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Ironman Lake Tahoe 2014: Full TMS Event Calendar For Race Week

September 3rd, 2013 By   
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Ironman competitors take to the chilly waters of Lake Tahoe. (Photo: Adam Broderick)

This September 21 marks the second annual Ironman Lake Tahoe! Along with the athletes, who will be scouting the course as they decompress and prepare for race day, will come their sponsors, friends and families. Although not everyone that attends the event is racing, thousands of visitors will be seeking out entertainment during their stay in Tahoe.

During the days leading up to the race we’ll have free events for everyone at Tahoe Mountain Sports, across from Kings Beach State Recreation Area, where the Ironman swim/bike transition will take place. Prep for race day and keep your friends and family entertained by taking advantage of free racing wetsuit rentals and footwear/gear demo days, samples of endurance supplements and trail treats, gifts with purchase and discounts on Ironman racing gear from industry-leading brands and sponsors like Nathan Sports, Salomon Running, Suunto adventure watchesTahoe Trail BarHoney Stinger energy and more!

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Check out the FREE Altra ZeroDrop trail and street running demo Friday and Saturday (10am-2pm) Photo: AB

Check out the FREE Altra ZeroDrop trail and street running demo Friday and Saturday (10am-2pm) Photo: AB

Head into Tahoe Mountain Sports, 8331 N Lake Blvd Kings Beach (530-546-7001) to check out the following Ironman promotions, demos and events:

15-20 September – EVERY DAY, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. FREE 2XU Wetsuit Demo (Test new racing wetsuits from 2XU) – Open to the public. Looking to make an investment in a racing wetsuit? Now is your chance to try before you buy! Overnight demos allowed for early swims. On race day, they’re $45 and can be picked up Saturday after 12 noon and returned before 6pm Monday (9/22).

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A strong finish at the 2013 Ironman Lake Tahoe event (Photo: Adam Broderick)

15- September -All Day D-Compression Day (Save on compression clothing)
“D” Is For Discount – 20 % Discounts on all compression clothing. Save big on calf compressors, swimwear and more.

16- September -All Day Tuesday Guzday (Stay fueled with GU)
10% Off All GU Products AND any purchase over $20 gets a free GU energy gel!

17- September -All Day D-Compression Day (Save on compression clothing)
“D” Is For Discount – 20 % Discounts on all compression clothing. Save big on calf compressors, swimwear and more.

19- September – 10am – 1pm Free Footwear Demo (Check out the best brands in the industry) – Open to the public. Try out the latest developments in trail running shoes, packs and sports watches for free! Featuring Altra Zero Drop trail running shoes.

19- September – All Day D-Compression Day (Save on compression clothing)
“D” Is For Discount – 20 % Discounts on all compression clothing. Save big on calf compressors, swimwear and more.

20- September  – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. TMS Endurance Expo  (A full day of race preparation and fun)
Learn about the latest and greatest gear for racing and outdoor sports, enjoy free product samples, talk to the experts, get race and spectator info, stock up on last-minute race supplies and score free gifts w/ purchase.

21- September  – All Day Race Day Hospitality (Hot Chocolate, Doors open at 5:00 a.m. for last-minute race supplies and warm layers for spectators) – It gets cold waiting for the race start, so we’ll have hot chocolate and other beverages for anyone who needs a hot drink, along with great breakfast options from the Souper Wagon. Beanies, hand warmers, jackets and more wintry clothing will also be on sale for anyone lacking proper warm layers.

22- September – All Day TMS Moving Sale Blowout  (We’re moving to a new Truckee location, but before we do, we’re dropping prices store-wide. Our new Tahoe Mountain Sports store opens in Truckee, CA on October 1 and everything at our Kings Beach, CA location is going on sale!

Ironman Lake Tahoe Mountain Sports

We’re looking forward to a fun week with everyone in Kings Beach when Ironman Lake Tahoe comes to town!

Gorgeous Day Hike from Lukens Lake to Tenaya Lake in Tuolomne

September 12th, 2014 By   

This post comes from Rachel McCullough, an avid hiker, mountain biker, rock climber, yogi, skier and photographer living in Truckee, CA. Follow @rachelmcphotos on Instagram for stunning images of beautiful Sierra scenery. When Rachel isn’t enjoying the outdoors, she’s teaching skiing at Northstar California or building and marketing websites for her clients at McCullough Web Services.

