I'm going to post the music first, as this is a long entry with pictures throughout. Enjoy this tune by Ellie Goulding. I highly recommend her entire album, Bright Lights. It's gold: Ellie Goulding- Your Biggest Mistake 
Because our last hike wasn't hard enough, Brett and I decided to tackle Mt. Tallac in South Lake Tahoe on Saturday. Not only is the hike 9.5 miles round trip, but it also starts at 6,400 ft above sea level with the peak being 9,735 ft high. Needless to say, this trip kicked our asses.

The drive up to Tahoe was easy. Unfortunately, our directions did not lead us exactly to the trail head. We parked near a trail that looked kind of sketch, so we asked some old dudes passing by in a truck if we were at the right place. The conversation went something like this:

"Hey, can you tell use how to get to the Mt. Tallac (pronounced completely wrong) trail head?"
"Um, yeah, you'll have to walk around that bend up there and walk for a little ways. Then you'll see it."
"Sweet! Thanks!"
"So you guys know it's going to be freaking freezing up there, right?"

Us unfazed in our t-shirts, "Yeah, we'll be okay."
"You know there's going to be snow and ice up there, right? Like, you're probably not going to make it past Cathedral Lake."
"Yeah, don't worry about it. We'll be all right."
Old dude rolling his eyes, "Okay, guys. Whatever. Good luck!"

Determined to disprove the naysayer, Brett and I headed with purpose toward the trail head. We didn't realize it would be a mile just to get to the start. The hike was pretty easy at first and good views were to be found even along the bottom of the mountain ridge.
We were able to go at a good pace all throughout the ridge. Every once in awhile we would stop to look up at the mountain peak and wonder how the hell we were going to make it up there. We kept pushing, though. Before too long, we made it to Cathedral Lake, the place the old dude said we'd probably have to stop at. 
After snapping a couple photos, we said, "Screw those old dudes," and kept on walking. Soon after the lake, the terrain started to get a lot rougher. Trees became scarce, and as a result, the wind really started to hit us. It was in the low 60s at the bottom of the mountain, but as we climbed, the temperature started to drop. The wind didn't help. Because we were moving, we kept warm enough, except for our hands. If you're going to go hiking up a tall mountain, bring gloves! You'll thank me later. The trail got to a point that was all rocks and was so steep we had to crawl on our hands and knees to be able to navigate up it.
The sense of accomplishment from defeating the crazy steep rock hill couldn't really be enjoyed because as soon as we got to the top of it, the wind gave us the biggest slap yet. I couldn't feel my face for a little while after that. We decided it was a good time to find some shelter from the wind and have a quick snack. Although we were tired, we didn't dare rest long for fear of getting too cold. I donned a light jacket, and we trudged along. The rest of the hike was tough but not as hard as the rock hill. It was motivating to see hikers along the way telling us we didn't have much left to go. Everyone we talked to on the mountain was super nice. There's some type of intrinsic camaraderie among hikers. You're all trying to achieve the same goal, so you're all automatically on the same side. It's cool. Anyway, freezing our asses the rest of the way, we finally made it to the top! Thankfully, the rocks up there blocked the wind. We were able to take in the view while enjoying some lunch without getting pummeled. It took us about 2 hours and 45 minutes to reach the peak from the beginning of the trail head. Wish I could laugh in the faces of the old dudes in the truck. To the summit, it was about 4.75 miles distance with an elevation gain from 6,300 ft to 9,735 ft. Tiring as hell, but check out these views:
After taking our share of pictures on the peak, we got the hell out of there. While reaching the summit was awesome, it was freaking cold and windy. The trek down was much easier than up. Once we slid our way down the rock hill, the temperature got noticeably warmer. It was stroll from there in comparison to what we had just done. We reached the bottom of the trail with a total time of 5:30 for the 9.5 mile hike. Not bad! This was by far the most difficult hike I've ever done. If you're looking for a challenge, Mt. Tallac is your boy. Get a friend and try it out. Just make sure you've got some time to recover. My legs still feel like jelly.

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