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Posts Tagged ‘Outdoor Research’

Reno River Festival – Look for TMS, Keen and Outdoor Research!

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011


That’s good news for the 8th annual Reno River Festival, May 6–8, which kicks off in a big way on Friday. Reno River Fest is one of our favorite events of the year since it ushers in a whole new season of outdoor fun for us. This year, we’re joining forces with Keen and Outdoor Research at our booth so be sure to stop by.

If you’ve never been to Reno River Festival, then this is your year to come. Temps are forecasted to be in the 70s with sunny skies and there’s loads of fun and new events on tap.

The highlight of the festival is, of course, the Truckee River, where open freestyle, boatercross and stand-up paddleboarding competitions will take place. Plus, there are free whitewater clinics, a kick-off party with ‘80s 2-tone ska band English Beat in the park on Friday night at 8pm, food and beer gardens, the Run Amuck fun run with a 60-foot mud pit in the course, the Humans in Motion short video contest, a Home Brew competition, yoga in the park each morning and live music all weekend long. View the full Reno River Fest schedule online. Some 40,000 people come to the festival during the long weekend, so it’s definitely the place to be!

We’ll be selling Keen water shoes/sandals along with Outdoor Research hats and dry bags at our tent. Don’t miss out on our Reno River Fest promotions, including a FREE Pair of Socks with every pair of Keens purchased, a raffle in which you can win FREE Keen sandals, and more giveaways just for stopping by. See you at the river!

Black Diamond Quadrant/Drift Review and Other TMS Items

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010
Pam skinning up under early grey skies with Mt Rose ski area in the background

Pam skinning up under early grey skies with Mt Rose ski area in the background

Who ever knew you could get a babysitter to come over at 6am? Well, now I do! My wife and I were lucky enough to experience this crack-of-dawn babysitter who was as happy as could be at 6 am, certainly more awake than I was, which was good because soon she was going to have a 2-year-old to deal with while I was out schralping the powder in the Mt. Rose backcountry with all sorts of new gear. While the conditions were a bit wind crusted in spots, it was a great morning to be out with my beautiful wife for a dawn patrol ski during one of our busiest weeks of the year and to be testing some of our new arrivals. As you can see here, I was using all stuff that we sell here at the shop and here is my expert review of all this great outdoor gear for your reading pleasure. I will go head to toe.

Head to Toe in TMS Gear

Head to Toe in TMS Gear

Smith Variant Brim Helmet with Smith Phenom Goggles – This is a superb combination that I got it last year. If I had waited until this year, I would have the Smith Vantage helmet instead, but that’s how it goes. The Variant Brim is well ventilated, adjustable and fits my head with ease. The Phenom goggles go hand in hand with the Smith helmets. They fit great, no gaper gap at all and no fogging up due to the efficient air system that works between the helmet and goggles. I would go with a Vantage now, simply because it is lighter and has a better vent system.

Balconi Polar Visor Hat – I use this on the way up and I love it.

Sporting the Balconi Visor

Sporting the Balconi Visor

First, it is a visor so it keeps the snow off your face or the sun, whichever the weather gods decide to provide. I love visor hats when I am hiking because it allows my head to breathe very effectively and therefore regulates the rest of my body temp. Huge fan, get one if you like winter hat/visors.

Mammut Albaron Jacket – I think I might have found my dream jacket when I found this little beauty. This is a Gore Tex Pro Shell jacket, which basically means it is super minimalist, packs up smaller than a down jacket, has huge pit zips and even bigger front pockets. You can see in the picture above, there is even some tacky, reinforced material on the shoulders for wear and tear from your pack. This jacket is completely minimalist in all other ways. No stupid pull cords, no extra soft material for your delicate chin, nothing. This is a standard, lightweight, fully waterproof and breathable shell jacket that looks super hot on me, if you don’t mind my saying. I highly recommend this jacket!

