I've been looking at resupply options in the Sierras... from mile 702 at Kennedy Meadows north, there are a very few options. Here's my thinking.
- Independence at 87 miles... say 5 or 6 days, plus 8 miles walk up and over Onion Valley. Most of this is at elevations above 10,000 feet, including the highest point on the PCT, Forrester Pass, at 13,500 feet. Independence doesn't have much in the way of supplies, though Bishop is 40 miles north... and any way I look at it, this is off-trail day.
- Muir Ranch and Vermilion Valley Resort. Muir Ranch is almost on the trail, VVR requires a ferry ride across Florence Lake (which I've done before in the summer of 1980!) It's 87 miles from the Independence cutoff, which includes four passes over 12,000'. Will VVR be open in early June? Does Muir Ranch have any resupply options at all? All together, five or six days walking.
- Mammoth. Day and a half walk. That's next, and an annoyingly short 30 mile past VVR. Resupplying there would be a no-brainer (hello Vons), even with the bus and/or hike detour.
- Tuolumne Meadows. Last summer when we visited we found the store there very well stocked. And it's a short 36 miles from Mammoth too. Grrr.
- T Meadows to North Kennedy Meadows. It's 75 miles, or 4 days. Might was well.
- N KM to South Lake Tahoe. Another 75 miles... and a great resupply point (hello Raley's.) 4 days walk.
Complicating all this is the fact that all food and smellables need to be stuffed into a my bear canister... cramming seven days of food in there will be tight.
I'm thinking the 7 P's definitely apply with Sierras resupply strategy!