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Ryan and I were heading back home from our short stay in Reno. Today's plan called for a 12 mile hike to two relatively easy OGUL peaks on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. He wasn't too thrilled with the distances involved, but he didn't seem to have any trouble doing the hike either.
Up early, we drove through Carson City then west on US50 to Spooner Summit where we arrived shortly before 6:30a. The sun had already been up for some time and it looked to foretell a beautiful day. There was some construction going on at the trailhead on the south side of the highway, but there was a short detour available that was well signed.
Though long, the hike south along the TRT (Tahoe Rim Trail) is pleasantly graded and fairly relaxing. It roughly follows the indistinct ridgeline up from the highway through forest initially devoid of views. Shortly after the three mile mark one gets a first view of Lake Tahoe through an open meadow in the forest. A mile later the trail breaks out of the forest for a long stretch with superb views of the lake and surrounding mountains. We paused at the first rocky outcrop to take a break and take in the views.
Continuing on, Genoa Peak comes into view as a pyramid-shaped peak in the background. At mile five there is an overlook called, appropriately, Lake View, with a carved log bench to rest on. For the last mile the trail moves back into the forest and one needs to look for the appropriate junction to leave the TRT and head for the peak. There were rocks piled on a stump to mark this spot when we were there, but a careful reading of the topo map should make the location to turn off more obvious. A short use trail connects the TRT with the service road going to Genoa Peak and it's communications antennae. The road ends just below the summit, the last bit a short, steep scramble. It was 9:30a before we reached the top, a leisurely 3hrs to cover the six miles.
There was a benchmark but no register that we could find anywhere amongst the many rocks about the summit area. We carefully stepped over pipes and equipment, peering under buildings and in crevasses, but found no evidence of a register. There is a fine view of the Carson Valley from the northeast to the southeast along with the view to Lake Tahoe and Desolation Wilderness at the southwest corner.
Our return was via the same route, with a last stop between miles two and three to climb Duane Bliss Peak. Ryan declined to join me for this second short, but steep climb, so I left him in the forest to fend for himself while I ran off to tag the other summit. Though no use trail could be found, the cross-country is pretty easy up the west and southwest slopes of the peak. I found a fairly recent register less than a year old in a glass jar wrapped in duct tape at the highpoint. It had been placed by the Dynamic Duo of MacLeod and Lilley the previous August. More than fifty years they have been roaming the peaks of California and the Western US. This register was particularly interesting because it is the most recent entry I've yet to find from the two. I added my own name to the last page, replaced it, and shot back down the mountain. It took only ten minutes to return to Ryan, 30 minutes in total since I had left him.
Finding our way to the TRT, it took almost an hour to return to the highway and Spooner Summit. We called Mom from South Lake Tahoe to let her know when we'd be home, then picked up our Frappuccino treats from the nearby Starbucks. To Ryan's mind, that alone made the hike worthwhile. If pressed, he might also agree that the views of the lake were pretty good too.
For more information see these SummitPost pages: Genoa Peak - Duane Bliss Peak
This page last updated: Mon Aug 3 17:17:43 2009
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