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Archive for October, 2013

2013 Ladies Night at TMS to Benefit Tahoe Food Hub

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2012, 5 to 8 p.m.
Ladies’ Evening Fundraiser for the Tahoe Food Hub

Special Discounts This Night Only, Fantastic Raffle Prizes!

Tahoe Food Hub

Join your fellow ladies of the lake for a fun night at your local gear hub and get psyched for winter along with the rest of us! Store-wide savings and special deals offer the perfect chance to do some holiday shopping, or to simply spoil yourself! A portion of proceeds from Ladies Night will benefit the Tahoe Food Hub, a local non-profit that works hard to bring our communities nutritious foods grown on local, sustainable farms and connect our local restaurants with food producers for a healthier and happier future.

“The Tahoe Food Hub is a non-profit organization that is building a regional food distribution system for North Lake Tahoe by taking advantage of its close proximity to year-round food production. To be successful, it will take a community. You are that community.” –

Take advantage of special discounts on gear and clothing this night only! There are great prizes to be won, including UGG boots, backpacks from Boreas Gear, outfits from Horny Toad and Prana, and lots more. We’re also giving out free socks with purchase! With winter just around the corner, we have everything you need to stay warm outside. If you’re into hiking, yoga, Crossfit, rock climbing, skiing or snowboarding, snowshoeing or Nordic skiing, we’ve got the gear to get you out there!

Thank you to the sponsors of the evening, Uncorked, Prana, Horny Toad, Pistil, Wigwam, Headsweats and Boreas Gear!


Uncorked (Squaw, Tahoe City and Truckee) showcases a large selection of limited production wines from around the world, and is dedicated to bringing great wine and food to the North Lake Tahoe area. You’ll love the flavors they donate for this event!

If you can’t make the event but would still like to donate to a wonderful local community cause, please check out the Tahoe Food Hub Crowd Funding Site. Here’s some more incentive to help out:

“The mission of the Tahoe Food Hub is to galvanize our community to build a regional and equitable food system. Our vision is to be a “hub” for all sustainable food initiatives that promote social, economic and environmental responsibility in our food system.”


The North Face Thermoball Review: Waterproof Synthetic Insulation

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

This review comes from Scott Johns, an adventure cinematographer, mountain biker and snowboarder living in Incline Village on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. When Scott’s not creating beautiful imagery for video, he’s out ripping singletrack or shredding big lines in his backyard that we call the Eastern Sierra Nevada. Find more of Scott’s work at

What the heck is Thermoball? No, it’s not the next sport that will be all the rage at the 2032 Olympics in Afghanistan. It’s a waterproof synthetic alternative to down insulation from The North Face. Not only do less geese get plucked, but it’s lighter than down, dries faster and insulates better when wet. Just as compressible as their down alternatives, the Thermoball jacket, hoodie and vest will keep you warmer this winter while saving both weight and space. Equivalent to 600-fill down, The North Face Thermoball line serves both women and men in a variety of colors.





The North Face Thermoball Hoodie Insulated Jacket
The hooded version of the Thermoball Full Zip Jacket features two hand pockets, elastic binding at cuffs and hood, hem cinch-cord system in hand pockets and three-color, zipper-pull detail. The *bluesign-approved-fabric hoodie will conveniently stow away into its own hand pocket when you’re ready to pack it. Hard for the men’s down or synthetic jackets to beat that.






Check out this display of how lofty The North Face Thermoball insulation really is:


Oh. My. God. Becky, look at that insulation. It is like, so lofty! It must be one of those other guys’ role models.


The North Face Thermoball Full Zip Insulated Jacket
With all the same features as the hoodie, except the hood, the Thermoball Full Zip Jacket is your minimalist alternative to all the other women’s down and synthetic jackets out there. Need to go even more minimal? Get the vest.



