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Archive for May, 2010

Nemo Equipment Summer 2010

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Nemo Equipment is a relatively new and small company, founded in 2002 in New Hampshire. Since then they have grown into a respected high end outdoor gear manufacturer of tents, sleeping pads, and pillows.  Although they haven’t been around very long, they have made their presence known in the outdoor industry with great lineup of products that has been reeling in awards left and right. The Meta 2p tent won the 2010 Editor’s Choice Award from Backpacker magazine and the Losi 3p tent won the Gear of the Year award from Outside magazine in 2009 just to name a few.

Nemo has always made great gear, but there are a couple great new products for 2010 that we think will become classic pieces of gear. First is the new Nemo Cosmo Air sleep system. The system consists of  a new 3″ thick ultralight sleeping pad with a built in foot pump for easy inflation, and a ultra soft washable pillowtop with mem0ry foam. The idea is that for backpacking you can take the Cosmo Air pad only to save weight and you can add the pillowtop for maximum comfort when car camping. Pretty Cool!

Showing off the head room in the Nemo Losi 2 person tent

Showing off the head room in the Nemo Losi 2 person tent

The second new piece of killer gear is the new Espri tent. It’s a high quality and ultra light backpacking tent with typical great Nemo design.  The two person model weighs only 3.4 pounds! These are for the person that loves the Losi but is concerned about weight.

Just getting the Nemo Losi 2 set up as the sun sets

Still Skiing Powder……

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

May 11th has come and what better way to celebrate than with yet another day of light, epic powder skiing? Woke up to about a foot of fresh snow and Alpine Meadows ski resort was the choice of the day. Since the resort is closed and I have been skiing Squaw all year, we thought it was a great choice. The crew started hiking and with a groomed track to follow, it made easy and fast going. The group had all sorts of gear from Tahoe Mountain Sports including the Deuter Freerider 30 backpack, some Black Diamond skis, poles and bindings and my Mammut Viento Jacket. Once at the top, we headed over to the Palisades and skied a lap there and then donned our skins again to get up to High Yellow and skied that all the way to the glorious bottom. Who knows how much longer this pow series is going to last, but here at Tahoe Mountain Sports, we love skiing, so we are ok with it…….though some flip flop weather is not too much to ask for;) Happy turns!

Nana’s Pacific Crest Trail Adventure – Week One!

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Local Truckee -Tahoe resident, Nana Langton is thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail this year.  Tahoe Mountain Sports is a proud sponsor of her efforts! Zigzagging its way from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) boasts the greatest elevation changes of any of America’s National Scenic Trails, allowing it to pass through six out of seven of North America’s ecozones including high and low desert, old-growth forest and arctic-alpine country.  Approximately 2650 miles in length, the PCT is a trail of diversity and extremes.  From scorching desert valleys in Southern California to rain forests in the Pacific Northwest, the PCT offers hikers a unique, varied experience.  Here is her report from the first week on the trail.

On the last weekend in April, I found myself at the Lake Morena County Park in Eastern San Diego County at an event called ADZPCTKO!  What in the world is that you ask?  How about the “Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off.”  This yearly event marks the traditional start of the hiking season for folks tackling the PCT from South to North.  Around 650 participants from around the globe found their way to this remote park, 20 miles north of the Mexican Border near the small town of Campo, California.  This event attracts hikers, past present and future to share stories of the trail and view the latest in ultra-light backpacking gear.  The event also features officials from the Pacific Crest Trail Association, the United States Forest Service and even the postal service who open a temporary post office on site so that hikers can mail gear and food to spots ahead on the trail and also to send home the gear they just realized was way too heavy!

PCT Class of 2010

PCT Class of 2010

So, early Sunday morning, the 25th of April, I set out across the desert of southern California on my way to Canada.  That first day I hiked 20.5 miles, back to the campground at Lake Morena where a great meal of BBQ’ed chicken, baked potatoes and salad was waiting, prepared by my husband, Bill and friends.  It was a great start for this adventure of a lifetime.

Nana Signing the PCT Register

Nana Signing the PCT Register with her Deuter Pack

Mile 1 on the PCT

Mile 1 on the PCT

On the morning of day two, I again took off northbound towards my destination for the evening, Mt, Laguna, some 23 miles distant and at an elevation of 6000 feet.  I soon crossed under Interstate 8 and headed uphill.  We in the hiking community call days like this “Major UFH”.  I’m sure you can figure it out but basically it means that there is a lot of uphill tread.  The scenery went from cactus and rattle snakes to alpine with snow and pines, much like what I am used to here in the Lake Tahoe area.  It got noticeably cooler as I headed uphill too!

