February 11th, 2016 By admin
TMS Ambassador Mike Tebbutt breaks in Scarpa’s new Freedom SL boot at the Benson Hut
By Mike Tebbutt
Scarpa Freedom SL Ski Boots
First off, I have to say that I was really impressed with Nick’s knowledge of Tahoe Mountain Sports’ selection of boots and making sure I got the best boot for me.
That boot is the Scarpa Freedom SL. I definitely wanted a stiffer boot than the 10-year-old Garmont G-ride I was replacing, but still keeping the lighter weight and cozy feel of a backcountry boot. I had a few short days on the Freedoms so far and they were breaking in nicely, yet they still needed a true test and a trip to the Benson Hut would certainly suffice.
The Scarpa Freedom SL’s performed amazingly for me all weekend. They are stiff enough to provide the added performance I was looking for in a boot, especially in steep and heads up terrain. They are super comfy on the uphills with many micro adjustments that you can make to customize them to your liking. I look forward to visiting Nick again soon at TMS to have the liners cooked for a little extra custom fit!
Benson Hut on the ridge of Anderson Peak overlooking Coldstream Canyon and the town of Truckee. See more photos below in the gallery.
Hut life really is about as good as it gets. My most recent trip was far too short, arriving shortly before dark with just enough time to drop my monstrous pack and make a few turns on the west slope heading into the sunset and then needing to be back to civilization by the following night, yet it filled my soul with the same feeling as if I’d been out there all week. Good time with good friends, old and new, celebrating Sam’s 40th birthday.
After hauling my 70-pound pack that included a case of beer and a fancy Johnnie Walker sampler case for 3.5 non-stop hours that included 2000 feet of elevation gain and 1000 feet of descent, I arrived nearly broken, forgetting how hard the Benson Hut is to get to. Sam said that is why he chose it as it is the hardest of the four local huts to get to, even if you take the lift up to the top of Mt Lincoln at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort.
EARNING THE TURNS
Naturally, I dumbly refused the lift pass being offered to me to ride to the top, saying that I owed it to Sam and his general style to earn every inch, and spent the afternoon cursing my poor approach choices. The Freedom SL’s were great on this challenging approach, with plenty of flexibility and comfort, and also provided more than enough stability on the ups and downs to handle the extra 70 pounds on my back.
Everyone else had been out there since the day before or arrived early enough to go out for the “after lunch” tour and were satiated with powder. They told tales of the day’s skiing and I recalled my sunset low angle powder turns and sufferfest approach while we began to drink all of the extra weight I and the others had carried out. Always a generous host, Sam whipped up a tasty communal dinner. As tired as we all were, the festivities went late and may or may not have included a midnight assault on the summit of Mt. Anderson.
In addition to being the most difficult to get to, the Benson Hut is the only hut where (unless you go for the Anderson summit) you ski your downhill lap right from the front door. Some of the rowdiest skiing of all the huts is located just downhill to the east, including a natural hole through a cliff with a steep and narrow entrance into a hard dogleg right through the hole. Fortunately, Sam and crew had been out skiing that terrain the day before, so they had spotted all of the landmarks we needed to navigate through the many cliffs. After a couple of attention grabbing laps in the steeps to start the day, we finished with some really fun low angle powder in the trees, cutting it a little shorter than we would have liked to make sure we still had time to trek back out before dark.
We skinned back up to the hut, finished packing, drank our final beer and raced the setting sun back to the top of Sugar Bowl. We almost made it — thank goodness for my Black Diamond Spot!
TMS Ambassador Mike Tebbutt is an avid backcountry skier and adventure runner and member of the Donner Party Mountain Runners. Follow Mike on Instagram at @irontebby.
Benson Hut on the ridge of Anderson Peak overlooking Coldstream Canyon and the town of Truckee.
The steep terrain we skied below and east of the hut. Notice the hole in the rock just to the right of center at the top of the photo and the 60-foot free-hanging ice column to the left that awaits a first ascent!
Sam skinning back up for a second lap in the steeps.
