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Archive for November, 2012

$1 For The Outdoors – TMS Gives Back This Holiday Season!

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Tahoe Mountain Sports $1 For The Outdoors

As part of their ongoing commitment to giving back to the community, Tahoe Mountain Sports (TMS) is initiating a $1 For The Outdoors campaign this holiday season. Throughout the entire month of December, TMS will encourage their customers to add on just $1 to their total bills, both in-store and online. TMS will match all donations (up to $50 per individual), which will go to a local non-profit of the customers’ choice: Sierra Avalanche Center or Sierra Business Council.  Donations can be made in increments of $1, $5, $10, $50 or however much the customer is willing to donate. Tahoe Mountain Sports will match up to $1000 total for each organization, equaling a maximum donation of $2000 per organization.

“This is our way of giving back,” said TMS owner David Polivy. “We recognize that our business depends on a healthy and safe environment for us all to recreate in, and we want to do our part to contribute. These two organizations contribute back in their own unique ways and in true Tahoe Mountain Sports fashion, we believe that it takes a village rather than an individual to accomplish the best for our communities.”

It’s so easy to donate!

$1 for the outdoors

From your shopping cart, just click the “Donate” button.

socially responsible businesses in tahoe

Choose to donate $1, $5, $10, $50 or more if you’d like.                                                                                                                                           Then pick your non-profit (SAC or SBC) and click “Add to Cart”.


Sierra Avalanche Center Logo

The Sierra Avalanche Center is a non-profit dedicated to disseminating current snow pack stability information to the general public; providing educational information, knowledge, and understanding of avalanches to recreational users and groups; and facilitating communication in the region to reduce the impact of avalanches on recreation, industry, and transportation through a partnership with the United States Forest Service.

“The Sierra Avalanche Center provides a vital tool to all backcountry skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers and travelers,” explained the program’s director, Jenny Hatch. “Our free, daily avalanche advisory helps educate the public about the dangers of backcountry travel during periods of heavy snowfall and high avalanche activity. Without this service, backcountry travelers, skiers, snowboarders, ski patrols, and many others would be lacking vital snowpack knowledge and avalanche danger ratings throughout the winter season.”


Sierra Business Council LogoThe Sierra Business Council is a non-profit organization working to build a better Sierra Nevada. The Sierra Business Council fosters thriving communities in the Sierra Nevada region through “on the ground” local projects that promote, develop and amplify the area’s social, environmental and economic capital. They very much appreciate any and all support from the community.

“With your donor support, the Sierra Business Council will continue to work on solutions that foster community vitality, environmental quality, and economic prosperity in the Sierra Nevada.,” expressed Nicole DeJonghe, senior project manager. ” Let’s continue to envision our ideal Sierra, and work together to turn those dreams into reality – The Sierra, a place with clean water and air, a prosperous economy, affordable living, and an amazing outdoor playground.”

Tahoe Mountain Sports would like to thank Sierra Avalanche Center and Sierra Business Council for partnering with us on the $1 For The Outdoors campaign in December. If you would like to take part, stop by Tahoe Mountain Sports and when you purchase anything, just let them know that you would also like to add your contribution on your own bill. For those that are not local, is a great place to find all the gear you need this holiday season. After you add your items to your cart, make sure to also choose one of these great organizations to donate to.

Polivy concludes that “This is a win-win for everybody involved and we look forward to maximizing our donation to both of these organizations”. Stop by the shop at 8331 N Lake Blvd in Kings Beach or shop online 24/7!


Garmont Boots: Garmont AT Boots, Garmont Telemark Boots

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Garmont, out of Northern Italy, is credited by many for making the best touring ski boots, based on fit and performance. They’ve been innovating ski boot technology through rigorous research and development with the best skiers since the 1960’s. More recently they began manufacturing hiking boots, then mountaineering boots, plastic telemark boots, and finally ski mountaineering boots. This year they put out the world’s lightest 4-buckle AT boot, and it’s already getting rave reviews. We’ve had numerous customers already come into the store and ask specifically for this boot: the Garmont Cosmos AT Boot. We also carry the Garmont Voodoo, a durable and robust freeride Telemark boot, which received the Backcountry Magazine Editors’ Choice award for 2012.

EZ Fit Liner



Comfort EZ Fit liners are made to fit well directly out of the box, and are also heat mold-able to create an even more custom fit. The liners have three different construction zones that offer separate functions: the thickest, most dense part is in the heel for ultimate heel lock. The middle section utilizes more EVA cushioning and is softer so it forms to the mid-foot where you are most tender and sensitive. The thinnest part of the liners are in the toes with more stretch and even more cushioning, so you stay warmer, more comfortable and have increased range of movement in your phalanges. The EZ Fit liners also have a more durable sole so you can wear them on hard surfaces like around the cabin or while tuning your skis in the garage.



Garmont Cosmos AT Boot

This lightweight 4-buckle Alpine Touring boot is a super-touring, super-skiing boot. It only weigh 2900 grams, or 6.4 lbs per pair (size 27.5), and offers a 120-125 flex index, 103.5 mm last, plus a spacious toe area that adds warmth and wiggle-room. Three forward lean settings let you adjust from walking mode to 11.5 degrees to 13 degrees, and the ultra-stiff cuff keeps your stance forward. Four lightweight magnesium buckles and a low-profile lacing system are ideal for touring, and the liner’s tongue is reinforced to add padding against the shin and to increase power transfer from your legs to your skis.






