Mountain Bikes in the Mountains

Andrew on the up hill run, Placerville Bike Shop

Mountain bikes in the mountains. What a combo! With summer in full roar, long days with more trail opening up as the snow melts, mountain bikes are riding just about everywhere possible. Here are some places to learn, to rent a bike, or just find out about local trails in and around Pollock Pines to Tahoe.

Resorts:

Kirkwood runs a mountain bike park in the summer. They run only on weekends. From 9:30 am – 4:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday (July/August including Labor Day weekend). Rentals, lessons, lifts, thrills, and high altitude riding.

Northstar Califorina  runs their bike park 7 days a week. Hours are  from 10;00 am- 5:00 pm, Saturday to Thursday, and 10:00am to 7:00 pm on Fridays. Rentals, lessons, lifts, competition, group instruction.

Squaw Valley is still in downhill ski mode. Kinda hard to mountain bike amongst the skiers.

Bike shops  and rental outfits that can steer you to great rides:

Placerville Bike Shop, 1307 Broadway, Placerville, CA 95765, 530.622.3015

Wattabike, 2933 Highway 50, Meyers, CA 96150, 530.544.7700

South Shore Bikes, 871 Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, 530.544.7433

Anderson’s Bike Rental, 645 Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, 530.541.0500

Camp Richardson Outdoor Sports1900 Jameson Beach Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, 530.542.6584  

Sierra Ski and Cycle Works,  3430 Lake Tahoe Blvd. South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, 530.541.7505

Tahoe Bike Company, 3131 Harrison Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, 530.600.0267

Over the Edge Tahoe, 3665 Tamarack Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, 530.600.3633

Olympic Bike Shop, 620 N Lake Blvd, Tahoe City, CA 96145, 530.581.2500

Flume Trail Bikes, 1115 Tunnel Creek Rd b, Incline Village, NV 89451,  775.298.2501

Factory Bikes, 3039 CA-89, Olympic Valley, CA 96146,  530.581.3399


Posted in Outdoor Recreation

Death Ride 2017

Death Ride 2017

Death Ride/Tour of the California Alps, 2017: Stunning!
Logo courtesy of Death Ride 2017

Death Ride 2017 will launch out of Turtle Rock Park, SR 89, just south of Woodfords and north of Markleeville, on July 8, at 0500 or daylight, whichever shows up first. The ride is also known as the Tour of the California Alps, coursing through the Sierra.

The Ride

For 129 miles, riders will climb an aggregate total of 15,000 feet. Three stunning mountain passes will be summited, two of them twice. First up is Monitor Pass, 8,314 feet, ridden both ways, twice. Next up is Ebbetts Pass, 8,730 feet and the highest, ridden both ways, twice. After climbing out of Woodfords Canyon on SR 88, riders tackle Carson Pass, 8,580 feet, making this the fifth pass of the day. All of this, 129 miles of it, have to be completed by 2000, or 8 pm.

Swag and Support

Completing all five passes earns 5 stickers for your helmet, a Five-Pass Pin, and you’re eligible to buy the Five-Pass jersey. If you registered for this lung busting challenge,  here’s what you receive, besides bragging rights:

• Custom Death Ride® Patch
• Custom Death Ride® Water Bottle
• Custom Death Ride® Five-Pass Finishers Pin (if course is completed)
• Tuf-Map
• Giveaways from Sponsors at Bike Expo and on course
• Official Participant Numbers
• Highway Closures
• SAG, Tech & On Course Communication Support
• Medical Support
• Law Enforcement Support
• Food & Drink at Rest Stops
• Lunch (10:00am – 3:00pm)
• Live Music
• Post Ride Dinner/Rider Dinner complimentary per event organizers and is NOT refundable

You might still be able to register to ride. You’ll have to check with the Death Ride folks to find out. If you haven’t trained for this, or you have never ridden or hiked at altitude, you’re better off waiting till next year. It’s a stunning ride, and now matter how many of the climbs you ultimately conquer, you’ll remember it for the rest of your life.


Posted in bicycles, blogging, cycling, Death Ride/Tour of the California Alps, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks

Fun weekend at Taylor Creek Visitor Center

Fun at Lake Tahoe

Time for fun at Lake Tahoe

For a fun weekend for you and your children, consider heading up to the Taylor Creek Visitor Center at Lake Tahoe. Over the weekend of June 24 and 25, two festivals will take place.

The “Wild Tahoe Weekend” is sponsored by the US Forest Service Lake Tahoe folks and the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science. Both days are free. You’ll need to take or buy snacks and lunch.

