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Deuter Backpacks Shine in Yosemite

November 24th, 2014 By   

The following trip report and gear review is brought to you by Kevin Snow of Tahoe Mountain Sports:

“I should have bought another banana,” I thought as I turned onto Highway 140, entering the Merced River Valley. I wasn’t sure how long the drive was going to take me, and I’d hastily misjudged my morning hunger level as I flew through the gas station just outside of Lee Vinning hours earlier. “I heard there’s a pizza place down there somewhere,” I remember thinking, when all of a sudden, I realized what was happening, my car slowed, and a tear came to my eye. I had just entered the Yosemite Valley and what had just come into view was one of natures’ most awe inspiring, grand, and massive gifts of beauty, towering three thousand feet above the valley floor. I stood before El Capitan, in all of its majesty, in pure astonishment, as I contemplated not only the massive geologic events it would have taken to make this gargantuan monolith, but the amount of monumental historic events for the climbing world that have taken place on its walls and in its shadow. I felt like an ant. All of a sudden the world had been pulled into perspective for me, I felt small in it, and another tear came to my eye.

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The gang at the trailhead in Camp 4 in front of Midnight Lighting. The iconic bouldering problem is defined by the chalk lightning bolt in the background, and has been kept up by climbers outlining it in chalk for 3 and a half decades.

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Earn a SAFE AS Women’s Avalanche Safety Workshop Scholarship!

November 21st, 2014 By   

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What: Tahoe Mountain Sports in association with Coalition Snow are offering 6 scholarships for SAFE AS Clinics. See rules for entry below! Winners provide their own transport to/from the clinics, and their own avalanche safety gear if they have access to it, but everything else is included. Winners will also receive a base layer courtesy of Helly Hansen.

Ladies Night at Tahoe Mountain Sports (on Saturday, November 22) with Michelle Parker will include a raffle to help raise funds for SAFE AS scholarships. Learn more here: http://goo.gl/7yiTdV

Who: Women and girls, ages 14 and up who want to get SAFE AS and might need a little boost to help get there

When: Entries must be in by December 2, 2014

How to enter:

  1. Answer the following questions via email sent to safeasclinics@gmail.com:

    – Why do you want to attend SAFE AS?

    – What does being able to ski and/or snowboard safely mean to you?

  2. Post a photo on Instagram showing why you are your best, strongest self in the mountains! Tag #gettingSAFEAS @tahoemountainsports, @coalitionsnow@hellyhansen and the resort where you’d like to attend the clinic (including which date if there’s one in particular)–either @squawalpine, @crystalmountain, @stevenspass, or @coppermtn. Be sure to include the above tags so we can repost some of your awesomeness. Winners will be chosen by the SAFE AS crew and Tahoe Mountain Sports. If you don’t have Instagram, please email us a photo. SAFE AS and Tahoe Mountain Sports reserve the right to re-use your entry photo.

Website: http://safeasclinics.wordpress.com

Thanks and stay SAFE AS!

About SAFE AS (Skiers Advocating and Fostering Education for Avalanche and Snow Safety): Created by Elyse Saugstad, Jackie Paaso, Lel Tone, Michelle Parker, Ingrid Backstrom, and Sherry McConkey, the SAFE AS clinics goal is to heighten community snow safety and avalanche awareness by hosting women’s intro to avalanche safety workshops. These leading ladies of skiing hope to foster an open, welcoming environment by which to encourage participation and communication.

“By sharing their own mistakes, uncertainties, and bad decisions, these women taught us that it’s okay to be unsure, and that we all will make close calls at some point—and that’s alright. They also taught us that those close calls are a chance to learn exactly what not to do, and go out smarter and safer the next time.” – SAFE AS Clinic Participant – Abbie Barronian from Powder.com

Get the Best Black Friday Weekend Deals!

November 20th, 2014 By   

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The Best Black Friday Weekend Deals Are at Tahoe Mountain Sports
Don’t Get Trampled by the Crowds – Shop Local in Truckee, CA

What:  Unbelievable Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday Shopping Deals
When: Friday, November 28 – Monday December 1 | Doors & Shopping Specials: 9:30 a.m. | Doors Close: 6:00 p.m.
Where: Tahoe Mountain Sports, 11200 Donner Pass Rd. E5 Truckee, CA 96161 (Safeway Shopping Center)

Beat the lines and get out on the slopes or trails with the best deals this Black Friday Weekend at Tahoe Mountain Sports! Don’t miss out on the best selection of top outdoor items for the holidays from your local backcountry gear headquarters: Tahoe Mountain Sports conveniently located in the Safeway Shopping Center in Truckee, CA. Pick up some fashionable clothing, multi-purpose footwear, or choose from the best mountain accessories in the region.