January 25th, 2016 By Jamie Bate
Tahoe Mountain Sports caught up with three-time Olympian Katerina Nash as she was preparing to teach a Nordic clinic at Royal Gorge
TRUCKEE — If the prospect of taking a ski lesson with an Olympian is a little intimidating, Katerina Nash says to have no fear.
Tahoe Mountain Sports recently caught up with Nash, a three-time Olympian, as she was preparing for one of her frequent trips between Truckee and the Bay Area. She was headed to the first of her two intermediate skate ski clinics she’s leading at Royal Gorge, with clinic two set for Feb. 27.
In addition to being a three-time Olympian for the Czech Republic — Nordic skiing at Nagano in 1988 and Salt Lake City in 2002 — and mountain biking at the 2012 London games, Nash notched three NCAA Nordic championships during her years at the University of Nevada, Reno and Colorado.
Closer to home, Nash is a two-time winner of the Great Ski Race between Tahoe City and Truckee. Along with her upcoming ski plans (including the Great Race on March 6), we wanted to know what 2016 has in store on the bike for her and the LUNA Pro Team.
TMS: You’ll be leading the second of your two intermediate skate ski clinics Feb. 27 at Royal Gorge: After competing in two winter Olympics, what motivates you to go out and teach a class to folks who may not have huge — or any — competitive aspirations or who are just trying to sort out their V1 and V2 technique?
KN: Technique is a major part of cross-country skiing and even the racers are always working on it. It feels good to share some of my knowledge and it’s always good to have an excuse to go skiing for the weekend!
TMS: Considering your Olympic résumé and your continuing career as a professional cyclist, do some people come into your clinics a little intimidated? What can people expect from a clinic?
KN: I hope not. I think once they meet me they are fine. Expect a lot of technique and some drills and hopefully some skiing at the end. Mainly we just chat and ski a little and share a few tips on how to become a more efficient skier.
Katerina Nash on her way to winning the inaugural 2015 CrossReno cyclocross race.
TMS: What are your fondest memories from your competitive skiing years — Olympics, World Championships, World Cups?
KN: I really liked Nagano Olympics, a couple of Junior World Champs and also college skiing. It was all fun and now I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on it. I really appreciate the time I spent ski racing. I still love to ski and hope to do lot more of it once done racing bikes. I like all kinds of skiing, but backcountry is probably my favorite.
TMS: How did skiing set up your professional cycling career?
KN: From overall strength and toughness to really good endurance and speed. It gave me a unique set of skills that have helped to be successful in multiple cycling disciplines.
TMS: Speaking of cycling, what are your plans for the 2016 season? Any surprises on tap like the Enduro World Series or Red Bull Rampage!?
KN: Cross-country mountain bike World Cup, cross-country World Championships and more cyclocross, but not until the fall of 2016. I’d like to continue to explore more variety of mountain bike racing, but this year is looking pretty cross-country oriented for the LUNA Pro Team, and therefore for me as well. I’m very sure to confirm that I’ll never do Rampage!
TMS: LUNA Pro Team General Manager Dave McLaughin won the men’s Great Ski Race a couple of times and you’ve won it too. Head-to-head this March, who would cross the line first?
KN: Me! Dave may have 100 more days of skiing but I have the racing fitness. I sort of hope to jump into it this year again after years of not having the Great Ski race. Maybe you should talk Dave into it and then we would really see who can take it.
January 14th, 2016 By Jamie Bate
Final installment of three-part series presented by Ortovox delves into avalanche airbag packs
On Jan. 27, the final installment of Tahoe Mountain Sports’ free 2015-16 Avy Education Series wraps up with “Avalanche Airbag Sessions.”
With El Niño delivering epic days in the backcountry, Tahoe Mountain Sports’ continuing Avalanche Education Series is not only educational but timely.
On Jan. 27, the final installment of Tahoe Mountain Sports’ free 2015-16 Avy Education Series wraps up with “Avalanche Airbag Sessions,” presented by Ortovox. The night’s highlight will be the “Rep War,” where representatives from major airbag companies debate each other on who makes superior airbag systems. A season-ending raffle supporting Sierra Avalanche Center will follow with the grand prize of a Mammut airbag pack ($900 value) highlighting the evening.
