My boyfriend and I backpacked roughly 260 miles in 28 days starting from Horseshoe Meadows and finishing at Yosemite Valley. This included two trips over Kearsarge pass to replace a broken water pump. With my pack weighing in at 43lbs and his weighing in at 62, we began the long rough journey that would challenge our bodies and our spirits to the extreme. On day three, we made an attempt to summit Whitney, but half way up from Guitar Lake, I didn't think I could make it. Somehow I was not acclimated well enough and every step I took made me want to toss my cookies. Despite this feeling I methodically took turns moving forward a short distance, drinking emergency hydration liquid, and eating peanuts. We finally summited Whitney and rejoiced. We made it back to our little base camp to find it completely turned over from some strong winds. everything inside looked like it had been tumbling in a dryer. I found a hole in the top and had to make a repair before we barely even started our trek. This was only the beginning of our troubles and it would only get worse after one of my boyfriend's trekking poles broke going over Forester pass. When we got to Charlotte lake, our water pump broke and we thought we were done with the trip. We spent an hour combing through and rearranging our daily mileage requirements on our schedule and map, and didn't think that adding two extra trips over Kearsarge pass would allow us to finish. But we decided to make an attempt for the finish line after we miraculously found rides to and from town (out of Onion Valley) to replace it. Worst case, we would exit at Red's Meadow depending on our daily mileage. What we didn't find out until after returning to the trail was that this would be one of the wettest summers on record for the Sierras, causing even more problems. Dodging lightning bolts, forging high and swift rivers and taking shelter from hailstorms has made this the adventure of a lifetime and caused us to question our sanity. Despite two weeks straight of rain, extra humidity to bring out the armies of mosquitos and socks and clothes that would never dry, we only had two zero days and a short 3 mile day. Everyday, one of us wanted to quit, but the other became the emotional crutch needed to move us forward. Our longest day was 18 miles with the rest ranging from 8 to 14. When we got to Red's Meadow and used the laundry machine, we knew we could make it to the finish line. The storms broke the following day and we triumphed. At Little Yosemite Valley during one of the most gorgeous (and one of the few) sunsets of the trip, my boyfriend proposed to me with a ring that went for a 260 mile backpack ride. I said yes of course!!!
It's sounds like crazy-fun. I'm doing the JMT this summer/fall, from North to South though. I'm going "ultralight" style and I'm hoping to have my pack around 25 lbs.
Any words of wisdom you might share with me?