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Analyze, Interpret, Decide: Avalanche Education Resources

November 15th, 2014 By   

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If you explore the backcountry on skis, board or sled, or if you’re considering it as a new pastime, you don’t want to miss the FREE, three-part Avalanche Education Series at Tahoe Mountain Sports. Three separate, fun and educational events will bring the Tahoe-Truckee backcountry community together for experiences like no other, valued at: priceless. The cost to the public: free.

PART ONE: Weds. Nov. 19  “Begin with Your Beacon” Presented by Ortovox with AIARE Instructor Tom Carter

PART TWO: Weds. Dec. 17 “Airbag Educational Evening” Presented by Ortovox and Black Diamond

PART THREE: Weds. Feb. 4 “Read, Interpret, Decide –Analyzing Avalanche Reports” Presented by Ortovox and the Sierra Avalanche Center

Doors @ 5:30  Program 6:15 to 8:00

Raffle(s): Participants can enter TWO raffles, both benefiting the Sierra Avalanche Center. The first raffle is a series-long raffle (to be drawn on Feb. 5, 2014) that includes a Mammut Protection  Airbag Backpack AND thousands of dollars worth of avalanche safety gear. The second raffle will be for  Ortovox avalanche rescue gear including beacons, probes, shovels and more!

Location: Tahoe Mountain Sports, 11200 Donner Pass Rd. – 5E, Truckee, CA 96161  (In the Safeway shopping center)

Here are some great resources on avalanche safety: 

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“The Human Factor” | Photo: Jason Hummel

The Human Factor is often the turning point where things go wrong. Check out this series via Powder Magazine (written by David Page) on how staying safe in the backcountry isn’t just about assessing the snowpack; it also requires managing your own innate vulnerability to making poor choices. Live now, Chapter 1 Chapter Two and Chapter Three of The Human Factor pres. by Black Diamond Equipment Ltd.  #HumanFactor


 

 

AVALANCHE ENGINEERS is the story of two scientists who delve deep into the mysteries of the snowpack to find out how a snowflake becomes an avalanche. Filmed in Bozeman, Montana, this mini-doc takes you on a journey from the micro intricacies of snowflake structure to the massive mountainsides where this force of nature reigns.

Featuring David Walters and Tony Lebaron. Music by Grant Mason.

For more info about the Montana State University Subzero Lab: coe.montana.edu/ce/subzero/


 

A program service of the High Fives Non-Profit Foundation, B.A.S.I.C.S. is designed to promote safety and awareness through world-class fundamentals coaching and education. The second in a series of five videos, the Avalanche Awareness video is intended to help those who ski, snowboard or snowmobile in the back country be better equipped and safe while being aware of the inherent dangers with such activities.

Key things to know to enjoy the back country and come home safe:
1. Get Educated. Learn about avalanche safety by taking a class.
2. Know your skills, know your surroundings. Check out forecasts for weather and conditions before you go.
3. Have the proper equipment and know how to use it (avalanche transceiver, probe, shovel, and airbag).
4. Never travel alone. Always ride with partners in a group and have a plan.
5. If you don’t feel comfortable, don’t go. There is always tomorrow when using good judgement.

Key websites:
American Institute for Avalanche Research and Eduction (avtraining.org)
Avalanche.Org (avalanche.org)
Forest Service National Avalanche Center (fsavalanche.org)
National Snow and Ice Data Center (nsidc.org)
Back Country Access (BCA) Float Airbags and Safety Equipment (backcountryaccess.com)


 

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“A Goal of Zero: The Avalanche Industry Looks to Change” | Photo: Scientif38

 

Backcountry Magazine: “A Goal of  Zero: The Avalanche Industry Looks to Change” – by Megan Michelson 

Imagine if there were zero avalanche deaths each year in the United States—on average, that would mean 28 lives saved. A group of avalanche safety professionals is making bold attempts to drastically reduce avalanche fatalities in this country and to get there, they’re looking in an unlikely place: a Swedish automobile law from the 1990s.

In 1997, the Swedish Parliament approved a law called Vision Zero, which called for a complete shift in road planning, driver behavior, law enforcement and car manufacturing with the hopes of reaching zero automobile deaths by 2020. Shockingly, the plan is working.

Read the full article here.

#WeLikeToHike Instagram Contest

November 11th, 2014 By   

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If you like hiking, show us! Every hiker needs a great pair of socks and a water bottle that doesn’t take up too much room. Darn Tough Vermont Socks and Platypus Hydration are the perfect pair to make a great day on the trails comfortable and hydrated!

