July 31, 2010

Post-JMT Questions

We made this list of questions and answers on the drive back to Utah. Some reflections on the trip...

A = Andrea, J = Jake

Favorite Clif bar –

A: Chocolate almond fudge (everything else made me feel nauseas by the end!)

J: Cool mint chocolate

Food you wish you would’ve brought –

A: Mac and cheese!

J: Starburst jelly beans

Favorite food –

A: Skittles

J: Peanut butter Nutella wrap

Favorite drink mix –

A: Hawaiian punch purple

J: HP Lemonberry Squeese

Food you are temporarily giving up now –

A: Clif bars

J: Peanut butter (ate over a pound each in 11 days)

Food wish you didn’t bring –

A:Gummy bears

J: Gummy bears

Food craved the most -
A: ICE (ate snow at every opportunity but just not the same), cheese, ice cream

J: Diet Dew*, ice cream, ketchup (*surprisingly, my diet dew consumption has gone way down in the week since we finished the JMT. I just don't crave it the way that I used to. Its weird!)

Scariest moment –

A: Crossing Bear Creek

J: Day 4 lightening storm, Andrea starting to fall back into whitewater in Mono Creek

Hated most about the trip –

A: swarms of baby mosquitos that made you constantly keep walking even during breaks

J: mosquitos for the first 5 days

Period of time felt the worst –

A: Morning of Day 3 with calorie deficiency and afternoon of Day 6 with the 10 pounds added back to the packs

J: mornings of Day 3 and Day 9 because of calorie deficiency and flat legs

Least favorite pass –

A: Selden Pass (same reason as Jake)

J: Selden Pass because had to push it to the top because of threatening weather that cleared up as soon as we reached the top but then swarmed with mosquitos

Injuries –

A: 6 of 10 toes were taped by the end of the trip due to blisters, hot spots, etc., skin rashes, nose became painful due to dry air

J: backpack ripped skin off of lower back and shoulders

Thing you wish you would’ve brought –

A: lotion (developed major skin rashes because of the dry weather)

J: nothing! Had everything we needed

Unnecessary items –

A: gaiters, microspikes

J: microspikes, GPS, gaiters

Most necessary items –

A: sunscreen and DEET!

J: JMT pocket Atlas (way better than Tom Harrison maps!)

Gear that exceeded expectations –

A: bear vault, bear scratch from Yosemite proved it!

J: MSR pocket rocket stove (11 boils in one cannister)

Thing you wish you would’ve put in the resupply –

A: lotion

J: good razor blade, hot hands for Mt. Whitney morning

Best last minute decisions –

A: let Jake do research when I wanted to play Yahtzee with him at nights before the trip

J: put sleeping bags in waterproof stuff sacks, buying real rain covers for our backpacks instead of using garbage bags

Worst last minute decisions –

A: leaving backpacking clothes on the chair in the condo

J: not realizing the sleeping pad had a hole in it before we left (thanks REI Las Vegas for replacing it!)

Favorite stretch of the trip –

A: Top of Muir Pass through LeConte Canyon, Whitney zone

J: Donahue Pass to Thousand Island Lake, Whitney zone

Most beautiful lake –

A: Thousand Island lake

J: Upper Rae Lake

Hardest Climb –

A: Bear Ridge (both were mentally drained from the stream crossings and tired)

J: Bear Ridge (same)

Easiest Climb –

A: Island Pass

J: Forester and Mt. Whitney (high camp and adrenaline made them feel easy)

Best campsite –

A: Day 10 Site above Guitar Lake at 12,000ft bleow Mt. Whitney

J: Day 9 At 11,200ft located below Forester Pass

Worst campsite –

A: Day 3 tiny flat spot in the middle of the woods

J: Day 7 Land of mosquitos

Most unexpected moments of entire trip –

A: Ridiculous hail/thunderstorm on Day 4 (was told it doesn’t ever rain in the Sierra Nevadas!)

J: Standing 8 feet away from Shaq in Las Vegas for hot dog eating contest, hiking 24.5 miles on the first day


  1. A bear stole some of our food in Yosemite; he was 10 feet from our tent but we didn't get out to look! We saw tons of deer, marmots, etc.