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Analyze, Interpret, Decide: Avalanche Education Resources

Saturday, November 15th, 2014


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: 


“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 TwoChapter Three and Chapter Four 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:


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 (
Avalanche.Org (
Forest Service National Avalanche Center (
National Snow and Ice Data Center (
Back Country Access (BCA) Float Airbags and Safety Equipment (



“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.

Be the First to Get a NEW GoPro Hero4!

Friday, October 3rd, 2014







We are one of the first retailers in not only the country but, in California to offer the NEW GoPro HERO4 cameras! Learn how you can be notified when they arrive by clicking HERE!

The new GoPro HERO4 camera. All around the world GoPros are capturing incredible moments, from the heart-stopping to the heartfelt. See how GoPro’s new line of our most advanced cameras yet allow you to beautifully and authentically capture and share the experiences that bring purpose, adventure and joy to your life.

GoPro HERO4: Even more spectacular image quality, including incredible low light capabilities. 2X the high fidelity sound. Faster processing. Impressive 4K30 frame rates. Protune settings that unlock manual control of many of your GoPro’s features, and so much more.

Discover all of the capabilities of the HERO4:

News: TMS Sales Tactics Discussed On Innovative Sports Network

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

This is great! Innovative Sports Network, a marketing firm based in San Diego, just published an interview with Tahoe Mountain Sports. It highlights our “innovative” retail sales strategies and goes behind the scenes at TMS to paint a picture of how we attract (and keep) our customers. From Affiliate Linking and managing multiple social networks to our HazMat shipping capabilities and the “personable” touch added to customers’ shopping experiences, Jason really dug deep and came up with the goods. Thank you, Jason Weinert of ISN, for sharing this!

tahoe mountain sports kings beach


What makes your online retail store stand out among the masses? As with any online retailer, something must be unique about an advertisement to catch my attention and keep my attention long enough to eventually click a tab that reads ‘proceed to checkout’. Most always that unique characteristic is the best bang-for-buck we can find when comparing prices online. The second reason most people land on a retailer’s webpage? Product Availability. If only one distributor has the Extra Small trail running jacket you need in the Bright Yellow hue you’re after, they’ll end up with your business in the end. And finally, Customer Loyalty. But with the number of online retailers vs. shoppers nowadays, how often do you really feel compelled to consistently support the same vendor? Rarely, if ever, I’m sure. I found Tahoe Mountain Sports online while conducting a…”

Click Here To Read The Full Article On ISN




What’SUP? Paddleboarding Yoga,That’s What!

Monday, October 1st, 2012

This feature comes from Kirsten Alburg, a TMS staff writer, teacher, and owner of Alaska’s Take Refuge Canoe. Kirsten is a regular contributor to our blog and an above-average adventure enthusiast living on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska.

Following the lead of their instructor, a dozen-Yogi clan paddled into a single-file line between buoys, excited to embark upon a new adventure: the sport of water-top yoga. Without their paddles for balance, the group flounders as they attempt the Downward Dog position.

Their instructor explained that when she first jumped into paddleboard yoga the expanse of the water broadened her perspective of the exercise and gave her respect for the sport. “It’s way bigger than you; the water, the balance needed, the focus,” she said.

It’s key to not be distracted when you’re trying to balance above frigid waters. You’re forced to truly be one with the moment – to focus on your breath, the board and the water. You can’t control the environment. It’s not like an indoor studio where you can catch yourself when faltering. As the group’s leader worded it, “It’s intense! You have to really be one with the water to stay on the board, but it’s so much fun!”

At the end of the workout, as the sunscreen-protected group lay on their backs in Corpse pose, a flock of ducks flew overhead – a sign that true balance with nature had been achieved.

Balancing atop a large surfboard is noteworthy, but twelve people posing on stand-up paddleboards is enough to get the attention any passerby. Stand Up Paddleboarding, considered one of the hottest new sports today, is a draw for many water and yoga fans.

Each year the sport of paddleboarding increases in popularity. SUP yoga migrated from Hawaii to California and now is taking off throughout the United States.  SUPs are not propelled by waves alone, but by their rider wielding a long single-bladed paddle. Stand Up Paddleboards are longer and wider than regular surfboards, improving buoyancy and balance ability.

