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Archive for the ‘Lake Tahoe Area Info’ Category

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

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

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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.

Camping for Two: Testing Relationships in the Tahoe Backcountry

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

There’s no better way to test a relationship’s longevity than camping. Think you’re in love? Go camping together. You’ll either find out you’re indeed meant for each other or… well, you know, taking out a last-minute life insurance policy is always an option, too. Here are some of the Tahoe basin’s best couples camping spots, which my relationship has survived relatively unscathed.

 camping with your girlfriend

Desolation Wilderness

This federally protected wilderness area sitting to the west of Lake Tahoe comes in just shy of 64,000 acres. It’s packed with peaks, lakes and numerous places to camp. We’re talking about backpacking here, so this is a good place to put optimum levels of relationship-testing stress on yourselves. If 30-pound packs aren’t enough to overcome the miles of serenity, here’s what you can do to make the journey a bit more trying: Start at night, in the rain. That’s what we did my first time backpacking. Fortunately, my better half had previously spent many a night in the backcountry under far worse conditions. Oh, you thought the female was the one you had to worry about in this story? That’s very sexist of you. Jokes aside, she wasn’t worried, so neither was I. The rain and darkness just made for a greater adventure.

When I woke the next morning, stepped out of our tent and got my first look at Lake Aloha, I knew I was somewhere special. We kept on the move and the next few days were a nonstop orgasm for my eyes. You could spend weeks out there without visiting every picturesque alpine lake. If you do choose to spend weeks in the backcountry, show your darling you care by bringing the Nemo Helio Pressure Shower. There’s nothing more luxurious in the backcountry than a hot, pressurized shower.

Lake Aloha, Desolation Wilderness

Lake Aloha, Desolation Wilderness

Free Secrets

Rates for car camping are quickly approaching those of Motel 6. That’s probably why I feel like I’m about to give away the secret Indiana Jones fought the Army of the Dead for. Ready? You can camp for free in Tahoe. And I don’t mean sleeping in your minivan in a casino’s parking garage. I’m talking about quality campsites in a woodsy setting. But the only other clue I’m going to give you is that where I’m talking about is on the south side of the lake. I live on the north side. If things get rocky with your significant other while car camping, vacate that collapsing relationship of doom immediately. That’s what Indiana Jones would do.

Breakfast at Aloha

Indiana would also make a killer backcountry breakfast.

Star Lake / Freel Peak

Freel Peak is the Tahoe basin’s tallest summit at 10,891 feet. And it’s a bit off the beaten path. My lady and I haven’t bagged it yet, but we will later this month. Our goal has never been to be the best at exercise, so we don’t need to prove anything by doing it in a day. The plan is to backpack in to Star Lake, which sits at the base of Freel’s neighbor, Jobs Sister. Leaving most of our gear at base camp, Freel should be easily conquered with a mellow day hike.

The hike to Star Lake is actually the more challenging part of this trip, but you’ve got a few options. The shortest involves a miserable trudge up a long, steep, dirt Forest Service access road. We have a lot of experience with this route as it also accesses one of Tahoe’s less-trafficked mountain biking trails. If Freel sounds like a fun adventure for you and your special someone, this route would be a great way to ensure you never have to plan another trip again. Curious about the other options? Stop by Tahoe Mountain Sports and buy a map or a guide book. Or just Google it and add another relationship-risking variable to your foray into couples camping. Make wise choices here and you can probably get away with the romantic Nemo Mambo Duo Synthetic Comforter (2-person sleeping bag). Make poor choices and be ready to enjoy a bone-chilling night outside at 9,100 feet. (more…)

How To Stand Up Paddle Lake Tahoe: Best Places to Launch and Tour

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

This review comes from Scott Johns, an adventure cinematographer, mountain biker and snowboarder living in Incline Village on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. When Scott’s not creating beautiful imagery for video, he’s out ripping singletrack or shredding big lines in his backyard that we call the Eastern Sierra Nevada. Find more of Scott’s work at shredbums.com.

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With 72 miles of coastline, stand up paddleboarding on Lake Tahoe ought to be a straightforward endeavor of endless options, right? Well, half of that statement is true. The options are nearly endless. From scenic Emerald Bay to the elusive hot springs of the North Shore to the best beaches, on the East Shore, Tahoe has something for every paddler. But where to launch and how long it will take to reach your destination of choice can get a little messy.

