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Posts Tagged ‘tahoe’

Vibram Shoes – Comfortable Enough You Could Outrun A Gazelle

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Stan Powers, from Washington, was kind enough to contribute this review to Tahoe Mountain Sports. Stan swears by his Vibram Five Fingers and hopes to persuade more runners to fall in line.

Vibram shoesI was actually turned on to Vibram Shoes by my eye doctor who runs in them almost daily. He has run half-marathons and will be doing a marathon in them soon. They seem to come from the philosophy that the native Africans and Australians had to run miles and miles to run down their prey. Gazelles, as well as other animals, tend to overheat when they run too much because they have no means of sweating. It’s amazing, really – these natives have no arch supports or Salomon running shoes! By running on the toes of your feet and letting your them absorb the shock, versus landing with all that impact on your heels, you don’t send the shocks directly up your leg.  This helps to prevent knee and hip pain both now and in the future.

Converting to Vibram Shoes is not easy, but totally worth it! I had some pretty nasty foot pain develop when I first started trail running in my Vibrams, but in time the pain went away. The only thing I must recommend, as you’ve probably heard from others, is to break your finger shoes in slowly. Our foot muscles, tendons and ligaments tend to degenerate over years of non-use. I got a bit too aggressive because the shoes felt so liberating and seemed to provide infinite energy, so I ran further than I likely should have on my third time out. The result – a small fracture in one of the top bones coming from my fourth toe. I stayed away from running for a month or so. That was difficult, but worth it, and I have been more than happy with my new shoes ever since.

I ran my first 10K in them at the ocean in July. It was fun watching all those footprints deep in the sand in front of me, but looking behind me I noticed I hardly left a trail at all. I was able to run a 10K in under one hour comfortably, which was a first for me. I suggest these Vibram shoes to anyone who runs! Why fight what we are naturally made to do?

 

 

 

 

True Love: Trail Running The Sierra

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Guest: Ryan
Running in the Sierra is a treat when it comes to trail running. The awesome views and developed trails are both reasons why I love running here.

My Story:

I wasn’t really a trail runner to begin with, or a runner for that matter,  in fact, I hated running especially on pavement in cities. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I was exposed to trail running. A group of friends and I were finishing up a scramble mission in the Mt Whitney Zone and upon reaching the summit we preceded to run the Mt Whitney Trail. After summiting three peaks and traveling an unknown amount of miles we found our selves with beer and Portal Burgers in hand, a glorious end to a long day in the mountains. After this trail running experience I was hooked.

From that moment on I make it a yearly goal to make it above 14,000 feet. This pilgrimage started my love of trail running and living in Tahoe leaves endless miles of trails to run. The graded trails, especially the more popular trails like the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) for example, are graded so much that it can be done riding a mule. Sections of the PCT that run through Desolation Wilderness are some of my favorite. In some cases on the PCT you will encounter large stone stairs, yes a lovely stone staircase in woods. This type of human development is what makes these types of high traffic trails perfect for trail running. Long gradual down hills and up hills, swooping around the contours of the Sierra make up most of the development in the Northern Trails system. While there are many sections that do not fit this description and have much steeper up hill and down hill sections, these are mostly avoidable due to the remoteness of the section of trail.

Everyone I know who runs, has their own little circuit that they run on a regular basis. These circuits are great for a quick run before work, or a beautiful sunset run in the evening, but after running a trail a couple of times I find those circuits to be a little monotonous. A case of tree vision usually sets in and my motivation to run fades. That’s why I like running with a general goal in mind, like running to a summit or lake for example. Setting a goal like this can really help motivate you when on a trail run, especially a longer run. Sometimes I’ll even bring a small fly rod to check out new water and add a little variety to the days run. Catching fish and a work out is a win-win.

A rewarding aspect of trail running is the distance covered, as well as the elevation gain and loss, one experiences when running in the Sierras. I love looking down ridge lines and seeing the trail snake it’s way around the contours of the mountains. Approaching the tops of passes is also exciting, especially if you are unfamiliar with what features lay beyond it. The amount of elevation gain and loss gives a sense of the work put in for those spectacular views. Being able to see the lower elevation start of a run from the high point gives you a sense of the vertical attained, no place makes this more apparent than the Eastern Sierra mountains along the 395 corridor. The amount of vertical relief is astounding down in this section of the Sierra as well.

