Madigan Takes the Helm at Tahoe City's Alpenglow Sports

Alpenglow Sports, a Tahoe City fixture for over thirty years and a leading outdoor retailer in the region recently announced the company's sale to long-time employee Brendan Madigan.

Extremely excited and humbled by the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of outdoor specialty pioneer Donald Fyfe, Alpenglow’s owner of 32 years, Madigan calls his ownership of Alpenglow a “dream come true.”

"Alpenglow sells fun. And luckily for me, my passion for mountain sports channel directly into that mantra," stated Madigan, a native of Virginia. "I literally get to eat, sleep and breathe fun. I love what I do, and there couldn’t be a more perfect combination.”

After coming to the Tahoe for its famed winters and epic wilderness running, Madigan began work at Alpenglow in 2003 and has functioned in a managerial capacity since 2007. Under the apprenticeship of Don Fyfe, Madigan has evolved in his capacity at the well-known Tahoe City business.

“I first signed on at Alpenglow as a classic ski bum in 2003,” said Madigan. “As the years went by I was immersed and enamored by the outdoor industry and its unique business climate. On a day-to-day basis, it quickly became apparent to me that the business of sharing the passion of backcountry skiing, climbing, and running with the amazing people of Tahoe was the way I wanted to spend my life.”

“Under Don’s professional tutelage and expertise, we have been able to blend a proven and successful business model with the exciting new prospects of social media, events, and thinking outside the box.”

Alpenglow Sports, located in the heart of downtown Tahoe City, specializes in backcountry and nordic ski equipment, snowshoeing, mountaineering, rock climbing, trail running, backpacking, and hiking. The shop prides itself on friendly, premier, user-based expertise and encourages its employees to play as hard as they work.

“Managing Alpenglow Sports has been of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” said Madigan. “I love coming to work, my coworkers, the mountain lifestyle and our amazing community. I find great honor in sharing the passion behind the sports we all love – whether a day hike or a big-mountain expedition.”

Alpenglow’s core passion, backcountry skiing, is currently experiencing an immense increase in popularity. Alpenglow has always been known for its accomplished employee-athletes and has a well established reputation for early dawn patrol missions to ski virgin backcountry powder, climb peaks, or enjoy Tahoe’s trails. Madigan also champions this mantra, culminating in his 2010 ski descent of Mt. McKinley (20,320 feet) and a through-run of Tahoe’s Rim Trail. 

“I was lucky enough to cut my teeth under local heroes Dave Nettle, Aaron Zanto and Mark Kircher,” said Madigan. ‘These guys had the goodwill to drag a youngster out of bed at 4am to ski pristine backcountry powder. Luckily, and with tremendous respect for them and the Alpenglow legacy, I’ve never looked back.” 

Madigan also has the blessing of previous owner Don Fyfe. “Brendan has brought a unique sense of enthusiasm and professionalism to Alpenglow,” said Fyfe. “His ability to lead through difficult times and his tremendous loyalty to Tahoe City and the community at large is both refreshing and admirable. I have no doubt he will be successful. ”

“We’ve got a proven formula here at the shop,” states Madigan. “I’m excited to maintain a tradition of premier, unique customer service, and continue to provide free, fun and motivational events for the community.”

Alpenglow’s major events include: the free Lake Tahoe Winter Film Series, which showcases both a world-famous athlete and raises money for community non-profits; the Lake Tahoe Backcountry Vertical Challenge, a community-wide fundraising initiative to benefit the Sierra Avalanche Center; free community avalanche seminars; women’s-specific backcountry evenings; and the Lake Tahoe Alpine Touring and Telemark Demo Event at Alpine Meadows.

“I feel strongly about giving back to my community,” said Madigan. “We’re all in it together here in Tahoe, and at Alpenglow we are hopeful that our service, friendliness, expertise, and free community events resonate with the community.  In this day and age it is our responsibility to support each other.”

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