Much of Tahoe’s coastline isn’t ultra accessible by land when you’re carrying a 10-foot-long, 30-pound paddleboard. Going with an inflatable SUP can help solve that problem, but some of it still isn’t accessible by land, regardless. Here’s a guide to the best launches and day trips, with an overnighter and a hike-in option for the more adventurous of our ranks.

 

Best SUP Launches

 

East Shore Ease: Sand Harborsand-harbor-stand-up-paddle-tahoe

This Nevada State Park offers a short carry coupled with a quick paddle to get the goods. The rocky coves and soft sand of Tahoe’s east shore give it many of the best beaches around the lake. Sand Harbor is probably the best known of those and boy, is that water turquoise! An ever-popular snorkeling spot, Sand Harbor is also great on an S.U.P. Just look down.

 

South Shore Seclusion: Camp Richardson

Okay, Camp Rich isn’t exactly secluded, but the undeveloped coastline between there and Emerald Bay certainly is. So bite off as much of it as you can chew or go for the whole enchilada. Emerald Bay from Camp Rich is about a three to four hour paddle, round trip, depending on your skill level. Pack a lunch and some biodegradable sunscreen (to protect our precious lake!) and start early.

 

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Inflatable SUP – lightweight, firm, stable, and won’t ding on rocks!

North Shore: Kings Beach State Park

Just across the street from Tahoe Mountain Sports, Kings Beach State Park presents a super-easy launch right next to the parking area. Swing by TMS before to rent a paddleboard (only $25 for 3-hours or $40 for a full day) or drop in afterward to let us know how it was! The Coon Street Boat Launch and nearby Speedboat Beach are also your best access points for the Tahoe hot springs wild goose chase. Good luck with that! Hint: It’s private.

 

West Shore Wonder: Meeks Bay

With a campground, marina and sandy beaches, Meeks Bay has everything you could ask for. Need I say more? Okay, the scenery doesn’t suck either. Oh, and do yourself a favor and stop by the Tahoma Market PDQ for a fantastic sandwich on your way over.
 
 
 
 

SUP Trip Ideas

sneaky-scott-johns-stand-up-paddle-lake-tahoeBest SUP Day Trip: Tahoe City to Sunnyside

I have a confession to make: I’m not that bright. The summer I moved from the South Shore to the North Shore, I took my girlfriend to Tahoe City to rent some kayaks for our first anniversary. We thought it would be no big deal to paddle from there to DL Bliss and back. We were wrong. That is not a day trip, unless you’re Superman. Sunnyside is a much more feasible destination, and what we ultimately opted for. Paddle over, take a break and grab some lunch, then paddle back. It’s a good time, and there are many a lakefront mansion to drool over. We even snuck onto someone’s property to snap this picture with their pet bear. That is not something I recommend doing. It’s kind of trespassing, you know?

 

Best Hike-In SUP Trip

By far, my favorite beach on Lake Tahoe is any one of the little coves surrounding Nevada State Parks’ Whale Beach, but it’s a journey. So, if you want to go paddle there, which you definitely should, you’re either gonna need an inflatable SUP or someone else’s arms. We’ve got you covered on the inflatables. They deflate and roll up to fit in the included backpack for easy transport, and Tahoe Mountain Sports has them for both rent and sale. Once you’re on the water, a SUP is the best way to explore every single one of these coves. Notice: Beware of naked people. They don’t bite or anything, they’re just naked. Some people think that’s gross, but they obviously don’t. Also, see if you can find the hidden strip of sand just big enough for two people. I might already be there, but bring some beer and we can probably work out a deal.

 

Best Overnight SUP Trip: Camp Richardson to D.L. Bliss

Let me tell you about a little gem called DL Bliss. This might be my favorite spot on the lake. Start at aforementioned Camp Rich, cruise through Emerald Bay on your way over and you’ve reached a whole new level of epic. If you don’t want to schlep all your gear, drop a car off there first and you’ll be living in luxury. That may not be the hardcore route, but it’s the best way to ensure a plentiful supply of your favorite beverages after a long paddle. This State Park also has some great hiking and cliff jumping, so spend some time here and please be careful. I’m not sure on total paddling time, because I’ve never actually done this, but I’m guessing it’s about the same as Camp Rich to Emerald Bay and back. However, I am the guy who thought Tahoe City to DL Bliss would only take a couple of hours. So, best of luck!

