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Last turns of the 2010 ski season: Mt. Shasta, July 2

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Welcome to our newfangled Adventure of the Week series. From here on out, each Wednesday we’ll take a walk (or hike, bike, ski, surf, climb) in someone else’s shoes, from pro athletes to local Tahoe adventurers. Former Tahoe Mountain Sports staffer extraordinaire Nathaniel bats first in our line-up:

WHAT: Backcountry skiing on Mt. Shasta

WHEN: Friday July 2, 2010


Even with the 4th of July weekend coming up I wasn’t ready for the 09/10 ski season to be over. This time of year in California you can go hunt patches around Tahoe, deal with long, melted-out approaches on the Eastside, or you can go hit one of the premier backcountry ski peaks in the whole U.S., Northern California’s Mt. Shasta.

Its a big and intimidating mountain, and I was glad to go with Shane, a very experienced backcountry skier who has summited Shasta over a dozen times. Our route was the Hotlum-Wintun ridge, a very aesthetic 7,000 vertical foot route on east side of the mountain…


2nd Annual Run to the Beach 5k & 10k

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Tahoe Mountain Sports and Vasque are once again proud to sponsor the Run to the Beach 5k and 10k on the 4th of July! Last year’s event was a huge success and we are sure that this year’s will be as well. As with last year, both the the 5k and 10k start at the North Tahoe Regional Park and finish on the beach in Kings Beach across the street from Tahoe Mountain Sports. The 10k race takes a longer route, click here for a map of the exact routes. To register or for more information, go to, or just click here.

The King’s Beach fireworks are scheduled for the evening of the 3rd, so make a weekend out of it and come enjoy summer in Tahoe!

Running to the Beach 2009

Running to the Beach 2009

Run to the Beach Finish

Run to the Beach Finish

2010 Marmot Sleeping Bag Review – Which Bag is Right for Me?

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Its been a cool start to summer here in Tahoe but the weather is finally nice and camping season is in full swing. We’ve been getting a lot of questions about sleeping bags lately and I thought I’d go over some of the Marmot 2010 line. A lot of people ask what temperature rating they need and this varies depending on what the bag will be used for. For some climates a 45 degree bag works fine in the summer, but here in Tahoe the elevation means that it often gets down to 45 or colder at night and a lightweight bag just isn’t going to cut it.  For summer use around here I recommend at least a 30 degree bag and a 20 or 15 degree bag gives more versatility for shoulder season and year round use.  As far as down vs. synthetic fill goes, I prefer down for its light weight and ability to compact down small and not take up too much space in your backpack.  Synthetic bags are great for raft trips or rainy climates where the ability to insulate when wet is important, or people looking for a good warm bag on a budget. Marmot put out a great video that explains the advantages and disadvantages of down vs. synthetic insulation for sleeping bags and outerwear. Check it out here:

Marmot Helium Sleeping Bag

This is my personal favorite in the Marmot line. It weighs under 2lbs, compacts down to the size of a loaf of bread, and has a 15 degree rating for colder nights. This is a great all around ultra light and compact sleeping bag for three season backpacking.  It has high quality 850 down fill and the best weight to warmth ratio of any bag that we carry. It’s also available in a women’s specific version. The Helium series bags are filled and finished in Santa Rosa, California with and are independently tested and certified to ensure quality.

Marmot Never Winter Sleeping Bag

The Never Winter is a 30 degree down fill bag that is the minimum warmth wise that I would recommend for summer camping at elevation.  It weighs about 2.5 pounds and compacts well, just not quite as small as the Helium. Overall a great summer bag at a great price.

Marmot Never Summer Sleeping Bag

The Never Summer is a classic  zero degree down sleeping bag for year round use, or for people that tend to sleep cold. It even has a pocket in the trapezoidal foot box for heat packets for people that always have cold feet! A 0 degree sleeping bag is great for 3 season back packing or winter camping.  It is a good compromise between being compact as well as warm.