Saturday, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, is dedicated to the 6th annual Native Species Festival, while Sunday, 10:00 am to 3:30 pm, is for the 7th annual Lake Tahoe Bird Festival. Lulu the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout and Smokey the Bear will be there, along with displays and nature walks.

It will be warm over the weekend. Sunscreen, hats, plenty of water should be on your list to take with you. These festivals are especially fun for children of all ages.

Taylor Creek is spectacular right now, and the Visitor’s center, 3 miles north of South Lake Tahoe on State Route 89, is a wonderful place to spend the day with your children, or with just you, enjoying an amazing early summer weekend.


Posted in blogging, education, families, Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks

Summer Freedom Fest July 1-4

Freedom Fest Concert at Squaw Valley

Gold Coast Freedom Fest concert time at Squaw.
Photo courtesy of Tom Day/Squaw/Alpine PR

Liesl Kenny, Public Relations Director at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, invites everyone up to Squaw Valley over the 4th of July. The resort is hosting what they call Freedom Fest from July 1 through July 4. As always it will be a fun filled family oriented event in stunning Olympic Valley.

Here’s the line up for Freedom Fest:

 Freedom Fest, a celebration of the historic 2016-17 winter season over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, will feature four days of free music on two stages, hot tub parties, fireworks and more. For the fourth time in resort history, Squaw Valley mountain resort will offer skiing and riding on July 4 following a record-breaking winter season with over 60 feet of cumulative snowfall.

Gold Coast Revival concerts will take place July 1-3 from noon to 3pm with ski-in, ski-out access and panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada. Paying tribute to the Gold Coast Concert Bowl which hosted the Jerry Garcia Band, Jimmy Cliff and others back in 1991, concerts on July 1 and 2 will feature the WinterWonderGrass All-Stars performing Pickin’ on the Dead featuring Tyler Grant, followed by The Lil Smokies on Monday, July 3.

Freedom Fest moves from Gold Coast to the KT Base Bar with free music starting at 4pm July 1-3. Chi McClean will open for headliner The Grant Farm on Saturday. Music on Sunday from 4-7pm features headliner, Rayland Baxter. Monday’s concert will extend to 9pm with musical acts by Bonfire Dub featuring Bridget Law of Elephant Revival and Big Head Todd and The Monsters. Monday’s shows will be followed by a free fireworks display, visible throughout The Village at Squaw Valley.

Bluesdays, the popular outdoor concert series in The Village at Squaw Valley, will host Chris Cain on Tuesday, July 4, rounding out the long weekend of live music across Squaw Valley mountain resort. Known for his jazz-tinged, blues soaked guitar and deep, warm vocals, Chris Cain’s expressive style is the result of a lifetime of study and the relentless pursuit of music mastery.

In addition to live music, Squaw Valley’s High Camp Pool and Hot Tub will be open daily from 11am to 4pm with live DJ’s performing from noon-4pm, July 1-4. At 8,200 feet with spectacular views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra Nevada, it’s one of the most unique parties around.

Skiing and riding operations are scheduled for 10am-2pm, July 1-4, and are subject to change based on weather and conditions. All 2016-17 and 2017-18 Tahoe Super Passholders will have access to skiing and riding as well as on-mountain concerts. Single and multi-day lift tickets as well as the Tahoe Super Pack will also offer access to the mountain and festivities. ”

That’s a full schedule. Freedom Fest is on the way. Book your room now, then head up for a fun filled 4th.


Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing

The Other Flume Trail in Incline Village

Rider and bike at Lake Tahoe

Ride, ride, ride, and do it safely.

The Other Flume Trail

What other Flume Trail?  The one known as the Incline Flume Trail. Like the other one, the trail is on what used to be a flume that sent logs down to the Lake in the Comstock Era. It’s pretty family friendly, more flatish that its cousin simply known as The Flume Trail. The trail is an extensive project that involves the Tahoe Fund, Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association, the USFS, Friends of Incline Trails, the Forest Service, Nevada State Parks, Nevada Land Trust, Washoe County and Incline General Improvement District and others.

The trail project highlights the ongoing efforts of the Tahoe Fund and others to secure high quality family friendly recreation opportunities throughout the Tahoe Basin.

Read about the trail at the Tahoe Fund website. Get your gear on, pump up the tires and head over there for what is a fun ride with outrageous views of Lake Tahoe.


Posted in bicycles, blogging, cycling, families, health, Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks

Bear Valley Summer

Summer fun at Bear Valley

Bear Valley summer!

