside the established campsites is unlikely.

Cool rock
Cool rock
  Beautiful meadow
Tarptent Moment on JMT
Day 2 camp a little before Sunrise Creek

The wind picked up during the night, and I woke up a few times with the sound of snow/ice hitting my tarptent. My feet never did warm up. It dropped to 29 degrees during the night. I wasn't miserable, but not warm and comfy either. I looked out the tent and saw an inch or so of snow piling up. I got a bit nervous. Trailfinding in the snow is not my strong suit and if there was a foot of snow it was going to be a hard day tomorrow.

This was the first night where I was totally alone in the wilderness on this trail. Although I have done a lot of solo hikes, and had solitude on those hikes, it wasn't the same as the solitude in these mountains. I was wondering what the experience would be like. The remoteness adds a layer of "primitiveness" that was exhilirating for me. It might be unsettling for some, but I immersed myself in the experience and totally enjoyed it.

Views on JMT
  Stunning view near campsite
Views om JMT
  Clear, crisp and amazing

Day 3

Videos from Day 2

These are large files

Past Half Dome
JMT Day 2 before camp
JMT Day 2 campsite
Past Half Dome
  3 MB
Just before making camp for the day
  5 MB
View from the campsite
  6 MB

Additional pictures from Day 2

Clouds Rest trail junction
Clouds Rest trail junction
Mileage sign
JMT sign

Little Yosemite Valley