Friday, January 27, 2012

Lake Tahoe Swimming Society formed

The Lake Tahoe Swimming Society (LTSS) recently formed and launched their new website (http://www.laketahoeswimmingsociety.com).  The society’s “goal is to provide information with the purpose of aiding those who are interested in or already enjoy swimming in Lake Tahoe, preserving history, creating community, and promoting conservation”. 
This is an open water swimming group formed by athletes who have crewed swimmers or swum long distances on Tahoe themselves.  The LTSS provides detailed information on routes, rules, safety, weather, and water temperature to prepare swimmers for their own “crossing”.  The LTSS has established a 22 mile route from the Hyatt, Incline to Camp Richardson as the standard recognized route.  
Bruce Aldrich wetsuit swimming on Donner Lake
Swimmers who successfully complete and submit their swim crossing are eligible to purchase a custom Lake Tahoe Swimming Society belt buckle.  The belt buckle is a traditional accomplishment award given in ultra-endurance races like the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run.  The society will also sell a full line of gear with the LTSS logo.

The LTSS recognizes Myrtle Huddleston as the first to swim across Lake Tahoe.  Huddleston slipped into the water near Deadmans Point, Nevada on August 24, 1931.   She intended to swim to Tahoe City, 13 miles away, but high winds came up in the afternoon and blew her several miles off course.  Sometime during the night, she lost contact with her escort convoy.  She was missing for several hours.  She was found just before dawn, feeling discouraged and ready to give up.  Her son Everett rowed beside her and encouraged her to continue.  Huddleston emerged from the water near the Tahoe Tavern Pier in 22 hours and 53 minutes.  Her swim was estimated at 20 miles in distance.
The current record holder to swim the length of Lake Tahoe is Dave Kenyon who completed a crossing from Tahoe Keys to the Hyatt, Incline in 9 hours and 20 minutes in 1987.
The LTSS will keep updated records on successful crossings, regardless of the rules followed to make the completion.  The accepted rules are provided by the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation, but anyone who swims as an “adventure” swimmer will be respected for their accomplishment.
The “society” is free to join and there will never be a fee to swim in the lake.  For those interested in pool swimming in the Tahoe area, please see my article on local pools:  http://www.tahoetruckeeoutdoor.com/2012/01/lap-swimming-in-tahoe-truckee.html


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