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Archive for March, 2013

Bear Mountain’s War of Rails 2013

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

WarRailsBlog

See all the excitement for yourself

The War of Rails is an annual event at Bear Mountain. A pro skier by the name of Craig Coker resides there and really wanted to start a competition that would draw the best professionals and amateurs alike. What resulted was the War of Rails and it is an awesome show. It’s been going on for four years, and this year was the best so far. Watch the highlights in the video below.

When you’re through be sure to check out our great selection of skis. We have skis for men and women that perform in any conditions you’ll encounter. We also have great deals on outerwear so be sure to take a look at that as well.

StokeLab: Under The Microscope With A Digital Stoke Magazine

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Tahoe Mountain Sports recently caught up with the fellas from StokeLab, a free digital magazine that wastes absolutely no time publishing material that isn’t sure to fire up, or elicit ‘stoke’ in, their readers. Original and creative trip reports, gear reviews, and awe-inspiring photography are what they do. It’s ‘experimental media’, and  it could range from heli-skiing the Coast Range to philosophies in snacking, or anywhere in between. Here’s a bit about StokeLab.com, a literary work that just may boost your quality of life:

stokelab experimental media

 

TMS: I think it’s safe to say most people are unfamiliar with what actually goes down in a laboratory that studies strictly stoke. Would you mind elaborating?

Drew Pogge: First of all, our lab is pretty state of the art. I mean, between the four of us we have, like, three Macbooks—the Pros, not the shotty normal ones. We also have a high-end Cuisinart blender for smoothies, which is pretty badass. And a karaoke machine. So we’re pretty dialed.

Mike Horn: Ideally we’re outside the Lab doing something fun and then we bring those stories home with us. Skiing, riding, skating, fishing, flying, climbing, floating, biking…the list is endless. Otherwise we spend lots of time filling blank screens with content that inspires and entertains us. If we don’t like it, we don’t run it. Throw in the occasional dog walk and longboard to the post office, and a lot of coffee, and you’ve got a pretty good picture of a day at the StokeLab. 

Justin Cash: And lets not forget the hand-stuffed blue cheese olives in the fridge with a bottle of Tito’s.

The word ‘stoke’ is still relatively new to many, and still not fully accepted among our elders. Is there really a niche to fill here? Are that many people really stoked?

Pogge: If people aren’t stoked, they should be. Stoke is just another word for positive energy. It’s passion. It’s the feeling you get when you’re doing exactly what you should be. We get stoked playing outside, so that’s how it relates to the ‘Lab.

Horn: It’s pretty universal. People use it to describe the feeling they get from scoring Justin Bieber tickets as much as a life-altering powder day. Our focus is documenting the pursuit of stoke, whether skating an empty pool in Arizona or photographing winter light in Montana.

Cash: I like Bieber.

stokelab justin cash

Where, how, and with whom was StokeLab conceived? Where’d you find your team? (more…)

Colorado Hut System: 10th Mtn Jackal Hut Backcountry Ski Trip

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

This guest post comes from Josh Whitney, a Boulder, CO-based pro mountain biker, cyclocrosser and lover of all things alpine. Josh occasionally contributes his trip reports, reviews and inspired mountain ramblings from the Rocky Mountain West to Tahoe Mountain Sports. His blog at josh-whitney.com blends bike racing and mountain adventures with musings on his day job in business, technology and sustainability.

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The stoke meter on winter 2013 hit the red zone over the second half of February in Colorado, and has been full gas ever since. (more…)

Product Review: Atlas Aspect 28 Men’s Snowshoes

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

Atlas mountain snowshoe
Atlas Aspect 28 Snowshoes

Snowshoes should be that one piece of gear that once put on won’t let you down. They need to be as reliable in uphill and downhill travel as they are walking across a field. Presenting the Atlas Aspect 28″ Snowshoes.

The first thing you’ll notice about these snowshoes is their extensive suspension system. Their ReactiV-Trac construction and SLS straps allow for the frame to flex while the binding and crampon conform to the terrain directly underfoot. That adds up to superior traction in constantly changing conditions one would encounter in the backcountry. The Spring-Loaded Suspension (SLS) makes for easier maneuvering by keeping the snowshoe close underfoot and allowing for more natural foot flex. The SLS also helps enhance the shovel-shaped crampon’s penetration into the slope while their sharp ice tips are ready for any ice you’ll encounter. The heel lift bar also comes in handy on steeper ascents by forcing your lean forward, thus reducing the amount of stress on your legs. (more…)

Yurbuds Sport Earbuds: Water-Resistant Headphones For Sports

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Sick of your earbuds not staying put when you’re trying to workout and jam out at the same time? It sure is annoying when I’m constantly tweaking with my ears instead of focusing on the trail or obstacle ahead of me. But now I’ve got a pair of Yurbuds sport earbuds and I no longer have that problem. They help me flow through my workout without distraction, and that makes a tremendous difference. It’s no wonder they’re the official earphone of the Ironman Triathalon.

