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Tahoe Nugget #180:

2010 Tahoe Polar Bear Swim
March 7, 2010

nugget 180 Rum Bottle Girls copy
 Drink up! For today we swim.

Yesterday, the 20th annual Polar Bear Swim in Carnelian Bay at Lake Tahoe was held as part of the Truckee-North Shore Snowfest events. The air temperature was 39 degrees and the water was 39 degrees. Due to low water levels, the rocks were gnarly and very slippery due to algae. The rocky shoreline makes for a slow, difficult approach into the water, unlike many cold water swims where athletes can run down a beach and dive right in.

Nugget 180 Polar Bear Swim Sign
 The Polar Bear Swim is one of the most popular events in Tahoe's Snowfest.

Nugget 180 Swim Site
Scene of the action before the crowds show up.

Again this year, many contestants failed to wear appropriate footwear and simply applied duct tape to the bottom of their feet to protect against the bruising rocks. Sixteen women and 28 men, some fueled by alcohol, ego and the desire for quick cash, competed in the event.
Nugget 180 Swimmer Arms Raised
 Mission nearly accomplished.

Personally, I think anyone wearing a wetsuit should be penalized 10 seconds at the start. The videos are short, but capture the excitement and
enthusiasm exuded by the fired-up spectators.

Video #1: Women's Start
Video #2: Men's Start

Nugget 180 Garwoods Wet Woody Banner
Garwoods famous drink. The Wet Woody is a favorite rum-laced concoction that can make some people overly exuberant.

Nugget 180 Banzai! He did it!

Nugget 180 Insecurity
Don't mess with the bouncer!

Nugget 180 Rescue Craft
Rescue craft make sure everyone gets out alive. Note veil of falling snow at South Lake Tahoe, 22 miles away.

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