ski swap

Shoppers peruse the TASP used ski gear sale Monday in Mountain Village. (Photo by Eva Thomas/Telluride Daily Planet)

The issue a lot of skiers and snowboarders have run into this year is where to buy used equipment and how to clear out storage rooms filled with gear they no longer use and would typically sell at a ski swap.

Last week, Courtney Stuecheli, the executive director of the Telluride Adaptive Sports Program (TASP), decided to host a last-minute used gear ski sale in Mountain Village. The sale took place outside of the Granita Building. Initially planned for Wednesday, organizers decided to take advantage of Monday’s beautiful weather and went ahead and set gear out. Another sale will also take place Wednesday, if weather allows.

“The sale consists of used gear from people who have generously donated equipment to the TASP program,” Stuecheli explained.

TASP typically brings the donated gear to ski swaps, but many swaps have been canceled over the past two years due to the pandemic. Gear started to collect and fill up TASP’s storage areas, Stuecheli added. TASP didn’t want to start the winter season off with all of their storage filled, so they decided to hold the last-minute ski sale and raise money for the organization. All proceeds from the sale benefit TASP.

Most of the donations received throughout the year are given at no cost to adaptive athletes and participants, but there is always quite a bit of remaining gear.

“We are very thankful for the donations. We are selling what is leftover as a donation to TASP, which will go towards scholarships,” Stuecheli said.

Despite the last-minute nature of the sale and little advertising the sale raised over $500 within the first two hours. For context, according to tellurideadaptivesports.com, “$50 funds a half-day ski lesson for a child with autism” and “$500 pays for a season of training for a Special Olympic athlete.”

Boots, skis, snowboards and helmets were sold at discounted prices. Boots, which TASP had the most of at the sale, sold for between $20 and $50. Skis were quickly picked through. TASP Volunteers helped and advised shoppers on the best gear for their needs. It was more of a garage sale feel rather than an official ski swap. Shoppers spoke to one another, and there was a sense of camaraderie during the event. Shopping for ski gear elicits excitement and marks the start of ski season for a lot of people on the mountain.

Some shoppers were apprehensive about purchasing used equipment; Stuecheli reassured them she would trust the gear.

“I always wear used boots and gear,” Stuecheli added.

In a 2017 Bloomberg article, “two experts break down how much to spend” on ski gear. The piece said, “it’s reasonable to spend $600 to $800 for a solid kit of new skis, boots, and bindings. … If buying American-made is important to you or you’re looking for a handcrafted product, you can spend upwards of $800 on the skis alone.”

Monday’s sale offered an excellent opportunity for those who did not want to spend hundreds of dollars and wanted to try out different types of styles to purchase gear for the winter season.

The timing within Mountain Village could not have been more perfect. Restaurants were open, and people explored the plaza, stretching their legs after a long offseason. People out for lunch or on walks gravitated toward the outdoor sale.

If you could not make it to the sale on Monday, there will be another pop-up sale in the same location Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside the Granita Building in Mountain Vilalge, weather depending.