Kit Deslauirers in the Thermoball Full Zip Jacket. Jackson Hole, WY. Photo: Tim Kemple







The North Face Thermoball Vest
Same features, no hood, no sleeves. The Thermoball Vest has bound armholes instead of cuffs. It uses the same 600-fill down-equivalent Thermoball technology and bluesign-approved fabric as its siblings. Vests are great layering pieces when you need a comfortable medium. Plus, you’ll look really slick while keeping your core warm.




The North Face footwear even comes with Thermoball insulation! Keep your toes toasty with Thermoball Booties and Thermoball Slippers! The women’s version, the Thermoball Roll-Down Bootie, is versatile and stylish for both the comfort of your living room and tooling around in public.




*The bluesign® system is the solution for a sustainable textile production. It eliminates harmful substances right from the beginning of the manufacturing process and sets and controls standards for an environmentally friendly and safe production. (

Steals & Deals: Big Preseason Discounts On Winter Boots And Layers

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Winter is almost here and we have some killer deals to send you into the mountains in style, without breaking the bank. Who wouldn’t want a sweet deal on warm footwear and technical layers to keep warm when the temperatures drop? We all love skiing, climbing and playing outdoors all day without freezing our butts off! This season we’re featuring women’s winter boots, men’s hiking and trail running shoes, a women’s softshell jacket and a men’s insulated midlayer – but we have so many more deals going on! Head over to our Outlet for big sales on outdoor gear, or browse around at for a huge selection of bargain deals and closeout items.


The North Face Abby IV Boots – Women’sthe-north-face-abby-4-boot

Reg: $174.95
Sale: $98.95

This insulated leather boot from The North Face is designed for winter hiking and outdoor use on a regular basis. Ladies’ feet will stay warm and dry in the snow and cold weather, and temperature-sensitive lugs on the soles provide great traction on the iciest, slipperiest surfaces. The waterproof Abby 4 Boot has 200 grams of warm insulation, and a compression-molded drop-in insole adds even more all-day comfort.







The North Face Chilkat II Boots – Women’sthe-north-face-chilkat-boot

Reg: $99.95
Sale: $69.95

This durable, insulated women’s boot keeps feet warm down to -25 degrees Fahrenheit! Highly versatile, it’s perfect for snowshoeing and hiking or shoveling the driveway and other outdoor winter work. A fleece-lined tongue and collar make these The North Face boots super comfortable in any conditions. Waterproof, and also with 200 grams of insulation, The North Face Chilkat 2 lets you push through winter without worries.







Montrail Mountain Masochist Shoes – Men’smontrail-mountain-masochist-mens

Reg: $99.95
Sale: $59.95

This men’s Montrail trail running shoe lets you create the ideal fit with webbing and straps that wrap around your foot and connect directly to the laces. Large ‘blades’ under the forefoot dig into the ground, even the loosest terrain, and an innovative arch support balances well over varied terrain. Perfect for everyone from light trail runners to ultramarathoners, day hikers or distance thru-hikers, the Montrail Mountain Masochist  provides excellent grip, support and a comfortable performance fit.



7th Annual Tahoe Mountain Sports Pro-Am/Sierra Tahoe Series Recap

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

This post come from Justin Weilacher, a friend of TMS and avid disc golfer (PDGA #41309) residing in Sacramento, CA. With extensive knowledge of the game from years of experience playing in a variety of environments and weather conditions, Justin is a great resource for all sorts of disc golf advice. Read more from Justin at his blog,

Tahoe Mountain Sports hosted the final tournament in the Sierra Tahoe Series October 12 and 13 at North Tahoe Regional Park in Tahoe Vista, California; there was incredible competition at the premier disc golf course in Tahoe. The Sierra Tahoe Series is a newer series that has exploded in popularity over the past few years. Quality courses, intense competition and incredible weather draws golfers from all over. The disc golf communities of Northern California and Nevada quickly realized the high quality events that the series has to offer, and they fill the Tahoe Series events quickly.

