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Five Skis Tested for 2015-16

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

The #TMS Crew headed to Mt. Rose Ski Area for the WWSRA (Western Winter Sports Rep Association) Demo Days. FIVE AWESOME SKIS FROM THE FUTURE WERE TESTED. 

READ MORE IF YOU LIKE COOL SKIS…

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AB and KS at Mt. Rose

Nik Somers, Kevin Snow and I got out and tested new skis on what was the first major storm cycle to hit the Tahoe area since the first part of the season. Mt. Rose received around 40″ of new snow and 15-25″ at its base. Then, the wind came in and made things interesting. We skied every conceivable type of snow condition (powder, blown powder, ice pellets, crust and groomed runs).

Five skis were reviewed and tested.

One ski will likely make a return to the wall, while four others might make a grand entrance next fall…

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Blizzard Zero G 108 and Zero G 98 Skis

SKI TEST #1: Blizzard Zero G 108

Test Size and Weight: Length – 185cm, Weight 1,750 grams (per ski)
Binding: Marker Kingpin
Boot: Dynafit Mercury
- Beta: Lengths: 171, 178, 185 cm | Sidecut: 136-108-122mm | Radius: [185 cm] 27.0m  | Construction: Sandwich Compound | Sidewall; Carbon Drive Technology.

From the Blizzard Skis 2015-2016 Catalog…ZeroG-108Diagram

Carbon Drive is the integration of a 3D unidirectional carbon fiber frame with an ultra-lightweight palowina woodcore construction. The carbon frame’s 3D geometry guarantees optimal flex and torsional rigidity. The end result is industry leading lightweight products that deliver a level of downhill performance that is unprecedented in the world of alpine touring and backcountry skiing.

REVIEW: The major buzz words in ski technology have included carbon. While carbon offers great rigidity and stiffness, it often doesn’t give with each turn as much, which translates into a ski that needs to really be driven (read: BUCKLE UP). The new Blizzard Zero G is a good mix of both playfulness and a hard-charger. A super nimble and lightweight option for the backcountry enthusiast, this ski is a true testament to the advanced technology and construction found in many ski options today.With a mixed bag of conditions to ski in on the demo day at Mt. Rose, the Blizzard Zero G really shined. The one con in the ski I tested was that you really need to stay on it. Just like most of Blizzard’s great line-up of skis, this new beauty needs attention. Drive it and stay on the gas and you’ll have a great day.

Final word: A solid winner and “go to” ski for any conditions. Look for them on the TMS ski wall in 2016.

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Salomon Q-BC Lab Skis (2015 Top-Sheet Graphic)

SKI TEST #2: Salomon Q-BC Lab

Test Size and Weight: Length – 184cm, Weight 1,800 grams (per ski)
Binding: Dynafit TLT Radical ST 2 AT Ski Binding
Boot: Dynafit Mercury
- Beta: Lengths: 176, 184 cm | Sidecut: 140-114-128mm | Radius: [176cm] 21m, [184cm] 24m | Construction: Sandwich ABS, SidewallAn exception balance of touring efficiency and downhill performance, the Salomon Q BC Lab Skis are a full wood core with ultra-light CFX Superfiber reinforcement for the ultimate ski experience. The perfect balance of downhill performance and touring efficiency.  Salomon’s revolutionary, ultra light CFX Superfiber reinforcement and a full woodcore combine for stability, control and response not found on other lightweight touring skis.

*Editor’s note: This ski is not changing for the 2015-16 ski season (just the top-sheet). If you’d like to seize the day and grab a pair of your own, click HERE to purchase a pair!

REVIEW: This ski is the epitome of Salomon’s commitment to being a pure mountain company. A great soft snow (and powder) ski, the Q-BC Lab shines when used in variable to ideal conditions. Although it has a 114mm waist, this ski is surprisingly nimble. The full-length wood laminates combined with the inherent backcountry ski features such as “free hook taper” (diminishing hooking up in powder) and the built in skin tail clips make this ski a machine to not only easily climb mountains, but have the confidence to ski like you want to on the ride down.

