RSS Subscribe 866.891.9177

TMS Blog

Archive for the ‘Trip Reports’ Category

Overnight Trail Running Lake Tahoe – Across Desolation Wilderness

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

This post comes from Chris Cloyd, a TMS Ambassador and lover of endurance sports. When Chris isn’t training for his next big race or out exploring the Eastern Sierra on foot or bike, he’s managing the Performance Training Center by Julia Mancuso. Watch for more race reports, gear reviews and fun reading from Chris and other Ambassadors of Tahoe Mountain Sports.

As I touched on in “Philosophy and Preparation“, this was to be my most ambitious outing to date: a 29-35 mile run (depending on which map/GPS/hearsay you choose to believe), an overnight at Lake Aloha, a summit of two of the highest peaks in Desolation Wilderness (Mt. Price and Pyramid Peak), and an 18-22 mile run to return to the real world. Per usual, I sat down with my maps (the Lake Tahoe Basin Trail Map and the National Geographic 803) and plotted my days (and night), planning every step before I set out. As a good friend once detailed to me: failure to prepare is preparing to fail.

chris-cloyd-trail-runner

Chris Cloyd, Trail Runner.

I chose to set out from the Meeks Bay Trailhead (the northernmost entry point into Desolation Wilderness), and was thrilled with the trail from the outset. The Meeks Bay Trailhead gains you access to the Tahoe-Yosemite Trail – a continuous single track from Meeks Bay to Yosemite National Park. Every bit living up to its billing, the trail was in immaculate condition. At the trailhead, you can procure a day permit into Desolation, but I had to obtain an overnight permit from their website (or I could have gone to the Meeks Bay campground). If I may stand on my pedestal for a moment and preach: obtain a permit before overnighting in Desolation. I’m sure you can avoid getting “caught” (you are meandering through the wilderness, after all), but the funds go to supporting trail stewardship and other amenities that we all enjoy, so swallow the $5. Our support goes a long way toward maintaining and providing access to the Wilderness that we all enjoy.

The Tahoe-Yosemite Trail progresses steeply beginning from close to the trailhead all the way up to Lake Genevieve, gaining almost 1,500 in those initial miles. Lake Genevieve is the first of no less than seven lakes that you’ll encounter in your first eight or so miles, and kicks off a beautiful section of scenic running. Of these lakes, I found Stony Ridge Lake to be the most engaging – I was very tempted to pull off the trail and dive in for a swim. That being said, I was on a mission, and had my sights set for Phipps Peak before I stopping for a break. The running continued along these alpine lakes before starting the ascent to Phipp’s Pass. In my planning, I noted that my first day included two very notable mountain passes – Phipp’s Pass and Dick’s Pass – and was prepared for a slog up a number of single track switchbacks. Although not too steep or unrelenting, Phipp’s Pass is indeed worthy of respect and is sure to sap the leg strength of all who choose to ascend it. Upon reaching the pass proper, it’s a short and quick scramble to the top of Phipp’s Peak, and is well worth the effort. I enjoyed some rest and a sandwich at the summit, and admired the expanse of Desolation in a stunning 360 degrees.

“I geared down and buried myself for what seemed like an hour – it was indeed much less, but time has teeth under such scenarios”

Continuing on, I was treated to a blissful descent from Phipp’s Pass toward Middle Velma Lake. I enjoyed this section of running very much, and found a comfortable tempo that helped quiet the mind and brought considerable joy. I chose to stay on the Pacific Crest Trail in order to catch a glimpse of Fontanillis Lake, and that decision was validated in spades. My overnight destination on this day wins the award for my “favorite” lake on this route, but Fontanillis Lake is gorgeous and has a very unique alpine feel to it, framed defiantly by Dick’s Peak and its equally proud neighbors. I stopped here to filter some water and take in the ambiance, gearing up for the next push. Fontanillis has earned an earmark for a future overnight destination, for sure.

Fontanillis precedes the second big climb of the day, Dick’s Lake to Dick’s Pass. Perhaps it was my tempo (maybe a bit too full of ambition for my legs to accommodate), or perhaps it was the miles themselves that preceded it, but this climb hurt my feelings. I geared down and buried myself for what seemed like an hour – it was indeed much less, but time has teeth under such scenarios – and with much labor and more than a little self-deprecation I took the pass with much relief. As though it was placed there with intention, a perfect sitting-stone is perched at the Pass and it concedes a spectacular panorama of much of the Wilderness.

overnight-trail-running-desolation-wilderness

Chris didn’t take this photo of Desolation. His editor had to pull it from a free image site after accidentally using the original in Round 1.

