Meet the Tahoe Mountain Sports Giveaway Finalists!

Holy entries!  This giveaway had the most entries to date for Action Sports Now with over 200!  After narrowing the field to around 30 semi finalists, we randomly picked 15 finalists to compete for this amazing giveaway.  Voting starts, Monday, February 13th at 12pm EST.  All you have to do to vote is go to Tahoe Mountain Sports’ Facebook page, “Like” Tahoe Mountain Sports, click the left hand poll button or the link on their wall, and vote for your favorite entry.  Whoever has the most votes on Sunday, February 19th at 5pm EST will be our winner.  The winner will take home the following:

Deuter Freerider Pro 30 Ski/Snowboard Pack
Deuter Freerider Pro 28 SL Women’s Ski/Snowboard Pack
Contour Roam Helmet Camera
Hestra Ski/Snowboard Gloves, the Army Leather Wool
Hestra Ski/Snowboard Gloves, the Henrik Pro
– $100 Tahoe Mountain Sports Gift Certificate, useable online or in store
– Apple Red Special Edition iPod Shuffle, 1GB
Check out the finalists’ entries below and good luck to everyone!!!

The Sierra Nevada Mountains are my favorite place to play. So many memories from hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, snowboarding, 4 wheeling; I could go on and on.  I will continue to visit the Sierras with my kids and hopefully they will appreciate the amazing beauty of the mountains, rivers and lakes.

This is more of a love hate relationship, but a year ago I attempted to summit a mountain in Bolivia named Illimani.  It was my first ever real summit attempt and it was a blast.  I made it to around the 6000 meter mark and had to turn back.  It got me hooked on mountaineering.  Unfortunately I didn’t make to the top, but it is now my goal to try it again this summer.  I’d love to have a couple pieces of new gear to help me in that attempt!

Here’s a video I put together of that summit attempt.

My favorite mountain is Table Mountain in South Africa because it was my mom’s favorite and holds special meaning.  After she was diagnosed with cancer, I promised I would go and see it one day, plus it will be my 6th continent whenever I do go!

I like Cataloochee Mtn. It’s certainly not the best boarding, but the people and prices are great.  It’s super close and convenient and I can go 3 or 4 times a week.

The Cat
Bounce, Bounce, Clink
The bar rises
One motion up
Blades meet white
Click, Click, Bump
Board and body one
Momentum builds
Deep grooves cut
Swish, swish, scrape
A pendulum
Frozen, moving
Along the hill
Left, right, left
Snaking along
Lost a field of others
Racing down
Gust, gust, whoosh
Wind whips
Cuts through clothes
Ears hear, not feel
Sip, sip, gulp
Hot inside
Cold without
Both lodge and me.

Me at Bear Valley! I love snowboarding!

My favorite mountain is Squaw Valley USA because it gives instant access to the steeps. Good après doesn’t hurt either.

Copper Mountain, CO!!  Well, we haven’t actually stepped foot on the slopes there yet, but we will be there on February 9th!  As a southern girl from South Carolina, we get really excited over a few snow flurries (which rarely happens.)  If we want to play in the snow, we have to drive to North Carolina, for some of the man-made mush.  To celebrate my husband’s 31st birthday, we decided to take an adventure to Copper Mountain to see the real stuff – SNOW.

We can’t wait to see the powder and taste it on our tongues as it falls from the sky.  Since I have never snowboarded, we are going to spend one day on boards and one day on skis.  I don’t know if the pros in the mountains will be more surprised to hear me say, “Hey Ya’ll”, or to see my excited from seeing so much real snow.  Since we live near the beach, and not near the mountains, we have lots of preparing to do for our trip.  That’s where this amazing (dare I say, Kick-Ass) giveaway would come in.  This prize pack would be put to use almost immediately, and I see ourselves becoming addicted to our new found sports.  It would be used more often.

Please, help us go out West in style so we won’t be identified as rookies immediately.  You know the saying, “Fake it till you make it” – that’s our plan and this gear is a major part of that plan!

To you Mr. Action Sports Now,

I have ridden a lot of mountains, I even work for one currently in Colorado, but I owe it all to my hometown hill where I started and fell in love with this sport. I grew up living one mile away from a small mountain in the middle of Vermont named Suicide Six. Google it I dare you, hopefully a result shows up.  Out of all the trail maps I have collected over the years, Suicide Six is my favorite because it’s so awkward!  Three chair lifts including a ‘J’ bar.  Look at this, AMAZING.