I think back to lifting weights at the gym before I moved to the mountains, and how frustrated I would get when one earbud would fall out halfway through a set and I’d be forced to listen to a horrific combination of my hard rock and whatever Kanye West song was coming through the gym’s sound system. Their music selection was the whole reason I would bring my own tunes in the first place, so it would have been really nice to have these sport earbuds back then.

Here’s a funny video of people looking ridiculous trying really hard to shake Yurbuds out of their ears:

Yurbuds are sweet because you insert them at a 90-degree angle, then twist them into place and they won’t fall out if they get caught on something like a zipper or an elbow when you’re moving around a lot. (more…)

Splitboarding in Austria: Tirol, Near Schlick – Panoramic & Cashew

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

splitboardingBlog

Investing in a splitboard is way cheaper than a heli-trip!

With the advances in manufacturing processes the market for splitboards has exploded. Splitboarding allows snowboarders the ability to traverse steep, snow-covered terrain that was previously only accessible by skis or snowshoes. With splitboards the only extra equipment required is a pair of collapsable poles which you can stow for the ride down. If you’ve never seen them, a splitboard does exactly what it’s called. A snowboard that splits down the middle and allows the rider to attach skins to use them for uphill climbing. At the summit, the rider then detaches the skins, reassembles the board and rides away clean. Our K2 Panoramic Splitboard in particular is great on steep, fast terrain and varied conditions so it’s ideal for powder as well as Spring corn. As we inch toward Spring conditions in the backcountry get safer and that makes it the perfect time to get out there.

Check out our write-up of the K2 Panoramic Splitboard Package here. Also be sure to view our current sales and promotions on tons of winter gear going on now.

Overnight Getaway: Backpacking The Lower Yuba Trail

Friday, March 15th, 2013

I took all the following photographs with my iPhone. I was naked when I took one of them. And one video. My phone lives in a protective housing called a LifeProof case. It’s waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, basically everything proof. If you haven’t used a LifeProof case, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the quality of footage taken with one.

To start things off on a high note, I drove a half-hour west in the wrong direction. By the time I reached my “destination” it was 11:00 p.m. and a damp fog had set on the Lower Yuba River. I put “destination” in quotes because I didn’t really know where I would be sleeping. town of washington californiaI had more or less dropped a finger on a map in the general vicinity of an area I’d heard had “good camping along the river, and it’ll be warm down low”.

The air temp couldn’t have been below 50, and the smell of a wet lawn beneath my feet rejuvenated the senses. I had been day-dreaming of summer camping and backpacking lately, so with two days off work I loaded a bag and drove down out of the hills in search of warm weather. That night I didn’t bother pitching a tent. The moisture in the air would lead to a wet shelter in the morning, and sleeping in the back of the station wagon seemed much more practical.

The next morning we set off on the South Yuba Trail from the bridge at Poorman’s Creek, and we were lost within two minutes. Someone had mined for gold over winter and completely covered the start of the trail, so it took a few minutes navigating the brush (and lightly panicking as I brushed ticks off my arms and neck) to find the path we came for. So far we had been lost on the drive in, and lost within the first minutes of the hike. This was not the best prelude to an adventure.

But things picked up from here on out, and our walk rewarded us time and time again with beautiful views of the river we paralleled, hillside pools and moss-rock waterfalls, and rolling hills topped with infinite pines. The only sounds I heard for two days (besides Rowdy sounding off, of course) were echoes of wind through the canyon, birds and insects coordinating among themselves, and water slowly clearing its way through stones. Nothing more, nothing less. This was the perfect escape. Not that I have anything to escape from, but if someone wanted to escape I would recommend this location as a noteworthy contestant.

lower yuba trail

Dry up high and lush in the brush. The Lower Yuba Trail takes you through various micro-climates.

