Janice's Summer Staff Picks

Hi, I'm Janice

I have been working here at Alpenglow for close to 8 years. Besides helping customers on the floor, I am the buyer for many accessories- belts, socks and insoles.  I enjoy merchandising the clothes (my closet at home is color coded by style …so it comes naturally!).  In the winter I am passionate about skiing both at the resort and in the backcountry - and over the past few years I have enjoyed learning to skate ski. 

When there is no snow on the ground (and sometimes when there is) I enjoy trail running and backpacking. I try to sign up for a few ultra distance trail races every year as a goal to keep me training.  Windsurfing has been a big part of my life for decades and I still love it – although these days it is much less popular (probably because it is so hard to learn!) so I may need to learn to wing foil…..

My Story:

I moved to Tahoe in 2011.  I was born in the UK and my parents immigrated to Quebec (near Montreal) when I was a toddler.  I lived in the Montreal area until graduating from University and then I worked and lived in Toronto for 10 years.  Toronto is a great city but like many big cities traffic is a nightmare and getting out of town to play in the mountains and lakes was always a pain.  I decided to leave corporate life and travel North America skiing and windsurfing. During that trip we spent several weeks in Tahoe City skiing at what is now Palisades - it was one of our favorite places especially for the challenging terrain.  

After traveling, I spent some time living in Calgary and Toronto and then my husband at the time was offered the opportunity to move to Denver.  We skied Summit county and when we split up I lived in Breckenridge for a year before moving to Tahoe City – I remembered the skiing was great and I have family in the area – so it was an easy choice!  I worked at another retailer here in town and taught skiing at Palisades before landing at Alpenglow full time in 2015.  After living in many different places I was able to appreciate just how special the community is here in North Lake Tahoe.

Janice's picks:

Garmin InReach Mini

This small lightweight (less than 4 oz) satellite communicator can be life-saver — literally! Having the ability to call for help or check the weather when you are out of cell range is important — especially for solo missions. I bring this for my long trail runs and backpacking trips and I carry it in my van in case of breakdown — there are a lot of gaps in cell service on rural roads.and it was comforting to have the option to communicate when I was driving solo in Baja. You can type the messages into an app on your cell phone and send them over the device. Or you can send preset messages, or press the SOS button without needing a cell phone. You can set it up so friends and family can track your location and once you message them they can send you replies. There is also the option to track your route (and backtrack if you get lost) and load tracks to help with navigation. All in all this device is an important safety tool that I bring with me on most adventures.

Western Mountaineering Summerlite Sleeping Bag

I love long days and nights in the mountains but I don’t love carrying a heavy pack. So I try to make my big three (shelter, sleep and pack) as light as possible. Western Mountaineering makes exceptional bags with their attention to detail and high quality 850+ ethically sourced (gathered from nests) goose down. The Summerlite Mummy Bag is rated as comfortable to 32F and with a well insulated sleeping pad and a liner or down jacket I have slept comfortably down to 25F. I use a lightweight compression sack to squish the bag down to the size of a grapefruit - I am 5’7” and I use the 6 ft bag — the weight is only 1 lb 3 oz! This bag has been perfect for summer and fall trips in the Sierras.

Eureka! Spark+ Stove

I have a mini-van set up for camping and I use this small butane stove for cooking. I bought it as a replacement for a propane stove and I find it is much faster and easier to setup — I am not cooking anything elaborate — so the single burner is enough — when it is cold and windy I set it up on top of my cooler in the back of the van and cook from the inside with the hatch open. I find a single butane canister can last as long as the 1lb propane canisters. They are not stocked in as many places as propane (although that is changing as these stoves gain in popularity) so I keep a few on hand just in case — they are small and light so storing a few extra is not a problem.

More Top Picks:

NeverSecond C30 Energy Gels

These gels taste great and they are super easy to swallow. They deliver 30 gms of carbs (120 calories) in an easy to digest blend of 2:1 maltodextrin-to-fructose. The packaging is a bit heavy so for long adventures I will squeeze 3 gels into a small soft flask to reduce the weight and avoid sticky hands.

Skratch Sport Hydration Mix Lemon Lime

I have run into trouble drinking too much water in ultra races on hot days — you keep drinking because you are hot but if you don’t add electrolytes you risk over-hydration. The Scratch sport hydration mix works well for me — the small amount of carbs in the solution along with the salt - helps your body transport the water across your gut wall to more effectively hydrate than just water alone. 

Katadyne BeFree Filter and Hydrapak Seeker 2.0L

I like to keep my load as light as possible and water is heavy! So whenever feasible I carry a minimal amount of water and use the Katadyne BeFree filter to scoop up more water from sources along the route. The filter can be purchased separately or it comes with a 0.6L or 1.0 L soft flask. The smaller 0.6 size fits in the water bottle pockets of running vests and I added this type of pocket to my backpack straps. When I am backpacking I use the filter with the 0.6L soft flask while I am on the move - the flow rate is great and I drink from the filter flask directly or I may use it to filter into another flask containing nutrition or electrolytes. 

Filtering at basecamp:

When I get to camp I put the filter on a 2L or 3L Hydrapak seeker soft flask so that I can scoop up water from the lake or stream and bring it back to camp to filter as needed. The threads on the wide mouth hydrapak containers are a match for the BeFree filter threads. If you have used the filter and it dries out before your next use it make take a bit to get flowing again - I prevent this by soaking it overnight in a glass of water before using it — during the season I often just store it in a small glass of water in the fridge so it is ready to go. Cleaning the filter is easy — just swirl it in water. The estimated lifespan is 1000 liters The hollow fibre filters like this one (and the Platypus quick draw) will be damaged if frozen so it is a good idea to bring it inside your bag if you are camping where overnight temps are below freezing!

Honorable mentions:

What about skis?

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Marlo's Summer Staff Picks

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