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Archive for April, 2013

The Birthday Challenge: Climb As Many Routes As The Age You Turn

Monday, April 29th, 2013

This post courtesy of Luke Mehall and Deuter USA. Luke is the publisher of The Climbing Zine, and author of Climbing Out of Bed, a definitive collection of climbing and mountain town stories, available as an e-book on Kindle and Nook. If you’d like to read the original post on Deuter’s blog, click here:

This past winter was rough for many regions that were expecting higher snow accumulations, but the dry season made for better rock climbing and other outdoor sports. Thankfully Tahoe Mountain Sports is an all-encompassing gear shop, so they outfit athletes of many disciplines that train in all climates. Get gear for climbing, cycling, trail running, skiing, paddling…you name it. Deuter also makes gear for a multitude of sports, and several Deuter products were used in the making of this story.


birthday climb strapped sandals

My favorite thing about climbing is that if you try hard enough you can always be a champion. It doesn’t matter if you are the best, it matters how it feels.

The Birthday Challenge is a concept passed from climber-to-climber. The format is simple: climb as many routes as the age you are turning.

I’ve always been psyched on the concept, but my birthday is in December, a month when rock climbing and weather don’t always align.

Last spring, while climbing with a relatively new but equally psyched climbing partner, Jonathan “Badger” Mitchell, we discovered our birthdays were three days apart. To top this off, we are only a year apart in age. I told him about The Challenge, and he thought it was super cool. We decided we would do one together, except we’d bend the rules a bit and complete it in the summertime; with longer days and more sunshine it would be easier to achieve.

deuter rock climbing

We immediately began training for the challenge, doing extra pitches after we’d normally retire for the day. At the peak of the summer we reached 20 laps at our local sport climbing crag, The Golf Wall, an overhanging wall of limestone. Then like the summer does it faded away and we’d yet to do The Birthday Challenge. Our dream continued into the fall, but both of us hit the road more to climb. When I returned from my climbing trip I was beat up and had a couple nagging injuries. The Challenge seemed it would have to wait until next year.

But as our birthdays approached The Challenge still lingered in the back of my mind. (more…)

Yoga, Fashion Show & Books – TMS Yoga Benefit for the KB Library

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

friends of the kings beach library

You’re going to want to be at the North Tahoe Event Center in Kings Beach on Tuesday, May 14, from 5:45 to 8:00 p.m. We’re partnering with our local library and some great sponsors to host a free 75-minute yoga class at the North Tahoe Event Center in Kings Beach, led by legendary local instructor Shari Beard! After a rejuvenating yoga session we’ll turn our heads toward the runway, where a fabulous fashion show will display the hottest new clothing from Tahoe Mountain Sports. But that’s not all. Next, we’ll have a raffle with lots of great new summer trends from your favorite outdoor clothing brands! The raffle will be one of the best we have put together yet, and it’s all to benefit the Friends of the Kings Beach Library.

Snacks and drinks will be provided to keep you nourished through the event. A donation of $10 or more is suggested, but don’t worry, no one will be turned away. And since a book swap is such a great way to discover new literature, we’re encouraging everyone to bring a book and swap with someone else! Or if you’re feeling friendly, bring a few extra books to donate to our library!

A great assortment of prizes will be up for raffle. Win an amazing new outfit (of your choice!) from top outdoor brands including Prana, Horny Toad and Kuhl! Other cool prizes include merino wool base layers from Smartwool, premium leather sandals from OluKai and performance sport socks from Wigwam.

Raffle tickets are only $10 each, but you can up your odds by getting ten tickets for $50! You don’t need to be present to win, and you can purchase raffle tickets at the door or online anytime before the event. Winners will be drawn during the Yoga Benefit. If you don’t show up but your ticket is drawn, we will let you know via email so you can still collect your winnings.

To purchase raffle tickets online visit:

This Yoga Benefit for the Friends of the Kings Beach Library is presented by Tahoe Mountain Sports and sponsored by Prana Clothing, Horny Toad Activewear, Kuhl Clothing, Olukai Sandals, Wigwam Socks and SmartWool.