Garmont Voodoo Telemark boot


Garmont calls the Voodoo “black magic”, and their “burliest free-ride tele boot”. It’s laterally stiff to provide superior support, and has great forward flex so it skis incredibly smooth and strong. The shell has flex zones in all the right places, which when coupled with the lateral stiffness creates a more harmonious tele-turn. The Garmont Voodoo Telemark boot has a 130 flex index, a 100 mm last and two forward lean settings, 25 degrees or a neutral walk-mode. It also has a heat mold-able liner with sectional construction for the best fit and highest level of comfort, plus a reinforced tongue that prevents “shin-bang” and increases power transfer.





Garmont – The highest level of performance and comfort in touring and ski mountaineering boots.



Garmont Cosmos AT Boot
Garmont Cosmos AT Boot
MSRP: $699.95



Avalanche Education 101: A Public Beacon, Shovel, Probe Clinic

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Avalanche Education in Tahoe
Join your fellow Tahoe backcountry enthusiasts for a community-oriented fun night at Tahoe Mountain Sports (TMS) and learn the basics of proper beacon use, or just brush up on your avalanche expertise and transceiver techniques. Experienced Mountain Guide, American Institute for Avalanche Rescue and Education (AIARE) instructor and Ortovox Tech Rep Gary Bard will be present to lead a discussion about the history and technologies behind avalanche transceivers. Gary will also give a hands-on lesson on how to properly and efficiently use your transceiver. Pizza and beer will be available, and attendees will have the chance to win a transceiver, shovel and probe! TMS will offer special discounts on products in the store this night only! This event is free and open to the public.

Learn the basics of avalanche rescue, including proper use of your own transceiver and shovel, as well as the best strategies for a group rescue. The hands-on practice search (weather permitting) will occur outdoors, so dress appropriately and bring a headlamp. Participants are encouraged to bring their own beacons to practice with, but we will have extras on-hand to lend out. Tahoe Mountain Sports can update your Pieps transceivers with the latest Peips firmware, so if you’ve got one bring it with you.

Gary Bard, our expert guest instructor for the evening, retired after 28 years from the Berkeley Fire Department as the Deputy Fire Chief in 1998. He has worked as a mountain guide for Palisades School of Mountaineering, Alpine Skills International, and Mountain Adventure Seminars.  Since 2001 he has been an AIARE level 1&2 avalanche instructor.  In 2002 he became a Tech Rep for Ortovox USA.  Since 1985 when he attended Whitewater guide school, Gary has worked as a guide on rivers in California, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Alaska, and the Zambezi in Africa.  His hobbies are fly fishing, photography, and fun.


The “need for speed” in avalanche rescueBeacon shovel probe package
Avalanche rescue & retrieval statistics
The contents of a rescue package
Avalanche information centers and reports
A short history of transceivers and how they work


Importance of a third antennae
What is “flagging” and why it’s important
Software updates and status checks
Different ways to search with a transceiver
Pinpointing and probing your victim(s)


Tahoe Mountain Sports would like to thank the evening’s official sponsors, Ortovox and Deuter.



Visit the Facebook event page and RSVP (So you can invite your friends!) at

Black Friday Sale Through Cyber Monday Sale: Patagonia & More!

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Black Friday Sale Sporting Goods

This post is from 2012. To view our Black Friday 2014 Sale on outdoor gear on clothing, click here (starting Monday 11/25): 2014 Black Friday Sale

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner, and so are our huge annual sales!

Get up to 30 percent off your favorite Patagonia clothes, like Patagonia Down Sweaters or R1 Pullovers, the brand’s Gore-tex jackets, and Patagonia ski pants and ride pants. These great prices will run all weekend long, starting on Black Friday and continuing through Cyber Monday.

And that’s not all! We’re taking 20–70 percent off our entire inventory* for the whole four-day weekend, so now is the time to stock up for the season. Holiday shopping on big ticket items like warm winter jackets and pants, boots and avalanche safety gear, stocking stuffers like warm down booties and socks. We have a gift for everyone on your list! Plus all the outdoor clothes and accessories you’ll need to stay warm and comfortable through winter.

We’re also giving away a free gift with all purchases over $50!

Patagonia Sale Black Friday


Patagonia Clothing Up To 30% Off
Get the popular Patagonia Down Sweater and Gore-Tex Jackets and pants at great prices, just for Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend.
No code needed
Starts: It started already!
Ends: 11/26/11 at midnight

If you’re in the greater Tahoe area and you can make it to our store in Kings Beach, you can take advantage of 20-70% off everything* Friday-Monday only.
*excludes skis and ABS packs, hats, sleds, Black Diamond, The North Face and some other small restrictions

We have the best Patagonia Black Friday and Patagonia Cyber Monday sales around, so don’t miss out. Now is the time to shop for the holidays!

Patagonia Down Sweater - Men's
Patagonia Down Sweater – Men’s
MSRP: $160.00

Boreas Backpack Reviews: The TMS/Boreas Pack Tester Adventure Team’s Continued Saga…

Friday, November 16th, 2012

With the fresh snow we’ve been comes a fresh look and the latest pack reviews from our TMS/Boreas Adventure Team! Read on to see how the Boreas Lost Coast 60 held up against two of our most fearless and mighty pack testers!






Name: Mike Rommel

Pack Testing:  Lost Coast 60

Boreas Lost Coast 60 pack review

1) How do you like the way the pack sits on your back?

(ROMMEL) The Lost Coast 60 was my traveling “Base Camp”. The pack fit great with even weight distribution and was extremely light.

2) Are there any changes you would make to the belt buckle?

(ROMMEL) The only suggestion I have about the belt is a change in the pockets. The hip belt pockets were in the way (just a little) during my climbs.

3) What do you feel this pack is best suited to do?

(ROMMEL)  Overall, it worked terrific for climbing.