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Now that you have the beta, it’s time to get out on the water!

 

 

Outdoor Playground: Things To Do Around Lake Tahoe During Spring

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

Spring weather means losing the layers and getting out into the sun and fresh mountain air! Whether you’re a Tahoe local or visiting for the weekend, there’s a ton for everyone to do in Tahoe. I took the liberty of compiling some photos from our favorite activities in the area, everything from spring skiing and mountain biking to fly fishing and disc golf. With such a beautiful landscape to explore and endless recreational opportunities, you don’t want to miss out on all the fun associated with spring in Tahoe.

Of course, there’s the beach and the lake:

north shore lake tahoe

Miles and miles of sandy beaches

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Kite Surfing on the lake

Running on the beach, stand up paddleboarding and kayaking are great ways to enjoy Tahoe’s endless miles of secluded lakefront. If you’d rather more social interaction, you can find more sunbathers and waders on the public beaches on the North and South sides of the lake. Many public beaches allow dogs, including the Coon Street Boat Launch just east of our store in Kings Beach. Kite surfing, paragliding and other airborne adventures are also becoming more popular each year, and the warm air combined with cool breezes makes good wind for flying. It’s not uncommon to count a handful of thrill-seekers charging through the waves on windier days.

The amount of options for overnight camping in Tahoe are ridiculous. From state parks with facilities like bathrooms and boat ramps to National Forest land where you can choose your own adventure and wilderness camp, it doesn’t take much effort to find a place to pitch a tent. Just pick up a map of the Lake Tahoe Basin and drop your finger somewhere in the woods – chances are you can camp there.

Many Lake Tahoe campsites are near freshwater tributaries that flow into Lake Tahoe. You know what else goes on at those creeks and rivers? Some of the best fishing in California, that’s what! The Brown Trout in the Truckee River (and Little Truckee River) are known for their elusive nature and stamina during a fight, and if you can pull one out you can consider yourself a truly skilled fisherman. Or just really, really lucky.

brown trout truckee river

Chris Maher, Maher’s Guide Service, showing off a prize catch

If you’re into backcountry skiing you know that spring is prime-time for bagging the steeper couloirs and peaks you’ve had your eyes fixed on all season. You won’t need a warm winter jacket because you can get away with shorts and a t-shirt, just be sure to lube up with some organic sunscreen to shield your beautiful skin from the sun’s harmful rays.  (more…)

2014 North Lake Tahoe Snowfest Parade & Annual Gear Sale

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

The North Lake Tahoe SnowFest is celebrating its 33rd year of fun festivities for everyone! 2014’s schedule of events is drawing crowds of locals (and visitors) to Tahoe-based destinations, both indoors and out. There is a full list of activities scheduled throughout the ten-day festival, and the final parade will pass right in front of our store in Kings Beach on Saturday!

While you’re out enjoying everything Snowfest has to offer, like the infamous Kings Beach Parade, stroll into our storefront across from the North Tahoe Event Center and Jason’s Beachside Grille. You’ll find incredible savings at Tahoe Mountain Sports this Friday through Monday. We will have all sorts of awesome outdoor gear and clothing on sale, some as much as 70% off! In fact, everything in our store will be marked down for all four days!

These photos and video were taken from our storefront during the 2013 Kings Beach SnowFest Parade:

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Come enjoy all the festivities with us, and bring the kids! You’re sure to find fun for all ages. From Firework shows and a Firefighters’ Pancake Breakfast to an Ice Cream Eating Contest and the Dress Up Your Dog Contest, there are lots of cool events you won’t want to miss.

Click here to view the 10-Day SnowFest Event Calendar

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Don’t Trust That Sign – Sale Goes Through Monday!

Now’s your chance to get a screamin’ deal on those skis you wish you had. Or, think ahead a few seasons and grab yourself a warm winter jacket that will last for years to come. Stock up on breezy spring dresses for the warm and sunny days only a couple months away, and save big on a camp stove and summer backpacking equipment that you may otherwise regret not “stealing” while you can.

Get an affordable backcountry setup before it’s too late! All skis and boots will be 20-60% off. We’re not talkin’ your average boots or skis, either. We’ve got backcountry gear from Black DiamondK2, Dynafit, Marker BindingsSalomon and more!

