Truckee, CA Training Camp

August 2000

Deb, Jon and I just recently returned from a pretty spectacular training camp in Northern California. We were at the top of Donner Summit, Truckee CA about 15 miles from Lake Tahoe. The reason that we went there was for altitude training. Where we lived, it was roughly 7000 feet and we often reached 9000 in our hikes. A side benefit of training there is the weather. It rarely gets cloudy and each day is pretty spectacular. Not too warm during the days, it gets down to the low fifties and forties every night. It is a welcome relief from the humid warm days in the East. Although, I must admit I missed the rain. Since it is so dry out there it gets very dusty. Everything gets very dirty, very quickly - especially 18 month old kids.

As nice as it is in the summer in the Truckee area the winters are the exact opposite. We have problems with too little snow here in the east but there the problem is too much snow. Often the snow pack reaches twenty feet deep. Snow blowers on the plows are a requirement. Even though the temperatures would get to the low nineties during the day there were still snow spots on the North facing slopes.

Donner pass is named after the infamous Donner Party. They were a group of emigrants that were attempting to reach Sacremento, CA and got caught in the pass by a early snow storm. What came next was one of the hardest winters ever seen in that region, and to make a long story short they had to turn to cannibalism to survive. Deb, Jon and I despite being hungry at times managed to live quite well off the food that we purchased at the restaurants and the stores in the area.

Our training days consisted mainly of basic endurance and long over distance workouts. Our training consisted of mountain biking, running, hiking, rollerskiing, weight lifting and two orienteering races. I had fun in the orienteering races, and would have found all of the points except for the detour when I was chasing the sasquatch. One of the women on the team saw a mountain lion while she was hiking. I saw a squirrel. One of the workouts was a five and a half hour run/hike that took us along the pacific crest trail.

Tahoe is a really nice place and if you ever get a chance to go there it offers some excellent training.