4) Is there a similar pack you have been lusting after? (It’s okay if it’s not theirs.)

(ROMMEL) I was eyeing the change Black Diamond made to their packs by going to a “Minimalist” feature design.

5) What did you like most about the pack?

(ROMMEL) One of the most impressive design qualities of this pack was how the top is situated back from the head and shoulders. For climbing this design proved invaluable, allowing for unrestricted movement of the head when climbing with a helmet on.  In addition, the “soft shell” material in the front and side pockets handled being dragged over granite surprisingly well.

6) What did you like least about the pack?

(ROMMEL) Once again, the only part of this pack that didn’t work specifically for climbing was the hip belt pockets because they were sometimes in the way.

7) Overall thoughts on the bag?

(ROMMEL) I liked this pack so much that I will be trading my Black Diamond climbing pack for the Boreas Lost Coast 60.




Name: Adam Tirella

Pack Testing:  Lost Coast 60

men's Boreas Lost Coast 60


(TIRELLA) New backpack companies always intrigue me. In a market so saturated with big-name brands, it takes a huge amount of drive and a passion for the outdoors and design to want to enter into such a competitive field.

Enter Boreas, a new company from San Francisco that stresses utility and simplicity through their impressively large and diverse pack lineup. I have previously owned their small 15-liter Repack, which I found perfect for biking and stuffing basketball shoes and some clothes into when going to the gym. I had some recommendations for improvement- and lo and behold the good folks at Boreas actually listened! They implemented them on an updated version of the pack, so needless to say I was very excited when Tahoe Mountain Sports gave me the chance to check out Boreas’ largest backpacking pack, the Lost Coast 60!

1) How do you like the way the pack sits on your back?

(TIRELLA) While the pack may not look “techy” on the outside, small design implementations ensure it wears incredibly comfortable.

 Don’t you just long for the days when internal frame packs were the new thing? When an internal frame pack was essentially a hard metal square shoved into your pack? Neither do I!

Boreas’ frames are thin and lightweight, and unique in that they’re so noticeably curved. The result is that the pack wears “off your back”, allowing a space to form for air to circulate. This, coupled with the foam back, is a simple and comfortable combination.

The Z-Foam on the Lost Coast is a grown-up version of that found on my Repack, and it’s incredibly comfortable. The larger size of the ridges allows more air to flow and it’s really something you have to try to believe. They are “deeper” than those found on my Repack, and the result is a more solid, supportive back area. If you are having trouble imagining the design of the back panel, imagine someone took the soles off of a pair of Reebok ZigTech shoes, softened them up, and then covered them in mesh – very comfortable! The same “ridge” design radiates onto the hip belt, although in a vertical fashion.

2) Are there any changes you would make to the belt buckle?

(TIRELLA) All the adjustment and compression straps, barring the hip belt buckle, are smaller and thinner than what I’m accustomed to on backpacking packs of this size. It just seems weird to not have a 2-inch wide strap to tug on. They don’t necessarily feel weak, and I’m sure it’s how Boreas cut down on weight, but I just wonder how they will hold up over the course of a year or so.

3) What do you feel this pack is best suited to do?

(TIRELLA) This is a simple pack. It’s big, but not cavernous, and fully packed it would well serve a backpacking trip of about 4 nights, maybe a couple more if you are really skimping on camping comforts. At 3.5 pounds it doesn’t weigh much, and while that won’t put it on the short-list for through hikers or ultra lighters- it’s light enough for those of us whom, as Boreas’ website states, “care about weight but are not crazy enough to cut the handles off their toothbrushes.” Amen.

4) Is there a similar pack you have been lusting after? (It’s okay if it’s not theirs.)

(TIRELLA) I have been looking forward to testing out an upgraded version of my 15-liter Boreas Repack.

5) What did you like most about the pack?

(TIRELLA) Boreas has managed to fit a lot of storage space into the Lost Coast. Take for example the “double” brain compartment. While not much different than that of any other pack, what with a zipped interior pocket and straightforward design, the top of this pack has two zippered pockets. One is layered on top of the other, so you have an extra level of access and organization without losing out on storage space. The tuck-able daisy chains and ice loops, similar to the Repack 15, fold easily in and out of sight when not in use. The belt loop pockets, somewhat of an afterthought most of the time, are huge on the Lost Coast. So big I almost fit a DSLR camera inside of them. I said “almost” – but each one still easily fit a set of keys, a couple of cliff bars, a wallet and a cell phone. I would also like to make a note of the included adjustment slip. This is a small inclusion, which may be overlooked by some, but I believe it tells a ton about this company. You can have the most expensive pack in the world- but if it’s not fitted right, you won’t like it at all. Boreas, unlike any other pack company I have supported, included a fit guide with the pack. In an easy-to-understand, conversational tone, they illustrate how to fit the pack. And more importantly, they tell you WHY (“Your goal is to get about 70% of the weight on your hips. You may have other goals too”). Too often in our field of outdoor sporting goods the emphasis is on the features rather than the feeling.

6) What did you like least about the pack?

(TIRELLA) While the pack has a ton going for it, as expected in the first iteration of a model by a new company there are some small problems I found. They are mostly harmless, and perhaps they are just a result of being used to having these features on my current pack. 