Descending from Dick’s Pass requires technical running, and was a true test of my reflexes this deep into the day. Cascading down toward Gilmore Lake, I was treated to glimpses of Mt. Tallac and my day’s destination of Lake Aloha, and my spirits were buoyed. Nerves and light were fading, and a reassurance that I was nearing my “finish line” for the day was greatly appreciated.  (more…)

30 Hikes in 30 Days in the Lake Tahoe Basin: Round 2

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

van-sickle-bi-park-featured

TMS Ambassador Justeen Ferguson aka @SummitHunnies tackled a major pedi-project this summer. She hiked a new trail in the greater Lake Tahoe area each day for 30 days and reported back to us with details. Most were family-friendly. Some involved 4WD roads, some were strictly singletrack, and several were straight-up bushwhacks. Here are the second ten descriptions of her 30 hikes. Catch up on the first ten here, and stay tuned for the final ten, coming soon to your favorite outdoor sports blog.

What: #11 – 20, 30 Tahoe Day Hikes in 30 Days
When: July- August, 2014
Gear Used (and sworn by):
Lake Tahoe Basin Adventure Map, Lightweight Women’s Hiking Shoes,Eco-Friendly “Soft” Water Bottle, Organic Trail Snacks

*Take this information and use it as you will. Tahoe Mountain Sports is not responsible for accident, injury, or anyone getting lost trying to replicate this Summit Hunnie’s routes.

Day 11 – Coyote Mountain aka Cowboy Peak
Right in the heart of Meyers lays a nice little mountain; I went into this thinking, Oh, piece of cake. I’ll get a nice hike in before work. I was so wrong! This trail starts behind the Humane Society and practically goes straight up, and the trail back down is also really steep. Once you are covered in sweat and your legs are on fire, there is a wonderful view of South Lake Tahoe and Echo Summit. This hike is recommended for someone who wants a quick yet fulfilling workout.

coyote-peak-cowboy-lake-tahoe-trailcoyote-cowboy-hike-tahoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 12 – Desolation Wilderness behind Fallen Leaf Lake
The trailhead is located on the southern end of Fallen Leaf Lake, the same trail used to get out to Grass Lake from Day 1 of my 30 Tahoe Hikes. This route takes you out and back over a beautiful bridge and alongside some amazing mountains. You’re given a number of route options: continue traversing along the mountain side, make your way even further out toward a variety of lakes, or, if you are up for it, eventually make your way to the top of Mount Tallac. It’s a perfect place for all levels and abilities because hikers can decide how strenuous they want their hike to be. It is beautifully covered with both trees and wild flowers, and has great views of Fallen Leaf Lake.

desolation-wilderness-tahoe desolation-wilderness-granite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 13 – Back of Dunlap Mountain
This trail is a trip! I accidently stumbled upon it on my way to Angora Lake. The beginning of the trail is just before the main gate to Angora Road. It’s a singletrack that takes you the opposite way of Angora, along the backside of Tahoe Mountain (from day 10) and all the way down to the infamous Camp Richardson. This is an easy hike, great for trail running or beginning mountain bikers, and ideal for walking the dogs. There is also a lovely view of Tallac almost the entire way. Beware of fallen trees…there’s some mandatory log-hopping but it’s a lot of fun!

hiking-desolation-wildernessdogs-allowed-desolation-wilderness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 14 – Big Chief
This amazing rock/mountain trail is near the town of Truckee. It’s a perfect little hike that leads to the Big Chief climbing area [link to big chief climbing Tahoe Info page] where we stopped to do some rock climbing! I like this hike because the trek out isn’t too tough and there are some rad trees and amazing rock formations to gander at. If you’re not a rock climber you can still enjoy the beauty of this cool rock! Try playfully climbing around and up the back of it to enjoy the view from the top! There are trails that take you beyond the Big Chief climbing area and out toward the woods with pretty views of the mountain ranges. The area has a very relaxing feel and is great for all abilities of hikers, bikers and trail runners. However, if you want to be adventurous and climb Big Chief, I highly recommend finding a buddy and making it happen. It makes the hike that much more rewarding!

