I started on the trail around eleven in the morning and headed up La Jolla Canyon. The weather was very nice and sunny - very different from my last trip in September. I arrived at the campsite around 12:30 or so and got everything set up. The trail camps are just a table and a flat area for a tent; there's no fire ring. I chose a nice site towards the back under a small grove of oak trees (#8).
|Home for the night|
After eating some lunch I walked around the area and took some pictures.
|Another Oak Leaf|
|La Jolla Valley|
|La Jolla Valley|
My two friends, Chris and Brian, arrived soon after I got back to camp. Brian had just acquired a new Osprey Atmos pack, and some other gear as well. I had fun drooling over his new toys, as well as playing with my new stuff as well. I was impressed by Brian's Jetboil system. It boiled water very quickly. I brought some homemade beef stew I had made a few weeks ago and dehydrated. It was amazing! I was very impressed with how little space it took up and with how close it tasted to the fresh batch. We all shared some of what we had each brought for dinner and ate very well that night.
We took a nice walk that night and gazed at the starry sky, we discussed which planets we could see (Venus, Jupiter, and Mars), and just hung out at camp. No fires are allowed here, so we were a bit cold as the evening wore on. When we went to bed, I had a chance to try out the new Thermarest pad and I loved it. It was warm and comfortable enough to sleep on. I got some sleep that night, but not too much as it was the typical "first night camping" syndrome. For me, it always takes a few nights to get used to sleeping on the ground, so these one nighters are usually semi-sleepless.
The next morning we ate breakfast and packed up our gear. I was very disappointed to find the buckle for my sleeping pad strap had broken at some point. We hit the trail a little later than I tend to like, but as this was kind of a relaxed trip, I wasn't that bothered. The morning was a tad chilly, but very clear and sunny. We made our way down to Sycamore Canyon and headed north along the main road until we met up with Old Boney Trail.
|Two Wild and Crazy Guys|
|Playing with my camera|
|Quite a distance to cover|
From the point you hit the Old Boney Trail, you are pretty much ascending for the rest of the day, with very few exceptions until you head down from the peaks to the road . We made our way up the mountain, where the trail gets very steep at points so we took our time. I was very happy with the way the new pack felt, despite the broken buckle. As we got closer to the peaks, the weather changed. It got very foggy and rather cold. I found it ironic that the last time I took this hike It was foggy all day and got sunny at the top, but this time was exactly the opposite.
|A Long Way up|
|The Peaks Are Close|
We stopped near Inspiration Point and had some lunch and I sent the signal from my GPS to get picked up. I changed into my Vibram Five Fingers to test how they would work on the hike. I was not ultra excited about how they felt, but that was mostly due to lots of down hill hiking from there.
|3 Tired Guys|
|Edge of the World|
We got down to the trailhead and Caryn was already there to pick us up. We were treated to an amazing sunset as we packed up our gear and took off. I was very happy with the way my gear performed on this trip. I feel that the Kestrel is going to be a great pack for the JMT, I already had a buckle sent to me from Osprey at no charge.
The whole trip is around 14 miles, with about twelve of those miles on the second day. We also gained nearly 3000 feet of altitude the second day, which is good practice for the average day on JMT. The only thing this trail lacks is high altitude practice. Here is a 3D image of this hike as well as a link to my SPOT Adventures page.
|3D view of our trek|
Share your Adventures with SpotAdventures