Sierra Series events are well planned, well executed and well sponsored by both local and national companies. Tahoe Mountain Sports owner David Polivy treats his involvement in the Series as a business investment and manages the series professionally. Polivy’s continued efforts netted the series a major sponsor, Merrell, who has added value for the series participants. Thanks to the hard work of the folks at Tahoe Mountain Sports and the committed golfers of the Tahoe community, all seven tournaments in the series have sold out. As a courteous perk, at the final event a lunch was provided; not just on Saturday, like many events, but on Sunday as well. And a hot fire was perfect on the chilly Sunday morning as players gathered to discuss the series standings and the hole placements for the final day.


For participants, there is plenty of value just in the disc golf experience provided by the Series Organizers Paul Sanchez, Skot Meyer, Gayle Baker, David Polivy, and Craig Getty. Tournament directors regularly arrived at the courses with hole assignments laid out in advance, player’s packs prepared, and a team of support staff at the ready. There was never a shortage of local golfers willing to lend a hand. The events started on time and information was presented clearly and concisely at the player’s meeting.

Organizers chose the perfect course for the series finale and had the Tahoe Vista course primed for serious competition. The 18-hole course was changed in between every round increasing the challenge for the series competitors. At the meeting prior to the final round of the series, Paul Sanchez announced all the divisions that were in contention – almost all of which had a drama-filled final round as the winners were not decided until the final putts dropped in the baskets.


Sierra Tahoe Series Organizers – Paul Sanchez, Skot Meyer, Gayle Baker, Dave Polivy (missing: Craig Getty)

There were equal parts camaraderie and competition on the course throughout the weekend, and there wasn’t a card I played on that had a single bad egg. We shared stories, exchanged high fives, discussed our fan grips and fore-hand throws. Tempted fate with death-putts on pedestal pins. Discussed the virtues of three-ness. Argued that holes should have been par fours. Argued that lots of holes should have been par fours. One thing I know for sure – I’ll be making the drive up the mountain for next year’s Sierra Tahoe Series.

Read more from Justin about the premier disc golf course in Tahoe: Playing Tahoe Vista – Lake Of The Sky Disc Golf Course

Sherpas Cinema “Into The Mind” Premieres At Homewood & MontBleu

Friday, October 18th, 2013

What: Sherpas Cinema “Into the Mind” Ski Movie Premieres Where: MontBleu Casino and Homewood Mountain Resort When: November 23 and 24

Sherpas Cinema’s new movie, “Into the Mind”, is coming to Tahoe in November and the film’s stars, Johnny Collinson, Chris Rubens and Mark Abma, will be on-site! Come check out what some are calling “the greatest ski film ever made” at South Lake’s MontBleu Resort, Saturday, Nov. 23, ($15 – or $10 when you show your ’13/14 season pass) or at Homewood Mountain Ski Resort on the west shore, Sunday, Nov. 24 ($12 and includes one free beer + Homewood pint glass + raffle ticket). Or, even better, come to both. The first 200 tickets are being sold as two-4-one deals – that’s $6/each for all these awesome perks!

These shows are expected to fill up quick, so don’t wait until the last minute to buy tickets. Come get yours at Tahoe Mountain Sports in Kings Beach, or purchase online at: (Saturday showing at MontBleu) or (Sunday showing at Homewood)

There will be a fire pit and a full bar at the Homewood premiere, and the movie will show on a big screen (unlike the premature Truckee showing!) which sounds unique and fun, and if you haven’t yet heard the word on the street, this ski flick is ridiculously awesome. Tahoe Mountain Sports is amped to be a headlining sponsor for one of the best, most innovative ski films of all time. One raffle ticket is included with ticket purchase, and proceeds from additional raffle tickets will go to the Sierra Avalanche Center. Raffle prizes include, but are definitely not limited to, new skis from Black Diamond and Salomon, The North Face ski jackets, Smith snow goggles and sunglasses, Goal Zero solar power, Teva shoes, Homewood lift tickets and Tahoe Mountain Sports Gift Certificates. Come party with the boys from Sherpas Cinema and get pumped for the 2013/2014 season. See you there! into-the-mind-tahoe

AOTW: Backing Down In Downieville – Mountain Biking Mishaps

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

 This Adventure Of The Week comes from Adam Broderick, a silly goose who could have seriously injured, or even killed himself, last weekend while visiting the world-class singletrack trails in Downieville, California. Thankfully, his mom scolded him enough as a kid…and he’s hit his head on enough rocks and trees…that he’s learned his lesson.


