Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Tahoe Rim Trail Section Hike / Run - Day 6 - Barker Pass to Echo Lake - 33 miles/59,412 pedometer steps/11 hours

We knew this was to be a tough day. Last night we packed and got everything ready for a quick and early start. We were up at 5:30 and on the road by about 6:45. It was still dark outside. Julie drove us to the other side of Lake Tahoe and then up the 7 miles to Barker's Pass. We were on our feet by 7:50. We posed for a quick photo at the trailhead and started jogging. The morning was crisp and quite like an English winter's day.

The track started downhill or level and on a nice woodland trail. It stayed great for 11 miles, which we covered in the first couple of miles running all the way. We stopped for a rest and some energy bars feeling pretty good. I felt like this day was one that had been on our mind for the whole week and we had mentally and physically prepared for it. Our gear was fine tuned and we were very focused on covering ground quickly. 11 miles in so soon made us feel pretty confident.

Pretty soon we'd covered another 5 miles running. The path was perfect for running, an absolute treat. There were some fallen logs across the path from Barker's pass for a few miles. This was unusual for the Rim Trail so perhaps this is a little used part of the whole trail.

16 miles in and we felt pretty good. Now we started a long climb up towards Dick's Pass. This slowed us down considerably and sapped our energy a little. We reached the pass after quite some time. We were rewarded with some awesome views of the Desolation Wilderness and its numerous lakes. We could see Lake Aloha from up there, which was to be our last food stop. It took quite some time to descend the pass and then climb up to the lake though. The going started getting tough on the way there. As we skirted one lake, which looks like something from lord of the rings (the lake outside the mines of moria, surrounded by rocky mountains), it began to get very rocky under foot and hard going. We plodded on, our early speed just a vague memory.

By the time we got to Lake Aloha we were ready to greet it with an 'ALOHA' but were really too tired to get too excited about it. Our water was running low by now too. We thought it was 5 miles back from here but a look at the map suggested 7. I thought it was easy going from here so was quite confident. It turns out that I had badly mis-remembered this section. The stretch alongside the lake was quite up and down and often quite stoney. After that the trail climbed for a bit and then descended towards Echo Lake on a very rocky path which was relentless.

Eventually it began to get dark so Natalle got her head torch on whilst Adam and I tried to see in the failing light. About a mile from the end of the Lake I called Julie and sure enough, she was there to meet us. After a long 20 minutes we got to the car and WATER and Kitkats!

Tired, we went to eat on the way back. This time in an organic place called Spouts.

A very tiring day. The next day, we knew, would be tough.


At 7:39 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liked reading your post. I just hiked this same section this past friday August 17th made it in 10.5 hours what a brilliant section of trail!



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