big-chief-hike-to-clib big-chief-hiking-trail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 15 – Five Lakes
The Five Lakes trail starts on Alpine Meadows Road and winds its way between the Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley ski resorts, providing wonderful scenery the entire time. (more…)

30 Hikes in 30 Days in the Lake Tahoe Basin – Round 1

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

tunnel creek trail hike lake tahoe

TMS Ambassador Justeen Ferguson aka @SummitHunnies is tackling a major pedi-project this summer. She’s hiking a new trail in the greater Lake Tahoe area each day and reporting back to us with details. Most are family-friendly. Some involve 4WD roads, some are strictly singletrack, and several are straight-up bushwhacks. Here are her first ten hikes. Stay tuned for twenty more.

What: #1-10, 30 Tahoe Day Hikes in 30 Days
When: July-August, 2014
Gear Used (and sworn by):
Lake Tahoe Basin Adventure Map, Comfortable Hiking Shoes, Kiss My Face Sunscreen, Deet-Free Bug Repellent

*Take this information and use it as you will. Tahoe Mountain Sports is not responsible for accident, injury, or anyone getting lost trying to replicate this Summit Hunnie’s routes. 

Day 1 – Grass Lake
Grass Lake is located near South Lake Tahoe. This trail starts at Fallen Leaf Lake and winds out through Desolation Wilderness, passing a variety of waterfalls, streams, and swimming holes along the way. This is a mild hike that the entire family can enjoy. The trail varies from dirt to some granite and has a few spots where stream jumping becomes necessary (nothing too large, however). This hike provides spectacular views of different mountains and meadows and plenty of wild flowers. Once you get to Grass Lake, the views get even better. You can hop in and cool off, have a picnic and even camp out if you’re willing to brave the wilderness overnight! It’s an easy hike for just about anyone!

grass lake hike waterfall tahoe

 

grass lake tahoe hiking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Cascade Falls
Cascade Falls is located on the West Shore and sits above the infamous Emerald Bay. This is one of the shortest hikes in the basin. It is perfect for the novice hiker, but when you reach the falls the adventure does not have to stop. There are plenty of trails that leave from here and take you to the top of nearby peaks, or farther out into Desolation Wilderness. This is one of those hikes that can be as hard or as easy as you make it. Once you get to the falls, there is an amazing view overlooking both Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe. Perfect for hikers of all ages and abilities.

cascade falls lake tahoe day hikescascade falls sunrise emerald bay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Heavenly Ski Resort- Roundabout Trail
Heavenly Ski Resort is most famous for its wintertime fun. However, the ski slopes provide for excellent hiking in the off-season. This round-about trail starts at the base of Heavenly and winds its way up the mountain to the top of the resort, overlooking the Double Black Diamond runs Gunbarrel and The Face, and an amazing view of Lake Tahoe. This trail provides a bit of a challenge as it is uphill the entire way, but the way down is all downhill! The other good news is the views of South Lake Tahoe help ease the leg pain as you make your way to the top! So would having some poles made for hiking, if you have any. This hike is recommended for those who hike some, but by no means do you need to to be an expert. It’s fun to get out and see the resort when it’s not covered in snow!

heavenly roundabout trail sunset

heavenly roundabout trail tahoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Corral Loop, Power line & Big Meadow
These trails are in South Lake Tahoe and start way back out in Meyers off of Pioneer trail. They are mostly used for mountain biking, but also make for excellent day hikes. There are so many ways to go from the trailhead so you can easily use the beginning for multiple routes. Its pretty soft and sand so it makes the down hills a bit tricky but there are a few spots where the lake peeks out and the tedious up hills become worth it! If you choose you can even make it to heavenly ski resort! Although you’re allowed to hike these trails, keep your eyes and ears open for mountain bikers flying downhill.

power line trail lake tahoe hikingpowerline bike trail lake tahoe hiking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 5 – Shakespeare Rock
Shakespeare Rock is on Tahoe’s northeast shore, near Glenbrook. This is an amazing, must-do hike! Not only does the peak resemble Shakespeare, but there is a miraculous cave that leads out to an incredible view of the east side of the lake. It is a challenge to get to the top because it goes practically straight up the mountain, but the cave itself makes it worth the trek and the view from the top is breathtaking. This is easily one of my favorite hikes in the Lake Tahoe Basin. You’ll find little-to-no people on this trail (many locals don’t even know about it), and it’s the perfect hike for sunset as the sun disappears behind the West Shore; you have the best seats on the lake for viewing.