Upon my arrival, I found that my husband and friends had secured lodging at the historic Mt. Laguna Lodge.  Were we supposed to be camping again tonight but our spot was covered with standing water and snow.  So – I guess a nice bed and a warm shower would have to do.

Tuesday morning, I bid farewell to Bill as he had to head back home and get back to work.  I headed out shortly thereafter enjoying a beautiful  mountain morning.  Unfortunately, a little later in the day, the winds started to pick up and the clouds started rolling in.  The forecast was for a storm to hit that evening.  I set up camp to cloudy skies and howling winds.  Sure enough, by morning, it was pouring rain and spitting snow and the winds were driving it all sideways past my tent flap.  I retreated to a nearby campground bathroom and packed up my gear, enjoying the dry space for a quick bite of breakfast.  That day, I was hammered on the trail with winds and rain.  It was a miserable day but I trudged ahead, only making 7  miles on the trail.  As I came around the bend, I found myself approaching another campground.  The place was closed and deserted but I spied some bathrooms and thought I would seek some shelter from the weather.  I tried the door and happily found that it was unlocked.  Imagine my surprise when I found it was full of other PCT hikers who had the same idea!  We all laughed at our fortune and I learned that a ride to the nearby town of Julian had been arranged.  We all gratefully headed into town and a dry place to sleep for the night.

Thursday morning, I got a ride from friends back to the trail and I started out from where I had left off.  Today was much nicer and the miles went by much easier.  My destination for the day was a spot called Scissors Crossing, some 17.5 miles distant.  The cactus flowers were everywhere and the scenery quite beautiful.  In the middle of no-where, I came across my first instance of what we call “Trail Magic”.  Some intrepid “Trail Angels” – people who give back to the hiking community, had set up a hiker store next to the trail.

Trail Magic on the PCT

Trail Magic on the PCT

They were offering gear, food, water and showers to the hikers out of a trailer.  A nice candy bar hit the spot just right.  Soon Scissors Crossing was in sight as I set up camp for the night.

Friday was a big day and my longest on the trail so far at 24 miles.  My destination was another spot in the middle of no-where called Barrel Springs.  I knew there should be a water cache there, placed by trail angels who stocked it in the early season for the “thru’s” headed north.  It was quite a bit warmer although still beautiful.  I am starting to get used to my Deuter ACT Lite 60+10 SL pack and it’s customized hydration system.  Dave at TMS has also provided me with products from Platypus, including their newest model bottle with the dual-valve, HyperFlow cap.  Both of these are providing me with plenty of water capacity and the mouthpiece valves on both systems are working very well!

Near the end of the day, I came across the 100 mile marker – a welcome sight along the trail!

100-miles on the PCT

100-miles on the PCT

Saturday, I had an easy 8 miles to my weekend destination, the Warner Springs Ranch Resort.  Here in the middle of the desert is a wonderful golf course, hot springs resort with all kinds of wonderful amenities.  I was treated to beautiful displays of wildflowers as I neared my destination!

Wildflowers along the PCT

Wildflowers along the PCT

Another interesting vista I encountered was an outcropping called Eagle Rock.  One look at the photo below and you will instantly recognize how this formation received its name!

Ealge Rock

Ealge Rock

Finally Warner Springs came into view and I hit the pool and restaurant to relax.  110 Miles down, only 2540 to go!  Sunday would be my first “Zero Day” – a day with no mileage planned.

Stay tuned for more updates from the trail.  In the next two weeks, I hope to hike another 158 miles to the community of Big Bear where I will celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary with Bill and my 49th birthday!

The Reef Ugandal – Style Combined With Corporate Responsibility

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

We recently received the new Reef Ugandal here at the shop and besides being a stylish piece of footwear it helps get the message out about the ongoing war in Uganda and its tragic social consequences. Reef partnered with 31bits, an organization dedicated to harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit of Ugandan women in refugee camps to help them climb out of poverty. Through 31bits, Reef pre-purchased the hand made beads that adorn the sandals from women in Uganda, providing them with an income and getting the word out to the international community at the same time.  The beads are also completely made from recycled magazines, so there is an environmental benefit as well.  Its a cool story, so support the women of Uganda by rocking a pair of Ugandal’s this summer! Also, be sure to check out our other great women’s flip flops from Reef!

Reef Ugandal Women's Sandal

Reef Ugandal Women's Sandal

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