~ LAKE TAHOE Vacation Activity Planner~
Extreme & Fun Things To Do

It's A Peak Experience!
Located 200 miles east of San Francisco and 45 miles west of Reno, the Lake Tahoe Basin abounds with year round mountain sports. The Tahoe region hosts one of the most diverse ranges of climbing in the US. You will find everything from well protected sport routes to alpine classics all within an hours drive.
1. TECH TIPs by Pete Tekada
Stuffing the pig -- efficient haulbag packing

2. TECH TIPs by Jeff Jackson
Smooth operator -- kitting up for efficient bolting
3. TECH TIPs by Dave Sheldon
Ski like a pro on your approach skis make a shin strap
CLIMB.TAHOE~Boating On Lake Tahoe
Wild Things To Do!
1. TECH TIPs by Pete Tekada
Stuffing the pig -- efficient haulbag packing

Nothing is simple on a big-wall climb. Take packing the haulbag. Throw stuff in willy-nilly and you'll find your rain gear at the bottom of the haulbag -- after you're soaked and frozen by a sudden squall. Or how about when you pull out that last gallon of sweet water only to discover the bottle dry as the Sahara -- drained through a hole scraped while hauling the last pitch. Good packing, like good anchor equalizing, will be rewarded. Though the climb might toss your brain into anxious gyrations, your food, water, and clothes will remain intact and readily available. Packing right is packing to win. Here's how. Start with an inventory. Assemble your food and water along with sleeping gear, clothes, and all those miscellaneous odds and ends. Now decide if you need one or two haulbags. The idea is to pack your bag full, but not cram pack it like sardines in a can. Stuff your bags too full and it'll be hard to access the contents. Loosely stuff your bags and everything will be within ready reach, and packing and repacking at those hanging stances will be a snap. On big nail-ups that take a week or longer you'll need multiple haulbags to carry all of your supplies. In this case, organize your gear and supplies so the stuff you'll need the first week is in one bag, and store overflow for the subsequent days or weeks in the other bag. Finally, consider hauling a daypack or small (1500 cubic inches or so) haulbag. In this you can place your daily supplies, where they'll remain accessible, saving you the hassle of rooting around in the big pig for that stick of lip balm. To pack a haulbag, first line it with a closed-cell foam pad. If the haulbag has removable waist and shoulder straps (any haulbag worth its salt will have this feature), put them in the bottom where they'll be out of the way and unlikely to be dropped down the wall. Now, package some food you won't need for a couple of days in a tough stuff sack, and place this in the bottom of the bag. Do the same with the bulk of your water. The key to proper packing is to place hard items such as canned food and water bottles in the center of the haulbag and surround them with soft goods, like spare clothing. The soft goods will act as a cushion, both protecting your valuable stores and preventing them from pressing against the haulbag fabric and wearing a hole through it. Next comes your bivy gear, such as sleeping bags and remaining extra clothes. On top of this gear pack your daily food and water, taking care, as usual, to pad any hard items. Also pack miscellaneous items -- lunch, snacks, camera, headlamp, etc. -- but keep them separated and organized in sturdy stuff sacks with bombproof clip-in loops. Rain gear always rides topmost, ready for instant access. Deal with extra climbing hardware in one of two ways. Either clip it (use two carabiners with gates reversed) to a strap on the bottom of the haulbag, where it can dangle and not take up space in the haulbag, or put it in the haulbag near the top, where it will be a bit more difficult to access, but safely stowed. Once your haulbag is packed, run your hand around the outside feeling for hard spots. If you find one, snake you hand inside the bag and either pad or bury the offending object more deeply. Better to spend time eliminating such abrasive hot spots now than to watch your precious cargo spill down the wall, courtesy of a hole worn by hasty packing. On a big wall your food, water, and bivy gear are life. Treat them as such by packing carefully. Pad hard goods with spare clothing and keep emergency items including rain gear, headlamp, and first-aid kit on top.


2. TECH TIPs by Jeff Jackson
Smooth operator -- kitting up for efficient bolting

Bolting is good for you. Lifting the drill and drilling holes develops muscles as well as crags. You're eager to do both. Problem is that up until now you've only wielded power tools at home and you're leery of the complications that are sure to arise when you are swinging around on a rope. How do you avoid blunders? The art of drilling is efficiency. It's hard to stay organized when you're standing on a sketchy hook. Rappel bolting can be just as clustered. All the gear dragging against your waist and shoulders would wear out a burro, and the slower you go the longer you have to carry all that crap. Getting your kit organized is the first step in developing the efficiency you'll need to get the bolts in quickly and properly.

