Here a couple of shots from a snowshoeing jaunt I did today in the mountains above Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe.
What a fantastic weekend of skiing in the Lake Tahoe region. In the past week we have received more than 50 inches of new snow with more on the way.
It all started Friday morning at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort. Check out a little video I made to give you a sense of the conditions.
Turn your speakers on.
I intermixed some photos I took at Alpine last year just to make the video a little more interesting.
As usual, I was shooting in really poor light conditions with my Canon A620. Still, for a compact little digital camera that also has video with audio capabilities, it is a nice little companion. It is already difficult enough to get my friends to hold still on a powder day. Carrying and protecting a large camera in cold, snowy, windy conditions would make it even harder.
I am waiting for a camcorder that is small and compact, offers excellent video quality, saves to a hard drive, and also allows you to take high resolution pictures. Come on Canon or Sony, you can do it!
On Saturday, I did some backcountry in a place I cannot reveal, and today I went over to my backyard resort, Mt Rose Ski Resort. It was quite windy and snowing heavily, but the powder was endless and I skied as long as my body would allow me.
I hope everyone else had a wonderful weekend!
One’s Personal Perspective
Costa Rica is an eco-tourist’s dream. An abundance of flora and fauna, beautiful beaches, and big mountains make this country equally appealing to both naturalists and recreationalists alike. You can surf, fish, hike, rappel waterfalls, fly through the treetops on zip lines, race horses on the beach, and witness more wildlife than you ever thought existed.
However, the one characteristic of Costa Rica that is lacking, especially to those familiar with such destinations as Mexico, Peru, the Caribbean, or the Mediterranean for that matter, is the unimpressive architecture and a seemingly undefined or preserved culture.
Yes, there are coffee, chocolate, and African palm plantations, a few scattered pre-Columbian sites, and some evidence of Spanish influence, but frankly it is not that interesting in comparison to other places in the world where humans have left their mark. Costa Rica is beautiful, and its people are noble and proud, but it is not a place one should necessarily visit if they quickly get bored of ocean and rain forest activities.
Fortunately for me, I love to surf, and I am somewhat of amateur ornithologist. I appreciated the countless incredible surf spots and Costa Rica’s efforts to preserve large tracts of land in the form of reserves and national parks.
This past week I appeared in the Reno News & Review along with my colleague, Josh Kenzer for an article titled, “Up all Night: It’s a brave new world called the blogosphere. Meet some of its denizens.” This photograph was taken by RNR staff member, David Roberts.
I posted about the article on the Horse Power blog, but I wanted to at least acknowledge it on my own blog because, well, it’s partially about me.
We were the lone business featured in the article, which I think says a lot about the approach we have taken with the blog.
We made a conscience decision in the very beginning NOT to make the blog a selling proposition. We try our hardest to provide information and analysis of the industry we are in without selling our business too aggressively. In other words, we hope our expertise shines through, so we do not have to go on at length about what we can do as a business. Plus, that is what the website is for, right?
Regarding the podcast, it is about local business professionals and not about Twelve Horses. Sure, it is an excuse to meet new people and put a voice to the company, but we really wanted to construct a forum that highlights interesting individuals in the community, and the fantastic work that they do.
I blog for business, but I also enjoy having a personal blog. I guess I could take up knitting or whittle a stick, but instead I choose to have a blog. It gives me a chance to express myself outside of my profession, and it introduces me to people that I doubt I would have otherwise known existed.
If you want to read the perspectives of some other bloggers that were featured in the same article, check out Reno and Its Discontents post about it. People get fired up about why they blog and how it effects them internally, as well as the external world around them.
In the end, it is the resulting actions that take place because of what is said or written. The rest is an exercise. The problem is you never know the end result until after the fact. So, you use your judgment, which hopefully consists of solid values and ethics, and then you forge ahead. But you have to be constructive in your approach, or eventually no one will listen to you.
When you blog about someone else, do it as if you were standing directly in front of them looking straight in their eyes. And, right before you do a blog post or comment about a topic, think about the fact that it is has been recorded, and can be forever attached to people’s perceptions of you. Hopefully that will keep you honest and fair.
For many people the Yucatan represents Cancun, the Mayan Riviera, and Chichen-Itza. While each of these locations posses many positive attributes for the wayfarer, there are many other reasons to travel to the Yucatan. Most flights do culminate at Cancun, but there are also air services to Merida and Campeche on the Gulf side of the Peninsula if you prefer to start there.
