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Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture
Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture
Lake Tahoe and Truckee local personalities and local profiles.

An Institution: Sierra Ski and Cycle Works

It all started more than three decades ago when he decided to move to South Lake Tahoe, for just one winter.  That one winter turned into 35 years and the beginning of a lifelong love affair with Tahoe.

Meet Gary Bell, back country pioneer and owner of Sierra Ski and Cycle Works (SSCW) in South Lake Tahoe.  The big fun in the small shop since 1980. read more →

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South Shore Mountaineer Carving a Niche

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His deep love of the Sierras drives his passions.

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More Alive Now: Simple Nutrition to Change Your Life by Susan Frailey RN BSN

Through her own life changing experiences, Susan has witnessed the profound and powerful benefits of simple nutrition for herself and her family. Now she wants to share it with you.

Susan Frailey RN BSN from South Lake Tahoe recently published her breakthrough approach to nutrition in her new book, More Alive Now: Simple Nutrition to Change Your Life.

Through her innovative nutritional tools that make sense, are easy to follow, and will last a lifetime, Susan has joined Andrew Weil and Michael Pollan as a pioneer in the art of nutrition committed to help us achieve optimal health through simple daily decisions. As a mother of an autistic child, a full time health practitioner, entrepreneur and business owner, if Susan can do it, anyone can. read more →

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Incline Village Man Readies to Self-Publish Book on Overcoming Extreme Loss

Benjamin AllenJust when you think life has handed you enough hardship, Benjamin Allen humbles you with a most personal journey of extreme loss and heart wrenching grief. Over a 13 year period, Allen’s wife and two children – one an infant – died. So intense was his journey, that he was featured on Oprah, The Today Show, The New York Times, 20/20, and the Dallas Morning Post.

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Long Live the Real Skiers by Gary Bell

Martin HollaySo you have your new super fat twin tip skis or that new board with rocker.

You can ride switch all day long, throw down corked threes in the big pipe, you’ve dropped the cross on Mount Tallac, won a race or two during gay week and skied Powderhouse in the full moon!

Yep pretty hot, right? Well let me tell you about two of my favorite skiers first and then we can take a vote.

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Truckee Sports Exchange Under New Ownership

Truckee Sports ExchangeThe Sports Exchange, a fixture of Truckee’s West River Street landscape and leading sporting goods store in the region, was recently sold to longtime manager Rob Cavallo.

Cavallo has played a key role in the growth of Truckee Sports Exchange over the past eight years as an employee and manager. He has spearheaded many significant improvements to provide locals and visitors with the best possible shopping experience in the Truckee-Tahoe area. read more →

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Eco-stylist Heather River of Truckee opens Bespoke

Her energy and creativity is endless.  It all stems from her deep appreciation of the environment, fashion and functional art.

As a seamstress, shop owner, mother, community volunteer and artist, Heather’s tastes and talents are manifested in her latest creations and her new shop – Bespoke.

Meet Heather River, eco-stylist and entrepreneur from Truckee.

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Barbara Ricotta: Master of Holistic Health

She has the magic touch. Her gentle manner and extensive medical experience has made her one of the top holistic health providers in Lake Tahoe, who specializes in craniosacral therapy and acupuncture.

Meet Barbara Ricotta, RN, MA, L.Ac. of North Lake Tahoe.

Barbara discovered holistic wellness in the mid 1980s while working as a critical care nurse. Inspired by her many clients who were seeking a higher level of health and well-being, she subsequently embarked on a career in holistic health and wellness.

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Geoff Clarke, Sustainable Mountaineer

His obsession with backcountry skiing and adventure all started at age eight. He’d hike up Hobbit Hill in South Lake Tahoe with his dog, Sugar, and ski down.

As the adventures have grown longer and more challenging since chasing Sugar four decades ago, he’s still charging.

Meet Geoff Clarke; mountaineer, backcountry guide, photographer and green builder.

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The Ski Bum Life by Gary Bell

Someone asked me the other day if I was a ski bum.

This was a question that had me standing there going, “huh well uh.”

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Eric the Mountain Gardener: How to Winterize Your Mountain Garden

“Water seldom, but deeply.  Plant bulbs now. Plant, divide and transplant perennials now to give you a huge jump on spring. Plant or transplant any trees and shrubs while the soil is still workable. Deciduous trees and shrubs put on as much as 80% of their annual root system expansion in the fall.”

