2018 Participant Cheat Sheet (Trans-Sierra)


We’re excited to kick-off our 2018 Trans-Sierra Xtreme Challenge treks with you! This summer we’ll be organizing three public outings running from late-July through early-September. On this page you’ll find important information about gear prep, pack-checks, trek logistics, and your team, including updated pickup locations and times. We do our best to coordinate and simplify logistics for each team, with critical masses coming from the Bay Area, Southern California and Central California. Please read the following in detail!


On the day of departure, TSX will coordinate transportation from the following meeting points:

TSX Team #1 (July 26 – Aug 3)

  • Bay Area: REI San Carlos, San Carlos, CA – 10:30am
  • Central California: Clovis Cole Best Western, Clovis, CA – 2:00pm
  • Southern California: REI Northridge, Northridge, CA – 10:30am

TSX Team #2 (August 20 – 28)

  • Bay Area: REI Dublin, Dublin, CA – 10:30am
  • Central California: Clovis Cole Best Western, Clovis, CA – 2:00pm

TSX Team #3 (August 31 – September 8)

  • Southern California: REI Northridge, Northridge, CA – 10:30am
  • Bay Area: REI Dublin, Dublin, CA – 10:30am
  • Central California: Clovis Cole Best Western, Clovis, CA – 2:00pm

Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled meeting time. We suggest coordinating with family, friends or cab/Uber for drop off, since we can’t guarantee the safety of your vehicle.

From the Fresno/Clovis Area, where our Bay Area and Southern California participants will converge, it’s about a 1 hour 15 minute drive to Grant Grove Visitor Center in Kings Canyon National Park where we will stop to pick up permits. From there, it will be another 45 minute drive to the trailhead. Our goal is to make it to the trailhead just before dusk.

Meals are not provided while in transit. Please bring pocket money or pack a meal for an early dinner at Grant Grove Visitor Center. A light snack will be provided at the trailhead after unloading gear and setting up camp. Bay Area and Southern California groups will stop for a brief lunch and to refuel en route.

Any major personal gear you’ve indicated you’d like us to provide (backpack, tent etc.) will be waiting for you at the trailhead.

Important! Please bring a small, separate bag with a clean set of clothes. The clean clothes will travel with return transportation, and greet us on the eastern side of the Sierra as we exit the trail.

Gear and Pack Check

Below is a link to our official TSX Gear Checklist. Please start thinking about gathering your gear and getting prepared now! Our gear checklist video is a MUST-SEE when preparing for this trip. Please watch it for tips on selecting and preparing your gear. Remember, every ounce counts! Packs should weigh between 15-20 lbs when loaded with personal gear. You should have capacity to accommodate about 12-15 lbs of food and miscellaneous group gear.

Trans-Sierra Xtreme Challenge Gear Checklist
Watch MUST-SEE Gear Checklist Video

If you have additional questions or are conflicted on what to bring, please contact us to schedule a 15 minute one-on-one phone call to ask any last minute questions before your trek. We will do a final pack-check for everyone to help lighten the load at the trailhead on the day of departure. All items we remove from your pack will be sent down the mountain with return transportation, and will meet up with you on the eastern side of the Sierra.

On the Trail

The morning we hit the trail we’ll distribute bear cans with group food, and a personalized snack-bag (energy bars, trail mix, dried fruit etc.). These are yours to keep, ration and trade while on the trip. If you want to also bring a few of your favorite snacks from home that is okay; however, don’t go overboard! All together, we plan for 2-3 snacks per day. We’ll have coffee, tea and hot drinks available each morning and most evenings.

Meals: Your guides will be responsible for preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, cooking is a great social activity! Your participation, help and curiosity are always welcome.

Weather: Temperature can vary widely. If you follow our gear checklist, you’ll be well prepared. Generally, you can expect 60-80’s during the day, and mildly cold to freezing evenings. However, it can be hotter, and it can be colder. Afternoon thunderstorms are common.

Staying in touch: If you’d like to bring your phone, okay with us, they are great for pictures! However, there is zero reception for 99% of the trip! The exception is the summit of Mt. Whitney, where you can call, tweet, or text home. If you’d like to keep family and friends abreast of your progress, please have them join our Facebook page. We will be checking in each night via satellite text messaging device and posting our progress and GPS location to Facebook.

Team effort: Every TSX outing is a team effort! Its a long, tough and incredibly rewarding experience. We’re here to help when you need it, and appreciate your positive encouragement and support for others as you’re able to give, and when they need it as well!

Exiting the Trail

Our return transportation will meet us as we exit the trail between 11am and 2pm on the final day of our trek. We will load the vehicles and descend to Lone Pine to shower and share our last group meal. Finally, we’ll head back to our original meeting points. Expect a five to seven hour car ride, and returning to your meeting point between 7-11pm. Bring some pocket money for meals on the drive back.

We’re in this as a Team!

This summer, TSX will be leading several teams across the Sierra. Separately, co-founder Mike Murphy will be leading two similar youth treks in early August.

We hope you can join in supporting each other throughout our summer adventures. We have incredibly diverse groups – different ages, backgrounds, states and countries, and shapes and sizes joining us – but a common goal. If you use social media, please follow us, and join in sharing your experience on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. As you train, prepare, trek and reflect, tag your posts with #tsxchallenge. Like and support other teams and their posts as well… we’re in this together!

Follow us: Facebook: @tsxchallenge // Instagram: @tsx.challenge // Twitter: @mtwhtne

Thank you for deciding to spend a week of your summer with us! We are looking forward to an inspirational summer to remember.