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The John-Muir-Athon : An Account of Adventure in Yosemite

By: Juliet Ramirez

Around mile 7, I ate my second lunch. At mile 12, I had the realization that, though I had done a full day of hiking, I wasn’t quite halfway. At mile 15, I stood on top of Clouds Rest, soaked in one of the most incredible views in the world, hugged some wonderful people, and was nothing but grateful for the chance to hike the remaining 11.2 miles of trail ahead. This was a tiny slice of my experience at the Lasting Adventures first annual John-Muir-A-Thon.

This year’s John-Muir-A-Thon was a 26.2 mile route from Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley, dreamt up by our guides as a way to have a rad adventure in Yosemite together.

The goals of the Muir-A-Thon were simple:

1.Run/ walk/ hike/ dance a full length of a marathon from one of Yosemite’s most famous destinations to another

2.Celebrate a great season with great guides

3.Do it all in the name of one of Yosemite’s great’s- John Muir

Here was the 2018 route:

We started at the Cathedral Lakes trailhead on the John Muir Trail. We traveled quickly, but even so, we couldn’t help but stop and admire the Cathedral Range from the meadows. When we passed the Sunrise High Sierra Camp, we continued on the John Muir Trail until we reached the sharp northwards turn of the Forsythe Trail. This is where we really felt it- We trudged up the ridge towards Clouds Rest, cut back south and reached the summit around 3PM. It seemed like Clouds Rest had never been so beautiful. We still had work to do, so we promptly headed downhill towards Little Yosemite Valley, crossed over the top of Nevada Fall and made our way to the Valley.

Here are the statistics of our journey:

Here is what we used to carry food and cover miles:

Our favorite, this little Gregory daypack, allowed us to keep our weight light while still having space for food and water.

The 2018 John-Muir-A-Thon was fun, exciting, challenging, beautiful, and honestly, pretty rowdy. It was also a great way to recognise that this Sierra landscape is incredible. The mountains here are severe and humbling. Hiking this feat, I felt small, but also in great company, thinking of all of the amazing people that have hiked these mountains before me. Yes- people like John Muir, and also people like the Ahwahneechee, Florence Hutchings, Galen Clark, the lost visitors from last week, and every other unknown explorer that has felt small and magical amongst these granite giants.

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