TAHOE CITY, CA - The Alpenglow Mountain Festival is underway at north Lake Tahoe. Alpenglow Sports is sponsoring the first-ever event to get people of all ages and skill levels outdoors.
"We're a shop based on mountain lifestyle and having fun in the mountains and we came up with this event to celebrate human-powered winter sports specifically focusing on backcountry and Nordic skiing," Alpenglow Sports owner Brendan Madigan said. "We wanted to highlight the playground that is North Lake Tahoe and showcasing the landscape of this great community."
The festival offers clinics, skills courses and day and night guided tours.
"There are a lot of backcountry tours going on and we're finding good snow," IFMGA Guide Adrian Ballinger said. "We're really focusing on beginner and intermediate levels so we're getting people out that maybe don't have the extreme skills yet but are looking to build."
Ninety-five percent of the festival's events are free.
"We feel really strongly about giving back to the community," Madigan said. "We're a tight-knit community on the North Shore and we really want to give back to the people that support us."
Even experienced backcountry skiers are taking advantage of the tours.
"It's great to go out with the guides because they see things a little differently than I do even though I'm out here a lot," skier Holly Yocum of Incline Village said. "Maybe we'll take a different way in or out today; plus you get the benefit of learning a lot of skills from these guides so it's a great resource for our community."
There's a focus on safety as well.
"There's a three-day avalanche course as part of the festival and we're running shorter daily sessions on different things you might want to focus on when you're traveling in avalanche terrain," Ballinger said.
But the emphasis is on fun; getting out and experiencing what the backcountry has to offer.
"This is a great way to develop a mountain community, meet people and just have a great time in our beautiful backcountry," Yocum said. "The snow is fantastic and the people are fun to be with."
You can get a full list of events and register online at www.alpenglowsports.com.