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Endless granite on the descent into the canyon of the South Fork of Cathedral Creek

Who: Theresa, Tom, Garrett, Rachel
What: 26 Mile Day Hike
Where: Ten Lakes area, Tuolumne high country, Yosemite National Park
When: A Saturday in August, 2014
Gear: Altra Lone Peak Trail Running Shoes, Nemo Losi 3 Person Tent, PowerPot Charging Package, Sawyer Point Squeeze Filter

All photos by Rachel McCullough unless captioned otherwise.

One day I decided to walk 55 miles. In a day. Not just any 55 miles, but the entire High Sierra Camp loop in Yosemite National Park, with over 8,000 feet in elevation gain and loss. I hadn’t hiked more than 15 miles in a day, but that didn’t seem to matter. So, I did it. And I dragged along my then boyfriend, now husband. Maybe for company, maybe to see if he was crazy enough, maybe to see if he could keep up. And that was my first taste of the yet to be named sport of hiking a lot in one day. [Please tell me in the comments what you think it should be called: long-distance day hiking, ultra day hiking, plain old craziness, a John Muir saunter…?]

I’ve kept it under 45 miles since then, but still get all sorts of looks and questions on these long hikes. “Wait, where are your big backpacks?” “You are going where?” “You mean (put any much closer destination here)?” All you need is a light pack, trail running shoes, and enough water to make it to the next stop. It’s amazing how much you can see and how far you can get without a lot weight, wilderness permits, or advanced planning. I get my gear at Tahoe Mountain Sports. But more on the advanced planning later.

So, that leads me to my most recent hike in Tuolumne, a follow-up to my “Let’s walk from Wawona to the Valley hike” this spring. This one came in at about a marathon distance – 26.6 miles says the map. We started at the Lukens Lake Trailhead and passed through Ten Lakes before arriving at our destination, the Murphy Creek Trailhead. We added a short detour to Grant Lake because 26 miles sounded better than 24 miles.

The crew. I’ve had many adventures with this group: Garrett, my husband, and Tom and Theresa, our good friends who live in Yosemite. As usual, we set our starting time, slept in a bit later than we should have, and then slowly got ready. A group of mostly night owls should not rise before 6 a.m., but we can certainly try! We hit the trail late, around 7:30 a.m., which meant that if we wanted to finish by dark, there would be no dilly-dallying.

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Crew selfie: Tom, Theresa, me, Garrett. Bright-eyed and ready to head out into the crisp morning air. Photo: Garrett McCullough

But, we forgot that we were in a hurry, when just a half-mile in, we arrived at Lukens Lake. It was perfectly still, except for the layer of fog dancing along the surface and then rising before disappearing into the warming morning air. John Muir once said about hiking: “I don’t like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains – not hike!”  So, we stopped, took our time, then we sauntered along.

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Morning fog rising off of Lukens Lake.

The next gem we found was a slightly nibbled red fir cone, which revealed the brilliant red inside. Two things were amazing about this: none of us had ever seen this before and red firs are apparently named for the color of their bark, not the inside of their cone!

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The inside of a red fir cone!

As the morning passed, Read the rest of this entry »

Tahoe 200 Endurance Race Footwear Surprise w/ Mark Cangemi

September 11th, 2014 By   

Mark Cangemi of Pennsylvania placed 16th in last weekend’s Tahoe 200 endurance run, the premiere 202-mile footrace around Lake Tahoe. When he dropped by the shop two days later, he had quite the story for us. He started in a pair of Hoka shoes, then moved into the Altra Olympus, before finishing in a pair of ___________! After hearing his surprising confession, I grabbed a camera and asked him to repeat himself. Thanks for the cool story, Mark. And thanks for letting us gear you up for your big adventure!

Canoeing, Fishing (sort of) and Camping at Faucherie Lake

September 6th, 2014 By   

This trip report 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; Fine more from Robyn at http://therobynator.blogspot.com.

faucherie lake camping

Faucherie Lake had been spoken of highly by several friends who spend time there yearly, and we had always thought it would be fun to check it out. It’s hard to get far away from crowds by car on a busy summer weekend, but we took a gamble figuring it was a bit out of the way and the road is quite rough. Looking for a paddle-in campsite is also a good way to avoid the masses, and gave us an advantage over the car campers.

Getting to the lake required 2 ½ hours of bouncing up rock-studded dirt roads. After nearly losing the canoe off the top and fearing the destruction of other key items, we finally reached the lake, intact. Off came the canoe and we began stuffing gear into waterproof dry bags. Though sleeping under the stars is nice, a tent seemed ideal for this trip if we intended to keep mosquitoes away. Inflatable sleeping pads went in as well, which had not been used in at least a few summers since I’ve been too busy with bike racing.

