• Claire’s Weekend Escape to Yosemite

    All of our team riders have started heading out on adventures this summer. Claire tells us about her weekend road trip to Yosemite:

    After a long winter I am ready to explore the outdoors with warm weather and good friends. To start my 2012 summer off right, we drove out to Yosemite National Park.

    My boyfriend Merrick and I left Tahoe at 7:00 am to drive 184.89 miles to Yosemite. After meeting up with a couple of friends we finally reached beautiful Yosemite. The views were breath taking; waterfalls in every direction you look. Massive rocks that tower above you, with a green valley below. With a long day of driving the four of us were eager to put the hiking shoes on and hit the trail. We parked the car and took the free shuttle to Happy Isle where the Mist Trail began. The Mist Trail is 1.5 miles to Vernal Waterfall. Once reaching the top of the falls, we relaxed in the sun for about an hour till we decided to ascend to the top of the upper section of Vernal Falls. After the steep switch backs, we were right below Half Dome. The four of us spent a while looking out over the top of the powerful falls. An hour before sun set we headed back down to the Yosemite Valley. Since we arrived late we were unable to find any camping spots. We were forced to drive 45 minutes to Indian Flats where we paid $40 to camp along Hwy 104L.

    6:30am I woke to the sounds of the river and rushing cars. This motivated me to pack up and get my day started. Merrick and I drove back to Yosemite to try and reserve a camping spot and hope for someone to cancel so we could camp inside the park. After putting our names on the list we decided to hike the Upper Yosemite Falls trail. This trail was 3.5 miles that had steep switchbacks that led to an amazing overview of the Yosemite Valley and the falls.

    I recommend that everyone take a weekend trip to Yosemite and hike these two trails. After descending the Upper Yosemite falls trail, our legs were so tired. We went back to the ranger’s office to see if we got a camp site; unfortunately there were only 15 cancellations. We were 18 on the list. So we took a bus to the trail head of Mirror Lake. This was a mile hike on a paved road, an easy walk that followed the creek. When we reached the Lake, half dome was towering over us. We relaxed by the water for a while discussing where we were going to lay our heads that night. We were going to try one more time, but the ranger’s office was closed. Luckily, we ran into a couple who just decided to give us their site. Merrick and I ended up getting a free camp site all to ourselves. We grabbed a bottle of wine and made s’mores… a perfect way to end the day.

    We woke up on Sunday around 8:00am, packed up our gear, and slowly drove out of Yosemite stopping along the way to take pictures. It took us about an hour and a half to reach hwy 395. We made one last stop at Mono Lake before returning to Tahoe. Mono Lake is an unusual lake in California that has saltwater instead of fresh water. It is alkaline, with a pH of 10, and almost three times as salty as the ocean. The seagulls feed on Brine Shrimp at this lake.

    3:00pm we finally arrived back in South Lake Tahoe; drove directly to Zephyr Cove, one of the beaches at Tahoe, and fell asleep in the sun.

    I hope you all make it to Yosemite this summer! – Claire Hewitt-Demeyer

  • Erika road trips to Rev Tour

    Having driven to Park City the previous day from Colorado, I squeezed in enough time to Ride at Canyons to stretch my legs out before heading to Tahoe on Monday the 9th of January.

    Erika Vikander at Lake TahoeWe left around 10am after stopping by Starbucks of course. Anyone who knows me knows how addicted to coffee I am so there will be many more references throughout this post. The skies were blue, the road was clear, and we had my one and only Highlander set at a comfortable 78mph cruise control.Tthe speed limit is 75) With about 500 miles of open road in front of us, we thought it was necessary to set out at a diligent pace. Fortunately for me, I just got an I phone, thanks to my stepdad, so I had lots of entertaining things going on during the drive. I have become an instragram user as well so we took a ton of pictures.

    Upon arriving, I was devastated to see how little snow there was in Tahoe, I had heard there wasn’t any, but it’s hard to believe until you see it! We checked into our place at the base of Northstar, and got to bed early to get ready for training the next morning.

    Another beautiful spring-like morning in California had us up on the mountain around 9am. The course wasn’t open until 10, so we had a bit to check out the other features on the mountain. The rail line that was setup before you got to the course was really fun to play around, and get warmed up on, but the course was the place to be if you were trying to ride park.

    I had a great day training on the course, and felt pretty good. Considering I didn’t compete until Friday, I didn’t want to push it too hard. A few more days of fun in the sun and Friday had already snuck up on me.

    It was a crisp bluebird morning the day of the 13th, and the course was incredibly fast. I had no complaints about the course which consisted of; two options up top, on the right was a down box to a flat-down box, and to the left was a down rail, to a really fun wall ride. To finish it off was two jumps. I chose to hit the left side because the judges had determined it was the “more difficult” line of the two. I had a blast weaving my way through the course, and got two laps in before the contest started.

    Max Peters and Erika VikanderUS Revolution Tour

    I was 3rd to last in the heat of about 30-40 girls, so I had a long time to try to stay warm, and focused. Being so early in the morning, I knew people would have trouble putting a run down due to the shady conditions on the course, so I played it pretty safe on my first run, and qualified 2nd for finals.
    When finals started the top 6 ladies were gathered at the top around 11am the sun was just peeking out around the trees to light up the course for us. Again I was 4th to drop so I had to stay entirely focused, and warm while waiting for my other competitors to take their runs.