There is one main compartment with an obligatory hydration sleeve on the inside. This pocket probably accounts for 90% of the pack’s storage. This leads to one of my only complaints with the pack, which is a lack of access. Since the pack is essentially one large compartment, things at the bottom are incredibly tough to get to, as the only access point to the inside is through the top. While the main compartment is certainly huge, I would have liked to see just one more separate area for organizing gear. While the center compartment does have an overhanging “lid”, it would have been nice to see some kind of securing feature: even just a small strip of Velcro to prevent things from falling out or from curious hands while traveling. Another issue is that the back panel has no place “behind it” for the shoulders’ adjustment straps to fall, so they either sit uncomfortably between your back and the foam padding or flapping off to the side. Another small problem is that the hip belt doesn’t pivot. Again, this is something that I’m just used to on my pack. A pivoting hip belt makes the pack wear more fluidly while bending or twisting. However, that’s about it. The positives of this pack far outweigh these few drawbacks, but depending on how you use your pack, they might be bigger issues than they were for me.

7) Overall thoughts on the bag.

(TIRELLA) As a San Francisco company, you can tell just by browsing their website that design is incredibly important to Boreas. Their selection of bags- all in their first model year- is expansive. At the same time, they all share a very distinctive look and you can tell the design cues were well thought out and implemented. Not just individually are these packs beautiful to look at, but the design is consistent among the whole lineup, something many companies do not choose to do. That is something that really resonates to me. The hexagonal foam padding and hip-belt pocket graphics on the Lost Coast match exactly up to those on my Repack 15. While this is not a make or break issue for a pack, it is reassuring to know that design will not lose out to utility as packs become increasingly more full of features.

There’s a lot of attention to detail on the Lost Coast- from the reinforced pull-tabs on the shoulder cinch straps, to how the “V”-stitching on the front of the pack coincides with the compression straps to ensure a supported load. I especially liked the drawstring on the top of the large compartment. The zippers all feel solid (with the exception of that on the inside of the brain), and the pull-tabs are beefy and feel secure. I opted for the simple black and blue model, but there are two other color lines available for those who want to spice things up a little. It should be noted that these colors match up to the scheme on my Repack, another sign of lineup consistency that I really appreciate.

 In Conclusion:

This is a great pack. I think the overwhelming majority of people will be enticed by the simplicity and comfort of the Lost Coast 60. For me personally, the lack of access in a 60-liter pack is a little bit of a turnoff, however I imagine the inconvenience is less so in the 30 and 45-liter models as you have less stuff to reach for. It’s certainty not the most technical pack available, and the lack of features and easily accessible pockets may deter some buyers. Still, it’s simple, elegant design and attention to detail make it one of the best weekend backpacking packs available, in my opinion. And for the low price of $199, the Lost Coast is a steal.

 Thanks to Tahoe Mountain Sports and Boreas!



Name: Anne Greenwood

Pack Testing:  Lost Coast 60 Women’s


Boreas Lost Coast 60 review

1) How do you like the way the pack sits on your back?

(GREENWOOD) The  large backpack is really comfortable. It breathes well and moves fluidly with me. I wish I could have pulled it closer to my shoulders with the upper shoulder strap stabilizer; the strap needs to be longer.


2) Are there any changes you would make to the belt buckle?

(GREENWOOD) The hip belt is awesome although it tends to curl under It’s self. I had to pay attention to laying it flat on my hips before buckling it or it would fold under and annoy me. I enjoyed the pockets on the hip belt but the main buckle is just a little awkward, as it requires just a little more guidance than a standard three-tie buckle. I loved the ability to pull both straps inward simultaneously to equally tighten the belt!



3) What do you feel this pack is best suited to do?

(GREENWOOD) The pack was ideal for a three-night trip. I schlepped it all over the place: long days on the trail, cross country through willow, over granite and balanced on logs. It is really a great pack with a low profile and body hugging morphism. It’s too big for day hikes but I think it may be too small for treks longer than 5 days. Put a bear canister in there and it would be REALLY tight!


4) Is there a similar pack you have been lusting after? (It’s okay if it’s not theirs.)

(GREENWOOD) I was really open to any pack that was lighter than my Gregory. This mountain pack helped me shave my fully loaded pack weight from 49 to 25. What a difference! I am really satisfied with it.

5) What did you like most about the pack?

(GREENWOOD) I really like the stretchy fabric component of this weekend pack. The hidden daisy chains are great too and there were so many pockets! I loved the plethora of pockets in the top lid. The hip belt was really comfortable.  I also liked the pull “loops” on the zippers and tightening straps that made things easier to adjust.



6) What did you like least about the pack?

(GREENWOOD) It really prefers to lie on its back when not on my back. It falls over unless perfectly propped up, and because it refuses to stand, it is a bit awkward to put on. It has to be lifted every time instead of propped on a rock or something else and then slipped into. This could be a girl thing. Many women tend to not lift and fling a backpack on like men do; instead a lot of ladies like to wriggle into it. If it could somehow have a more square-like bottom or a firm plastic piece to help it stand that would be helpful.  While I love the stretchy fabric, it does tend to pick up burrs easily and gets dirty fast, it also gets quite misshaped if not packed carefully.


7) Overall thoughts on the bag.

(GREENWOOD) I am sold on the trail pack. It really fulfilled all my needs and is comfortable, light, adaptable and manageable. The compression straps keep things tight and conforming. The stretchy fabric ads space where needed. I really like the hip belt for comfort and it’s lightweight attributes. It doesn’t have that heavy bulk that other backpacks associate with comfort, which is great. In closing, I would recommend this overnight pack to friends.