For food and kitchen we went for luxury, packing a cooler full of good eats and hauling along the old 3-burner camp stove. The canoe should still stay afloat, and it would be worth carrying the weight since the paddle to camp is short. It might be ideal to pack lighter for a longer trip on a river or larger lake, bringing a backpacking stove and maybe some dehydrated camp meals, though the advantage of a canoe is being able to carry a fair amount more than would comfortably fit in a backpack. We did, however, pack a water filter instead of lugging in a full jug. After all, we were camping near a pretty decent water source.

campsites faucherie lake

Upon launching the canoe, Read the rest of this entry »

Overnight Trail Running Lake Tahoe – Across Desolation Wilderness

August 30th, 2014 By   

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.

As I touched on in “Philosophy and Preparation“, this was to be my most ambitious outing to date: a 29-35 mile run (depending on which map/GPS/hearsay you choose to believe), an overnight at Lake Aloha, a summit of two of the highest peaks in Desolation Wilderness (Mt. Price and Pyramid Peak), and an 18-22 mile run to return to the real world. Per usual, I sat down with my maps (the Lake Tahoe Basin Trail Map and the National Geographic 803) and plotted my days (and night), planning every step before I set out. As a good friend once detailed to me: failure to prepare is preparing to fail.

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Chris Cloyd, Trail Runner.

I chose to set out from the Meeks Bay Trailhead (the northernmost entry point into Desolation Wilderness), and was thrilled with the trail from the outset. The Meeks Bay Trailhead gains you access to the Tahoe-Yosemite Trail – a continuous single track from Meeks Bay to Yosemite National Park. Every bit living up to its billing, the trail was in immaculate condition. At the trailhead, you can procure a day permit into Desolation, but I had to obtain an overnight permit from their website (or I could have gone to the Meeks Bay campground). If I may stand on my pedestal for a moment and preach: obtain a permit before overnighting in Desolation. I’m sure you can avoid getting “caught” (you are meandering through the wilderness, after all), but the funds go to supporting trail stewardship and other amenities that we all enjoy, so swallow the $5. Our support goes a long way toward maintaining and providing access to the Wilderness that we all enjoy.

The Tahoe-Yosemite Trail progresses steeply beginning from close to the trailhead all the way up to Lake Genevieve, gaining almost 1,500 in those initial miles. Lake Genevieve is the first of no less than seven lakes that you’ll encounter in your first eight or so miles, and kicks off a beautiful section of scenic running. Of these lakes, I found Stony Ridge Lake to be the most engaging – I was very tempted to pull off the trail and dive in for a swim. That being said, I was on a mission, and had my sights set for Phipps Peak before I stopping for a break. The running continued along these alpine lakes before starting the ascent to Phipp’s Pass. In my planning, I noted that my first day included two very notable mountain passes – Phipp’s Pass and Dick’s Pass – and was prepared for a slog up a number of single track switchbacks. Although not too steep or unrelenting, Phipp’s Pass is indeed worthy of respect and is sure to sap the leg strength of all who choose to ascend it. Upon reaching the pass proper, it’s a short and quick scramble to the top of Phipp’s Peak, and is well worth the effort. I enjoyed some rest and a sandwich at the summit, and admired the expanse of Desolation in a stunning 360 degrees.

“I geared down and buried myself for what seemed like an hour – it was indeed much less, but time has teeth under such scenarios”

Continuing on, I was treated to a blissful descent from Phipp’s Pass toward Middle Velma Lake. I enjoyed this section of running very much, and found a comfortable tempo that helped quiet the mind and brought considerable joy. I chose to stay on the Pacific Crest Trail in order to catch a glimpse of Fontanillis Lake, and that decision was validated in spades. My overnight destination on this day wins the award for my “favorite” lake on this route, but Fontanillis Lake is gorgeous and has a very unique alpine feel to it, framed defiantly by Dick’s Peak and its equally proud neighbors. I stopped here to filter some water and take in the ambiance, gearing up for the next push. Fontanillis has earned an earmark for a future overnight destination, for sure.

Fontanillis precedes the second big climb of the day, Dick’s Lake to Dick’s Pass. Perhaps it was my tempo (maybe a bit too full of ambition for my legs to accommodate), or perhaps it was the miles themselves that preceded it, but this climb hurt my feelings. I geared down and buried myself for what seemed like an hour – it was indeed much less, but time has teeth under such scenarios – and with much labor and more than a little self-deprecation I took the pass with much relief. As though it was placed there with intention, a perfect sitting-stone is perched at the Pass and it concedes a spectacular panorama of much of the Wilderness.

