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Alpenglow Backcountry Gear Guide

 

Backcountry skiing and riding may be all about going light, but that doesn’t mean it’s “gear-lite.” You’ll need a lot of specialized equipment to have a safe and successful day in the mountains. Here at Alpenglow, we field a ton of questions from people purchasing new backcountry gear and from people buying their first backcountry setup. If you’re in the market for something, our team has compiled a list of some of our favorites for men, women, splitboarders, and skiers. Here are the basics that you’ll need for a day out-of-bounds.

 

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What’s Great About the “End of Summer” in Tahoe?

It’s that peculiar time in Tahoe past Labor Day when everyone seems to be worried about the “end of summer.” There’s a frenzy to squeeze in one more beach day at Donner Lake or one more mountain bike ride on the Flume Trail. But here at Alpenglow, we’re kind of wondering what everyone is getting so worked up about. After all, autumn is tied with spring and summer as our second favorite season (of course, winter is our first love!) September and October are prime for a good time: the Tahoe crowds dwindle, temps are pleasant, and…

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One Couple, Two Distinct Climbing Careers

How does one couple balance their two distinct climbing careers? We asked Emily how she and Adrian manage to make it work and how their new YouTube series, DangerStik TV, plays into the mix.

Q: You and Adrian are both working on some pretty big projects. Can you give us a rundown of what you are both working towards?

“Adrian has guided Everest every spring for the past 12 seasons. He’s there now, as an expedition leader for 40 people- basically a small village. His personal goal is to climb K2 this summer without supplemental…

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Spring Road Trip to the High Sierra

En route to Wahoo Gullies in the Bishop zone. Buttermilk road ends and the trek continues along the dirt road until you hit the snow.

“If you don’t like spring skiing, you’re probably doing it wrong.”

On Tuesday, the Department of Water Resources measured the Sierra Nevada snowpack at 161% of average, the fourth best reading in 40 years. This is good news as it relates to California’s water supply, but before that snowpack melts out, we plan to ski it!

Skiing in April and May is our reward for enduring winter’s heavy storms. When…

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Why hire a mountain guide?

Dave Nettle’s signature grin

Professional mountain guides are integral to educating mountain travelers and safely leading adventures into the mountain ranges of the world. We sat down with veteran ski guide Dave Nettle to ask him a few questions about the value in hiring a professional mountain guide in the context of backcountry skiing. 

-What are the benefits of hiring a mountain guide for backcountry skiing or riding?

When anyone goes into the backcountry the first considerations are usually, “where do I go and where are the best and safest conditions?” A guide dials in these…

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Getting “The Goods” with Glen Poulsen

We caught up with local Squaw legend, Glen Poulsen, to ask him about his favorite spots to ski guide in Lake Tahoe.

Glen leading a group in Nat Geo Bowl last spring. The couloir he took the group through can only be skied during big snow seasons.

 

Q: Hey Glen, what is your background? What drew you towards ski guiding?

Glen: My parents were ski pioneers in the area, backcountry skiing in Squaw Valley in the 1930s. I have been a skier based in Squaw Valley since the age of 2. I was competing from age 4…

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Anatomy of a Guide’s Kit

Ski Guide Tim Dobbins breaks down exactly what he keeps in his pack

As part of the AIARE 1 Avalanche Course that he teaches, Tim always gives an overview of all the essentials that guides carry with them for a day in the field. With a little ingenuity and the right ingredients, a guide can build an emergency shelter or rescue sled with these must-have items.

Here’s the breakdown of what’s in the pack:

 

Rescue Sled: 

My favorite is the Alpine Threadworks Sled. It’s a rescue sled and an emergency shelter in one. You can also quickly…

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Skiing Nat Geo with Sydney Duncan

We caught up with Sydney Duncan after a great day of powder skiing in Nat Geo Bowl this week. On Tuesday, Sydney, along with lead guide Logan Talbott, rode up the Granite Chief chair at Squaw Valley and left the boundary to head toward Granite Peak. They took their client to explore the terrain in Nat Geo Bowl and beyond to Needle Peak. With all the new snow this week, the coverage is great and the whole zone above 7,500′ is skiing well. Loving the 5″ inches of soft, light snow on top of a supportable layer, the group made smooth…

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Beacon Battery Protocol

North Side of Castle Peak, photo: Brennan Lagasse

Give Your Avalanche Beacon the Batteries it Deserves

Tips and tricks from guide Jules Hanna.

We caught up with Jules while he was teaching an AIARE rescue course last weekend. Here’s his rundown beacon battery protocol.

Alkaline or Lithium?

Short answer: Alkaline. BUT, check your manufacturer, while it is likely that you should only be using alkaline batteries, some beacons accept lithium batteries. (Do not use rechargeable batteries though!) What’s the big deal? Alkaline batteries slowly discharge their power.  Lithium batteries will

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AIARE Avalanche Education with Ben Weaver

Ski season is nearly upon us so it’s time to start thinking about dialing in your backcountry skills again. We caught up with AIARE instructor Ben Weaver and asked him a couple of questions about this season’s avalanche training program at Alpenglow Expeditions.

Can you start by introducing yourself? What’s your background? What drew you to teaching AIARE courses?

I am ski guide and avalanche course instructor at Alpenglow Expeditions.  I am in my third season at Alpenglow and loving it.  I was a professional ski patroller at Mt. Hood Meadows in Oregon for 5 years. 

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