The rumors of the death of the 2016-2017 Colorado ski season have been greatly exaggerated. With all but two of the state’s ski areas already open—and more runs opening every day—it might have been late, but there are plenty of powder days in our very near future. (Thank you snow gods.)
If you’ve got some skiers, boarders, sledders, or all-around cold weather trekkers on your gift buying list, here are some can’t-miss ideas for them to tear open before they tear apart some gnarly pow-pow.
At the end of a long day of turns, the right gear can be the difference between an awesome day on the mountain and a bad time. One of the most important pieces of gear for any skier are their poles. Grass Sticks, a local company from Steamboat Springs has a uniquely constructed pole made from bamboo. At just $89 for custom colored grips and baskets, you’ll be the envy of everyone on the slopes.
If your plan to avoid overindulging over the holidays results in some delightfully looser ski pants, then you may be in the market for a new belt. Arcade Belts (not a Colorado company, but definitely in keeping with Colorado swag) has a sweet array of “adventure belts” to set you apart from the crowd. At just $26, they’re an affordable way to look great and avoid the dreaded saggy snow pants hike-up.
Venture beyond the slopes
Snowboarding and skiing are the two most popular winter sports activities in Colorado for good reason, but the powder-laden runs at resorts represent just a tiny fraction of the area available for outdoor exploration in the Rockies from late November to March. Snowshoeing is one of the most underrated cold weather activities. If someone on your list is a hiker who longs for the isolation and peace not usually afforded to trail junkies in the summer months, then get them a pair of Crescent Moon shoes. The Boulder-based company has garnered rave reviews for their well-built and affordable gear. Their Silver 10 Backcountry Snowshoe comes in at $195, which may be one of the best values around.
If you want to be on the cutting edge, their newest shoe (due out in 2017) is sure to raise eyebrows for its innovative approach: a snowshoe made entirely out of foam. Minds. Blown. Keep that in mind for your now-hooked snowshoeing friends and family next year.
Buy an experience
Do you have someone on your list who read The Call of the Wild as a kid, but never actually experienced the excitement of riding in a dogsled? Well, you can thrill them beyond belief by hooking them up with a taste of the Iditarod without ever stepping foot in Alaska. Whether they live along the I-70 corridor or closer to the adventure-rich Southwest corner of the state, Colorado.com (the official website of the Colorado Tourism Office) has a great guide with everything you need to know about booking a dogsledding tour. Why buy something that will wear out or go out of style, when you can give your friends or family member a memory to last the rest of their life? If you had a gift with a little more power in mind, they can also point you in the right direction when it comes to snowmobiling.
For the kids
If you grew up in the ‘90s, you probably carved out some time every morning (especially Sundays) to read Calvin & Hobbes. The strip created by reclusive cartoonist Bill Watterson has retained cult status despite ending distressingly quickly in 1995. If you’ve passed on this love of the hilarious and philosophical adventures of a boy and his stuffed tiger to your own children, they’ll be beyond thrilled when they unwrap a classic toboggan from L.L. Bean. At $149.00 the 6-foot sled will have kids (and, let’s face it, kids at heart) ready to say “…let’s go exploring!”
Do you have any winter sports gift ideas we missed? Let us know!