Back then I thought this was a mountain.  A real mountain.  I landed my first 3, jumped off my first chair lift, and even broke my first bone here at S6.  Memories I would never trade for other experiences at these huge resorts.  I know everyone else is bragging about their mountain being Vail, Breckenridge or another giant resort, but we owe it to these little gems out there which still run.  We owe it to you little guys!  Here is a picture from Suicide Six in my collection.  I hope you enjoy Mr. Action Sports Now.

Before I knew what a bivy sack was, before I learned the Yosemite Decimal System, or slipped skins onto my skis, I walked up Bighorn Peak in the North-West corner of Yellowstone National Park.  I had just graduated from college and was working in the Park for the duration of the summer.  Within a few weeks of that first season I lusted after something a little longer than the average hike.  A co-worker suggested Big Horn, so I made plans for my next day off.

Big Horn Peak rises above the Sky Rim Trail, a ridgeline route running along the boundary between Yellowstone Park and the Gallatin National Forest.  A pack of wolves roams this region, and the high density of whitebark pines promotes an equally high density of grizzlies.  This rugged backcountry corner receives some stock use, but is largely ignored by the visiting summer throngs.

I woke up late the morning of the hike and that, plus the long drive, put me at the trailhead by 11:00.  I shouldered my stuff.  Back then my outdoor gear consisted of the same backpack that had recently carried my textbooks, a pair of hiking boots, and a two Nalgenes.  To play it safe I threw in an extra apple beside my customary PP&J.

The first section of trail paralleled Black Butte Creek and I walked along in the dappled light of lodgepoles and creek-side willows.  I passed a few fishermen sight-casting for trout in the larger pools, but within a half- hour I walked alone for the rest of the day.

Three miles up, and just before the trail left the drainage on a little shelf, I jumped a large animal bedded down in the shade.  It stood and crashed through the underbrush.  I flailed at my bear spray canister, numbed in panic by the dark brown fur seen flashing between the branches.  It was a bull moose.  He stomped away, splashing across the creek before stopping for a moment on the other side to display his rack and glare back.  The sudden adrenaline rush left me empty and starving; after the moose’ departure I sat and ate the apple and half the sandwich, then finished off the first Nalgene.  The day was hot, and I had been guzzling unconstrained.  Water filled only half of the second water canister when I peeked into my bag to take stock –I must have drunk some it in the car.  And now the trail left the trees.

The trail steepened once out of the drainage.  The sun beat down.  I crawled a mile up the trail past the creek, tiring quickly and awakening to the fact that I had severely under-packed; most of my water was gone, I had little food, and my journey still was only one-third of the way through.  The few trees that spotted along the trail cast ever-lengthening shadows.  I picked up my pace.

Another mile.  Then another.  I greedily drank the last of my water and ate the final sandwich half.  The last mile steepened even further, and turned into a sort of loose scramble.  False summit after false summit added to my exhaustion.  I stumbled over rocks and nearly tripped every fifty feet or so.  Strange thoughts crossed into my mind, filling a void the dehydration created.   A few more sloppy steps and then I was there, the earth leveling lush and green high in the sky.

The summit of Big Horn contained a scene I will never forget:  High alpine tundra, as fresh and blooming as a valley meadow, covered the flat-topped mountain for a space as large as two football fields.  Purple and yellow flowers smiled up at the sun.  The peak itself stood at the opposite side, rising twenty feet above the horizon-line like a rocky steeple.  A trail, beat into the turf by hikers and wildlife, held water in puddles.  I lurched forward punch-drunk over the trail, sending hundreds of thirsty butterflies into the air.  Halfway between myself and the peak, a herd of bighorn sheep, mostly ewes and lambs, bleeted and grazed amongst the grass.  The flock parted as I walked through.  In the jumble of rocks on the prominent, I found the register and scrawled some indecipherable message, lost in memory to my thirst and exhaustion.  On the north side of the peak I found a patch of snow.  I packed each Nalgene half-full each, then started down.  It was well after dark when I finally made it back to my car.

Years later now, with enough gear to fill half of my garage and a few more trips under my belt, I still smile at my summit on Bighorn despite the disastrous planning and self-created miserable conditions.  Maybe it was the delirious lightness in my head and step, or the way the butterflies swirled and danced, or the cry of the ewes calling to their lambs, but that peak will always seem holy to me, almost biblical against the blue sky.  And so Big Horn is, and will always be, my favorite mountain amongst many a range.

Mount Washington in New Hampshire.  It is a beautiful, scenic place.

