Not Your Average Pub Run; June Lake Brewing to Mammoth Brewing Co.

11745457_10100821090804540_7171416865945009274_n

San Joaquin Ridge Trail.

The Plan

A few months ago I had the idea of connecting two local breweries via the San Joaquin Ridge.  No surprise that every runner this was mentioned to salivated with the idea of an excuse to drink beer and spend countless hours in the mountains.

Unfortunately, many of my local running friends also think it’s cool to run 100 milers and were either running, recovering from, or tapering for said events.

But there was one guy.  Despite a personal best and near sub 20 hour finish 2 weeks ago at Western States, Jeff Kozak, needed a proper excuse to binge drink prior to a dinner party later in the evening with his Mrs.

The Execution

We left Mammoth Saturday morning at 6:20am on the YARTS bus to June Lake.  This trip cost us a steep $4 for the one way trip (30 miles) and we were dropped off at June Mountain Ski Area.  It is about 1 mile back to June Lake Brewery and the trail head from that point.

11219437_10100819982475640_7662518303745917493_n

This big blue drink of water has become my best friend.

With Jeff’s dinner plans later that evening our start was a bit early for a usual pub run. Since JLB was closed, this precluded us from starting with a few brewskis.  This was also a beta collecting mission to refine the route for easier success for future group runs.

11705129_10100819982450690_1671463969803913546_n

The start at Yost Trailhead, across the street from June Lake Fire Department; 7,774ft

The air was brisk as we hit the trailhead a little after 7am so we both decided to start with light wind shells.  The initial 4 miles switchback up about 1700ft as we crossed over June Mountain Ski Area and approached Yost Meadow beneath the Negatives.

11695766_10100819982615360_9172771113694825490_n

Switchbacking above Gull Lake and June.

11695741_10100819982680230_6157998269521949185_n

June Mountain Ski Area crossing; 8,900ft

11169463_10100819982660270_5957643152176514352_n

June Mountain Ski Area.

11223310_10100819982834920_3147486604024395310_n

Yost Meadow; 9,272ft. Now came the decision of how to get on top of the Negatives.

From Yost Meadow/Trail there is no trail, as far as I know, to the top of the Negatives and the San Joaquin Ridge.  Jeff and I decided to just pick a line and start to climb (our route was up the next couloir right of the picture shown)

11707586_10100819982849890_8752540585147162267_n

Reprieve halfway up the scramble, as I kicked scree and talus towards, Jeff. June Mountain in the distance.

11061169_10100819982884820_408336776720668128_n

First contact with the ridge; 10,539ft

After a 1300ft scramble up 1/2 mile to the top of the ridge we paused for a few minutes to take in the picturesque views and pick our line to San Joaquin Mountain.

11222682_10153531361267439_8311752701007887125_n

The wind was ripping and cold so we re-donned the jackets. Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak in the distance.

From initial contact with the ridge, only about 1.5 miles and 1,000ft of climbing were between us and San Joaquin Mountain.  Although no real trail, route finding is incredibly easy and we traversed a mixture of pumice, talus, and scree.  After the summit it was difficult to leave.  Those views.  Unreal.

11403014_10100821094442250_8184251508051344125_n

Looking north from San Joaquin Mountain summit; 11,555ft. Mono Lake in the distance.

11737864_10153531364067439_3068752607728186448_n

Looking west, Minarets, Mt. Ritter, Banner Peak, Garnet Lake and Middle Fork San Joaquin River drainage.

11169152_10100819983094400_2266401993900640630_n

Looking south from the peak Mammoth Mountain is framed in by Two Teats.

11692587_10153531365477439_3245294275202478809_n

Looking east, Glass Creek Meadow (headwaters of Owens River) and Obsidian Dome.

11698686_10100821091064020_4167679433148626662_n

For those that know, Jeff, you can appreciate how much he loves to write.

11694863_10100821090934280_5129699579019249716_n

They may need a new register…

11237573_10100819983154280_992562653672306949_n

But, seriously…

11011274_10153531364682439_2479483588953722748_n

Jeff’s commentary of my register entry: “These 100 mile runners are really $#@!in slow. Dips moo…”

11041099_10100821094596940_116801679993656875_n

Writing with frozen hands is a difficult task.

After we left San Joaquin Summit, all that lay between us and amazing beer and eats was 14 miles of singletrack trail.

11015193_10100821090510130_8703291331033476331_n

Jeff in the foreground approaching Two Teats.

edd89af7f212df15b05056caaada66cf

The ridge towards Mammoth Mountain.

7131fab53c1a1250a94f961d58b84fad

(An older photo of Jimmy Elam running the same ridge)

11745457_10100821090804540_7171416865945009274_n

Singletrack trail porn.

11705306_10100821090719710_1185871959173405889_n

Contact with the jeep road that takes you to Minaret Summit.

The single track of San Joaquin Ridge eventually gave way to a jeep road for the final few miles to Minaret Summit.  There, we picked up Mountain View Trail on the left and dropped for several miles through heavy forest to the Earthquake Fault.   We stepped foot on pavement for the first time in 18 miles as we crossed the road and picked up Uptown Trail.  The final two miles are pristine singletrack and terminate at The Village.   Just 1/4 mile lay between us and a 3 hour beer garden hangout.

The Review

With the exception of the 2 mile cross country exploration between Yost Meadow and San Joaquin Mountain, this run has 20 miles of sweet singletrack, 5000ft ascent, 4500ft descent, one mountain summit of 11,555ft, and endless views of the Eastern Sierra.  It could possibly be the greatest Pub Run in the country.

Logistically it can also be done during operational hours of both breweries as YARTS runs later in the day each way.  Next round it’ll be required to have a round on each end.

Gear/Nutrition

Strava Data (actual run is 20 miles, I doubled back several times for Jeff)

Nike Wildhorse 3

Kiger Pack

1.5L water, 1 Roctane Sea Salt Chocolate, 1 Wanderlust UgoBar

CJbNoZSUMAAyayk

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Not Your Average Pub Run; June Lake Brewing to Mammoth Brewing Co.

  1. Jakey Sprinkles says:

    Damn bro! This combines my two favorite activities adventure wilderness running and beer! Love that 395 at Mammoth! Might have to steal this idea one of these days.

  2. Great post. A few trail nuts from my local running club are setting out to replicate your experience and I can’t decide if I’m game or not. It sounds awesome but the last time I tried a self-supported run like this (20 something miles on the PCT) I ended up with some serious rubbing from my pack (I like to eat when I run)… maybe a bit of moleskin will make this possible for me. Anyway, great account of what is sure to be a memorable journey! Many thanks!!!
    JZ

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s