Jul 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm #1261663
Here's my gearlist for an either 8 or 9 day thru-hike of the TRT October 2 through 10th or 11th. Edit: Average temperatures for October are 62* high/26*low, with the knowledge that I'll generally be camping 1,000'-2000'above lake level, and weather in the Sierra's is changeable any season, let alone on the cusp of winter.
I'm flying in from the East Coast to Reno and taking a shuttle to/from the airport,staying at a hotel 1 night before and after. Unless they let me store my stuff with them(I'll stay at the same hotel both nights), I need to carry a change of clean clothes with me for flight home.
Two things I'm debating; bringing my Duomid instead of the Nano tarp, since the Duomid would provide fully enclosed protection in the event of an early winter storm. And bring my alcohol stove instead of the Windpro. I haven't used the alky stove in cold temperature that much to know if it would be reliable at 35 degrees.
I started thread seeking TRT advice here.Jul 28, 2010 at 3:29 pm #1633018
Great list! Are you going to resupply at a shop in town and where or are you sending a resupply box somewhere?Jul 29, 2010 at 6:22 am #1633135
There's a Save Mart in Tahoe City, (approximately halfway hiking clockwise and a little less than halfway counter-clockwise) that the trail passes very close to. It might practically go through the parking lot, but my National Geographic map isn't that detailed. I went there several times when I lived in CA and visited Tahoe, but I can't recall if they sell Mountain House type freeze dried meals. Hopefully someone else can chime in with that info, or I could call the store. If I had to carry 8 days of dinners@ 4oz a meal, that wouldn't be awful, as I could definitely find all my other food needs at the store. It shouldn't cost me more than 45-60 minutes tops, I figure.
I was skimming a trip report from 2008 and was reminded of the store at Echo Chalet@Upper Echo lakes,(might not be open in October though) and I didn't know there was resupply available at Tahoe Meadows. So at my estimated pace, I might only have to carry 3 days of food at a time.Jul 29, 2010 at 10:11 am #1633207
Tony WongBPL Member
@valsharLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
There aren't any stores or opportunities to resupply at Tahoe Meadows.
The parking lot there just has a building with indoor pit toilets and there is a water fountain there.
Tahoe City is really the place for resupply in that area.
Given the spotty water sources from Tahoe City to Tahoe Meadows, you might want to cache some water along the way.
We did that at Brockway Summit and that worked out well for us.
Glad that the photo essay helped you out….exactly what my intent was in creating it. :)
If you have questions about the route that we took, you might want to PM Jeremy, as he was the one who meticulously planned our route, taking in consideration where we would resupply.
-TonyJul 29, 2010 at 5:14 pm #1633335
I'm starting the trail Monday August 2nd. I am starting from Tahoe City… haven't decided if I'm going clockwise or counter clockwise yet. Kinda hoping to run into some PCT stragglers so probably counter clockwise.
Based on Tony's trip report (which is awsome, thanks Tony)I am going to resupply at Echo Lakes Chalet and the Tramway Market at Kingsbury North.
I may leave a water cache at Spooner Summit Trailhead, looks like a long dry spell from spooner lake to Dagget creek. Though the trail is just now clear of snow so I expect lots of water (hopefully).Jul 29, 2010 at 6:39 pm #1633355
So it looks like I should probably bring my 2L platy plus the 1L for those dry stretches. I have no chance to cache anything, as it's fly in, hit the trail, and fly out. I should get my Wilderness Press TRT book tomorrow, and I'm sure that'll have some good info on water sources based on the season as well. Early October all the seasonal stuff will be dried up. Starting at Kingsbury North, I may just hike counterclockwise and get the dry stretch where I'll be carrying to most water out of the way first.Jul 30, 2010 at 9:01 am #1633467
James, I don't know if you've bought the TRT Trailview map yet but it is a great resource. It is a profile map that lists all the road crossings and water sources on one side and a plan view map on the other side along with instructions on how to get to the resupply spots at south kingsbury and echo lakes.
I'm bringing 2 1L bottles and a 3L platty, for the dry areas.Jul 30, 2010 at 12:23 pm #1633496
Thanks for the map advice. I've got the National Geographic Tahoe Basin Map, but it's huge and weighs about 3oz. Also, more importantly, I've added up the trail segment distances and I'm only getting 154 miles(including the distance between the two Kingsbury TH's) when it should total out to 168. I suppose I could have made a math error on the calculator, but 14 miles is a lot of miles to miss. I'll have to compare the NG maps distances with those on the TRT website segment maps to figure out where something's gone wrong.
