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Archive for May, 2014

TMS Ambassador Program: Representatives Wanted

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Tahoe Mountain Sports Ambassador Program

As most of you already know, Tahoe Mountain Sports is the place to outfit yourself for adventures in North Lake Tahoe and beyond. Sure, we ship lots of gear to outdoor enthusiasts worldwide, but our hearts are here in the Lake Tahoe Basin and the Eastern Sierra. So, we got to thinking: How do we spread our love for mountain sports throughout the region? What are the best ways to channel our passion for our favorite pastimes and share them with others? Then, it hit us like a sack of bricks to the face. People talk about their interests and obsessions, and they rely on other peoples’ opinions when researching new ideas, activities and equipment. No matter how much someone loves your business, they’re going to listen to your customers before they take your word for…well, just about anything. People talk to people, and personal relationships rule above all.

We’re all consumers in one way or another, and we read reviews and second-guess critics. Social media is in front us no matter how much we try to avoid it. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, or the next platform coming down the pipes to consume our “free time”, conversations via the world wide web are a dominating force for the 21st century.

This is why we are launching the TMS Ambassador Program. We are looking for Ambassadors who have the ability and desire to share their love for sports and the outdoors through photographs and gear reviews on a regular basis. Ambassadors of Tahoe Mountain Sports will inspire others to get outdoors and enjoy life!

Benefits of being a TMS Ambassador

TMS Ambassadors will receive product for field testing; sometimes to keep, sometimes just to test. They will receive discounts on the best outdoor gear and apparel and have potential to provide input on product selection for the TMS store and e-commerce site, in addition to attending Outdoor Retailer and other trade shows. Imagine the expanded network of friends and industry connections you’ll gain with access to the newest equipment and trends!

What do we expect of TMS Ambassadors?

We expect a variety of things from our Ambassadors, including trip reports, gear reviews, attendance at TMS events, etc. More information will be provided regarding our expectations during the application process.


Want to be a TMS Ambassador? Complete and submit the following questionnaire. We will review it and contact you via email within ten (10) business days. >>  TMS Ambassador Questionnaire


And now, we introduce two TMS Ambassadors we’re already excited to have on-board:


Chris Cloydchris-cloyd-tahoe-mountain-sports-ambassador

What core sports do you participate in?
Running, Cycling, Triathlon. Snowboarding and mountaineering in the winter. 

What is your most epic outdoor adventure to date?
Any number of backcountry snowboarding/mountaineering trips that have pushed my psychological boundaries. A ridiculous approach/climb to a line in Verbier, Switzerland last winter comes to mind. Wild.

What community organizations are you involved with?
Performance Training Center by Julia Mancuso (Manager, Trainer), The High Fives Foundation (Trainer), The Donner Party Mountain Runners (Board Member), BigTruck Brand (Ambassador Athlete), Big Blue Adventure (Ambassador Athlete)

Why do you want to be a Tahoe Mountain Sports Ambassador?
I want to represent a shop and brand that I respect, introduce newcomers to the outdoors, develop a community enthusiasm for group activities outdoors, and give some small amount of gratitude back to the community here that has given me so much. I want to shed light on the great things that our Lake Tahoe Basin offers in my own way – articles, photographs and community events. I want to share this place.


Coral Rose Taylorcoral-taylor-tms-ambassador

What core sports do you participate in?
Mountain biking, road biking, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, yoga (just completed a 200‐hr teacher training), hiking and camping.

What is your most epic outdoor adventure to date?
I took a snowboarding trip this spring to the Swiss and French Alps with my boyfriend and a few friends. I pushed my boundaries, progressed my riding, enjoyed great company, met some new friends, and ate lots of cheese, pastries, and chocolate. It was a lot of fun, and absolutely stunning, but as with all travel, it made me realize how amazing my home is and how much I love it here.

What is your favorite type of workout?
I love anything that is exciting, engaging, gets me sweating and is with friends. I like to mix up time in the gym, yoga classes, and time outdoors (bikes and hikes in summer, snowboarding and cross-country skiing in the winter). It’s important for me to vary activities, which challenges my body, keeps my mind engaged, and allows me to spend time with different friends who have different interests. I also like trying new things, even if it means coming home with new bruises and scrapes.