All MarmotMountain Hardwear and The North Face clothing will be 40% off. Can you believe that? Go ahead, have the person next to you pinch your arm. Yes, this is real. There will be so many discounted items to choose from, and I wouldn’t dare attempt to list them here. You’ll have to come have fun exploring our inventory.

*Monstrous sale applies to walk-in customers only. We don’t tolerate shoplifting, but we’re happy to let you come steal from us this weekend via huge savings :)

Here’s a map of the best place to watch the parade. We have wide stairs and an elevated balcony for a better view, and the local radio MC usually posts up right in front of our store to announce the stars of Snowfest’s Kings Beach Parade:

map-of-kings-beach

 

Free Snowshoe Rentals On Wednesdays At Tahoe Mountain Sports

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

For the remainder of the 2013/14 winter season, you can rent snowshoes in Kings Beach for FREE on Wednesdays!

Tahoe Mountain Sports has the best snowshoes for trail hiking and backcountry travel in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Snowshoe-Trail-Sign

Whether you’re a first-time visitor to Tahoe in the winter or you’re a seasoned Tahoe local, you should try renting snowshoes. Nothing compares to the tranquility felt when surrounded by a magical winter wonderland. Snow absorbs sound, so the woods are wonderfully quiet and peaceful on a nice winter day. When it’s snowing, wander into the trees for shelter from the storm. To spend time enjoying the huge winter playground that is our Tahoe backyard is an experience that will live inside you forever. I highly recommend getting out in the snow and wandering around a bit. It’s good for you! As Tolkien said, “Not all who wander are lost.”

Free snowshoe rentals come with ski/trek poles to simplify walking through snow. However, we also rent backcountry ski equipment, so please try to understand if we have overlapping business and there are not enough poles for every hiker in your party. Poles can help, but are not mandatory.

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MSR snowshoes at the TMS tent during National Winter Trails Day, Mt. Rose Meadows, Nevada

 

To learn more about snowshoes on sale at Tahoe Mountain Sports, click here: Mountain and Trail Snowshoes

For more information about MSR EVO Snowshoes for rent, click here: Lake Tahoe Snowshoe Rentals

 

Kids Do Tahoe Right – Skiing / Snowboarding Schools & Day Camps

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

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Lake Tahoe is usually a snowy paradise featuring spectacular resorts filled with fun adventures for the entire family. With between 300 to 500 inches of snow in many years, this family-friendly ski destination is always ready to be enjoyed all season long. As California’s premier ski destination, there is no shortage of stunning scenery and world class resorts ready to welcome your family and their love for snow sports. However, it is important to remember that while most resorts welcome kids and offer skiing for children, there are some that are able to cater to specific needs better than others. To help ensure that your family enjoys a memorable vacation in the mountains, we’re highlighting some of Tahoe’s favorite family ski resorts.

Resorts for Families with Younger Children

If you can’t wait to get your little one on skis for the very first time, a number of the Tahoe ski resorts offer schools for the tiniest of tots. Squaw Valley Resort features a program that can teach kids as young as three. Each child learns on the flats and is in a class that has 3 students for every teacher. As learning can be tiring, it is recommend to only enroll your child for a half-day and then place them into daycare for the rest of the day while you enjoy personal time on the slopes. When it comes to daycare, it’s hard to beat Minor’s Camp at Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort. Not all resorts offer on-site child care in Tahoe and Northstar’s Minor’s Camp accepts children between the ages of 2 and 6. The facility is licensed by the state and boasts a ratio of 1 adult to every 5 children. There are plenty of activities for the children and the best part is that parents can get a free adult lift ticket when they book their child for an entire day. In addition to Northstar, the Child Ski Center at Diamond Peak Ski Resort teaches kids between 3 and 7, also at a ratio of 5 kids to each instructor, and their separate learning area with a surface lift is a great place to learn. They’ll also have access to activities only available in the Child Ski Center, like tubing, sledding, crafts and fun games. If your children are younger than 2, the only childcare available is at Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe, which will accept children 2 months and older.

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Resorts for Learning to Ski

When it comes to teaching kids how to ski, parents have two choices: to enroll in ski school or teach their own kids. If you want a school that is cost-effective and offers good value, Alpine Meadows Ski Resort is a great place to go. Located on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, this smaller resort has a great program for kids learning to ski. The full and half-day programs at Alpine are designed for children as young as three years old. The cost is highly affordable relative to other resorts in the area with lunch and kid’s ski equipment rentals included and the resort itself is less crowded, creating a comfortable environment for families. Each child is also tracked with a Falk GPS tracking device to ensure that they never go missing.