Hi, I decided to write my entry in the form of a Haiku. My favorite mountain is Solvista Basin in Granby, Colorado!  Thanks for doing the giveaway in the first place and the opportunity to win this sick prize package.

It is White. All White
Suddenly Heaven on Earth
Snow just for shredding

Riding on the chair
Higher and flyer we get
Hanging with homies

Now hit the powder
Get mad air on all the jumps
Wind hitting my face

I love snowboarding
Never want to leave this haven
Solvista Basin

OK, my favorite mountain is Bansko, Bulgaria. The reason is that I grew up there skiing when I used to race at the ski team in Bulgaria. Now, it’s a big town and one of the more popular resorts in Europe.  It’s a funky, very old town with cows going out and coming in every day.  You can hardly understand the locals as they have their own accent (and I speak Bulgarian fluently).  It’s a fun town and a very cool mountain.  I hope you will go there one day!

My favorite all time mountain is Killington Resort in Killington, Vermont.  This mountain is awesome and you can shred a different slope every half hour and still not even have seen the whole mountain yet. Also the terrain parks are killer!  They are always grooming and fixing the parks so each ride down is as good as the first.  THIS MOUNTAIN IS AWESOME!!!!

Hey guys!  My favorite mountain is Phelps.  It is one of the 46 high peaks in New York.  It’s my favorite because me and my family climbed it in the middle of winter and also it has a great view!

The Favorite Mountain that Never Was

It was a clear morning in February at Snowshoe Mountain, West Virginia.  Fresh Snow had just fallen and my coworkers, friends, and I had just gotten all of our snowboards and gear packed up for an awesome day of snowboarding.  The Mountain was in tip top shape and everyone was excited about getting some solid runs in during the day.  This trip was attended by some coworkers and some friends of mine.  About 5 of the coworkers had never been snowboarding before and me being the nice guy that I am, decided to volunteer myself to go down the green runs with them and teach them some good techniques to use.  I was no expert, but growing up surfing and skateboarding, I would consider myself better than average.  I had been to Vermont at Jay Peak and Stowe and to the North Carolina Mountains so I figured that I at least had some knowledge that would help mold my coworkers into better snowboarders.  We had gotten to the green runs as soon as they opened the mountain and started our descent down the mountain.  As soon as we began, I immediately knew that it was not going to take an hour to help my coworkers out and that I may be stuck with them for more than what I originally bargained for.  My friends had gone to the more experienced runs and I was to meet up with them later after I had helped my coworkers.  As the sun rose in the sky, I realized that I was going to be stuck with my coworkers on the greens for a while.  Three hours later, around 12 o’clock, we finally met up with my friends at the bottom of the mountain and my coworkers were going to get lunch so I was finally free to go with my friends to the blue and black runs and the terrain park.  At this point I was ready to get off the greens and to get to the good runs and the terrain park.  We all rode the lift to the top of the mountain and my coworkers headed to the lodge for lunch so me and my friends went directly to the terrain park.  I was super pumped at this point and was ready to hit some jumps and just go all out.  Me and my buddies strapped in at the top of the terrain park and I was the first one to start the run. The first jump was a table top jump which I cleared and started to the next jump.  I built up speed and tried to get a lot of air and as soon as I got in the air I realize I was about 6 ft higher in the air than I realized because the second jump was not another table top, but a ramp.  I panicked a little in the air and was going to do a controlled bail out.  Then all of a sudden BOOOOOM and I’m laying on my back screaming at the top of my lungs “help”.  My buddies rode up from behind me to see if I was ok.  My one friend walked up and said, “Hey man, are you alright, did you hit your head?”  I said, “No I broke my arm really bad.”  At this point, he proceeded to look at my left arm which was bent at a 35 degree angle from the normal position that it should be in.  At this time, my friend began to freak out and bolted down the mountain to get help.  I was in the worse pain I had ever experienced and now wished that I had ridden down the terrain park to check everything out before proceeding with the jumps.  Mistake on my part. To make an even longer story short, I was taken to Pocahontas Memorial Hospital to get pumped with Morphine for 6 hours before they decide to drive me two and a half hours away to the nearest large hospital.  2 plates and 17 screws later, my arm is back together and on the long road to recovery.  I still have the plates in my arm and haven’t been snowboarding since the accident.  That was 3 years ago.  From being at Snowshoe, the small amount of time I was there, I could tell it would have been my favorite mountain, but unfortunately it turned out way differently.

Its time for me to get back out on the mountain and what better way to go than winning this prize pack. Thanks Guys!

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