Paddleboard yoga is a variation of Stand-up Paddle Surfing (SUP, or Hoe he’e nalu in Hawaiian) combined with the ancient practice of Yoga, which originated in Rishikesh, India. The sport combines the ancient practice of hathayoga and vinyasa yoga asanas, or poses, with the ancient form of surfing.

SUP yoga benefits athletes with a strong ‘core’ workout. Some of these benefits include decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and weight, coordination improvement and increased range of motion. It can even help treat anxiety and depression. Paddle Board Yoga is popular in warm coastal climates and resorts, and is gaining in popularity. Celebrities such as Jennifer Anniston, Matthew McConaughey, Lance Armstrong and Kate Hudson are sampling the sport, and cross-over athletes such as big wave surf pioneer Laird Hamilton are training with SUPs.

New Site Feature: Product Q&A

Monday, March 19th, 2012

A couple weeks ago we added a new Q&A site feature that allows you to ask questions on product pages. The Q&A section can be found under the “Questions?” tab on every product page. Read questions and answers from other customers or ask a question of your own.

Questions will be published and answered within 24 hours of asking. You will receive an email confirmation when your question has been answered.

Here’s a screenshot of our Q&A feature in action, on the Mammut Ride Snowpulse Airbag pack product page:

Q&A screenshot

If you ever have any questions about any product on the site, please ask away. Odds are that other shoppers have the same questions you do, and your questions help build our online knowledge base for outdoor gear lovers everywhere. No question is too simple or technical for our gear experts.

Google +1 Buttons

Monday, July 25th, 2011

See this button below? Go ahead, click it. I promise nothing bad will happen…

…if you clicked the button and have a Google account, then you just “+1’d” What that means is that you personally endorse or recommend this site to friends and contacts connected via your Google account (and anonymously to the rest of Google). As a page gets more and more +1s it will begin to rise up on Google search result pages. The end result? A more relevant and democratic search experience.

Here you can see a Google search result page for the term “google”, with anonymous +1s circled in orange:

Google Search Engine Results Page

Here’s another search result for “lake tahoe weather”, and the page that I +1’d:

+1'd search listing

If any of my Google contacts +1 a page, their information will appear beneath the link.

These +1 buttons can be found throughout the Tahoe Mountain Sports website on every blog post, product and category page. If you’re browsing the site and see something that you like and think the rest of the world might like it too, give it a +1.

Staying on the Cutting Edge

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

It takes tons of constant tweaking and updating to stay on top of the ever-evolving world wide web. A lot has changed on since my last tech update in September. Here are just some of the highlights of how we are improving the user experience on the site:

Now Accepting Amazon Payments

Checkout by Amazon

We now accept payments through Checkout by Amazon. This payment method is a quick, easy and secure way to checkout using your existing Amazon account. I’m going to give you a quick walk-through to show you how easy it is:

When you’re ready to checkout, click this button on the shopping cart page: Checkout by Amazon Button

A secure login window for Amazon will open:

Login to Amazon

Once you log into Amazon you will be taken to our secure checkout page where you will select your billing and shipping information on file with Amazon:

Amazon Address Book (more…)

Tech Talk: Browse Products by Size

Monday, September 20th, 2010

In this month’s Tech Talk I want to show you a new site features that make it easier to find exactly what you are looking for within our category pages:

screen capture of Men's Pants category page

Pictured above is a screen capture that shows our Men’s Pants category, which can be further refined by Size (e.g. “Small”, “Medium”, “Large”) or by Waist Size (in inches) via the left navigation column. Clicking on a specific size will show only products that have that particular size in stock. This feature can be especially useful to customers that have a hard time finding clothing or footwear in their size.

Other product level refinements include: Mondo Size for ski and telemark boots, Disc Weight for disc golf discs, and US Shoe Size for our wide selection of footwear. And of course, you can still browse all our categories by Brand and Price.

Tech Talk is a monthly blog series written by our resident tech geek, Todd Shimkus. Questions or comments about the Tahoe Mountain Sports site design or functionality? Comment on this post and Todd will look into making it a reality.

