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Storm of the century still kicking!

JLM RSCVA 1-17-08 008
Reports of amazing winter weather are coming in from all over Reno-Tahoe. Our first hand investigators confirm EPIC powder everywhere you turn! And the powder on the ground is being rapidly covered by even more POWDER!!!!!

  • I can’t believe how hard it’s snowing right now,” said Alpine Meadows spokeswoman Rachael Woods. “This kind of snowfall definitely sets up the Sierra for great spring skiing conditions and really helps with our water situation.”
  • Everybody’s ready to ski,” Kauffman said. “They missed out last year, and this last Saturday and Sunday were excellent. The snow is very deep, powdery dry, like Colorado and Utah,” Kauffman added. “We don’t get that too often.”
  • We did get hammered up here,” said Greg Murtha, spokesman for the resort [Sugarbowl], which has 71 inches of snow at its base, 104 on top. “It was hard to tell when one storm stopped and the next one started.”

Passion and drive

Reno Tahoe is about adventure. And that’s not a name just drawn out of a hat to appeal to itchy mid-west executives in corner offices (although we hope it does…). Real people live here who love adventure and actively pursue it every day of their lives. Below is a video trailer made by SummitSide a group of Reno-Tahoe locals which shows some of that pursuit via skiing, snowboarding, kite-boarding and mountain biking.

Here’s the home of a team of downhill mountain bikers. These guys live and breathe bikes. The trail shown here is the start of the first real, legal and purpose-built competition downhill mountain biking course in all of Northern Nevada, right here in Reno. It’s called the Entrail, or the “N” Trail because is runs from the big white N on a hillside above town. The trail is conceived, built and maintained by, The Poedunks (the northern Nevada IMBA affiliate), and Washoe County Parks. If you love summer more than winter, hold tight, biking is going to be big in Reno this spring!

Just examples of the many Reno Tahoe locals with the passion and drive to make adventure their life and their life an adventure.


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Winter Urban Survival

Harsh winter weather can take it’s toll, and it’s important to stay warm, happy and CAFFINATED. Richie Bednarski writes in with a couple good downtown winter weather respite options at cool local Reno businesses:

Dreamer's Coffee House
With many places to get coffee in Reno, there is one place that has a unique environment. Dreamer’s Coffee House, located right on the Truckee River and Virginia St, just off the beaten path of downtown is a sure hit. With customer appreciation days where you get half off drinks and great sandwiches, this is the perfect place to grab a hot cup of coffee and warm up during these cold winter days. Grab a friend and go check it out!Java Jungle

Another great spot to grab a cup of coffee and experience the local Reno culture is Java Jungle. Located on West and First Street, not too far from the heart of downtown Reno. Here you can enjoy fresh food and coffee. Every Monday they host an open mic night and every month they feature art from a different artist. This is the place to go for your Mexican Mocha! A friendly atmosphere coupled with great baristas makes this coffee house one of my favorites. And a great spot to experience the local culture of Reno.


Snow Riding in Tahoe

snowridersHere in the Reno-Tahoe Region we pride ourselves on the fact that no matter the season or weather, our landscape ain’t no one trick pony!Case in point: These guys, who live a stone’s throw south in Carson City won’t let a little snow cut their mountain biking season short. Although the gentlemen in this picture seem to be gazing a bit lustfully over at Heavenly…Still, once the snow melts down on the valley floors it will be perfect for road and mountain biking, hiking and golf if you like to get more than one sport in for your holiday season vacation.All of the ski resorts are open now with a good and growing base, and the backcountry ski season is off and running!-MTB

Deep Tahoe Powder is HERE!!!

Well we got a pretty good storm Thursday night into Friday, and as of Saturday night it’s still snowing in Reno. We’ve got a few inches here, and there is 2 feet or more around the Lake Tahoe Basin and more falling tonight. Supposed to clear tomorrow and stay that way for a while so this base should set up nicely and get us some good skiing.Here’s some video from this last storm:Tahoe storm totals as of posting:

Heavenly tahoe: 14 inches (

Mt. Rose: 16 to 20 inches (

Suuaw Valley:  18 to 20 inches (

Avalanche conditions:


Have YOU got a Reno-Tahoe Adventure? We’d LOVE to see it? upload it to YouTube, ad us as a friend and send us an note and we’ll post it up!

It’s snowing in RENO!!!

Cloudy skies, freezing temps and FROZEN precipitation: It’s a beautiful day in Reno!Reno Tahoe SNOW!!!!A few weeks ago our friends JT Holmes, Shane McConkey, Miles Daisher and Jesse Hall did a little Snow Dance Ceremony in Downtown Reno to show those delicate flakes just how to go about floating down to the ground. It worked. IT’S SNOWING!!! Here’s a short video Dan Dominy made of that little ritual…


Strange things are afoot in Reno…

Our Videographer caught some strange (and potentially AWESOME!!!) construction waaaaaaay up on top of the Silver Legacy downtown.  Not sure exactly what those guys could be doing up there. I heard, Shane McConkey was in town. I wonder if this has anything to do with him?