Who inspires you?
I am inspired by people who have found, and are living their dharma, their life purpose. I am inspired by people that are not afraid to be themselves and to follow their own path. One thing I love about the Truckee/Tahoe area is that it is a community of choice – a lot of people are here because they choose to be, and have made decisions, sometimes sacrifices, to have the quality of life that is important to them, so that they can live their life to the fullest.


Want to be a TMS Ambassador? Complete and submit the following questionnaire. We will review it and contact you via email within ten (10) business days. >>  TMS Ambassador Questionnaire

#TahoeBikeLOVE Instagram Photo Contest – Win ZOIC Bike Clothing!

Thursday, May 29th, 2014




Contest ends June 21 at midnight PST.

Do you love biking? Want to win $150 in free ZOIC bike clothing? Maybe you just like riding your bike and you have some cool pictures to share. Either way, you can win! Here’s how:

– Between now and June 21, share photos from your biking adventures on Instagram

– Use the hashtag #tahoebikelove and tag @TahoeMountainSports and @ZOICclothing

– Share your photo and ask your friends to LIKE it

– Photo with the most likes by midnight on June 21 wins! (Count begins when you submit the photo, not when you first uploaded it to Instagram.)

It really is that easy. The options for road biking and mountain biking in Lake Tahoe are seemingly endless, so you must have a new (or old) photo somewhere on your phone or computer. It could be you or a friend. Action-packed or simply a pretty picture. You don’t have to be “catching air” in the photo, or doing anything “impressive” at all. All you have to do is show us your #TahoeBikeLOVE!










Share as many photos as you like; entering multiple times can greatly increase your chances.  Winner will be notified via Instagram, so watch for comments from @TahoeMountainSports after the contest has ended. Winner will be instructed to send an email with shipping information from a valid email address. Must be 13 or older to participate. Winner pays shipping outside continental U.S.


Here are just four of the great options you’ll have when you style yourself out in new ZOIC bike clothing:


Zoic Ether Bike Short - Men's
Zoic Ether Bike Short – Men’s
MSRP: $79.95

Platypus GravityWorks Water Filters: Lightweight, Fast & Oh-So Easy

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

The Platypus GravityWorks water filtration system works so fast you’ll initially have to double-check you’re using it properly. It’s so easy, it seems too good to be true. All you do is fill it up with non-potable water, hang it from a tree, rock, tent or the top of your backpack, and relax or get some camp chores done while it does the work for you. No. Pumping. Necessary. 

But how?

Water succumbs to gravity and moves down a tube from the “dirty” bag, through the hollow fiber filter, and into the “clean” bag. That’s all it takes! Think of all the things you can do in those few minutes: clean dishes, brush your teeth, take down your tent, apply sunscreen, or stretch out your hammies. When you’re done, you’ll have 99.9999% bacteria and protozoa -free water! When it’s time to move out, roll up the reservoirs and tuck them into your pack or a cargo-pocket. 

Pretty cool, huh? Perhaps this kind of effortless efficiency is why it was awarded Editor’s Choice by Outside Magazine.

So, after all this, why do pump-style filtration systems dominate the field of water treatment? Well, they’re a bit more compact. At least, they were until Platypus said, “Here you go. Meet the GravityWorks 2.0 that fits in your pocket. BAM!” All of the parts needed to get the job done roll up to a size no larger than a standard pump filter.

This video highlights the GravityWorks 2.0 Water Filtration System, the smaller version that’s ideal for two person backpacking trips or solo adventures:


There’s a 2-liter version and a 4-liter version. Hmm…which is best for me?

