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Tahoe Rim Trail early October
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Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Tahoe Rim Trail early October on 07/28/2010 13:54:22 MDT Print View

Here's my gearlist for an either 8 or 9 day thru-hike of the TRT October 2 through 10th or 11th. Edit: Average temperatures for October are 62* high/26*low, with the knowledge that I'll generally be camping 1,000'-2000'above lake level, and weather in the Sierra's is changeable any season, let alone on the cusp of winter.


I'm flying in from the East Coast to Reno and taking a shuttle to/from the airport,staying at a hotel 1 night before and after. Unless they let me store my stuff with them(I'll stay at the same hotel both nights), I need to carry a change of clean clothes with me for flight home.

Two things I'm debating; bringing my Duomid instead of the Nano tarp, since the Duomid would provide fully enclosed protection in the event of an early winter storm. And bring my alcohol stove instead of the Windpro. I haven't used the alky stove in cold temperature that much to know if it would be reliable at 35 degrees.

I started thread seeking TRT advice here.

Edited by jrmacd on 07/28/2010 14:04:03 MDT.

Eric Drew

Locale: Sespe Wilderness
Re: Tahoe Rim Trail early October on 07/28/2010 16:29:33 MDT Print View

Great list! Are you going to resupply at a shop in town and where or are you sending a resupply box somewhere?

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Re: Tahoe Rim Trail early October on 07/29/2010 07:22:23 MDT Print View

There's a Save Mart in Tahoe City, (approximately halfway hiking clockwise and a little less than halfway counter-clockwise) that the trail passes very close to. It might practically go through the parking lot, but my National Geographic map isn't that detailed. I went there several times when I lived in CA and visited Tahoe, but I can't recall if they sell Mountain House type freeze dried meals. Hopefully someone else can chime in with that info, or I could call the store. If I had to carry 8 days of dinners@ 4oz a meal, that wouldn't be awful, as I could definitely find all my other food needs at the store. It shouldn't cost me more than 45-60 minutes tops, I figure.

I was skimming a trip report from 2008 and was reminded of the store at Echo Chalet@Upper Echo lakes,(might not be open in October though) and I didn't know there was resupply available at Tahoe Meadows. So at my estimated pace, I might only have to carry 3 days of food at a time.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Tahoe Rim Trail early October on 07/29/2010 11:11:32 MDT Print View


There aren't any stores or opportunities to resupply at Tahoe Meadows.

The parking lot there just has a building with indoor pit toilets and there is a water fountain there.

Tahoe City is really the place for resupply in that area.

Given the spotty water sources from Tahoe City to Tahoe Meadows, you might want to cache some water along the way.

We did that at Brockway Summit and that worked out well for us.

Glad that the photo essay helped you out....exactly what my intent was in creating it. :)

If you have questions about the route that we took, you might want to PM Jeremy, as he was the one who meticulously planned our route, taking in consideration where we would resupply.


Eric Drew

Locale: Sespe Wilderness
Re: Re: Re: Tahoe Rim Trail early October on 07/29/2010 18:14:43 MDT Print View


I'm starting the trail Monday August 2nd. I am starting from Tahoe City... haven't decided if I'm going clockwise or counter clockwise yet. Kinda hoping to run into some PCT stragglers so probably counter clockwise.

Based on Tony's trip report (which is awsome, thanks Tony)I am going to resupply at Echo Lakes Chalet and the Tramway Market at Kingsbury North.

I may leave a water cache at Spooner Summit Trailhead, looks like a long dry spell from spooner lake to Dagget creek. Though the trail is just now clear of snow so I expect lots of water (hopefully).

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: Tahoe Rim Trail early October on 07/29/2010 19:39:52 MDT Print View

So it looks like I should probably bring my 2L platy plus the 1L for those dry stretches. I have no chance to cache anything, as it's fly in, hit the trail, and fly out. I should get my Wilderness Press TRT book tomorrow, and I'm sure that'll have some good info on water sources based on the season as well. Early October all the seasonal stuff will be dried up. Starting at Kingsbury North, I may just hike counterclockwise and get the dry stretch where I'll be carrying to most water out of the way first.

Eric Drew

Locale: Sespe Wilderness
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tahoe Rim Trail early October on 07/30/2010 10:01:13 MDT Print View

James, I don't know if you've bought the TRT Trailview map yet but it is a great resource. It is a profile map that lists all the road crossings and water sources on one side and a plan view map on the other side along with instructions on how to get to the resupply spots at south kingsbury and echo lakes.

I'm bringing 2 1L bottles and a 3L platty, for the dry areas.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tahoe Rim Trail early October on 07/30/2010 13:23:25 MDT Print View

Thanks for the map advice. I've got the National Geographic Tahoe Basin Map, but it's huge and weighs about 3oz. Also, more importantly, I've added up the trail segment distances and I'm only getting 154 miles(including the distance between the two Kingsbury TH's) when it should total out to 168. I suppose I could have made a math error on the calculator, but 14 miles is a lot of miles to miss. I'll have to compare the NG maps distances with those on the TRT website segment maps to figure out where something's gone wrong.

