Alpenglow Sports kicks off 16th annual Winter Speaker Series |

Alpenglow Sports kicks off 16th annual Winter Speaker Series


On Thursday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m., Alpenglow Sports will kick off its 16th annual Winter Speaker Series, presented by Tahoe Mountain Realty. Established in 2006 at Alpenglow Sports, the Winter Speaker Series is an adventure storytelling event, designed to motivate, inspire and educate. The series is free and traditionally held at Palisades Tahoe’s Olympic Village Lodge, in a five-part event that showcases one show per month from November through February.

Due to the global pandemic, last year Alpenglow Sports took the 2020-21 season “on the road” to living rooms around the globe in a virtual capacity, attracting thousands of viewers and raising over 350k per show for Tahoe nonprofits that season. This year, the series is back both in person at Olympic Village Lodge as well as streaming live and free with five shows and another ambitious line-up.

While each show is free, Alpenglow Sports uses product donated by the sponsors of each presenter in order to sell raffle tickets. Proceeds are matched by the Donor Party, the philanthropic arm of the Alpenglow Winter Speaker Series, and a 100% of the funds raised are given to the associated nonprofit to utilize in their community endeavors. Benefiting charities this year include the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science, SOS Outreach, Sierra Senior Services, Boys and Girls Club, and the Gateway Mountain Center.

Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, event capacity at Olympic Village Lodge will be limited and entry will be offered on a first come first serve basis. Attendees have to be over 12 years of age, proof of vaccination and masks will be required. Admission is free of charge. To register and purchase giveaway entries for the virtual streaming of the shows, visit:

Dave Nettle: Big Fun in Little Switzerland

As co-founder of the Winter Speaker Series, Dave Nettle has been cultivating mountain community in North Lake Tahoe through his compelling tales of adventure for well over thirty years. Filled with his signature humor, his show “Big Fun in Little Switzerland,” will take us on a supersize mountaineering expedition to Alaska’s Pika Glacier, named “Little Switzerland” for its dramatic alpine peaks and rock spires. Get ready for a full Alaskan style adventure of rock climbing, ski touring, bushwhacking through Grizzly bear, and floating wild, glacial rivers.

Dave Nettle backcountry powder skiing while guiding for Alpenglow Expeditions and seeking balance between work and play.
Photo by Logan Talbott

Elena Hight: Breaking Through Comfort Zones

As a competitive halfpipe rider for 16 years, Elena Hight ventured from her local mountains in Lake Tahoe to places around the world and ultimately to the top stage of the Olympics. In “Breaking Through Comfort Zones: Pipes, Powder and Post Holes,” Elena reflects on a 19 year long career as a professional snowboarder, tracing

her larger than life successes and failures:  2 Winter Olympics, 7 X-Games medals, 1 US Open Championship, 1 million travel miles, 1 “never been done” before trick, 12 concussions, 1 hip surgery,  6 lost toenails, 9 days crossing the Sierra, 3 feature films, countless failed river crossings, many endured sandbags, and more smiles than recordable to explore the choices we make and the risks worth taking.

Nick Russell: Dreamer by Design

In “Dreamer by Design,” the third show of the season, Sierra based snowboarder Nick Russell shares his story of how an East Coast transplant manifested a childhood vision turned into reality. By utilizing human power fueled by a splitboard and a healthy appetite for stepping outside of perceived comfort zones, Nick’s adventures have spanned mountain ranges across six continents. He will speak to the freedom associated with dirtbagging, the importance of maintaining a positive attitude in the face of despair and conservative decision making in consequential terrain.

Hilaree Nelson

As a seasoned adventurer, Hilaree Nelson has more than 40 expeditions to some of the most remote corners of the globe under her belt. She is the first woman to climb two 8000 meter peaks, Everest and its neighboring peak Lhotse – in a single 24-hour period. In 2018, she returned to Lhotse to complete the first-ever ski descent of the 4th highest peak in the world with her partner Jim Morrison. In “Truth or Consequence,” Hilaree will share stories from a 2020 expedition with an all-star team to interior Antarctica to realize a decades long dream of adventuring into the Ellsworth Mountains, the highest mountains on the Antarctic Continent. What unfolded during their three week expedition humbled each and every one on the team and proved that, no matter how experienced one is the mountains, there is always more to learn.

Conrad Anker in conversation with Malik Martin: Black Ice

Conrad Anker has been pushing the limits of mountaineering for the last 30 plus years. The Bozeman, Montana-based father of three is one a prolific explorer and mountaineer. Equally at home in Antarctica, the Himalaya or his home ice in Hyalite Canyon in southwestern Montana, Conrad continues a deep appreciation for wild places that was passed on from his father and grandfather who hailed from Big Oak Flat, California, just outside Yosemite National Park.

Throughout his career, Conrad has pioneered difficult new routes in the most remote places on earth and been a mentor to many, including Johnathan “Malik” Martin, a rock climber and Memphis native who has spent the last 5 years being dedicated to telling the different stories from his community.

Malik Martin is the social media manager and photographer for Memphis Rox, a state of the art climbing gym that has transcended the classic model of business. With a “pay what you can” approach, Memphis Rox is more than a gym, and bigger than climbing. It’s a glimpse into the future where a climbing gym can become a crucible for diversity, inclusivity and community.

Anker and Martin met during the filming of the documentary “Black Ice,” which follows a crew of aspiring ice climbers from the Memphis Rox gym who travel to the frozen wilds of Montana, where Manoah Ainuu, Conrad Anker and Fred Campbell share their love of winter adventure in the mountains. The two will be discussing the documentary as well as bringing inclusivity to the outdoors.

Source: Alpenglow Sports


Dave Nettle (Nov. 18)

Elena Hight (Dec. 16)

Nick Russell (Jan. 6)

Hilaree Nelson (Feb. 3)

Conrad Anker and Malik Martin (Feb. 17)

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User