Marmot Trestles 15 Degree Sleeping Bag

The Trestles series are synthetic fill bags that come in a variety of temperature ranges. The 15 degree is in the middle of the line and probably the most versatile.  The synthetic fill will keep you warm even when the bag is damp, making it a great choice for wet climates and river trips. Its weight (3lbs 10 oz) and bulk make it more suited to car camping than backpacking but the price ($98.95) can’t be beat for someone on a tight budget.

Marmot Sawtooth Sleeping Bag

The Sawtooth is a down fill 15 degree bag great for 3 season use in a variety of climates. Although not quite as compact and light as the Helium it has comparable performance at a price a little more friendly to the budget. It still weighs under 3lbs and is a durable bag that will last for many years. A great bag for someone looking for one bag to do it all.

Once you have decided which Marmot sleeping bag is right for you, your next question is likely to be: How do I care for my new Marmot sleeping bag?  Lucky for you the fine people over at Marmot have put together another video showing you how to wash and care for your down or synthetic fill sleeping bag.  You can check it out here:

Nemo Equipment Summer 2010

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Nemo Equipment is a relatively new and small company, founded in 2002 in New Hampshire. Since then they have grown into a respected high end outdoor gear manufacturer of tents, sleeping pads, and pillows.  Although they haven’t been around very long, they have made their presence known in the outdoor industry with great lineup of products that has been reeling in awards left and right. The Meta 2p tent won the 2010 Editor’s Choice Award from Backpacker magazine and the Losi 3p tent won the Gear of the Year award from Outside magazine in 2009 just to name a few.

Nemo has always made great gear, but there are a couple great new products for 2010 that we think will become classic pieces of gear. First is the new Nemo Cosmo Air sleep system. The system consists of  a new 3″ thick ultralight sleeping pad with a built in foot pump for easy inflation, and a ultra soft washable pillowtop with mem0ry foam. The idea is that for backpacking you can take the Cosmo Air pad only to save weight and you can add the pillowtop for maximum comfort when car camping. Pretty Cool!

Showing off the head room in the Nemo Losi 2 person tent

Showing off the head room in the Nemo Losi 2 person tent

The second new piece of killer gear is the new Espri tent. It’s a high quality and ultra light backpacking tent with typical great Nemo design.  The two person model weighs only 3.4 pounds! These are for the person that loves the Losi but is concerned about weight.

Just getting the Nemo Losi 2 set up as the sun sets

The Reef Ugandal – Style Combined With Corporate Responsibility

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

We recently received the new Reef Ugandal here at the shop and besides being a stylish piece of footwear it helps get the message out about the ongoing war in Uganda and its tragic social consequences. Reef partnered with 31bits, an organization dedicated to harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit of Ugandan women in refugee camps to help them climb out of poverty. Through 31bits, Reef pre-purchased the hand made beads that adorn the sandals from women in Uganda, providing them with an income and getting the word out to the international community at the same time.  The beads are also completely made from recycled magazines, so there is an environmental benefit as well.  Its a cool story, so support the women of Uganda by rocking a pair of Ugandal’s this summer! Also, be sure to check out our other great women’s flip flops from Reef!

Reef Ugandal Women's Sandal

Reef Ugandal Women's Sandal

Kavu Bags & Purses 2010, New Colors and Styles

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

UPDATE, Fall 2010: We’ve done it again, and refreshed our Kavu Bags again, this time with colors and patterns for fall and winter. Follow the same links below to see for yourself!

Spring has sprung here in the Sierra and that means that our new summer 2010 Kavu Bags and Purses have arrived! These are some of our best selling purses and shoulder bags, now available in fresh new colors.  The Keeper is a classic from Kavu, it packs a lot of organization into a small purse with five separate pockets for all your essentials. It currently comes in five colors, including Blue Abstract pictured below.  The Seattle Sling features a contoured design and carries very comfortably, it also features a convenient phone pocket on the shoulder strap.

The Sydney Satchel, is larger than the Seattle Sling and is a great go to shoulder bag when you need a little more than the bare essentials, and looks great as well. The Kicker is another of Kavu’s best sellers and for good reason. Its a great size, larger than the Keeper, but smaller than the other Kavu Purses and shoulder bags. It also has a sleek and stylish design as well as coming in 5 new colors, including the all new wallflower pictured below.