But I think I'll be ordering Trailview map from the TRT Association shop tonight.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Tahoe Rim Trail early October on 07/31/2010 13:39:44 MDT Print View

I'd definitely go with the duomid If I were you. The weather in October can be darn near anything, including a foot or two of snow. If you get rain it will most likely be COLD rain, so a more enclosed shelter would be appreciated. I second the motion on extra water carrying capacity - a lot of streams dry up by October.
I'd go with the windpro stove, as I'd feel more confident in that as an all-conditions stove.
In general that's a great time of year up there - most days are perfect hiking weather, not too warm and not too cold, with brisk mornings and evenings.

Adam Criswell
(macrophyllum) - F

Locale: Northern California
Tahoe Rim Trail early October on 09/12/2010 19:09:37 MDT Print View

I third the extra water suggestion. If you cant cache water at Brockway summit then you have a dry stretch from Watson Lake to Mud lake (~ 25 miles). Mud lake still has water, I just hiked the Brockway to Tahoe meadows section this weekend. The water is not very appealing but with treatment should be fine. Also, if you were planning on camping and water at the campground near Tahoe Meadows, it is closed for reconstruction. So I think your last chance for water is at Snow Pond until Spooner Lake (~ 26 miles). I will be thru hiking in 2 weeks and figuring out the water logistics is my main concern. I am planning on taking 5 L. capacity for the long stretch from Snow pond to Spooner and I will be caching water at Brockway. Other than those 2 stretches I think there is adequate water along the rest of the trail (of course those 2 stretches is about 1/3 of the trail :)) Good luck and happy trails.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Tahoe Rim Trail early October on 09/12/2010 19:43:57 MDT Print View

Thanks for the heads up on the campground near Tahoe Meadows(Mt Rose?) I was actually planning on stopping there. I guess I'll stay somewhere in Tahoe Meadows. My understanding though is that Ophir Creek runs year-round? And that's about 17 miles from Lake Marlette, off the trail a 3 mile round-trip but I've built that in to my daily mileage, and I'm going to spend the night at Marlette campground. I'm also planning on detouring to Gray Lake for the more appealing water.

I'm carrying a 2L platy and a 2L+ platy in addition to the 24oz bottle I'm carrying for my Perpetuem, so I should have plenty of capacity.

Adam Criswell
(macrophyllum) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Tahoe Rim Trail early October on 09/13/2010 07:41:42 MDT Print View

Sounds like you have it figured out. I wasn't sure if Ophir creek was year round. If so, and you dont mind the extra mileage to Marlette then you are golden. I might make that detour too now that I think about it.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re:Tahoe Rim Trail early October on 09/13/2010 11:04:01 MDT Print View

Hi James,

Don't count on anything being open at Echo Lakes. You'll probably have to hitch into South Lake Tahoe or something similar.

FWIW October us "usually" very nice. Although we sometimes get whopping storms, any early snow generally melts off quickly. (Not so true farther south in the high Sierra.) A big challenge is the much shorter days and another is the very dry conditions in years we don't get any early storms (most of them).



Edited by halfturbo on 09/13/2010 11:04:40 MDT.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Tahoe Rim Trail early October updated list on 09/14/2010 19:23:23 MDT Print View

Thanks for the link to the Echo Chalet. I suspected it might not be open after Labor Day. I'm just counting on the pay phone at Upper Echo Lake to check in with family. Know of any other payphones along the route, besides Tahoe City?

I've been changing around my gear list.

I've confirmed through consecutive 20 mile day hike that for that 24 hour stretch I'm going to have to start out with 4+ liters of water, my framless MLD Revolution is not going to cut it with 27lbs of total packweight, even for a few hours. My shoulders were still sore 2 days later after carrying that weight for 5 hours. I'll have to carry my 1lb heavier SMD Starlite so that portion of the trip isn't miserable.

I'm also debating whether or not to ditch my Frontier Pro filter for Aqua Mira drops, which I've never used. Ditching the filter, hydration tube and bleach would save me 3.88oz minus whatever the drops repackaged in mini droppers weighs. Not sure that's worth it. I do have to practice using the Frontier Pro as a gravity filter to refill my Perpetuem bottle. I need to find a 20 oz bottle with a wide mouth that weight under .85oz.

A couple other things I'm still thinking on:

-whether to bring just the powerstretch tights for my lower body at night or to bring my Nunatak Arc AT to boost my Arc Specialist?

-bring my NeoAir short for comfort (+3.5oz)or stick with the short Ridgerest because it's leak-proof?