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Chris didn’t take this photo of Desolation. His editor had to pull it from a free image site after accidentally using the original in Round 1.

Descending from Dick’s Pass requires technical running, and was a true test of my reflexes this deep into the day. Cascading down toward Gilmore Lake, I was treated to glimpses of Mt. Tallac and my day’s destination of Lake Aloha, and my spirits were buoyed. Nerves and light were fading, and a reassurance that I was nearing my “finish line” for the day was greatly appreciated.  Read the rest of this entry »

30 Hikes in 30 Days in the Lake Tahoe Basin: Round 2

August 28th, 2014 By   

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TMS Ambassador Justeen Ferguson aka @SummitHunnies tackled a major pedi-project this summer. She hiked a new trail in the greater Lake Tahoe area each day for 30 days and reported back to us with details. Most were family-friendly. Some involved 4WD roads, some were strictly singletrack, and several were straight-up bushwhacks. Here are the second ten descriptions of her 30 hikes. Catch up on the first ten here, and stay tuned for the final ten, coming soon to your favorite outdoor sports blog.

What: #11 – 20, 30 Tahoe Day Hikes in 30 Days
When: July- August, 2014
Gear Used (and sworn by):
Lake Tahoe Basin Adventure Map, Lightweight Women’s Hiking Shoes,Eco-Friendly “Soft” Water Bottle, Organic Trail Snacks

*Take this information and use it as you will. Tahoe Mountain Sports is not responsible for accident, injury, or anyone getting lost trying to replicate this Summit Hunnie’s routes.

Day 11 – Coyote Mountain aka Cowboy Peak
Right in the heart of Meyers lays a nice little mountain; I went into this thinking, Oh, piece of cake. I’ll get a nice hike in before work. I was so wrong! This trail starts behind the Humane Society and practically goes straight up, and the trail back down is also really steep. Once you are covered in sweat and your legs are on fire, there is a wonderful view of South Lake Tahoe and Echo Summit. This hike is recommended for someone who wants a quick yet fulfilling workout.

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Day 12 – Desolation Wilderness behind Fallen Leaf Lake
The trailhead is located on the southern end of Fallen Leaf Lake, the same trail used to get out to Grass Lake from Day 1 of my 30 Tahoe Hikes. This route takes you out and back over a beautiful bridge and alongside some amazing mountains. You’re given a number of route options: continue traversing along the mountain side, make your way even further out toward a variety of lakes, or, if you are up for it, eventually make your way to the top of Mount Tallac. It’s a perfect place for all levels and abilities because hikers can decide how strenuous they want their hike to be. It is beautifully covered with both trees and wild flowers, and has great views of Fallen Leaf Lake.

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Day 13 – Back of Dunlap Mountain
This trail is a trip! I accidently stumbled upon it on my way to Angora Lake. The beginning of the trail is just before the main gate to Angora Road. It’s a singletrack that takes you the opposite way of Angora, along the backside of Tahoe Mountain (from day 10) and all the way down to the infamous Camp Richardson. This is an easy hike, great for trail running or beginning mountain bikers, and ideal for walking the dogs. There is also a lovely view of Tallac almost the entire way. Beware of fallen trees…there’s some mandatory log-hopping but it’s a lot of fun!

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Day 14 – Big Chief
This amazing rock/mountain trail is near the town of Truckee. It’s a perfect little hike that leads to the Big Chief climbing area [link to big chief climbing Tahoe Info page] where we stopped to do some rock climbing! I like this hike because the trek out isn’t too tough and there are some rad trees and amazing rock formations to gander at. If you’re not a rock climber you can still enjoy the beauty of this cool rock! Try playfully climbing around and up the back of it to enjoy the view from the top! There are trails that take you beyond the Big Chief climbing area and out toward the woods with pretty views of the mountain ranges. The area has a very relaxing feel and is great for all abilities of hikers, bikers and trail runners. However, if you want to be adventurous and climb Big Chief, I highly recommend finding a buddy and making it happen. It makes the hike that much more rewarding!