But I think I'll be ordering Trailview map from the TRT Association shop tonight.Jul 31, 2010 at 12:39 pm #1633769
Paul McLaughlinBPL Member
I'd definitely go with the duomid If I were you. The weather in October can be darn near anything, including a foot or two of snow. If you get rain it will most likely be COLD rain, so a more enclosed shelter would be appreciated. I second the motion on extra water carrying capacity – a lot of streams dry up by October.
I'd go with the windpro stove, as I'd feel more confident in that as an all-conditions stove.
In general that's a great time of year up there – most days are perfect hiking weather, not too warm and not too cold, with brisk mornings and evenings.Sep 12, 2010 at 6:09 pm #1645037
I third the extra water suggestion. If you cant cache water at Brockway summit then you have a dry stretch from Watson Lake to Mud lake (~ 25 miles). Mud lake still has water, I just hiked the Brockway to Tahoe meadows section this weekend. The water is not very appealing but with treatment should be fine. Also, if you were planning on camping and water at the campground near Tahoe Meadows, it is closed for reconstruction. So I think your last chance for water is at Snow Pond until Spooner Lake (~ 26 miles). I will be thru hiking in 2 weeks and figuring out the water logistics is my main concern. I am planning on taking 5 L. capacity for the long stretch from Snow pond to Spooner and I will be caching water at Brockway. Other than those 2 stretches I think there is adequate water along the rest of the trail (of course those 2 stretches is about 1/3 of the trail :)) Good luck and happy trails.Sep 12, 2010 at 6:43 pm #1645055
Thanks for the heads up on the campground near Tahoe Meadows(Mt Rose?) I was actually planning on stopping there. I guess I'll stay somewhere in Tahoe Meadows. My understanding though is that Ophir Creek runs year-round? And that's about 17 miles from Lake Marlette, off the trail a 3 mile round-trip but I've built that in to my daily mileage, and I'm going to spend the night at Marlette campground. I'm also planning on detouring to Gray Lake for the more appealing water.
I'm carrying a 2L platy and a 2L+ platy in addition to the 24oz bottle I'm carrying for my Perpetuem, so I should have plenty of capacity.Sep 13, 2010 at 6:41 am #1645138
Sounds like you have it figured out. I wasn't sure if Ophir creek was year round. If so, and you dont mind the extra mileage to Marlette then you are golden. I might make that detour too now that I think about it.Sep 13, 2010 at 10:04 am #1645202
Rick DreherBPL Member
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
Don't count on anything being open at Echo Lakes. You'll probably have to hitch into South Lake Tahoe or something similar.
FWIW October us "usually" very nice. Although we sometimes get whopping storms, any early snow generally melts off quickly. (Not so true farther south in the high Sierra.) A big challenge is the much shorter days and another is the very dry conditions in years we don't get any early storms (most of them).
RickSep 14, 2010 at 6:23 pm #1645618
Thanks for the link to the Echo Chalet. I suspected it might not be open after Labor Day. I'm just counting on the pay phone at Upper Echo Lake to check in with family. Know of any other payphones along the route, besides Tahoe City?
I've been changing around my gear list.
I've confirmed through consecutive 20 mile day hike that for that 24 hour stretch I'm going to have to start out with 4+ liters of water, my framless MLD Revolution is not going to cut it with 27lbs of total packweight, even for a few hours. My shoulders were still sore 2 days later after carrying that weight for 5 hours. I'll have to carry my 1lb heavier SMD Starlite so that portion of the trip isn't miserable.
I'm also debating whether or not to ditch my Frontier Pro filter for Aqua Mira drops, which I've never used. Ditching the filter, hydration tube and bleach would save me 3.88oz minus whatever the drops repackaged in mini droppers weighs. Not sure that's worth it. I do have to practice using the Frontier Pro as a gravity filter to refill my Perpetuem bottle. I need to find a 20 oz bottle with a wide mouth that weight under .85oz.
A couple other things I'm still thinking on:
-whether to bring just the powerstretch tights for my lower body at night or to bring my Nunatak Arc AT to boost my Arc Specialist?
-bring my NeoAir short for comfort (+3.5oz)or stick with the short Ridgerest because it's leak-proof?