Final word: A great backcountry option, the Salomon Q-BC Lab is a great decision for those in need of a lightweight 4×4 ski.

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K2 Pinnacle 105 Skis

SKI TEST #3: K2 Pinnacle 105

Test Size and Weight: Length – 184cm, Weight N/A
Binding: Marker Griffon
Boot: K2 Pinnacle 130
- Beta: Lengths: 170, 177, 184, 191 cm | Sidecut: 137-105-121mm | Radius: [184cm]19 m | Construction: Triaxial Braid, Hyrbitech Sidewall, Metal Laminate

The Pinnacle 105 is positioned in the middle of the new Freeride series as the do-anything, go-anywhere, ski everything, quiver of one. Even the most confident skiers will benefit from the lightweight Nanolite core. Helping navigate through trees or floating in power, as much as the solid and supportive wood cores with metal laminate over the edges when charging firmer, variable snow.

REVIEW: The many technologies that K2 has seamlessly blended into this new ski are evident in that you never really need to think about it when arcing turns, bashing bumps or smearing soft snow! The diminished swing weight and torsional stiffness allow this ski to effortlessly turn, glide and rule the entire mountain. I would recommend this ski for anyone that loves to ski the whole mountain with confidence.

Final Word: The Pinnacle 105 is your quiver killer for 2015-16!

K2-Pinnacle-95

SKI TEST #4: K2 Pinnacle 95

Test Size and Weight: Length – 184cm, Weight N/A
- Binding: Marker Griffon
- Boot: K2 Spyne
Beta: Lengths: 170, 177, 184, 191 cm | Sidecut: 132-95-115mm | Radius: [184cm]17 m | Construction: Triaxial Braid, Hyrbitech Sidewall, Metal Laminate

Attack the resort in any snow condition. The Pinnacle 95 incorporates the new K2 Konic Technology with a high performance, lightweight Nanolite center core for added ease and control, while the wood core and metal laminate along the perimeter of the ski engages all the power, strength and stability needed for all mountain dominance.

REVIEW: The K2 Pinnacle 95 is nearly the same as the larger 105, but much more nimble. Grab a pair of these if you prefer a Ginsu knife over a machete. 

Final word: Rinse. Lather. Repeat. This ski does it all!

FullSizeRender
SKI TEST #5: Volkl 100 Eight

- Test Size and Weight: Length – 184cm, Weight N/A
- Binding: Marker Griffon
- Boot: K2 Spyne 130
- Beta: Lengths: 173, 181, 189 cm | Sidecut: 141-108-124mm | Radius: [173cm] 19.7m, [181cm] 22m, [189cm] 24.5m | Construction: 3D Ridge, Tough Box | Core: Multi Layer Wood

An all time favorite ski, the Volkl Gotama is being replaced this upcoming winter season (2015-16) with a similar yet very new ski, the 100 Eight. This ski features a new construction from Volkl called the 3D Ridge. This layup offers a lightweight, lively ski feel – 141-108-124mm shape, flat tail design, Full Rocker, Smart Early Taper and an open (20 to 22m) radius combine for a smooth, playful ride for a variety of conditions, from deep powder to groomers.

REVIEW: Although I am sad to see the heralded Volkl Gotama become extinct, the future is always brighter in regards to new technology in ski construction, shape, camber profile and rocker. The 100 Eight is no exception to progression. Out with the old, in with the NEW. This ski does EVERYTHING (well,  maybe not ski moguls that well). I can’t wait to rip up the in-bounds terrain, drop cliffs, ski powder and even take this versatile ski into the backcountry. 

Final word: A lightweight, 4×4 machine, the Volkl 100 Eight is yet another great option to slim your ski quiver to ONE.

 

What to do in Junuary in Tahoe?

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

For those that live and play in the Lake Tahoe area, you know all too well that this winter is now the fourth in a row in which the month of January has seen little to no snow! Hence, the locals have dubbed this month “Junuary”. With no snow in the upcoming week(s)’ forecast the local sentiment in the Lake Tahoe area has turned sour once again.

