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Archive for the ‘Nature / Photography’ Category


Friday, November 13th, 2015


: Ladies Night shopping & screening of Pretty Faces, an all-female ski film
WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 3 2015 — 6:30 p.m./TMS Facebook Event Info
WHERE: Tahoe Mountain Sports, 11200 Donner Pass Rd. E5 Truckee 530-536-5200
WHY: Get stoked for a snowy winter, shop great holiday deals and support the Tahoe Food Hub

TRUCKEE, CA — Tahoe Mountain Sports continues its Ladies Night sessions on Dec. 3 with a free screening of Pretty Faces, an all-female ski and adventure sport film that will fan Sierra snow fever in all who attend.

The evening is presented by Patagonia and TMS with all raffle proceeds and a portion of event-night store specials going to the Tahoe Food Hub, a non-profit organization working to build a regional food system for North Lake Tahoe.

On event night attendees will not only enjoy the film, snacks and drinks, there will be storewide savings and special deals on women’s specific apparel, footwear and gear. With the holidays approaching this is a great evening to take care of gifts for the adventure-minded people on your gift list.

Free and open to the public, the Pretty Faces film was created by professional skier Lynsey Dyer to offer young girls role models and inspiration to explore the outdoors. The film also highlights the pioneer athletes of women’s adventure sport while showcasing Mother Nature in all her glory.

The screening of the film is another event where TMS, Patagonia and the Tahoe Food Hub have partnered to further each other’s missions of engaging the local community and to give back during this holiday season.

“Tahoe Mountain Sports was our first community partner when we launched in November 2012,” said Susie Sutphin, director of Tahoe Food Hub. “Each year we look forward to partnering with them on a community event to help share our mission with more people and engage them in our service work to build a sustainable foodshed for North Lake Tahoe.”

The Tahoe Food Hub works to increase access to nutritious, ecologically grown food by creating a network of regional farms within 100-miles of North Lake Tahoe and connecting them to restaurants, small grocers, schools and hospitals. The organization is also exploring ways to grow food locally using four-season growing techniques at its Sierra Agroecology Center in Truckee. For more information check out

Polar Opposites: A photo journey of Antarctica in Truckee

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Todd Offenbacher and Tahoe Mountain Sports host an early season pow wow for pow featuring Todd O’s slideshow from Antarctica.

Who: Todd Offenbacher – Mammut athlete, mountaineer and Tahoe local
What: Polar Opposites: A photographic journey of ski mountaineering in Antarctica and Svalbard
When: Oct. 21 | Doors-shopping specials: 6 p.m. | Program: 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Where: Tahoe Mountain Sports; 11200 Donner Pass Rd. Truckee
Why: Get stoked for snow and raffle benefiting Sierra Avalanche Center

Truckee, CA — Join Tahoe Mountain Sports on Oct. 21 to get psyched for snow with Todd O and his Polar Opposites slideshow.

TMS will host its free, all-ages, in-store season kick-off with adventure skier and climber Todd Offenbacher (Todd O) as he takes us on a photographic journey of ski mountaineering in Antarctica and Svalbard. Along with Todd O’s stunning photography, Tahoe Mountain Sports will feature a raffle to benefit the Sierra Avalanche Center, of which Todd O is a board member.

“Penguins in the south and polar bears in the north,” Todd O says about Polar Opposites. “With a little bit of big wall climbing thrown in for fun.”

From 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., TMS will be offering shopping specials for those stocking up on their stoke due to Todd O’s adventures.

“It is a funny and inspiring show,” he says. “I try to explain how to get invited, or invited back, to the best trips in the world.”

The South Lake Tahoe resident and Mammut athlete is also a guide for Ice Axe Expeditions, the host for Outside TV Lake Tahoe and the creator of Tahoe Adventure Film Festival, which will premier this year on Dec. 11 at the MontBleu in South Lake Tahoe.

Tahoe Mountain Sports – 536-5200

A Sky Island Kuna Crest in Yosemite

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Time lapse of the recent Walker Fire outside Yosemite.

Who: Rachel McCullough
What: Hiking and climbing
Tuolumne/Yosemite National Park
August 2015

It was a surprisingly warm morning last month in Yosemite National Park, which was nice because our destination for the day was more than 12,000 feet in elevation.

A week before the trip my hiking partner, Tom, and I studied the Yosemite map and bemoaned that we’d done nearly all the established trails close to the road.

So, we set our sights on a high-elevation hike with no established trail. This hike would take us to the top of Mammoth Peak at 12,117 feet and then south along the Kuna Crest, which rose and fell above and below 12,000 feet.

Mammoth Peak, our first destination.

Mammoth Peak, our first destination.

If you’ve read any of my other posts that involved Tom and Theresa (Hiking Yosemite’s Bermuda Triangle: Tenaya Canyon or Gorgeous Day Hike from Lukens Lake to Tenaya Lake in Tuolomne), you know that while we always intend to get an early start, it doesn’t actually ever happen.

We left the trailhead at 8:45 a.m. and immediately stepped off the trail and into the conifer forest, our objective coming in and out of view to the southwest.