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Day 15 – Five Lakes
The Five Lakes trail starts on Alpine Meadows Road and winds its way between the Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley ski resorts, providing wonderful scenery the entire time. Read the rest of this entry »

The Hype is Building – Here Comes Ironman Lake Tahoe 2014

August 27th, 2014 By   

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When Ironman came to Lake Tahoe last September, it brought thousands of visitors and helped spike revenue for local business. This was three weeks after Labor Day weekend, the usual “last days of summer” locals bank on before business slows for the off-season. The race will be back on our shores in less than a month, and we can’t wait! Not just because it helps all our local businesses, but because it’s a ton of fun to be involved in. We’re looking forward to another full week of race-related events leading up to the race, many of which will be held here at our store in Kings Beach or across the street at the race start (swim/bike).

Anybody coming to town for Ironman will find themselves in Kings Beach prior to race day, usually to preview the course, practice swimming or drop off bikes and triathlon racing gear aka “special needs bags”. While you’re in town, stop through Tahoe Mountain Sports (across from Jason’s Beachside Grille and the North Tahoe Event Center) for race information, special Ironman-week discounts on gear and a variety of fun and educational events for athletes and their friends.

We’ll also have 2XU wetsuits for demo and for purchase up through the day of the race. If you rent then decide to buy, we’ll happily apply the cost of your rental toward the purchase. Swim more efficiently in a wetsuit actually made for racing! For just $20/day, try one out before the race. On Ironman race day, wetsuit rentals will be $45 and they can be picked up Saturday after 12 noon and returned before 6pm Monday (9/22).

Stay tuned for the complete event schedule for the week of Ironman Lake Tahoe 2014. Until then, check out these pics from last year and let the race hype continue to build!

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 Fog on the water during last year’s swim start. Snow the night before made for interesting, yet beautiful, race conditions!

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 Going from swim to bike has to be quick, so gloves and shoes usually go on after you mount the bike.

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 We had something going on every day last year, and you can expect a similar schedule for Ironman Lake Tahoe 2014.

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 Some finish the race with more energy than others. This guy was pretty stoked to cross the line.

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A sampling of the gear for free demo during our Endurance Expo. It’s a great way to try before you buy!

 

For more pics from last year’s race, view our Ironman Facebook Album.

10 Reasons to Follow @TahoeMountainSports on Instagram

August 26th, 2014 By   

In life, there is a reason for every action we make. There’s a reason behind everything we do. We’ve all messed enough things up to learn it’s often wise to follow examples. Your own life experiences have likely provided you with at least ten good reasons to follow directions. 40+ hours per week, many of us follow work procedures. Far too many people don’t understand why others don’t follow professional sports. And we’ve all heard at least a few reasons to follow Jesus. But why, with all the decisions to be made in life, would you benefit by following Tahoe Mountain Sports on Instagram?

Here are just ten good reasons:

 

1 – ENO Hammock at Star Lake

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“Had an #awesome time #hiking into #starlake near #southlaketahoe, bagging #freelspeak and #jobssister, dirt-glacading that face right there, cliffjumping into the far side of the lake, then #hammocklife with @enohammocks and a #beautiful #sunset. #hdr #tahoelife”

 

2 – Sunrise on Donner Summit

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“Wicked sunrise shot from Donner Summit. photo: @tahoepamerama #donnersummit #truckeemoments #sunrise #wildflowers #intothesun #tahoelife #summer2014″

 

3 – Mountain Biking and SUP Yoga in Tahoe

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“Some people are all about #singletrack and #offroad adventures. Others are crazy for #watersports. What’s your outdoor #guiltypleasure? #mountainbiking #standuppaddling #trailrunning #kayaking #hiking #swimming”

  Read the rest of this entry »

Backpacking Bishop Pass w/ Friends from San Diego & Deuter Packs

August 21st, 2014 By   

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.

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Last Thursday night I met four childhood friends from San Diego in Bishop, California. In case you’re unaware, Bishop is like the Gateway to Heaven for outdoor enthusiasts. A geological hotspot lying on the San Andreas Fault, what lies beneath ground is intriguing and unpredictable. If you’re the type who springs for a nice dip in a naturally heated tub, the countless hot springs near Bishop should do you just right. The terrain in this area (think Mammoth Mountain, June Lake, Mono Lake) offers world-class rock climbing, hiking, biking and, in winter, skiing and snowboarding. So, to say my friends were pleasantly surprised with the views they woke up to Friday morning in the high desert above town would be an understatement. That afternoon, after a couple hours of bouldering at a popular climbing zone called the Buttermilks, we made our way to 10,000’+ in Inyo National Forest.

