July 30th, 2014 By Adam
What climber couldn’t use some free organic skin salve for their gnarly knuckles, scrapes and sunburns? And don’t act like your hands are too tough for scented, soothing chalk. That’s like saying you’re too macho to kiss your own mama in public.
Nobody is too tough for Joshua Tree Skin Care products.
How to Enter
Share rock climbing photos on Instagram with the hashtag #JTreeRockLife and tag @tahoemountainsports, @jtreelife and one (1) or more of your climbing buddies.
Tahoe Mountain Sports will pick a winner on August 13 and notify them by leaving comment on Instagram. Winner will be asked to provide shipping information via email.
Winning photo based on cool factor (creativity/relevance), not necessarily the highest quality image or number of likes. Let’s see what you’ve got! Anyone who climbs and can take a photo (or have their friend take one) is encouraged to enter.
July 23rd, 2014 By Adam
Truckee-Tahoe local Coral Taylor loves riding bikes, exercising, and exploring the Sierras with friends and family. She is a licensed civil engineer who works for the Tahoe City Public Utility District, a passionate yoga practitioner and recently certified instructor, as well as an ambassador for the Team LUNAChix Tahoe Mountain Bike Team. Tahoe Mountain Sports is proud to have Coral representing us as one of our elite TMS Ambassadors!
“This is the mat I would buy for a friend or family member, which means a lot, because I try to spend my money mindfully on quality products.”
What – Manduka Yoga Black Mat PRO, 71”
Where – I got myself a new yoga mat as a gift for completing my 200-hr Yoga Teacher Training this spring. Since then, I have rolled this mat out at home, on my deck, at various studios in Truckee, Kings Beach and Squaw, and even on the lawn at West End Beach of Donner Lake.
Pros – I really appreciate the thickness of this mat; with my bony knees and elbows, it makes kneeling or elbow-based poses much more comfortable than other mats I’ve used, especially on uneven surfaces such as grass or sand. During a recent outdoor class, I was very glad to have this mat, which stayed put while other mats were tossed about in the wind.
I also appreciate Manduka’s commitment to the environment and to its customers; this mat has a lifetime guarantee, which minimizes waste. As a lover of nature and a citizen of planet Earth, Manduka’s sustainability practices such as zero waste and emission-free manufacturing make me feel good about purchasing a new consumer product.
This cool video explains Manduka’s recycling efforts behind manufacturing:
Cons – The Manduka PRO Mat is relatively heavy, so if you’re carrying it for a ways or bike commuting, it would weigh you down after a while. Initially, this mat was very slippery, which is pretty common with most new yoga mats. However, the “Break-In” technique recommended by Manduka, which involved sprinkling sea salt then scrubbing the mat with a little water and air drying in the sun, seemed to help. The more I use this mat, the stickier it gets. This mat also has a hefty price tag, but if you look at the return on investment, and plan to buy just one mat the rest of your life, it is well worth it.
Suggestions – I like how Manduka offers some additional color options in their PRO limited edition. It would be nice if this mat was less slippery when first using it, and if the mat could weigh a little less while still retaining the lifetime guarantee and all the aforementioned cushion, that would be nice as well.
Summary – So far… so great! I love my new Manduka yoga mat and look forward to using it for this lifetime of practice. This is the mat I would buy for a friend or family member, which means a lot, because I try to spend my money mindfully on quality products.
Tahoe Mountain Sports also carries the Manduka eKO Lite and the PROlite mats for those looking for something on the thinner side:
July 12th, 2014 By Adam
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.
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
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.
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 Tango Duo 2-person sleeping bag. Make poor choices and be ready to enjoy a bone-chilling night outside at 9,100 feet. Read the rest of this entry »
July 12th, 2014 By Adam
Formerly a collegiate miler and cross-country runner, Danny Jenkins has run ultras for the past eight years. He is a freelance adventure writer/photographer, fundraiser for youth services and addiction recovery programs, and past community addictions counselor based in Truckee, California. He lives to run free in the Sierra every chance he gets, regularly uses his running to raise money for local charities, and is a founding member of the Donner Party Mountain Runners.
“No matter where I’m running, it will perform well and definitely get the job done.”
Ready for anything the trail throws your way. Click image for more info.
I’m liking the Inov-8 255
‘s. More support than I’ve had in a long time and my legs are appreciating it. Incredible traction
, as you might expect from Inov-8, and performs well in just about all conditions and all trail surfaces. It’s slightly heavier than I like, but it’s almost an insignificant factor. The fit is a little wide (for my taste) because I do a lot of technical running (my strength), but this is a shoe I like to call my “rover” – which means no matter where I’m running, it will perform well and definitely get the job done.
I am totally confident with these trail runners underfoot on hard-packed dirt, steep ascents, sandstone, granite, fire trails, sharp rocks, smooth single track, and managing technical terrain. Rates okay in the mud, but there are probably better choices if it’s raining and crud is the call.