Boreas Bolinas Backpack
Boreas Bolinas Backpack
MSRP: $139.95
Boreas Lost Coast 60 Backpack
Boreas Lost Coast 60 Backpack
MSRP: $169.95

Sidecountry Skis, Boots, Bindings, & More Sidecountry Skiing Gear

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012


sidecountry skiing

As backcountry skiing becomes more popular and we see resorts opening more sidecountry (unmaintained and uncontrolled) terrain, the demand for better hybrid/crossover gear increases. We should be able to use the same gear in-bounds as we use out-of-bounds, ranging from the skis or snowboard you ride on to your clothes and the pack on your back. Jackets and pants that are waterproof enough to protect you from wet and heavy snowfall while sitting on a chairlift should also breathe well, lightweight and have little bulk for when you take them hiking or skinning uphill. Skis that turn and float well in powder should also make excellent GS turns, and must weigh less and be flat under-foot to maximize efficiency when touring and skinning uphill. AT bindings (Alpine Touring bindings) that are durable enough to support big cliff drops and are bomber through the moguls should also be uphill-capable and lightweight so skiers can go in and out of the ski area boundary with one rig.

Tahoe Mountain Sports can style you out in all the sidecountry skiing equipment you need to stay comfortable and mobile no matter the terrain you venture into. From the serious backcountry ski mountaineer to the in-bounds weekend warrior and everyone in between, our high-performance outerwear and technical ski gear accommodates all purposes and all styles. Listed below are just a few of the many products we carry that are ideal for riding both in and out-of-bounds.


Sidecountry Skis


k2 sidestash

K2 Sidestash / K2 Sidekick
These deep powder skis are perfect for resort powder-hunting and sidecountry excursions, and come ready and willing for full-on backcountry expeditions. K2 Sidestash skis for men, K2 Sidekick skis for women. Perfectly pre-cut K2 Sidestash/Sidekick climbing skins sold separately.





volkl katanas

Volkl Katana

A full rocker low-profile ski that maneuvers very well and can handle big landings, Volkl Katana skis are a great “quiver of one” for those who wish to rip hard absolutely everywhere.





salomon sidecountry ski

Salomon Rocker 2 – 108
A twin rocker ski with great flotation in powder and stability on hard-pack. The Salomon Rocker 2 spins and pivots on demand with a smooth and playful surfy feel, and rides switch-stance just as well.





Sidecountry Bindings


salomon guardian 16

Salomon Guardian 16 AT Binding
A low-profile AT binding that sits only 26 mm tall and has a wider  platform than most, so you feel more in-tune with your skis. A hands-free automatic step-in makes getting in and out easy, and a removable 115 mm brake and advanced Hike/Ride technology make the durable  Salomon Guardian Alping Touring binding ideal for skiing powerfully both in-bounds and in the backcountry.




Sidecountry Boots


Quest Max 120Salomon Quest Max 120
All-mountain Alpine Touring boots that hike well and ski even better. Twinframe technology, quick and easy hike/ride adjustment, and a 98 last that stretches to 104 last make the Salomon Quest Max 120 one of the best AT boots on the market.





Climbing Skins

GlideLite Mohair Skins

Black Diamond GlideLite Mohair Mix STS Climbing Skins
These ultralight and pack-able Black Diamond touring skins are thinner than Black Diamond Ascension Skins and slide with little effort. GlideLite Mohair skins come with tail clips and allow up to 20 cm of length adjustment. This skin is great for touring and fits easily in a backpack, making days split between in and out-of-bounds even easier.





arcteryx beta ar

Arc’Teryx Beta AR Jacket
This light and durable jacket is fully waterproof and boasts superior ventilation during high-output activities. The Beta AR Jacket has all the technical features you’d expect in a top-performing ski hardshell and will keep you warm and dry during all-day adventures.




Arc'Teryx Beta AR Pant

Arc’Teryx Beta AR Pant
These four-season waterproof pants pack down small and provide everything you need for resort, backcountry or sidecountry excursions. 3-Layer GORE-Tex and windproofing make the ArcTeryx Beta AR some of the best ski pants out there.




north face scythe jacket

The North Face Scythe Jacket
This ridiculously comfortable North Face fleece jacket is designed for moving and grooving in cold temperatures. The Scythe Jacket keeps you warm and is super-soft on the skin, with stretchy side panels for greater range of motion. This top is lightweight and packs down small, and comes from the The North Face Summit Series line.





 Breathable Helmets

smith vantage helmet

Smith Vantage Helmet
A lightweight and technologically superior helmet with dual ventilation zones that can be easily opened and closed while on the move. When the Smith Vantage is worn with Smith goggles, the pair’s seamless integration prevents fog better than the rest, so you don’t have to stop and waste time changing into a beanie or sunglasses.





Breathable Goggles

smith io goggle

Smith I/O Goggle
These goggles became popular for their simple lens interchangeability, but the Smith I/O is also awesome because they manage moisture incredibly well and have some of the best ventilation, that the user actually has the ability to regulate. They fit seamlessly with Smith helmets, and offer wide peripheral vision and great depth of field.




Crossover Gloves

marmot exum guide glove

Marmot Exum Guide Glove
This is one of the best ski gloves around, and also a great alpine climbing and mountaineering glove. Since it is waterproof, windproof and manages moisture so well, the Exum Guide Glove is ideal for many uses and would make a terrific sidecountry ski glove.





Sidecountry Backpacks


mammut nirvana

Mammut Nirvana
This top-of-the-line 35 liter backpack has all the technical features you need for a day in the mountains. Ice axe loops, a padded goggle pouch, EVA back padding, and a padded hip-belt are only a few of the awesome features that make the Nirvana backpack one of the best ski backpacks for sidecountry, backcountry or days riding the lifts.



mammut womens pack

Mammut Niva Ride

A women’s 20 liter backpack perfect for all-mountain skiing and freeriding. The Niva Ride has vertical straps for skis or a snowboard, a separate pocket for avalanche safety equipment, and is compatible with hydration systems. There are just too many cool features to mention that make this such a great ladies ski backpack. See for yourself!




