My JMT in numbers

  • Number of days on trail: 25
  • Number of rainy days: really actually just 1, and then it wasn’t just rain but hail too.
  • Longest day: 16 miles (eh right, definitely am no fastpacker)
  • Shortest day: 6 miles
  • Number of time I fell: 3 times
  • Number of days with a hurting knee: 25
  • Number of bears spotted: 3 (eh yeah… on freakin’ day 1!!!)
  • Number of mountain lions spend the night with: 1 (eh yeah… on freakin’ day 2!!!)
  • Number of PCTthru-hikers met: 1 (that’s right, that’s you Bobcat ;c)
  • Number of zero days: 0
  • Number of times I took a bath: 1 (in the hot springs at MTR)
  • Number of showers: 0 (hell yeah!)
  • Number of times swimming in lakes/streams: 5
  • Number of deer spotted: uncountable

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The freedom of going solo?

When I hit the trail at the 23th of August 2013 I intended on solo thruhiking the JMT. I never had done anything like that before. I had turned 30, got divorced in the past year and I felt like if I needed something what I call “a battle for FREEDOM“.
I’ve done a fairly amount of travelling around the globe but I never did a solo thruhike. I decided I didn’t wanna wait no longer for anyone coming along, cuz somehow waiting for other people also feels like being caged. I told myself, if I’m brave enough to do a thruhike on my own, I will feel free. And I did feel freedom to a certain point, yet I also realised freedom is something you create in your mind.
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Finding answers…

A rainbow coming out of Muir hut!

It’s been 3 months now since I summited Mount Whitney and thru-hiked the John Muir Trail. Especially the first month after I got back hasn’t been easy and even now after 3 months I still miss the trail and everything that comes around with it.
I’ve really had a hard time adapting to “normal life” and civilization, going back to work, having the daily worries (which I of course mainly create myself), meeting up with society’s and my own expectations, picking out clothes everyday (ooo trail life was sooo easy), being all clean and tidy… Na I don’t like it! I’m the kinda woman who likes a bit (eh yeah a fairly bit) of dirt under her nails, and the story of a trail carved into the lines of her face (even though I’m only 31)! I’m the kind of person who likes the tan on my skin from which you can’t say whether the sun gave it to me or if it’s the trail dust sticking to my legs…
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DAY 25: Sunrise on MOUNT WHITNEY!!!

Monday 16th September 2013: Guitar Lake – Mount Whitney – Trail Crest – Whitney Portal

The last day on trail… NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! My heart is crying and big tears drip down from my cheeks before I am ready to get out of my sleeping bag. I don’t want this to end. This is perfect. This is what life should be ALL the time!!!
I force myself to get up shortly after Joe’s alarm plays “The final countdown”… It’s a bittersweet wake-up call at midnight. We have breakfast and coffee in the dark, though isn’t all that dark as the moon is almost full and lightens Mount Whitney and the mountains and rocks around it. OMG! In a few hours I’ll be up there!!!
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Day 24: Playing my ukulele at Guitar Lake :c)

Sunday 15th September 2013: Tyndall Frog Ponds – Bighorn Plateau – Crabtree Meadow – Guitar Lake

Today should have been an easy day. Only 10 miles, no passes… Still we had to descend and climb quite a bit. Soon after we left camp, we reached the Bighorn Plateau, which I’ve been curious for since I hit the trail. Kind of a surreal landscape!!! Descending through a pine forest (and again a forest that had a totally diferent “character” than the forests I crossed before) we ate lunch shortely before the crabtree junction…. After that we only had a few miles to go but DAMN that felt hard. As I was passing Timberline Lake I was like: “Now where is that fuckin’ guitar????” Haha! Yet we saw Mount Whitney rising up in front of us!!!

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Day 23: Dance on Forester Pass!!! My first 4000m pass!!! YEAH!

Saturday 14th September 2013: Campsite next to Bubbs Creek (close to Center Peak) – Forester Pass – Tyndall Frog Ponds

Oh Fiiiiiinally… I slept WELL! Thank you lord! Left camp at 8am. Slow but steady. 3,5h to Forester. What a smooth and breathtaking climb! Stairway to heaven! I was like “AUS’M HÄUSCHEN” when I hit the pass. MY FIRST 4000M PASS! So exciting! Took a hell lot of pics and I DANCED ON FORESTER while the boys were singing that silly milkshake song HAHAHA! Party for my first 4000m!

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Day 22: TRAIL MAGIC on friday the 13th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday 13th!!!! (from now on that’s a LUCKY day) September 2013: Dollar Lake – Rae Lakes – Glen Pass – Bubbs Creek (close to Center Peak)

Jee I slept so bad I had a hard time leaving camp this morning. Still I managed to do some laundry and hit the trail by 8:15am. At breakfast we saw a bunch of deer hanging around camp. Maybe they made the noises I so freaked out about at night. Hm that mountain lion night might have caused a bit of a trauma I’m afraid…

http://walkingwomad.blogspot.de/2013/09/day-2-and-3-half-dome-and-mountain-lion.html
Anyway I left camp together with Stephan and Tilt, though hiked a bit on my own for the first few miles. Oh I love those first few hours of hiking in the morning where the air isn’t too hot yet and my legs and mind are fresh and happy.

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Day 21: The long way down from Pinchot Pass

Thursday 12th September 2013: Marjorie Lake – Pinchot Pass – Dollar Lake

Left early at 7:30am. Enjoyed the climb up to Pinchot Pass. Played the ukulele on top. Long long long way down. Meeting Pat with his Z-Packs Backpack (told me he gave the boys a cliff bar for me… hahaha they met him before and told him they have a skinny person in their group who could use some extra calories…. eh yeah… that’d be me…. Ain’t that sweet?) BEAUTIFUL RED ROCKMOUNTAIN (no idea how to describe it) along the trail. Hard afternoon down a valley which gave my eyes a break from the majesty and beauty of the mountains we saw before.

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Day 20: Kiss the ground girl! Kiss the ground!

Wednesday 11th September 2013: Upper Pallisade Lake – Mather Pass – Marjorie Lake

Fiiiinally I had a good nights sleep and woke up early to hit Mather Pass. What a great and amazing climb. Beautiful views of the Pallisade Lakes. I did feel that I was getting up high. Wow the hightest my own feet ever took me. THANK YOU FEET! 3688m! And I’m gonna break that record again tomorrow. Wuhuuu!
Up on Mather Pass we met a woman doing the High Sierra Route on her own, being  a professional backcountry photographer! Pretty cool!
The switchbakcs down were nice and smooth… Though somehow the ground wanted to kiss me! As I was making a little video I twisted my ankle which made me tumble… AND O YEAH!

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Day 19: A tortuce on the golden staircase

Tuesday 10th September 2013: Middle Fork – Golden Staircase – Upper Palisade Lake

Though I didn’t sleep too much tonight, my knee felt better and after a great breakfast (have to remember: I like MH Granola with blueberries) We left camp at 8am. First going gently uphill through a beautiful green forest with ferns. The sun became hot very quickly and in the heath of the day we started climbing the golden staircase.
DAMN THAT WAS GREAT! I kinda loved that climb. SLOW BUT STEADY LIKE A TORTUCE. The views were just stunning, breathtaking, amazing.

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