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Hike the Tahoe Rim Trail in 2009

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Hike the Tahoe Rim Trail in 2009

Postby ERIC » Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:09 pm

Hike the Tahoe Rim Trail in 2009

By Greyson Howard | Tahoe.com
http://www.tahoe.com/article/20090209/R ... OUTDOORS02

In the summer of 2007, a year into both living and working in the Truckee-Tahoe area, I still felt like I didn’t know the region.

I had also re-caught the hiking bug after reading a few Pacific Crest Trail journals, wanting to take on a long-distance hike — bigger than anything I’d done before.

Enter the Tahoe Rim Trail, a 165-mile long ribbon of trail that winds its way around Lake Tahoe, and I had a way to kill two birds with one stone.

Each year, the Tahoe Rim Trail Association leads a group of hikers on a roughly two-week quest around the rim as a fund-raising event, and I called over to the Incline office to see if I could tag along.

Weeks later, I found myself in a group of 15 excited hikers from around the country, my eyes locked on the expansive ring of peaks around Tahoe that would be my home for 15 days.

We saw all the beautiful mountain scenery Tahoe has to offer, from the lofty heights of Relay Peak above incline to the lake-dotted granite moonscape of Desolation Wilderness.

We got to know each other faster than the constraints of civilization allow, sitting around simmering stoves and working together through the trials and tribulations of throwing a bear-bag over a spindly pine branch.

And between us, we got more blisters than you can count, walking in heat through dry, dusty stretches and over steep, thin-air peaks.

Two weeks later, dusty, dirty, hungry, and thirsty, we ended up back where we started — only with a new appreciation for the wilderness, of eachother, and weighing a few pounds less.

What you need to know

The Tahoe Rim Trail offers up amazing scenery, whether it’s the constantly changing views of Tahoe, from the northern edge towards Lassen, or east into the Carson valley, hikers find themselves high enough up in the atmosphere to see expansive views daily.

Environments change along the way from the dry, open forests of the eastern rim to the flowery meadows in the south, the stark, granite bowls of Desolation and the lush forests in the west.

If you are hesitant to take on a long hike because of logistics, the Tahoe Rim Trail Association’s annual thru-hike has you covered. The guides take care of where you are going each day, and trail angels bring food and water resupplies often enough to keep your pack (relatively) light.

You’ll meet a great group of hiking enthusiasts to chat with and share the experience with along the way. The guides manage the group so you aren’t stuck at someone else’s pace, and rest breaks come often to catch your breath or take in the scenery.

Some experience is required — you’ll find yourself hiking over 10 miles a day, up and down mountains, at high elevations, day in and day out. Few escape blisters, and life on the trail with two weeks of camp food and self-dug toilets takes some adjustment. But it’s totally worth it.

This year’s hike will be divided into two groups — one walking from July 25 to Aug. 8, and the other a day behind from July 26 to Aug. 9.

To learn more about this year’s hike, go to http://www.tahoerimtrail.org for suggested gear lists, planning, pricing, and to sign up before all the spots are gone.

And to read more about my experience on the Tahoe Rim Trail, go to http://www.sierrasun.com/trthike for stories, photos, and videos of the trip.
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