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Athletes to retrace Sierra escape of Donner Party survivors

Donner Party-Escape Trail
Donner Party-Escape Route
Posted at 6:13 PM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 21:13:32-05

RENO (AP) — Four backcountry endurance athletes from California are trying to put themselves in the shoes of the Donner Party.

The modern-day explorers plan to set out from near Truckee on snowshoes Wednesday to follow the last 90-mile route survivors of the infamous tale of cannibalism finally cut through mountain snowdrifts to safety in the winter of 1846-47.

Tim Twietmeyer, five-time winner of a 100-mile endurance run, and International Trail Running Association President Bob Crowley spent seven years researching variations of the route and fact-checking theories on the ground.

Twietmeyer says the 33-day hike the seven original survivors completed may have been the greatest endurance trek in history.