This is how to prep our Tahoe gardens in the fall according to Eric Larusso, horticulturist, botanist, arborist and co-owner The Villager Nursery in Truckee.

Get your skis and boards tuned. I threw in that one :) read more →

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Nancy Tieken Lopez: The Art of Nature

Nancy Tieken Lopez started art hikes when receiving her Masters of Fine Arts from San Jose State University over fifteen years ago. Nancy studies included an emphasis in bronze sculpture and installation art and lead to more ephemeral materials of earth installations with music, dance and poetry.

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Tahoe’s Backcountry Babe: Rosie Hackett

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Known affectionately by her friends as Rosebud, she is the head instructor in Lake Tahoe for us babes, that’s Babes in the Tahoe Back-country.

We like to call her Rock Star, based on those ski moves. read more →

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Pro Bike Racer opens Frame Shop in South Shore

She’s a pro mountain bike downhill racer.

And art framer.

Meet Tasa Herndon.

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Todd Offenbacher: Tahoe Adventure Film Festival Creator

He’s on a mission.

Turn every single person on to the outdoors and fitness.  Period.

With his hilarious antics and positive attitude on and off the screen, Todd Offenbacher, world-class climber and Lake Tahoe TV host, embraces every day to the fullest and encourages us all to do the same. While he has taught us all not to take ourselves or life too seriously, Todd has made it his passion to remind us why we chose to live in this special place.

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North Shore Ski Pioneer JT Holmes presents July 7 at Squaw

He’s more than good looking, more than big mountain slayer, more than a pro.  He’s one of us; one of our Tahoe elite athletes who’s always bringing it home.

Don’t miss Squaw Valley ski legend J.T. Holmes at the PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn on Saturday, July 7 at 7:00 p.m. when he shows never before seen footage from recent adventures, and discusses how he’s carved out a career skiing, base-jumping and speed flying. It’s all part of the SVI speaker series called “Adventurers in Sport and Spirit.”

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Todd Jackson: Big Blue Adventurer

Todd takes full advantage of the endless recreation and adventures located out his front door year round in North Lake Tahoe.

Whether skiing backcountry, at the resort or on the groomed skating trails in the winter, or mounting biking, hiking and sailing competitively in the Monday night Laser fleet, Jackson keeps himself active.

His passion for fitness and Lake Tahoe has also landed him at the helm of two successful businesses including Adventure Sports Week Tahoe.

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Threads by Bruce Rettig included in PacificReview’s SHACKLED

Many of you know Bruce Rettig from his award-winning advertising campaigns and design. But did you know he’s an accomplished author?

His short story, “Threads,” was just published by PacificREVIEW, a west coast arts review annual that features works that explore identity in the context of West Coast/California culture. Guest contributors have included Ai, Alurista, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Oliver Mayer, and William T. Vollmann and now, South Lake Tahoe’s Bruce Rettig. Congrats!

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The Push, A South Pole Adventure for Adaptive Athletes

It’s a first for adaptive athletes who literally pushed the limits and themselves. Grant Korgan, lead by Tal Fletcher and Doug Stoup, made it to the South Pole on January 17, 2012 on the 100-year anniversary when Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova expedition reached the earth’s most remote spot.

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Jamie Anderson, Slopestyle Phenom

Jamie Anderson, a South Lake Tahoe native, is easily considered one of the top female snowboarders in the world.

And she’s headed to the 2012 Winter X Games along with Sierra-at-Tahoe team riders, Hannah Teter, and Maddie Bowman.  Go get em girls!

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Get an Elite Feet Fit for Peak Performance

“I love my boots!” “Did I tell you…I L-O-V-E my boots!”

Boasting after every run, this non-stop declaration captured the transformation I watched unfold right in front of me.  She went from a good skier to a carving maniac; fast, strong, fluid. She was back on track thanks to her custom foot beds made by Christian at Elite Feet in the Northstar Village.

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Fountain Art Fair Features Tahoe Fine Artist Reds Regan To Benefit Art For Progress

Primitive contemporary fine art painter Reds Regan will be featured at the Fountain Art Fair Armory Show March 9-11 at the 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan.

