The Eternal Tahoe Crew

| November 22, 2008

I had the great pleasure of going to Tahoe yesterday as part of the Alpenglow Sports slideshow series.  It was a blast.  I always forget how many people I know there and it’s like having a party with 100 of your best friends and meeting fifty new ones.

One of the highlights of the evening for me was meeting Rick Sylvester, who I had known of since I was a little kid as the guy who skied off of the 3,000′ face of El Cap and later skied off the even bigger face of Mt. Asguard for a stunt in the James Bond movie, “The Spy Who Loved Me.”  Rick’s jumps predated BASE jumping by years/decades and he said “We just called it Ski Parachuting.”  At the time, they were using circular, non-steerable parachutes, which definitely added some spice to the sport.

Tahoe locals Glen Poulsen (left) and Rick Sylvester (center) humor me at the Sawtooth Cafe.

 Here’s the James Bond trailer of Rick’s stunt work…

Although I knew that a lot of legendary climbers and skiers came from California, until talking to Rick, it never occurred to me that many of them were not only from the Tahoe area, but of the same generation. 

Holy horsepower. I wonder if the people at this table knew that they were going to shape the future of American climbing, skiing and adventure for decades to come? From the Fermin bar in Truckee, CA sometime in the 1970’s (photo credit unknown (Craig Calonica?) – sorry).  Kim Schmitz (2nd, left), Jim Bridwell (3rd, left w/beer), Galen Rowell (back right corner), Steve McKinney (flannel shirt, front/right). In subsequent years, skiers such as Scot Schmidt, Glen Plake, Tom Day and many others have come out of the Tahoe area as well.

I would easily slice my spleen out with a rusty sardine-can lid to have been at that table, yet at the same time, I recently was, as the photo below illustrates: 

The 2008 Tahoe Crew in Ushuaia, Argentina. From the left, Doug Stoup, Glen Poulsen, Tal, Jason (?), JMack, Kip, Chris, Susan, Andrew, Heather, Jessica Quinn, Kevin “Quinner” Quinn, Keoki Flagg, John Morrison, Karyn Stanley, Dave and Allen Riley.
I’m sure many people in this photo will continue the Tahoe tradition of redefining the future of American climbing and skiing, and it’s great fun to hang out with them all.
The road goes on forever and the party never ends.  ;)
Help support and some Tahoe ready Smith Passage Polarized Sunglasses from! Click on the photo below…


Category: Trip Reports

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber, Mountain Unicycle rider and father of two very loud little girls.

Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Ron Calonica says:

    It was great seeing all those faces, I am sure my brother Craig will love reading the article. Cheers to all those from Tahoe that have carved and helped shape the world of adventure climbing and skiing.

  2. Andrew says:

    Hi Ron – Thanks for checking in. I’d love any further info on that photo if you or Craig have it, like who took it, what year, etc.. An actual copy of it would be a prized possession!

  3. Mike B says:

    Hey, Andrew. If you really want that Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me, you can have it! It’s up for auction on December 1st:

    Imagine being able to drive right out of the lake the next time you’re in Tahoe!

  4. Ron Calonica says:

    Hi Andrew,

    I asked Craig and he said that he had the picture, however, he didn’t actually take the shot himself; he is in the photo if you look closely, sitting behind Bridwell. Craig said he can’t remember who actually took the shot, however, he does have the original photo since it was his camera. I don’t have his email address in this computer, however, you can probably reach him through his company Email:

    Since it is such an old shot, it was probably taken with a 35mm camera, however, Craig probably had it converted to a digital format by now. You might Email him and ask if you can get a copy, I am sure he would be happy to oblidge.


%d bloggers like this: