Earth, fire and ice: Sonoma hiker completes John Muir Trail

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Avid backpacker and wilderness advocate Teri Shore of Sonoma will share her 21 days as a solo backpacker on the John Muir Trail with high country photos, trail stories, and a gear display from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, September 3, at the Sonoma Valley Regional Library, 755 W Napa St. The program is free and open to the public.

Shore started in Yosemite on July 7 and summited Mount Whitney, where the John Muir Trail officially ends, on July 28. Mt. Whitney is the highest mountain in the lower 48 states at 14,505 feet.

Along the way she climbed nine 10,000-foot-or-higher mountain passes. She survived a surprise snowstorm and encountered a high elevation forest fire.

“It was tougher than I imagined, climbing all those high passes,” said Shore. “And with sun, rain, fire and snow along the way, every day was a challenge.”

The program is sponsored by the Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter Backpack Section.

Shore hiked the John Muir Trail as a way to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Supporters donated about $1,500 to help cover trip costs and support wilderness protection in California. Krave Jerky donated jerky and Whole Foods in Sonoma provided instant soup.

“This was the longest and most challenging backpacking adventure I’ve ever completed,” said Shore.

The John Muir Trail is a magnificent 211-mile trail in the Sierra Nevada mountains that extends from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney — the tallest peak in the lower 48 states. It is named after naturalist John Muir, founding member and original president of the Sierra Club.

The Wilderness Act is the landmark conservation bill passed in 1964 that created a way for Americans to protect their most pristine public wild lands for future generations. California has 149 wilderness areas totaling nearly 15 million acres, including parts of Point Reyes National Seashore, Cache Creek Wilderness in Lake County and Desolation Wilderness near Lake Tahoe. Two new California wilderness bills introduced this year would expand public wilderness land along the Central Coast and in the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California.

Teri Shore has lived in Sonoma for 25 years. She is an avid backpacker and wilderness advocate who has led Sierra Club backpack trips for the San Francisco Bay Chapter Backpack Section since 1996. She adores Yosemite, the Sierra Nevada and Trinity Alps. She has climbed Mt. Shasta and many non-technical Sierra peaks over 9,000 feet including Mt. Conness, Mt. Dana, and Mt. Hoffman. She has also completed long treks in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.


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