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

August 12th, 2014 By   

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Review: La Sportiva Bushido, Trail-Mountain-Sky Running Shoe

August 9th, 2014 By   

Adam Broderick manages the web content at Tahoe Mountain Sports. When he is not in the office, he tries his best to be in the field doing something awesome.

La Sportiva Bushido

“Incredibly flexible, with phenomenal support and traction.
I was surprised how well it flexes underfoot considering how robust it feels in-hand.”

la-sportiva-sky-running-shoes

Designed in the Dolomites, so you know they’re good.

I’ve put just over 100 miles on these badhawks, and by now it’s safe to admit they’re my favorite trail shoe to-date. In the past year, I’ve run in Salomon’s, Inov-8’s, Altra’s and The North Face’s. My Salomon S-Lab’s fit like a glove and perform great in technical terrain, plus use a simply genius lacing system, but they lack the protection underfoot and the 4WD capabilities the Bushido offers. My TNF’s provide the cushion and support I desire, especially on rocky terrain, but they’re not quite breathable or flexible enough. My Inov-8’s protect underfoot and have good traction, breathe well, and flex great, but don’t provide the lateral support I need. Same goes for my Altra’s. Although they boast the wide toe-box I appreciate so much, and until I tried the Bushido were my go-to’s, they also lack lateral support. It’s funny because after I’d modified my Altra shoes by adding Salomon’s quick-laces, I swore they were the ultimate trail running shoe. Then I got the Sportiva’s, and I’ve gone back and forth, alternating through the aforementioned pairs, but keep finding myself coming back to the Italians.

la-sportiva-bushido-shoes-action-shot

When I first got them I was hardly running due to a knee injury. I was afraid to get back into my Inov-8’s or Altra’s because my right foot was dramatically pronating and each time I ran I felt like I reversed any recent rehab. But on July 3 I laced up the Bushido’s and headed up the hill behind my house in North Lake Tahoe. I couldn’t believe that I was able to go four miles before my leg started talking to me, and even then it was more of a whisper to “chill a little” than a command to “stop running”. They offered everything I looked for in a shoe, plus the lateral support I had never experienced in something so lightweight and flexible. At just 11 ounces per shoe (size 42.5), it’s amazing how robust and responsive they are. They even have a semi-wide toe-box so my lil’ guys can stretch out. Read the rest of this entry »

2014 Beer Gear of the Year Coming to Reno’s CANFEST Festival

August 5th, 2014 By   

We cannot wait for CANFEST!canfest-peppermill-resort-reno

There’s been a lot of hype building around Reno’s upcoming International Canned Beer Festival, and Tahoe Mountain Sports is excited to be the only outdoor retailer sponsoring the event. We aren’t just looking forward to having over one hundred tasty brews to sample – although, that’s a bit of our motivation. We’re bringing out some really cool products that help beer lovers enjoy their favorite drinks outdoors! We’re calling it Beer Gear, and we’ll have several forms on display at CANFEST. Surely some will be put to personal use during the event, and we will happily give demonstrations, but here comes the best part…brace yourselves…

 

Anyone who attends CANFEST will qualify to WIN BEER GEAR

 

What is this Beer Gear we speak of? Here’s a peak at four of the outdoor products for beer lovers we’ll be showing off:

 
Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Bottles

hydroflask-21ozhydroflask-growlerHydro Flask makes top-quality, double-walled stainless steel bottles that come with a lifetime warranty. Literally. They “guarantee every Hydro Flask against manufacturer defects for one hundred years or one lifetime, whichever comes first!”  From the wide mouth Hydro Flask 64-oz Growler to the flip-lid, 18-oz to 21-oz Hydro Flask bottles, we’ve got what you need to keep your hot liquids hot and your cold liquids cold.

 

 

 

Oakley Jupiter Cooler Backpack

oakley-jupiter-beer-cooler-backpackoakley-cooler-backpackThis versatile Oakley backpack stores up to eight cans in a separate, insulated compartment. Compared to other cooler backpacks we’ve used, the Jupiter is actually quite comfortable with the added weight of beer cans. Stash all your goodies for a day at the beach, a concert at the park, or a hike to your favorite alpine lake. Upon arrival, unzip the cooler pocket and grab yourself a cold one…or three.

 

 

 

 

Klean Kanteen 16-oz Stainless Steel Pint Glass

klean-kanteen-stainless-steel-pint-glassklean-kanteen-pint-glass-bottomNobody likes warm beer. Well, maybe somebody, but we don’t associate with that person. We drink our favorite craft beers out of stainless steel pint glasses so they stay cold longer. Longer than a can or bottle will keep it, and much longer than a glass pint glass or a red keg cup. They’re super lightweight, safer than drinking from plastic, and they make a cool “ting” sound when you drum on them with your fingernails after a couple tasty brews.

 

 

 

Snow Peak 500-ml Kanpai Bottle

snow-peak-kanpai-bottlesnow-peak-kanpai-bottleThis delightful adult toy can keep a 16-oz can cold for six hours without a change in temperature. What’s that? You don’t drink tall cans? That’s cool, you can always stash your two favorite 12-oz cans in the 500-ml Kanpai Bottle. It comes with a “cold lid” and a “hot lid” for different uses. Freeze the cold lid ahead of time to maximize chill time, or, to keep hot drinks scolding hot for up to six hours, use the hot lid with the double wall vacuum sealed bottle and be careful not to burn your mouth.