Check out our Kavu brand page for tons of great purses and shoulder bags, hats, and clothing for your summer adventures.  Have fun out there!

Spring Powder Day at Squaw 3.31.10

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

A Spring Powder Treat – Squaw 3.31.10 from Nathaniel Mildner on Vimeo.

After a taste of spring for a few weeks, mother nature has sent a little reminder of winter our way here in Tahoe.  This was unusually light snow for spring in Tahoe and the deepest I’ve skied in several years if not my entire life.  Good Times! Even though this was all shot in bounds, I carried my full kit of avalanche safety gear including my Deuter Freerider Pro Pack and Mammut Pulse Barryvox avalanche beacon. Squaw Patrol does an excellent job of avy control, but with that much fresh snow you can’t be to careful. The one piece of gear that I wish I had was a snorkel! A couple of these runs I had to stop and rest because I was literally choking on snow.

2010 Basil Bike Basket, Pet Carrier, and Kid’s Bike Basket Preview and Review

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Basil Bike Basket

Basil Bike Basket

We recently received our first shipment of new 2010 bike baskets and the new summer 2010 line from Basil is looking really great. Its getting to be biking season here in California, so its time to think about styling out your cruiser or commuter with bike accessories from Tahoe Mountain Sports. We carry a wide variey of bike baskets from brands like Basil, Peterboro Basket Company, Wald, and Kruzer King. Let us help you personalize your bike, but above all get out and ride!
One of the cool new baskets we just received is the Basil Bern Memories bike basket. The Bern Memories is the new colored version of the popular Bern metal front mounted bike basket. Available in Salmon Orange (shown), Pastel Green, or Lemon Yellow to match your cruiser or commute bike. Of course the regular Bern is still available in traditional black.

Basil Bern Memories

Basil Bern Memories

Basil Pluto Pet Carrier Bike Basket on Bike

Basil Pluto Pet Carrier Bike Basket on Bike

Another cool new basket is the Basil Pluto Pet Carrier. We get a lot of phone calls from people looking for a bike basket to carry their pets. While the rear mounted Basil Pasja has been a popular solution, a lot of people wanted to be able to keep an eye on Fido while they pedal around town. Enter the front mounted Pluto which lets your pet ride up front and see where they are going. The optional steel frame keeps your pet from deciding that the ride is over and jumping out unexpectedly.
A great option for kids is the Basil Jasmin baskets, now available in more colors. The newest is the Basil Jasmin Rosa shown to the right. For those going for more of a traditional look, the Basil Jasmin Farm basket may be for you. The original Jasmin Basket now comes in Lilac/Soft Pink as well as Blue/White. All styles of the Jasmin are made of durable steel mesh to handle whatever your child can throw at it and are a great addition to any kid’s bike.  If wicker is more your style you may want to check out the Peterboro Original Bike Basket for Kid’s.

Basil Jasmin Rosa Basket

Basil Jasmin Rosa Basket

These are only a few of the great cruiser bike accessories we have here at Tahoe Mountain Sports. Also check out our full selection of hydration packs to keep from getting dehydrated on the road or trail!

Deuter ACT Trail 24 Backpack Review

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

We are very excited to announce that Tahoe Mountain Sports is 1 of only 2 retailers in the entire country to be carrying the brand new Deuter ACT Trail 24 Backpack and it is in stock and ready for shipping. For those of you that don’t know, Tahoe Mountain Sports carries the entire line of Deuter backpacks and Deuter bike products including what we think is the best hydration reservoir out there, the Deuter Streamer. More on Deuter later, this is a blog post about a brand new, super cool day hiking backpack!

