Get prepared for the winter season and find good deals on a variety of snow gear during the 2012 Ski Swap hosted by the 49 Degrees North Ski Patrol on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Northeast Washington Fairgrounds in Colville.
The ski swap is a one-day event that allows individuals and community members to buy and sell all kinds of new and gently used ski and snowboard equipment, along with other winter gear. Vendors from as far as Spokane and Walla Walla and Boise also sell new merchandise at discounted prices.
“The Ski Swap is an opportunity for skiers, telemark skiers, anyone who slides on snow, to come see various vendors and get good deals,” said Gary Deaver, patrol operations director.
The volunteer ski patrol is holding the sale from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The sale is open to everyone and entry costs $1.
Individuals can check in their used gear on Friday, Oct. 19, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., or early Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., and pick up whatever hasn’t sold on sale day, between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Gear accepted and sold should be in good repair. Items not picked up will be donated.
The patrol charges a quarter an item and takes 15 percent commission of each sale.
All proceeds from the swap benefit the 49 Degrees North Ski Patrol and its efforts to keep skiers educated and safe on the hill. It is a good event for experienced skiers but is also an inexpensive way to get kids started in snow sports and upgrade their equipment as they grow, Deaver said.
Ski patrollers are available throughout the event to answer any questions and offer advice on the equipment for sale to get customers connected with the right gear, Deaver said
Items for sale include ski and snowboard boots; snowboards; alpine, cross country and telemark skis; ice skates; car racks; ski helmets; goggles; poles and general winter clothing.
“Small kid’s skis sell fast, but we always have beautiful coats, snowboards and other gear, at great prices, until we close,” said Patroller Sue Baker. “And the ski and board boots…we always have hundreds of boots, from kid’s 3 to men’s 15.”
“The other nice thing,” Baker added, “is that there are employees from every shop that sent equipment there, answering questions and helping people find the right gear, as well as about 40 experienced patrollers.”
Shops bringing gear to the sale include Clark’s All-Sports, Spokane Wintersport, the Sports and Fitness Outlet from Wenatchee, Dusty’s of Walla Walla and Alpine Ski Wholesalers of McCall, Idaho, to name a few.
The 49 Degrees North ski patrol consists of 10 paid patrollers and 85 volunteers. Deaver said it is a very labor-intensive event and one of the biggest fundraisers for the volunteer patrol team next to Hawaiian Daze in March.
Fundraisers help support the ski patrol by allowing them to purchase necessary equipment to assist in rescues, such as first aid supplies, tobaggans, and up-to-date radios, as well as textbooks for training and keeping up to date on first aid protocol.
Employees of 49 Degrees North will also be taking pictures and processing passes during the Ski Swap as well, for people who have already purchased them.
For more information on the Ski Swap, email ski28north@ gmail.com.
By Kellie Trudeau, The Independent Staff