Meet Louis

Hi, I'm  Lou


I grew up in Philadelphia, and was lucky enough to become a part of the cycling community. I learned from legends and raced at a high level from the age of 14 until I hung up my competitive wheels at age 40. 


Trail running had been an off season activity for me, but I found myself loving the simplicity. It didn’t take long before that too snowballed and I found myself running ultras across the country and across the ocean in the Alps. I am now a multisport mountain athlete, embracing all that Tahoe has to offer. At Alpenglow, I specialize in bootfitting, and am a great resource for all things trail and mountain running. 

My Story:


My wife, Linn, and I moved to California in 2012. We were newlyweds, so we figured we’d pack up our Subaru and drive across the country, you know, just to spice things up. Well, we never left. We bopped around the state spending time in beautiful Sonoma and Marin, but with every trip to Tahoe, we found it harder and harder to go home.


We both caught the ultra marathon bug and found ourselves driving to run trails many days of the week. I’d taken a job at a running shop in wine country, and loved it on the surface, but I craved a proper trail community. This led us to Marin. I was offered a position at San Francisco Running Co. Brett Rivers was opening a second shop and he wanted me to manage it. It was my DREAM. In my years at SFRC, I did it all. Pancake breakfast fundraisers with the high school cross country team, group runs with Olympians, and less fun days spent putting up flood gates when the creek ran high. I was the GM but everyone in town thought I was the owner because I was there all the time. I would show up to local high school track meets, parents would ask me if I had a child competing, nope just here to watch one of our many of our high school track/cross country runners that worked at the shop. But still I wanted more.


We craved the smell of pine, endless granite peaks and snow. We were ready to make the move up the hill. We’d nearly moved up 5 years before, I’d secured a spot at Alpenglow and was ready to move but my wife’s job transfer fell through, so we didn’t pull the trigger. This time was the same but different. I had an offer at Alpenglow and Linn once again had nothing lined up, but this time we went for it. We would figure it out. Fast forward two years, and we have settled in nicely. Linn is baking at the best bakery in town. Our dog Molly has learned to dock dive at Donner and we just bought our first home. We are here to stay! 

"I’m proud to be a member of the Alpenglow family, the most accomplished and knowledgeable group of goofballs I’ve ever worked with"

- Louis Secreto

My top 3:

Maestrale RS


First let's start with the fact that SCARPA is officially a Benefit Company!! I strongly suggest you read more on this.


 

I’ve always struggled with finding a boot that fits my foot right out of the box. A combination of having a funky fifth metatarsal and very bony ankle bone made it a real pain. I found that the Maestrale RS had that “oh so right” fit.  The Intuition liner really didn’t take that long to start to mold to the shape of my foot. Yes, a touring boot should fit tight, like a firm handshake but not a bone crushing feeling. I found that using a Sidas custom pro winter insole made the experience that much better. The new 102 mm last and a sustainability story are big pluses for me. 

Speedmax Helium Skate Ski


Although I haven’t skied these yet, I am so looking forward to skiing them this upcoming winter. These will be my go to race skis and allow me to step up my skate skiing game.


The skis have a deeper & coarser base structure than other models, ideal for warm and moist conditions. This process is produced using natural diamonds and a gliding sidewall, a thin waxable area for better gliding, makes you faster! Pick up a Speedmax Helium, you won't regret it! 


 

Pagoda Tour 112RP


What can I say, uber playful, surfy and easy to ski. I’ll be the first to say I’m a trail/mountain runner first and skier second. These puppies put the biggest smile on my face whether going for a tour or skiing at a resort after fresh snow. The carbon- hybrid wood/foam core makes these skis very light. They make you climb the skin track like a goat, yup they sure do! On top of that there is a sustainability story to go along with these skis.
 

Lou's gear philosophy:


I tend to choose my gear based on a few criteria: how light it is, the features it may or may not have, and how well it would hold up on rocky technical terrain. I’m fortunate enough to be able to try out many trail shoes and other gear. I generally don’t use gear just because an athlete is using it. I pick gear by what close friends are using and how their likes and dislikes match what I'm looking for in a piece of gear. A major concern for me is how a company stands behind their product. Having a good warranty program and customer service are vital for me

Lou's Secret Weapons:

Dynafit Ultra 100


Dynafit trail shoes have been my shoe of choice for both on and off trail running not just in the basin but on hut to hut trips. The fit and grip of these shoes give me a precise feeling I tend to not get from some other brands. I love 4mm lugs, not too big but just enough for a more secure feel on any surface. The lace pocket is a great feature for keeping the laces nice and tidy. To top this off the heel preloader, which is anatomically correct, ensures a secure, stay-put hold. 


