New Snowboarding Film Redeﬁnes Radical In The Backcountry By Seth Lightcap In 2010, pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones took us “Deeper” into the wilds of Alaska, the heart of the Alps, and the steeps of Antarctica with the release of the ﬁ rst chapter of his backcountry snowboarding movie trilogy, Deeper Further Higher. Now the big Continue Reading »
Ski Racer Daron Rahlves dives head first into the Sierra backcountry with snowboarder Jeremy Jones Story and photos by Seth Lightcap You’re only a virgin once so we had to go big. Especially considering the man of the hour. The task at hand was to take former Olympian turned pro freeskier Daron Rahlves into the Continue Reading »
The Lowdown on Reverse Camber and Rockered Skis and Snowboards By Seth Lightcap Rocker. Camber. Zero Camber. Reverse Camber. Shovel Rocker. Banana Tech. C2 Power Banana. V-Rocker. S-Rocker. P-Rocker … Whoa! As if the camber vs. reverse camber debate in the ski and snowboard world wasn’t confusing enough a few years ago, you’re likely to Continue Reading »
Unless you’ve been hanging out by the bike shop water cooler, you might not have heard of the latest craze to hit the mountain bike world – the pump track.
A pump track is a small, looping trail system that you can ride continuously without pedaling. Your speed along the pump track is dependent on your ability to gain momentum by “pumping” the tight terrain transitions of the track.
In the adventurous world of rock climbing sometimes knowledge is half the battle. Whether you’re an aspiring climber or a seasoned wall rat, having prior knowledge about the details and difficulties of a climbing route can be a vital first step to a successful ascent. Commonly known in climbing lingo as “beta,” such route information can have life and death consequences
Slacklining, the art of walking along one-inch wide nylon webbing, is a new school variation of circus style tight-rope walking. Born along chain link fences in Yosemite Valley, the sport of slacklining has become a recreational phenomenon enjoyed worldwide, from the beaches to the highest alpine spires.
You’re blazing down a favorite trail on a new full-suspension mountain bike. Your brakes are buttery smooth, your suspension is dialed. The rocky trail melts under your wheels. Feathering the brakes you prepare to hit a small jump that drops off into a creek. The line for the jump is tattooed on your brain. You stand up on the pedals and pull up slightly as you hit the lip.
The campsite is the focus of much of the joy of camping in the backcountry in winter. With a snow-covered ground, we have many morepotential campsites from which to choose and an opportunity for tremendous creativity in constructing our temporary living quarters. With a little skill and luck, we can enjoy an evening of rarely matched quiet and solitude and a soul-stirring view of wilderness cloaked in white. On winter’s long nights, the campsite is where we spend much of our waking time relaxing with companions, eating (and eating, and eating), and engaging in the age-old form of communication too often absent from our lives back in civilization: conversation.
There is a fine line between passion and addiction. Passion connotes a ravenous love, often at the edge of control. Addiction suggests a habitual fixation, usually beyond control. So then, how does one define a love so wildly passionate that your soul abandons all control and drowns in pleasure regardless of sacrifice?
Two Unknown Climbing Crags Worth Checking Out Words and photos by Seth Lightcap If you’re an avid North Tahoe rock climber, visiting or local, chances are you have climbed just about everything in the guidebook within your ability. The accomplishment is not too tough really. In the public’s eye there are only two major North Continue Reading »
Wet spring helped preserve snow for summer climbing and skiing
Don’t put away those skis and crampons yet! Weeks of cool temps and steady moisture through June have kept Mt. Shasta’s snowy flanks in prime shape leaving the window open for stellar late season climbing and skiing well into July and perhaps beyond.
Despite California’s empty wallet, the Golden State is not hurting for amazing outdoor recreation opportunities. From the redwoods to the Sierra and back to the Bay there is an adventure lurking along every highway.
Surrounded by all these beaches, trails, rivers, and crags, the diversity of natural amenities makes it easy to do it all, if even in a single sunny day. Care to kayak then pedal singletrack? Or how about a road ride and then some bouldering? … Double-up days like these are no problem in the rich and diverse landscapes of our greater Nor Cal/Nevada region.
Ty Fairbairn pulls up into a Donner Summit sunset.
Sometimes all it takes for progression is good vision.
In the summer of 2006, Truckee rock climbers Ty Fairbairn, Dustin Sabo, Brian Sweeney and Scott Thelen opened their eyes to the obvious while driving along Interstate 80 and discovered one of the best new Tahoe rock climbing developments in recent years – the Castle Peak boulders.
Tahoe’s Karen Rogers out for a multi-mile swim in glassy Tahoe conditions. Rogers plans on swimming the length of Lake Tahoe in August 2009 after three years of training.
At 6225 feet and holding a colossal 122 million acre feet of sapphire blue water, Lake Tahoe is not only the crown jewel of the Sierra but also the largest alpine lake in North America and the eighth deepest in the world.
Eric Strittmatter lines up for the first of two consecutive 50-footers at Heath Springs.
For such a benign particulate substance a water molecule sure does pack a punch when it’s rolling with a posse. Collect and confine them in a steep canyon and the power of the assembled molecules can be more intimidating than any gang that ever walked the streets.
Ryan Leech takes on an arcing skinny line filming for Kranked 5.
Whether threading the needle between cars and a curb or lining up for a log ride on your favorite single-track, confident balance in tight situations is a crucial skill for cyclists who challenge the terrain.
But learning to let your mind and body relax and roll evenly along a narrow route, elevated or on the ground, is often easier imagined than done. You’re eyes may comprehend that your two-inch tires have plenty of room to negotiate a 10-inch wide path, but convincing your brain and body to confidently follow is another story.
Skier Chris Davenport climbs and skis the Mountaineer’s Route on Mt. Whitney, spring 2008.
Do you ever wish your camera had an auto setting labeled ‘Amazing Action Shot’?
You’re not alone.
Despite how easy it is to flip your camera to the ‘sports’ setting and hit the shutter button as your buddy blows past you skiing, biking, or paddling, it’s surprisingly hard to come away from the moment with a stellar image of the action. Whether the shot is well–framed but blurry or focused but missing half a head, there are a lot of ways a one-chance shot can be flubbed.
In conversations the past month with avid local Sierra backcountry skiers about Dan Mingori and Nate Greenburg’s new guidebook Backcountry Skiing California’s Eastern Sierra, 166 Ski and Snowboard Descents in the Range of Light between Tioga Pass and Bishop Creek (Wolverine Publishing 2008) immediate comments from those newly aware of the book fell cleanly into two camps. A majority exclaimed, “Really? That’s awesome!” While others grumbled, “Really? That sucks!”
Whether you’re a seasoned winter explorer or a four-season greenhorn, there are few feelings as joyous as skiing to the door of a snowbound backcountry hut. Just as the natural world is at its most inhospitable, wind and snow swirling in the air, here you are at the threshold of a magical landscape with little more than a sleeping bag, playing cards, and flask in hand. At night, you lounge under the coziness of a roof, warmed by a wood stove and shared with good friends. By day, you shred lonely backcountry peaks until exhaustion. Can it get any better?