Here's my meal plan for anyone who's interested. I added a column to estimate my packweight throughout the day based on my food and water.Sep 14, 2010 at 6:48 pm #1645626
Jay WilkersonBPL Member
@creachenLocale: East Bay
Go with the Aqua Mira for your H2O..Water is more abundant on the West side..October(shoulder season)is a tricky and sketchy month for sure–better safe then sorry on the layering systems..There is rain expected this weekend in the Tahoe region-possibly Saturday. Good luck with your hike!! Your gear list looks great and food is spot on…Road crossings mean resupply at a few places…Take advantage of it.Sep 14, 2010 at 9:51 pm #1645682
Just checked out the Nunatuk website for the Arc At, thats pretty sweet for 8 oz.
When I was up near Tahoe meadows last Saturday temps got down to 20. All my water froze… fortunately I didnt have much so my platypus didnt burst. I was in my summerlite in a MLD bivy on a torsolite on top of a 1/8" nightlight and slept ok. Any colder and I would not have been a happy camper.
8 oz. for knowing that you will sleep well is probably worth it but probably not necessary.
I think aqua mira will be fine, I bring a frontier filter just in case I have to drink some nasty pond water and I use both in that case but its overkill Im sure, just makes me feel better.
I guess you really like snickers, mango and chicken rice dinners!Sep 28, 2010 at 2:58 pm #1649688
I sometimes think when I'm looking at a gear list that it'd be nice to actually see what all that gear looks like, not necessarily to ogle, but to visually see now 'much' gear it is. I figured since I was laying it all out this morning in a pre-check, I'd take some pictures.
Still open to any comment or advice. Note that I'm flying in from New York so I have to carry everything, including stuff I'd normally leave in the car or at home like cell phone, change of clothes, much of what's in my wallet, etc.
So, here is the list
Here are some pictures.
Start with what I'm going to carry it all in. The SMD Starlite is probably about 60% more capacity than I need, but of my three packs it's most comfortable for the second half of the trip when I'll be carrying 4-5 liters of water at times. I'm using two hefty trash compactor bags to protect my bag when checked for the plane. I'll probably just ditch the one when I get there (saving one as my bag liner) and by another 5-pack for the flight back.
Food, hydration and cooking. Missing is the fuel caniser I have to buy when I get there. Here's my food list. First 5 days only, clearly.
Personal Items. I know I should make a camera case out of bubble wrap, but I can't get myself comfortable with that. And yes, TP. I'll pack it out.
Electronics, 3 spare batteries + charger for my camera. Figure each battery has 200-230 shots that's over 100 shots per day and maybe some short video. Bought the 8gb card specifically so I could take some video. Spare camera battery in case it accidentally gets turned on at some point.
Maps, compass, Brunton ADC Pro. I justified splurging on the Brunton by telling myself that in order to make wiser gear purchases in the future, I need data on the conditions I'm using my current gear in.
Shelter. BPL Nano tarp + Tigoat bivy. For my flight, my LT4's will be rolled inside the two sleeping mats. The bubble wrap will cover the little bit sticking out, and be used as a pillow.
My Nunatark Arc Specialist and my (old) BPL Cocoon wear. The pants are to supplement the quilt should the temperature drop below 20, unlikely as that is. They're long enough I can pull them down over my feet, which is important as I'll only be wearing thin socks.
My raingear, handwear and spare clothing. I plan on washing my hoody, houdini and shorts in the hotel bathtub an letting them dry out overnight before flying out, but I do want fresh underwear and socks.
Everything together. If I remember, I'll take a picture of it all in the packs and append it here.Sep 28, 2010 at 4:36 pm #1649713
a few things i'd easily ditch:
all navigation implements (TH map, compass, brunton) except for the trailview map.
make sure you have water capacity for the drier east side (especially the tahoe city to gray lake, ophir creek to spooner hauls). avoid the drop to marlette if you can.
you can at echo (park in upper lot, i assume the lot is open in october), go clockwise with resupply in tahoe city, then tramway market near heavenly (not ideal but beats carrying more food), then back to echo.
this is an easy 8 day hike (20 odd mpd). do the side hikes to mt. tallac summit and cristopher's loop.
just be ready for anything from hot to snow! check the forecasts right before you head out. it's crazy hot here right now!