*TMS is not responsible for injuries due to improper use of beverage containers. However, once you’ve repeatedly benefited from proper use of Beer Gear, we’ll take full credit via positive word of mouth :)

 

This next product is really, really cool and deserves to be included even if it’s not directly related to beer.

PowerPot Thermoelectric Generator

power-practical-powerpotpowerpot-generator-potPower Practical found a clever way to use thermoelectric technology so energy from camp stoves and fires isn’t wasted into the air. The Power Practical PowerPot is clever, to say the least. It’s a cooking pot that allows you to plug into the pot, boil water or make dinner, and charge your phone via USB in any environment (even winter camping). The pot and cord combined weigh only 14 ounces, and just 10 minutes of charging produces approximately 60 minutes of talk time.

 

Sound irrelevant? Well, think outside the box! There are countless ways a PowerPot can benefit beer lovers.

4 Quick Examples:

– Casually enjoy a single can of beer in the time it takes to charge an iPhone 5.
– 3-4 days into a trek, your phone dies. There goes your camera! Fortunately, you can charge it over dinner and still have time for one last inebriated “selfie” before the campfire burns out.
– If you were to run out of water while camping and required cell service to call for help, but your phone was dead, it would only take a few minutes to boil your beer and get enough charge for a distress call.
– Alcohol consumption slightly affects the memory, so in the odd case you forget to pack your other thermoelectric generator, the PowerPot’s got your back. Oh, and since it’s also a cooking set, it saves room in your pack for beer.

I know, I stretched pretty far to justify plugging this piece of gear. I just think the concept’s so great that I couldn’t help but share the news.

 

Score yourself some free Beer Gear:

In a recent interview with CANFEST, TMS Owner Dave Polivy said, “We look forward to bringing down outdoor products that also relate to the beer lover, including insulated growlers, reusable pint glasses, and bottles that will fully encapsulate canned beer.” TMS plans to make their booth fun, interactive and rewarding for all who stop by. “We will show-off recently released products and giveaway prizes on-site, host text to win contests, and utilize social media to engage with the crowd.”

win-2-tix-to-canfest

If you don’t already have tickets, you can score free admission through any of our weekly drawings. Follow us on Facebook so you don’t miss out! Enter each week if you want, since we drain the entry pool weekly. To enter without waiting for our next Facebook giveaway post, submit your email at http://goo.gl/VA7Ci1 and cross your fingers.

BONUS OFFER:

Take 20% off any full-price item at www.tahoemountainsports.com! Enter CANFEST14 at checkout to activate discount. Discount valid until 9/1/14.

 

 

Kelty Folding Cooler - Large
Kelty Folding Cooler – Large
MSRP: $85.95
Snow Peak Titanium Round Flask
Snow Peak Titanium Round Flask
MSRP: $149.95

JTreeRockLife Instagram Contest: Share Rock Climbing Pics to Win!

July 30th, 2014 By   

Win Tip-Numbing Climbing Chalk and a Dopp Kit from Joshua Tree Skin Care!

 

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.

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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.

Chalk (100 g) contains naturally soothing sources of menthol. Dopp Kit includes Organic Skin Salve (1.7 oz), Sunscreen (.35 oz) and Lip Balm (SPF 15, flavor: Mountain Mint). Must be 13+ years to enter. Winner pays shipping outside continental U.S.

Gear Review: Manduka Pro Yoga Mat – Eco-Friendly, Most Comfortable

July 23rd, 2014 By   

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.”

manduka-pro-yoga-matWhatManduka 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.

manduka-pro-71-yoga-mat

 

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:

Manduka Yoga eKO Lite Mat - 4mm
Manduka Yoga eKO Lite Mat – 4mm
MSRP: $63.95
Manduka Yoga PROlite Mat 71
Manduka Yoga PROlite Mat 71″
MSRP: $77.95

 

Camping for Two: Testing Relationships in the Tahoe Backcountry

July 12th, 2014 By   

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

 camping with your girlfriend

Desolation Wilderness

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

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

Lake Aloha, Desolation Wilderness

Lake Aloha, Desolation Wilderness

 

Free Secrets

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

Breakfast at Aloha

Indiana would also make a killer backcountry breakfast.

Star Lake / Freel Peak

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

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

Gear Review: Inov-8 TrailRoc 255 Mountain Running Shoes

July 12th, 2014 By   

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.”

inov8-trailroc-255-review

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).

 

inov8-trailroc-255-trail-running-shoes

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

 

Beautiful Spring Imagery from Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada

July 11th, 2014 By   
rachel-mccullough-climbing
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!
Black-Bear-swimming-in-Summit-Creek-tahoe

 

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.

 
 

Thunderbird-Lodge-Lake-Tahoe-lighthouse

 

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.

 
 

Moonbow-upper-yosemite-falls

 

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Free Hiking & Running Shoe Demo on Mt. Rose / Tahoe Rim Trail

July 8th, 2014 By   

Free Footwear Demo Tahoe Rim Trail

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/  

Gluten-Free Camping & Backpacking Foods – They’re Grrreat!

July 1st, 2014 By   

gluten-free-organic-camping-backpacking-foods

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.

alpineaire-dehydrated-gluten-free-camp-food

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.

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Example Directions & Nutrition Info

 

Until next time,

SJ

-No preservatives
-No artificial flavors
-No artificial colors
-No MSG
(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.

 

AlpineAire Chicken/Almond Salad
AlpineAire Chicken/Almond Salad
MSRP: $9.95
Natural High Organic Mango
Natural High Organic Mango
MSRP: $5.95
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