The Long Fuel Home; Winter Traverse -- Sierra High Route

December 12, 2019

Photos and writing by Serge Giachetti

I usually finish trips with about a days worth of the blandest food I packed. But on our 11 day ski traverse of the Sierra high route, due to gear issues we had tight rations for the last 4 days before our food cache. Rather than eat and always wish I could eat more, I decided not to eat at all each day until about 3pm, and then scarf reasonably until bedtime. Although this probably sounds like a recipe for disaster on a 230 mile ski traverse, it actually worked out pretty well for my energy levels. 

I've experimented with intermittent fasting in day to day life and on a few backpacking trips, and I'm always amazed at how relaxed and yet energized my body feels as long as I keep the pace reasonable and steady. As long as I channel the tortoise and not the hare, I can access that fuel that I'm already carrying on my person in the form of fat. That said, each afternoon when I broke fast, my growing hunger became apparent, and what I put into my body became more important. I was glad to have Skratch each day after I'd broken my fast, because I knew that my body would make good use of it.

The day we finally reached our food cache, 170 miles into our route, was a long one and a hungry one. We mostly had to rely on the thought of future food, rather than actual food in our bellies, to propel us forward. It worked, but not until about 2am. Each snack had to be reserved for when we needed a boost in morale. And I saved one of my best snacks, Skratch Horchata mix, for the last rally, sitting on snow next to a creek at midnight, feeling pretty spacey. I'm no horchata expert, but this stuff tastes just like horchata, and that's because it pretty much is. Check the ingredients list of any Skratch product, and you'll see a list of real foods, with good easily digestible macronutrients. Even if we were painfully far away from a Mexican restaurant (or Mexico!), my taste buds were telling me Mexico and my stomach was telling me thanks and that I could keep going.

More photography from Serge can be found here.

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