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| | |-+  June 21, 2006 Janine Peak, Tahoe
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Author Topic: June 21, 2006 Janine Peak, Tahoe  (Read 1560 times)

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June 21, 2006 Janine Peak, Tahoe
« on: 06/23/06, 07:25 PM »

With a 3:30 pm trailhead start near Emerald Bay on Lake Tahoe, we weren't highly optimistic that we were going to get in any turns.  But one afternoon was all the time I could get on a quick trip to Reno to help sell the old family home. My buddy Jim and I were happy just be out hiking in the incredible scenery of the Desolation Wilderness with our skis on our backs in perfect weather.  The hikers we met on the trail thought that we were such whack jobs that they either avoided eye contact out of fear that we were crazy and might want to talk to them, or they asked us to pose for a photo.

We missed the large sign at the trailhead, because we were engrossed in a conversation and went left when we should have gone right.  This error, naturally, compounded itself with each mile as we ascended the wrong drainage and required a large amount of bushwhacking, searching for creek crossings, talus scrambles, and third classing scrambling on big granite slabs to climb out of the trail-less drainage up to the ridge, which could have easily been approached from the drainage to the north on the big, wide backpacker's trail.

We finally put on skis at 9:30 and skinned up Janine Peak (NW of Mt Tallac) in the most gorgeous sunset I have seen in years and got in about 900' vert of excellent turns in the alpen glow.  A great way to celebrate the Solstice!

We quickly changed footwear and rushed down the mountain where we found the big, wide backpacker's trail we should have been on to start with.  "Home free!" I thought while pulling out the headlamp.  Not for long...  Snow drifts obscuring the trail and inaccuracies in Jim's "mental topo map" of the area led us astray for a while (including an unnecessary side trip up South Maggie's Peak in the dark) before we found the trail again.

We got back to the car at 11:00 pm feeling immensely satisfied.
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