What You Can Win

His and Hers – Platypus 1.0 Liter Softbottle and Darn Tough Hike/Trek Socks

How to Enter

Share your hiking photos on Instagram with the hashtag #WeLikeToHike and tag @tahoemountainsports, @darntoughvermont, @platypushydration and one (1) or more of your hiking buddies.

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Tahoe Mountain Sports will pick a winner on November 18 and notify them by leaving comment on Instagram. Winner will be asked to provide shipping information via email.

Winning photo based on cool factor (creativity/relevance), not necessarily the highest quality image or number of likes. Let’s see what you’ve got! Anyone who hikes and can take a photo (or have their friend take one) is encouraged to enter

Ladies Night at TMS with Michelle Parker (11/22)

November 11th, 2014 By   

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Ladies Night Featuring Michelle Parker @ Tahoe Mountain Sports
A Benefit Event for S.A.F.E. A.S. Clinics – Women’s Avalanche Safety Workshop Series

What: Special Ladies’ Only Inspirational Evening with Professional Skier Michelle Parker and Exclusive Women’s Shopping Deals
When: Saturday, November 22 | Doors-Shopping Specials: 5:00 p.m. | Official Program: 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Where: Tahoe Mountain Sports, 11200 Donner Pass Rd. E5 Truckee, CA 96161(Safeway Shopping Center)
Presented by: Mountain Hardwear and Tahoe Mountain Sports

Join your fellow ladies in the Truckee-Tahoe area for a fun night at your local outdoor gear headquarters and get excited for winter along with the rest of us! Tahoe City, CA native and inspirational pro-skier, Michelle Parker will lead a motivational discussion on her career and what it takes to be a successful action sports athlete. Additionally, attendees of this FREE event will enjoy store-wide savings and special deals on women’s specific apparel, footwear and gear. Utilize this great evening as the perfect opportunity to do some holiday shopping, or to simply spoil yourself! A portion of proceeds from Ladies Night will benefit the SAFE AS Clinics, a local non-profit organization that fosters exceptional opportunities for women to learn about the skill sets needed to become a well educated skier or snowboarder.

Take advantage of special discounts on gear and clothing this night only! There are great prizes to be won in the raffle (benefiting the SAFE AS Clinics), including a Ghost Whisperer hooded down jacket (valued at $300) from Mountain Hardwear and lots more (including gear from Vapur and Pistil)! With winter just around the corner, Tahoe Mountain Sports has 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! Enjoy special shopping deals in an intimate and customized setting that will leave you inspired to take your skills to the next level.

Michelle Parker is a 27 year old professional skier who was born and raised in Squaw Valley and has been a member of the Squaw Valley Freeride Team since 2006. After competing in X Games events for Slopestyle and Halfpipe Michelle turned her focus on filming with Matchstick Productions and has been featured in the latest film ‘Days of My Youth’ as well as ‘Superheroes of Stoke’, whereupon she was awarded IF3’s and Powder Awards ‘Best Female Performance’. Michelle is addicted to chasing winter in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and has spent the past 9 summers guiding and coaching in Argentina at South America Snow Sessions.. Michelle spends most of her time in the mountains skiing, climbing, and mountain biking. She co-founded SAFE AS, is an advisor for High Fives Non-profit Foundation, is an ambassador for both Alpine Initiatives and Climate Reality, and has raised over $18,000 for the Sarah Burke Foundation. Philanthropy is equally as important to her as she see’s skiing as an outlet to inspire and create a positive change.

SAFE AS (Skiers Advocating and Fostering Education for Avalanche and Snow Safety): Created by Elyse Saugstad, Jackie Paaso, Lel Tone, Michelle Parker, Ingrid Backstrom, and Sherry McConkey, the SAFE AS clinics goal is to heighten community snow safety and avalanche awareness by hosting women’s intro to avalanche safety workshops. These leading ladies of skiing hope to foster an open, welcoming environment by which to encourage participation and communication.

“By sharing their own mistakes, uncertainties, and bad decisions, these women taught us that it’s okay to be unsure, and that we all will make close calls at some point—and that’s alright. They also taught us that those close calls are a chance to learn exactly what not to do, and go out smarter and safer the next time.” – SAFE AS Clinic Participant – Abbie Barronian from Powder.com

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If you can’t make the event but would still like to donate to a wonderful, women’s cause, please check out the SAFE AS website. Thank you to Mountain Hardwear for sponsoring the 2014 Tahoe Mountain Sports Ladies Night with Michelle Parker!

