Day 1: Mt Tallac Trailhead to Gilmore Lake

6.5 miles towards the PCT

Liz and I drove up to Fallen Leaf Lake Campground on Saturday to get an early Sunday start. I’ve been wanting to climb Mt Tallac for years and decided to rejoin the PCT near Gilmore Lake at the base of Mt Tallac.

Liz joined me for most of the way up, and even donned met microspikes for the snowfields. Liz is shy, so I cannot post any photos of her.

We saw lots of day hikers going up to bag the summit. We met Melissa and Johnny who were on a training workout: she’s hoping to find a permit to climb Mt Rainer, and he is training to hike the PCT next year!

We did not see much wildlife on the trail but we did see a grouse.

The views were great too!

Liz’s time was running out so we parted. I hope we find a way to meet up before Sept!

After a lot of slow slogging, I was able to get myself up to the summit. I got passed by a lot of people today, but they are just hiking for the day.

Great sights from the top. Stitch these two panorama shots together in your mind for a 360 degree view from the top. This is a great day hike when the snow is less of an issue!

Once on top I saw skiers coming up from the North!

I also saw a view of Gilmore Lake

Huh, it’s still frozen… I wonder if I’m camping on snow tonight?

The trail down to Gilmore Lake was covered in snow and there were no tracks from others hiking this route. I assessed my option: return to South Tahoe and hitchhike to Echo Lakes and start there, or blaze my own trail. The topo maps showed no steep drop offs and I had visibility of the Lake most of the time so I chose to go for it. I post-holed a lot, that’s where the snow is soft and deep and your foot drops down sometimes up to waist deep.

I knew I was getting close to the lake when I found a destroyed bear can. I wonder what the story is behind this…

I made good time coming down and found a few patches of dryish dirt to set up a tent in: tight fit!

But great views!

Clouds are forming and the sun is setting behind them. It’s only 6pm but I’m beat and it is starting to chill down, so off to bed I go. First day a success!

Thanks for reading!

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