Shari Beard pose



About Shari Beard Yoga:

Shari Beard has been gratefully teaching yoga in the Tahoe/Truckee area for the last 10 years.  Shari has a strong foundation in alignment based Hatha yoga.  She loves to share how the practice of asana and meditation supports us in living from the heart.  Shari is passionate about building community because it lends to accountability and support in living practice of yoga.






About Friends of Kings Beach Library:

The Kings Beach Library is celebrating their 25th Anniversary this year and Placer County is planning a $50,000 remodel. The remodel will help the library update their facility to improve circulation, create more space for people to sit and read or work and improve ADA access. The Friends have been asked to contribute $25,000 towards the remodel. They need your help, so let the fundraising begin!


View the event on Facebook:

View the event on or join our meetup group:


yoga class kings beach

One of Shari’s classes outside the North Tahoe Event Center.

Here Now: Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboards From Boardworks SUP

Monday, April 22nd, 2013
inflatable sup tahoe

photo: Brandon Lottman

Stand Up Paddling is getting more popular each year, and Tahoe Mountain Sports finally jumped on-board. We now carry the Shubu, an inflatable stand up paddle board from Boardworks SUP. Shubu stands for “Show Up and Blow Up”, and that’s literally what you do with it. When deflated, it rolls down and fits into an included stuff sack with shoulder straps, so you can wear it as a backpack while you walk or bike to the water. When you get there, pull it out and blow it up with the included pump. Then simply set it on the water and step on. That’s all there is to it!



boardworks sup shubu

We decided to carry the Boardworks SUP Shubu because we love how easy it is to transport, yet it’s still an actual board. It doesn’t feel soft like you think it should for being a blow-up board. This inflatable stand up paddleboard is perfect for lake or river camping trips because you can pack it in your trunk, and it’s great for quick jaunts to your local water when you want a good morning workout but don’t have racks on your car to support a 10-foot hard board. For now, we carry them in three different sizes: 9’2″ and wide, 10’2″ and wide, and the regular width Shubu 10’7″. They pack down to less than three feet in diameter, and they provide great support for hours on end without refilling.






Since our selection of stand up paddle boards is so travel-friendly,
we figured it best to also carry collapsible boardworks 3 piece paddleSUP paddles and keep packing and stuffing to a minimum. The 3-Piece Carbon Fiber Paddle from Boardworks SUP weighs only 1-lb., 12-oz. and breaks into sections so you can stash it in your pack along with your SUP, or toss it on the front seat and reassemble it quickly. This Carbon Fiber SUP Paddle is so lightweight you barely notice it, making paddling distances less strenuous on the arms and upper-body. The whole point is to have fun while you’re out there, not suffer from over-exertion.

The military grade UV-resistant rubber Boardworks uses for their inflatable SUPs is very durable and more firm than most would expect. You can make your SUP pretty stiff with the included pump, especially since it features a pressure gauge to help you fill it to the appropriate level, but Boardworks recommends topping it off with their K-20 Finishing Pump (sold separately) to get the best possible performance. The K-Pump only weighs two pounds and is less than two feet long, so it’s also easy to transport.


boardworks pfd

shubu center fin












Tahoe Mountain Sports also has Stand Up Paddleboard accessories, so if you were to misplace or break something like, say, your plastic center fin, you can get a replacement fin from us and get right back out on the water. Each inflatable SUP comes with a rubber patch kit for do-it-yourself SUP repairs, but we thought it would be a good idea to also stock up on other things; things that some people consider necessities, and others may call ‘excess’. For example, a Rubber Coiled Calf Leash that secures your board to your body. Depending how you choose to use your board, a leash could be a good idea, or it may not matter so much. River and ocean surfers may appreciate the added security of a leash, but it could get in the way if you were doing SUP yoga or riding more powerful surf where you’d want to be free of any constraints. River surfers would probably also see more use in the Boardworks SUP PFD, which deflates so small it fits in a comfortable waist pack. Call it a fanny pack PFD, if you will. Only this waist pack looks much cooler than the type your mom used to wear to the amusement park.