Crossover Ski Poles

black diamond z poles


Black Diamond Compactor Poles

This four-season aluminum ski pole is super lightweight with 20 cm of adjust-ability. Compactor ski poles utilize Z-Pole technology to fold down small enough to fit in a backpack, also making them ideal as snowboard poles. 



Please Ski Responsibly! Always be careful when exploring the backcountry or traveling out of any ski area boundary. These areas are not controlled to prevent avalanches, so it’s all up to you and your partners when you venture out-of-bounds. It is best to carry a beacon, shovel and probe, and to know how to use them in case of an avalanche or burial situation.


Nikwax Ski Skin Waterproofing
Nikwax Ski Skin Waterproofing
MSRP: $8.25


Boreas Backpack Reviews: The TMS/Boreas Pack Tester Adventure Team

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

You have been waiting for it, dreaming of it, and desiring the outcome. From the edges of bike seats to the vistas of mountaintops, you haven’t been able to eat or sleep. Yes, this is true, but your deprivation has fogged your memory. “What is it that I’m thirsting for again?”, you ask.  The exciting results of our fearless TMS/Boreas Pack Tester Adventure Team, of course! Our “brave seven” embarked, over the past month, on their own grand adventures to put the new Boreas backpacks to the ultimate test. This test would officially dub the Boreas packs worthy of outdoor gear grandeur, or at least provide feedback that will help Boreas meet their goal of greatness. If you are one of the many who have been waiting on the edge of your Thermarest for us to unveil the secrets of great packs, hold onto your Gu, because here it comes! The TMS/Boreas Pack Tester Adventure Team’s final results!





Name: Ted Teske
Pack Testing: Boreas Buttermilk 55

During the testing of this bag I took my Boreas on multiple trips. Out of the gate I took the bag to Alaska for some work around Talkeetna and Denali,  followed by a few days out in the tundra of Bethel, AK.  From the Last Frontier, this pack helped me take a few weekend trips to Western Montana, mostly acting as a suitcase. After it’s journey through Big Sky Country, it went down to Denver and Golden, Colorado for some more work (with some hiking mixed in on South Table Mountain when I could). I don’t do any extended backpacking, so I didn’t test this on any overnight trips in the woods.

1. How do you like the way the pack sits on your back?
(TESKE) I had a couple of issues with the way the pack sat on my back. The curve of the internal frame did not match up with my upper back as well as I’d like. It took some fiddling with the shoulder straps and load lifters to get something the felt right, but even in the best position it still felt like I was being forced to hunch over a bit. A great feature of this pack is the removable frame sheet. It was really easy to take it in and out, even when the pack was loaded. That is an issue I have with my current 30L daypack. Sometimes you need the bag to be able to lose its shape (like when stuffing it in between the seats of a bush plane). The issue I had was that when the frame sheet was removed, the “z-foam” padding tended to bulge in the lower back area. So it’s kind of a trade off, remove the sheet for fitting it into tight spaces or for day trips, but endure some slight discomfort in the lower back.

2. Are there any changes you would make to the belt buckle?
(TESKE) The belt buckle functioned very well. The wide straps for tightening made adjustments easy. The little pouches on the belt were designed very well for holding small items. The semi-rigid bands on the pouches were a great touch and made getting in and out with one hand pretty easy.

3) What do you feel this pack is best suited to do?
(TESKE) This pack would be great for a two or three day backpacking trip. It didn’t really function as well as I would like for my needs. The 55L size is huge, and Boreas’ design lets you use every square inch of it. I loaded it up for multi-day trips to Alaska, Denver, and Montana and never maxed out the main pouch, even with multiple clothing layers and shoes going in with some camera gear. Most of the time during my test it was less than half full with the camera and field gear I needed for my work. Accessing the items in the bag can be a bit of a hassle when reaching down to the bottom of the bag from the cinch top. However, that cinch top opening was like a snake, it swallowed anything I packed into the bag whole.


4) Is there a similar pack you have been lusting after? (It’s okay if it’s not ours.)
(TESKE) I can’t think of a specific model of pack. I was looking for something larger than my current 25L daypack and not as large as my large-size North Face Base Camp Duffel. This was in that size range, but again, 55L, especially the way Boreas lays it out, is huge. I think a 30L or 40L Boreas bag would be more what I could use.

5) What did you like most about the pack?
(TESKE) I loved that Boreas maximized the space inside the bag. It was like one of those old Navy duffels with a lightweight, comfortable frame system. A close second was the sleek design. Even when loaded to the gills there weren’t many straps or loops hanging off it to snag on seats or foliage when dragging the bag around. In fact the design is so sleek it took me two days to notice the rather size-able zipper pocket on the front of the bag.

6) What did you like least about the pack?
(TESKE) Really the top load design was not very good for me. I think it was designed well overall, but I think I need either a smaller top load bag, or a panel load bag to get at my items easier.

7) Best uses? What activities do you think this pack is best used for?
(TESKE) A 2-3 day backpacking trip would be the best use of this. It really didn’t work well as a travel pack and was too big for an extended day pack.

8) Overall thoughts on the bag.
(TESKE) I haven’t used a large frame pack since I was in The Boy Scouts. I know technology has come a long way since those days and Boreas seems to take things in a great new direction by incorporating key features with unobtrusive design. I will probably take a look at some of their other packs and bags to augment my ever-expanding collection.



