Paul E. Anna: High Points
Any town that calls itself a ski town has to have a ski swap and ours, here in Aspen, is legendary.For 55 years, it has been a ritual for skiers from all over the valley to gather to seek out new-to-you but old-to-them ski equipment that might help make the coming ski season a little more enjoyable.This year’s Ski Swap starts Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at Aspen High School and lasts until 1:30 p.m. A short window to be sure, so head over early.There are a couple of ways to hit the Ski Swap. The first and least efficient is just to go and see what strikes you. You may spend some coin on a couple of hats, maybe some Hot Chillys and come away with a new pair of goggles. That’s cool, but it is better to go with some advanced planning if you want to save some money and get something that will really improve your winter experience.I like to go through all of my stuff the night before the swap. Put my boots on, gather my socks, take a look at my long underwear, try on my pants, jackets and sweaters, slip on all of my gloves, have a look through my glasses and goggles. Do a complete top to bottom inventory of the stuff I have and get a solid feel for what I need. Then I can go in with a plan to pick up some glove liners or maybe another pair of sunglasses.I also take a good look at my quiver. It is unlikely that I will buy a new pair of skis or a snowboard at the swap but you never know when a bargain will come up. When you’ll find someone dumping an old pair of old Vokl Snow Rangers with the black top sheets that have never been skied. While technology has changed, those are still some of the most fun boards ever made and if I found a pair, well, I’d make a deal.It’s funny how the technology does change. Imagine the equipment that was available the first year that they held the swap. Skis were long and skinny, leather boots were still available and the warm fibers used in modern ski clothes were the stuff of science fiction.But what has not changed is the vibe that pervades a Ski Swap. Lots of locals gather with the hope of discovery. With the idea in mind that they will find something great that will work for them in the upcoming ski season. Everyone is thinking about snow, (despite the beautiful weather that we have been having) and looking forward to the runs to come. It is as much a community gathering of like-minded souls as it is a sale.If you don’t find what you need at the swap then head on over to Buttermilk where Four Mountain Sports and D&E Snowboards (they actually open Friday for business) are holding their blowout preseason sale as well. Between the two there will be everything you might need for the season.Pray for snow.
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