In addition to free, hands-on activities, TMS will offer special, in-store deals during the Jan. 27 event.
While the series is not intended to be an end-all education on avalanche safety, it is an exceptional opportunity to learn directly from Truckee-Tahoe’s resident mountain experts and local non-profits, such as the Sierra Avalanche Center.
The event is free and held at Tahoe Mountain Sports; 11200 Donner Pass Rd. in Truckee. Doors open at 6 p.m. Program starts at 6:30 p.m.
Part 3 – Avalanche Airbag Sessions – Rep War & Party
Weds Jan. 27, 2016 6:30 p.m.
Learn the physics behind avalanche airbag packs and understand the differences between passive and active backcountry safety gear. The night’s highlight will be the “Rep War,” where representatives from major airbag companies debate each other on who makes superior airbag systems. TMS will offer free exchanges of all air or gas cylinders this night only in an effort to practice and to test your system. A season-ending raffle supporting Sierra Avalanche Center will follow with the grand prize of a Mammut airbag pack ($900 value) highlighting the evening. Ortovox presents this event with additional support from The North Face, Black Diamond, Mammut and Backcountry Access (BCA).
January 6th, 2016 By admin
Tahoe Mountain Sports and Tahoe Mountain School want backcountry users to upgrade their skills, shop local, learn local and ski like a local
TRUCKEE, CA — The backcountry is beckoning with epic Sierra snow, and for the second year in a row Tahoe Mountain Sports and Tahoe Mountain School are partnering to keep adventurers well equipped and safe.
For the 2015-2016 winter, Tahoe Mountain School will offer a full avalanche education program at Tahoe Mountain Sports’ store in Truckee. Those attending any of the courses this winter will be able to rent top-of-the-line backcountry ski gear from Tahoe Mountain Sports at a discounted rate of $99 for the course weekend.
“We are excited to partner with the Tahoe Mountain School because it allows us to offer great outdoor experiences and educational opportunities before or after you get outfitted in new gear,” said Dave Polivy, owner of Tahoe Mountain Sports. “Our customers are always asking where they can take their Avy 1 class and now they don’t even have to leave the store.”
Tahoe Mountain School was founded by Steve Reynaud, who started the school to provide professional avalanche education to the backcountry community. Classes offer low student-to-guide ratios with hands-on experience and decision making to develop the skills the backcountry skier will need to be safer in the mountains.
The partnership between Tahoe Mountain School and Tahoe Mountain Sports allows those wanting to upgrade their backcountry skills to shop local, learn local and ski like a local.
Level 1 avalanche courses for the 2015-16 season are $399 and include three-day/24-hour class and field introduction to avalanche hazard management, an American Institute for Avalanche Research & Education Field Blue Book, AIARE student manual and use of Ortovox avalanche safety equipment.
Polivy said Ortovox’s support of the courses provides an opportunity for people to try packs, shovels, beacons and probes before they buy. Ortovox, a leading avalanche safety and outdoor apparel company, has provided the avalanche safety gear to Tahoe Mountain School so every student is equipped with the newest gear on the market.
2015-16 Avalanche Course dates
• 1/8-1/11. Level 2 Avalanche Course
• 1/16-1/18. Level 1 Avalanche Course
• 1/22-1/24 Level 1 Avalanche Course
• 2/13-2/15 Level 1 Avalanche Course
• 2/19-2/21 Level 1 Avalanche Course
• 3/4-3/6 Level 1 Avalanche Course
For more information and complete schedule check out:
December 28th, 2015 By admin
By Michelle Shea
Grab your pack shovel and get creative with these five tips for cooking with one of your essential pieces of backcountry gear. Whether you’re looking to dig a snow pit or dig into a snow-camp meal, Tahoe Mountain Sports has a variety of backcountry shovels to choose from for your next adventure.