Name: Sandy Borden
Pack Testing:  Lost Coast 60 Women’s

1) How do you like the way the pack sits on your back?
(BORDEN) The Boreas 60 was extremely comfortable for me. I’ve been using a 5-1/2 lb pack and didn’t think I could get comfort in a mid-weight pack, but this pack felt as if it was tailored just for me. I took it on a 4-night, 41-mile trek in the Wind River Range of Wyoming. I’ve been backpacking for 30+ years and have had many packs, and this is by far the most comfortable and functional.

2) Are there any changes you would make to the belt buckle?
(BORDEN)  I was concerned about the size of the buckles; they are small, but did work well. My concern is if it were really cold I may not have the hand dexterity to manage such a small buckle. The belt buckle itself was fine. I also would like to see the Camelback hose opening a 1/2″ longer. I had a heck of a time snaking the hose through the slot when it was 28-degrees outside. The sternum strap was fine for me, but I would have liked to see more range of up and down.

3) What do you feel this pack is best suited to do?
(BORDEN)  This pack is best suited for backpacking.

4) Is there a similar pack you have been lusting after? (It’s okay if it’s not ours.)
(BORDEN) My plan was to start pack shopping toward the end of this season, so thanks for saving me the trouble! I have a Gregory Deva and a Z pack that now will be lenders. I was going to look at Deuter packs.

5) What did you like most about the pack?
(BORDEN) I liked the comfort of the pack. I carried 35-40 lbs for 5 days up and down mountain passes and was completely comfortable. No shoulder or hip rubbing, and the load stayed centered and snug. I liked the large outside pocket as a quick place to store rain gear, which I did need in a hurry! The loosening loop on the hip belt was awesome, as well as all of the daisy chain loops and the way the fabric seems to stretch to accommodate whatever you want to put in the pack. I also loved the two hip belt pockets and the two deep outer side pockets for added storage. Thank you, Boreas, for making them so deep!

6) What did you like least about the pack?
(BORDEN) What I like least is the color. Orange is actually my favorite color and I will never be mistaken for a deer, but it is sure shows the dirt. The buckle sizes could be larger, as stated before, with exception of the hip belt.

7) Overall thoughts on the bag.
(BORDEN) I really liked this pack and it really surprised me that I did. I took my old pack with me to the trailhead because I was afraid to try a new one on this long of a trip, but once I loaded it I liked the way everything fit and decided to just roll with it. I’m so glad I did! Additionally, I have to say that it’s great it comes with a rain cover – not many packs go the extra mile like that. The Lost Coast 60 is smaller than the bag I’ve been using, but it holds more and does it more efficiently. Overall, this was a great pack.


Name: Michael Detwiler
Pack Testing:  Boreas Repack 15

1) How do you like the way the pack sits on your back?
(DETWILER) It fits well. I have never worn a pack that sits high on the hips like this one does but I like how it keeps the weight higher up.

2) Are there any changes you would make to the belt buckle?
(DETWILER) The buckle is good. I might add a bit more padding for more comfort when weighed down with heavier gear, but I just had some lightweight items so that wasn’t a big deal.

3) What do you feel this pack is best suited to do?
(DETWILER) It’s best suited for short day hikes and bike rides. It has plenty of room for lunch and a few important items.

4) Is there a similar pack you have been lusting after? (It’s okay if it’s not ours.)

5) What did you like most about the pack?

(DETWILER) The adjustment loops on the hip belt were really handy. The bungee loops on the outside were great when I went for a hike and had to secure my fishing rods to the pack. It’s a very lightweight pack and stays secured to your back.

6) What did you like least about the pack?
(DETWILER) I would have liked a third compartment. Also, the sternum strap rubbed on my arms when I went SUP’n (Stand-Up-Paddleboarding), but this was fixed by moving the strap down with the adjustable sliders.  Another concern that I had was that I was worried I might tear the pack if I crashed or snagged a branch. Maybe the material is strong, but I worried it would tear easily.

7) Best uses? What activities do you think this pack is best used for?
(DETWILER) This pack works great for mountain biking and day hikes.

8) Overall thoughts on the bag.
(DETWILER) I liked the pack. Overall it was a good choice in gear.


To Be Continued……..



Boreas Lost Coast 60 Backpack
MSRP: $$169.95

Boreas Buttermilks 55 Backpack
MSRP: $$174.95

ION Air Pro Wi-Fi Camera – Downieville Downhill w/ POV Camera

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

This post comes from Cody Buchholz, a guest contributor for Tahoe Mountain Sports who is completing his culinary degree in Napa, California, while anxiously awaiting his return to a life filled with adventure in the mountains.

A Tahoe Mountain Sports leisure day:

After an epic drive through the beautiful Sierra Nevada countryside I pulled into Downieville, a small town near the Sierra Buttes known for some of the most epic downhill singletrack in California. Upon arrival I found Adam and Eric getting the taking a refreshing dip in the cool Yuba River that runs through town. After a quick lunch and discussing logistics at one of the few restaurants in town, we set up camp nearby and still had just enough light for an evening ride. Adam wanted to try out the Wi-Fi capabilities of his new ION Air Pro Wi-Fi camera, stoked on the fact that he could send the videos to his smartphone and review them immediately.

After a late 5 o’clock departure we found ourselves in an ‘everyman for himself’ sprint for the first mile of the North Yuba Trail. This turned out to be a good wake-up for our legs and an intro to the type of rock and rubble we could expect during tomorrow’s legendary downhill ride. After an hour or so of climbing we made it to what we determined to be the top. I had dropped my sunglasses about 20 minutes into the climb and wanted to ride back down to find them, so instead of completing the intentional loop we turned around and rode down what we had just climbed.