GravityWorks 4.0 – best for groups (families, scout troops, outdoor leadership courses, etc.)
Dimensions: 9.5″ x 3.25″
Weight: 11.5 oz.
Flow: 1.75 liters/minute
Cartridge Life: 1500 liters (depends on water quality)
Includes: Two 4-liter reservoirs, fast flow hollow fiber filter cartridge, hoses and all fittings

GravityWorks 2.0 – best for one or two people (or larger groups that can rotate reservoirs)
Dimensions: 9″ x 3″
Weight: 11.5 oz.
Flow: 1.5 liters/minute
Cartridge Life: 1500 liters (depends on water quality)
Includes: Platypus Push/Pull Cap adapter and 2-liter Platypus Soft Bottle, fast flow hollow fiber filter cartridge, hoses and all fittings for use as a complete system with 4-liter carrying capacity


First, dip it. The wide mouth is easy to fill.


Next, hang it. Ain’t that cool?













Once you have safe drinking water, either plug a drink tube in and slip it into your pack, or detach it all and take your Platypus reservoir practically anywhere…like up Mt. Shasta for a sunrise and some fun spring skiing. The reservoir makes for a great soft water bottle, but you can also connect the adapter (included) to another Platypus soft bottle. Either method is easy to transport and incredibly compact, especially after you suck it dry.




Have you ever used a GravityWorks water filter? Spoken with anyone who has? What did you/they think? Our readers’ feedback is always appreciated in the comments section below.



How to Choose the Perfect Stove for Backpacking and Camping

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014


Compressed Gas vs. Liquid Fuel Stoves

One burns more fuel than the next. This one weighs less, but this boils water faster. You’ll be in windy, sub-zero temperatures at the top, but basecamp is in the desert and you want one stove to do it all. Or, one for each. In this video, Mountain Safety Research (MSR) and Tahoe Mountain Sports talk with Tahoe Rim Trail Guides about the various camping and backpacking stove options, edited down to everything you could ever want to know in 12-minutes:


Key Benefits

Compressed Gas
Lightweight and compact. No spills means no cleaning. Best flame control. No fuel odors or priming/pumping required.

Liquid Fuel
Greater heat output. Unaffected by altitude or cold temperatures. Most affordable. Reusable and easily disposable. Widespread fuel choices.


Key Drawbacks

Compressed Gas
Empty canisters must be packed out and disposed of (check with your local recycling center). Difficult to gauge fuel level (pack an extra canister). Performance decreases as canister empties. Usually less stable.

Liquid Fuel
Heavier/bulkier. Require pumping/priming. Fuel lines can clog. More field maintenance required. Leaking fuel requires wiping. Soot builds up on cookware.

Best For

Compressed Gas
Ultralight backpacking.

Liquid Fuel
Group camping. Winter camping & melting snow. High altitudes. International travel.

Key Notes
– Use a windscreen with liquid fuel stoves to enhance performance, but be careful doing so with canister stoves because they can overheat and explode!
Always pack an extra lighter and/or waterproof matches.

Comparison Chart

Product Fuel Type Weight (oz) Boil Time Burn Time
(200 ml/gm)
Heat Output
Snow Peak GigaPower Stove
Snow Peak Gigapower
Canister 3.75 3 min 48 sec (1 Liter) 50 min 10,000 $49.95
Snow Peak LiteMax Stove
Snow Peak LiteMax
Canister 1.9 4 min 25 sec (1 Liter) 50 min 11,200 $59.95
Jetboil Flash Cooking System
Jetboil Flash
Canister 14 2 min 30 sec (.5 Liter) 120 min 4,500 $99.95
Jetboil Sol Titanium Cooking System
Jetboil Sol Titanium
Canister 10.5 2 min 15 sec (.5 Liter) 120 min 4,950 $159.95
MSR Pocket Rocket Stove
MSR Pocket Rocket
Canister 3 3 min 30 sec (1 Liter) 60 min 10,000 $39.95
MSR Reactor Stove
MSR Reactor (1.7 L)
Canister 17.5 3 min (1 Liter) 104 min 9,400 $199.95
MSR Dragonfly Stove
MSR Dragonfly
White Gas 14 3 min 30 sec (1 Liter) 42 min 10,500 $139.95
Kerosene 14 3 min 54 sec (1 Liter) 51 min
Diesel 14 3 min 30 sec (1 Liter) 46 min
White Gas 13.2 3 min 30 sec (1 Liter) 37 min 10,500 $159.95
Kerosene 13.2 2 min 48 sec (1 Liter) 33 min
Diesel 4 min 30 sec (1 Liter) 57 min
MSR Whisperlite
MSR Whisperlite
White Gas 11 3 min 54 sec (1 Liter) 46 min 9,500 $89.95
MSR Whisperlite Universal Stove
MSR Whisperlite
White Gas 11.5 3 min 30 sec (1 Liter) 110 min 9,500 $139.95
Kerosene 11.5 4 min 24 sec (1 Liter) 155 min
Canister 9.5 3 min 48 sec (1 Liter) 75 min
MSR Whisperlite International Stove
MSR Whisperlite
White Gas 10.9 3 min 30 sec (1 Liter) 110 min 9,500 $99.95
Kerosene 10.9 3 min 24 sec (1 Liter) 155 min