Deuter continues its success in the backpack and daypack world with the release of the all new ACT Trail 24. The new ACT Trail 24 is the little brother to Deuter‘s award winning ACT Trail 32. It brings all the popular features of the ACT Trail 32 and the woman’s specific ACT Trail 28 SL into a more compact 24 liter size, making it a perfect summer day pack for a wide variety of activities.  The Trail Series backpacks are small top-loading traditional daypacks with modern features and top-notch quality.  They have the more traditional AirContact back system compared to the mesh back systems of the Futura series and the all new ultralight Spectro series. The Air Contact back system still ventilates quite well, doesn’t cut into the capacity of the pack and is a bit lighter.

Deuter ACT Trail 24

Deuter ACT Trail 24 - Front View

The backpack includes a large mesh stuff it pocket on the front for a light extra layer or anything that you need easily accessible. One of the best features of the Trail 24 is the  large two way zipper on the front of the pack that provides easy access to the entire contents of your backpack and especially the bottom or anything small and hard to find. This “clamshell” opening as it is referred to allows you to put the back down on its back and get a full view into and full reach into the entire main compartment of the backpack. It also has a mesh pocket on one side and a small zippered side pocket on the other, perfect for your map and compass. Ice axe and trekking pole loops secure gear to the outside, and a hip belt pocket keeps a small camera or other essentials close at hand.

ACT Trail 24 - Two Way Bottom Zipper

ACT Trail 24 - Two Way Bottom Zipper

All of these great features are packed into a compact 2lb 12oz package with typical Deuter durability and quality. The AirContact back system with Delrin™ Frame Rod keeps loads up to 20lbs stable and comfortable. The built in removable rain cover may not see much use here in Tahoe, but is an invaluable feature in wetter climates. Don’t forget, the rain cover by itself would cost you $20 and it is included with this backpack. The pack is hydration reservoir compatible, but the reservoir itself is not included. We highly recommend a Deuter Streamer 3 Liter Reservoir to go with your ACT Trail 24. We always recommend the 3 liter version because if you ever want that much liquid, you have that option, but you don’t always have to fill it up to capacity.

ACT Trail 24 with Rain Cover

ACT Trail 24 with Rain Cover

Overall, this is a great little pack that carries everything you need for a summer day hike or a day at the beach. The 24 liter capacity is perfect for me.  I find 30+ liter day packs a little too big for most summer uses and often a small hydration pack is not big enough. The ACT Trail 24 fills this niche beautifully.  I took the pack out on a 3 hour afternoon hike and it carried everything I needed nicely, including extra food and water for the dog.  I could see this pack being my “Go To” backpack for most summer activities including hikes, bike commuting, and days at the beach. All in all a great little pack and Tahoe Mountain Sports is proud to be a partner with Deuter USA in releasing this backpack to our U.S. customers.

ACT Trail 24 Side Pocket

ACT Trail 24 Side Pocket

UPDATE: Want to read more Deuter ACT Trail reviews? Check out the Deuter ACT Trail 24 review on or and TMS customer reviews on the Deuter ACT Trail 24.

Pow Skiing on Jake’s Peak With the VholdR ContourHD 1080p

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Back on February 22nd I got out for a day of pow skiing on Jake’s Peak. I was trying to do something fairly mellow and test out my new setup of Black Diamond Zealots with Dynafit Vertical ST bindings. I’ve been a fan of the Zealot’s for a while but I am just now learning about the advantages of the Dynafit binding. They are lighter, tour better, and ski better than any other binding that I have tried. This is nothing new, I’m just awakening to what serious backcountry skiers and ski mountaineers have known for decades. These are the best no compromises AT binding on the market. Look for a full review after I get a few more days on them.

I also tried out the 720p 60 frames per second mode on the VholdR ContourHD 1080p and I think its the best quality video I’ve gotten so far with this thing. It lost some quality when the video was hosted on Vimeo, but you can get the idea. The original file was over 350 MB for a minute and ten seconds of video. Not really feasible for streaming over the net, but it looks amazing on a HD monitor.  The higher frame rate really smoothes out the video, I highly recommend this setting for skiing. As you can see from the video, the snow wasn’t too shabby either.

Jakes Peak Pow 2.22.10 from Nathaniel Mildner on Vimeo.

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