 Well, I guess we’ll find out tomorrow. They sure have good taste in music…


Surprise competition

I woke up Thursday morning at 6am because of a phone call from EJ. I am usually up by that time anyway but was sleeping in a bit because I was at the gym wrestling until late the night before. So, of course I answered the phone as I knew that it was my good friend and boss. I am not sure of exactly how our conversation went but basically he gave my his credit card number and told me to go to the airport and catch a flight to Washington DC for the Potomac Festival. That night I was in DC and the next day we’re running the great falls which was very exciting for me as I had never been there before.

The next day was the big Great Falls race. I paddled hard and felt really fast but made a small mistake and ended up in 5th place. The level of competition at the race though was truly world class, so as much as I wanted to win, 5th place still beat a lot of really fast racers. EJ looked awesome all day long and I thought for sure that he would win but due to to high caliber of racing anything less then a perfect race wasn’t good enough. He was however very fast and consistent. Anybody who might have forgotten that EJ still has ridiculous boat speed was surely reminded that he is a force to be dealt with in every event.

Today was the freestyle finals. The competition was at a hole called Bloody Good, but really it is bloody trashy and shallow. Despite its trashy nature it was pretty fun, and the idea of competing made it all the better. In the end I had just about as good of a ride as I could have and was able to win.

EJ was second with a great ride of his own, and Brian Kirk was third paddling nicely as well. I was stoked to win because this is the first time that I have competed since winning the event in Reno. I always feel a little uneasy after any kind of time out of my boat as I know that during that time the paddling world is getting better and I am not. Also, the last few days have been the first time that I have really gone 100 percent since my injury, which by the way has left a weird depression in my side, and I have got to say that I feel like my conditioning is as good as it has ever been.

I have had an awesome time paddling at the Great Falls and can’t believe that I have not been here before now. I am totally stoked that EJ called me up and brought me to this cool place. Tomorrow we are paddling at the Adventure Sports Center, and then I am flying home to the land of heat and fire on Tuesday.


        A few Saturdays back (the first time), I got a chance to spend some time exploring what has got to be one of the best outdoor adventures available in Reno-Tahoe, America’s Adventure Place! I signed on for an ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle, a.k.a. Off-Road/Off-Highway Vehicle) tour, of a part of the Plumas National Forest, off the romantically named Last Chance Creek near Frenchman’s Lake. The 30-mile drive from Reno was an easy 35 minutes – north on US 395 past Stead, up to Hallelujah Junction, and then West on Hwy 70 to the tiny hamlet of Chilcoot (just before Vinton), which boasts a miniscule but massively cute Frosty Freeze burger-shop (straight out of an Andy Griffith episode).  I called Lisa and Jay, the owners/operators of "High Sierra ATV Tours" from there, and they gave me directions to their location. I was running a little early (I guess you could say I was a little excited) – otherwise they would have come over and picked me up. The drive to their place took about 6 minutes. Another group was already there, and we did the basic paperwork and put on our gear (a helmet, long pants [not shorts], closed-toe shoes and lots of sunscreen), plus about 5 minutes of instructions on how to drive our fully-automatic Arctic Cat ATVs – and then it was off into the Sierras on our Arctic Cats.  The equipment was all new, surprisingly clean, and astonishingly comfortable.  I chose to ride with Jay, the owner, so I could take a bunch of photos, and boy – was that a great idea or what!  Within ten minutes of leaving the starting point, we were high enough into the mountains that even in mid-June, it was fairly cool, and I was glad I had brought a jacket.

        We were climbing some pretty steep grades and the Arctic Cats negotiated the climb with real ease. The ground clearance was almost as good as the Hummer I’d driven out in from Reno, and the 650 CC engines delivered enough power that even the 35-40° grades and boulder-stacked trails did not slow us down.The landscape transformed rapidly from the dry and sun-drenched nether elevations to cool greens as our adventure threw us deeper and deeper into the hands of the hills. The vegetation quickly moved to tall Ponderosa pines, Cedars, and then lots of other more Alpine trees. The forest was so beautiful. And we did not encounter a single other soul. No, I take that back, we ran into two people on the way back, but that was everyone the entire ride. It is pretty much an undiscovered country – silent in its majesty, and breath-takingly beautiful.  We stopped on numerous occasions, to take pictures, splash about a little in the different (very cold) little creeks we crossed.  There was one little picnic spot that I absolutely fell in love with – it was a tiny little spring-and snow-fed lake called Snow Lake, that does not appear in the maps.  I could have stayed there forever.

        I could see that snow marks were still fresh here, and commented that this would be a perfect location for snow-mobiling in winter (something that Jay and Lisa are gearing up to provide in the coming winter seasons).  I was told that the area gets over 15 feet of snow on the ground many winters.  But it is unspoilt and hard to get to – unless you have a knowledgeable local guide.

        Jay was the Tour Guide, and that was what made this so great. If I had just rented or brought an ATV over and done this by myself, it would have been (a lot of fun still, but) nowhere close to such a wonderful experience. Jay knew just about every little inch of that wilderness (1.2 Million acres), and he knew just which way to go all of the time, even when there was no trail to follow.