Outdoor Research Trailbreaker Pants – This is our first season carrying any Outdoor Research product and so far, we are very impressed with their quality and attention to detail. I have been looking for a true soft shell pant that actually fits for a very long time, and I am proud to say, I finally found a pair. I am wearing a size medium and they fit great for my 5’8″ frame. Most soft shell pants are too long on me, but not these. Some of the details that first stuck out at me: Cuff guards on the inside of boot, zippers on the outside of the boot, huge ventilation zips on each leg (see pic), 2 thigh pockets, 2 rear pockets and a built-in belt that is actually easy to adjust.

Outdoor Research Trailbreaker Pants

Outdoor Research Trailbreaker Pants

These pants are extremely comfortable, move and glide with your every movement and are a now my go-to pant for all my backcountry travels.

Black Diamond Quadrant Boots – Generally, I subject myself to using all the demo gear in the shop rather than ever getting anything of my own, but that changed this season with the Quadrant boots. I had a chance to demo them last year in development mode, and loved them so much I picked up a pair this year. This is a true touring boot and what I like most is the flexibility this boot offers. It is incredibly stiff when in ski mode and skis like a charm even on big skis like the Zealot or Megawatts. In traditional alpine touring boot designs, the cuff edge and middle buckles limit the forward range of motion in walk mode; Black Diamond‘s Pivoting Cuff moves up and out of the way to allow the boot to flex farther forward than conventionally possible. This is a huge plus for us backcountry tourers because it now allows for a greater range of motion while walking, boot packing or even ice climbing. I am also a total believer and convert in the Boa system. I think this system is super slick and easy to adjust. It really allows you to get the liner to the perfect tension. Also, it allows you to unbuckle your boots and relieve tension on your feet, while keeping your foot in place in the liner which prevents any rubbing or blistering. All in all, these boots kick butt and that recommendation is coming from a telemarker turned ATer mostly due to these boots and Dynafit bindings.

Black Diamond Quadrant with BD Drift Skis

Black Diamond Quadrant with BD Drift Skis

Black Diamond Drift Skis with Dynafit TLT ST Bindings – Black Diamond is really trying to enter the backcountry-specific market this year, and the Quadrant and Drift are the premier boots and skis respectively that they are doing it with. The Drift is 136 at the tip, 100 under foot and light as a feather. Mounting them up with Dynafit bindings is the only way to go in my opinion, don’t waste those weight savings with a heavy, unnecessary binding. These skis skied like a dream. The conditions today were extremely variable with hard pack giving way to wind crust then to dust on crust and finally, when down in the trees far enough, bottomless powder. These skis performed excellently in all those conditions. I was surprised at how solid they actually felt as I thought they would be more like noodles and not hold an edge very well, but I admit, I was wrong. They cut through all the variable conditions with no problem at all. I was also skiing the 176cm size and thought they were perfect.

I had a lot of other stuff on too, but these were the highlights. I hope you like our product reviews and if you have any questions, feel free to call the shop and talk to any of our gear experts or post your comment below and we will respond super fast.  Happy New Year to all our loyal customers and blog readers! Here are a few more pics for your viewing pleasure.

Pam switching over for the ski down

Pam switching over for the ski down

Black Diamond Drifts ripping it up

Black Diamond Drifts ripping it up

5 Under $50: Holiday Gift Ideas for Women

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Don’t know what to get the lovely lady in your life this holiday? You’re in luck because Tahoe Mountain Sports’ buyer, Pam, has penned this Holiday Gift Ideas for Women guide using her trained eye in what women want, delivering you inexpensive gift ideas that are all under $50. Read on, buy, wrap and get ready to impress.

1. Outdoor Research Pinball Hat $33.95

The Outdoor Research Pinball Hat looks great on every head! This soft cable knit hat has a WINDSTOPPER ear band to keep the girl on your list toasty warm and a pom pom on top so she looks cute playing in the snow.

2. SmartWool Ultra Comfy Sock Trio $49.95

This gift pack of 3 SmartWool socks is guaranteed to be a hit. The luxurious merino socks are all natural and moisture wicking plus they come in beautiful colors and patterns, all in a smart box that makes giving extra easy.