Here's my meal plan for anyone who's interested. I added a column to estimate my packweight throughout the day based on my food and water.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
TRT early October on 09/14/2010 19:48:56 MDT Print View

Go with the Aqua Mira for your H2O..Water is more abundant on the West side..October(shoulder season)is a tricky and sketchy month for sure--better safe then sorry on the layering systems..There is rain expected this weekend in the Tahoe region-possibly Saturday. Good luck with your hike!! Your gear list looks great and food is spot on...Road crossings mean resupply at a few places...Take advantage of it.

Adam Criswell
(macrophyllum) - F

Locale: Northern California
TRT early October on 09/14/2010 22:51:23 MDT Print View

Just checked out the Nunatuk website for the Arc At, thats pretty sweet for 8 oz.

When I was up near Tahoe meadows last Saturday temps got down to 20. All my water froze... fortunately I didnt have much so my platypus didnt burst. I was in my summerlite in a MLD bivy on a torsolite on top of a 1/8" nightlight and slept ok. Any colder and I would not have been a happy camper.

8 oz. for knowing that you will sleep well is probably worth it but probably not necessary.

I think aqua mira will be fine, I bring a frontier filter just in case I have to drink some nasty pond water and I use both in that case but its overkill Im sure, just makes me feel better.

I guess you really like snickers, mango and chicken rice dinners!

Edited by macrophyllum on 09/14/2010 22:54:52 MDT.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Final-ish TRT gear list with pictures on 09/28/2010 15:58:44 MDT Print View

I sometimes think when I'm looking at a gear list that it'd be nice to actually see what all that gear looks like, not necessarily to ogle, but to visually see now 'much' gear it is. I figured since I was laying it all out this morning in a pre-check, I'd take some pictures.

Still open to any comment or advice. Note that I'm flying in from New York so I have to carry everything, including stuff I'd normally leave in the car or at home like cell phone, change of clothes, much of what's in my wallet, etc.

So, here is the list

Here are some pictures.

Start with what I'm going to carry it all in. The SMD Starlite is probably about 60% more capacity than I need, but of my three packs it's most comfortable for the second half of the trip when I'll be carrying 4-5 liters of water at times. I'm using two hefty trash compactor bags to protect my bag when checked for the plane. I'll probably just ditch the one when I get there (saving one as my bag liner) and by another 5-pack for the flight back.

Food, hydration and cooking. Missing is the fuel caniser I have to buy when I get there. Here's my food list. First 5 days only, clearly.
First Aidditty bag
Personal Items. I know I should make a camera case out of bubble wrap, but I can't get myself comfortable with that. And yes, TP. I'll pack it out.

Electronics, 3 spare batteries + charger for my camera. Figure each battery has 200-230 shots that's over 100 shots per day and maybe some short video. Bought the 8gb card specifically so I could take some video. Spare camera battery in case it accidentally gets turned on at some point.

Maps, compass, Brunton ADC Pro. I justified splurging on the Brunton by telling myself that in order to make wiser gear purchases in the future, I need data on the conditions I'm using my current gear in.


Shelter. BPL Nano tarp + Tigoat bivy. For my flight, my LT4's will be rolled inside the two sleeping mats. The bubble wrap will cover the little bit sticking out, and be used as a pillow.


My Nunatark Arc Specialist and my (old) BPL Cocoon wear. The pants are to supplement the quilt should the temperature drop below 20, unlikely as that is. They're long enough I can pull them down over my feet, which is important as I'll only be wearing thin socks.


My raingear, handwear and spare clothing. I plan on washing my hoody, houdini and shorts in the hotel bathtub an letting them dry out overnight before flying out, but I do want fresh underwear and socks.

in toto

Everything together. If I remember, I'll take a picture of it all in the packs and append it here.

David T
(DaveT) - F
TRT october. on 09/28/2010 17:36:40 MDT Print View

a few things i'd easily ditch:

all navigation implements (TH map, compass, brunton) except for the trailview map.
rain pants.

make sure you have water capacity for the drier east side (especially the tahoe city to gray lake, ophir creek to spooner hauls). avoid the drop to marlette if you can.

you can at echo (park in upper lot, i assume the lot is open in october), go clockwise with resupply in tahoe city, then tramway market near heavenly (not ideal but beats carrying more food), then back to echo.

this is an easy 8 day hike (20 odd mpd). do the side hikes to mt. tallac summit and cristopher's loop.

just be ready for anything from hot to snow! check the forecasts right before you head out. it's crazy hot here right now!

have a great time!

Adam Criswell
(macrophyllum) - F

Locale: Northern California
TRT early October on 10/04/2010 15:14:04 MDT Print View

Hey James,

Let us know how it worked out for you. I finished the trail the day you started and as I was coming down to Kingsbury Grade the thunderstorm was starting. Looks like a wet and wild week for you. Good luck!

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: TRT early October on 10/04/2010 16:38:06 MDT Print View

Sounds like James will be able to test what gear is really necessary on this trip. We've had two nights of rain (Saturday/Sunday) here in Reno with thunder and lighting as well. Some snow showed up last night up on Mt. Rose at ~10,700'. Local forecast calls for rain here the rest of the week also.