Use your shovel to build a fire when the ground is wet or covered with snow. First, line thin, dry pieces of timber along the base of your shovel and spread a Vaseline-soaked cotton ball over the timber. Next make a pyramid of timber around the base. Light the cotton ball and let the flame build. When the flame is steady and you’re ready, slowly pull the shovel from the fire and try not to disturb the structure (think of a magician pulling a table cloth from a set table). When the shovel is free and clear, add additional timber and larger dry wood pieces to build your fire.
Speaking of fires and shovels, your backcountry shovel makes a great tool for flipping and grabbing food from your fire pit. There’s no need to carry extra tools for cooking on a backcountry fire; your shovel does it all. You can also use the shovel to fan the fire to build the flames.
Who needs a lid when you have a shovel to throw over your pot!? The light “u” shape molds perfectly to any size pot.
Use your shovel as a cooling tray to make backcountry treats, like these “Bear Scat Cookies.” You can heat and bind your ingredients with a backcountry stove and then cool your goop directly on your shovel’s non-stick surface to make delicious cookies without an oven.
Cool leftovers and make dessert with a shovel and snow. Dig a shallow hole in the snow. Lay shovel with leftovers on shovel surface in the snow and cover with aluminum foil. Cover the shovel with a light layer of snow and remove when food reaches your desired temperature. This is especially great for making desserts when you’re staying in a warm hut. Try ice cream, pumpkin peanut butter bars, or frozen fruit treats.
For more creative backcountry recipes visit www.adventurediningguide.com
This post comes from Guest Blogger Michelle Shea. Michelle lives at Lake Tahoe and is the host/creator of the outdoor series Adventure Dining Guide. She created Adventure Dining Guide because “food is the unrecognized hero of our journeys, and it’s about time backcountry meals get the recognition they deserve”. Learn more at www.adventurediningguide.com
December 19th, 2015 By admin
It may be snowing in the Sierra, but that didn’t keep TMS Ambassador Rachel McCullough from heading to warmer climes to climb
Rachel McCullough is 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 McCullough, Garrett
What: Rock climbing
Where: Kalymnos Island, Greece
When: November 2015
Sunset view of Telendos. This island got separated from the island of Kalymnos following an earthquake hundreds of years ago.
I was at the top of my warm-up route and enjoying the view. The view of poop. Right next to my fingers, 60 feet off the ground on a near vertical wall. These goats really don’t specialize in making you feel good about lugging around a bunch of heavy climbing gear halfway across the world and jumping on your first route. I did learn quickly. Check holds for poop before committing.
We were climbing on limestone, which is very different than the Tahoe and Yosemite granite I am used to.
Can you find me? I am about halfway up the photo in turquoise.
Instead of smooth cracks, I found sharp and jagged slots, nice pockets formed by water drops, no fall zone cheese grater slabs and these strange broccoli-head type features that seemed glued onto the rock. Then there were the million holds but no holds. At least that’s what I called them. The water eroded away much of the surface leaving small features sticking out everywhere. But they all seemed just a little too small for your hands or feet, making it hard to figure out which, if any, would be secure enough to use.
The nice thing about arriving in Greece in November from Tahoe is that it is warm. Like 70 degrees and humid warm, which might actually be considered too warm for someone with Tahoe blood. I sported t-shirts, while the mostly European crowd dressed in puffy jackets. Not just a light layer, but the really big puffy jackets with hoods. The kind of jacket I might consider for a trip to the Arctic.
Enjoying the warm weather on a hike.
Kalymnos is known for its well-protected sport climbing. Most crags have amazing views of the Aegean Sea. And I guess they have seen too many tourists mistakenly climb the wrong route, since the name and sometimes grade of each route is written on the rock right at the bottom of the route.
Most people got around on motorbikes, but in true form, we walked everywhere. It made us feel like we were at home and just like in Truckee, people seemed uncomfortable with the fact that we didn’t have motorized transport (or maybe we just looked completely worked), so we were offered rides by locals and tourists alike. We didn’t want to seem weak though, so we held out until the last day when the sun went down during our final mile back to our place.