shakespeare rock tahoeshakespeare cave lake tahoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(more…)

TMS Ambassador Mike Tebbut Is Ready To Race Western States 100

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

This weekend, TMS Ambassador Mike Tebbutt will compete in the Western States 100. With over 18,000 feet of vertical climbing and 23,000 feet of descent, the 100-mile race from Squaw Valley to Auburn, CA, is one of the top endurance tests worldwide. We wish Mike the utmost power, grace and perseverance this weekend. We’ll be rooting for ya, bud!

mike-tebbutt-tallac-summit

Mike enjoys some time on the summit of Mt. Tallac, Lake Tahoe

Tahoe Mountain Sports was fortunate enough to tie Mike down for a moment during his little downtime preceding this weekend. Literally. With his shoelaces, nonetheless. Mike, you’re really going to have to strengthen up more by Saturday!

Alright, Mr. Tebbutt, we’re really excited to have you on as a TMS Ambassador and representing TMS at the Western States 100. We have some questions regarding how you’ve prepared and your expectations for this weekend’s gnarly endurance race.

TMS: Have you run the WS100 in years past? How many times?

Mike: I have not run Western States, but in 2008 I ran the Bear 100 in Utah that travels across the Wasatch Mountains from Logan, Utah and ends in the Bear Mountains at Bear Lake, Idaho. western-states-100-catering-thank-you-cardInteresting side note: I was introduced to the WS folks in 2008 when the race was cancelled due to fires. My catering company, Twin Peaks Catering, received a phone call to cater a cancellation BBQ for them. We ended up serving 375 people with only about 24 hours to prepare for it. They were very gracious and gave me a WS Mountain Hardwear jacket and coffee mug and told me that I would make a good 100-mile runner. I had always known about the WS and wondered if I could actually run that distance myself. When they handed me those gifts of appreciation, I knew right then and there that I would one day run the race. I have since sold the the catering business and I feel that chapter of my life is coming around full circle, finally being able to run this race after three years of entering my name in the lottery and six years of building my running endurance.

TMS: What are your expectations of the course this year? Of yourself this Saturday?

Mike: It is going to be tough, and hot, though not nearly as hot as last year. There is also a lot more exposure due to a large section of the Canyons (hardest part of the course during the hottest part of the day) that burned in the American Fire last summer. We do, however, get an extra river crossing to cool us down this year since the historic Swinging Bridge burned down. I expect to run a smart and steady race, focusing on not running too hard during the first 62 miles so I can save my legs for some good running miles once I pick up my pacer, Frank Aldana, in Foresthill. My “A” goal is to finish in around 20 hours and if I don’t make this, I hope to at least finish in under 24 hours. The bottom line is that I plan to go out and have a fun time soaking in this iconic race!

TMS: Briefly outline your training schedule.

Mike: Since my work and life schedule vary greatly, so does my training schedule. I mostly train by feel and enjoy lots of steep power hiking and off-trail exploration on my backyard trails here in Kings Beach, in addition to plenty of running miles. My weekly mileage tends to be between 50 and 75, which is much less than a lot of ultra runners, but this works well for me. I have done more formal training and speed workouts this year than all of my running years combined, as some friends and I started a running club this past winter called the Donner Party Mountain Runners. Our Thursday Morning Speed Sessions have definitely brought my fitness to a new level that I wished I had during my first 100-mile race. My final five weeks of training before I tapered was my strongest training block ever and started with the Meow Marathons on May 3. This was a 55-ish mile-race with about 17-18K feet of vertical gain and lots of off-trail navigation through an unmarked course.

Mike-Tebbutt-Meow-Marathon

We love this shot of Mike battling an uphill during the Me-Ow Marathon.


TMS: What have been your largest hurdles in preparing for the WS100?

Mike: My largest hurdle was dealing with some intestinal parasites towards the end of winter that crippled my energy and training for about a month. Fortunately, I have an amazing Chiropractor/healer, Dr. Nathan Cohen, that I have seen for two decades. As always, he got me through it and helped me on my way to being stronger than ever.

(more…)

@ Folsom International Triathlon, Thanks for the Great Race!