Running in the Sierra is also a bit of a game. There is a saying in the Sierra “If you don’t like the weather wait an hour.” This couldn’t be truer during the later summer and fall months in the Sierra. Thunderclouds can build rapidly and cause a down pour when, in the first half of the day, the sun was shining. These types of weather changes give a natural time clock for your run. Trying to bag a peak? Better make sure you beat the thunderclouds there first! Racing thunderstorms can be  fun, or terrifying, in the High Sierra especially above tree line. In most cases you can see the storms coming, but if your unlucky they can build in no time and really catch you by surprise.  Finding yourself above tree line during such events would fall under the terrifying category, but running just bellow tree line can be quite fun. Personally, I love running in the rain, the thunder and lighting shows can be spectacular!

What ever your motivation is to trail run, take it and run with it!

 

Salomon XR Sensibelt
Salomon XR Sensibelt
MSRP: $39.95
Gu Energy Gel
Gu Energy Gel
MSRP: $89.95


TMS and Boreas Introduce The Pack Tester Adventure Team!

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Boreas Gear is an exciting new outdoor equipment company that states that “The best gear is neither complicated nor expensive yet as versatile as the person using it.” The undercurrent here is that Boreas has figured out the secret formula for such gear, or, at least, is working hard to find that formula.  How does a new company find the secret ingredients that it needs to be the best? It partners with Tahoe Mountain Sports to put together a pack testing adventure team! This team will be responsible for testing and providing real world feedback on the stylish backpacks. Who are the lucky seven  that have been chosen for the pack testing team, you ask? Let’s meet them, shall we?

Introducing The TMS/Boreas Pack Tester Adventure Team!

 

Name:  Ted Teske

Pack Testing: Buttermilk 55

“My job requires that I travel to some fairly remote and inhospitable locations. I’m always looking for gear that can keep me organized, dry in the field and stand up to the “not so gently” rigors of modern travel. Boreas packs interest me with their flexible  sleek designs that seem to hide the rugged construction under their well thought out features and aesthetics. We’ll see!”

 

 

Name: Andy Pattison

Pack Testing: Buttermilk 55

“I spend at least 2-4 weeks on the trails every year. As a result, I have become picky about packs and gear. This is why I am very excited to be a pack tester for the Boreas Buttermilk 55 and why I’m looking forward to checking it out during the second half of my honeymoon this fall.”

 

 

Name: Michael Detwiler

Pack Testing:  Repack 15

“I own a few Dakine packs and they have treated me well over the years. I’m interested in testing out a different brand to see what more modern-designs and different manufacturers have to offer. When I’m on my bike the Dakine packs seem to flop around a bit, I’m hoping the Boreas pack fits a bit more snug.”

 

 

Name: Adam Tirella

Pack Testing:  Lost Coast 60

“As someone who works at a job involving the outdoors, being able to play around with new gear is one of my favorite perks. I especially like the opportunities I get to try and support new brands that are pushing the envelope as far as form and function goes. I know firsthand, Boreas is one of those companies!”

 

 

Name: Anne Greenwood

Pack Testing: Lost Coast 60 Women’s

“I am working on completing the Tahoe Rim Trail this summer.  I have been solo backpacking and find my Gregory Pack to be like hoisting a bag of bricks onto my back. I am really looking to lighten up so I can move faster and not feel so broken after three-four days. I did get my pack down from 49 lbs (ouch!) to 28lbs, and I think the Boreas pack will get me down to 22….a very reasonable load! I may actually be able to bring a stove!”

 

 

 

 

Name: Sandy Jean Borden

Pack Testing: Lost Coast 60 Women’s

“I’m a gear junkie! I’m always critiquing and analyzing gear this is why I’m excited about this opportunity to share my experience with a Boreas Pack. Practicality, durability, comfort and unique features will be what I will be checking out and reporting on!”

 

 

Name: Mike Rommel

Pack Testing: Lost Coast 60

“The reason I would like to test Boreas Packs is that the pack looks innovative in design, contour and light in weight. I will be testing the pack on a full day high alpine, multi-pitch climb in the Palisades at Temple Crag. I look forward to the pack being comfortable with its ergonomic design.”