Here’s a photo tour of our adventure.
View from the base of one of the crags.
I am going to wreck this cool photo for everyone. I am about 10 feet off the ground and not even on belay. Some days there weren’t any other climbers at the crags, so we had to get creative with picture taking.
These lovely goats left “presents” for us on the slabby climbs. Sometimes they also try to knock rocks down from the top of cliffs onto climbers below.
This used to be an underground cave. It collapsed a long time ago and now has lots of “3D” climbing on tufas and stalactites.
View from our apartment. This is what we woke up to every morning. No complaints!
A little too cold for a beach day, but gorgeous nonetheless.
Got a stiff neck from looking up at your belayer? Just turn around and look at this instead!
Acropolis and the Parthenon. This whole place was undergoing restoration and there is scaffolding everywhere. At first I thought we just had bad timing, but this has been going on for about 30 years.
Somehow I got a photo without scaffolding or other tourists. Actually I know how. Get jet-lagged and be the first one there at dawn. You’ll have enough time for one photo like this before the crowds descend on the place.
The original Olympic Stadium for the 1896 Olympics in Athens. The seats are all marble and the adjacent museum is filled with Olympic torches.
December 10th, 2015 By Todd
We’re throwing a party. For you. Because you are
To say thank you to the amazing Truckee-Tahoe community for a great first year in our new location, and for shopping local all year long, we are hosting our first annual Community Appreciation Day!
Come party with us!
December 16, 2015
10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
A full day of special events will include:
- exclusive one-day only sales
- brand giveaways at the door
- free gifts with purchase
- a Spin-To-Win style outlet sale – win even bigger discounts!
- a Kids Station to keep them busy while you shop
- adult holiday refreshments
Customers are encouraged to bring in any lightly used winter clothing for donation to the “Winter Warmth and Wellness” charity drive. Items will be passed along to those in need of warm clothing in the coming months. Bring in a winter jacket for donation to receive 25% off any full price jacket in the store.
Pick up a Shop Local Holiday Contest card to enter to win a cash prize or an 8-day vacation at one of four incredible destinations.
Join the TMS Rewards program to earn points that can be redeemed for future store credit.
“The one-day clothing drive will really help out people in our community so we encourage everyone to pull out all those extra layers they never wear anymore,” David Polivy, owner of Tahoe Mountain Sports, said. “Plus, it’s going to be a fun day to shop, a great way to support local business, and it allows us to say Thank You to this community for supporting us all year long.”
See the Facebook event page
December 4th, 2015 By admin
Before heading out to one of Truckee-Tahoe’s many XC-ski resorts or to snowshoe, stop by Tahoe Mountain Sports to stock up on gear
Yep, thanks to a quick-moving storm that rolled through Truckee-Tahoe Thursday night there’s even more snow on the ground now. That means all the big downhill resorts are getting the attention. But for those who prefer skinny skis the area’s gems are open for business too.
But before you head out to Tahoe Donner Cross Country, Royal Gorge, Auburn Ski Club or Tahoe XC be sure to stop into Tahoe Mountain Sports for all your cross-country ski gear.
And if you just wanna hike out in the snowy woods, TMS sells and rents a variety of snowshoes from racing models to snowshoes for kids.
CONDITIONS AT THE XC-RESORTS
As of Dec. 4, there are 20 groomed trails open at Tahoe Donner Cross-country with 20km of skate and striding skiing available. Unfortunately there are no dog trails or fatbiking trails open so far. Check out tahoedonner.com for more information and grooming updates.
Also as of Dec. 4, Royal Gorge up on Donner Summit is open with a total of 17km of groomed skate and striding trails. As with Tahoe Donner dog trails are not ready yet. For more information on passes and grooming reports, go to royal gorge.com
According to the Auburn Ski Club Training Center’s website, they saw about 10 inches of new snow overnight and have about 10km of single track and some double track open. Additional loops are being added each day to their trail system.