Sunday and Monday were awesome. We took our annual October adventure to Downieville, California, for two days of some of the country’s best downhill singletrack mountain biking. 15 miles of downhill sweetness, with a little rolling ups and flats mixed in. It’s pretty dreamy, and even during the short climbs the scenery distracts you, so you tend to forget how much climbing you actually do. At least, I do. I’m on a cross-country bike. My buddies on downhill monsters weren’t so casual about the climbs, but then again, they purchased their bikes with the intention of climbing less often. Nonetheless, everyone most certainly enjoyed the downhill. We all took our fair share of falls, too. Fortunately, none were very serious and everyone only brought home scratches and bruises.



I went over my bars. Upon deployment my shorts got caught and my bike came along for the flight. We went over one full rotation and landed on my feet. Well, I landed on my feet, but my bike landed on my shoulders, so I proceeded to slide another thirty feet down the steep canyon, toward the river. It came to the point where I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to stop before the rocks and water below. Things got scary for a few moments. Finally, I was able to self-arrest and wait a few moments for Israel to get to me and help me untangle myself from bike and branches. Unfortunately, nobody got a photo of how far I slid downhill. I would have liked a copy of that image to look back on years from now. Top 3 most memorable bike wipe-outs of my life, for sure.

Heather went over her bars, but surprisingly that was her worst fall, and she came out with just a scratch. This was her introductory mountain biking trip and she impressed us all (Heather’s a quick learner). She’s been on a dirt bike for years, so after learning how to efficiently work through the gears and a few other cycle-specific tricks, she picked it up quickly and really enjoyed her first time on a mountain bike. Actually, we’re pretty sure she’s sold on the sport and will get her own bike next season.

Israel usually goes over the bars. That’s probably because he goes bigger and faster than the rest of us. At one point, and I know this because I was behind him when it happened, his front tire caught on a rock and his bars jerked to the left…away from the trail and down the hill. His bike did a 180 and stopped, upright, leaning against a short and skinny Aspen tree. Israel, on the other hand, kept moving through the air. He pretty much did a misty flip. The fact that he came out unharmed was sweet. The sight of him flipping through the air and down the hill, only to land on his butt in a pile of dirt, was even sweeter.


Eric went down twice in twenty feet. We’ll let those ones go, because he was exhausted and navigating a technical rock field, and sometimes when you’re delirious you fall. I think we can all agree to that. But what Eric did do that was most memorable was get a flat – immediately after helping Israel repair his, and they were all out of spare bike tubes by that point. So Eric got to walk the last three miles downhill on the second afternoon. I’m sure he slept well last night.


The next day when we returned to the summit ready to repeat the awesomeness of the day before, something went wrong. Terribly, terribly wrong. My helmet wasn’t in the car. (more…)

Colorful Tahoe: 5 Awesome Things To Do In Tahoe During Autumn

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

This blog comes from Scott Johns, an adventure cinematographer, mountain biker and snowboarder living in Incline Village on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. When Scott’s not creating beautiful imagery for video, he’s out ripping singletrack or shredding big lines in his backyard that we call the Eastern Sierra Nevada. Find more of Scott’s work at


A quick explosion of color followed by a thick blanket of snow. That’s how fall goes in Tahoe. When we get the winters we hope for, that is. The first part of the equation is already under way. Here are my top five things to do in Tahoe during fall. Other than snow dancing, of course.

1) Sierra Nevada Color Safari

Since we only get one chance at this each year, it’s first on our list. Tahoe is all about breathtaking scenery, and fall is no exception. Arguably the most beautiful time of year, here are some of the best places to take it all in. Hike, get great photos or just sit and stare for awhile.