The Tahoe artist is exhibiting an original 9-foot framed painting at the Armory show which benefits Art for Progress, a non-profit organization providing creative arts education programming for under-served youth. The acrylic painting titled “Minotaur Dream” is shown here, and features a hand-sculpted frame. The piece was inspired by Greek art and mythology with a modern emphasis on beauty and the beast. read more →

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Tahoe Mountain Sports Owner Dave Polivy Honored by Leave No Trace

Dave Polivy, the owner of Tahoe Mountain Sports in Kings Beach, was honored by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics nonprofit as one of its extraordinary member-activists of 2011.  The honor highlights Polivy’s efforts to promote Leave No Trace principles, as well as those of 10 other member-activists from across the nation, who were selected from some 60 nominees.

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The Santa Diet by Santa

Lake Tahoe Culture Santa Claus by Joy StrotzTaking a leap of faith, Santa has introduced a new diet book that make love the main ingredient.

Thomas O’Connor from Lake Tahoe legally changed his name to Santa Claus and he lives and thrives spreading his gospel of love, hope and forgiveness.

Santa has gone healthy and has a new diet book. He’s slimmer and trimmer than ever and spreading his gospel of love with impeccable taste.

Read his story.

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Ty Dayberry. Freeheel skier extraordin – AIR.

ty_07.gifHe started telemark skiing at age 10.

By 21, he’s taken his freeheel art to a higher level.

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Scott Williamson, Unsung Super Athlete by Tim Hauserman

Scott Williamson, Unsung Super Athlete
by Tim Hauserman

This story is reprinted from the November 2011 issue of Moonshine Ink.

One of America’s greatest athletes lives with his wife in a small, simple apartment in Truckee. Not many people have heard of Scott Williamson. He doesn’t score touchdowns, ride his bike around France, or win gold medals in the Olympics. He walks. But to say that he walks is like saying Fred Astaire danced. Scott walks very long distances, very fast.

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SNC Professor Katie Zanto wins L.L. Bean Outdoor Hero Award

The national voting is in, and while we knew it all along, Katie Zanto is now more than a local hero in Lake Tahoe and at Sierra Nevada College.

Professor Katie Zanto won the 2011 Outdoor Hero award for her work founding the Adventure Risk Challenge Program (ARC). ARC will receive a $5,000 grant from LL Bean. Zanto, fueled by a great dedication to the environment, has created a variety of unusual unique opportunities for youth to discover their own passion and love for the outdoors. She chairs the Interdisciplinary Studies Program at SNC where her passion shines in and out of the classroom.

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Soulcycler Rick Gunn: Pedaling Love and Compassion

Rick Gunn PhotographyOn July 1, 2005, he started his journey from the Golden Gate Bridge. Thirty-three countries, 25,811 miles and 34 months later, he returned to South Lake Tahoe.

Rick Gunn, photographer, writer and adventurer from South Lake Tahoe, is on a mission to spread more love, compassion and understanding about our world through his captivating Soulcycler presentations.

Rick recently returned home after a 3 month, 2,373-mile bicycle tour across India. Re-charged, and re-vitalized, he has returned to work with renewed vigor on “Soulcycler” the book.

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JJ Morgan Jazzes up Truckee

He has been the driving force behind Moody’s reputation as a venue for talented jazz artists.

He also started the Jazz Artists in Residence series held every July, that offers local kids a chance to play with jazz greats, who teach them about various instruments and music for free.

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South Shore Drum Chick Liz Broscoe goes Big

Liz Broscoe DrumchickIt all started when she was just a little girl.

The beat and rhythm of life filled her blood, overflowing with creativity.

Now, she’s sharing her passion for west African drumming and dance with Lake Tahoe.

Meet Liz Broscoe, South Shore Drumchik.

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Charter Advertising Receives Gold ADDY Award for Edge 2010 Design

Creativity runs in this family.

Charter Advertising/Design, Inc. of South Lake Tahoe received a Gold Award at the March 2011 ADDY Awards in Reno, Nevada. The recognition was for its cover design of Tahoe Writers Works literary publication, EDGE. Bruce Rettig served as creative director for the project, and Brianna Rettig as photographer.