On a side note, on the drive in I passed (twice) signs that warned drivers not to pick up hitch-hikers. There must be a prison somewhere nearby. So, if any prisoners happen to be on ‘good-behavior’ and are reading this right now while simultaneously planning an escape, I suggest you head toward the river. There you should find solace, waterside camping, good fishing, and possibly even a young man skinny dipping with his dog. **Please do not approach the young man or his dog. Enjoy your new freedom and let them enjoy theirs. (more…)

How Locals Have Fun With Low Snow Totals Around North Lake Tahoe

Friday, March 15th, 2013

This guest post comes from Robyn Embry, a local pro downhill racer living in Kings Beach, California, for the past seven years. She can be found climbing rocks and skiing powder when not enjoying life on two wheels; her blog http://therobynator.blogspot.com contains the extended version of this and other adventures, including the fun and tribulations found within a season of mountain bike racing.

biking with ski rack

My favorite mode of transportation no matter the season!

Some years, winter in Tahoe is an endless series of blizzard storm days and bluebird powder days. Other years, like this one, it sometimes becomes a challenge to enjoy winter without endless powder–for those without a proper variety of activities to choose from, at least.

One favorite activity, given that there is still enough snow on the ground, is cross country skiing. This may conjure up images of spandex-clad racers striding down a perfectly groomed trail, but my version doesn’t require a trail pass or aerodynamic clothing. I simply strap my skis to my bike for a short ride to the National Forest above Kings Beach (They don’t groom here much like they do at Royal Gorge – more info below).

sunset from diamond peak

Sunset view, taken from my touring skis.

Braving ungroomed terrain on skinny skis can range from relatively tame, to hilariously entertaining and even slightly terrifying, depending on chosen terrain and snow conditions. For the seasoned alpine or telemark resort skier there’s nothing too difficult – just swallow your pride and make a wedge (“Pizza! Pizza!”) if all else fails. Other variables include the number of snowmobile or posthole tracks that crisscross the woods, and bare spots or manzanita bushes lurking just beneath the snow.

Slightly wider skis and metal edges can give more control, but just about anything goes since it’s all about having fun. The afternoon’s soft corn it is quite pleasant for traveling up and down a variety of slopes, but when the sun starts going down and re-freeze occurs, dodging trees on a 20-degree slope can be very exciting. So watch that sun and make sure there’s plenty of time to get back to the trailhead! Regardless of the skiing conditions, I’ll always come flying down to the road with a huge silly grin and no regrets about spending an afternoon puttering in the woods on skinny skis.

xc ski tahoe area

Getting adventurous in the backyard!

When my mom, an avid Nordic skier, comes into town to visit, she prefers to stay on the groomed trails and likes to visit the Royal Gorge’s expansive and scenic trail system. Two weeks ago she flew down from Washington state, and we were booked for two nights at the Clair Tappaan Lodge up near Soda Springs. They offer close accommodations to the ski area. Having been there several times before, we looked for a loop that we had not done yet, but settled on the Devil’s Peak viewpoint the first day. We had previously done it on a stormy day with no views, and wanted to enjoy it on a clear day. That was a nice mellow intro to striding in the tracks for me this season, and an altitude acclimation day for Mom. The scenery was incredibly beautiful and the track was fun and rolling almost the entire way. Our only mistake was taking the (more…)

Review: K2 Panoramic Splitboard Kit, Backcountry Snowboarding Gear

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
k2 panoramic splitboard review

Under-rotated a front flip. Binding shredded to bits (see remaining puck). Board, plates and hardware remain completely in tact.

 

I have been fortunate enough to tour with an awesome splitboard this season and during the second half of last season: the K2 Panoramic Splitboard. Given the far-below-average snowfall the Sierras have received this winter, the Panoramic has been ideal. In powder it surfs like a dream. In corn it rips and lays down hard slashes that move even the heaviest snow, so I can fake “face shots” when they’re really more like “ankle shots”. In crud and chop, it handles like a beast. Not like the yacht that most powder boards resemble when they encounter rough n’ tough stuff, either. This feels more like a wakeboard boat that turns on a dime and weaves in and out of trees as if they were other boats on crowded water. Nothing has changed about the Panoramic Splitboard since last year besides the top-sheet graphics, so this review of the 2013 Panoramic Split equally applies to the 2014 K2 Panoramic Splitboard.

k2 panoramic splitboard kit

Includes everything you need to shred.

This board is lightweight yet strong, making crusty and sticky snow easier to manage. The graphics are also pretty sweet, and the colorful deck-bottom stands out in flat light and in white-out conditions, which should stoke the photographer you dragged up the hill with you.

On a scale of 1-10, 1 being flexible like a park board and 10 being as stiff as they come, I give the Panoramic a 7. It’s stiff enough to be dependable on steep terrain and in no-fall zones, but flexes enough that it’s fun to drive and you can still ollie out of pow and execute clean 180-switch-nose-butters.

