Monday, September 5, 2016

Mt Tallac Summit Hike

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Ahh, the slow, deep breath that is a holiday weekend. M and I came up to the mountains and I enjoyed a break from the busyness of wrapping up summer. The kids are back in school (that sure snuck up on us!) and soccer season has started. 

Also, I've made a work-related change, recently starting a part-time job in addition to my private practice. I'm feeling really good about my career situation right now. The new job is well-balanced with my life, at least in terms of the number of hours and schedule I'm working. I sketched it all out, with time for exercise calculated in, before I accepted the position, and I know it can work. Now I'm just left to managing any stress from the job, but regular exercise goes a long way to taking care of that!

My eating and exercise are still going really well. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get to a WW meeting this week. But at home my weight is trending down, which feels good. I've had a few moments of feeling sluggish and not wanting to exercise, or like eating junk - but mostly I've been motivated to stay the course. 

This past weekend was my first big indulgence since getting back on the wagon. When we got to town on Friday we stopped at a restaurant for dinner. We shared a salad and then split a cheeseburger (with bacon!) and a margarita pizza for dinner. I also had a few sips of M's wine but skipped the martini I really wanted. I felt good about my choices knowing we were doing a big hike the next day. 

I'll write more about the hike in a minute, but first, the dinner we had after...woah. It was at a nice restaurant and I finally had that martini. And a few glasses of champagne. For an appetizer we had oysters and a scallop ceviche. For my entree I had another appetizer, bay scallops, because I had already decided on dessert. We ordered two, a peach pie with whipped cream and a chocolate tort with chocolate gelato. Holy sweetness! The whole meal was so good! It helped a lot that we had worked our butts of on the trails...

Mt. Tallac is located within Desolation Wilderness, west of Lake Tahoe. We've started the hike before, but never with enough time to actually make it to the summit. 

Near the start
The trailhead is at 6,440 ft elevation and lulls you in with nice views of Fallen Leaf Lake and only a moderate incline. After about a mile-and-a-half we came to Floating Island Lake and then a mile later to Cathedral Lake. After Cathedral Lake the hike went from easy/moderate to hard.

But of course the work is balanced out by the massive beauty of the surrounds, and helped by having a couple Shot Bloks. We took our first break at 4.3 miles, having reached 9,039ft elevation and .7 miles from the summit. I was hungry and had an apple. We'd packed lunches but saved those for the top.

An area called the bowl. Tough going here.
Pristine hiking weather, mid 60's, some clouds and a light breeze
The last mile of the hike was pretty tough! But we plugged along and after 3 hours of hiking and climbing over 3,000ft in elevation, we made it!! My sandwich of roasted turkey, swiss cheese, avocado, arugala on Alvarado flax bread was SO GOOD!!





I took a video at the top. Can you believe the view! 

Lake Tahoe behind us

Sitting on the summit. Thank you legs!
After pictures and eating our sandwiches, and before our muscles seized up, we started the trek down.

Panoramic of Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake
The hike down was almost harder than the hike up, definitely the case for my knees anyway. They were NOT happy. To give you an idea of how much up, up, up and then down, down, down there was, check out the elevation profile from my Garmin. Yikes!


We arrived back at the car a total of 7 hours after our start. We figured we probably spent 30-45 minutes resting, which leaves at least 6 solid hiking hours. 

So now you know why I had such an indulgent dinner. I figured I'd earned it! I'm pretty sure I ate more calories than I burned but that's ok, I have all week to balance it out. I never know how to track meals like that so I entered all my activity and then wiped out those points plus the weekly points I had remaining. I imagine my meal might have been even more than that but, like I said, I have all week to balance it out.

The next day, Sunday, we took it easy. Very easy, including getting a massage, which was painful but in a good way. I ate healthy all day, dinner was grilled swordfish, quinoa with onion and anaheim peppers, roasted brussells sprouts and a salad. Good stuff. I
stayed within my daily points (30), which I plan to do the rest of the week. Ok, I'm off to enjoy another day of not working too hard and avoiding stairs.