 

Iko Core Headlamp


This lightweight headlamp has been my favorite go to for a few years now. While it may not be the brightest, at 500 lumens, it more than makes up for with some amazing features. Coming in at 79g I sometimes forget I’m even wearing it. This little bad boy can be mounted in so many ways such as: worn on the head, around the neck, placed on a table & used a lamp and or attached to a tent pole or tree. It comes with a storage pouch that allows it to be transformed into a lantern and hung in your tent. If I’m running a race that I know I’ll be running through the night this is my go to. I always have a backup battery, which weighs next to nothing and is always suggested. 

Leopard FL Crampons


A few years ago, gearing up for my first multi day big mountain trail race, I was searching for ultra-light and compact but bomb proof equipment. I found out Petzl had just released these all aluminum 10 point crampons. For that event I had two different trail shoes, so having a quick tool-free length adjustment crampon was key. There was a section of the event that required me to cross a glacier. I put these on before hitting the snow field and kept them on even after we crossed the glacier onto rocky technical terrain.  Winner winner chicken dinner they held up and I wasn’t easy on them! 

My hot take:


I think too many runners have "all their eggs in one basket” when it comes to trail running shoes. Or they see a sponsored athlete wearing a shoe so they feel they have to wear that shoe. It may or may not be the best fit for them. I’ve found, as with many other close friends, that if you switch it up and run in 3 to 4 different trail shoes your body will benefit from it and be less likely to get injured. That was the philosophy of the shop I used to manage.  


Think of a golfer, they have many different types of clubs to utilize depending on what the situation calls for. The same can apply for your running shoes. On recovery days you can use a shoe with more cushion like The North Face Summit Pro and for more technical trails I use a shoe with better tread and sticky rubber. Think of the La Sportiva Jackal 2 or Dynafit Ultra 100. Just a few of the many shoes I keep in my quiver.  

Garmin Enduro 2


I LOVE the long battery life this watch has, plus combined with features such as a built-in flashlight. Yeah, I did initially make fun of a flashlight on a watch, BUT it’s a feature you never knew you needed until you actually do. The other features I use are the storm alert, mapping and the Garmin app “Earthmate”. Another great feature is the ability to pair the watch with an Inreach Mini 2. When paired with my Inreach Mini 2, I’m able to share my location with my wife so she is able to see my location. I believe this is one of the best features to have and use when in the backcountry. The updated Enduro 2 is my “tool” watch for skate skiing, trail/mountain running, ski touring or doing laps at the resort. 

InReach Mini 2


This is a piece of gear that everyone should have and use if you venture anywhere off the beaten path. I’ve used this on long runs in and around the Tahoe basin as well as long mountain races in the Alps. There are so many features about this to list so I’ll go over just a few. When you’re starting your run, bike or ski adventure a simple text can be sent such as “starting my run, will message half through”, “stopped for lunch”, “not feeling today, turning around” and “back at the car safe”. This combined with “Live Tracking”, give my family that extra piece of mind. In the event of having to hit that little “SOS” button, I also have a message sent to my wife with my exact location and to notify local Search and Rescue.  Pairing with the Garmin App “Explore” for detailed mapping as well as pairing it with my watch gives me a next level of security. Having the pair with my watch also gives me “wrong” turn notifications, especially useful when “off” trail. The weight of it makes it almost impossible to notice when in my Salomon vest.  

Julbo Rush 1-3


In the past I’ve always looked skeptical at performance sunglasses that have light reactive lenses. The Rush changed my mind, especially using them very early at the nordic centers. The lenses work and work very well. One thing I’ve noticed is that I have never had an issue with the glasses fogging up due to the way they are vented. The fit and feel with the Flex3 temples provide amazing adjustability for that “oh so sweet”  perfect grip. 

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