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Robb Gaffney M.D. Author & Ski Icon

Robb Gaffney M.D. began studying the slopes of Squaw Valley when he was in college. He has skied Squaw for 20 years and is the author of Squallywood – A Guide to Squaw Valley’s Most Exposed Lines.

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Corey Rich Adventure Photographer Entrepreneur

After nearly 20 years spent focused on documenting adventure, his love for photographing the exploration of wild places has only continued to burn.

Meet Corey Rich of South Lake Tahoe.

Adventure Photographer. Mountaineer. Entrepreneur.

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SoulCycler Chronicles: From out of the dust in India by Rick Gunn

He’s out there again.

Opening our hearts to the world, redefining our place in humanity through his lens and stories. Our tireless, poetic searcher finding a new rhythm to his life, taking us along for the ride.

The SoulCycler, aka Rick Gunn, adventure photojournalist from South Lake Tahoe recently began another meaningful journey in India.

But, this time he’s not alone…

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Gary Murphy, Tahoe’s Legendary Snow Forecaster

For 40 winters, Gary Murphy has been counting. From the first flakes to be released from the restless skies of autumn to the serendipitous torrents of May, Gary Murphy is counting; watching; and recording snow’s detail to the point of minutia.

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Robert “Fro” Frohlich Mountain Dreamer

With a style his own, full of passion and resolve, he fought hard to maintain our mountain culture.  He was a beatnik, a mountain dreamer until the end. He liked to talk about the history and change in this town, but it wasn’t until you read his stories that define us did it hit.

Robert ‘Fro’ Frohlich wrote about his favorite places, pastimes and people around Lake Tahoe, making bocce ball night at Wolfdale’s sound like a soulful experience. And it was for Fro. Surrounded by his friends, he embraced the power of now.  Skiing in blizzards or sailing in gale force winds, these intense experiences spurred him on to want more. More for himself, and everyone else.

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Poetry in Motion: Pro Nordic Skier Debbi Waldear

Her competitive spirit was nurtured at a young age racing sailboats in the San Francisco Bay area with her dad. Along with trail running and skiing, her athletic prowess translated into a lifelong passion for fitness and being in the mountains.

Meet eight-time cross country ski racing World Masters Champion, Debbi Waldear. read more →

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Eco-Champion David Hansen saves Embassy Suites $330K in Energy Bills – So Far!

David HansenHe cut his teeth with Robert Redford building the award-winning eco-friendly Spa at Sundance Resort in Utah in 2001.

Meet David Hansen, Director of Engineering at Embassy Suites Resort in South Lake Tahoe.

At Sundance, Hansen and his “green” team were given creative license to build a spa that would reflect Redford’s life long stewardship practices and merge nature into the overall sustainable design.  Sharing the same philosophies, Hansen and Redford made the perfect team.

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Tea Time in Tahoe: Birth of A Business in Truckee by Beth Ingalls

Tea Time in Tahoe:  The Birth of a Business by Beth Ingalls.

This article is reprinted with permission from the September 2010 issue of Moonshine Ink which covers life in Truckee and the North Lake Tahoe area.

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Far West Ski Association Honors The Video/Audio Tour Guide AROUND TAHOE

When the 600 plus members of the Far West Ski Association convene for their 80th annual convention in June at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa in Indian Wells, California, they will honor two of North Tahoe’s more creative ski industry professionals, Darin Talbot and Robert Frohlich.

Both Talbot and Frohlich, long time mainstays of the Tahoe ski scene, are recipients of the 2010 Warren Miller Award for their ambitious and highly entertaining “Around Tahoe: Lake Tahoe’s Ultimate Skiing and Snowboarding Video/Audio Tour Guide.” read more →

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Leslie Ames, Sustainable to the Core

Leslie kayaking Grand CanyonHer laid back style, love of nature and athletic prowess energize her multiple passions that naturally unfolded for this South Lake Tahoe native.

From white water kayaking, skiing, mountain biking, sailing, hiking or running her solar energy business, Leslie Ames personifies a local green business that was inspired by her roots.

