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Two, two, two peaks in one…trip

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Two, two, two peaks in one…trip

Postby Vaca Russ » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:10 am

Freel peak is the highest peak in the Tahoe region. That is a good enough reason for us to make the climb.

We started the day by driving up Oneidas street off of Pioneer Trail. The road ends at a locked gate. This is the trailhead to the trout creek route up to Armstrong pass. Then the trail joins the Tahoe Rim Trail and continues up a decent grade to the saddle between Freel and Trimmer.

We didn’t go that way. We took a much more direct route. Jeffery Schaffer details this route in his book, “The Tahoe Sierra”. This is hike #102 on Page 277. He describes this route as, “…a very steep 1.7 mile climb to a saddle”.

The trail starts out as an old dirt road.

1Trail Start.JPG


Eventually the road becomes a single track.

2Single Track.JPG


The trail is pretty straight forward and easy to find but there are some thick aspen jungles where the trail is a little hard to follow.

3Aspen Grove.JPG


All at once the trail goes from being steep to really steep. Schaffer claims this section has a “…grade averaged 26%, which qualifies this hike as the book’s steepest – as well as its highest. It therefore deserves a very strenuous rating, and since you climb it in thin air, you had better be in excellent shape.”

4Steep Sandy.JPG


Not only is the trail very steep but it is also quite sandy. Schaffer calls this loose gravel “Grus”, and goes into a very lengthy and detailed description about the processes that created the Grus.

5Sandy Steep uss.JPG


After this steep climb you should reach the saddle. This is where the use trail you just followed meets up with the Tahoe Rim Trail and the trail to Freel Peak.

6Saddle.JPG


8Freel Peak Trail.JPG
Freel is the peak on the left


From here you have a good view of the Sky Express, the highest ski lift in Heavenly. I will never jump off of this lift again without glancing over at Freel.

7Heavenly.JPG


If you make it to here you only have about 1 more mile to the summit of Freel. We were happy to have made it to the top.

9Balza1.JPG


One has an excellent view of Hope Valley with the Mokelumne Wilderness in the background.

10Hope Valley.JPG


To be continued…
Last edited by Vaca Russ on Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway



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Vaca Russ
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Re: Two, two, two peaks in one…trip

Postby Vaca Russ » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:20 am

The top of Freel offers a multitude of great views. This is “Sport” with Trimmer, South Lake Tahoe and Desolation Wilderness at her back. Freel scoffs at those puny Deso peaks. :)

11Freel View Tahoe.JPG


Sport found the ammo box and retrieved one of the many registers.

12Sport Register.JPG


13Register.JPG


After a short while we decided to continue on to Job’s Sister. This is the third highest peak in the Tahoe region.

14Trail to JS.JPG


Love is carrying your girlfriend’s micro spikes up White Mountain Peak, Freel Peak and Job’s Sister because there “might” be snow! :)

15Love.JPG


We made it to the summit of Job’s Sister and had a kind lady take our picture.

16Balza2.JPG
That is Freel on the left


I even took a picture of all of you who live in Minden, Gardnerville and the rest of the Carson Valley.

17Nevada.JPG


This is Star Lake on the lower right. I wonder what kind of trout live here? The DFG lake guide has no information.

18Star Lake JS.JPG


Why did I climb this mountain? She asked me to climb the mountain. Seems like a no brainer to me. :D

19SHB.JPG


We were unable to find the register on Job’s Sister. We did enjoy the views for a while but eventually headed back to Freel.

Did I mention this trail was steep?

20Steep Climb to Freel.JPG


We climbed to the summit of Freel one more time and then headed back to the trailhead. We were very fortunate to have lovely weather all day.

Thank you for reading my TR.

-Russ
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
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Re: Two, two, two peaks in one…trip

Postby TahoeJeff » Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:16 am

Yeah man, the views from Freel are great! What Schaffer calls "Grus", I call "the sands of two steps forward, one step back"!
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Re: Two, two, two peaks in one…trip

Postby giantbrookie » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:52 pm

Nice report and photos. My memories of Freel was that the summit had quite a bit of fulgerite (not sure I spelled that right), which is rock fused by lightning strikes (looks glassy and coats rock surfaces), on its summit. It's the second most I remember on a Sierra summit after Mt. Rodgers (Mt Lyell region), which has an unusual amount of it on its summit.

Star Lake, at least as of July 1990 was teeming with brookies. My records say I caught 11 (probably in something like 20 casts or so) brookies running to 11" taking a detour coming down from Freel. My notes say that the top end might have been slightly beyond 11" (the fish were super numerous but not stunted). I would presume the brookies are self sustaining. Unless there has been a fish removal action there I'd presume there are still lots of brookies in Star.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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