Tahoe Rim Trail Prep

18 Oct

As we get down to the last few days before we take off on Sunday, I just wanted to post a few more details about our next trail, the Tahoe Rim Trail.  It is approximately 170 mile loop around Lake Tahoe, making it one of the few long distance trails that is a loop trail.  The peak season to hike is between mid-July and mid-October, so we are just passed the peak and are keeping our fingers crossed for continued good weather.   The temperatures are supposed to be upper 50s to low 60s during the day and around 30F at night. and word is that there hasn’t been any big snow as of yet.  We have packed plenty of cold weather gear to keep us as toasty as possible since neither of us thrive in freezing temperatures.

Why the Tahoe Rim Trail in particular?  Well we chose this trail for a few reasons.  First of all, it is a loop which makes logistics easier since we don’t have to figure out rides to and from the trail.  Second, Emily only has two weeks off from her current travel assignment, so we were looking for a trail that we could conceivably thru-hike during that time period.  Most people do the TRT in about 10-14 days, which made it a good fit.  Lastly, about 55 miles of the Tahoe Rim Trail is on the Pacific Crest Trail, so we will get our first taste of what is to come in April.

One of the main challenges to this trail is the altitude.   The trail ranges from about 6,200 ft to 10,400 feet in elevation.  Adapting to decreased levels of oxygen is going to be a challenge, but we have decided to try a few techniques to give us a leg up since we are both coming from sea level.  A few studies have shown that taking gingko biloba several days before and then while you are at altitude can decrease likelihood of Acute Mountain Sickness.  In addition, iron supplements increase oxygen carrying capacity, especially for Emily and I who are probably both anemic at baseline.   The last approach I am taking is using the “altitude chamber” they have at my gym.   It is my first experience with one of these and it is basically a small chamber with an elliptical and a treadmill inside that simulates the oxygen deprivation and pressure of 9,000ft elevation.  I have been doing my full workouts there 2-3 times a week the past few weeks to get my body used to it.  I have had Acute Mountain Sickness a couple times in my life and hoping that my workouts at elevation will help decrease my chances of getting it again.

While our initial intentions for the trip were to try out our new gear and get in shape, life has thrown us many curveballs as of late (to Emily in particular).  While we will still  keep these goals in mind, to me this trip has become more about renewing our commitment to each other as a team and spending time with my “sister” in the place we love to be most- the back country.  Life can get incredibly difficult and complicated and it is important to remember the simple joy of putting one foot in front of other.  Even if we are huffing and puffing as we do it!



One Response to “Tahoe Rim Trail Prep”

  1. Jim Wentzel October 18, 2013 at 7:31 am #

    I loved the last two lines of this post (and the rest of it too of course). That’s just good perspective.

    Best of luck to you both, and I am delighted that Team LuckyCarrot has reunited for more trail capers. Huzzah!

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