Tahoe Fall Colors:

-Blackwood Canyon, south of Tahoe City on Hwy 89.
– Paige Meadows, near Tahoe City.
– Anywhere near Fallen Leaf Lake/Tallac/Angora Lake.
– Brockway pass along Hwy 267. As the colors peak, you’ll see several painters stationed here, capturing the image on their canvases.

Surrounding Fall Colors:

– Hope Valley, near Carson Pass.
– June Lake, near Mammoth Lakes.
– Aspen groves on the downhill (Hwy 395) from Bridgeport to Mono Lake. Get great views from the highway, or take a short adventure to Travertine Hot Springs.


Not a photography aficionado, but still want to capture the experience with some great images? A professional photographer recently told me that the camera is the least important part of the equation. You don’t need a Nikon D1 to shoot fall colors like a pro. I get great shots with my GoPro HERO3 Black Edition. Use GoPro’s Tripod Mount with the compact Joby Gorillapod Camera Tripod and your crystal clear images will have your friends convinced you are a pro.


2) Mountain Biking Tahoe’s Trails

Summer is great for mountain biking in Tahoe, but fall is better. Trails are less crowded. The scenery becomes even more beautiful. And the occasional rain and cooler temperatures keep the dust down. Biking is my favorite fall activity, by far. So much so that it even saddens me when the snow begins to cover the trails. But only until it’s deep enough to shred.

Spent all summer getting into optimum cycling shape? Here are some killer pedals to conquer, with big payoffs:

– Hole in the Ground, a long loop near Boreal ski area – painful and serene, all at once.
Flume Trail/Rim Trail Loop in reverse, from Spooner to Marlette to the flume – this is the best way to do it. You’ll probably need a cold beer, followed immediately by your bed.
-Rim Trail, Brockway Summit to Mt. Baldy – a demanding climb, but very rewarding. Going the other way from Brockway to Watson Lake is also a fantastic ride, and very hard work.
-The Bench Trail – conquer this one from either side, Spooner or Kingsbury, or get them both in one ride if you’re feeling savage.

Don’t forget your CamelBak bike backpack with lots of water, and an extra layer. You’ll be hot when you’re pedaling, but you’ll want to manage that sweat so it doesn’t turn you into a cyclisticle through the exposed zones and downhills. A spare tube, bike pump and tire levers are also more important during fall, when you are less likely to cross paths with good Samaritans out on the trail.


3) Lake Tahoe Disc Golf

I learned this isn’t just a warm-weather activity two winters ago when mother nature forgot to drop any snow on Tahoe until March. (more…)

Boreas Gear Testing Team: Erawan 70 Adventure Travel Pack Review

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Introducing Round 3 of the 2013 TMS/Boreas Gear Pack Testing Team gear reviews:

Earlier this year we teamed up with Boreas Gear to test their new line of Adventure Travel backpacks. Dan Hutchinson of Eugene, Oregon, took his pack to South Africa to install solar panels, kayaking on the Salmon River, and all over Northern California. He just returned from the field with excellent feedback about his new Boreas Erawan 70.


The Boreas Erawan 70 proved to be the bag I was missing in my expansive selection of packs. Without knowing it, this was the pack I needed all along to fill the gap between a backpack and suitcase. The careful design and diversity of this pack will make it any adventure traveler’s go-to for long trips away from home.

TMS: How do you like the way the pack sits on your back?

Dan: The pack sits on your back comfortably when it’s fully loaded. I found with a partially loaded pack the back panel collapsed. When the large compartment was partially loaded and the top pocket was full the top would sag, making it someone awkward on your back. The adjustable shoulder straps and four cinch straps helped correct this minor annoyance.

Are there any changes you would make to the belt buckle?boreas-erawan-backpack

The Erawan 70 doesn’t have a belt buckle. Although a belt buckle or hip belt might be nice in the rare situation you would be traveling long distances with the pack on your back, the stowable shoulder straps are sufficient for short commutes and in a pinch the hidden daisy chain could be used to secure a piece of webbing for a hip belt.

