Vermilion Valley Resort


After 13 days of the most intense hiking I have ever done, 175 miles through the toughest terrain on the PCT (with a side trip to climb Mt Whitney), I made it to Vermilion Valley this morning in time to catch the ferry across Lake Edison, and spent the rest of the day gorging on pancakes and burritos. Civilization!

Going almost two weeks without resupplying through the high Sierras, especially this year, was crazy, but I’m so glad I did it. Lots of hikers are skipping this section or trying to “flip” to another piece of trail after getting psyched out on hype, scared of all the snow, but they’re missing out; the Sierras are really incredible, probably the most rewarding part of this whole experience. Why hike the trail if you’re gonna skip its crux?

For me, the mountains ain’t over; I keep hearing about lots more snow and high rivers in Yosemite, a few days north. Apologies for the delayed entries this week – I haven’t had cell service in eight days, but will continue to post whenever possible. Happy Fourth of July!

8 replies
  1. Kathleen thompson
    Kathleen thompson says:

    thanks for the descriptive journal and mention of my son. Now I can put some of my worries to rest. Plan to meet up with the group in Toulumne. be safe and remember you can always replace material things!

  2. Zenobia
    Zenobia says:

    You are doing an incredible job of keeping your detailed blogs posted as conditions permit. Yes, we are all concerned when there are blank days, in spite of your warnings that there would be, but truth be told, we would just as soon that you were wearing a helmet cam or something so we wouldn’t have to wait even one day to see what you are seeing, feel what you are feeling.

  3. Del " Steelaway" Granlund, Pittsburgh,Pa
    Del " Steelaway" Granlund, Pittsburgh,Pa says:

    Noah, Great journal and pictures!! Having completed the PCT in 07 at age 71 I doubt I will attempt it again as it took me ten years of segment hiking to do so.
    Your coverage of your trip allows me to relive my hike (but no waist deep crossings!!) I crossed Bear Creek in Aug. (just 100 ft upstream) dancing on rocks without getting my running shoes wet!!
    With your heavy pack and great mileage, I applaud you.

  4. Diane Strycker
    Diane Strycker says:

    Ditto. I was worried about you as your mom sent me some info about how bad some of the river crossings were, and said you didn’t receive your planned food pick up because vehicles couldn’t get through to where your delivery pick up site was scheduled. I sure hope this is the worst of it. You have a very positive attitude. Be safe. We are all pulling for you.

  5. donald falk
    donald falk says:

    noah, i’m another of your followers, i’m a jmt hiker and will probably head in in late August, thank you for your words, you’re are in some of my favorite country, and i so glad to be along in spirit. i knew we wouldn’t hear from you for a while, so you have just been on my mind those days. having lost a treasured object while hiking, i can only hope you will come to find as i did that it is a talisman connecting you back to that place, for me below mt cook, 1981… warm aloha as you continue north.

  6. Stephanie
    Stephanie says:

    Relieved to hear your posting ability is back… sent lots of good thoughts your way when things were “silent”…

  7. Candace
    Candace says:

    Noah, great photos & excellent commentary. A friend & I have been doing the JMT in sections for several years now and now that we are both retired, we should finish the southern part this year, in late Aug&early Sept. Thus, I am checking conditions by reading journals. I was prompted to comment about your statement about others “getting psyched out on hype, scared of all the snow, but they’re missing out; the Sierras are really incredible, probably the most rewarding part of this whole experience. Why hike the trail if you’re gonna skip its crux?” I have to say that the wildflowers in the Selden Pass area, in LeConte Canyon and elsewhere are absolutely fantastic so those who ‘flip’ a section will see a different view of the Sierras, but it will be absolutely stunning as well. Myself, I would rather have the wildflowers than snow & raging rivers. You sound very sensible and are very brave. I look forward to more photos & comments.

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