Trail and mountain runners who thrive on good shoe flex will like the 255. It “gives” in technical mountain terrain, yet won’t lend enough freedom to “twist.” The lightweight toe-guard makes for pretty minimal protection in front, but I didn’t have any issues with Superman-type aerials, even on runs at places like Mt. Tallac in S. Lake Tahoe (which brings every type of terrain imaginable).
Danny flies downhill with confidence.
Comfort factor rates a 9 out of 10, right out of the box. Break-in period was short; maybe 9-10 hours of running and you’re gaining every benefit the 255 has to offer.
The TrailRoc 255
is a flexible trail runner (with meta-flex near the toes) that excels in technical mountain terrain. The soft, flexible heal counter helps in lending the shoe a slipper-like feel, while the anatomic last provides a wider toe box than those found on other Inov-8 models
. This roomy upper has accommodated thicker socks and some foot swelling on longer runs.
The 255 represents the most protective end of the spectrum for Inov-8′s Trailroc lineup, designed with the most cushioning of any TrailRoc running shoe. An ideal shoe for high-mileage training and racing, the 255 blends awesome durability with grip and is capable at a wide range, from 10K trail races to 100-mile mountain ultras.
I wore these mountain running shoes
on every training run (mountain and trail only) for two months, and I am currently training for the Headlands 100 in Sausalito, Ca., on Sept. 13th. The training territory is North Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Tahoe Donner, Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) and any other initial on our local Tahoe trail map
. Nothing but trail stoke…..Cheers! -Danny Jenkins
July 11th, 2014 By Adam
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.
Read the rest of this entry »
July 8th, 2014 By Adam
Join us for another great outdoor event, free to the public as usual! On Saturday, July 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., leading footwear brands Salomon, Merrell, La Sportiva, Scarpa and Darn Tough will be on the Mt. Rose portion of the Tahoe Rim Trail, and you can demo as many pairs of this year’s best trail shoes as you’d like; it’s all free!
Ever hiked the Tahoe Rim Trail or trekked around the Mt. Rose area? Then you know how beautiful this trail is, and you’re probably looking for any excuse to get back on it. Well, this is your chance to try out new hiking and running shoes before you buy them! With the best off-road footwear on demo for everyone, spectacular views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding peaks and valleys, and no charge whatsoever, you’re not going to want to miss this event.
Are you already participating in the Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge? The Tahoe Rim Trail Association (TRTA) mascot, McLeod the Marmot, as well as TRTA staff, will be greeting hikers on-trail and encouraging Challengers as they work toward their goals. Find McLeod and he’ll give you a prize!
What is this ‘Trail Challenge’ we speak of?
“The 2nd Annual Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge continues to build momentum as over 350 hikers, bikers and equestrians and five large Reno-Tahoe based corporations engage their employees in the 2014 Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge,” said Shannon Sakrit of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association. “The program has inspired both novice and seasoned trail users from the Reno-Tahoe and Sacramento-Bay areas to begin tackling small sections of the Tahoe Rim Trails through six day hikes along the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail. Participants socialize by sharing their on-trail experiences, stories, [and] pictures on the interactive, Tahoe Rim Trail Community.” Visit www.tahoerimtrail.org for more information or to register for the Challenge. It is NOT necessary to register for this TMS Footwear Demo.
You don’t want to miss this free event! It’s not often you get the best off-road footwear brands in the same place at the same time, let alone with FREE demo shoes for everyone.
Join the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Adventure Group: http://www.meetup.com/LakeTahoeOutdoorAdventureGroup/events/193763292/
View the event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/680724008673408/
July 1st, 2014 By Adam
Eating gluten-free can be a pain in the butt. I know this not because I am without gluten, but because my day job is waiting tables. That’s right folks, this glamorous, blog-writing lifestyle is just a side gig. Sorry to disappoint you. Fortunately, I have some good news to lift you back up from your dismay over my underwhelming existence. Ready? The backcountry might be one of the easiest places to eat gluten free.
AlpineAire and Natural High sound like a couple of Colorado-based ‘recreation’ facilities, but they’re actually producers of some of the most gourmet, gluten and weed-free backpacking foods you can get your healthy little hands on. AlpineAire foods are actually made in Rocklin, near Sacramento, so we’ve got some local love for them. They’re ultralight, resealable and self-standing pouches have a shelf-life of 5+ years and (most of their 85+ recipes) are ready just a few minutes after adding boiling water and mixing.
Scooping some Santa Fe Black Beans & Rice during an educational in-store clinic.