RSVP to the event on Facebook: http://goo.gl/A4ySME
Join the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Adventure Group:
http://goo.gl/jhcVII

Tahoe Mountain Sports proud to work with Michelle Parker. The above video introduces episode one of Michelle and SASS Global Travel’s latest venture, “Argentina Calling”. Throughout the first installment of this three-part series, Parker shows us what drives her to South America from her home in Lake Tahoe, CA each summer. Enjoy watching the lady shredder chase pow while she gives us a taste of what’s to come in the next two episodes.

Finding Winter – Mountain Hardwear

November 8th, 2014 By   

Watch and share the inspirational new video “Finding Winter” introducing the new series from Mountain Hardwear!

“As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, our thoughts turn to winter and the magic that surrounds it…We all experience different adventures in the pursuit of winter but any adventure is only as good as the stories you bring home, so set out to capture the radical this season and share it with the world! Your story is our story. Join is in Finding Winter.”

As you prepare for the season ahead, take advantage of our Killer Pre-Winter Sale and save BIG on Mountain Hardwear (through November 13 at Midnight PST)!

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2014-15 Avalanche Education Series at TMS

November 5th, 2014 By   

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If you explore the backcountry on skis, board or sled, or if you’re considering it as a new pastime, you don’t want to miss this FREE, three-part Avalanche Education Series at Tahoe Mountain Sports. Three separate, fun and educational events will bring the Tahoe-Truckee backcountry community together for experiences like no other, valued at: priceless. The cost to the public: free. A popular and credible guest speaker will be on-site to inform and entertain each night of the Series; look forward to learning directly from professional skiers, mountain guides and avalanche safety instructors, and local non-profits that work to keep you safe in the backcountry.

Tahoe Mountain Sports 2014-15 Avalanche Education Series:

PART ONE: Weds. Nov. 19 “Begin with Your Beacon”
Presented by Ortovox with AIARE Instructor Tom Carter

PART TWO: Weds. Dec. 17 “Airbag Educational Evening”
Presented by Ortovox and Black Diamond

PART THREE: Weds. Feb. 4 “Read, Interpret, Decide –Analyzing Avalanche Reports”
Presented by Ortovox and the Sierra Avalanche Center

Read the rest of this entry »

Join The North Face Athlete Conrad Anker at Truckee Opening Party!

October 18th, 2014 By   

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Meet and interact with one of the best in the alpine climbing community, Conrad Anker! As Tahoe Mountain Sports celebrates the opening of its new location in Truckee, CA, Conrad will be present to sign posters, answer questions and lead an informal discussion about his inspirational adventures around the world. TMS will offer gear and clothing specials in the store this night only! Join in several interactive contests with Conrad Anker to win a limited edition signed poster. Additionally, anyone that purchases North Face products (over $100) will receive a free gift with purchase. This event is free and open to the public.

Tahoe Mountain Sports has always been a champion of pioneers in the outdoor sports community. With Conrad Anker in town, The North Face Face and Tahoe Mountain Sports are excited to offer an amazing opportunity to the Truckee-Tahoe community to meet a legendary alpine climber and hero to many while learning more about the world of alpine sports.

Where: Tahoe Mountain Sports (New Location: Safeway Shopping Center 11200 Donner Pass Rd, Truckee, CA | Ph: 530.536.5200)

When: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 ~ 4:00 – 7:00 pm

Join the Event on Facebook

Event Schedule:

  • 4:15 – 7:00pm: Attendees can pack Conrad’s gear bag and try to beat his time to win a HUGE, signed Conrad Anker poster.
  • 4:45 – 5:00pm: Conrad Anker leads first of two discussions.
  • 5:45 – 6:00pm: Ribbon cutting ceremony.
  • 6:15 – 6:30pm: Conrad Anker leads second of two discussions.
  • 6:45 – 7:00pm: Last contestant to enter bag packing contest, winner announced

Conrad Anker (Bio): Conrad Anker’s specialty, simply put, is climbing the most technically challenging terrain in the world. This quest has taken him from the mountains of Alaska and Antarctica to the big walls of Patagonia and Baffin Island and the massive peaks of the Himalaya.

Conrad’s Antarctic experience spans a decade, with first ascents in three regions. In 1997, Conrad teamed up with Alex Lowe and Jon Krakauer to climb Rakekniven, a 2,500-foot wall in Queen Maud Land. In the Sentinel Range, Conrad climbed the Vinson Massif via three new routes. His climbs in Pakistan’s Karakoram include the west face of Latok II along the “Tsering Mosong” route (which begins at the same height as the summit of Denali) where he climbed 26 pitches on a vertical cliff and then topped out at 23,342 feet.

