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Alpenglow Mountain Festival targets novice outdoor enthusiasts

Adam Jensen | ajensen@tahoedailytribune.com
A skier takes in the views of Lake Tahoe from the backcountry, which will be one focus of the Alpenglow Mountain Festival starting this weekend.
Josh Hejl | Provided

Getting into the backcountry can be an intimidating experience. The risk can be greater, the dangers are not always apparent and help is farther away. But a series of events over the next two weeks is geared toward helping beginner and intermediate outdoor enthusiasts experience another facet of what Lake Tahoe has to offer, whether it’s Nordic skiing, backcountry skiing, splitboarding or snowshoeing.

The Alpenglow Mountain Festival starts Saturday and runs through Sunday, March 1 at various locations around Lake Tahoe’s North Shore.

The festival celebrates human-powered winter mountain sports and includes clinics, equipment demonstrations, presentations, films and more. The majority of events included in the festival are free.

“I think it’s a really great way for people to try it, basically, with no cost,” said Brendan Madigan, owner of Alpenglow Sports, about human-powered winter sports.

Even with low snow totals last year, during the inaugural winter festival, many events had more interest than spaces available.

“I think the first year, even with the lack of snow, was a resounding success,” Madigan said.

With weather patterns again denying the Sierra Nevada its typical snowfall, a few events for the 2015 winter festival have been canceled or moved. Madigan said there is still enough high-elevation snow for all of the backcountry events to be held.

He said he is especially excited about the festival’s presentations by Bruce Tremper, a leading avalanche forecaster and head of the Utah Avalanche Center, and the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival, which is also a part of the festivities.

Tremper will lead a snow safety presentation on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema in Tahoe City and a snow safety field session on Wednesday, Feb. 25 at a location to be determined. Tuesday’s presentation is free. The field session costs $25.

The 10th Anniversary Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival will take place at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 at Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema in Tahoe City. The festival includes nine short films that highlight human-powered recreation.

Advance tickets, for $10, are available at http://www.alpenglowsports.com. All ticket proceeds will benefit the Tahoe Cross Country Ski Education Association.

Space at many events included in the Alpenglow Mountain Festival is limited and participants are encouraged to register online to secure spots. More information, as well as a full schedule of events, can be found at http://alpenglowsports.com/festival.


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