For a funny take on this quandary, check out our friends at SnowBrains.com’s article “Top 10 Reasons Why It’s Awesome That it Doesn’t Snow in Tahoe Anymore“!

nosnow

Copyright: SnowBrains.com

Here is a video from last year at a lecture Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL):

OpenSnow.com is often a good resource to find out what is coming our way in terms of weather in Tahoe. However, much like the past few seasons, Tahoe Snow Forecaster Bryan Allegretto has become frustrated with how the weather refuses to change in January (hardly any snow and huge amounts of dry, warm air). B.A. said, “It has become common the last 9 seasons that January is drier than the other months. It has also become common that the storms come again in February or March. Here is a graph I made for the average snowfall by month that I like to show.”

LastnineseasonsTahoe

Below, you’ll find five ways to get out there and enjoy all that this beautiful has to offer:

1. Go Rock Climbing or Bouldering

There are a multitude of climbing spots in the area that have southern facing aspects that have a great deal of sun on them for many hours, allowing for fairly warm routes and happy adventures. For information on the rad climbing in the High Sierra region, check out SuperTopo.com.

2. Go Mountain Biking

Although the trails around Lake Tahoe, may have a decent amount of snow left on them, the biking is superb just “down the hill” in areas like Grass Valley, Nevada City, Colfax and Auburn. For information on the trails in Northern California check out Trails.com.

Finley-Jackass-Ridge

TMS Ambassador Aaron Finley on Jackass Ridge in Truckee on Nov. 24, 2014

3. Play on the Lake

Whether its Lake Tahoe or Donner Lake, there are many great ways (such as on a Paddle Board) to get out and get some quality exercise in. Be sure to dress warm and bring some snacks for a fun day spent SUP’ing (Stand-Up-Paddle-Boarding).

4. Take an AIARE Avalanche Course

Tahoe Mountain Sports is proud to partner with Tahoe Mountain School which offers professional education for backcountry users including: avalanche education, backcountry skiing and wilderness medicine.

Learn more about the great opportunities to further your knowledge and skill-set here.

avy

Sign up TODAY for an Avalanche Course with Tahoe Mountain School!

5. Play with your Dog

Get out on the trails, on the lake or even in your backyard and make old Fido happy because he is not stuck at home while you are at the mountain. GoPro offers a great tool to see the world through a dog’s point of view with the Fetch Dog Mount Harness. Tails will be wagging even if the snow is lagging!

G3 = Genuine Gear Guide

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

New this year to the fleet of incredible backcountry gear at Tahoe Mountain Sports is a line-up of alpine touring skis, the all-new Ion tech binding as well as climbing skins, trim tools and splitboard climbing skin connector kits. G3 = Genuine Gear Guide. Based in Vancouver, B.C., G3 Genuine Guide Gear is manufacturer of industry-leading gear for backcountry skiing and snowboarding. It has been making avalanche safety equipment since 1995.

G3

TMS employee Boon, took the new G3 Synapse Carbon 92 Skis with the Ion Alpine Touring Bindings out for a day in the Castle Peak backcountry. Click here for more information on this excellent backcountry skiing zone near Truckee, CA. on Here are his thoughts:

“Weighing in at a brisk 9lbs 15oz this set up felt like I was somehow cheating the up hill. Definitely built for speed and fast pursuits but burly enough to ski most any line. I have been looking for a spring/ summer ski for the east side Sierra and volcano corn harvest. This could easily be my go to…

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The G3 Synapse Carbon 92 Skis and G3 Ion Alpine Touring Bindings at Castle Peak

Starting with the brand new G3 Ion Alpine Touring Bindings which did not disappoint. The toe piece is easier to engage than any other tech binding on the market and literally snaps into place giving you confidence that there is a good connection from the binding to the boot. G3 also designed large snow clearing channels on each side of the toe piece to clear out any ice/ snow that could cause a pre-release. The locking mechanism for the toe piece is also much more stout than the other tech bindings. As far as I see it, the ion toe piece is one of the best (if not the best) in the market.