3. Kavu Keeper $29.95

Brighten up your holiday with Kavu Purses under the tree. The Kavu Keeper is one of our bestselling bags, made of durable cotton canvas with 4 organizer pockets and an adjustable strap. These fun bags come in lots of bright, bold patterns. You’ll like it so much you’ll wish you had ordered one for yourself!

4. Lole Alexis Belt $34.95

A classic black leather belt from Lole makes a great stocking stuffer or is perfect for the office gift exchange. The Lole Alexis Belt is 100-percent leather with contrast stitching and a stylish silver buckle. This is sure to please even the pickiest girl on your list.

5. Black Diamond Moxie Headlamp $29.95

Give the gift of light with a headlamp! This great gift is also super practical. From camping to emergency roadside repairs, every gal needs a headlamp. We recommend the Black Diamond Moxie, loaded with features like 3 brightness settings and an adjustable head. Plus it comes in fun, feminine graphics at a price that fits your budget.

5 Under $50 is a monthly Tahoe Mountain Sports blog series dedicated to showcasing some of our more affordable products. Each month we pick a theme, then show you the gear. Suggest a topic in our comments if you need some shopping help, and check out more inexpensive holiday gift ideas for women in our Gift Ideas section.

Raging Russian Rivers and Grizzly Bears: The Kamchatka Project

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

On June 28, a team whitewater kayakers set off from Seattle on an expedition to explore the Siberian mountain landscapes of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula. They called their mission the Kamchatka Project, and partnered with scientists, the fly-fishing community and National Geographic to expose the complex relationships between Kamchatka, its people and its fisheries.

Lucky for you Tahoe Mountain Sports Blog readers, on the team was Jay Gifford (second from left in the above photo), a college buddy of mine, who took the time to answer a few questions for our Adventure of the Week series, just days before he returned home to Hood River, Oregon, in late July.

As part of the project, the team filmed an adventure documentary, collected valuable scientific data for researchers and are organizing a speaking tour. So look for big things from these guys coming soon!

Tell us about your travels…

We departed Seattle on the 28th of June and traveled for three days through 19 time zones via Moscow eventually landing in PKC (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatkiy).

What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen/done so far?

Where to start? Two things that pop in my mind first are our return from the Semiylicheck River and day four fishing on the Zhuponova River (seen from a helicopter in the photo above).

After spending four days paddling the Semaliyach from its source to the sea, we finally hit the north pacific where we met our sailboat and Russian crew sitting in the bay. After dinner we began our 24-hour ride back to PKC. Our captain explained that we would have wind to sail but no one was prepared for the next day ahead of us. We quickly had our sails filled with 40 knots as we were tossed in the 15-foot seas. Gear came crashing out the kitchen as the crew and captain continually looked for a place to dispose of their dinner. Being tossed through out the night made me feel as if I was stuck in a pin ball machine as we weathered the storm… 19 hours later we emerged and completed our voyage back to PKC.

We had been invited to film a segment of “Monster Fish”  TV show with IFA, a production company working for National Geographic TV, on arguably the most coveted fly-fishing rivers in the world, the Zhuponova. On day four of the Zhuponova we had ventured as far into the canyon as our veteran guide had ever been… As our group staged in the final canyon and peered downstream we could see nothing more than crashing whitewater with a small calm pool sitting several hundred yards below. Our crew of kayakers set off into the canyon planning to radio up to our guide and film crew providing them with information and hopefully a line through the first rapid. The rapid was straight forward, but in the middle of the rapid we encountered a massive brown bear fishing with her two cubs… At this point we had seen a handful of bears on the trip, which had all quickly scurried off (to our relief) as soon as they saw us. But, this mother walked away for a second and then quickly returned to her rock and continued to fish for Sockeye salmon on the edge of this rapid. We sat in amazement as this Kamchatka brown bear continued to fish as her three cubs waited patiently. After a few minutes we called down the rafts, and the mother continued to fish and provide course after course for her family. Sitting at one of the narrowest points of the river with steep walls on both sides watching this brown bear fish for her family is the most amazing scene I have ever witnessed. We remained on the bank for almost three hours watching her family fish, eat, fight and play. I still can not articulate the experience, but feel privileged to have had that time there.


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