As we close the curtain on December, the opening month for our local ski and snowboard season, it’s been a wild ride with storm after storm pounding area resorts. Maybe those knee-deep days that your friends have been bragging about for the last two weeks have finally inspired you to get your skis out of the closet and tuned. Or maybe you’re ready to ditch those ancient boards and pick up some new gear. Either way, Spokane has several ski and snowboard specialty shops ready to serve you. This fall, one local shop closed its doors, a new shop opened and a longtime South Hill legend changed hands.

Traverse Ski and Bike, Spokane’s newest shop, opened last fall under the ownership of Cameron Forsythe. A former competitive Nordic ski racer, Forsythe has a background that includes slopestyle ski competition both locally and at the X Games. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, he spent the last eight years managing Woodinville’s Play it Again Sports, a store that is currently the franchise’s leader in ski and bike sales. Traverse doesn’t yet carry a large line-up of new skis and snowboards, but they do have a healthy offering of used and lease equipment available as well as a full-service repair shop. “For this season I chose to go 100% used for inventory,” says Forsythe. “I’ve been able to purchase a lot of inventory from resorts and a few after-market distributors,” he adds. Traverse Ski and Bike is located just north of the Pines Exit off I-90 at 2128 North Pines Road in Spokane Valley. The shop is open Tuesday-Friday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and from noon – 5 p.m. on Sundays. Traverseskiandbike.com.

Spokane’s Alpine Haus, celebrating its 40th year in business this season, was recently acquired by new owners Drew Harding and Rachel Link. The Alpine Haus has always had a reputation for top-notch boot fitting and world-class ski and snowboard tuning. Going forward, Harding and Link intend to keep that reputation intact. “Moving into the 40th year of the Alpine Haus’ existence, our number-one goal is to provide the best customer service, shop services and products possible,” says Harding, a Spokane Valley native. Originally from Missoula, Link is a former freestyle ski competitor. “We are beyond thrilled to be able to work with people every day in an industry we love,” adds Link, who owned a Boise-based Helly Hansen store for several years before moving to Spokane. Alpine Haus is open Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturdays. The shop is located just off of 29th on Spokane’s South Hill at 2925 S. Regal St. Facebook.com/SpokaneAlpineHaus.