2023 Tehipite Valley Challenge Cheat Sheet
We are excited to kick off our 2023 Tehipite Valley treks with you! This spring and fall we’ll be organizing multiple outings running from May through October. On this page, you’ll find important information about logistics, gear prep, meals, and your team.
Please read the following in detail!
On the day of departure, TSX will coordinate transportation from the following meeting points:
Confirmed pickup locations and times:
- Team #1 (May 20 – 25) – 7am REI Dublin; 11am Shaver Lake, CA
- Team #2 (June 3 – 7) – 6.30am The Battery, San Francisco; 11am Shaver Lake, CA
- Team #3 (Sept 30 – Oct 5) – 6.30am REI Dublin, 11am Shaver Lake, CA
- Team #4 (Oct 7 – 12) – 6.30am REI Dublin, 11am Shaver Lake, CA
TSX will also coordinate return transportation to these meeting points when we exit the trail.
On the first day of your TSX experience, we will coordinate transportation from select Bay Area locations listed above. Participants coming from outside the Bay Area, or who choose to drive independently, can convene at our summer cabin headquarters in Shaver Lake, CA (specific address location sent via email). Please plan to arrive in Shaver Lake between 10-11am.
Front country meals: Meals are not provided while in the front country. Our first group meal will be a late lunch on the first day (arrival day) on the trail.
Clean clothes: Please bring a small, separate bag with a clean set of clothes. The clean clothes will remain at the cabin for use after we exit the trail.
Gear and Pack Check
Below is a link to our official Gear Checklist. Please start thinking about gathering your gear and getting prepared. Watch our gear checklist video for tips on selecting and preparing your gear. Remember, keep it simple! Every ounce counts. Packs should weigh between 15-20 lbs. when loaded with personal gear. You should have the capacity to accommodate about 8-12 lbs. of food and miscellaneous group gear, including a bear canister.
Gear we provide: Any major gear requested (backpack, tent, sleeping bag etc.) will be waiting for you at the cabin.
Pack-checks: If you have additional questions or are conflicted about what to bring, please contact us to schedule a 15-minute one-on-one Zoom call to ask last-minute questions before your trek, or join one of our upcoming gear classes and events. We will do a final pack-check for everyone to help lighten the load at the cabin on the day of arrival.
Pro-tips: While this year has been a relatively moderate snow year to date, early-season trips (May through late July) typically have more water on the trail, which means more mosquitoes and multiple wet stream crossings each day. There are three things you can do to help improve your experience on the trail.
First, we strongly encourage you to pre-treat one set of clothing (hat, shirt, pants, socks) with permethrin before departure. You can order permethrin from your local REI or most major outdoor retailers. Watch this video for information about permethrin and how to apply it (there is no need to treat your tent or sleep system).
Second, while there are several alternative bug repellents on the market, we find products using deet to be the most effective for High Sierra mosquitoes. If not your first choice for insect repellent, consider bringing a few ounces for backup.
Third, if you haven’t yet purchased and broken in your hiking shoes, please do so soon. We suggest bringing shoes or boots in which you can be comfortable hiking while wet. Consider footwear with lots of mesh for breathing and for water to escape. For more footwear tips, read our blog post Don’t Get The Blues Hiking In Wet Shoes. Traditional boots are great as well! The most important thing is to bring footwear that is comfortable.
On the Trail
Getting to the trailhead: On the day of arrival, we’ll carpool or caravan to our trailhead near Wishon Reservoir from our Shaver Lake meet-up location. Once there, 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! Altogether, we plan for 2-3 snacks per day. Coffee, tea, and hot drinks will be 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 100% of the trip! Your friends and family can follow us on Instagram or Facebook in order to see pictures we post from all of our trips and get a sense of what your trip is like!
Team effort: Every TSX outing is a team effort. Throughout the trail, we’ll need everyone’s eyes, ears, and voices working together and looking out for one another. Voices of encouragement are important! It’s 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
An early start will get us back to our trailhead before lunch where we will reload cars, and return to the town of Shaver Lake. A final stop for showers at our cabin in Shaver and a hearty group meal in town is optional. If flying out of Fresno on the same day, we suggest scheduling flights for departure no earlier than 4:00pm. Staying one additional night in the Clovis, Fresno or Shaver Lake area is also an option.
We’re in this as a Team
We hope you can join in supporting each other throughout our summer adventures. We have incredibly diverse groups – different ages, backgrounds, 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!
Thank you for deciding to spend a week of your summer with us! We look forward to sharing an experience that can provide inspiration for a lifetime.