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Gear That's New To You 

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Old Man Winter is right around the corner, which means it’s ski swap season. One of the region’s largest winter sports and equipment swaps, Lookout Pass and Silver Mountain Ski Patrol’s Winterswap, is like the first snow for shredders and ski hobbyists alike.

“Once leaves are hitting the ground and people think about snow hitting the slopes, their minds go from boating on the lake to skiing on the hill,” says Denny Burt, co-chair of Winterswap.

Winterswap, which takes place Nov. 3, is a seasonal opportunity for many winter sports enthusiasts to trade in old gear and upgrade to discounted top-of-the-line products, or for beginners who aren’t as invested to pick up super cheap starter equipment.

Available alpine (downhill) equipment includes a wide selection of boots, poles, clothing and accessories. Snowboarding selections have continued to grow and almost equal alpine availability. In addition, cross country and telemark equipment is expected to increase.

If you aren’t quite sure what to buy or where to start, the swap will feature 17 regional businesses from as far as Walla Walla and Boise, with experts to help you find what you need.

Products tend to go fast however, especially winter clothing, which even non-skiers come for.

“People will start lining up up at 6 or 7 am, hours before we open,” says Burt. “We’ve even had people sleeping in cardboard boxes with thermoses overnight. But if there’s the one pair of those one skis, or that one coat in their size and they get there first and it’s exactly what they’re going for, it’s a good thing.”

Money raised from the swap will go toward training and support for the Lookout Pass and Silver Mountain Volunteer Ski Patrols.

Equipment check-in for consignment is Nov. 2 from 3-8 pm. The swap’s sales day is Nov. 3 from 9 am-3 pm at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds in Coeur d’Alene. Admission is $5 per adult. Children under 12 admitted free. For more information, visit winterswap.org.

For more ski-swapping opportunities check out the swaps below or visit theskiswap.com for more.

The 48th annual Mt. Spokane Ski Patrol Ski Swap is Oct. 26-28 at the Spokane Fair and Expo Center. Registration is Oct. 26 from 3-8 pm. Check out skipatrolskiswap.com.

The Schweitzer Alpine Racing School’s Ski Swap is Nov. 9-10 at the Bonner County Fairgrounds in Sandpoint. Visit sars.net.

The Tri-Cities Winter/Outdoor Gear and Clothing Swap is Nov. 23-25 at the Holiday Inn at TRAC in Pasco, Wash. Admission and parking is free. Gear and clothing registration is Nov. 23 from 3-5 pm. Visit theskiswap.com.

The Washington State University Ski Swap is Dec. 7-8 at the Field House in Pullman. Visit skiswap.wsu.edu.

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