* Helmet and safety glasses (old sunglasses are a cheap alternative)
* Two half-inch SDS drill bits.
* Two-foot length of 3/8-inch plastic tubing (for blowing rock dust out of holes)
* Hammer and sling.
* Fifteen 1/2-inch by 3.5-inch Rawl five-piece bolts, Fixe wedge bolts, or similar.
* Thirteen regular bolt hangers
* Two bolt hangers made specially for lowering stations.
* One 9/16-inch ratchet.
* One 9/16-inch backup wrench.
* Large chalkbag.
Packing. Pack your backup wrench at the bottom of the chalkbag along with one of the bits. Assemble the lowering-station bolts and put these two bolts into the bag next. Fit your regular bolts with hangers next and pack these with the hangers facing up. Orienting the bolts this way helps eliminate tangling when you reach in and grab for a bolt. Slot your other bit against one side of the bag so it's ready to fit to the drill when you're at your first stance. Tape a short sling to your ratchet so it can be clipped to your harness. I like to tie the plastic tubing to my harness so it doesn't tangle with the bolts in the bag.
Hammer. Equip your hammer with a shoulder sling and leader of webbing. Make sure your leader is long enough (approximately three feet) to allow you to reach as high as you can to test the rock for placements. Tie a loop in the leader close to the hammer to allow you to clip it tight while you're thrashing about.
Drill. Tether your drill similarly -- a shoulder sling and three-foot leader, with a loop that allows you to clip in tight. The leader should be tied to the handle of the drill, and taped so that it can't slide up and inadvertently fire the trigger. Also make sure it doesn't load the battery or obstruct battery changeovers.
Another tip: On some power drills the battery has a tendency to slide out under the weight of gravity, so use tape to secure the battery before you drill.
Finally, load up. I like to balance the weight by clipping the gear bag and hammer on the opposite side of my harness to the drill. Now you're ready to drill a hole, blow out the dust, pound in your bolt, ratchet it tight ... Clip and go! Two sketchy hooks mean the clock is ticking for our trailblazing friend. Fortunately, he has his bolting system dialed.




Morn Avg.

Aft Avg.

Evng Avg.

January 28º 35º 28º
February 24º 38º 29º
March 27º 29º 32º
April 35º 53º 42º
May 46º 60º 45º
June 48º 70º 51º
July 53º 77º 61º
August 55º 79º 62º
September 46º 71º 57º
October 41º 66º 46º
November 36º 54º 40º
December 31º 40º 23º

3. TECH TIPs by Dave Sheldon
Ski like a pro on your approach skis
make a shin strap

After returning to our packs after a long day of ice climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park, my partner Steve strapped on his snowshoes, looked at my skis, and mockingly said, "Good luck. You're going to need it." "Good luck for what?" I thought, as I watched him descend the steep tree-covered slope. "Heck, on skis I'll blow by him in about two seconds!" Wrong. My plastic mountaineering boots offered no support for turning, and I fell constantly in the chunky snow. When I finally made it back to the car, covered in snow, pine tar, and blood, I had all but abandoned the idea of using skis for backcountry approaches. Don't let this happen to you. Customize your skis with a stabilizing strap that connects from your lower leg to a bracket mounted on the front of the ski. This "shin strap" allows you to lean back and ski on your heels as if you are wearing a pair of supportive downhill ski boots. It will also prevent you from getting pulled over backward by your pack. Face plants are still possible, but by skiing with bent knees and extra weight on the heels, it takes an extremely sudden and surprising jolt to send you over the tips. Here's how you build the brace: * Install a metal .5-inch, two-hole, U-shaped electrical fitting bracket aligned lengthwise to the top of a ski. These are available at any hardware store. Drill the mounting holes approximately fourteen inches in front of the binding. If the ski seems a tad thin at this spot, move the placement back a few inches. Most ski manufacturers recommend drilling with a 4.1mm or 5/32-inch bit. If you have old foam-core skis use a 3.5mm or 1/8-inch bit. When mounting the fitting strap use only screws made for ski bindings and make sure they won't poke through the bottom of the ski (file a few millimeters off the end of each screw if they're too long). Just before mounting the screws, fill the holes with Elmers Wood Cement and screw on the fitting. When in doubt, have a qualified ski technician do the work. * Make the shin strap by wrapping one to two feet of 2-inch tubular webbing above your calf and clip the ends together with a 2-inch Fastex buckle. * Now for the final adjustment. Go into the living room, put on your boots and hop on your skis. Snap on the webbing strap just below the knee. Tie a four-foot-long piece of 6mm accessory cord to the webbing strap (any knot will do), and tie a carabiner to the other end. Clip the biner to the U-shaped fitting and adjust the cord's length so that it goes tight only after you have leaned backward beyond your natural skiing stance (figure 1). Now, when your pack tries to pull you over backward you will be miraculously saved. To prevent the dreaded face plant when skiing in tough conditions, simply lean against the cord and ski on your heels. Thanks to the shin strap, skiing tricky terrain on my approach skis no longer gives me the slimy cold sweat I still get on dates. And what about Steve? Lets just say his days of snowshoe glory are over. The shin strap. This modification will add extra downhill-skiing support to your mountaineering boots.

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