Over on the north shore, Tahoe XC saw 5 inches of new snow with the latest weather front and is snowmobile packing its trails. But “please no dogs until further notice,” they say. Find out more here.
December 1st, 2015 By Jamie Bate
WHAT: Ladies Night shopping & screening of Pretty Faces, an all-female ski film
WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 3 2015 — 6:30 p.m./TMS Facebook Event Info
WHERE: Tahoe Mountain Sports, 11200 Donner Pass Rd. E5 Truckee 530-536-5200
WHY: Get stoked for a snowy winter, shop great holiday deals and support the Tahoe Food Hub
TRUCKEE, CA — Tahoe Mountain Sports continues its Ladies Night sessions on Dec. 3 with a free screening of Pretty Faces, an all-female ski and adventure sport film that will fan Sierra snow fever in all who attend.
The evening is presented by Patagonia and TMS with all raffle proceeds and a portion of event-night store specials going to the Tahoe Food Hub, a non-profit organization working to build a regional food system for North Lake Tahoe.
On event night attendees will not only enjoy the film, snacks and drinks, there will be storewide savings and special deals on women’s specific apparel, footwear and gear. With the holidays approaching this is a great evening to take care of gifts for the adventure-minded people on your gift list.
Free and open to the public, the Pretty Faces film was created by professional skier Lynsey Dyer to offer young girls role models and inspiration to explore the outdoors. The film also highlights the pioneer athletes of women’s adventure sport while showcasing Mother Nature in all her glory.
The screening of the film is another event where TMS, Patagonia and the Tahoe Food Hub have partnered to further each other’s missions of engaging the local community and to give back during this holiday season.
“Tahoe Mountain Sports was our first community partner when we launched in November 2012,” said Susie Sutphin, director of Tahoe Food Hub. “Each year we look forward to partnering with them on a community event to help share our mission with more people and engage them in our service work to build a sustainable foodshed for North Lake Tahoe.”
The Tahoe Food Hub works to increase access to nutritious, ecologically grown food by creating a network of regional farms within 100-miles of North Lake Tahoe and connecting them to restaurants, small grocers, schools and hospitals. The organization is also exploring ways to grow food locally using four-season growing techniques at its Sierra Agroecology Center in Truckee. For more information check out tahoefoodhub.org.
November 23rd, 2015 By Jamie Bate
Part 2 of Avalanche Education Series set for Dec. 9 with final installment Jan. 27
TRUCKEE — Tahoe Mountain Sports hosted a full house on Nov. 18 for the first installment of its 2015-16 Avalanche Education Series.
With a lineup of experts that included NOAA meteorologist Zach Tolby, Don Triplat from the Sierra Avalanche Center and Steve Reynaud from the Tahoe Mountain School, attendees of the first-of-three avy ed sessions were briefed on what El Niño could mean for the Sierra as well as avalanche basics.
KTVN out of Reno was in the house with a live shoot for the evening’s broadcast. Check out the station’s recap of the event.
The free, three-part series presented by Ortovox continues on Dec. 9 with the “Beacons and Beers” session. For more information about part 2, check out the TMS Facebook page. Experts will go over basic transceiver and shovel use and group-rescue strategies. Attendees will break into small groups for outdoor beacon practice including burial scenarios. In addition to in-store discounts, TMS can update Ortovox, Mammut, Barryvox and Pieps transceivers for $5 on event night.
Part 3 of the series takes place on Jan. 27. For more information about part 3, check out the TMS Facebook page. The evening will focus on the physics behind avalanche airbag packs and understanding the differences between passive and active backcountry safety gear. TMS will offer free exchanges of all air or gas cylinders on event night only to practice and to test systems. A season-ending raffle supporting Sierra Avalanche Center will follow with the grand prize of a Mammut airbag pack ($900 value) highlighting the evening.
While the series is not intended to be an end-all education on avalanche safety, it is an exceptional opportunity to learn directly from Truckee-Tahoe’s resident mountain guides, avalanche safety instructors, meteorologists and local non-profits, such as the Sierra Avalanche Center.