If you would rather teach your own kids to ski, Soda Springs Resort is not a bad place to start. Designed with children in mind, this resort features an area known as “Planet Kids” for children 8 and under that enables parents to coach their kids as they learn to ski or snowboard. The area features a number of small bunny slopes and the best part is that it comes with a magic carpet that will slowly and safely take your kids back to the top of the hill. It’s incredibly affordable and if your child gets bored of skiing, there are snow tubes and the popular tube carousel to enjoy.

Resorts for All-Inclusive Family Adventures

Although it’s likely the most expensive ski resort in Lake Tahoe, Squaw Valley Resort is a favorite among families for the stay-and-ski experience offered. The best part for most families is that it’s a one-stop-shop filled with upscale stores, restaurants, luxury hotel rooms and plenty of snowy adventures. Once you arrive at the resort, you never have to leave…except to visit Tahoe Mountain Sports and get an up-close view of the lake, of course! The entire experience in all aspects of resort life is consistent with what you would expect at a luxury hotel. Families have a number of activities to enjoy including ski school, ice-skating, hot tubs, and a heated pool. There is also the ever-popular tram (cable car) ride that boasts incredible views of Squaw Valley and even a climbing wall.

Resorts with Fun for the Whole Familykids-ski-school-tahoe

If you’re looking for a resort that can offer a great time for all members of the family, Heavenly Ski Resort is a good choice for your family. You won’t need any divine intervention to enjoy this resort that boasts the highest elevation and most vertical feet of any ski resorts on the West Coast. For the younger children, skiing and snowboarding lessons are available while others can check out the wide array of other snowy activities including snowshoeing, snowmobiling, tubing, and snow-biking. The Gondola is a highlight for almost everyone featuring amazing views of Lake Tahoe from a fully enclosed lift. In addition, there are plenty of intermediate runs for families to enjoy skiing and snowboarding together as well as the only day care that can accommodate children as young as 2 months old. The daycare also features ski-play programs for children that need to be gradually eased onto the slopes. Although there is no accommodation on-site, there are plenty of dining choices scattered along the mountainside including healthy options, gourmet cuisine, and tasty burgers. The staff bring the resort to life while the competitive prices make it affordable for many families, leaving plenty of opportunities for wintry adventures in 2014.

Tahoe is just filled with family-friendly ski resorts that offer something for your entire group of loved ones. For those that want added adventures in the snow beyond traditional snowboarding or skiing, there are always plenty of places to check out, including snowmobiling at Kirkwood Mountain Resort as well as tubing and sledding at Boreal Mountain Resort. It’s just a few of the many reasons to come on a ski vacation in Tahoe this year!

 

Smith Zoom Helmet - Kid's
Smith Zoom Helmet – Kid’s
MSRP: $59.95

Playing Tahoe Vista: Lake Of The Sky Disc Golf Course

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

This post come from Justin Weilacher, a friend of TMS and avid disc golfer (PDGA #41309) residing in Sacramento, CA. With extensive knowledge of the game from years of experience playing in a variety of environments and weather conditions, Justin is a great resource for all sorts of disc golf advice. Read more from Justin at his blog, http://dbfreediscgolf.wordpress.com.

I have lived in California for three years and have spent most of my free time playing as much disc golf as life allows at as many courses as my wallet allows. I recently played several of the Tahoe region’s courses. I played the Bijou course to practice the high elevation disc golf skills needed for the 19th Annual Tahoe Pro/Am, Sierra Tahoe Series #4. I also played the Truckee course for an Ace race last year. These two courses are very similar in their basic nature – they are both mainly flat, high desert courses with a good mix of technical holes and open, longer arm-testing fairways.

Tahoe Vista disc golf

Most recently, I played North Tahoe Regional Park in Tahoe Vista, Ca. This course is by far my favorite course in the area. I learned to golf in the mountains of Flagstaff so I appreciate the elevation change of a good mountain course. The Tahoe Vista course, as the locals call it, has a really good mix of elevation, technical shots through the trees, and shots that challenge your arm.