The Panoramic is set back one-inch so you float even better when the snow gets deep, and has a sintered base so it’s that much faster. I’d say this board is good pretty much all across the board: steep chutes and hard-packed, slick traverses; trees, both dense and lightly scattered; sun-baked crust, dirty early-May crud, and even groomed runs in-bounds (you can make some mean carves on this badhawk).

The K2 Panoramic Splitboard Kit comes shready! When you get the splitboard package deal you get hardware (mostly installed, besides stance) in addition to K2 touring skins, so it’s ready to shred straight outta the box!

The new climbing skin technology that K2 is using are also super freakin’ sweet! Rather than having to worry about skin glue losing its grip between trips or when exposed to wet snow, we can now depend on the K2 skin clips (nose and tail) to keep our skins taught, thus reducing the need for excessive glue. This also greatly reduces frustrations often experienced at the summit, when all you want is to switch from tour-mode to ride-mode as fast as possible. K2 climbing skins will not stick to your gloves, nor to one another, so you can re-assemble your board with ease and begin ripping much faster than with traditional split skins that lack tail clips. To top it off, the folks who design K2 splitboards colored their skins bright green, which automatically boosts your style points when you’re trudging around in the middle of nowhere with nobody in sight.

I brought this board into some of the best powder of the season, as well as some of the crummiest, heavy and chunky snow. In both scenarios I was thoroughly impressed with the Panoramic’s all-around excellent performance. On a scale of 1-10, I’d give K2’s splitboard technology (board & skins) a 9. It doesn’t get a 10 because I’m leaving room for improvement. Keep your eyes peeled this coming fall for a ladies version of the Panoramic, the K2 Northern Lite splitboard. It features a female-specific flex and width, but offers all the great characteristics of it’s big brother.

 

axtel mountain pencil chute crested butte backcountry

I snapped this pic from the sled on our way out, after shredding the center chute a ‘new one’.
You too can be (almost) this cool with a board that performs as well as the Panoramic.

Pieps DSP Avalanche Beacon
Pieps DSP Avalanche Beacon
MSRP: $449.95
K2 Speed Shovel
K2 Speed Shovel
MSRP: $69.95

North Lake Tahoe SnowFest! Kings Beach Parade & Clearance Sale

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

sports clearance sale

The 32nd Annual North Lake Tahoe SnowFest! wraps up this weekend in North Lake Tahoe. There is a full list of fun activities scheduled throughout the ten-day festival, and the final parade passes right in front of our store in Kings Beach on Saturday! While you’re out and about, stroll into our storefront across from the North Tahoe Event Center and Jason’s Beachside Grille. You can find ridiculous savings at Tahoe Mountain Sports this Friday through Monday. We will have all sorts of awesome outdoor gear and clothing on sale, some as much as 70% off! In fact, everything in our store will be 20-70% off for all four days!

Check out this video taken from our storefront during a recent Kings Beach SnowFest Parade:

 

Come out and enjoy all the festivities, and bring the kids! You’re sure to find fun for all ages. From Bingo to a Pancake Breakfast, Mother-Son Laser Tag and a Dress Up Your Dog contest, there are lots of cool events you won’t want to miss.

Click here to view the10-Day SnowFest Event Calendar

Now’s your chance to get a screamin’ deal on those skis you never bought because we’ve had such a dry year (so far!). Or, think ahead a few seasons and grab yourself a warm winter jacket that will last for years to come. Stock up on breezy spring dresses for the warm and sunny days only a couple months away, or save big on a camp stove and summer backpacking equipment that you may otherwise regret not getting while it’s on sale.

Get an affordable backcountry setup before it’s too late! All skis and boots will be 30-50% off. We’re not talkin’ your average boots or skis, either. We’ve got backcountry gear from Black Diamond, K2, Salomon and more!

All Marmot, Patagonia and The North Face Clothing will be 40% off. Can you believe that? Go ahead, have the person next to you pinch your arm. This is real. Ugg Boots will also be 20% off. I realize 20% may not seem like huge savings, but Uggs hardly ever go on sale, so it’s actually a fantastic deal.

There will be so many discounted items to choose from, only way too much to list here. You’ll have to come have fun exploring our inventory. Monstrous sale applies to walk-in customers only. We don’t tolerate shoplifting, but we’re happy to let you come steal from us this weekend via huge savings :)

Here’s a map of the best place to watch the parade. There are stairs, an elevated balcony, and the local radio MC usually posts up here:

kings beach snowfest parade

 

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