Looking west toward the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range from the town of Bishop, or from anywhere along Hwy 395, most would assume only dirt and rocks could survive in such harsh, dry places. But drive up Hwy 168 to 9,000’+ elevation and it gets incredibly green in the high canyons, where creeks flow to and from high alpine lakes full of beautiful, yet oblivious and tasty, trout. We did a two-day, three-night, out-and-back trip from South Lake. The water level at South Lake was disconcerting, but from then on we were happy to find plenty of sources to fill our hiking water reservoirs from, cast fishing rods into, and even send some 30’+ cliff dives into.

 

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I have to give a shout-out to Deuter for supplying the 60+ liter backpacks so my friends from San Diego could carry some extra luxuries and really enjoy themselves out there. They don’t go quite as lightweight as this seasoned backpacker (mind me while I toot my own horn), but they truly impressed me with their abilities to keep moving forward as their bodies fought the altitude change and physical demands before them.

 

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Charges while cooking via USB

 

 

We only ate one fish between the five of us, although Brandon must have caught at least fifteen. We had plenty of dehydrated camping food and other snacks ideal for backpacking, so consuming something wild for the helluvit seemed silly. Still, the guys wanted to cook one up so I went along with it. Plus, I wanted to try charging my phone (set to Airplane Mode, but I still use it as a camera) with the new PowerPot from Power Practical.

 

 

 

 

 

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My BBB (Best Backpacking Buddies – cheesy, I know, but we had fun acting less our age) pose on some of the steeper switchbacks of the hike. This is part of the climb over Bishop Pass; we spent our nights at awesome lakes on either side.

 

 

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A little yoga to get the juices flowing before breakfast.

That’s my favorite jacket for cool-weather camping, my Mountain Hardwear lightweight puffy. It keeps me warm (60 grams of synthetic insulation), packs down small, doubles as a pillow and doesn’t get torn to shreds when I rough it up on rocks. It’s usually too warm as a mid-layer under a ski jacket in the Sierra, but ideal in colder weather than California sees and perfect for three-season backpacking.

Read the rest of this entry »

Big Tahoe Weekend: Annual Summer Gear Sale & Ta-Hoe Nalu Festival

August 13th, 2014 By   

We hope you’re ready for a big weekend in Tahoe! With the oldest stand up paddleboard event coming through town, in addition to our massive annual summer sale on outdoor gear, you’ll want to be here to enjoy all the action!

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Tahoe Mountain Sports is taking 20 to 70 percent off outdoor gear in downtown Kings Beach (8331 North Lake Blvd) during our Seventh Annual Summer Blowout Sale. A few exclusions apply, but almost everything in the store will be marked down ridiculously low all weekend long, starting Friday at 10:00 a.m. and running through Sunday at 6:00 p.m.

Find excellent deals on camping gear like Snow Peak cookware, Mountain Hardwear camping gear, Marmot apparel and hard goods, Black Diamond Equipment for winter and summer sports, Klean Kanteen water bottles and much, much more! Men’s and women’s clothing, hiking shoes for kids, and swimwear from the likes of Patagonia, Merrell and Teva footwear, Reef and and Lole Women are also marked down.

Backpacking backpacks, bike and day packs, and shoulder bag prices get chopped, too, so go ahead and treat yourself to that trekking pack from the Deuter ACT Lite series, an Outdoor Research dry bag, a fashionable and practical Kavu purse or a CamelBak hydration pack.. And, of course, we still have some of the best ski gear and winter clothing from our lack of snow last season, all of which is priced to move!

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Stock up for your upcoming Labor Day vacation, get your back-to-school necessities while they’re on sale, and finish out the summer in style with a cute new bikini, boardshorts or flip flops! Here’s a smart idea: take the initiative preparing for an upcoming winter while saving big bucks on ski and snowboard gear while prices are their lowest!

Whatever your outdoor sporting equipment needs may be, we’ve got you covered! Tahoe Mountain Sports is just across the street from the sandy shore of Lake Tahoe (about a quarter-mile east of the Highway 267/North Lake Boulevard intersection), so stop by for some serious discounts this weekend!

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BONUS: The longest-standing (pun not intended), and one of the largest nation-wide, stand up paddleboard events goes down this weekend! The 2014 Ta-Hoe Nalu races will be held at Kings Beach State Park throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday, with fun SUP-related activities mixed in for the whole family. Check out the Ta-Hoe Nalu Event Calendar for more info.

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Racers get set at Kings Beach State Park.