Hole One starts with a brisk walk up the hill in front of the parking area – I wondered if I should have brought a hiking pole. The walk is well worth it when you realize the first view you get of the course is a maintained grass fairway in the foreground with Lake Tahoe and surrounding peaks in the background. It is gorgeous. Be wary of the wind and the way your disc could either hyzer out into the short manzanitas on the left or flip into the parking lot on the right. After that, make your way through the manzanitas to the left of the basket.

Tahoe Vista disc golf course hole 1

Looking out at Lake Tahoe from the tee at Hole #1

The next several holes challenge you with tight lines around the pines. Some elevation change makes holes that seem easy much harder. The manzanitas play several roles on this course – your disc will rarely get any skip or slide here. If the tee signs – which are professional, clean, and very useful – read that the hole is 250’, that is how long your throw has to be. You will not be able to reach that 350′ hole with your usual 275′ drive and 50′ skip, so make the adjustment and throw your disc accordingly. You will also have to keep a close eye on your discs because the manzanitas can make finding them difficult – almost dangerous; play with some friends so it is easier to find discs and have more fun.

Tahoe Vista disc golf tee

A great platform to tee-off from.

The tee pads are rubber mats, which sometimes I don’t like, but these tee areas are really well designed with reinforced landscaping keeping them flat and consistent.

The holes meander back and forth up the slope until they make a right turn back down toward the soccer fields. Once you start playing around the soccer fields, the holes open up and you are challenged with some more distance for a few holes. There are still gaps to hit, but usually just one. There are also still elevation changes to navigate as you play around the other side of the practice fields. Test your arm, get a few of the rare skips on the course, and play the big hyzer lines that don’t work on the really technical holes. After several arm testers, the holes approach the soccer fields again, ending the front nine on a monster uphill drive over a gorgeous rock slide. (more…)

Outdoor Packing List: What To Bring For A Day At The Beach In Tahoe

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

This review comes from Meaghen Rafferty, an adventure junkie residing on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. Meaghen regularly contributes to the success of Tahoe Mountain Sports through many different avenues, and we thank her for being awesome.

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Some not-so-uncommon sky painting from Kings Beach on Tahoe’s North Shore.

This week on my day off I went kayaking down the west shore of Lake Tahoe and brought with me some essential items for a short day trip. I carried it all in my Kavu Rope Bag and kept it safe in the kayak in an Outdoor Research dry bag. I packed it nice and light since we were only going out for a few hours and did not plan on eating lunch. Normally I would bring food with me because I love my munchies, but for the sake of a good pizza afterwards it was worth saving my appetite.

When we arrived at the beach it turned out to be a really windy day, so I was glad to have brought my Water Dome Hoody from The North Face. It protected me from the chill of the wind and kept me dry while we were paddling through choppy water. It’s also pretty handy when the weather cools in the evening because I usually like to hang around to watch the sunsets. And, of course, I brought some SPF 40 sun block and some SPF lip balm because the skin burns and the lips chap faster at an altitude of 6,224′.

tahoe beach packing listI knew we were paddling to a nearby beach to relax for a while before making the trip back, so I brought some items necessary for lounging, like my ultralight and compact ENO hammock and a blanket. I always like to have good reading material on-hand so I also brought a book and some polarized sunglasses to eliminate glare on the pages. I didn’t get much reading done, but a book is still a staple on my beach packing list. I always bring a water bottle to the beach, and this time I also brought my double-walled stainless steel Hydroflask filled with hot coffee since this was a morning trip. This idea worked out great since it was colder than I anticipated outside and the hot coffee kept me energized and toasty-warm.

I was responsible for providing the music for this day at the beach, so I brought my phone, wallet, and keys in my dry envelope from Outdoor Research. The Sensor Screen on the front of the envelope allows for me to use my phone’s touch-screen while it’s fully protected from water and sand, and the lightweight material of the envelope doesn’t hinder the sound coming from the speakers on my phone. Some additional items that I brought along were some aspirin and my cute purple Yurbuds headphones. I ended up not using either this particular day, but they are both good items to have on-hand and usually live in my backpack for many different activities.

tahoe-beach-packing-list

A kayaker enjoys a quiet day on the lake.

Thankfully, my favorite outdoor gear store is only a stone’s throw from the lake in Kings Beach, California, so if I ever forget anything I know there’s a quick and convenient place to pick up last-minute items for a day at the beach. Be sure to stop by Tahoe Mountain Sports if you’re ever in the area! They’ve got you covered; from bikinis and board shorts to summer dresses and cute sun hats, plus chairs, towels, volleyballs, frisbees and other beach necessities. Have fun in the sun!

