Tag: strenuous

Desolation Wilderness: Pyramid Peak May 2014

Hike: Pyramid Peak via Rocky Canyon
Where: Desolation Wilderness
Trailhead: Highway 50 between Twin Bridges and Strawberry
Level: Strenuous
Duration: 7 hours
Length: 6 miles
Gear: Icebreaker Women’s Everyday LS Crewe, Outdoor Research Women’s Helium Hybrid Jacket, REI Sahara Roll-Up Pants – Women’s, MSR Lightning Ascent Women’s Snowshoes 25″, Black Diamond Raven Pro Ice Axe, Arc’teryx Bird Head Toque Beanie, Outdoor Research Longhouse Gloves, Camelbak Aventura Pack, Sierra Designs Tov Down Jacket (not needed), Black Diamond Ultra Distance Trekking Poles – Pair, and Ahnu Sugarpine Waterproof Boot
Cost of Parking: Free off of Highway 50

The boyfriend and I set off this past weekend to conquer Pyramid Peak again, this time in more wintry conditions. Not really sure what to expect, we equipped ourselves with snowshoes and an ice axe. In a worst case scenario, we’d need them. In a best case scenario, we could practice some mountaineering skills and get a good workout in with the additional weight.

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Desolation Wilderness: Mt. Tallac

Hike: Mt. Tallac via Fallen Leaf Lake out and back
Where: Desolation Wilderness
Trailhead: Mt. Tallac off of HW89
Level: Strenuous
Duration: 7 hours and 9 minutes
Length: 9.7 miles out and back
Fitbit Steps: 30,249
Gear: CamelBak Women’s Aventura 100oz Hydration Pack, UNIQLO Heattech leggings, Outdoor Research Women’s Contour Short, Icebreaker Women’s Tech T Lite T-Shirt, Icebreaker Bodyfit 200 Oasis Crew, Ahnu Women’s Montara Waterproof Boot
Parking: Free!

Mt. Tallac is a classic Desolation Wilderness peak providing sweeping views of South Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay. At 9,738′, this hike is a wee bit strenuous. This review covers the most direct and popular route via Fallen Leaf Lake.

Mt. Tallac in Desolation Wilderness Hike Review Mt. Tallac in Desolation Wilderness Hike Review

This hike takes you past Fallen Leaf Lake on your left, Floating Island Lake on your right, and then Cathedral Lake on the left before rapidly gaining elevation on loose gravel. Pictured above are Floating Island Lake and Cathedral Lake respectively.

You can opt to head up all of the switchbacks, or cut to an alternate trail that’s a little shorter, a whole lot steeper, and a ton more slippery. It will save you a bit of time if you’re up for the scramble before rejoining with the main trail.

Mt. Tallac in Desolation Wilderness Hike Review

This route meets up with the Glen Alpine trail junction about .1 miles prior reaching the last bit of scramble.

Mt. Tallac in Desolation Wilderness Hike Review Mt. Tallac in Desolation Wilderness Hike Review Mt. Tallac in Desolation Wilderness Hike Review Mt. Tallac in Desolation Wilderness Hike Review

I super struggled with the altitude on this hike, but decided to push onward since we were only about .25 miles from the top. It was worth it.

Weather for this hike on an October weekend was not too bad. It was absolutely freezing in the morning, but brisk hiking warmed things up pretty quickly. I was worried that it would be cold at the top, but it was fairly warm around 70 degrees. I had an extra Triple Aught Design Flux hoodie and the North Face Venture jacket in my backpack, but could have done without. Also had my Outdoor Research Longhouse gloves and Arc’teryx Bird Toque beanie for the first mile or so, but they weren’t absolutely necessary.

Rattlesnake Mountain: Rattlesnake Ledge and East Peak

Hike: Rattlesnake Ledge to East Peak and back
Where: Rattlesnake Lake
Level: Strenuous
Duration: 3 hours and 58 minutes roundtrip
Length: 1.9 miles up to Rattlesnake Ledge, 2.4 miles from Rattlesnake Ledge to East Peak, one way.
Fitbit Steps: Approximately 27,000
Gear:
CamelBak Aventura Hydration Pack
,
REI Sahara Convertible Pants
,
Ahnu Women’s Montara Waterproof Boot
,
ExOfficio BugsAway Adventure Hat
, UNIQLO Airism men’s v-neck (check out my review of this here)
Cost of Parking: Free!

Rattlesnake Ledge is a fun, short little hike with an elevation gain of 1,175 feet in a short 1.9 miles. The huffing and puffing all the way to the top is worth it though. The views of Rattlesnake Lake, Mt. Si, and the surrounding greenery is unbeatable.

The trail consists of steep switchbacks under the shady cover of tall evergreens. Even on hot days, the hike is not unbearable.

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