JMT Section Hike 9 days 8 nights 2017 : Part 2

JMT Section Hike 9 days 8 nights 2017 : Part 2

Day 3: Camp 2 – Woods Creek – Twin Lake – Camp 3

We greet the morning at the tent area, where a nice visual of Fin Dome standing out against the clear sky can be seen through the tent.

Compared to the intense sunlight and heat during the day (although it's not uncomfortable), from dusk to early morning the altitude is higher, so wearing a thermal base layer and insulation gives you just the right amount of crispness. There is a tightening cold. There is a big difference in temperature between day and night.

As usual, I boiled water, brewed coffee, and had my oatmeal breakfast.

Khufu HB, which is not breathable, has some condensation, but the inside of Djedi DCF-eVent Dome is dry and free of condensation, even though it has a higher sealing rate than the floorless shelter Khufu HB. . DCF-eVent's moisture permeability is excellent.

It's the third day of this trip, and I'm slowly starting to realize just how great the JMT is. So far, we've seen trails in North America such as the Canadian Rockies, Olympic Mountains, Oregon and Colorado, and trails in Europe such as Finland, Slovenia and Switzerland. All the trails were great, but it's no exaggeration to say that this trail is one of the best in the world. It is not just a rare and wonderful wilderness that is protected as a national park, but also a place where humans can interact with nature. It is the best trail in all aspects, including reasonable rules and a high level of awareness from the hikers who visit this trail.

With these thoughts in mind, I set out on the trail on the third day.

Camp3 with a great view of Fin Dome

After passing Allow Lake, which appears on the left, and Dollar Lake, which appears on the right after a while, the trail descends in elevation along the ravine of Woods Creek South Fork.

The weather is nice again today, and it feels great to walk downhill on a well-maintained trail while looking at the wonderful views of the valley and mountains. The altitude is around 3,000m, but the sun is intense, so I wear a long-sleeved base layer, a hat, and even a tenugui tucked inside my hat to prevent sunburn and beat the heat.

After crossing Dollar Lake and passing through Baxter Pass, you will come to a junction with the Baxter Pass Trail, a side trail that connects to the Baxter Pass Trail Head on the outskirts of Independence.

As you continue to descend, you will reach Woods Creek, where the famous suspension bridge is located.

Arrow Lake

Kings River South Fork. Headwaters of Kings River.

Dollar Lake

Turnoff to Baxter Pass. It says the trail is not maintained.

Trails near Kings Creek South Fork

With Pyramid Peak in the distance, the trail continues as it descends in elevation to Woods Creek.

Woods Creek is a large river to cross, so a nice suspension bridge has been built.

The simple structure of the suspension bridge is also beautiful. When I crossed it, I was a little confused because it was swaying more than it looked, but it was sturdy so I didn't have any fear.

However, the board on the walking surface is corroded in places? In other words, it felt fragile, so I proceeded with caution. If you walk as slowly as possible in the middle, it won't shake as much, but if you move your feet from side to side, it will shake a lot.

Woods Creek Suspension Bridge

After crossing the suspension bridge, the trail changes direction to the northwest. The trail that continued downhill from Camp 2 turns uphill from here.

When I glanced at Woods Creek, which flows on the right side of the trail, I saw a nice mountain formation full of spots that made me want to hit a fly right away. However, if we spend too much time fishing here, we won't be able to reach the next campsite as planned, so we hang in there and head for our destination, the shores of Twin Lake.

It's a mountain stream that will make you want to spend more time fishing next time you visit here.

Woods Creek has a river that makes you want to take out your rod and start fishing right away.

Woods Creek facies

We rose about 800m above the suspension bridge. Looking back toward Woods Lake, the contrast between the sky, nameless mountains (still as high as Mt. Fuji, or higher), and the trail is beautiful.

There is a branch off to the Sawmil Pass Trail near here. The trail connects to Route 395 near a small community called Blackrock.

View towards Woods Lake.

We continued to gain altitude and arrived at Twin Lake, Camp 3, about 100m off the trail.

Quickly set up your tent and find a place to sleep.

Afterwards, when I went to see the lake, I could see the shadows of fish everywhere. It's late in the evening, so it might be the perfect time to go fishing.

I had seen almost no fish in the lakes I had passed so far, so I thought this would be a good place and immediately started preparing for fishing.

Djedi DCF-eVent at Camp 3

Khufu HB at Camp 3

The rod I brought this time is a Patagonia Tenkara rod , the shortest one at 8'6" (259 cm). This length is sufficient for fishing in narrow headwater areas in mountainous areas. Also, the closing size is also good. It's short and light, making it perfect for long trips like this one.

However, when the target is a large area like this lake, the length is a bit unsettling.

Patagonia's Tenkara system is a tackle system that uses a tapered fly line, tapered leader, and tippet, and is somewhat different from traditional Japanese Tenkara tackle. However, fly fishers who are used to fishing with fly line and fly reels have the advantage of being able to easily grasp the tricks of casting.

Twin Lake near Camp 3. This was the only place I fished on this JMT.

I rarely fish in the lake, so I was a little doubtful whether I would be able to catch the fish I could see from the surface of the lake. This is because when I previously went fishing in a lake in the Alpine area of ​​Washington State's Olympic Mountains, there were some fish, but no response at all. (If you can see the fish from here, the fish can also see you.)

I approached stealthly, keeping my stance low, and when I threw my first pitch, there was an immediate reaction. I wonder if the fish here are not threaded at all?

My memorable first catch on JMT was a Brook Trout that was about 8 inches long. It is a beautiful fish with an orange belly, blackish brown body, and yellowish spots mixed with purple spots. The spots form a beautiful pattern resembling a tiger's eye as they move toward the dorsal fin.