If you’re into stand up paddling and you haven’t had the chance to try out a Boardworks SUP inflatable stand up paddleboard, do yourself a favor and give one a shot. You may realize how much easier leisure travel is when you can pack up your SUP and wear it on your back or store it in the backseat. And if you’re just getting into Stand Up Paddling, this could be your golden ticket. Save yourself the trouble of dealing with car racks and trying to carefully transport your fragile board to and from the water. Get an inflatable SUP, show up, and blow up!


The Pain McShlonkey Classic: A Love For Skiing With No Boundaries

Friday, April 19th, 2013

This post comes from Matt Lucas, an avid explorer who, when he’s not guiding trips for Brooklyn Outfittersadventures around the country and beyond. His writing and photography on travel and skiing has appeared in many places online and in print. Based out of New York City, his addiction to clean alpine air keeps him both sane and on the move. There is no mission too small, far, or silly that he won’t consider.

Pain McShlonkey 2013

Hulk Hogan in all his glory

For those of us not lucky enough to live in Tahoe, the lake and its personalities may have an even larger presence than in reality. There’s always been something that resonated with me about it. While the area is not as “extreme” as Chamonix, in which local hero Glen Plake chooses to make his home part-time, or as fancy as Jackson, the home of top notch athletic talent in many disciplines, it has always seemed to have a certain amount of more fun to it. Maybe even American-ness, which to me is way more important, anyway.

pain mcshlonkey downhill

Snowlerblading in America

Maybe it’s the unpretentious way the log cabin architecture and the roadside stands ground the area, bearing witness to a lifestyle past that was brought to us by the promise of refrigerators and automobiles that make it so approachable. It certainly was not only the ski industry that delivered tourists to the shores here, even if the 1960 Winter Olympics brought athletes of the highest level to compete on the snowy slopes, some sticking around and many others migrating soon afterward.

If one man was to ever embody dual ethos of talent and levity, or at least populism, it surely would have been Shane McConkey, who was honored by Squaw Valley Ski Resort in the third annual Pain McShlonkey Classic weekend at the end of March. For me, this would be an opportunity to make a pilgrimage to Tahoe, and to take an account of his influence on skiing today. It was also an opportunity to say goodbye to the winter season, as unpredictable temperatures and lower elevations on my native east coast will close most resorts by April Fools. (more…)

Road Trip: Climbing & Mountain Biking Northern, Southern California

Friday, April 12th, 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 contains the extended version of this and other adventures, including the fun and tribulations found within a season of mountain bike racing.

whitney portal climbing

Whitney Portal – granite as far as the eye can see

Less than two weeks after returning from a mountain bike race in Las Vegas, Kit and I were back on the road again toward Fontana, CA, for yet another race. That went well and I walked away with the win, ready to enjoy some more Southern California sunshine during a week of visiting friends, climbing, surfing and riding bikes. One of our first stops was Pirate’s Cove by Newport Bay for some bouldering. Here, a crash pad is not totally necessary because of the soft sandy landing, but a pair of slip-on or Velcro climbing shoes and some Reef sandals are nice and easy to trade off between problems. There are some climbs in the shade, but the sun gets intense at the boulders directly on the beach, making a good sunscreen like Sierra Summits Adventure Sunscreen a great idea. Sun hats are good too; a ball cap just doesn’t cut it in strong sunshine. This I’ll remember next time. Something like the Prana Sally hat looks cute and protects your ears as well.

pirates cove bouldering

Pirate’s Cove

After the fun bouldering session our friend offered to shuttle us on the San Juan mountain bike trail, located up in the Santa Ana Mountains. One of Southern California’s premier single tracks, this trail is way the heck out there