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

This post comes from Chris Cloyd, a TMS Ambassador and lover of endurance sports. When Chris isn’t training for his next big race or out exploring the Eastern Sierra on foot or bike, he’s managing the Performance Training Center by Julia Mancuso. Watch for more race reports, gear reviews and fun reading from Chris and other Ambassadors of Tahoe Mountain Sports.

folsom-international-triathlon-2014-winner

Chris crosses the finish line to take First Place.

It’s always a treat to start off the season with a great result. It’s a much greater pleasure, however, to race in perfect conditions, in a great town, supported by an unbelievable race organization and volunteer team. Fortunately for me, I was able to do both this past weekend at the Folsom International Triathlon down in Granite Bay.

This was my first year entering the Folsom race and my first event with Total Body Fitness (TBF), who host the race, and I look forward to coming back next year. Mark and his team did a phenomenal job putting together all of the logistics, coordinating the volunteers, and managing all of the raceday chaos. It’s often lost in all of the speed and excitement of a race like this, but I try to remember that NONE of our sport can exist without the support of all of the guys and girls who put these events on and the volunteers who offer their time and energy on raceday (and, many times, the day before setting up the course and the day after taking down all the pomp and circumstance). I’d like to offer a BIG HIGH-FIVE to everyone who helped make it possible for us to measure ourselves against a great course this past Saturday – thank you!

Waking up at the entirely rational hour of 5:45 on raceday was a pleasant touch – the “late” 8 a.m. start afforded us all a chance to sleep in some ahead of all of the mayhem. I love triathlon, but sometimes the early-up starts are a little much to bear. I understand the rationale behind starting events (especially Iron-distance races) at 6:30 a.m., but that doesn’t change the fact that it was very pleasant to get started at 8 a.m. at Folsom. By then, the sun was out in force, the lake was appealing, and the temps were already rising.

Our swim was extremely well marked, and the start was well controlled. It didn’t take long for racing to begin once the gun went off, and within minutes we were split into more than a few pace-lines and were fighting for position in the water. Unfortunately, I missed the split for the front group and, after a failed bridge effort on my part, I slowed up and made contact with the second group in the water. We worked together to hold a good pace to the last buoy, but at that time myself and another competitor decided to go out on our own and opened up a gap. Our pace wasn’t much faster than our original group’s, but it was enough to get us into T1 (Transition 1) in 3rd and 4th position.

folsom-international-triathlon-racing-gear

The Race Kit

I had been looking forward to this race for a number of reasons, but the bike leg had to have topped my list. Some rollers and punchy climbs dictated the first 2/3 of the course, but the back end of the ride was almost all downhill or negotiably flat. This is a rare occurrence in our sport, and I was excited about the idea of a short and aggressive section on the bike followed by an all-out speedway effort back to the transition area. I knew that if I could put in a hero effort on that first 2/3 of the course and build a lead, I had a chance to stay away on the drag race back to T2. I was able to catch the two athletes ahead of me by mile ten, and put a big dig in on the last few hills of the course to gain some real time. I don’t think I even shifted out of 53×11 from mile 17 to the end of the bike leg, and hit T2 with enough time to feel good about my chances of staying ahead during the run.

The run started out benignly enough, but there were certainly plenty of teeth on the course! Mark and the TBF team couldn’t have done better finding a world-class run course if they tried – every stride was paired with gorgeous views of Folsom Lake and the park around it. That buoyed my spirits and helped me keep the pace high through the turnaround, and I started to catch other racers on their way out as I dug through the second half of the run. After negotiating some serious hills on the way back (I almost considered using my hands to help scale one of the climbs!), I finally saw the finishing chute and the kite marking the line. After two plus hours of racing, I was proud to be able to cross the line first.

I’ve stolen this idea from Scott Jurek, the world’s best ultra marathoner (in my opinion): If I’m able to bring home the win, I try to stay at the finish line and high-five the other competitors as they finish. Everybody is out there suffering, and everyone deserves the same amount of enthusiasm as they cross the line. Moreover, I love sharing the finishing moment with everyone who competes – it’s a rare opportunity to embrace real accomplishment with fellow athletes as they complete such outstanding efforts and realize such great goals.