 

For the next month, these courageous testers will be embarking on grand adventures with their Boreas packs, giving them the ultimate “real world” challenge. Will these packs hold up against the vigors of our  outdoor adventure test team, or will  Boreas  actually wear out our mighty seven? Regardless of the outcome, this test can only make the world of outdoor adventure, a lot stronger.  Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of the Boreas/TMS Pack Challenge!

See Previous Post “Gear Testers Wanted: Boreas Backpacks”

Top 10 spots to watch the Amgen Tour of California in Tahoe and Truckee

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

For six years, the top professionals of cycling have tackled the winding roads of California in a Tour de France–style race with diverse challenges and amazing scenery. This year, the race kicks off at Lake Tahoe, and goes through Truckee on day 2. All we can say is, what took them so long? Our region’s breathtaking landscapes, exhilarating roads and athletic culture fit perfectly with this world-class event.

With that in mind, we’ve been working on a list of places to watch the world’s top cyclists compete for the leaders’ jerseys in their different disciplines.


Top scenic spots:

Emerald Bay: It’s going to be tough to beat Emerald Bay for a great shot of the peleton (cycling speak for pack) snaking its way up the switchbacks of Highway 89.  Located on Highway 89 between Homewood and South Lake Tahoe. Bonus: Racers will go by twice. What to bring: you’ll have to stake out a spot early here, so bring a Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover to stay warm in the early morning hours.

Cave Rock: The East Shore’s famous cave rock also offers spectacular scenery on Lake Tahoe’s shore. Spectators who started in South Lake Tahoe may migrate here, so finding the best view may require some hiking or scrambling. We recommend The North Face Crestone hiking shoes to get you to the perfect spot sure-footedly.

Tahoe Mountain Sports: Yes, of course we’re in our own list, but for good reason. Located right across the street from the beach, you can’t beat the scenery, and racers will pass on their way back to South Lake Tahoe, and around the corner on their way up Highway 267 on the way to the Northstar-at-Tahoe finish. Bonus: easy access to supplies in case you didn’t dress right for the weather.

Truckee Mousehole: Truckee is putting on “The King of the Mousehole” competition on day two, where the first rider to sprint through the Mousehole (the Highway 89 undercrossing tunnel of the railroad) wins points and the title of king, guaranteeing nail-biting action for spectators.  Fans are sure to be cheering loudly here, so bring a Summit Bugle Bulb Horn to add to the din of excitement.

Donner Summit: Snaking their way up Old Highway 40 on day two, racers will be competing for King of the Mountain points at the top. They’ll cross the iconic Rainbow Bridge with Donner Lake in the background and under Donner Peak. Grab a Thermarest Trail Seat to stay warm and comfy sitting on the rocks.

Party picks:

Homewood/West Shore Cafe: With not one but two chances to watch the racers go by, Homewood resort and the West Shore Cafe across the street will be prime viewing locations with lots going on. Park for free at Homewood’s North Lodge, grab barbecue from the West Short Cafe, hit up the beer garden for craft brews, listen to live music by Boogaloo and compete in a race-inspired costume contest. Lodging packages are available.

Blue Onion Cafe: Kings Beach is another two-fer place to party. Cyclists go through Kings Beach once on the way back to South Lake Tahoe (lap 1) and turn right past the Blue Onion on the way to Northstar-at-Tahoe (lap 2). Live music, food, kids activities and much more are on tap for this local favorite cafe.

Northstar-at-Tahoe: The finish line for day one of the Tour of California, Northstar is no stranger to bicycle racing. The Village at Northstar offers a plethora of viewing locations and all the amenities. A festival expo, live music, a bike fit clinic, live TV viewing of the race and, of course, the dramatic finish are just a few offerings on the schedule.

Squaw Valley USA: True to its Olympic heritage, Squaw Valley starts off day two of the Amgen Tour of California. Watch the riders sign in under the Olympic Rings in the Village before they hit the road. Keep up with all the action with live coverage on the Jumbotron, enjoy live music and then go skiing for just $39!

Mountain Hardware & Sports: After racers speed up Highway 89 from Squaw Valley along the Truckee River, they’ll make a sweeping turn into Truckee, right past Mountain Hardware & Sports on the corner of Donner Pass Road. Live music and more will keep you entertained while you wait for the racers to arrive.

Want more? Here’s a complete list of the Amgen Tour of California events around Lake Tahoe.

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