What activities do you feel this pack is best suited for?

With enough room for several weeks worth of clothes or gear, the Erawan 70 is best suited for traveling from transportation hubs to hotels/hostels. The well designed main pocket opens similar to a suitcase and makes viewing and selecting items easy, and the wet/dry pocket is ideal for dirty clothes as the main pocket empties.

Is there a similar pack you have been lusting after?

There is not a similar pack that I have been lusting over, but more a particular style of pack. I currently own a medium sized North Face Base Camp Duffel (72L), which at a glance would appear to be in the same class as the Erawan, but at a closer look this model stands alone. The Erawan pack is capable of filling a void in any adventure travelers’ needs for an all-around travel pack. Weighing 2lb 4oz the Erawan 70 is a whole pound and four ounces lighter than the Base Camp, with roughly the same amount of storage space, which is a nice quality during long hauls between terminals. The Boreas Erawan also features divided pockets in varying sizes which make organized packing easy, and with carefully placed stowable shoulder straps the main pocket is easy to access at all times. This can’t be said of North Face’s Base Camp Duffel, as you are always battling the shoulder straps when getting in and out of the bag.

boreas-waterproof-backpackWhat did you like most about the pack?

One of my favorite parts about the pack is its sleek streamlined body that makes it ideal for traveling in airports. The stowable shoulder straps pack away nicely when checking your bag and the cinch straps on the sides secure a partially full load. The Boreas Erawan would also make a great carry-on. The two interior pockets provide quick access to toiletries while the top and outermost pockets give easy access to essential items. The side handles make getting on and off planes between flights convenient and are designed to stay close to the pack so they won’t get snagged when removing the pack from the overhead compartment. Another nice touch are the subtle handles on either end of the pack, making a one-hand-grab easy without bending over when the pack is upright. And when it’s time to hustle to the next plane, bus, shuttle, train or travel hub, the hidden shoulder straps hook up in seconds and can be adjusted for several body types.

What did you like least about the pack?

My only complaint is the fact that the top pocket often takes two hands to open or close. The problem is not that the pocket fabric snags in the zipper but that the shape of the pocket and lack of rigid material surrounding the pocket make it difficult to function with one hand. This is hardly a deal-breaker considering all the other benefits of the Erawan.

Overall thoughts on the backpack?

This pack has been my go-to this summer while traveling to South Africa, the Salmon River, and all over northern California. I was able to pack two week’s worth of clothes in the Erawan and still have room to bring home souvenirs. There are no fancy bells and whistles on this pack, but through my travels I never felt that the pack was lacking any features. The pack’s lightweight, durable materials are sure to withstand the tests of time serving the avid traveler time and time again. I would absolutely recommend this pack to a friend


Thanks for the feedback, Dan Hutchinson! Enjoy your new gear :)

Click here to read Round 1 of the 2013 TMS/Boreas Gear Pack Testing Team gear reviews

Click here to read Round 2 of the 2013 TMS/Boreas Gear Pack Testing Team gear reviews

What To Wear: Trail Running Gear I Love To Use Around Lake Tahoe

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013


I love trail running. Especially in the mountains. I haven’t always been a runner, but I dabbled as a kid. I’d go through multi-week phases months (or even years) apart, but I remember often feeling the urge to move fast on foot. It’s a feeling that’s tough to beat, flying downhill with the wind in your face, sweat cooling as you move ahead faster than your feet should allow. You feel powerful, like Superman. And the liberating feeling you get when you break through the “runner’s wall” is contagious. But it’s not always fun. In fact, sometimes it really sucks and I swear I must be masochistic, but it’s always worth it in the end. No matter how hard it is to get out of bed and force your feet to move out the door, especially when it’s cold and/or dark, the final result is always worthy of the initial suffering.

It’s an underestimated mode of transport, moving by foot. You may not travel as fast as you would on a bike or in a truck, but you can access more terrain and you’re much more nimble. Spontaneous decisions are more accepted by feet than by tires, and it’s more fun, in my opinion, to use my own strength, balance and agility to propel myself forward over varied terrain, even if it requires exerting tons of energy. Actually, that’s one of the best parts.