DSCN1257

The G3 Ion Alpine Touring Bindings incorporate game changing forward pressure, wide mount and refined toe jaw dynamics plus unique step-in and brake features yield superior freeride performance in the lightest set up you can ask for

G3 also beat the rest of the tech binding market in designing a binding with forward pressure. The forward pressure assures constant contract with the ski boot heal to maintain consistent release values in landings and absorbs energy/ vibration at high speed. One issue I have with the heal piece is that the design does not allow for turning the heal piece to ski mode with your ski pole. This can be nice to make quicker transitions and avoiding going hip deep in snow on the transition. Overall I was very impressed with the binding and can’t wait to put more mileage on them.

DSCN1260

This set up brings all types of snow conditions together with your skis and bindings like “butter on toast”

The G3 Synapse Carbon 92 Skis as I mentioned above is a very light ski but doesn’t sacrifice performance. With an early rise tip and tail the ski turns on a dime and can rip with the best of the all mountain skis. I see this ski being phenomenal in tight couloirs and during technical descents, but also super fun and easy to negotiate on wide open slopes. The only problem I had with the demo is i was wanting a little bit more length in the ski. The 180cm would be ideal for my height and weight (6′ tall 180 lbs.)

In conclusion, I am stoked on the new technology G3 has brought to the table to progress the tech binding world and also provide a very light high performance ski. Come in and demo or purchase a pair of these skis and bindings at Tahoe Mountain Sports.”

How to Choose the Right Climbing Skin for you:

G3 Alpinist Climbing Skin Features:

G3 Trim Tool
G3 Trim Tool
MSRP: $4.95

Jetforce Avalanche Airbag Backpacks

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

The world of avalanche safety has become that much cooler in the past few years with the introduction of avalanche airbag backpacks. Tahoe Mountain Sports carries a great selection of these incredible backpacks. In high demand have been the Jetforce Avalanche Airbag Backpacks from POC and Black Diamond. We currently have a VERY LIMITED supply remaining of these packs so take a minute to learn more below and grab yours before they’re GONE!

 Both the POC and Black Diamond Avalanche Airbag Backpacks are similar but have their own nuances and touches to make them unique and suitable to different needs, tastes and sizes.

Thorax11

POC Thorax Jetforce Avalanche Airbag Backpack – 11L

About the POC Thorax Jetforce Avalanche Airbag Backpack – 11L:  Add another tool to your safety gear, especially useful when exploring the backcountry, with this POC Sports Thorax Jetforce Avalanche Airbag Backpack, which adds an 11 liter capacity. The POC Thorax 11L is an avalanche airbag safety backpack which uses JetForce technology. The airbag is activated by pulling an activation cord on the shoulder strap, this then fills the 200L airbag in up to 4 seconds. This should help the skier stay above the snow, after 3 minutes the fan will reverse its motion and deflate the bag giving the skier a potential air pocket when in a buried situation. This will also allow an easier victim extraction when it comes to rescue, if need be. The airbag is made of a durable, puncture resistant Cordura fabric allowing it to maintain volume.

halo28

Black Diamond Halo 28 Jetforce Avalanche Airbag Backpack

About the Black Diamond Halo 28 Jeftforce Avalanche Airbag BackpackAdd another layer of safety to your avalanche tools with the Black Diamond Halo 28 Jetforce Avalanche Airbag Backpack with jet-fan inflation and the ability to be repacked and recharged. The avalanche airbag for day-long tours, featuring backpanel access, a dedicated avy-tools pocket and Black Diamond’s Jetforce Technology. A revolution in airbag technology, Jetforce provides an added margin of safety to your avalanche tool kit. From one-lap dawn patrols to all-day tours and couloir missions, the Black Diamond Halo 28 Jetforce Pack is built to store your essential gear for day-long outings and provides a truly innovative addition to your avalanche tool kit. Jetforce Technology, the result of a multi-year collaboration between Black Diamond and PIEPS, is the first avalanche airbag system to use jet-fan inflation. JetForce’s repackable airbag and fully rechargeable electronics system provide zero-cost user practice and travel-friendly performance. The Halo also features a dedicated avy tools pocket, HiLo helmet holder and single ice-axe attachment for securing your gear. JetForce Technology airbag system built-in; rechargeable, travel-friendly and extremely durable. reACTIV suspension with SwingArm shoulder straps and zippered backpanel access. Dedicated avy-tools pocket and single ice-axe attachment. Tuck-away diagonal ski carry allows airbag to deploy while skis are attached. HiLo helmet holder, hipbelt stash pocket and internal accessory pockets.

