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Hiking Stats as of 11/14/2018
Total Trips:
Total Distance:
Total Elevation Gain:
 325
 3,891.68 miles
 1,060,050 feet
Kyle and I were back up in South Lake Tahoe, with important business to attend to. Today would be the final walkthru of our new cabin, and so Kyle brought his wife and we met up with our real estate agent around 10 AM to do the walkthru. That went fine, and we got a chance to meet the seller who kindly took us on a tour of the house and showed us where the important things were located and passed along wisdom from his years of ownership. After the walkthru we hung out at the cabin for a while, measuring the yard for the fence we needed to build to keep our dogs safe and generally not wanting to leave. The seller came back to pack up about an hour later, at which point we needed to leave. Kyle and his wife decided to go to the nearby casinos in Stateline, while I decided to bag some peaks before driving back down.

With so much to choose from in the vicinity, I settled on Flagpole and Echo Peaks as my primary objective, tagging a couple of other minor summits along the way, and continuing on to Keiths Dome if time permitted. I made the 10 minute drive from the cabin up to Echo Lakes, where there were a lot of cars for a mid-day Monday, although it was Memorial Day, I would have expected fewer visitors. I walked down to Echo Lake, and started on the trail leading to the east side of the lake. Almost immediately I went off trail to bag a minor highpoint, from which point I decided to just stay up on or near the ridgeline as much as possible as I continued on towards Flagpole Peak. It is not possible to stay on the ridgeline to Flagpole, instead you must stay lower on the western side before heading up the class 2/3 rocks. This was a lot of fun indeed, the kind of hiking I really enjoy. Appropriately enough, I could see a flagpole on top of the peak, not looking too far away, and nothing too challenging in terms of route finding. Barely one hour after starting I was on top of the peak, enjoying great views towards Echo Lake, Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe, and the Desolation Wilderness.

The ridgeline from Flagpole to Echo Peak was laid out in front of me, looking sort of challenging but in reality it was not all that bad. I had to retreat a bit to find a route down, but once off the top of the summit blocks it was easy going for most of the traverse. As I got closer to Echo Peak I could see that there was a little bit of rock travel required, but nothing too challenging. From the top of the easy rocks it was a flat walk up a gentle slope to the summit. The views from Echo Peak were better than Flagpole, from the Desolation Wilderness, to Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay, to the cabin location in South Lake Tahoe. From Echo I continued along the ridge, aiming for another minor bump deemed worthy of the title of a summit on Peakbagger. This was fun because I got to do some snow travel, really the only sustained snow of the day and probably the last of the season.

It had only taken 2 hours to reach Echo Peak, so I decided there was time to head to the west, descending the ridge and going over to tag Keiths Dome. The cross country was easy, and I quickly picked up a use trail that took me all the way back to the official trail leading to near Keiths Dome. I followed the PCT as it wound its way back uphill, offering up some good views of the Echo Lakes below. I broke off from the trail when I reached the slopes of Keiths Dome, going up the easy class 2 rock. Getting to the summit seemed to take longer than it looked like it would, as there were several false summits along the way. But in general the travel was not at all hard, and the slope not steep. It took perhaps 1 1/2 hours to go from Echo Peak to the summit of Keiths Dome. From the summit I had a great view of Emerald Bay, Dicks and Jacks Peaks, and the Desolation Wilderness. I briefly considered going further, heading towards Cragged Crag which was another mile up the trail, but the reality that I had to be at work the next morning got the better of me so I called it a day, and worked my way back down to the PCT, then over to the trail that I had taken earlier along the eastern shores of Echo Lake. In all I was back to the car in under 6 hours, and left having thoroughly enjoying the hike. I'll have to come back for Cracked Crag before too long!

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