Abandoning our usual fast clip we settled into a one-mile per hour kind of pace that involved frequently looking for the easiest route to the summit and agreeing upon our path. We went from a pond to forest to meadow to forest and then to the craggy upper reaches of Mammoth Peak.

Throughout our journey we spotted sheep poop and hoped to spot a bighorn sheep, which were rumored to be in the Mono Pass area just to our east.

We gained the ridge to the west and followed it to the summit, but not before I called a “food emergency.” Some in our group are known to realize they are absolutely starving just before the “hangry” phase sets in. Instead of the usual summit food and water break, we stopped just below the top of Mammoth Peak, with expansive views to the west, north and south.

Summit bound.

Summit bound.

This is where you can really see the difference between areas in Tuolumne that were glaciated and those that rose above the glacier. The Tuolumne domes that many are familiar with, such as DAFF, Fairview, Medlicott, and Lembert, were smoothed over into their dome shapes as the glaciers ran over them. The taller jagged peaks, such as Cathedral and Unicorn, stood above the glaciers.

We summited Mammoth Peak about four hours in, after a little more than 3.5 miles of off-trail hiking and scrambling. And that’s when we saw that the small wisps of smoke we’d spotted earlier that morning were now billowing. In those few hours, what we would later learn was the Walker Fire expanded quickly, and even closed Highway 120, which is the nearest park exit.

We signed the summit register and saw that the last party to sign had been up three days prior. We had the top to ourselves, but didn’t linger long. We headed south along the Kuna Crest.


Walking along the Kuna Crest.

Walking along the Kuna Crest.

Kuna Crest is a sky island, which is one of the reasons Tom and I (the planners for this hike) were interested to check it out. We were drawn to it after watching the Yosemite Nature Notes Sky Island video, which explains that sky islands are isolated high elevation places with unique plant species that don’t grow anywhere else. There are a few of these sky islands in the Park and Kuna Crest happened to be relatively easy to access.

Although we didn’t see the famed blue sky pilots (you can see them in the Nature Notes video), we saw many of the other plants known to grow in the sky islands, such as alpine gold, Sierra columbine, lupine and buckwheat. From afar, you’d never guess that, such as rocky place, was full of so many plants.

We followed the Kuna Crest up and down, stopping along the way to take a time-lapse of the growing Walker Fire, which started billowing white smoke at the top of the plume partway through the day.

The nice thing about our plan was that we could find a place to come down off the crest whenever we felt like it and pick up the Mono Pass trail to walk back to the car. There was a short section of talus to get off the Crest to reach the lakes below, but after that, it was easy walking back to the trail.

We timed it well and were back to the car well before dark, and were eating our pasta dinner in no time. The only thing we didn’t time well was the line at the Tuolumne store, where we stopped to get typical camping essentials, like chips and our ice cream appetizer.

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 her free time in the outdoors, she’s teaching skiing at Northstar California or building and marketing websites for her clients at McCullough Web Services.

10 Reasons to Follow @TahoeMountainSports on Instagram

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

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

Here are just ten good reasons:


1 – ENO Hammock at Star Lake

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


2 – Sunrise on Donner Summit

sunrise on donner summit
“Wicked sunrise shot from Donner Summit. photo: @tahoepamerama #donnersummit #truckeemoments #sunrise #wildflowers #intothesun #tahoelife #summer2014”


3 – Mountain Biking and SUP Yoga in Tahoe

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


Beautiful Spring Imagery from Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada

Friday, July 11th, 2014
This post comes from our newest TMS Ambassador, Rachel McCullough, an avid mountain biker, rock climber, yogi, cross-country skier and photographer living in Truckee, CA. She hopes her photos and stories will inspire others to get outdoors and appreciate all it has to offer. Her motto: “Be grateful for everything you have, every day.” We’re excited to have Rachel contributing to TMS! Follow @rachelmcphotos on Instagram for stunning images of beautiful Sierra scenery.


Enjoy the views!


1) Mama bear taking a dip in Summit Creek at Donner Lake
This was taken right from my backyard at the time – I could actually see the mama bear from my living room and ran out onto our dock to get this shot. It seemed like she was gone in seconds. Her cubs were shy and hiding in the bushes. I spent the next year running out to the dock anytime I heard or saw anything. Most of the time it was my neighbor’s black lab going for a swim. I never spotted the bears again! Sometimes the most special moments happen unexpectedly and aren’t meant to be repeated.




2) Lighthouse on a stormy afternoon at Thunderbird Lodge
I’ve always thought the east shore was one of the most spectacular places along Lake Tahoe. Its ultra-clear water is scattered with granite boulders and this stretch of shoreline is much less populated than the north shore, in part thanks to the original Thunderbird Lodge owner, George Whittell’s change of heart. He purchased over 10,000 acres on the east shore with the intention of developing it, only to later decide it was too special. Well played, George.




3) Upper Yosemite Falls lunar rainbow
Having lived in Yosemite, I had witnessed the lunar rainbow a few times before this. It usually only occurs during spring runoff and during the full moon, so a road trip from Tahoe has to be timed perfectly. I’ve gone on this adventure a couple of times, once leaving after work and shooting the moonbow in the early morning hours, and then hitting the road back home after a few hours of sleep. This trip turned out worthwhile, and very memorable.


2014 blood moon donner summit


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