*Did we miss any important features you think shouldn’t have been overlooked? Please let us know in the comments section (below).


@ Folsom International Triathlon, Thanks for the Great Race!

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

This post comes from Chris Cloyd, a TMS Ambassador and lover of endurance sports. When Chris isn’t training for his next big race or out exploring the Eastern Sierra on foot or bike, he’s managing the Performance Training Center by Julia Mancuso. Watch for more race reports, gear reviews and fun reading from Chris and other Ambassadors of Tahoe Mountain Sports.


Chris crosses the finish line to take First Place.

It’s always a treat to start off the season with a great result. It’s a much greater pleasure, however, to race in perfect conditions, in a great town, supported by an unbelievable race organization and volunteer team. Fortunately for me, I was able to do both this past weekend at the Folsom International Triathlon down in Granite Bay.

This was my first year entering the Folsom race and my first event with Total Body Fitness (TBF), who host the race, and I look forward to coming back next year. Mark and his team did a phenomenal job putting together all of the logistics, coordinating the volunteers, and managing all of the raceday chaos. It’s often lost in all of the speed and excitement of a race like this, but I try to remember that NONE of our sport can exist without the support of all of the guys and girls who put these events on and the volunteers who offer their time and energy on raceday (and, many times, the day before setting up the course and the day after taking down all the pomp and circumstance). I’d like to offer a BIG HIGH-FIVE to everyone who helped make it possible for us to measure ourselves against a great course this past Saturday – thank you!

Waking up at the entirely rational hour of 5:45 on raceday was a pleasant touch – the “late” 8 a.m. start afforded us all a chance to sleep in some ahead of all of the mayhem. I love triathlon, but sometimes the early-up starts are a little much to bear. I understand the rationale behind starting events (especially Iron-distance races) at 6:30 a.m., but that doesn’t change the fact that it was very pleasant to get started at 8 a.m. at Folsom. By then, the sun was out in force, the lake was appealing, and the temps were already rising.

Our swim was extremely well marked, and the start was well controlled. It didn’t take long for racing to begin once the gun went off, and within minutes we were split into more than a few pace-lines and were fighting for position in the water. Unfortunately, I missed the split for the front group and, after a failed bridge effort on my part, I slowed up and made contact with the second group in the water. We worked together to hold a good pace to the last buoy, but at that time myself and another competitor decided to go out on our own and opened up a gap. Our pace wasn’t much faster than our original group’s, but it was enough to get us into T1 (Transition 1) in 3rd and 4th position.


The Race Kit

I had been looking forward to this race for a number of reasons, but the bike leg had to have topped my list. Some rollers and punchy climbs dictated the first 2/3 of the course, but the back end of the ride was almost all downhill or negotiably flat. This is a rare occurrence in our sport, and I was excited about the idea of a short and aggressive section on the bike followed by an all-out speedway effort back to the transition area. I knew that if I could put in a hero effort on that first 2/3 of the course and build a lead, I had a chance to stay away on the drag race back to T2. I was able to catch the two athletes ahead of me by mile ten, and put a big dig in on the last few hills of the course to gain some real time. I don’t think I even shifted out of 53×11 from mile 17 to the end of the bike leg, and hit T2 with enough time to feel good about my chances of staying ahead during the run.

