Before buying ski lift tickets, get your skis

Last year, Vail Resorts launched Epic Mountain Rentals, which offers free delivery to several of its resorts.

In general, the further away you are from a ski resort, the less expensive the rentals are.

Two winters ago I priced out equipment rental for a ski trip to Taos, New Mexico, at a Christy Sports affiliate store in Santa Fe and at another of its locations at the foot of the valley. ski area of ​​Taos. The difference in fares, about $ 5 per day, amounted to more than a week of skiing for a family of three. In the end, an early departure of the flight made it impossible to return the skis to Santa Fe when the store was open, so we went with the more expensive alternative.

“We try to meet skiers and customers where they are,” said Matt Gold, general manager of Christy Sports. Compared to outlets at resort bases, he said, “the shops in town and shops in the mountain towns will be a little less numerous, but then you will have to carry the equipment yourself.” .

Sometimes it’s worth it. Last ski season a trip to Aspen took me to Glenwood Springs, Colorado, where it was convenient to rent from a local store, Brian’s Bench. By paying $ 24 a day, I saved about half of what I would have spent at the resort rental stores.

For those who stay local or drive in the region, many REI stores in the Nordic regions rent downhill and cross-country skis as well as snowshoes. Prices for classic cross-country ski packages, complete with skis, boots, and poles, start at $ 22 for the first night and $ 13 for each additional night. Descent packages start at $ 28 for the first night and $ 17 for each additional night.

Supply shortages may be felt most in winter clothing, much of which is made in Asia, where factories have been slowed by the pandemic and goods have been subject to shipping delays.

If your old parka doesn’t do the trick, or if you didn’t need one, try a second-hand source like Geartrade, which has a large inventory of jackets searchable by size. For a more temporary solution, the outdoor industry has its own version of Rent the Runway in services that provide outerwear.


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