Rubicon Peak, 9,183 feet

7 Sep 2006 - by Debbie Bulger

Unlike Caesar, when I crossed the Rubicon, I didn't change the course of history. Well, I didn't exactly cross the Rubicon; I climbed it. Finally.

I was supposed to climb this Tahoe peak over 20 years ago when I was on a ski trip to Ludlow Hut. Unfortunately, we ran out of time.

Since Richard Stover and I had to be in Truckee on business, now was our chance. Rubicon Peak's craggy summit can be seen from Highway 89 towering over Meeks Bay and Rubicon Bay. A use trail which begins as a dirt road ascends from a housing development and climbs the ridge south of Lonely Gulch. For most of the way the peak is hidden in the mixed pine/fir forest. Higher up the trail steepens and there are ducks and a few laminated signs pointing the way. In all there is a 2300' elevation gain over the two-mile ascent.

The summit is moderate third class with more difficult options for those who crave more thrills. We took the easier south-facing route, but Richard chose not to walk on the exposed final ridge after climbing the more difficult but less exposed part lower down.

A fine view of Lake Tahoe can be had from the summit.

On the way back, we took our time and spent more than an hour watching and photographing red-breasted and white-breasted nuthatches raiding the sugar pine cones and feasting on invertebrates on the white fir trees. There were also mountain chickadees and juncos.

Veni, vidi, vici. (Look it up if you've not taken Latin in school.)

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