I regained my composure and immediately dropped the second fly into the nose of the fish I could see, and there was an immediate reaction as well. It is a slightly whitish fish with a slightly different taste from the Brook Trout mentioned earlier. Brown Trout ? However, if you look closely, you can see that it has purple spots and faint yellowish spots, just like the Brook Trout mentioned earlier. Perhaps this is also a type of Brook Trout.

In just 10 to 20 minutes, all of my casts responded quickly, and I easily caught 5 fish for tonight's dinner. It was too easy to catch fish, and I was starting to get tired from today, so I put my rod away here. If I kept fishing, I could catch as many fish as I wanted.

I toasted my catch with Jason and was grateful for the precious protein source.

Due to the accumulated fatigue, I was able to sleep soundly that night.

Brook Trout caught for the first time on JMT

Second catch.

Day 4: Camp 3 – Pinchot Pass – Lake Marjorie – Camp 4

On the morning of the 4th day, the weather was clear and sunny again. It makes me realize that this is California.

This area is also somewhat humid, so there were a lot of mosquitoes around sunset last night, so I couldn't do without a bug net.

The weather is nice every day, so I'm thankful that my somewhat dewy shelter and damp sleeping bag dry quickly.

We are now halfway through this trip, and have completely adapted to the altitude of over 3,000m.

Today as well, I made some coffee, finished breakfast, packed up, and started walking.

Khufu HB at Camp 3

water filter

For the past few years, I've been using a compact, high-performance filter called Sawyer Mini , but the gasket at the joint with the bottle often gets deformed depending on the plastic bottle I use, and water sometimes leaks from there. , or the packing itself was often lost. Water leaks caused by incorrect or missing gaskets can result in purified water and unpurified water being mixed together, which is an inconvenience each time the product is used.

Then, a water purifier called KATADYN BeFree was released. This is a soft bottle with an integrated filter spout that seals tightly, and after using it for my first impression, I was impressed with how well it was made. Therefore, I brought this BeFree to this JMT as well.

BeFree was a big help throughout the entire JMT trip, purifying water quickly, being handy and easy to use. My buddy Jason has a Sawyer Mini , but he feels the same inconvenience as me, so every time he purifies water, he asks me to borrow this BeFree instead of using his own Sawyer Mini . Became.


From Camp 3 to today's pass, Pinchot Pass (3,685 m), we gradually gained altitude.

As we reached an altitude of over 3,450m, we started to see some remaining snow on the trail. However, the snowy valley is only partially covered, and the snow is hard and compact, and the trails are well-marked, so there is no problem in crossing it. If it had been a month earlier, this snowy valley would have looked very different.

This time, I brought an ice ax and crampons just in case, but it seemed like I wouldn't have a chance to use them if things kept going like this.

No matter where you go, the vast mountainous region of the High Sierra stretches out endlessly. The majestic scenery changes with every step you take, and the sense of unity with nature envelops you. It's still high season on the JMT, so there are quite a few hikers you can pass by, but it's still so vast that you can feel a sense of solitude. It's no wonder that if time and financial circumstances allow, I would like to walk around this area for a longer period of time.

Gain altitude with a view of Mount Wynne (4016 m / 13179 ft)

Crossing the snowy area. There are several areas where snow remains, but the snow is hard and the trails are well-defined, so it's an easy hike.

Even though my body has become acclimatized to high altitude, I still feel out of breath when I cross a mountain pass over 3,500 meters above sea level.

However, in reality, acclimatization to the altitude was not that difficult for this JMT. When I hiked the Maroon Bells-Snowmass in Colorado (average elevation 3,400m), I went to a friend's town called Fairplay (located at 3,000m above sea level) to get acclimated before hiking, but I still had a hard time at first. For 1-2 days, I had a headache and felt unwell, so I took Diamox, a medicine to prevent altitude sickness that was prescribed to me in Japan, but this time I had no such symptoms at all.

I take a short break at Pinchot Pass, looking out at the road I came from and the new horizon.

Looking back at the way we came from Pincho Pass.

At Pincho Pass.

From here on, it's a comfortable cruise downhill.

On the way, I saw my first marmot by the lake just below the pass.

Marmot standing by the lake
Lake Marjorie

Just before Lake Marjorie, a group of people in ranger-like uniforms and helmets with the "CCC" logo were maintaining the trail. The fact that there are young people working silently in such remote areas gives me a sense of America's potential and depth.

"CCC" is an abbreviation for California Conservation Corps, which is America's oldest and largest conservation organization, established in 1976. Please refer to this page (in English) for detailed activities. Their motto is amazing. “Hard work, low pay, terrible conditions, and more!”

It is because of the dedicated work of these people that we are able to enjoy comfortable trails like the JMT. For example, in places where the trail is unclear in a bedrock area, it is easy to lose track of where the trail continues because there are no footprints, but large rocks are lined up to prevent people from taking the wrong route, and stepping stones are placed at crossing points. Considerations have been taken, such as arranging rocks to make it easier to cross without getting your feet wet.

This time, I saw quite a number of CCC members working on trails like this in other places as well.

CCC members maintaining the trail

CCC member

As the trail continues to drop in elevation, it comes to the junction of the Bench Lake Trail, which leads to Bench Lake, and the Tabuse Pass Trail, which connects to Route 395 via Tabouse Pass. There is a ranger station at this junction.

We continued down the trail, losing elevation and setting up Camp 4 just before the Kings River South Fork .

Djedi DCF-eVent and Khufu HB at Camp 4

JMT Section Hike 9 days 8 nights 2017 : Continued from Part 3→

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