Meet Brendan Madigan

Hi, I’m Brendan

As Alpenglow’s second-ever owner, I feel a tremendous responsibility to give back to the local mountain community that has sustained the shop since 1979. I lead Alpenglow’s community-centric business model and everything we do is meant to honor this long-standing commitment. 

I’m inspired by my co-workers that really exemplify the Tahoe adventure lifestyle. I could think of nothing better than to start a big dark-to-dark tour at 5am on the West Shore, break a deep trail with friends, and get home to loved ones safely.

As the men’s apparel and footwear buyer, I’m most helpful in those categories. I’m always stoked to talk ski touring too and love a nerdy deep dive into the intricacies of apparel fabrics, outsole compounds, and anything equipment related that makes your backcountry adventures more enjoyable. Come say hi! 



My Story:

After graduating college in Virginia, and a stint pursuing professional soccer in the Netherlands, I moved west to chase dreams of untracked powder. I began working at Alpenglow in 2003 as a part-time employee and mostly full-time ski bum. During this time I was lucky enough to fall under the influence of legendary Alpenglow-ers Dave Nettle, Aaron Zanto and Mark Kircher. These veterans taught me the value of pre-work dawn patrol and a commitment to the alpine lifestyle. I eventually moved into full-time work at the shop and finally ownership in 2011, when I purchased the shop from Alpenglow’s original owner, Don Fyfe.

Way back in 2004 I also had the good fortune of meeting my fellow co-workers Jeff Dostie and Tracy Brostek. While we all began working together at roughly the same time, none of us knew then that we'd still be together nearly twenty years later. I consider myself extremely lucky to have these two stellar humans in my life - not only do we collaborate on a daily basis at Alpenglow, but I've enjoyed some of the coolest adventures of my life with them. Building something special with both Jeff and Tracy, plus all of our other amazing staff, will always remain one of the greatest honors of my life.

My life work revolves around cultivating community through a rich and connected retail experience. I am an experienced creator/founder of a litany of high-end, large-scale experiential events in North Lake Tahoe, California. These include the Alpenglow Mountain Festival, the Alpenglow Winter Speaker Series, the Broken Arrow Skyrace and Afterglow, A Mountain Storytelling Podcast.

I will always reminisce about skiing knee-deep powder off the summit of 20,320-foot Denali, the tallest peak in North America, in 2010, a near FKT, car-to-car alpine ascent of Mt. Rainier’s Liberty Ridge and regularly backcountry skiing 5,000+ feet… before getting to work at 10am. I am fascinated by the concept of building something bigger than myself in partnership with my co-workers, and I'm extremely honored by my role as the current steward of Alpenglow Sports. Established in 1979, Alpenglow Sports is now considered a legacy brand and a thought leader in the outdoor industry. I am inspired by my co-workers on a daily basis.

"Form follows function. I love playful skis that are light enough for big vert days, but still have backbone to support a 200-lb person. I love simple, effective and clean aesthetics. "

- Brendan Madigan

Brendan's Top 3:

DPS Lotus 138

The DPS Lotus 138 literally changes the sport of powder surfing into a spiritual, out-of-body experience. Don’t be fooled by the girth, as this is my go to touring ski of choice if there is 10 inches or more of fresh. In good winters, I ski this board over 40 days a season. The reverse camber design gives a nice kick-pattern directly underfoot, where only about 14 inches of the ski touches snow, making skinning an extremely efficient and low-resistance experience. This increase in skin track turn-over (cadence), allows for quick and easy touring, despite the size of the ski. I’ve skied every iteration of the Lotus since 2013 and I highly encourage my powder thirsty friends to drink from this chalice of goodness.  

Zipfit Tour Liners

I’m particularly excited about a new product for us this winter, Zipfit’s Touring liner. I have narrow feet and particularly problematic heel volume, which leads to frustrating, omnipresent blisters in my touring boots. I’m hopeful that the customizability of the Zipfit liners, specifically the ability to pump more cork into needed areas, will solve this decades old problem. This also gives our boot fitters a great tool for problematic fits or someone who just wants the best in class when it comes to comfort. 

MountainFLOW Skin Wax

Skin wax is an item that should always be both in your pack and your truck, so you never get caught unprepared with our maritime snow. I like the concept of using a technical product that enhances my backcountry experience (efficient glide saves energy = more turns), while knowing that there aren't harmful chemicals hurting the environment.

Brendan's Must Haves:

inReach Messenger

Garmin inReach Messenger is the little brother of the popular inReach Mini, but at $100 cheaper and I think more practical for everyday adventures here in Tahoe or the eastern Sierra. I had a bad mountain bike crash in the fall of 2022 and had zero cell phone service. Having broken my ankle, leg and clavicle, I wasn’t able to get out on my own but had I been carrying this device, I could have used the satellite connectivity to call for help. While this requires a subscription plan, I think it is a vital tool for ultimate safety in the mountains and should be part of everyone’s plan. 

The inReach app has been drastically improved in the last few years and is very handy. Perhaps the coolest feature is the tracking function, which allows your loved ones to follow your location throughout the tour. If you've planned a route and conveyed it to your safety resource, this sets you up for ultimate connectivity and a safe return to the trailhead. Whether you are buying this for yourself or for your loved one, it gives everyone involved solid peace of mind.

Scott Patrol E2 38

I’m excited for the E2 version of Scott’s Patrol 38 airbag pack. Smaller, lighter and with a digital screen that makes things easier to read, I see this as a big upgrade to the first (E1) version. That, and it is now available in a larger volume pack for those of us bigger humans and/or those who carry a full avy and/or safety kit. I’m a proponent of having every safety resource possible at my fingertips, and while airbags aren’t silver bullets (particularly in our sub treeline terrain), I like the bigger capacity pack with improved airbag technology.


All My Picks:

Continue reading

Meet Janice
Jeff Dostie of Alpenglow Sports smiles in his headshot

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.