Day 5 (May 24): Five Lakes Creek to Squaw Valley ski area

I woke up early and kept going back to sleep in hopes of sun rays to dry my wet, well, everything. The only dry things are my sleeping clothes (socks and long underwear). I was negligent and wore my wool sleeping cap in the rain.

It was a clear morning, but I knew a big storm front was coming in. I wanted to get to Truckee today: a 16.5 mile trek to I80 and then hitching a ride from there.

I heard voices nearby and met Chaucer, Amy and Sarah who had hiked in last night. They had started at Campo (Mexico) in late March, but bounced from Horseshoe Meadow to Echo Lakes to try and avoid the late season snow. Bad luck as they, like me, have been dealing with a lot of it.

They asked me if I was the one hiking before them, leaving the nice footsteps. When I answered “yes”, the said “You’re Duck!!!” It seems my foot pronation is very pronounced and they have been following the path of the person they called Duck. So now I have s trail name!

They were quite excited to meet me and thanked me for making their trail easier. It’s kind of funny that I had a trail name days before I knew it.

We decided to get to Truckee together. It started out with a snow-free uphill with nice meadows and streams.

But before long we hit the snow fields…

We climbed to the ridge that is the backside of Squaw Valley ski area and found a steep snowfield that we felt was beyond our skills.

We decided the risk too great and so opted to exit at Squaw Valley and catch a ride to Truckee to wait out the storm.

It was a blast glissading down the ski slopes (sorry, no pics), but we worked ourselves to the operating ski lift (yes, it is still ski season at Squaw Valley!). Once at the lift we were informed that we need to get to the other side of the ridge, it’s company policy that only ticket holders can ride the lift up, so we’ll have to hike the 1,000 feet or so to get to the Gondola. Ugh. So up we started

Finally we reached the summit and could see the tram station.

We had a beer and then caught a free ride down on the tram

We then caught a bus into Truckee and checked into the Red Light District Hostel where I got a bunk room all to myself

Tomorrow I will take a Zero ( no miles hiked) as it is supposed to rain heavily. I’ll assess my options and either hike from here or jump up to Sierra City.

Bottom line, I’m safe and warm and dry and showered and well fed. Happy!

Thanks for reading!


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