Both our annual summer gear sale and the Ta-Hoe Nalu Stand Up Paddle Festival will be going on Friday-Sunday from 10-6 in Kings Beach. Come visit us in the shop to find the coolest and hippest in summer gear. We’ll see you this weekend!

Overnight Trail Running Lake Tahoe – Philosophy and Preparation

August 13th, 2014 By   

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 just returned from a wild overnight run through Desolation Wilderness. We thought, You’re going to run through the night? He actually slept out there, but he packed ultralight gear and ran to and from camp, thus making this an ‘overnight run’. Here’s the first half of his adventure, Philosophy and Preparation. We’ll hit you next week with the actual trip report, so stay tuned.

overnight-running-desolation-wilderness

“It’s the best environment for solitary peace of mind that you can find. It’s why we go…” – Chris Cloyd, Mornings On Trail

 

Philosophy and Preparation

Distance running has never seemed all that appealing to me: monotony, pain, and a lack of grand scale (as a road cyclist, the ground you can cover in a single is much greater and, as a result, that undertaking has always taken preference with me). Living at Lake Tahoe, however, has redefined what possibilities exist by way of distance running for me. The bounty of trails and truly world-class wilderness here have swayed me, and the allure of running into the woods and exploring what our world has to offer has overcome me.

I’ve spent the better part of three years building not only the fitness but the wilderness readiness skill set to open up the idea of overnight trail running, unsupported. This is not a new idea – many have done this before me (including my small group of friends that agree this is a good idea) – but it is new to me, and I have taken many pains to progress at my own speed, slowly pushing deeper and deeper into the realm of possibilities this activity has to offer. Please, before you go running into the woods with no plan and just a bottle of water, take the time to build a skill set and game-plan that suits you and your goals.

When I first became interested in overnight trail running, it was a result of reading about fastpacking and the new options that existed therein. I am also exceedingly interested in ultralight alpinism, so the idea of pushing fast-and-light appeals to me. I lack the background at this time to pursue any sort of committed alpinism (and I know this) but I felt as though my background as an endurance athlete would suit pushing fastpacking to the next level. I felt (and continue to feel) that my greatest opportunity to see the Tahoe Basin’s wilderness expanse would be on foot, and that speed and mobility would open up more windows than persistence and time could.

This past weekend I put over a dozen trial runs and experimental pushes to the test before setting out on my most ambitious effort yet. My goals were two committed, long runs and a chain of two of Desolation Wilderness’ tallest peaks (Mt. Price and Pyramid Peak), all solo and unsupported.

In preparation for this trip, I built upon the “packing list” that I’ve developed over the last few months of trials. The “musts”: be light, be small, be sufficient, be reliable. I need my gear on these runs to be light so that my pace in the backcountry isn’t compromised. It needs to be small, so that I don’t have to run with more than an endurance running vest (a pack of more than a dozen or so liters, in my view, would compromise running gait and, as a result, speed and efficiency). My gear must also be sufficient: I need enough calories, water, electrolyte supplement, and clothes to last days and nights on my own. Lastly, I need my gear to be reliable (and this is the most paramount of all of my “musts”). Weight/space savings mean nothing if the gear I’m relying on fails me in the wilderness.

Making the cut:

– an Ultimate Direction Peter Bakwin Adventure Vest. My choice for a “pack”, due to its weight/size and features (bottle holsters, storage volume, ergonomics, etc.).

– a Katadyn Hiker Water Purifier. More reliable than a Steripen (I’m not too enthused about entrusting my life to an abundance of technology in the wilderness) and, to me, more tried-and-true than some other options on the market. I recognize that there are some smaller/lighter options (Sawyer makes a popular product), but for the time being the penalty on space/weight is small enough for me to stick to my guns. I am open to exploring other options in the future, though, and would love to find a new product that improves the experience. Beyond all of this, Katadyn filters make the water taste delicious. I anticipate drinking from shallow creeks, snowmelt pools, etc. when I’m out there, and the last time I swallowed some moss and silt while sipping I ran six miles with a pretty awful taste in my mouth (before I finally managed to cough it up). I’d rather carry a bit more weight than use an alternative (Aqua Mira is the high mark for weight savings in water purification) and tolerate that taste again. Moreover, I feel that if I can’t handle an extra 10-oz or so then my legs aren’t as strong as I think.

– a Grand Trunk ultralight hammock is my solution to the sleep quandary. Light, easy, and effective. I use two pieces of paracord to lash it to two trees, and try and set it tight and low to the ground (mimicking a stable sleeping surface as much as possible).