Quick Healthy Snacks: Organic Backcountry Fruit Smoothie Mix

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

This post comes from Pam Jahnke, owner of Tahoe Mountain Sports and healthy eating connoisseur. Pam is always on the prowl for tasty new treats, but she holds a few prerequisites: they must be all-natural, provide good energy, and pack a solid punch of flavor. Here’s one of her most recent creations, which takes little effort and whips up quickly so you can grab-n-go, and keep going all day.

sherwood valley smoothie

Living an active life with kids, work and outdoor adventures, I’m always looking for healthy snacks that I can make or grab quickly. I’m one of those people always trying new food plans – one month I’m gluten-free, then I’m going Paleo or doing the Blood Type Diet. I think I drives my husband a bit nuts because one month there’s no meat, then the next it’s all about the meat! I look at it as a process that I’m constantly refining to learn which foods provide my body with the best fuel.

One great easy go-to snack, or even a meal for me, is a smoothie. Sometimes I use a protein powder and add fruit and almond milk, other times I just blend up some greens with ginger, lemon and banana for a nice veggie boost. While looking for a new protein powder I decided to try a Fruit & Vegetable Smoothie mix from Sherwood Valley Juice Co. because it’s sugar, gluten, soy and dairy-free. They come in lots of different flavors; I tried Citrus Sunrise and it came out an interesting bright green color! You can blend it with water or add your own frozen fruit and milk/soy products for extra flavor and nutrition. I recommend adding some ice cubes or liquid to thin out the texture just a little bit. Each smoothie is packed with lots of fiber, potassium, and vitamins A and C, but only 5 grams of protein.

sugar gluten soy dairy free smoothie mixsugar soy dairy gluten free smoothie mix














What are your go-to snacks while on the run or when you’re backpacking or camping?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the smoothie mix for free from Sherwood Valley Juice Co. as coordinated by Deep Creek Public Relations.


AthlEats Performance Trail Mix
AthlEats Performance Trail Mix
MSRP: $8.95
Clif Shot Blocks - Pack
Clif Shot Blocks – Pack
MSRP: $2.39

2014 Backcountry Ski Gear Testing Throughout The Sierra Nevada

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
Getting ready to hit the trail

Getting ready to hit the trail

Being the ski and boot buyer here at Tahoe Mountain Sports can be a daunting job as I have to sift through literally tons of product on a regular basis to pick out what are going to be the best options for our customers and what companies are truly making the top-of-the-line gear. I have to balance fit, durability, comfort, price and of course graphics when deciding what to bring in to the shop. One of the best parts of this decision-making process is when the companies and sales reps give us a chance to test their gear in the field. This past March, I was fortunate enough to be invited on a trip down to Bishop with Sierra Mountain Guides at their hut in North Lake to test out the latest from La Sportiva, Scarpa and Arc Teryx. Just one week later I headed out to Lost Trail Lodge, outside of Truckee, to ski and test with the Tecnica and Blizzard crew. Here is a short recap of both trips and the gear I got to use:

Trip 1: North Lake, Lamarck Col, Paiute Pass – Outside of Bishop, CA

Gear: La Sportiva Hi5 Skis, Scarpa Maestrale RS Boots, Arc Teryx Beta AR Jacket

Skinning up in the amScarpa Maestrale RSLa Sportiva Hi5 Skis

I joined this group that consisted of buyers from four shops from all over California, three guides from Sierra Mountain Center and our La Sportiva and Scarpa sales reps. It was a lively group with folks of all ability levels, and since there were a few of us that were there for the uphill skinning and steeper downhill skiing, we quickly broke off from the less experience skiers. We gained some great vert and had some pretty awesome turns all day long, both powder and hard snow. This was an area of the Sierra Nevada I had never toured in before so it was exciting to check out new terrain, especially the Lamarck Col and Paiute Pass areas.

