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Introduction to Backpacking in the High Sierra

Clair Tappaan Lodge
Event organized by Clair Tappaan Lodge

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The Trip
If you are a strong day hiker who wants to try backpacking, this is the trip for you! Our trip is based at the Clair Tappaan Lodge, the Sierra Club's own mountain home on a forested hillside near Donner Pass, roughly 35 miles from Lake Tahoe.

We plan to spend the first two nights at the lodge. These days will be filled with backpacking tips on a variety of subjects, including: how and what to load into your pack, how to adjust your pack for greatest comfort, wilderness safety and etiquette, and meal preparation. We will do a "shake-down" day hike, wearing partially loaded backpacks and practicing tent set up. This will also give your body an opportunity to adjust to the altitude.

On the third day, we will distribute group food and gear, and depart on a one-night backpacking trip to a nearby alpine lake, returning the following afternoon to the lodge, where we will spend the night and have a chance to shower. The pristine lake will be cold, but refreshing, particularly after a day's hike with a loaded backpack. The final two nights/three days of our trip will be spent backpacking through pine forests, verdant meadows, and open granite basins while we marvel at views of mountain peaks and lake-filled valleys. We will camp at another alpine lake for the two nights, and enjoy a day hike from our camp on the second day before returning to the lodge, where a trip-end shower awaits.