I’m talking about dishes like Cheese Enchilada Ranchero, Pineapple Orange Chicken, Three Berry Cobbler and Bananas Foster. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is, and I practically mainline gluten. If it were this easy everywhere to eat well without gluten, however, I might stop. Why not, right? I mean, given the choice, who’d say, “No thanks, I prefer to be chronically bloated and inflamed.” Tea Party republicans, okay, perhaps you’ve got me there. But I have enough experience with gluten-free foods to know they don’t have to taste bad. My restaurant has this flour-less chocolate cake that’s so soft and lovely, I sometimes make myself a bed of it and jump right in.
If that last line didn’t scare you off, not only do I recommend seeking psychiatric help, but I have a couple last suggestions: Bandito Scramble and Strawberry Granola with Milk, because you deserve a gluten-free breakfast more fulfilling than two packets of GU Energy Gel. So, go to the AlpineAire and Natural High pages at tahoemountainsports.com (linked above), treat yourself to some gluten and guilt-free goodness and go bag yourself some peaks with a happy tummy and taste buds.
Example Directions & Nutrition Info
Until next time,
-No artificial flavors
-No artificial colors
(in the foods, not SJ)
Scott Johns is an adventure cinematographer, mountain biker and snowboarder living in Incline Village on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. When he’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.
June 28th, 2014 By Adam
We’re looking for creative ideas for camping recipes and Pinterest is the place to share them! That’s why we’re hosting the TMS Campsite Cookoff and asking for your help. Share your favorite camping recipes, or new ideas you’d love to try during your next outdoor adventure, and we’ll reward you for your efforts.
How will you be rewarded, you ask? Tahoe Mountain Sports will give three participants a Camp Cook’s Combo, including a Stainless Steel Pint Glass from Klean Kanteen, a Titanium Spork from Snow Peak, Electrolyte Capsules from GU Energy, and Pomegranate Organic Energy Chews from Honey Stinger!
What are you waiting for? Head over to our Campsite Cookoff Pinterest board and start pinning now!
Click this image to be directed to the TMS Campsite Cookoff Pinterest board.
June 26th, 2014 By Adam
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 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.
Interesting 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.
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.
Read the rest of this entry »
June 19th, 2014 By Adam
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.
Sunsets in foreign lands. Another reason to travel.
Travel season is upon us and my gear has already seen an overnight kayaking trip down the Carson River plus a combined two weeks of car camping and mountain biking in the rainy Northwets–that’s not a typo, I’m just proposing a name change because the Northwest can be so soggy at times. Some of my gear has been ideal, like my Saxx underwear, and some of it, not so much. Here’s what I’ve learned so far, and summer hasn’t even technically begun:
The Value of a Hammock
My first trip of the season, in a whitewater kayak, was something new to me. I was told I couldn’t bring a tent and was a bit apprehensive about that. Fortunately, Adam Broderick from Tahoe Mountain Sports had already written a great hammock info blog, specifically highlighting ENO hammocks.
With my mind a bit more at ease after reading, I sacked up, spent the cash (much cheaper than a tent, by the way), dropped it in a dry bag and stuffed it in the back of my kayak. Bottom line: hammocks are a huge weight and space saver. No tent, no pad, no problem. Just more room for beer, in my case, and easier traveling if you’re on foot. And I recommend going for the double hammock; the additional space is worth the extra $10.
Let Gravity do the Filtering
Something I wished I had on that kayaking trip, but had no budget for at the time, was a pump-free water purifier. My MSR MiniWorks is compact and works great, but pumping water for four thirsty dudes cuts heavily into your relaxation time when you only have a few hours off the river each day.
The Platypus GravityWorks filtration system is ideal for group settings. Just fill it up and walk away; it’ll be ready when you finish your coffee. There’s also a four-liter version, which you can find among Tahoe Mountain Sports’ multitude of other water paraphernalia.
Gabe Lambert traveling through…a lot of air. Black Rock Mountain Bike Area. Falls City, Oregon
Better than Rice
It seems like after every time I go kayaking, somebody’s phone ends up in a bag of rice. This trip was no different. Dry boxes work great to protect your phone, until you pull it out to use it. And using rice to suck moisture out of it, after the fact, actually works quite well, too. But waterproofing–and shock, dirt and snow proofing–your selfie-box, with a Lifeproof case, is a more sustainable, long-term solution to keeping it dry. So, I’ve come up with a new, million-dollar marketing slogan for Lifeproof. Ready? Lifeproof: it works better than a bag of rice. *Please make that check payable directly to Scott Johns, thank you. To watch a short travel film shot on an iPhone by a TMS employee, both under and above water in Central America, click here: 2 Tickets to Roatan, Honduras
Taking a Backpacker’s Approach to Car Camping
Because riding a bicycle is my preferred adrenaline-inducing activity, I do a lot of car camping on my mini-vacations. The upside is that there’s more space for extra gear. The downside, I always bring way too much crap. The other two of my three trips proved this once again. So, I’m tempted to start taking a backpacker’s approach to car camping. Read the rest of this entry »