On Wednesday, July 10th, Rotarian Luke Pytlik and Army Reserve SSGT Bradley Petersen will set out to hike the 211 mile John Muir Trail. The John Muir Trail (JMT) is a long-distance trail in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California, passing through Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. With the exception of the first 9 miles at the northern end climbing out of Yosemite Valley, the elevation of the JMT seldom dips below 8,000 feet. The trail crosses seven mountain passes in excess of 11,000 feet including: Donohue Pass, Muir Pass, Mather Pass, Pinchot Pass, Glen Pass, Forester Pass and Trail Crest. At 13,153 feet Forester Pass is the highest point along the Pacific Crest Trail and the second-highest pass along the JMT (after Trail Crest on the Mount Whitney Trail).
The purpose of this hike is to raise funds for a New Generation Rotary Project, to fund the rebuilding of an elementary school in Nicaragua that serves 110 students daily. Some of the funds raised will also be used for ongoing youth projects in our local community fulfilling the Rotary motto of ‘service above self’. Rotarians regularly donate both time and materials to international projects. Their most renowned to date is their effort to eradicate polio, which has met with considerable success and has attracted the support of philanthropists like Bill Gates.
Pytlik, a member of Temecula’s NewGen Rotary, acknowledges this will not be a walk in the park. “This hike along the John Muir and Pacific Crest Trail is challenging even to experienced climbers,” says Pytlik. “We’ve been training on local trails with heavy packs for months now preparing for this and we’re ready, although the closer we get the more nervous I get. We’re hoping to complete the hike in 16-18 days although we’ve set aside 20 just for a little margin.”
For info or to become a sponsor of the walk and the school, you can contact Pytlik at firstname.lastname@example.org or through Paypal at NewGensRotary@gmail.com – enter JMT Fundraiser in your comments.