Apr 30, 2010 at 3:10 pm #1258397
Hey All, thought this might get some of the JMT crew fired up about taking pics and video of the trail this summer. A quick note to Kevin Sawchuk–you are the man!!! I'd like to someday attempt the JMT in the winter.
Here is the video: John Muir Trail Video
This is a summary of an October thru-hike on the John Muir Trail. I traveled seven days on foot from Whitney Portal to Yosemite and stuffed my camera with as much beauty as I could. Evening temperatures were below freezing each night and signs of winter were ever-present. I hope you enjoy the pictures and the story.Apr 30, 2010 at 3:19 pm #1604227
I got my Sept. 19 entry permit for Whitney Portal a few weeks ago and looked for some videos to inspire me and came across Mr. Ryan Commons' video. It is stupendous for two main reasons: 1. Awesome photographs 2. Incredibly dramatic emotional rollercoaster journey.
You really are pulling for this guy as you watch the video. He captures the spirit of John Muir and what we all hope to find out there.
Ryan is not only a skilled photographer, he showed a lot of intestinal fortitude on that hike!Apr 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm #1604279
@dirk9827Locale: Pacific Northwest
…and I impressed. The JMT in seven days! Wow, that's hustlin'.
DirkApr 30, 2010 at 6:11 pm #1604336
@scottbentzLocale: Southern California
I watched the video off and on all afternoon. It's quite beautiful. It was in the reverse of my trip last year (I recently posted my trip report sans photos and video). 7 days and taking all of those photos is quite an incredible feat to go along with the sore feet.
ScottApr 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm #1604339
@philipdLocale: Ontario, Canada
Great video Ryan. Loved it and the notes throughout the video.Apr 30, 2010 at 10:51 pm #1604461
@rp3957Locale: The Sierras
This was one of the coolest trip reports and photo documentaries I have ever seen. Way to go! I am even more 'fired-up' for my JMT hike than ever. Other than Jared at T.M., did you run into anyone else? Once again, FANTASTIC photos. Robert.May 1, 2010 at 12:06 am #1604485
@deljohnstonLocale: Heart of Dixie
Easily the best 40 minutes I have ever spent on the internet. Thank you for the incredible journey! Photos are amazing, music is fitting and the story…wow. I was scared for you. If I encountered bears in the dark, there would be much more on the trail than bear crap. I cannot wait to see more "walk-umentaries" from you!May 1, 2010 at 10:16 pm #1604820
@davidpcvsamoaLocale: East Bay, CA
Thank you for sharing your great photos and experience. That was a thoroughly entertaining slide show.May 2, 2010 at 6:59 am #1604890
@dpnollLocale: Maroon Bells
WOW! What a way to start my morning with a cup of coffee.May 2, 2010 at 8:10 am #1604902
@tallblokeLocale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Inspiring video, thanks Ryan!
It makes me long or the chance to do a big long walk in the Rockies. Somehow, the 170 miles of the Pennine Way seems a bit tame by comparison. :-)May 2, 2010 at 12:31 pm #1604975
Ryan – – great video! You are a great photographer and I like your sense of humor. The two green dots (eyes) were brilliant.
I am now super-psyched for my JMT hike this August.May 3, 2010 at 8:05 am #1605254
as good as any TR I have ever seen.May 3, 2010 at 8:17 am #1605262
@creachenLocale: East Bay
Very cool-amazing!! You were not alone you had 4 legged friends almost the entire way.
-JayMay 3, 2010 at 10:50 pm #1605692
Thank you all for the encouraging feedback. I hope to do more video of the Sierras and share it.
Robert, I bumped into a few other people on the trail. Most days I saw one or two people and I went 48 hours once without seeing a person. The only JMT hiker I encountered was finishing the trail on Whitney when I was starting.May 3, 2010 at 11:44 pm #1605703
@rezniemLocale: San Francisco
wondering if you're a GRRM fan.May 4, 2010 at 11:17 am #1605880
GRRM? Curious…May 4, 2010 at 11:32 am #1605890
Ha. So that is why the title sounded so familiar.
George R. R. Martin.
Great trip report. Watched the entire thing. By the end of the video I was pulling for you to make it!May 4, 2010 at 11:33 am #1605891
@rezniemLocale: San Francisco
It's the House of Stark's motto in "A Song of Ice and Fire" series…soon to be an HBO series.May 4, 2010 at 12:10 pm #1605910
@junctionLocale: Atlanta, GA
Can't wait to get out there. Thanks Ryan. Great TR. Loved it.May 5, 2010 at 9:56 pm #1606772
Thanks for letting me know Nate and Michael.
Anyone have general thoughts or actual experiences with black bears in the Sierras? I gather that they occasionally do false charges and almost never attack. The worst attacks I've read about involved some bad cuts and a lot of superficial trauma–no deaths.
I am generally one to not fear the bears and would love to hear about any other experiences. Thanks.May 6, 2010 at 9:36 am #1606907
Did you find yourself setting up your tripod much?
I tote along my D80 and my wife carries the cheap P&S canon, but I usually only bring a backup battery and maybe one extra lens. Never wanted to carry a tripod that long so I just forget it backpacking. But sure do miss it for some dawn/dusk shots!May 6, 2010 at 10:04 am #1606925
That was incredible. I was amazed at the number of pictures that I recognized. But better yet was how the video drew me in especially the night where you had given up and then you woke up believing again. That same thing happened at Muir Trail Ranch on my SB trip. Also loved your "bear eyes." Well done.
Thanks for the time you put into this.May 7, 2010 at 10:26 am #1607396
@junctionLocale: Atlanta, GA
I've never had a close encounter with a black bear in the sierras. However, I have in Alaska. I have been bluff charged, and it was a exhilarating experience. I do carry a handgun capable of stopping a bear while hiking in Alaska, but I gave him plenty of time to change his mind about attacking me. He came in close, paused, and then turned and walked away. It was just his way of saying I was in his territory and too close for comfort. I was never in any real danger. I don't find black bears to be aggressive at all. They mind their own business. I always like to remind people that we are in their home… not the other way around. Sadly, people being irresponsible leads to a bear becoming a nuisance/danger to humans.May 7, 2010 at 12:36 pm #1607449
@gfinley001Locale: SF Bay Area
I did a solo trip at the end of September a couple of years ago through Tehipite Valley and along the JMT through Muir Pass and Evolution Valley. I didn't see any bears on the JMT, but in the space of 36 hours in Tehipite Valley I ran into 4 different bears – 2 sets of mothers with cubs and two loners (presumably males). In two cases the bears just turned around and ran the other way (in one case the cubs ran vertically up a couple of tree trunks). In one case I got off trail before the mother w/cubs got very close – I went 100 yards of trail and did a big loop around them.
In the fourth case I came round a corner on a narrow trail first thing in the morning and a black bear was 20 yards away walking towards me on the trail. We looked at each other for a few seconds, then the bear stepped above the trail, went 10 yards upslope and stopped to look at me. I walked past the bear and carried on, and then the bear went back on the trail and carried on. It was almost like he was letting me pass – very odd but quite exhilerating.May 8, 2010 at 6:29 pm #1607874
@valsharLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
That was amazing journey that you captured in your photos and with your story telling.
Love the use of movement in the photos and choice of music.
Must have taken you a very long time to put this together.
Really touching and inspirational.
Thanks for sharing the your journey.
Next year friends and I will be doing the JMT…nice to see what we have to look forward to.
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