Adaptive athletes train for South Pole expedition on Lake Tahoe | SierraSun.com

Adaptive athletes train for South Pole expedition on Lake Tahoe

Pettit GilweeSpecial to the Sun
Keoki Flagg/Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com
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LAKE TAHOE, Calif. andamp;#8212; On Jan. 17, 2012, for the first time in history, two adaptive athletes will andamp;#8220;pushandamp;#8221; the limits and themselves in sit skis 100 miles across the frozen Antarctic landscape to the most inhospitable place on the planet: The South Pole. This chosen date for andamp;#8220;The Pushandamp;#8221; marks the 100-year anniversary when Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova expedition set foot on this remote terrain.A soulful experienceAs part of their rigorous training for this difficult journey andamp;#8212; all of which will be professionally filmed andamp;#8212; Lake Tahoe residents and spinal cord-injury athletes John Davis, a two-time Paralympics gold medalist, and Grant Korgan, a world-class kayaker and adventurer, will kayak approximately 50 miles in four days following the Lake Tahoe Water Trail. Seasoned guides Doug Stoup and Tal Fletcher of Lake Tahoe will accompany Davis and Korgan on stand up paddleboards.andamp;#8220;Paddling Lake Tahoe is a soulful experience,andamp;#8221; said Davis. andamp;#8220;You’re completely surrounded by snow-capped peaks while sitting atop tranquil waters so clear that you can literally see 75 feet down. But the lake also makes for a fantastic cross-training venue as we’ll be paddling approximately 96,800 paddle strokes, just more than half the 176,174 pole pushes required to trek 100 miles across the frozen landscape to the South Pole.andamp;#8221;According to andamp;#8220;The Pushandamp;#8221; expedition team, they are working with Lake Tahoe visitor bureaus and paddle companies to encourage the public to join the paddle, whether it be for an hour or day, creating a human-powered armada that will follow and cheer on the team via kayaks and stand up paddleboards.andamp;#8220;With this Lake Tahoe paddle training event, as well as the overall mission of andamp;#8216;The Push,’ we hope to inspire people of all walks of life that they too can achieve the seemingly insurmountable,andamp;#8221; said Korgan. andamp;#8220;We encourage them to push their own everyday limits and live up to their ultimate potential.andamp;#8221;The scheduleThe group will launch the event Tuesday, Aug. 9 at 6 a.m. from Sunnyside Restaurant andamp; Lodge on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe, 5 miles south of Tahoe City and will paddle clockwise 7 miles to Carnelian Bay.They will land just before noon at a lakefront estate, 4850 N. Lake Blvd. for a private presentation by andamp;#8220;The Pushandamp;#8221; with hosted lunch attended by media, tourism officials, as well as key community and industry leaders.From there, the team will paddle to Waterman’s Landing in Carnelian Bay for a quick stop, before continuing onto Tahoe Vista completing leg one at Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort at 5 p.m. to be greeted by resort guests, spectators and supporters. One of the most festive days of the trip, this landing is open to the public and will include live music, along with free stand up paddleboard and kayak rentals and demonstrations. It’s also where the team will overnight.Day two, Wednesday, Aug. 10, is a much more difficult leg with andamp;#8220;The Pushandamp;#8221; team departing at 8 a.m. and paddling 16 miles along the North Shore and camping lakeside on Nevada’s East Shore. The film crew will accompany them on a powerboat, open to selected media, and will follow the group to document the entire journey. Live Internet dispatches will also be made available during this training event, as they will be at the South Pole.The film crew, along with top photographers, will continue to follow the team Thursday, Aug. 11, day three, with another long stretch of paddle, 12 miles, from East Shore clockwise along the lake to a campground located on Tahoe’s West Shore.Day four, Friday, Aug. 12 (12 miles), is the final day of the trip, and similar to the first night’s landing at Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort is one of the best ways for the public to get involved and cheer on the team from the ground. Davis, Korgan and company will depart the campsite early morning and arrive at the historic Ehrman Mansion at Sugar Pine Point on the West Shore, 10 miles south of Tahoe City, at noon for a picnic lunch.The team will close the 50-mile loop with an official landing taking place at Sunnyside Restaurant andamp; Lodge at approximately 6 p.m. for a small, intimate dinner open to selected media.andamp;#8220;The Pushandamp;#8221; Lake Tahoe Paddle Event is the second training event for the athletes, who visited Norway’s Svalbard arctic archipelago last spring. A third filmed training session hits the ice in South America in September, with a final training event in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert in October. andamp;#8220;The Pushandamp;#8221; is targeting a documentary film release for summer/fall of 2012. To follow the journey of andamp;#8220;The Push,andamp;#8221; visit http://www.southpolepush.com.The Lake Tahoe Water Trail circumnavigates the 72-mile shoreline of Lake Tahoe. Visitors can paddle the trail solo or join a guided service that leads the tour and provides overnight accommodations and amenities, such as lakeside dining.andamp;#8220;The Pushandamp;#8221; is in support of the High Fives Non-Profit Foundation, a California-based organization whose mission is to help winter athletes suffering life-altering injuries get back on track, and ideally, get back to their sport.andamp;#8220;The Pushandamp;#8221; Lake Tahoe Paddle Event is sponsored by the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, Sunnyside Restaurant andamp; Lodge, Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort, Tahoe SUP, Infinity SUP and Chase International, which is supplying the 4850 N. Lake Tahoe Blvd. home (for sale).For more information about North Lake Tahoe paddle sports, including kayak and stand up paddleboard rental companies, paddling events, guided operations and details about the Lake Tahoe Water Trail, head to http://www.GoTahoeNorth.com. And, for the best bargains, check out the web site’s Cool Deals, which is updated daily and includes savings on lodging and activities.