saga40

Black Diamond Saga 40 Jetforce Avalanche Airbag Backpack

About the Black Diamond Saga 40 Jetforce Avalanche Airbag Backpack: Designed for ski professionals, the Black Diamond Saga 40 Jetforce Avalanche Airbag Backpack is a high capacity pack with jet fan inflation and on-board avalanche tools. The ideal avalanche airbag for ski patrollers, snow professionals and hut-to-hut trips, the Saga is Black Diamond’s large-capacity backcountry ski pack featuring Jetforce Technology. A revolution in airbag technology, Jetforce provides an added margin of safety to your avalanche tool kit. Whether working in avalanche terrain or covering miles a backcountry hut tour, the Black Diamond Saga 40 Jetforce Pack is designed to accommodate big loads while providing a truly innovative addition to your avalanche tool kit. Jetforce Technology, the result of a multi-year collaboration between Black Diamond and PIEPS, is the first avalanche airbag system to use jet-fan inflation. Jetforce’s repackable airbag and fully rechargeable electronics system provide zero-cost user practice and travel-friendly performance. The Saga accommodates features both ski and snowboard carrying systems, and a dedicated avy tools pocket, ice tool PickPockets and a HiLo helmet holder secure your additional gear. JetForce Technology airbag system built-in; rechargeable, travel-friendly and extremely durable. reACTIV suspension with SwingArm shoulder straps and zippered backpanel access. Dedicated avy-tools pocket and ice-tool PickPockets. Tuck-away diagonal ski carry allows airbag to deploy while skis are attached. HiLo helmet holder, hipbelt stash pocket and zippered top accessory pocket.

 

Need Some Warm Boots for SnowGlobe?

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

SnowGlobe

Stay warm at this year’s SnowGlobe Festival with the warmest winter boots for men and women!

Don’t delay, stop by Tahoe Mountain Sports today en route to the coolest concert in South Lake Tahoe to pick up a pair of toasty boots to stay warm while you rock out all night long…

Learn more about TONIGHT and tomorrow’s SnowGlobe line-up and get tickets here!

 

Windblown in Patagonia

Saturday, December 20th, 2014
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Laguna de Los Tres. Photo: Rachel McCullough

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.

Who: Rachel and Garrett McCullough
What: Day Hiking Laguna de Los Tres
Where: Patagonia, Argentina
When: November 2014

I was jolted awake as the bus driver careened around another corner. Baggage fell from the overhead bins and slid across the floor. The driver was probably laughing at the tourists scrambling to right everything for about the 10th time on the trip.

As I blinked away the blurriness of 40 hours of travel, I realized it was 9:30pm and still light out. This is November in the southern hemisphere, which is spring! And so my first night in Patagonia began. I say began because 9:30 is dinnertime in Argentina!

As we stepped off the bus, the Andes rose in front of us. They are a sheer wall of rock nested in the snow, rising above the cloudy turquoise river. There stood Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, as I had seen in so many photos, watching over the small town of El Chaltén. They would be much more elusive over the next few days, shrouded in storm clouds.

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High on Moab

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
AF

Tahoe Mountain Sports Ambassador Aaron Finley (Ph: Sara Surgen)

TMS Ambassador Aaron Finley recently joined the team and was happy to share one of his many adventures with us. Welcome aboard Aaron! Follow him on Instagram at @fin_dizzled

To some, the doldrums of the slow season can provoke thoughts of under employment, penny pinching, and day dreaming of upcoming powder days. I have to admit that I suffered with these sentiments in my early days in Tahoe. That is, until I started to properly save and explore the Southwest to fill the gap. Utah’s Moab area possesses all the elements required for a first-rate climbing destination: expansive open terrain, limitless free camping, lawlessness, and millions of exquisite splitter cracks. From the towers of Castle Valley, the boulders of Big Bend, to the endless splitters of Indian Creek there is something for every climber.