As for the gear, I have positives and negatives to share (more…)

The New Primal Jerky: Healthy Trail Snacks & Energy Boosts

Friday, April 5th, 2013

This post comes from Pam Jahnke, owner of Tahoe Mountain Sports and mother of a very energetic young daughter. Pam spends her (free?) time actively seeking fun times outdoors on her bike, skis and feet. Whether it’s her lifestyle or her daughter that requires the most healthy and sustained energy, we may never know. But we do know this: Pam knows healthy snacking – maybe even as well as we know mountain sports. This week she unveils her latest discovery: the perfect protein snack for time on the trail and a life on the move.

kid's bike tow

I’m so excited packing up for my first bike trip to Moab! I can’t wait to sleep in a tent under the stars and wake up to the birds chirping and sounds of nature all around. Whenever we go on a camping trip I’m responsible for packing all of the food and everything related to cooking and preparing it. I like things to be easy when camping, without a lot of mess or waste yet still healthy and all natural.

Since we’re going to be biking and hiking around all day long I want to make sure we get enough protein. The best snack for high protein (in my opinion) is beef jerky. Well, so is cheese but since I’m trying to eat Paleo cheese is not appropriate right now. When I saw The New Primal jerky with added nuts and dried fruit I thought, “Bingo! This will be the perfect healthy snack for my family. It’s tail mix with beef jerky!”

primal jerky trail packI checked out The New Primal company online and, wow! After reading about this grass-fed natural jerky endorsed by my favorite Paleo blogger at, nicknamed the Paleo Pocket, I was completely sold! Finally, real healthy food with just the right amount of protein and sugars for a fuel fix that’s easy to grab and go in one small pouch. The beef is grass-fed, the flavors all-natural, the nuts are raw and the dried fruit isn’t sweetened – what’s not to love?the new primal jerky








The New Primal Company makes different flavors for different tastes. My four-year-old daughter likes the Trail Pack with Mango the best while I prefer the Trail Pack with Cranberries. I think the cranberries are just the right size and tartness to match perfectly with the beef jerky. They also have one called Just Jerky for those who just want to enjoy the nice smokey flavor of the beef. I think you should go out and try The New Primal Trail Packs and decide for yourself though.

Time to get back to packing. I’ve already ordered my favorite ener-treats from Kaili’s Creative Kitchen and got a case of The New Primal Trail Packs ready to go. Now it’s time to chop the fresh veggies and marinate some meat for the grill and we’ll be all set for our Moab mountain biking trip. Enjoy Spring!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the beef jerky for free from The New Primal as coordinated by Deep Creek Public Relations.


AthlEats Performance Trail Mix
AthlEats Performance Trail Mix
MSRP: $8.95
Gu Energy Sports Gel
Gu Energy Sports Gel
MSRP: $1.49

The Lake Tahoe Outdoor Adventure Group Is On!

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Are you looking for people to do fun things with outdoors? Maybe you have a friend that is new to the area and they want someone to hike with, or your significant other desperately needs to find their own set of biking friends. Well, we have a meetup group! It’s a place to meet others in the area who share the same passion for outdoor activities, and it’s free to join. Once you’ve signed up you can post your plans (or ideas for future plans) to OUR MEETUP PAGE ON MEETUP.COM, and start discussing arrangements for cool activities like day hikes, trail runs, bike rides, yoga on the beach, and anything else you can (or can’t) think of. Collaborate with others to come up with a creative outing, or invite someone to tag along on a trip you’re already planning. That’s the beauty of being part of a group!

nachtspektakel diamond peak
With a fun-filled winter behind us, we’re excited to see many more meet-ups as the warmer months roll in. You’ll start to hear about events like Trail Run Demo Days where companies like Montrail or Salomon bring boxes of new shoes for you to try out on a local trail, or Ultimate Frisbee on the beach or Disc Golf Tournaments at a local course. We also have a couple Ladies Nights each year, where local backcountry babes and mountain mamas snack, drink, socialize and score rare discounts on women’s products. Help us put more cool ideas on the board so we can get together with our local community more often! Visit and search for Lake Tahoe Outdoor Adventure Group or CLICK THIS LINK to go directly to our group’s page. (more…)

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