– a SOL Emergency Bivy. The best insulation for your buck: both in terms of cost and weight/space penalty. I’ll never do another overnight without one.

– thermal socks, long-sleeve top, tights, and gloves. I use winter base layers here, and they serve well to keep you insulated at night. I’ll bring a light beanie in colder temps, but use a running headband for warmer nights.

Sunscreen not only saves you from skin cancer, etc., but it also keeps your hydration regulated and keeps you more efficient while running. If you’re running at elevation (everything we do up here), this is even more important.

– Fuel. This is largely personal, but my friends and I make our choices here largely based on calorie-to-weight ration. A good endurance trail mix, jerky, and small sandwiches (Nutella and almond butter on cinnamon raisin bread is my personal favorite) paired with bars and emergency gels get my vote. I know it seems challenging to do two strenuous days with an overnight in the wilderness with no cooking equipment or normal “meals”, but trust me, it can be done. This barrier was broken for me when reading about multi-day high-alpine climbs done in the mountains with no stove – if those guys and girls can get by without one, I’m pretty sure I can get through a single night in the woods without one.

pyramid-peak-lake-aloha-desolation-wilderness-photography

“Sunscreen not only saves from skin cancer, but keeps hydration regulated and keeps you more efficient while running.”

Electrolyte replacement. This is (along with water purification) the most important part of my pack. I know I can go a day or two without much or any food (although my muscles would hate me), and I know I can survive a cold night, but without water and electrolyte replacement my muscles will shut down and limit my speed to a crawl. This lack of mobility in the wilderness could mean serious harm, or worse, and it’s not a risk I’m into taking. Nuun tablets are my product of choice, and on hot/humid trips I’ll supplement that even more with Saltstick tablets.

– a reliable headlamp. Purely a safety issue – you don’t want to get caught in the dark and not be able to move quickly to an overnight destination.

– MAP. Don’t be reckless and ever go into the wilderness without a map (and I do mean a PAPER MAP, not a .pdf synced to your phone – again, don’t leave your life in the hands of technology in the wilderness). This is the lightest/smallest piece of gear that carries the most benefit, and is a must-have. I recommend the National Geographic maps for topographic and trail detail.

– lighter, fire steel, and tinder/starter paper. If you’re going when the overnight lows get down close to freezing, this can be a lifesaver at best and a pleasant luxury regardless. Fires aren’t permitted everywhere, especially in high fire danger seasons, so be aware of regulations. Don’t be that guy or girl that burns the forest down.

– personal luxuries. Travel toothbrush and toothpaste, cellphone (in a waterproof phone bag for rain readiness, on airplane mode to conserve battery life), mosquito net, and compressible sleeping bag. This is the chapter of today’s entry where all of the weight junkies will crucify me. These items regularly make the cut on my trips, although they’re purely luxury choices. A toothbrush and toothpaste (travel sizes) take up almost no space and weight, and really go a long way to freshen you up in the morning. I bring my cellphone in case of emergencies, and for photography. A bring an ENO Bug Net for my hammock, because mosquitos are prevalent up here in the Tahoe Basin and they LOVE me. This is a humongous space/weight penalty, but it’s worth every once for me – it’s oftentimes the difference between a rejuvenating sleep or a handful of sleepless hours being eaten alive. It may not be for you – make your own decisions on your trips. On colder nights (below 50 degrees or so) I bring my Sea to Summit Spark 2 sleeping bag. It’s extremely light and compresses into very small, packable item. When I’m going out for multiple ambitious days, sleep is critical – it’s when the body can regenerate and support more effort the next day. Weight/space penalties that allow for a better/fuller sleep are worth it, in my view.

 

trail-run-overlooking-desolation-wilderness

“The allure of running into the woods and exploring what our world has to offer has overcome me.”

You may choose to bring more or less on your outings, but I encourage you to experiment. Start slow, with shorter runs and less-committing overnight destinations. Give yourself “outs” if things go wrong. Don’t try and superhero a huge run (or two) the first trip. Consider going with a friend, or run to meet friends who are out backpacking/camping – there safety in numbers and a silly mistake that could cost you while solo is sometimes easily mitigated in groups.

 

Now that you’ve enjoyed the first installment of Chris’s Overnight Trail Running Lake Tahoe, be sure to check back next week for the step-by-step adventure report. And if you haven’t subscribed to the blog, be sure to do do via the link at the top of this page. We’d hate for anyone to miss out on all our great content!

 

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

 

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