Sunday, May 13, 2012

JMT Wind Storm Update

The winter of 2010 - 2011 gifted the Sierra Nevada mountain range with 230% more snow than average. When we traversed Forester Pass in July 2011, we did so in 5 - 6 feet of snow. This year, I will be faced with another challenge.

While snow shouldn't be much of a factor, the freakish wind storm that ripped through parts of the Inyo National Forest (and neighboring forests) last November may present new hurdles - literally. In some areas, winds upwards of 150 mph were recorded. The picture below shows the aftermath of the storm. 

The trail is under there somewhere
The latest reports from the Inyo National Forest show that at least a 17 mile stretch of the John Muir trail was affected. 

Adding hurdles to my training routine might be a good idea given the obstacle course that may be waiting for me come August. Clean up efforts are already underway so I'm hoping that most of the debris blocking the trails will be removed before the summer backpacking season. 

A HUGE thank you goes out to the Forest Service and every person involved in the daunting task of clearing the debris. Your efforts are greatly appreciated! 

If you, or anyone you know can aid with the clean up effort, please visit and to volunteer. A trail clean up project is scheduled for June 30 - July 7. Thank you.

P.S. - If you can recommend exercises I can do that will help me leap over these downed trees with a full pack, I'm all ears :)


  1. Hi...interesting that I found this about you travelling through this area within a year after the wind storm. I just did the JMT, 6 years after the storm, and those forests that were affected are for lack of a better word "dead". Several miles long sections with no vegetation, no wildlife, and all the streams dried up. It was kind of a depressing hike into and out of Red's.

  2. Congrats on your hike! And yes, it is depressing indeed. But you know, that's the cycle of Nature and the mountains.