Mountain Biking Video Camera

BAM! Adam’s (old and tired) chain popped off under pressure. Luckily, one of us had a chain break. Wait… No, we didn’t. We used pliers and a key to get it back together, which explains why it broke again a few minutes later, followed shortly by my chain. Two thirds of our crew was now chainless at 7:00 p.m. as darkness set over the valley, but spirits were still high. We mashed downhill at high velocity with tunnel vision, only Adam with a headlamp at the front of the pack. It was exhilarating to fly so fast through trees in the dark, hesitant to hit the brakes because we didn’t have chains to regain speed. The nervous excitement prevalent in my friends’ hollers added even more fun to the adventure.

The next morning we rose to some of the most delicious biscuits and gravy I think I’ve ever had, prepared on Adam’s favorite campstove. We washed it all down with some hot and rejuvenating campfire coffee, filtered through Eric’s sweet new GSI Java Press. After a big breakfast and a caffeine-boost we were ready to slay some more singletrack – Butcher Ranch Trail, to be exact.

Campsite Downieville

We still had to fix two chains before we could ride, but there wasn’t an open store around that sold bike tools. Thanks to small-town hospitality the local hardware store employee took a five-minute break to drive home and grab us some tools and chain lube. Refreshed, repaired and anxious to ride, we shuttled the 45-minutes to the top of a 17-mile, 5,000’ descent over sick banks, laid-out rollers, root jumps and rock ramps, side skirts, tik taks and willi wonks.

At the top of the legendary Packer Saddle shuttle drop, looking toward the Sierra Buttes, we turned on our POV cameras and headed toward the legendary Downieville downhill track. As we rode across the crest toward the trailhead we encountered an elder man hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, and I vividly remember his advisory: “I passed a trail a little while back. It had a sign that said ‘danger, rocks and cliffs’”. To which Adam politely replied, “Yeah, that’s probably us.” We found our trailhead and dropped in…

ION Camera POV

Dirt clouds were everywhere, rocks were flying, sweat was dripping and endorphins were racing. All three of us were unstoppable, practically floating inches above ground. I could tell you what it was like, but it wouldn’t do the trail justice. It’s a good thing we brought back some good Downieville downhill POV footage. The whole ride was an indescribable experience. The views are majestic and the switchbacks are top notch. The trail is well ridden and it seems like every bump and every hit has been there for years. If you don’t hit it, chances are you’re missing out because the landing is probably good. Fortunate is the mountain biker who makes the pilgrimage to Downieville.

ION Air Pro, Downieville Downhill

POV Headcam


Tahoe Mountain Sports allows customers to rent helmet cameras. Here’s a cool commercial from ION with good examples of their cameras’ video quality and versatility:




ION Air Pro Wi-Fi
ION Air Pro Wi-Fi
MSRP: $349.95
ION Helmet & Bike Kit
ION Helmet & Bike Kit
MSRP: $69.95
ION Air Pro Plus
ION Air Pro Plus
MSRP: $289.95


Good Ol’ Raisins and Peanuts – The Best GORP Recipes

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

This post comes to you from the staff at Tahoe Mountain Sports. Each of us compiled a list of our five favorite GORP ingredients and added them to the pot. As expected, there were a lot of sweets in that pot. Apparently we’ve all got pretty serious sweet-teeth in both the office and on the trail. Here it is. The ultimate list. The items we deemed the best GORP ingredients, from all our outdoor adventures combined.

Consensus: Mixed nuts, dried fruits, and anything dipped in chocolate or yogurt.

Staff picks:

mixed nuts trail mix

Start with your favorite nuts. Buy in bulk and save big.

Todd (Web Guru)

“Just ‘good old raisins and peanuts’ in mine. -Nah, I’m not that boring!”
Mixed nuts, Reese’s Pieces, Craisins, Pretzels (bonus points for yogurt pretzels), Sesame sticks

Pam (Owner)

“Truthfully I don’t really make GORP or trail mix, but if I did my dream recipe would be:”
Oat Clusters (vanilla almond), Gummy Worms (or anything gummy), Peanut M&M’s (not plain ones), Yogurt covered pretzels (the pink ones!), Carob whoppers (chocolate dipped malt balls)

Ryan (Sales)

Reese’s Pieces, Cherries, Banana chips, Walnuts, Almonds

Dave (Owner)

Dried fruit (Preferrably Pineapple, but mango or apricot are also acceptable.), Peanuts, Cashews, Big plump yellow raisins

dried fruit for trail mix, gorp

Most fruits are also sold dehydrated, so be creative!

Meaghen (Sales)

Pistachios, Dried mango, Chashews, Sunflower seeds, Dried bananas

Adam (Web Content)

Cashews, Cranberries, Almonds, M&M’s, Pumpkin seeds


Pick out whatever sounds best to you and throw it all in a bag!


m&m's - candy for trail mix

Don’t forget to add something sweet!


candy for trail mix

Anything gummy seems to work for some people.










Keep in mind that anything dipped in chocolate or yogurt will melt on warm days, so keep the weather in mind and store your GORP properly. For example, if your mixture includes M&M’s you probably shouldn’t keep it in a plastic bag in your back pocket while trekking across the desert – unless you like clumps of melted chocolate and the taste of a dirty palm.

If you notice we missed something incredibly tantalizing on the taste buds, please comment and let us know! We’d hate to think we were depriving ourselves of a glorious GORP recipe.

Head to the bulk bins at your local grocery store for the best chance at low prices and a wider selection of goodies for your own killer concoction. And in case you’d like more variety or would rather stock up on whole food trail bars and organic energy supplements, we’ve got those too.


ProBar Whole Food Energy Bar
ProBar Whole Food Energy Bar
MSRP: $3.95


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