My friend Dan must have been looking at maps. He proposes a snow tour up Duane Bliss peak, because he’s never been there. Neither have I – but I haven’t gawked at my maps enough to think of it. It’s good to have map-inclined friends.
I have have hiked the nearby section of the Tahoe Rim Trail in the summer, but it’s totally different in the snow. No trail markers and complex, bumpy terrain. We follow various tracks as long as they go in the right direction. We find groomed snowmobile roads, but we’re thankfully earlier than the traffic.
Up close the peak looks so foreshortened and scrubby that we almost pass it up! It doesn’t feel short climbing up though, especially the steep sun crust at the top. I still manage to find some nice powder pockets on the descent.
Navigating the return trip is just as tricky, and we come out in different places but reasonably close to the trailhead. A fitting end to exploration of mysterious terrain.