In 1998, Conrad and Peter Croft made a first ascent of Spansar Peak via a 7,000-foot ridge in one day. In Patagonia, he climbed the three towers of the Cerro Torre Massif. On Yosemite’s El Capitan he joined Steve Gerberding and Kevin Thaw to establish “Continental Drift,” a steep “nail-up” on the right side. And in Zion National Park, Mugs Stump and Conrad first climbed the intimidating “Streaked Wall”.

In May of 1999, as a member of the Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition, Conrad discovered the body of George Mallory, the preeminent Everest explorer of the 1920s. The disappearance of Mallory and Sandy Irvine on their summit bid in June 1924 is one of climbing’s great mysteries, and Conrad’s discovery and analysis of the find has shed new light on the pioneering climbs of the early expeditions.

In October 2011, Conrad, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk summited one of the last great unclimbed features of the Himalayas by topping out on the Shark’s Fin route on the northwest face of 20,700-foot Meru in the Garhwal Himalaya. In the game of high-altitude, big-wall mountaineering, the previously unclimbed route represents one of the world’s ultimate mountaineering tests, with the lower third a classic alpine snow-and-ice route, the middle a mix of ice and rock, and the final section an extremely difficult, overhanging headwall. The Shark’s Fin has drawn many of the world’s top alpinists over the past 30 years, none of them able to finish the route.

Conrad graduated from the University of Utah and lives in Bozeman, Montana, with his wife and three sons. Anker serves on the board of the Conservation Alliance, the Rowell Fund for Tibet and the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation. “My involvement with these organizations is intrinsically rewarding,” Conrad says “and it’s among the most important work I do. It feels good to be able to give back to our community of humans and to the natural world.”

Learn more about Conrad via his athlete profile.

Hiking Yosemite’s Bermuda Triangle: Tenaya Canyon

October 15th, 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.

The emerald pools and gigantic boulders of the Inner Gorge

Who: Rachel, Theresa, Tom, Denis, Mat
What: Tenaya Canyon ascent
Where: Yosemite National Park, CA
When: September, 2014
Gear: Sawyer Point Squeeze Filter,  Altra Lone Peak Trail Running ShoesBlack Diamond Primrose Harness

All photos by Rachel McCullough unless captioned otherwise.

Disclaimer: Hiking/Canyoneering in Tenaya Canyon is dangerous. This blog post is not a recommendation for you to try the route.

There were many reasons NOT to go to Tenaya Canyon. For starters, there is its reputation as the Bermuda Triangle of Yosemite. Then there is the curse that Chief Tenaya invoked when white men killed his son. If you don’t believe in that, there is a Google search results page plastered with stories of helicopter ride exits, as some sort of proof. Not even John Muir escaped unscathed on this 10+ mile journey. He found himself slipping, somersaulting, and then losing consciousness, only to be spared by the dense shrubbery on the route. Then there was the forecast: 40% chance of afternoon thunderstorms.

If all that wasn’t enough, closer to home, Alpine Meadows was charging their snowmaking system as the King Fire scorched tens of thousands of acres less than ten miles away. Facebook lit up with talk of being ready to evacuate. The list goes on. So what possessed me to leave a list of what should be saved with my husband in the event of a fire evacuation and make the six-hour journey to Yosemite?  It was the lure of the remote off-trail experience, the promise of emerald pools, glacier-carved canyon walls, unparalleled views, time with good friends, old and new, and the challenge.

And while we didn’t emerge from Tenaya canyon unscathed, we did emerge having had the adventure of a lifetime. Just not one to be repeated in the same fashion, ever again.

Most people approach Tenaya Canyon from the top as a canyoneering route, rappelling through waterfalls and landing in ice cold pools. Seeing as in my ten years at Lake Tahoe, I’ve only swam in the lake once (gasp), a water-logged adventure didn’t sound appealing, and neither did the toe-crushing slab descents. So, with all of us having a rock climbing background, and in true John Muir form, we decided to go up.

The evening before our planned trip, as I arrived at Olmstead Point, which overlooks Tenaya Canyon, I saw, well, nothing. The King Fire smoke had followed me to Yosemite, and was so thick that the normally prominent Half Dome was invisible. We hoped it would clear before morning and we weren’t disappointed.

We started at Mirror Lake at around 7am, only a half hour behind our planned schedule. Our crew is not known for our timely morning departures (more about that here: http://bit.ly/TuolumneHike).

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