I know there are readers out there who are relating to this. It’s those of you whom I’d like to address. I am going to list off the trail running gear I have grown to love the past year living in Lake Tahoe, and I will do so as a recommendation. Yes, I work in a retail environment, yes, my goal in the workplace is to move gear, and yes, Tahoe Mountain Sports carries several of these products. Still, this is not solely a sales pitch. It’s an honest review about the trail running gear I use on a regular basis. Still, I’m not exactly low on options, so this review is not to be taken lightly. I could use pretty much any products on the market, but if you see me running around Tahoe I’ll likely be wearing more than one of these items:


Salomon S-Lab Trail Runners


First off, the shoes. I rotate through several pairs of running shoes, depending on the terrain. My Salomon S-Lab trail runners are comfortable miles-on-end, thanks to their seamless upper construction, stretchy toe-box and plush cushioning under-foot. They hug the foot more securely than I’ve felt with other shoes, and the heel-cup holds your foot in place and guides it straight forward to save you energy you’d normally exert perfecting your stride. I’m somewhere between a minimalist and a heel-striker; over the past two years I’ve trained my feet to land more naturally. I love the comfortable medium the S-Lab provides. These Salomon trail running shoes are ideal for my preferred style of mixed terrain, except for overnight trips through Desolation Wilderness, which is mostly granite under-foot so the feet require more protection on longer runs. I love the Salomon lacing system because they’re efficient and they tuck away into the tongue so I don’t have to worry about snagging them on branches. Plus, bright red shoes are ridiculously loud and…awesome.


My midlayer fleece from The North Face is probably my favorite layering piece for winter, and it makes a great top in the spring and fall. When you sweat, FlashDry Technology works to spread the moisture out over a broader surface area so it evaporates faster. The “ninja hood”, as I like to call it, covers all but the eyes and the bridge of the nose, but the inner lining and the collar are soft and the zipper doesn’t chafe the chin, so it’s actually quite comfortable to zip this softshell up all the way. The stretch fabric used throughout the jacket moves with your body when reaching for rocks holds, pack straps or pockets, and the thumbholes in the sleeves help cover enough of the hands to keep you warm without gloves. When winter really hits, I wear Mountain Hardwear winter liner gloves that work with my smartphone’s touchscreen so I can use my camera and send texts/emails without freezing my phalanges.


The North Face Fleece Midlayer Hoody (w/ TMS logo)

Switch Lynx Magnetic Interchangeable Polarized Sunglasses
– There are several reasons I am fond of my Switch sunglasses and I recommend them to so many people that I know, meet or talk to in the shop. 1) They stay on my face during the toughest, sweatiest workouts, 2) They look cool, and they’re lightweight and comfortable – on everyone I’ve had try them on, and 3) They come with an extra pair of low-light lenses in a compact carrying case! Having low-light lenses is crucial for even more reasons than having Switch sunglasses. Switch just makes it incredibly easy to swap your lenses on-the-move.

Why wear sunglasses when the sun’s not bright? The same reason you still wear sunscreen at altitude, even on grey days: protection from UV rays! But I have more reasons to wear low-light lenses when it’s not bright outside: 1) Bikes (and dogs) ahead of you on the trail kick up dust, making it difficult, and dangerous, to maneuver between trees and rocks, 2)  Branches and bugs you encounter on the trail can ruin your run/ride. A scratched cornea was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced, 3) I’m excited to use these for backcountry touring in winter. Before the sun rises, when the wind is howling and you’re working hard enough that wearing goggles means overheating, I know I’ll be stoked on my Switch low-light lenses. Then when the sun does come up I can quickly swap them out for the brights without having to stop skinning. Click here for more information about Switch Magnetic Sunglasses.



Inyo National Forest with Switch Lynx magnetic sunglasses. Photo credit Brandon Marshall


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