This was an interesting hike. I left for a nice afternoon hike with my fiance. We left the trailhead at about 1:30pm. The flies and mosquitos were very bad from the start but I reassured her that they would disappear as we hiked higher and out of the forested areas. This was sorta true. However, the mosquitos got worse and worse as we border the creek up the trail. After losing the trail near the creek and then finding it again, she had been bitten several times.
**Let me pause her to explain that my fiance is highly allergic to mosquito bites. The bites swell up into tight little bumps and itch like mad for days. **
She was very disstressed because we had left the deep woods OFF thinking it would not be so densely wooded on the trail up Freel Peak. So we turned back and went back to the rental cabin.
A 4:30pm I grabbed the OFF spray and pleaded to left me return to finish the climb. I got back to the trailhead and left at 4:47pm.
I flew up the hill at a quick pace taking only 20 minutes to pass our turn around point in the marshy area by Trout Creek. My pace slowed considerably on the steep gravel and sandy sections to attain the saddle and the first view of Lake Tahoe. I was worried about daylight on the descent but pressed on. Keeping on the trail was difficult. There were few cairns and unevenly dispersed blue ribbons marking the trees and bushes on the way to the summit.
Reached the top but decided not to ascend the final pitch to the true summit pinnacle as the sun was moving fast to the west. After pausing for pictures in all directions and a quick bite, I left at 7:45pm. By the time I reached the saddle and began descended the steep gravel, I was completely in shadows. There was enough light for the descent... but when I reached the narrow and densely covered trail by the creek... it was very black, slowly my pace downhill. In the past I have broken my tail nails off kicking a rock or root on a high speed darkness descent! Before I reached the car I could look up and see stars. I reached the car at 9:07pm and the cabin at 9:30pm.
I successful hike consider the early defeat by a wall of mosquitos. I had a slower pace then I would have liked on the poorer trail sections. This would be a nice climb in the snow IMHO.
FYI, my fiance survived her bug bites but has about 7-10+ welts and swollen spots.
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