As you approach the Cancun airport, the first striking characteristic is the relative flatness of the terrain. Thick vegetation commands the landscape in an even blanket that stretches in all directions. The only thing breaking the even green is a lonesome road or a foreboding electric tower appearing larger than it should be considering the surroundings.
The reason the Peninsula is so flat is because it is entirely composed of a limestone shelf jutting out into the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The layers of limestone are composed of the life and death of compacted ancient coral reefs and sand, which serve as a metaphor for the multi-layered human history that chiseled its own existence into the surface of this even terrain starting more than 12,000 years ago.
Built on time, stone, and water, human habitation of the Yucatan has always relied on the geologic composition. At first glance, one would surmise that there is no fresh water available in this flat landscape. Surface lakes and rivers are practically nonexistent, for they lay predominately underground. The spongy limestone has been carved from underneath by the slow erosive properties of water and time, and it has created a vast network of cenotes (wells) and connecting rivers fed by rain and springs, which bring life. A trip to the Yucatan would not be complete without a visit to one of the countless cenotes that pock the landscape.
While I enjoy the convenience and comfort of a high-speed ski lift just as much as the next skier, there is something unique and special about scoring fresh turns under the power of my own devices. Backcountry skiing, or snowboarding, leads those adventurous enough to pursue it off of the beaten path to areas less skied by. The Lake Tahoe region possesses countless miles of exceptional terrain with breathtaking views only further enhanced with the back drop of that big, blue, beautiful lake that so many people travel whole continents to see.
The past couple of weeks have delivered stellar conditions with light fluffy powder falling upon the Sierras foot by fantastic foot. The resorts have been excellent and the backcountry exceptional. I still marvel at the ease at which I can wake up at my house in Reno and so quickly am in the midst of such awe-inspiring mountains filled with so many options; and deep turns.
This past weekend I chose to spend one day on the West Shore hiking Mount Tallac, and the next day hiking and skiing in the area adjacent to the Mount Rose Ski Resort. Both days were phenomenal. The climb up Tallac took approximately three hours, but it was definitely worth it. The views into Desolation Wilderness and out across Lake Tahoe would have been rewarding enough for the effort it took, but then the big payoff came when I actually got to ski the roughly 3,000 ft of vertical back down to the car.
Despite being quite exhausted from the day before, the next day proved to be equally impressive. The area around Mt Rose is filled with varying lines that offer many different levels of pitch and position. My friends and I skied a few different lines, and each run brought giant grins to our faces. What is especially cool about this area are the mixed views that you see. On one side you can look out over Reno, Washoe Valley, and beyond, and on the other you can see Lake Tahoe and the Sierra chain as it stretches south towards Yosemite.
If you choose to venture out into the backcountry, please remember to carry the essentials: water, extra clothing, a beacon, probe and shovel. While backcountry conditions in Lake Tahoe are generally safer than places such as Colorado and Utah, avalanche dangers are always still a factor. Be prepared! All of these items are available from such stores as Reno Mountain Sports and The Backcountry up in Lake Tahoe. Avalanche classes are often conducted at REI, Patagonia, Squaw Valley and Kirkwood. Additionally, places such as The Backcountry even offer guided tours.
Until the next hike, I am eagerly keeping an eye on the weather – looks like more snow is on the way!
Sierra Adventure Guide
About the cover
In March of this year we solicited photos from RN&R readers in hopes of getting a few we could use in our Sierra Adventure Guide. As an incentive, we offered to publish the winners and give the Grand Prize Winner VIP passes to the Nevada Land Conservancy’s showing of the Banff Mountain Film Festival in early April. The main image you see on the cover was submitted by Reno’s Robert Payne, who shot this spectacular photo above Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe. Other cover photos are courtesy of the Nevada Commission on Tourism.
About this Guide
If you live in the Truckee Meadows/Lake Tahoe area, outdoor recreation and adventure are probably some of the reasons you choose to make this your home. If you’re a visitor, those may also be part of why you’re here. We’re blessed with an abundance of year-round adventure possibilities (hence the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitor’s Authority’s label, “America’s Adventure Place”). We couldn’t imagine covering everything our little region within the Sierra Nevada has to offer within these pages. But we hope to give you a glimpse of some exciting activities, along with resources so you can find out more. So go ahead and explore!