Last Minute Burning Man Supplies

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Burning Man 2010 is just around the corner and we want to make it easy for burners to get last minute supplies before venturing off to the Black Rock Desert. NOTE that this list is not all-inclusive and will not contain everything you need out on the playa, just a few things we carry at the store that will make your stay in Black Rock City more comfortable.


Burning Man is a lot of things to a lot of people, but first and foremost it is desert survival. Water is the single most important thing you can bring out on the playa. The rule of thumb is 1.5 gallons per person per day. Bring more if you are using a solar shower, mist sprayers or anything else that uses additional water. For in-camp water storage, check out 5 Gallon Foldable Water Carriers, 10 Liter MSR Dromedary Bag or the 6 Liter Platypus Water Tank. All of these water carriers can be folded up to save space on the way back. For hydration out on the playa, we carry a variety of hydration backpacks, hydration reservoirs and water bottles. Last year I took the 40 oz. Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottle with a sling through the top, and it was plenty of water for long escapades. For electrolyte-enhanced water add Elete, Cytomax Recovery or Nuun drink mixes.

Bike Accessories

Bikes are an indispensable mode of transportation on the playa. You will be able to see and do more on a bicycle than you will traveling on foot and hopping on art cars or mutant vehicles. Need to carry some cargo? Check out our selection of bike bags and bike baskets. For nighttime riding, bike lights are a must. At the very least you will need a front light and blinky rear light, like the Planet Bike Beamer 1 Front and Rear Light Set. I also recommend some SpokeLites for some extra flair.

Sun Protection

The sun’s rays are very powerful in the high desert, and the reflection off the light-colored alkali ground amplifies the sun’s effects. Protect your skin with Sol Sunguard Altitude SPF 40 or Alpine SPF 25 sunscreen for non-greasy, sweatproof sun protection. Lip Balm is also one of the best things to have with you after a couple days in the desert. Sunglasses are a good idea as well, but will not protect your eyes against dust storms. Snow goggles, work well for keeping dust out of your eyes. A big hat like the Kavu Chillba Fisherman’s Hat is another great way to keep the sun off your face.


Tech Update: Social Media, Contests and Rewards

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

The Tahoe Mountain Sports website has been going through a lot of changes for your surfing and shopping pleasure.  Many of the changes were small usability fixes, coding tweaks and other technical nonsense, so I will spare you the geek-speak and jump right to the cool new features we have added recently.

Let’s start off with our social media profiles. You can now follow us on our TMS Facebook profile, as well as our Twitter and Google Buzz. We are using these channels to provide fans and followers the inside scoop on sales, special promotions and contests. We are running a contest on our Facebook page for some cool bike accessories for the rest of July (see this post for details). These links can be found at the footer of every page within the site:

Follow Us: Facebook, Twitter, and Buzz

Follow Us: Facebook, Twitter and Buzz

We have also been working on making it easier than ever to share our blog posts and product pages on Facebook, Google Buzz and Twitter. Every blog post and product now features a Facebook “Like” button, which will make it easy to share links to articles and outdoor gear with your friends:

product page update screencap

new image slider and Facebook "Like" buttons on product pages

In addition to “Like” buttons, we also have buttons that let you Tweet or post a Buzz about any articles on our blog. The Tweet button even shortens the page URLs automatically. These features will soon be available on our product pages as well.

social media buttons

Facebook "Like," Tweet and Google Buzz buttons on our blog

Here’s a little sneak preview of another Facebook application that will give you a free $5 gift card for posting about TMS on your Facebook profile:

Connect to us on Facebook screencap

Coming soon: free gift card for telling your friends about us on Facebook

Once we work out all the kinks, this offer will appear on our homepage. Anybody with a Facebook account can click on the link, write a little recommendation about TMS, and instantly receive a $5 gift card by email to use at checkout.

There are lots of exciting updates in the pipeline for the Tahoe Mountain Sports website, so check back often, join our Facebook Fan Page, follow us on Twitter or Google Buzz, or sign up for our email newsletter to stay in the loop and get the best deals on gear and clothing.

Tech Talk is a Tahoe Mountain Sports monthly blog post by our resident geek, Todd Shimkus.

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