have a great time!Oct 4, 2010 at 2:14 pm #1651390
Let us know how it worked out for you. I finished the trail the day you started and as I was coming down to Kingsbury Grade the thunderstorm was starting. Looks like a wet and wild week for you. Good luck!Oct 4, 2010 at 3:38 pm #1651423
Eric LundquistBPL Member
@cobbermanLocale: Northern Colorado
Sounds like James will be able to test what gear is really necessary on this trip. We've had two nights of rain (Saturday/Sunday) here in Reno with thunder and lighting as well. Some snow showed up last night up on Mt. Rose at ~10,700'. Local forecast calls for rain here the rest of the week also.Oct 11, 2010 at 4:37 pm #1653504
Mark HudsonBPL Member
@vesteroidLocale: Eastern Sierras
I was doing echo lakes to bayview that day on the pct (then to bayview trail) and got hammered by the rain on d i c k ' s pass. the lightning and hail were kicking it. the trail quickly flooded and pools formed in all the low lying areas. Lets just say those last 8 miles out were fun.
Hope you got through safe and dry.Oct 15, 2010 at 3:19 pm #1654968
The weather ended up blowing up my thru-hike plans. I pushed back my start one day because of thunderstorm, 45mph gusts forecast for my 1st night at Star Lake. I ended up spending my first two nights in the rain, the 2nd in a lightning and hail storm at Susie Lake. Tried to make it over Dicks Pass on Wednesday 10/6 but got turned back by knee deep snow drifts near the top. The trip ended up being split into separate 2 night, 3 days expeditions, Part 1 from Kingsbury South to just below Dicks Pass and back via Glen Alpine, and Part 2 from Kingsbury North to 3 miles past Tahoe Meadows and back.
I hope to make time to write up a proper trip report this weekend, but as far as gear-related issues, I learned:
– The MYOG Mountain Poncho I made converting a Golite Poncho Tarp was absolutely ideal for the conditions; breezy, on and off precipitation, 30-50*F. Being able to slip it on and off as needed,(hanging in on the pack when not in use, as described in the article) was perfect. No need to take off my pack as with a regular rain jacket. For the conditions, it ventilated well-enough that I didn't overheat, even climbing. No worse that Gore-Tex, at least. Above 50*F, I had trouble with sweating due to the non-breathable silnylon and reverted to my wind jacket. A great cold weather piece.
-This was my first bad weather tarp use, and I made it through okay, due to the large size of the tarp. It rained all night my first night, and rained almost all night for the 2nd, with one intense 5-10 minute hail storm, and I stayed dry. I used a bivy, but I didn’t need to, as I found no splashing at any point, even in the worst of the winds and rain. And mid-to-low thirties plus precipitation made for a condensation party inside the bivy. I was mainly using the bivy against drafts, but the Nunatak quilt fits me well enough draftiness wasn’t really an issue,(it was a psychological thing) and I got a damp bag in the morning for my efforts.
-Speaking of precipitation and condensation, for a future trip where these conditions are possible, I plan on using a synthetic quilt for the safety factor. Fortunately after the damp night it got sunny and breezy enough I was able to dry out the quilt in the kangaroo mesh pocket of my pack, but if it had still been raining, I probably would have suffered some loft loss after having to carry it in the pack liner all day.
-I ended up bringing the Nunatak Arc AT as a temp-boosting liner for my Specialist, and slept comfortably down to 41*F and rain the first night in my just BPL Cocoon hoody and the Arc AT. Good to know for future trips.
-I really like the LT4’s for the weight. My old poles were 8oz/pole Black Diamonds, and while light, I would start to feel the weight in my hands after about 12 miles. I never notice the LT4’s, however long I hiked, and I could pick them up and jog downhill parts of the trail when I felt like it. However, for the 2nd time, the expander locking mechanism on one of the poles failed. I believe it was due to water getting in the shaft. It would get tight but not lock, and collapse when I put most of my weight on it. Fine for going uphill, not usable for going down.
-The Starlite was way too big, but served me well. I just let my insulation fill as much of the space as possible. With my torso-sized CCF in the pad pocket, I was able to leave the stays at home and carry 26 pounds max in pretty good comfort.
-I’m glad I brought the MSR Windpro and not an alcohol stove. Also glad it was a remote canister stove. On a 32* morning, I watched the flame jump from moderate to full bore when I turned the canister upside-down. Couldn’t do that with a Pocket Rocket.