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Bert Anderson: A Tahoe Classic

Bert Anderson: A Tahoe Classic

by Tim Hauserman, Moonshine Ink

A “Bert Anderson” is the quintessential Old Tahoe cabin with pecky cedar or shiplap siding, rock fireplaces, unique square windows, and deck railings with cut-out tree designs. For many, they are the classic Old Tahoe homes.

This article is a reprint from the June-July edition of Moonshine Ink by permission, the Independent News Source for Truckee and North Lake Tahoe. read more →

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Steve Lapkin takes Top Honors in “Sailing World” Winter Photo Contest

North Lake Tahoe photographer Steve Lapkin recently took top honors in the Sailing World Winter Photo Contest for two stunning images depicting world class sailing competition.

The contest drew more than 500 submissions of racing images throughout the world from the Great Lakes to the Florida Keys to Australia. However, it was Lapkin’s images of the 2010 Rolex Miami OCR and the 2010 Miami Grand Prix, Finale that captured the first and third place honors.

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Year-round Surf Shop in Incline Village

Adrfit Tahoe paddlerDid you know that surfing is a year-round sport in Tahoe?

Especially on the north and east shores where our prevailing southwesterly winds stack up the waves.  And, thanks to stand up paddle boards and our passion to get out in any type of weather.

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The Benefits of Yoga by David Fishman of South Lake Tahoe

“It makes my day go better.” “It quiets my mind.” “It keeps me healthy.” “Everything flows better afterward.” “My back pain and stiffness are gone.”

“It just plain feels good.”

Just a few quotes David Fishman of Mountain Yoga in South Lake Tahoe hears from happy and healthy locals and visitors.

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Melina Wallisch: Embracing the Moments In Between

People are her muse.  Nature her backdrop.

With years of being photographed as a professional dancer and model, she has successfully translated her skills behind the lens to capture the heart and soul of her subjects.

Meet Melina Wallisch of South Lake Tahoe. She photographs people.

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Christin Hanna of Tahoe Youth Ballet

Her goal is to team up young, emerging dancers with more experienced professionals for engaging evenings of classical and contemporary ballet. Tahoe Youth Ballet premiered in June 2009 to a standing ovation and rave reviews.

Meet Founder and Artistic Director Christin Hanna of Tahoe Youth Ballet.

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David Butler Wins “Poetry Out Loud” Heads to State finals March 15

David Butler, a senior from South Tahoe High School, took first place in El Dorado County’s inaugural “Poetry Out Loud” competition on February 9th.

In the first round, Butler delivered a flawless performance of the 19th century British poet John Clare’s lyric poem, “I Am!” followed in the second round by a humorous recitation of Marge Piercy’s, “For the young who want to,” a contemporary poem that speaks to the difficulties of being an artist.

Butler is headed to the California state finals in Sacramento on March 15, 2010. Congratulations David! read more →

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The Pied Piper of Truckee Ben Jammin’

Ben Jammin Martin Moonshine InkCatch Me if You Can:  Keeping pace with Truckee’s Ben Jammin’
by Jackie Varriano, Moonshine Ink

Truckee local Ben “Jammin’” Martin gets around. You might know him as a guitar player in the duo After Eights, maybe you used to sing with him at open mic night at Trio Wine Bar, or play with him now at open mic at the Fat Cat in Tahoe City. Maybe you have taken a ukulele lesson with him, or have a child that takes guitar lessons from him.

This article is a reprint from the December-January edition of Moonshine Ink, the Independent News Source for Truckee and North Lake Tahoe.

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Ski Like a Girl. Ingrid Backstrom of North Lake Tahoe.

Ingrid Backstrom Powder GirlShe defines the phrase “ski like a girl.”

But this is no ordinary girl. Or skier.

North Lake Tahoe pro freeskier Ingrid Backstrom.

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We live in a special place. A place so beautiful it nurtures the soul and creative spirit. A place so breathtaking it inspires stewardship. A mountain culture that masters the fine art of living. Welcome to this place we call home. Welcome to Lake Tahoe. Meet the local artists, individuals, businesses and events that define our unique mountain culture and embody Tahoe's creative and entrepreneurial spirit.
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Obexer's West Shore Lake Tahoe since 1911
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Emerald Bay
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Tahoe Culture Fall Glory
Plein Air at Lily Lake at South Lake Tahoe
Alder Peak LO


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