Bear Valley is another recreation paradise in the Sierra. Located at 2280 State Route 207, Bear Valley, CA, 95223, the area has plenty of skiing, Alpine and Nordic, during ski season. The rest of the year there’s hiking,mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, boating, fishing, playing, wandering, music, art, and a whole lot of fun, family oriented events.

What’s going on this summer:

Marc Gendron who is the PR guy at the resort said that there’s something for everyone up there. He pointed out in a press release that “… guests and visitors now have more lodging options to experience Bear Valley Mountain and the amazing view of the Sierra during the summer and early fall months. New lodging opportunities include eco-friendly glamping units facing the Mokolumne Peak and Canyon, RV parking, and the newly renovated Bear Valley Lodge.”

To take advantage of what the resort offers it’ll take more than a day. Plan to stay a couple of days and enjoy the area. The drive over Ebbetts Pass, at 8,730 feet, from El Dorado and Alpine Counties, is stunning all by itself, and well worth the drive.

The summer event schedule is full of exciting opportunities for everyone who enjoys being out and about and active in the mountains.

For the full text of what Marc sent out, check it out here.


Posted in families, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks

Friends of Hope Valley

FRIENDS OF HOPE VALLEY WORK DAY & BENEFIT CONCERT

If you enjoy all the recreational fun in Hope Valley, consider giving a bit of time to help out. This is a great way to spend some time in a very beautiful place. The information below is courtesy of Friends of Hope Valley:

Friends of Hope Valley’s annual workday is June 10th… at 9:00am. Participants will meet at Pickett’s Junction (Hwy 88/Hwy 89) in Hope Valley. Join in a work party of their choice. Projects include watershed habitat improvement, general clean up and fence repair. FOHV members are welcome to stay and attend the general membership meeting at noon. Please mark your calendars and join us. Bring work gloves, shovels, and fencing pliers.

June 11th…The Back Forty Bluegrass band will returns to the Friends of Hope Valley benefit concert. This event will take place at Sorensen’s Resort located on Highway 88 in Hope Valley. Accompanying the Back Forty will be “local folkies” The Ten Dollar Pony, Larry Nair and Beth Oliverto. Based in Gardnerville, they play a lively blend of original and cover tunes.
Spend an afternoon in a beautiful setting at Sorensen’s Resort. Good music and good food will be guaranteed. Sorensen’s Resort is generous enough to host this event and match the funds raised. $10 donation requested. No host BBQ…. 1pm to 4pm

Check out Sorensen’s Resort for more events and information


Posted in education, families, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks

All that snow to ski on

Skiing in powder at SAT

Powder day at SAT March 2017
Photo courtesy of David Amirault/SAT PR

This last week saw the closing of most of the resorts in and around Lake Tahoe. It’s not for lack of snow though. It’s expensive to run the resorts. Predictably, when the sun comes out in the valleys, skiing and riding just aren’t on the top of the list anymore. Economics drives the entire industry.

Sierra-at-Tahoe stopped operations on Sunday, April 23. April 24 was their annual Customer Appreciation Day. Deep discounted lift tickets with proceeds funneled to various Tahoe area youth sports. They’ve always been generous supporters of the Tahoe community.

Kirkwood, Hope Valley Outdoors are closed as well. The list goes on. The only resorts staying open right now are Mt. Rose, Sugar Bowl, Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, and for just a short time more, Heavenly. For most people that means a bit of a longer drive. Spring conditions will prevail of course.

Was it a good season? How about a snowpack of 300% of normal, which would mean “Yes”. Skiers and riders enjoyed multiple powder days, deep snows, stunning conditions. For most, it was a long season, and for some, an even longer one.

The XC and backcountry crowd still have plenty of places to ski. It looks very much as if they will continue to be able to enjoy the snow through May. It’s likely that there will be snow in the mountains till next season. Just look for north facing slopes.

Expect to run into snow when hiking above 8,000 feet through summer. Wildflower blooms in the Carson Pass area will be delayed. Till when? When the snow has melted, which will take a while. Maybe by late July or early August they’ll start to pop up. At lower elevations the blooms will come earlier, and will most likely be stunning.

Backcountry travelers should be extremely aware that avalanche conditions will continue to exist. Sierra Avalanche Center issued their last advisory and observations for the season on April 23. Stay away from any area that even remotely has avalanche characteristics.

Travel into the mountains and enjoy the continuing seasonal transition. Take a lot of common sense with you.


Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing, snow

Sierra Avalanche Center Alert

Logo for Sierra Avalanche Center

Sierra Avalanche Center
Logo courtesy of Sierra Avalanche Center

Back country skiers and snowshoe enthusiasts will be without the extremely valuable Sierra Avalanche Center alerts after April 23. The last advisory will be on that date. You are on your own after that date. Pay attention to what you see out there. Common sense, buckets full of it, comes into play now more than ever. Here is the complete information from the SAC website:

“The last advisory of the season will occur April 23rd.  Thanks to all who have supported the avalanche center.

After this winter’s historic snowfall and with exciting spring skiing/riding prospects approaching, Sierra Avalanche Center would like to prepare our users for the end of SAC’s 2016-2017 forecasting season.  The daily advisories will continue through April 23rd. After that date, SAC encourages you to put your hard earned avalanche training and knowledge gained from previous days of travel in avalanche terrain to use to act as your own avalanche expert.  For your assistance, Sierra Avalanche Center will include a list of internet resources in the spring statement on the SAC advisory page. These resources can be used for daily travel planning and assisting with go/no go decisions.

Like you, the avalanche center is always disappointed at the close of a season and understands and acknowledges the desire to extend operations, but are not able to forecast beyond April 23, 2017 for the following reasons:

1) Public use of the daily advisory declines dramatically – Tracking of website usage shows that regardless of the snow year, big like 2010-2011, one of the recent drought years, or a fairly typical winter like 2015-2016, use of the SAC website drops by approximately 80% during the month of April when compared to daily use during December through March.

2) The forecast season’s budget is exhausted – The avalanche center’s funding is a complex mix of public and private funds and the budget is created to provide a sustainable avalanche center. Extending the season would cut into funding for future seasons. In addition to this problem, due to the complex nature of the public private partnership, the timeline for altering the agreements and contracts to make additional funding accessible for late April and May was deemed unattainable when examined at the beginning of March.

3) Forecaster availability – The forecasters have other work obligations beginning in May.  These obligations conflict with forecaster availability to provide continued full forecasting operations and are necessary to ensure continuous income and seasonal stability regardless of the snow year.

4) What about weekend only advisories? – The majority of late season users are interested in storm events rather than the predictable day to day spring melt-freeze conditions. Storm events would not be adequately covered by weekend only advisories. To properly cover late season storms to the expected standard, employee availability would be needed 7 days per week and this would require continued full operations.”


Posted in education, Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, skiing, snow

Resorts closing

New snow Mt. Rose

Mt. Rose with new snow
Photo courtesy of Mt. Rose PR

The ski scene in the Lake Tahoe area is going through the annual closing dance. Several resorts shut down as of April 16 or 17. Others will close the weekend of April 22, with April 24 thrown in. The rest will close in May. Squaw Valley will continue, conditions permitting, with a limited schedule through June, then open over July 4. Ski all you can–it’s a long wait till next season. Mammoth will stay open till July 4. Keep in mind that all these dates that extend past April are “conditions permitting”.

These resorts are closed:

Hope Valley Outdoors:  www.hopevalleyoutdoors.com

Kirkwood:  www.kirkwood.com

Tahoe Donner Ski and Tahoe Donner Cross Country: www.skitahoedonner.com

Royal Gorge Cross Country: www.royalgorge.com

Homewood: www.skihomewood.com

Tahoe Cross Country and Tahoe City Winter Sports park: www.wintersportspark.com

Granlibakken (as of April 17): www.granlibakken.com

Donner Ski Ranch: Closed mid-week, open weekends until there’s not enough snow to ski on: www.donnerskiranch.com

Bear Valley Cross Country: www.bearvalleyxc.com

Around Mammoth:

June Mountain: www.junemountain.com

Dodge Ridge: www.dodgeridge.com

These resorts will close around April 23-24:

Sierra-at-Tahoe: www.sierraattahoe.com

Diamond Peakwww.diamondpeak.com

Mt. Rose: Daily to April 23, full operations, after that it’s Thursday thru Sunday until May 29: www.skirose.com

Northstar: www.northstarcalifornia.com

Soda Springs: Thursday thru Sunday,  closing April 23: www.skisodasprings.com

Sugar Bowl: www.sugarbowl.com

Bear Valley: www.bearvalley.com

Staying open through April 30: 

Alpine Meadows: Daily till April 30, then weekends to May 4: www.skialpine.com

Staying open through June and opening on July 4:

Squaw Valley: www.squaw.com

Open through July 4:

Mammoth Mountain: www.mammothmountain.com


Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing, snow