The run started out benignly enough, but there were certainly plenty of teeth on the course! Mark and the TBF team couldn’t have done better finding a world-class run course if they tried – every stride was paired with gorgeous views of Folsom Lake and the park around it. That buoyed my spirits and helped me keep the pace high through the turnaround, and I started to catch other racers on their way out as I dug through the second half of the run. After negotiating some serious hills on the way back (I almost considered using my hands to help scale one of the climbs!), I finally saw the finishing chute and the kite marking the line. After two plus hours of racing, I was proud to be able to cross the line first.

I’ve stolen this idea from Scott Jurek, the world’s best ultra marathoner (in my opinion): If I’m able to bring home the win, I try to stay at the finish line and high-five the other competitors as they finish. Everybody is out there suffering, and everyone deserves the same amount of enthusiasm as they cross the line. Moreover, I love sharing the finishing moment with everyone who competes – it’s a rare opportunity to embrace real accomplishment with fellow athletes as they complete such outstanding efforts and realize such great goals.

The beauty of sport is overcoming, as is watching others overcome. That pursuit – the allure of chances to define our best self – is a huge reason I race. I fully believe everyone should measure themselves from time to time; if not against others, against ourselves. Racing provides that opportunity – whether you’re aiming for a course record, a personal best, or a first finish.

Here’s to the season!


First Place Feels Oh…So…Good!


2XU Compression Calf Guards
2XU Compression Calf Guards
MSRP: $44.95


SAXX Underwear and the Evolution of Man

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

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

The evolution of men’s underwear preferences goes something like this: we start with those hideous tighty whities, placed on us by mom before we are old enough to think for ourselves. Her motivations are obvious: they’re cheap and might contain a small amount of feces when an accident happens.


Real men wear real underwear. Ben Lanier fishing from a whitewater raft on the Rogue River, Oregon.

As we begin to develop an individual outlook on the world, we feel as though our junk is being held captive. So, we switch to boxers as soon as we’re given the choice. Freedom. Ahh… But, somewhere between adolescence and our mid-twenties, we begin to ‘grow’ out of one side or the other and make a reluctant return to a more supportive solution.

“I was a boxer man for years, but now I wear boxer briefs,” my friend and valet extraordinaire, Tim Ganyard, told me, verifying this totally scientific hypothesis. “It’s not comfortable to run with your guys bouncing around.”

Some of us find further benefits to the support of boxer briefs. I’m talking about saggy sack syndrome. If you don’t know what I mean, you must have the good fortune of never having had your best friends touch the water when you sit on a toilet. Thanks to boxer briefs, I’ve seen a massive reduction in such occurrences.

A couple years ago, a buddy suggested I try out some premium underwear, like Saxx. He swears by them. It took a while to convince myself that spending more than ten bucks for a three-pack of underwear was a reasonable proposition.


SAXX – Give thanks to those who support your freedom.

Eventually, I found some inexpensive, high-end drawers at a once-a-year sale and bought one pair as an experiment. They didn’t even have Saxx’s patented package pouch, but I immediately wished I had bought more. Leaving cotton and cheap synthetics behind, for materials that actually wick moisture and won’t stretch out into non-briefed boxers after a few hours, will change your life far beyond simply switching to boxer briefs.

Fast forward a couple of months and I’m handed this blog assignment and a pair of Saxx boxer briefs. “I didn’t even know ‘over the fence’ was an option; I’ve always just used the access hole,” said Dave Polivy, owner of Tahoe Mountain Sports, as we brainstormed ideas for this post. See, SAXX has done away with the access hole in some of their products, especially high-performance models like Saxx Kinetic Boxers.


A soft, unobtrusive pouch for your pouch.



If you’re anything like Polivy, that might take some getting used to, but how many times in your life have you poked through when you didn’t intend to?


The real innovation of Saxx, though, is the built-in hammock for your ham hawk. “It’s all about keeping the man parts from roving around, without being so tight that you lose sperm count,” says Ben Lanier, the dude that originally convinced me to step up my underwear game. After recently spending three days straight in a single pair of Saxx, doing a lot of driving, mountain biking and camping, I have to agree.

