Day Seven: Tahoe Rim Trail

1 Nov

October 27, 2013

Mile 31 to Marlette Peak Campground

23.6 miles

Big day for the chicks! We woke up to a cold beautiful morning. Drank our calories and headed out for an immediate climb to the highest point on the trail. We summited Relay Peak early in the morning and took some not so flattering self photos at 10,330 ft. The day’s forecast was windy, but we had underestimated the toll it would take on us as we hiked. At 10,000 feet 35 mph winds are quite uncomfortable. Plus, Jen had been suffering from some low level nausea for a few days and I had started the day with same. While the morning was beautiful with a stunning view and some bright sunshine, the wind kept us from spending time on the summit.

The hike down was uneventful and after about two hours we stopped for our first break. We did our best to stay warm in the sun, but the wind was too much. We ate quickly and headed off down the trail. The day of the week was Sunday and it was in this section that we ran into loads of day hikers and trail runners. We took a “secret” way down past the Gallena Falls due to the fact that while yours truly was taking off her gloves she lost her poles to gravity. So we took the road less traveled, also known to Jen as the gripping rock scramble back down to the safety of solid ground. (sorry Jen!) We continued our descent to the next trail head that was well populated, had bathrooms, and a trash cans for us to deposit the refuse we had been carrying. (This is not to be look lightly upon for hikers LOVE to get rid of our trash. We understand that we “pack it in, pack it out”, but getting the old tuna packets and dinner bags out of our pack feels like spring cleaning!) As we sat on a sunny spot on the concrete like the hobo’s we are we looked to the weather.

We had been keeping our eye on the forecast. We knew that there was some expected precipitation headed our way and we wanted to be super responsible and safe. The forecast was for one inch slushy accumulation. Our gear and our preparedness had been for up to a few inches of snow, so we were comfortable with moving forward. The wind continued to blow as we hiked in Nevada. The afternoon was our normal routine of hiking and breaking, except that our breaks were taken behind rocks to shelter us from the blowing sand and gusts of wind.

We hiked on picking up the pace in order to get our miles in for the day. As the afternoon progressed the wind blew at a ridiculous speeds. Jen and I were both blown around and having to lean into the movements we were making in order to make progress. We actually had magnificent views and hands down the best view of the hike, but I was unable to stop for photos due to being knocked around.

We descended yet again into camp and set up for the night. We were at an established campground with a privy and bear boxes. This was nice, for we did not have to bear bag in the dark. The campground also had a well with potable water and a pump. A nice addition to prepping for the morning. Little did we know our six am wake up was not to be as expected.

 

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