How do you you set out for new adventures or decide what your next challenge will be? For the last 5 years, I’ve been eyeing the distant view of 3 of the 4 highest peaks in the Lake Tahoe Basin and decided hiking these peaks would be my Summer of ‘17 challenge…
Known to locals as the Tahoe Triple Crown, Freel Peak (10,881 feet), Jobs Sister (10,821) and Jobs Peak (10, 633) are a one-day, a 12-mile loop that “bag” 3-of-4 highest peaks in Lake Tahoe. This summer, I set out to achieve this goal, not on my own, but with Pasquale (10) and Nico (8).
How did we accomplish this challenge? EAS – energy, attitude and spirit.
Energy: We prepared our packs with enough Cliff bars, clementines, peanut butter sandwiches and LOTS of water (almost 7 liters!). Attitude: We were able to find the right attitude through our conversations, music and laughter. Spirit: Before each trek to Freel, Job’s Sister or Job’s Peak, we said a prayer and asked for God to watch over our journey, help us embrace His majesty and protect our steps.
How did we conquer our fear of the unknown?
Freel Peak from Armstrong Pass is well-marked and having climbed this route the last 2-years, we breezed through the 5.25 miles, 2700’ elevation gain in 3 hours and 30-minutes. The first of the Tahoe triple crown was “in-the-bag!”
The first steps of the unknown and our journey to Job’s Sister (10,821) began down a sandy slope but a very well traveled 1.25 miles to the peak. The only way to reach Job’s Sister is through Freel Peak or Job’s Peak…there are no other options. This portion of our hike was the easiest and quickest, 41-minutes.
The second of the Tahoe triple crown was “in-the-bag!”
Feeling great and excited to reach Job’s Peak, we started our climb down Job’s Sister…and all of a sudden, we looked over the edge. That is when fear, doubt and worry set in. There was NO TRAIL. There were NO HIKERS. There were 2 OPTIONS: turn back and retrace our steps, or pray for the confidence to take the first step toward Job’s Peak…we knew it was far away, but we didn’t know it would be 2 miles down Job’s Sister, across many snow banks and up a sandy slope to reach the triple crown peak.
At this point in our journey, we found the courage to take one step after another and before each switchback, agreed on the direction we would head. The trek from Job’s Sister to Job’s Peak was the most treacherous. The heat started to become a factor, there was no cloud coverage and minimal trees. Staying properly hydrated was really important and when we crossed a snow patch, the boys found reprieve in the snow, by cooling off their heads, making snow angels or having a snowball fight.
With Job’s Peak in sight, our motto of, “So close, but still so far…” turned from motivation to reality once we reached Job’s Peak…after 6 hours and 30-minutes, the third peak was, “in-the-bag!”
After we signed the logbook and took a short rest break, we knew there was still a lot of terrain to cover…we had to get down Job’s Peak and a walk back to our car parked at the Freel Peak trailhead. After an additional 2-hours, 4 miles and slightly over 2000’ elevation descent, we finally reached our car! Wahoo!!
How was the drive home? Pasquale asked the question, “Mama, what’s our challenge for next year?” Not sure yet, just living the dream of Summer '17!
From one mom to another…today is your day! Make it the best and become the strongest mom you can be.