        We got to see some great flora all along the way. I was particularly fascinated with the almost maroon-red ‘Snow Flowers’ that Jay pointed out. These grow for just a few weeks in the year, just as the snows leave the mountains, and are quite striking.  But while it’s so pretty now in summer, Jay pointed out that best time to visit these forests is the Fall, as the leaves turn from green to crimson to gold, in all their autumnal glory.

        Our trip was a pretty long one – we climbed to the top of Crystal Peak, got a glimpse of the spectacular, volcanic Lassen Peak in the distance and rode out to the overlook where we gazed at a stunning bird’s eye view of Frenchman’s Lake. I was surprised that even with such a long trip, I was not really physically exhausted. You DON’T have to be very athletic, young, or even particularly fit – to enjoy an adventure like this. The Arctic Cat ATVs, being fully automatic, are very easy to maneuver, easier than driving any automatic-shift car.  I wonder if I can get my dad to do this with me, if we could come here together. I mean, he has lived in big cities all his life, as I have, but I know he’d love it as much as I did this time. 

        One thing I was a little disappointed about was that we did not see much fauna – Jay tells me that there’s quite a bit of deer in those woods, but they generally don’t come out until twilight or early in the mornings. There are also some bears around (and Jay had shot one a couple of years ago), but they really shun human presence, so it is very hard to get to see one up close, though we did see some quite fresh bear-tracks along the way. 

        It was almost evening before we got back to the homestead, which incidentally is also Jay and Lisa’s home.They were very generous and allowed us to use the bathrooms at their home to wash and clean up, and since the Frosty Freeze (the only game in town for food) was certain to have closed for the evening – they even invited to me to join their family (plus a few guests they had that evening) for a weekend barbeque.  (Mind you, they probably do not do this for their customers in the normal course, but I must have looked more hungry than most, LOL.) 

        Jay showed off his skills (and that old boy’s got skillz in this dept) with some very juicy thick ribeye steaks on his ‘Cowboy Grill’ – a very interesting and useful contraption that doubles as a barbeque pit and a campfire centerpiece (that you can sit around, as you would around a campfire). (I just know I want to buy one of these — I found out that he’d bought his from the Hearth Patio Show at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center earlier in the year.)  The food was great, the company very friendly and cheerful, but the overall experience – stupendous. They invited me to come back again. And I know I will, and very soon. 

        I love the forest, the wilderness of the Wild Sierra around Reno-Tahoe. I love the whole adventure feel of Reno-Tahoe, you know, that story-book feel of the Wild Wild West not being all that far away or long ago.  There are not too many chances to experience that up close and personal – particularly if you are from the city. To me, that is the charm of Reno-Tahoe – the Wild Sierra is still untamed there, and it is just around the corner from a pretty big city (which feels like a much bigger city than it really is) with all the urban comforts, great hotels, superb nightlife, world-class headliners and an overall entertainment scene that puts most US and European metros to shame.

        I am so glad I went on this tour, and I sure as heck am going back!!!!

        And I am going to try and post a few of the photos soon here – as soon as I get a chance to catalog them and pick out the best ones.

P.S.: I went back next weekend with my friends Katie and Ken and their troupe, the cast and crew of a local indy film production company (BarFly Productions), and made a little movie about this place – check it out below.

    Feel free to share the love and leave a comment.

Gairik (HighSierraDogSledder)

For more …
High Sierra ATVTours

Videography by BarFly Productions (

ERIN 411! Destination: Reno Rodeo

    Fun, funny, and freakin’ cool- this is ERIN 411!, my video blog showcasing all the awesome things that happen in Reno/Tahoe. I grew up here and I truly love living in the area; Reno/Tahoe is such a diverse place that there’s something for everyone: stunning natural beauty for the outdoor enthusiast, museums and history for the culture buff, and of course-wild nightlife for the young and reckless. This summer I’m going to all the best events and you’ll be right here with me, so bring your sense of humor (I have a tendency to tell bad jokes) and get ready to rock!  First up in my vBlog is ERIN 411! Destination: Reno Rodeo. I put on my best cowgirl boots and shortest shorts and went down to what we here in Reno/Tahoe proudly call the "Wildest Richest Rodeo in the West." Started in 1919, the Reno Rodeo is one of the biggest on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit and boasts all the biggest names in cowboy and cowgirl competition.  Sound cool? Well, it is. And it’s hot. Real hot. When you watch my video you’ll see exciting clips of the bronc bustin’ and calf roping and bull riding in all its dangerous glory, me shopping for the essential rodeo accessory in spite of my unfortunate anatomical problem, having my heart stolen by a pint-sized cowboy, and asking the perennial question: what is it that makes cowboys so darn cute?
    So watch it already! Click below to my see vBlog – live from the Reno Rodeo! 

    And feel free to share the love and leave a comment. You can contact me directly with questions, complaints, requests to host your next birthday party or bar mitzvah (or just to chat) at 
    See you soon!

Erin Granat (

Videography by Tim Gaer (;