Archive | August, 2012

JMT plans – first gear update

30 Aug

Here’s what’s been decided so far:
I’m watching weight, obviously, but certainly not getting into ultralight trekking territory.



Crestrail 70 pack – 70 liter – (4271 ci)
Weight: 5 lb


Kelty 0* Cosmic Down sleeping bag
Weight: 3 lb 11 oz
This one is “comort” rated at 17*F and bottom limit rated at 4*F. It will definitely not get that cold on the trail, but for those nights sleeping above 10,000 ft I guess it could always get interesting (see pic at bottom)
Bag ratings are based on someone wearing full long underwear and a hat and I won’t be doing that. I’m adding a bit of weight over a 20* or 30* bag but there will be other (possibly colder) trips in the future so I’m not worried about it. Will be getting a compression sack though. The “stock” stuff-sack is a big big.





REI Passage 1 Tent
Weight: 4 lb 1 oz
Single person, 20 sqft floor area. Weight includes rainfly and footprint.





Komperdell “Trail” trekking poles
Weight: 1 lb 2.8 oz
Cork handles, aluminum shafts, removable snow baskets




Total weight so far: 13 lb 14.8 oz



BTW, I found a reaaaally detailed elevation profile of the trail

super hi-res:


Random pics:

This is Evolution Basin

September snow at 11,680 ft  (Consultation lake, 5.5 mi before Mt Whitney summit)

A great story is more than just a story

1 Aug

Some great stuff from an  guy who REALLY knows how to tell a story.




1 + 1 = 3: Ken Burns on What Makes a Great Story


How stories keep the wolf from the door and why math has no place in storytelling.

What makes a great story? Kurt Vonnegut had 8 rules, Jack Kerouac had 30 beliefs and techniques, evolutionary biology has some theories, and famous writers have some tips. In this short film by Sarah Klein and Tom Mason, PBS’s Ken Burns, who for the past quarter-century has been relaying history’s most fascinating stories in his unparalleled films and has even earned himself some loving parody, shares his formula for spellbinding storytelling: 1 + 1 = 3, or a story where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Beneath it all is his beautiful blend of personal truth and astute insight into the universal onuses of being human.






I don’t know why I tell stories about history… There’s a kind of classic dime-store Ken Burns wolf-at-the-door things… My mother had cancer all of my life, she died when I was 11, there wasn’t a moment from when I wasn’t aware — two-and-a-half, three — that there was something dreadfully wrong in my life. It might be that what I’m engaged in in a historical pursuit is a thin layer, perhaps thickly disguised, waking of the dead, that I try to make Abraham Lincoln and Jackie Robinson and Louis Armstrong come alive, and it may be very obvious and very close to home who I’m actually trying to wake up.

We have to keep the wolf from the door… We tell stories to continue ourselves. We all think an exception is going to be made in our case, and we’re going to live forever. And being a human is actually arriving at the understanding that that’s not going to be. Story is there to just remind us that it’s just okay.

The Atlantic

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