    I stomped both of my runs, but in the end I played it just a little too safe. I took third on the podium behind some very talented girls that were really fun to watch. Lots of respect to all of the other women throwing down on this course, it was wildly entertaining! I did my research before awards and found there was a Starbucks conveniently located right in the village where awards were being held so once again, I got some coffee.
    We left early the next morning to head back to Park City, arriving a little later than expected we were both so tired at the end we had to hit the hay. Now, off to to Breck for some training, big jumps, and S.I.A.

    Thanks to everyone at the REV TOUR and NORTHSTAR for putting on a wonderful event, as well as a thanks to all of my sponsors for your support (Gatorade, Capix, Akinz, Fydelity)

    Erika Vikander on podium at US Rev Tour

    And one special thanks to ECHELON SNOWBOARDS for making this trip possible for me!

  • Update from out West – Claire Hewitt-Demeyer

    In this sad sad winter of no snow, the land out west, AKA Tahoe has been getting the worst of it, but Claire hasn’t let that stop her, she’s filling up her weekends with rail jam time. Here’s a little update from our western team rider, Claire Hewitt-Demeyer.

    I am competing in the USASA rail jam series for 2011/2012. USASA has hosted two events in South Lake Tahoe so far. The first competition was held off of HWY 50 by Reagan beach. A lot of locals came out to compete and have a great time! On 12/3/11 twenty five competitors came to Tahoe for the 1st USASA rail jam series. I took 2nd place in the event. The second USASA rail jam was hosted this weekend 1/6/12, this event also was a competition to get an invite to the Winter X Games in Aspen Co. I took 1st place, Natasha Sagucka took 2nd, and Julianne Brackett took 3rd. Along with taking 1st place I took runner up for the invite to the Aspen winter X Games. I hope that you can all make it to the 3rd event on 2/3/12 go to Usasa.org

    Claire Hewitt Demeyer rail jam
    (photo by Nathan Vetter)

    I did two competitions this weekend the other being the Volcom Peanut Butter Rail jam. Volcom’s 1st stop of the Peanut Butter and rail jam was at Sierra Resort in Tahoe. The set up was a lot of fun: a down flat down, pole jam to pole bonk, and a down rail. There was a lot of great talent that showed up for event. Everyone gave it their all! Here are the results of the competition: Girls: 1st Rebeccas Bruce, 2nd Fancy Rutherford, 3rd Julianne Bracket, 4th Claire Hewitt-Demeyer, and 5th Tasha Sagucka. The top five finalists of each division got an invite to the championship in Mammoth Ca, April 21, 2012 for a winning of $20,000.

    I want to thank my sponsors: Flow Snowboards, Akinz Boardwear, Essi Eyewear, and Shred Betties Magazine.

  • Winter’s Not Over!

    First Run at Kirkwood!

    Winter over? Not for many. This winter has been one of the best, starting in late October and continuing throughout late May into June. It just seems to be prolonging itself. Snow is still falling by the foot and all the die hard’s are trying to add as many more days to their season as they can. I was stoked to be one of them and hit up Kirkwood and Squaw’s last day.

    On my way to Tahoe we hit snow storms driving over Sonora Pass, a pass near my house leading you into Nevada, upon arrival in Tahoe the snow was still dropping and really starting to accumulate. You can only imagine my feeling of stupidity rocking sandals for this shred trip. I mean one would think it being Memorial day weekend that you would be able to get away with some summer threads.  But, I didn’t let my stupidity hold my rush of excitement back from the fresh falling snow.  All this meant was that’s the last day of the season would be a powder day at Kirkwood!

    Chairs 10 and 11 were open only, so the Wall was going off in full effect. If you haven’t ridden Kirkwood’s Wall you really need to get over to Tahoe and check it out. You see some of the best riders cruising this wall and blasting through the chutes.  I’m not going to lie, it took some female balls for me to get down the Wall, it was steeper than it looked from the lift.  Here’s some advice: never talk something up until you have tried at at least once…riding up the lift I was telling everyone that the Wall looked easy and would be no big deal. I may have given myself way too much confidence, because when I got to the top and looked down I may have saw the fear. So I had to female balls it  big time to get down, and trust me I was shaking in my outerwear…but it was awesome!

    In all, both days of riding were pretty good conditions for being the end of May, and gaining a goggle tan in the spring time was also a major bonus. I highly recommended adding as many days on to your season as you can, this is not one to miss.

    Though, for many the winter season is over and there are new adventures to be had. Maybe a time to pick up a new summer hobby? Or go on an epic road trip. Whatever it is, make it a summer that you will always remember, go off the limb a bit and dig deep into your bucket list.  If you still have the shred bug, which many of us hold year round, go to your nearest ice rink and ask to get some of the groomed shavings, set up a box or rail and have a little shred fest with your friends.  But if you still can, keep adding the days! No one wants the winter to end, they may say it for a couple weeks, but once it does its over until next year. Get as much shred time in as you can!