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Events heat up at Squaw

Column by Sam Bauman

There’s a busy weekend at Squaw Valley ahead as the 100-mile Tevis Cup ride, a premier test of endurance horsemanship, passes through the Valley on Saturday.

The Tevis runs from Truckee to Auburn, Calif., a ride of 100 miles and 6,000 feet of vertical. An expected 250 amateur riders from as far away as Japan and Germany will be heading up Squaw’s Mountain Trail from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. For details, call (530) 823-7282.

Also on tap for the weekend is the annual Motorcycle Show and Swap. Plenty of two-wheelers, classic contemporaries will be on hand. The show and swap takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Then there’s the Full Moon evening Hikes at Squaw Saturday and Sunday. This can be an awesome experience as you watch the moon slowly rise over the mountain ranges and Lake Tahoe.

You take the cable car up to High Camp at 8,200 feet. Then there’s a guided hike to Squaw Peak that takes about an hour. It’s an easy walk.

Hikers of all ability levels are welcome, reports Squaw officials. Hikers should meet in the cable car lobby between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. to fill out release forms and pick up $5 cable car tickets. Moonrise is 6:10 Friday, 7:56 on Saturday and 8:38 Sunday.

There are lots of rocks and cinders along the trail so sturdy boots are suggested. Bring water and warm clothing as it gets pretty chilly up at the peak. Dogs must be on leashes. Snacks will be available at the cable car base. Details, (530) 583-6985.

Meanwhile, Heavenly continues its evening hikes along the trail at the base of the top of the tram. No word if there will be special full moon treks, but you could call (530) 586-7000.

EMIGRANT TRAIL HIKE AHEAD

One of the most interesting hikes around Tahoe will be staged Aug. 22-23 at Kirkwood Ski Resort off State Route 88. It’s the annual Emigrant Trail trek and features history on the hoof from knowledgeable docents.

This is a marvelous hike and starts from the base of chair No. 4, which serves Kirkwood’s back basin. If you’re familiar with the runs there in winter, the trail in summer will be a wonderful surprise.

The trail was cut by members of the Mormon Battalion shortly after the end of the Mexican-American War in 1858. The Mormons were returning to Salt Lake City and cut this trail en route.

The area is rich in history. Tragedy Spring, some 8 miles west of the 9,100-foot crest, was the scene of a triple slaying of three scouts sent ahead by the Mormons. No one was ever convicted of the murders.

It was also the highest pass used by pioneers’ wagons and ’49ers heading west. You’ll see traces of the pioneers, rust from the iron wheels of their wagons still on rocks.

Actually, you won’t hike up the precise trail. In the years since the emigration, trees have grown up on the actual trail. But you’ll slip in and out of the original route. You’ll see signs encrusted with bark pointing the way to the “Emigrant Road.”

Of course, the early pioneers didn’t have Kirkwood’s roads to get to the base of Needle Peak. Instead they started down where Caples Lake is now. So if you want to recreate the whole leg of the trek, you might want to start there.

Details have not been announced, but you can check at (209) 258-6000.

Kirkwood, incidentally, is one of the many resorts around the lake putting in new ski lifts. Kirkwood’s will be a fixed quad starting out just outside of the new $10 million lodge. Why a fixed chair? Probably because the folks there don’t relish the idea of putting too many skiers on a slope at a time. Smart.

SAIL AWAY!

If you’ve ever wanted to try sailing but were afraid of all the complexities involved, there’s a new kind of boat around Lake Tahoe that makes it easy as matching blue to blue. We’ll be giving the new sailing system a try in the next week or so and will report. But basically, it’s just a matter of matching the sail’s boom to the color indicated by a wind vane. No need to know about pointing, reaching or running.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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