Keep everything in place. Prevent unwanted friction and movement to reduce chafe. Get contact-free support. Buy Saxx Underwear.


Scott Johns (left) and Tim Ganyard covered in mud outside the Black Rock Mountain Bike Area near Falls City, Oregon, on Johns’ third day straight in a pair of SAXX. Might be time for a fresh pair.


Thank you, Scott, for the (extremely) detailed and animated review. We’re glad you’re so stoked on your new underwear.

– The TMS Crew


SAXX Pro Elite Boxer - Men's
SAXX Pro Elite Boxer – Men’s
MSRP: $29.95
SAXX Kinetic Boxer - Men's
SAXX Kinetic Boxer – Men’s
MSRP: $36.95


AOTW: Camping and Bouldering in Washoe, Nevada

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Adam Broderick manages the web content at Tahoe Mountain Sports. When he is not in the office, he tries his best to be in the field doing something awesome.




Who: Kevin, Jeremy, Eric and myself
What (activity/event): Car camping and bouldering
Washoe Boulders, N.E. of Carson City
This past weekend
Gear: La Sportiva Mythos Shoes, Black Diamond Momentum Harness, The North Face 2-man tent, SOL Facestick

Did you know there’s a miniature bouldering heaven less than an hour from North Lake Tahoe? I didn’t either, until myself and a few buddies drove to the high desert east of Washoe Lake last Saturday night. We showed up after dark, found a sweet flat area with a fire ring and a killer view of Carson City, and pitched three different two person backpacking tents. Why not have three tents for four guys? After all, we were car camping and had the option to get as comfortable as we pleased. Once we had a good fire going (it randomly snowed as we left Tahoe and temps had already dropped into the 30’s), Kevin fired up his new JetBoil Flash backpacking stove. He and Jeremy shared dinner while Eric and I enjoyed a couple cold brewskies. We didn’t need to cook dinner; we had each crushed fatty burgers at Five Guys on our way through town and were already feeling a bit lethargic. This would come in handy the next morning however, when we would need as much energy as possible to climb rock after rock and sustain our strength through mid-day.




When we woke up the next day I was blown away with all the climbing options just steps from our tents. Sure, it’s all somewhat sharp Tuff and can hurt the hands (Tuff – extrusive igneous rock that forms from the tephra ejected during explosive volcanic eruptions. –, but I appreciated how many holds there were…everywhere! You could stay on-route, or choose your own adventure. I chose the latter for most climbs that day, making each as difficult or simple as I wanted. Sometimes I would casually explore while preserving my energy for later, and other times I would max out and reach for more difficult holds in an effort to get as much of a workout as possible. I’m kind of back and forth like that. Thus, the beauty of bouldering; freedom to climb up, down, right or left at your own pace.

I took a quick walk-thru video of one of the rocks with the most routes on it. There were even some cool tunnels to climb through and plenty of overhangs to practice on. I got about a quarter of the way around before my phone died.

top-rope-washoe-bouldersAfter hauling around the crash pads for about four hours, we found a cool overhanging rock with a bolt on top. The rock was 20-25 feet tall and cast a nice shady spot where those who weren’t climbing could relax (and talk smack to whomever was). Since we planned to stop by Ballbuster (top roping area on the east shore of Lake Tahoe) on our drive home, we already had rope, harnesses and protection in the truck. Why not bust it out early and “hang” for a bit? It was the perfect opportunity to stretch out our time here even longer, so we hooked up and spent some time messing around with problems we knew we couldn’t finish. It’s nice to be able to push yourself past your limit and know you won’t fall to the ground.










We camped out and woke up to warm, sunny weather. We climbed whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. We saw three other people the entire day. It was epic. I felt like I was back in the Buttermilks near Bishop, only Washoe offers a lot less rocks – and they’re not granite, the climber’s favorite.

*Hopefully I don’t expose anyone’s favorite getaway via this blog post. I don’t mean to give away any secrets…just trying to share the love!


Black Diamond Mojo Chalk Bag
Black Diamond Mojo Chalk Bag
MSRP: $16.95
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