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  • Writer's pictureGear Hut

A perfect group activity: The Tahoe Via

Everyone talks about a Tahoe summer... but us locals know, fall is where it's at. Temps are cooler, the sun's a little lower and crowds are nil once the kids go back to school. It's also the PERCECT time to toss on the 9" inseam shorts and windbreaker to take on the sheer faces that dominate the skyline at Palisades. The Tahoe Via is a series of ladder rungs, steel steps and suspension bridges that meander their way, 800 feet up the usually untouchable Tram Face.

The Gear Hut team celebrated September, the change of seasons and new semester with a day out of the shop. We drove up 80 for PRIME conditions on the Tahoe Via. With a 3pm start time to meet our fearless guide Tim, we basked in the afternoon sun, enjoyed a light breeze and the peeps of yellow that are just starting to pop through on the aspens.

Here are THREE Reasons why we LOVE the Tahoe Via as a perfect group activity!

1.) No Gear Needed! When was the last time an outdoor activity DIDN'T require an evening of prep work, logistics and packing? Just grab the closed toe shoes, fanny pack for your phone, water and a snack for a summit break. Tahoe Via provides your helmet, gloves, harness and their simple connection system. That also means when you get home, there's also no unpacking the car of all the climbing gear... more time for celebratory beers and pizza! 2.) Beginner friendly. Seriously, bring Grandma. If she can take on a couple rungs of an A frame ladder, she's good to go... (but maybe work on that head game because those suspension brides can get a little airy)! Your guide instructs you on the simple continuous system which lets you focus on climbing rather than technical gear. AKA more time to take in the jaw dropping views, and less time finagling with tricky carabiners.

3.) The group stays together! Another aspect that we LOVE about the Tahoe Via; rather than being rated by difficulty, the (3) different courses are offered by time (2, 3 and 4 hour options). This means the whole gang sticks together through the challenges, making it an ACTUAL group activity. In a lot of other sports (ie: skiing or ropes-courses), the group ends up getting split up and doing their own thing (with half on Green Circles and half on the Black Diamonds). It's refreshing to get to be challenged and snap each other's epic shots as a true team, not just tell each other stories of the day on the ride home.


  • Have your phone on a cord so you don't drop it, but can capture the moments!

  • Bring a packable windbreaker, the summit can get breezy!

  • We prefer an afternoon session! It's GREAT to avoid heat exhaustion and peak sun. Photos were great with golden hour and long, dramatic shadows. (We did 3-6 and it set us up perfectly for dinner after!).

A HUGE "Thank You" to the Alpenglow team, our guide Tim, and Tahoe Via for getting Gear Hut out for a solid, unforgettable day of Type I fun! The Tahoe Via is open til snow starts accumulating, so get out there! Not only a great team building activity, the course is a great "staycation" idea, or something to bring visiting friends and family out to do. Sneak in a reservation before the season closes or put it on your radar for next summer!


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