The beauty of sport is overcoming, as is watching others overcome. That pursuit – the allure of chances to define our best self – is a huge reason I race. I fully believe everyone should measure themselves from time to time; if not against others, against ourselves. Racing provides that opportunity – whether you’re aiming for a course record, a personal best, or a first finish.

Here’s to the season!

folsom-international-triathlon-2014-winning-men

First Place Feels Oh…So…Good!

 

2XU Compression Calf Guards
2XU Compression Calf Guards
MSRP: $44.95

 

Winter 2012-2013 Skiing & Snowboarding Photo Recap

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Since we’re anticipating snow and the winter hype is strong, I thought I’d share some cool shots from last season. Get stoked…unlike most other places on Earth, Tahoe sees sunshine up until just about the time it snows. Sure, our radical weather systems roll through a later than our neighbors in the PNW, but we also avoid those melancholy transitional periods. Here’s to living in Lake Tahoe!

northstar-terrain-park

Cool contrast in the Northstar terrain park. Unknown flyer.

 

dave-summit-shasta-ski

Dave (TMS Owner) skis off the top of Mt. Shasta. Click the image to read about it.

(more…)

Things To Do In Lake Tahoe: The Best Trails and Classic Day Hikes

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

This guest post comes from Lauren Gregg, a professional mountain biker living in North Lake Tahoe. When Lauren’s not working on, or dreaming about mountain bikes, she’s out exploring the trails in the greater Tahoe region. Happy trails, Lauren. We hope your knee heals quickly!

hiking-trails-north-lake-tahoe

Lake Tahoe day hikes are a great way to experience the Tahoe area. From quick picnics to half-day or full day adventures, there are many options for people seeking trails with beautiful scenery, picturesque mountain lakes and spectacular views. There are few better ways to spend a Tahoe summer day than with a hike to an alpine lake! The Tahoe region has an endless amount of awesome hiking trails, but here are highlights from some of the best Tahoe hikes that are not to be missed! Stop by Tahoe Mountain Sports to pick up a Tahoe Trail Map and any gear you may need before your adventure, making sure you are prepared with means for hydration and nutrition, and that you apply sunscreen and suit up with proper hiking shoes and apparel. Once you are all geared up, enjoy one of these classic Tahoe hikes!


Echo Lakes Hiking Trail

Echo Lakes Trail
This trail offers a beautiful hike with stunning views of alpine mountains and lakes. The trailhead begins at the Echo Lakes Resort and is one of the most popular entry points to Desolation Wilderness. Hikers can follow the trail out and back for a total distance of five miles, or can cut off about 2.5 miles by utilizing the water taxi service ($10 per person, $5 per dog) for a fun and scenic boat ride through the granite basin of Echo Lakes. Both Upper and Lower Echo Lake (which connect at a narrow channel) provide awe-inspiring views and relative solitude as well as great swimming in the summer! If hikers are feeling adventurous, they can continue further into the Desolation Wilderness to Lake Aloha and Rockbound Valley, both popular destinations.

 

Skunk-Harbor-Hiking-Trail

Skunk Harbor
Accessing Skunk Harbor requires a short hike down to a secluded bay on Lake Tahoe’s East Shore. Hikers journey 1.5 miles down from the trailhead to the beach at Skunk Harbor where they can explore the remains of the Newell House, a summer home built in 1922. The view of Lake Tahoe from the tiny harbor is the main attraction of this hike, and huge boulders and the remains of an old pier add to the scenery. Skunk Harbor is the perfect place for a summer swim or picnic, especially as a detour during a bike ride on the Flume Trail or around the perimeter of the lake.

 

Five-Lakes-Hiking-Trail

Five Lakes Trail
This easily accessible trail nestled in the foothills of the Granite Chief Wilderness brings hikers through the north side of the Alpine Meadows valleys to the gorgeous Five Lakes Basin. This hike is roughly 4-5 miles out-and-back to the five beautiful lakes between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. This hike is very popular, however the lakes provide many areas of solitude and serenity. Adventurous hikers can continue beyond Five Lakes and into the Granite Chief Wilderness, picking up the Pacific Crest Trail shortly past the lakes.

(more…)

Colorado Hut System: 10th Mtn Jackal Hut Backcountry Ski Trip

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

This guest post comes from Josh Whitney, a Boulder, CO-based pro mountain biker, cyclocrosser and lover of all things alpine. Josh occasionally contributes his trip reports, reviews and inspired mountain ramblings from the Rocky Mountain West to Tahoe Mountain Sports. His blog at josh-whitney.com blends bike racing and mountain adventures with musings on his day job in business, technology and sustainability.

#

The stoke meter on winter 2013 hit the red zone over the second half of February in Colorado, and has been full gas ever since. (more…)

Splitboarding in Austria: Tirol, Near Schlick – Panoramic & Cashew

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

splitboardingBlog

Investing in a splitboard is way cheaper than a heli-trip!

With the advances in manufacturing processes the market for splitboards has exploded. Splitboarding allows snowboarders the ability to traverse steep, snow-covered terrain that was previously only accessible by skis or snowshoes. With splitboards the only extra equipment required is a pair of collapsable poles which you can stow for the ride down. If you’ve never seen them, a splitboard does exactly what it’s called. A snowboard that splits down the middle and allows the rider to attach skins to use them for uphill climbing. At the summit, the rider then detaches the skins, reassembles the board and rides away clean. Our K2 Panoramic Splitboard in particular is great on steep, fast terrain and varied conditions so it’s ideal for powder as well as Spring corn. As we inch toward Spring conditions in the backcountry get safer and that makes it the perfect time to get out there.

Check out our write-up of the K2 Panoramic Splitboard Package here. Also be sure to view our current sales and promotions on tons of winter gear going on now.

How Locals Have Fun With Low Snow Totals Around North Lake Tahoe

Friday, March 15th, 2013

This guest post comes from Robyn Embry, a local pro downhill racer living in Kings Beach, California, for the past seven years. She can be found climbing rocks and skiing powder when not enjoying life on two wheels; her blog http://therobynator.blogspot.com contains the extended version of this and other adventures, including the fun and tribulations found within a season of mountain bike racing.

biking with ski rack

My favorite mode of transportation no matter the season!

Some years, winter in Tahoe is an endless series of blizzard storm days and bluebird powder days. Other years, like this one, it sometimes becomes a challenge to enjoy winter without endless powder–for those without a proper variety of activities to choose from, at least.

One favorite activity, given that there is still enough snow on the ground, is cross country skiing. This may conjure up images of spandex-clad racers striding down a perfectly groomed trail, but my version doesn’t require a trail pass or aerodynamic clothing. I simply strap my skis to my bike for a short ride to the National Forest above Kings Beach (They don’t groom here much like they do at Royal Gorge – more info below).

sunset from diamond peak

Sunset view, taken from my touring skis.

Braving ungroomed terrain on skinny skis can range from relatively tame, to hilariously entertaining and even slightly terrifying, depending on chosen terrain and snow conditions. For the seasoned alpine or telemark resort skier there’s nothing too difficult – just swallow your pride and make a wedge (“Pizza! Pizza!”) if all else fails. Other variables include the number of snowmobile or posthole tracks that crisscross the woods, and bare spots or manzanita bushes lurking just beneath the snow.

Slightly wider skis and metal edges can give more control, but just about anything goes since it’s all about having fun. The afternoon’s soft corn it is quite pleasant for traveling up and down a variety of slopes, but when the sun starts going down and re-freeze occurs, dodging trees on a 20-degree slope can be very exciting. So watch that sun and make sure there’s plenty of time to get back to the trailhead! Regardless of the skiing conditions, I’ll always come flying down to the road with a huge silly grin and no regrets about spending an afternoon puttering in the woods on skinny skis.

xc ski tahoe area

Getting adventurous in the backyard!

When my mom, an avid Nordic skier, comes into town to visit, she prefers to stay on the groomed trails and likes to visit the Royal Gorge’s expansive and scenic trail system. Two weeks ago she flew down from Washington state, and we were booked for two nights at the Clair Tappaan Lodge up near Soda Springs. They offer close accommodations to the ski area. Having been there several times before, we looked for a loop that we had not done yet, but settled on the Devil’s Peak viewpoint the first day. We had previously done it on a stormy day with no views, and wanted to enjoy it on a clear day. That was a nice mellow intro to striding in the tracks for me this season, and an altitude acclimation day for Mom. The scenery was incredibly beautiful and the track was fun and rolling almost the entire way. Our only mistake was taking the (more…)

Tahoe Mountain Sports Gift Cards Fast, easy, and one size fits all. Buy Now! Follow us: