Tahoe Rim Trail Section Hike / Run - Day 8 - Big Meadow to Kingsbury South - 23 miles/46,594 steps/9h30
(these photos are not in the right order I'm afraid)
We'd been warned that this was a tough hike and could see from the map that it was uphill for most of the 23 miles. The day started characteristically crisp and clear. Walking uphill soon had us warmed up though. Although it was uphill the trail was mainly on nice forest single track with no preponderance of awkward rocks.
We had our first break at a high meadow after a couple of hours. Cliff bars, some peanuts and our trademark Jelly Beans and a little rest for the legs before we got on our way.
As we neared the shoulder of Friel Peak the path got a bit icy. With trekking poles things were easy enough but in road running shoes a little tricky. These icy sections stayed with us for a few miles but at least the path was easy to follow, if slippery.
We saw some awesome prints in the snow which looked characteristic of the mountain lion but I heard from a local biologist that it was just a dog. Well, it was thrilling at the time to thing we were in the presence of some big wildlife (at least to me - I was like an excitable fossil hunter).
Just for comparison, here is a photo of an actual Mountain Lion print...
We sat on the shoulder for 2nd lunch break and hid amongst the rocks to get out of the cold breeze. A beautiful spot on this sandy shoulder. From here it was about 7 miles back. Star Lake was a very pretty highlight on the way, though the trail disappeared into the lake at one point and we had to scramble across rock and brush to get around it.
The journey back took in most of Heavenly ski resort and was much longer than I remembered it from before. I guess we were pretty tired by now. I kept wondering when we would finally reach the trailhead and walk down the soon to be ski slope to the stagecoach chair lift.