 

KAVU Sydney Satchel
KAVU Sydney Satchel
MSRP: $44.95

 

Summer In Lake Tahoe – How To Make The Most Of Your Vacation

Friday, June 28th, 2013

stand up paddle sunset tahoe Alright, so you’ve skied the resorts in winter. Have you enjoyed time in Tahoe during summer? As the saying goes in many mountain towns, “Come for winter, stay for summer.” And that’s literally how a good portion, if not the majority of Tahoe residents, landed in these mountains. Snow sports originally attracted most Tahoe locals, but under the white blanket that coats the Eastern Sierras in winter there lies an even more vibrant, valuable treasure. When the snow melts and the trails dry out, the wildflowers bloom and the water warms up. With more daylight to take advantage of, people come out of the woodwork and flock to the beaches and summits surrounding the lake, live music plays into the night, and believe it or not, there is much more to do during summer in Tahoe than there is in the winter. Let me put some ideas on the drawing board for you. From there, it’s up to you to make the most of your time in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

galena falls hiking trail

Taken during a run to Galena Falls near Mt. Rose

Hmm…With so many options, where do I begin? Wondering where to take a hike or bike? Well, just look at a trail map of Tahoe and you’ll quickly realize you not only have countless choices, but that a decision needs to be made. There are so many Tahoe trails for hiking, running or biking that you’ll have to just pick one and stick with it. Chances are you’ll enjoy it, and if for some reason you don’t, you can always pick another! That’s the beauty of living in a place where your neighbors share your passions; a communal, reciprocal relationship between locals helps to keep trails maintained and litter-free. I’m personally a big fan of trail running, and being in Tahoe definitely has it’s advantages. If I jog from my front door I’m rarely on pavement more than a half-mile. From there, it’s all singletrack or 4WD roads leading to gorgeous views, refreshing creek crossings and solitude in the mountains. If I do encounter others on a trail it’s usually a pleasant experience, and I sometimes catch myself smiling as I’m reminded of how friendly people are here. After all, we’re all out to have fun and enjoy the area, and even in passing I can often sense that common-ground. Regardless of the reasoning, whether it be the clean air that replenishes the spirit or the magnificent natural beauty in everything around us, it’s reassuring to know we all share similar ideals.

mountain biking trails lake tahoe

Yep, TMS carries adventure medical kits!

Since we’re talkin’ trails here, I can’t neglect all the classic mountain bike trails in the area. For those who are into downhill mountain biking and want lift-accessed trails, Northstar Resort will take you to the top so you can ride down without the uphill exercise. I can’t blame you – downhill bikes are heavy! For cross-country riders, there are so many trails I don’t even know where to begin. Most of the singletrack trails in the region are for both hikers and bikers, but if you’re hiking uphill be sure to keep your eyes and ears peeled for downhill racers. ‘Right of way’ can be an ambiguous term on multi-use trails. The Flume Trail is probably the most popular bike ride in the area, and for good reason. It combines all features of the Tahoe Basin in one ride – winding through pine forests, climbing over dirt and granite, majestic views of the lake and mountains, and a killer workout. Oh, and a dip in the water at Chimney Beach! You can venture off the trail when you reach the east side of Lake Tahoe and hike down to Chimney Beach, a beautiful place to enjoy lunch and take a dip in the lake to cool off before returning to the saddle.

speedboat beach summer

Speedboat Beach, North Shore

Ahh, the beach. The beautiful beach. A white-sand beach surrounds a monstrous lake nestled in the Eastern Sierra Mountains, and you can find your own private stretch of lakefront shoreline depending on how hard you search. On a weekday this can be an easy feat. Weekends, think again. But that’s not to say it feels too crowded! So much fun can be had on the beach in Tahoe, and much of that can be credited to the people sharing your strip of sand. Moon Dunes is a popular local hang out, but only for convenience. Kings Beach has a long stretch of sand that fills up fast come mid-day, but I often find myself alone on morning jogs, even as late as 9 a.m.! One of the most beautiful beaches in North Lake is Speedboat Beach (pictured here), so be sure to hang there if you get the chance. On the eastern shore, the most recommended beach is Sand Harbor. Many people recognize the boulders that line the shore, and there is a great park and facilities to accommodate visitors. You can even (more…)

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