-The switch from the Frontier Pro to Aqua Mira drops went seamlessly, and I don’t see myself switching back soon. Also happy with the switch from hydration tube to just keeping the bottle accessible in the bottle pocket. I like that fact that the drops can’t break, the way I cracked my Frontier Pro carelessly putting my pack down. The bottles could leak, I suppose, but this trip made me look at my gear list with an eye towards minimizing potential points of failure, and I think the drops and a step above the filter in that regard.
-I really like using the Perpetuem as a calorie source during the day. I had never use powdered foods before, and I believe it helped me in making new personal mileage records. (24 miles on day one; 25.5 day five, and 36 on day 6) I don’t like stopping to eat when I hike. I just don’t get hungry and I like to keep going, stopping only when I feel like taking in a view. In the past, my legs would go zombie on my around mile 13. Not sore exactly, just dead. That never happened on this trip, possibly because I was taking in fuel the whole day instead of being undernourished. That said, I need to figure out a better way of transporting the powder. I carried a one day supply in separate ziplocks, and made a funnel out of duct tape along with the supplied scoop to put it in my wide mouth gatorade bottle. But the stuff is like flour. It gets everywhere, and when it gets damp, it turns into a super glue-like paste all over my hands. Stuff in my aloksak was sticking together, and mixing in the rain was not fun. I’ll probably have to bite the bullet and buy the individual serving packets for the extra money but easier mixing.
-I’m done with Easton aluminum stakes. I know plenty of people use them without issues, but I pop the heads off without much effort. This time I popped I head off just trying to pull it out of damp ground. If I have to be that careful, it’s not worth it. It’s either Ti nail stakes or MSR Ground Hogs at the ridgelines for me from now on.
-I need to get a good pillow. It’s just not an option any more. I don’t sleep well without one. Gonna have to give someone Bender’s website address for my Christmas list.
-I’m torn between ‘roughing’ it with my Ridgerest, going back to my small NeoAir, or trading the small NeoAir for a a regular at a weight penalty. Sleep is important, after all. My main reason for going with the Ridgerest for this trip is that an inflatable mat is a potential point of failure should it develop a leak. And I’m getting better at sleeping on the Ridgerest. I just need that pillow.
That’s all I can think of for now. I’ll follow-up if I think of anything else, and try to get a trip report up this weekend.Oct 15, 2010 at 3:51 pm #1654972
Tony WongBPL Member
@valsharLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Sounds like you had a bit of an adventure with the weather.
Sorry that you were not able to finish, but the trail will be there next year.
Looking forward to reading more on your official trip report.
Glad that you made it back okay and are safe.
-TonyOct 15, 2010 at 4:08 pm #1654977
Rick DreherBPL Member
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
I'm certain you don't want to hear any "you shoudda been here this week" comments, so I'm not going to. (But, seriously, you…it's been freaking hot here all week.)
Quite an adventure and, uh, opportunity to do some extreme gear testing. Thanks for sharing your tale and feedback. We all learn something from these accounts.
After two seasons and 30+ nights I'm ready to declare the NeoAir trail-ready. Simple foam pads just don't do it for me any longer and self-inflaters are pretty heavy and bulky. There are plenty of NeoAir leakage anecdotes so I know my experience is not everybody's, but it's simply the most comfortable night's sleep there is, short of a hammock.
RickOct 18, 2010 at 1:30 am #1655520
@pittsburghLocale: Bay Area
I hope you had a great time on your hike! I was just on the TRT not too long ago, I live fairly close to it. You will love it if you haven't been before, and the views of the Lake are stunning in places.
I use a can stove fueled with denatured alcohol. One tip that I found works is when it is very cold, bring along a squat candle, a little bigger than a tea lite depending on how long you'll be out, and use that to warm the alcohol. Just measure out the amount of alcohol you'll need, light the candle and place the can just over the top of the flame for a bit to let the alcohol warm up, then extinguish the candle and use the can stove as you usually would from there. it helps a lot!
How did the trip go?
ps…one thing you could do with your clothes: mail them to yourself at the post office there in Tahoe (or wherever you start/finish). If you mail them c/o "General Delivery" and your name, and date you will be in to pick up the package, all you have to do is stop by and pick 'em up! Cheap too, just send the slowest possible method…as they will "arrive" days before you do. :)
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