Category Archives: Training

Posts about David’s training regimen for the hike.

No Easy Fourteeners!

Mt Langley 2014-12Liza and I climbed Mt. Langley last weekend. It’s sometimes described as the ‘easy fourteener’, but one of our friends has christened it “Mt. Whitney’s evil sister”, and that’s an apt description.

It was a great training hike for the John Muir Trail. I tried out my new nutrition strategies, and I concentrated on deep-breathing at altitude. It all worked very well. I’ve removed ten pounds from my pack weight (goodbye, spare change of clothes, and all the other amenities), and I feel like I’m just about ready for the JMT.

Liza (trail name ‘Skree Dancer’) summitted in fine form, and it was great to have her with me this time. Don’t ask me my trail name (it’s ‘Face Plant’).

Up Next: Mt Langley

Mt LangleyLiza and I are headed up to Mt Langley this weekend for a final run-through of the JMT hike. It’s supposed to be the “easy fourteener” in the Sierras, but believe me, there are no easy fourteeners! We’ll be staying at Cottonwood Lakes for two nights and day-hiking to the Langley summit on Saturday.

Cottonwood lakes is some of the prettiest country in the Sierras. We backpacked in the area two summers ago, although we didn’t bag Langley on that trip. We are really excited about going back!

Rae Lakes Loop

Rae Lakes 2014-06 132I did the Rae Lakes Loop last week as a dress rehearsal for the John Muir Trail. The Loop is a challenging, 50-mile backpack with over 7,000 feet of elevation gain. It includes a climb up Glen Pass, at about 12,000 feet above sea level. So, it’s a pretty good trial run for the JMT, and a good indicator of likely challenges on the trail.

I discovered that I am pretty well prepared for the Big Hike, but I’ve still got work to do. On Glen Pass, I was literally gasping for air. So, I’m now doing breathing exercises on a decive valled a Spirometer. It’s already making a difference.

I also discovered that I am short on energy on the tough climbs at high altitude. So, I have added a nutritional supplement to my water, and a carbohydrate gel to help provide fuel when the going gets tough.

Finally, I’m carrying too much weight in my backpack. I went in with about 50 pounds last week, including a week’s worth of food. I am getting ready to go through the backpack and eliminate everything that is not absolutely essential. I hope to get the backpack weight down to 40 pounds. I’ll be in the Sierras again next weekend for another trial run. And on July 30th, I’ll head off down the trail.

Rae Lakes is one of the prettiest hikes I’ve ever done, as well as one of the more difficult. There is a gallery of trail pictures in the Galleries section of the web site, and a short video about the hike on YouTube.

Training Hikes

DCV Summit San G 2014-05-23David has been training for the John Muir Trail for several months.  In April,  he climbed Mt.  San Antonio,  a 10,000-foot peak known as ‘Mt.  Baldy.  In May,  he climbed Mt.  San Gorgonio via the Vivian Creek Trail,  a 19-mile hike with over 5,000 feet of elevation gain.  And two weeks ago,  David climbed Mt.  San Jacinto via the Marion Mountain Trail,  a 10-mile hike with over 4,000 feet of elevation gain.

Next weekend,  David will hike the Rae Lakes Loop,  a four-day,  40-mile trek through some of the most spectacular vistas in the Sierras. It’s a great warmup for the John Muir Trail,  since it runs through the same country and has similar elevation gains. And in July,  David hopes to hike Mt.  Langley via the Cottonwood Lakes Trail. Mt.  Langley is a California ‘fourteener’,  and Cottonwood Lakes is one of the prettiest spots in the California backcountry.

If you haven’t contributed yet, please consider supporting David in his JMT hike by contributing $100 today to The Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Thanks!


BungeeJumpersFolks who have hiked with Liza and me know that we emphasize safety and preparedness on our backcountry hikes. And the jump from the Bridge to Nowhere is no exception. The operators of the bungee jump have a perfect safety record in 25 years of operation and over 150,000 jumps.

Yes, Liza still thinks I’m nuts, and maybe she’s right. Help us reach our $10,000 goal, and let’s find out! We’re going to film the bungee jump, including a GoPro camera that will record the look on my face when I go off the brige. And that’s worth making a contribution to The Alliance for a Healthier Generation to support the ultimate goal of this endeavor, the 2014 John Muir Trail hike.

Daily Training Regimen

walking-boots-220499_640David is into his training regimen for the John Muir Trail hike in August. As of now, he’s hiking about forty miles a week, with about 7,000 feet of elevation gain. At this point, he’s not carrying much weight; only water and dayhiking essentials. Starting in June, he’ll begin doing his daily hikes with a full pack, which he will  gradually increase in weight to 45 pounds, the weight he plans to carry on the trail.

If you haven’t contributed yet, please consider supporting David in his JMT hike by contributing $100 today to The Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Thanks!

Rehearsal Hike June 21 – 25

Rae Lakes Wildflowers IIToday, David received his permit to hike the Rae Lakes loop, a rugged forty-mile hike that he will use as a dress rehearsal for the big John Muir Trail hike in August. Over the course of the first two days, David will hike twenty miles, and climb nearly seven-thousand feet, to a peak altitude of 11,875 feet. The good news is that the last two days’ hike is almost all downhill.

David will be carrying his camera and video gear on this hike, and he will be texting his progress on the trail. Liza is going to act as the base camp for this hike, and she will be posting trail texts on this site and updating the progress map for the hike. So, come on back June 21 for a front row seat to the Sierra backcountry!