One thing I definitely did not consider was that being the long weekend, EVERYBODY WAS OUT TOO! Looking through Booking.com told me there wasn't really any hostels I could stay in and the cheapest place was going to be at least 150usd and that was at a neighbouring town instead of near the trailhead!! Well being the epic cheapskate I was, I decided to just sleep in the back of the car. How bad could it be after all. So I went to a Starbucks to charge my devices and searched for a suitable place where I could park overnight. I ended up deciding to just park at the open air carpark of Harrahs casino. It was lighted and there was no parking fee either. I guess to cater to all the gamblers who might not be staying in the hotel but just there to play. Accomodation settled! Sort of anyway. Owards to the next matter, actual information on what I would be hiking.
A quick browse of the different reviews on the trail, one of the things that stood out to me was the number of people talking about having enough water. I frequently saw 3-4 L coming up as the recommended amount. As such I dropped by a supermarket on the way and picked up a gallon(3.8L) jug of water, a quart (950ml) of isotonic drink and some snacks to munch on. Ended up with a pack that weighs about 7 kilos.
Before actually going, I had actually mentioned my upcoming trip to a Bestbuy employee. He had helped me when I was purchasing a camera to replace my stolen one( Lost my canon EOSM with 17-40mm F4 :'( while in Tulum, Mexico). He mentioned that there was a place called Bonsai Rock at the lake which had great photos during sunrise and sunset. As such I made a brief stop there to as it did not really require any serious hiking, just a short bit of scrambling, though the path down was pretty steep! Shoes and long pants recommended.
|It really was cold!!! NBCCB freezing.|
|Beach just beside Boathouse on the Pier on Lake Tahoe|
Anyway, after making a short stop by the lake to see the sunrise, it was still freezing so i didn't linger, I headed over to the trailhead to begin my hike!! Everyone seemed to be carrying a lot less than me though. I was beginnig to think i had over prepared as most of them had only a bit more than a litre of water whereas I had a monstrous supply! But I have to say there were very many amazing views throughout the hike to the summit! Many a times I would think I had made it just on the spectacular views only to realise it was still a ways more!
All in, it took me 3.5 hours to reach the peak and another 2.5 hours to descend. I ended up only consuming a 1.5L of water. Turns out all those reviews were for water consumption during the summer months and at the cusp of winter, you really don't need that much especially if you're also starting early before the sun is out. Definitely worth the effort though!
After all of the driving and lack of sleep, I also crashed for 14hrs straight the following night... After a hot shower of course!