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Exum Mountain Guide Dan Corn exhibiting his ability to lay back.

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Backpacking the High Sierras with Mike and Liz Tebbutt

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
Obtaining our pemit at the Forest Service Office in Mammoth Lakes

Obtaining our trip permit from the Forest Service in Mammoth Lakes (Ph: Mike Tebbutt)

TMS Ambassador Mike Tebbutt recently hiked an 80-mile section of the John Muir Trail (entering via Duck Pass in the Mammoth Lakes and exiting over Bishop Pass)! The following is his report on this re-imagined hiking adventure. Follow Mike on Instagram at @irontebby

The lackluster start to our ski season and the amazing Indian Summer that we experienced this early winter, left me reminiscing of the many great days I’ve had on the trails this past year. While I enjoy my solo excursions and really love getting out there friends, it is long backpacking trips in the High Sierra with my wife that excites me most in the summer months.

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AIARE Level 1Refresh Class 12/30 with Tahoe Mtn School

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

Moving

The AIARE Level 1 Refresher Course is designed for the student who has completed an AIARE Level 1 avalanche course and would like to update their knowledge and skills to the current level. Recommended every 2-4 years.

When: December 30th, 2014 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: Tahoe Mountain Sports (Safeway Shopping Center – 11200 – 5E Donner Pass Rd. Truckee, CA 96161)
Contact: Phone: 530-414-5295 | Email: info@tahoemountainschool.com
Cost: $375 | Register at tahoemountainschool.com

The AIARE Level 1 Refresher Course will go over the following:

  • Review of basic Level 1 material
  • Interpret the avalanche bulletin
  • Create a tour plan based on conditions
  • Personal/Group gear check
  • Discuss risk management plan
  • Terrain travel, group management, travel techniques
  • Information gathering and observation field work
  • Stability tests
  • Hands on decision making
  • Companion rescue review and practice
TMSchool

Moving Sale!

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
Come in for our HUGE Moving to Truckee Sale!

Come in for our HUGE Moving to Truckee Sale!

We’re moving to Truckee! That means HUGE savings will be extended to you, our loyal customers. Help us lighten our load with killer deals!

  • 40-70% Off All Apparel
  • 30%-50% Off All Footwear & Gear

Hours:
Thursday, Oct. 2nd: 10 am – 6 pm
Friday, Oct. 3rd: 10 am – 6 pm
Saturday Oct. 4th: 10 am – 6 pm
Sunday Oct. 5th: 10 am – 1 pm (Then the Kings Beach doors close)

A heartfelt THANK YOU goes out to the greater Kings Beach community for supporting us over the past 10 years! It is with a bittersweet feeling that we part ways with the storefront at 8331 N. Lake Blvd and open our doors at the new store located in the Safeway Shopping Center at 11200 Donner Pass Rd. E5. in Truckee, CA.

NewTMS-Store

New Truckee, CA Location!

Tahoe Mountain Sports is founded on four distinct principles: old-fashioned customer service, forward thinking e-commerce, environmental responsibility and community focus. These principles will continue to be our guiding light as we embrace yet another outstanding community.

We hope that you have enjoyed the time we have been able to share with you in Kings Beach! From numerous events, community support projects and a multitude of opportunities to provide you (our loyal customers) with insight and discounts on the best in quality outdoor gear, clothing and footwear ,we have been proud to call Kings Beach home.

We’re not changing, we’re just moving. We know that you’re here for the gear. That’s why we keep our products at the forefront of everything we do. From ensuring we carry brands that top industry quality and environmental standards to personally testing our products to know we’re selling you the best, Tahoe Mountain Sports is a place you can trust to bring you quality outdoor gear, clothing and footwear.

Stay connected, be sure to follow Tahoe Mountain Sports online:

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