The Great Lake Tahoe Charcot-Marie-Tooth Backpacking Adventure of 2005

Dear CMTers,
Welcome to the new year. This email is your invitation to the Great Lake Tahoe Charcot-Marie-Tooth Backpacking Adventure of 2005! Or simply the LTA (Lake Tahoe Adventure).
Now, what is the LTA? An overnight backpacking trip into the Tahoe Area wilderness of California. We’ll start at the Big Meadow Trailhead and wind up and around a pine-blessed ridge to the Big Meadow creek and find a camp near flower-packed Big Meadow. We’ll make camp, hang out, eat a wonderful supper, have a fire, sleep and walk back out after the sun has warmed things up. Only CMTers may come along. I’m familiar with this country. To say the least, it’s breathtaking.

But before we go any further, let’s clear up a few things:
1) people who cannot go on the hike are encouraged to plan other activities in the Lake Tahoe area during the hike. Don’t let the fact that you can’t do the walking keep you from getting out and having some fun. I am willing to help plan some of these things if someone else is willing to be the leader.
2) keep in mind that I will be planning a Yosemite Adventure for CMTers of all abilities at some future date. (3-5 years?)
3) If this hike is successful, there will probably be others.
This will be our basic schedule:
Thursday, June 9

  • Arrive at Lake Tahoe
  • BBQ Dinner for all hikers at a place TBD (6-8 pm)
  • Stay at a hotel or campground of your choice

Friday, June 10

  • Meet at the Big Meadow Trailhead at 9:45 am
  • Begin hike at 10:00
  • Take our time walking 1 mile to camp. We may take all day.
  • Spend the night in the wilderness

Saturday, June 11

  • Walk out around 10:00
  • Head back home

What you can expect from me:
1) complete guidelines for gear and food
2) directions to the trailhead and BBQ Dinner
3) I won’t get us lost. I have around 3,000 miles of hiking experience.
4) I can pick up a total of 5 hikers on Thursday if you arrive at the San Fransisco Airport before 10:00 am and the Sacramento Airport before 2 pm. I can also drive the same hikers back to these airports on Saturday.
5) I will cancel the hike if less than 4 people sign on to join me. The largest group I’ll take is 15 (including me). First come, first served.
6) I may change the route if snow or other conditions render the route unacceptable. I’ll pick something else near Tahoe.
7) I’ll do my best to answer whatever questions you may have.
What I expect from you:
1) to sign a standard “hold harmless” agreement stating that you will not hold me or the owners of our email groups in any way responsible for anything that may happen to you during the LTA.
2) to be honest about assessing your ability to do this hike.
3) to provide your own gear (you can borrow most of the stuff you need if you don’t have it. Renting is cheaper than buying as well.)
4) to be ruthless in keeping your pack weight down. I will check over packs during our BBQ Thursday night. If I think your pack is too heavy, be ready to lighten it. Trust me, a light pack is KEY to having a fun hike. Plan to be ugly and smelly. I will be.
5) to have a tenacious, yet gentle, spirit during the LTA. Grouchy people make horrible hikers.
6) to arrange your own lodging for Thursday night in SOUTH Lake Tahoe. You can use the Internet to find plenty of places to stay.
7) to bring your own food and drinks to the BBQ. (I’ll make sure there is a grill to cook with as well as stuff to eat with)
8) it would be a huge help to me if one or two of you have previous hiking experience. Previous experience, though, is not required. We’ll manage.
So, where do we go from here?
I don’t want to fill up the regular email list with stuff about the LTA. If you want to join the hike or have any questions, email me directly at I’ll set up our own email group for this particular event.
Assessing your ability to do this hike:
1) you should be able to walk for three miles on flat terrain in three hours. (speed doesn’t matter – take as many breaks as you want)
2) grab a daypack and put 15 pounds in it (weigh yourself before and after you wear the pack to determine weight) and walk for two miles on flat terrain in two hours.
3) if you can get to a generally flat trail, walk on it and see how it goes. Figure you need to walk two miles on flat terrain to equal 1 mile of mountain hiking.
4) our trail is around 7,500 feet in elevation. If you have breathing problems, take this into consideration.
5) if you have questions, email me and we’ll talk through it.
So anybody want to sign on? The mountains await us. Clean air and gleaming granite. Swaying pines and shooting stars. Again, my email:
Martin McCorkle

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