I was pumped, plans were all set in motion for me to link up with BCRIDER and friends at the FOY on March 31, 2014. However, just a couple days before I was to leave, I came down with a head cold and cough. I made the difficult decision to bail fearing I would be miserable out there. After pulling out, I figured I had missed this years opportunity to hit the FOY.
Lucky for me, all of the pics I saw from their trip motivated me to make it happen the following weekend. I contacted my buddy Ryan just a few days before and convinced him we should make a run for it. With Ryan being off of work, convincing him was easy.
I picked Ryan up Sunday morning and we made our way from the Bay to Echo Lake with enough time to catch the first boat Taxi of the day. This is a late spring mission so of course we are going to take advantage of the boat taxi. Ryan was pumped since this was going to be his first backpacking trip.
It's typical to have a pretty heavy pack for these types of missions, snowboard, boots, binders and other creature comforts but Ryan had a bit more of a learning curve. Ryan enjoys the finer things in life, like several changes of clothes, home blended smoothies, pounds of rotisserie chicken and pounds of rice (see soft cooler around neck). Luckily I was able to convincer him to use my lightweight tent as appose to his old heavy four season tent. Ryan had the mindset many of us have had that, it doesn't weigh that much. Lots of things that don't weigh much add up to a lot of weight.
Its always fun talking to others on the trail and finding out what they are doing or where they are going. Other than everyone telling us there is no snow and asking why we would want to carry snowboards back that far we met several cool peeps. One of which was Deeboskim and his girl, who were just hiking out from camping and hitting the FOY the previous day. Others that we met were a girl who had started the PCT in Mexico and was headed to Canada on a solo trip. She was hoping to complete it my August. another we met was running with her dog and was completing a 20+ mile run from Emerald Bay to Echo lake where she was going to meet her boyfriend and do another 17 mile run. Turns out she's training for the 165+ mile Tahoe Rim Trail. Thanks to the fold we ran into here that offered to take a shot of us.
Once we made it to the shores of Lake Aloha we picked a sweet spot and setup camp. I was stoked to try out the hammock I had recently purchased. After relaxing for a bit we had to decide if we were going to hang out or go straight to the FOY.
With temps being in the 80's we decided to enjoy the warmth and relax and chill at the lake since we would be spending the next day at the FOY.
Lake shenanigans had us swimming and staying in the water longer than I ever have at Lake Aloha before. I'm not sure if it was just because it was so warm outside or if the the water temps were warmer as well.
If you've never been to Lake Aloha I strongly urge you to take the trip. Everything from the islands of the lake to the Crystal Range towering nearby make it one of my favorite lakes.
After swimming I took my fly rod down below the dam and fished the inlet of Channel Lake. I ended up hooking a couple small brookies and breaking the tip of my rod on this trip (luckily Cabela's is going to exchange it). The story that Ryan would love to tell (and wishes he had pics of) is when I had a showdown with a Marmot.
At the far end of the picture above I had hopped out on to a boulder in the water and was looking around while Ryan fished. I saw a Marmot running above Ryan and pointed it out to him. As I watched the Marmot it came down to a boulder on the shore right next to the boulder I was on. The Marmot was staring at me and getting ready to jump at me on to the rock I was standing on. I tried to shoo him away with no luck. I jumped to the next rock towards the middle of the inlet thinking it would go away. I was wrong, the Marmot jumped onto the rock I had been on and was now growling/hissing at me ready to jump at me again. In my head I begin to think what am I going to do if this thing jumps onto this rock i'm standing on, or onto me. I wonder if this thing is rabid or has some issue. as I go from laughing about it to wondering how i'm going to end this showdown Ryan is finding it hilarious and cant stop laughing. After several minutes of this showdown I jumped my way across the rocks to the opposing shore and watched as the Marmot made its way across the remaining rocks and down the shore. I feel I will continue to hear about the time I would not let the Marmot cross the stream.
That night I enjoyed my dehydrated meals as Ryan dined on his home cooked meals
The next morning we got a bit of a late start since we were slow to get out of bed from the high winds of the night and morning. Once we did we made our way across the dam and headed towards the FOY.
Who needs an infinity pool when you can have an infinity lake..
After scrambling over granite and through unsupportable spring snow we finally made it to the FOY. We wasted no time and skimmed it with our packs and whatever gear we were carrying.
Since Ryan had just sprayed me and my camera I was trying to spray him while we did this doubles run.
We started doing some of the longer skims but were having difficulties keeping our speed up on the suncupped snow. As our runway became more worn in we were able to maintain our speeds better.
However that doesn't mean we didn't get wet.
Had to bring these babies back to their source..
Messed around with some underwater GoPro shots. This is one of Ryan skimming over the camera while it laid on the ponds floor.
Lucky for us on our ride down to the lake the snow was soft enough the suncups were a non issue.
We had a great time at the FOY this year and it was a great way to finish out the meager snow year for the Tahoe area. I can't wait to make it back next year.
BCRIDER, it was great running into you on the way out while you were heading in for your second trip. Next year I'll make it out for sure. You guys killed it BTW. Cant wait to see all the pics!
Post subject: Re: First trip to the Fountain of Youth
Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:57 am
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:41 am Posts: 13
Great writeup! That's funny about it your friend carrying all that extra weight on his first backpacking trip. Sounds just like me and my friends when we first started. Kind of oxymoronic in a way because you're trying to be a tough guy who can handle all the extra weight, but at the same time you're not being so tough by not being able to live without the heavy food and other finer comforts you have to carry.
Also hilarious about that crazy marmot incident! I swear those Marmots in that area are the most comfortable with humans I've ever seen, besides that rabid one you dealt with I guess. I think too many people must be feeding them or at least providing them with food by careless cleanup practices. We had 4 or 5 in our campsite at Waca lake there and they were coming up super close to us.
Sick pics though! Looks like you guys scored and had a good time. I want to get back up there soon if it's still worthwhile.
Post subject: Re: First trip to the Fountain of Youth
Posted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:04 pm
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:20 am Posts: 295 Location: a mile high COLORADO
FOY is epic! no lies, I have some spots here in co with fun water lines but that place looks like heaven. any bigger rocks to jump by that inlet? what time of year is usually best to make it out there? looks so fun I might have to make a dedicated trip of it. ... I said the same thing last year- camping, cliff jumping, AND snowboarding + water= perfect
cometogether, BC would be the best to ask about this but I believe he normally shoots for around Memorial day. By then the water taxi is running which cuts down on a couple of gear hauling miles and enough water has melted to create a decent pond.