The sun is setting earlier, nights are getting cooler, and the morning air is feeling crisper. This is nature’s way of letting us know it’s time to start searching for winter gear and visiting the local shops. Late autumn brings to mind the smell of hot wax, the sharpness of new edges, the smoothness of new bases, and the clarity and brightness of new goggles. Plus there’s the flex and pop of new boards, new graphics, new shred videos. Here is what a few of the local shops are showcasing this year in their pursuit of helping you have fun, enjoyable, and safe days on the slopes and facilitating that next epic snow adventure. 

Backcountry

With the popularity of self-powered explorations outside of the resort to find fresh powder and dawn patrols, Spokane’s Mountain Gear is the perfect shop for someone looking to get into the backcountry. Mark Beattie, the manager at Mountain Gear, and his team are extremely knowledgeable of all their cutting-edge backcountry gear. The new Scarpa Maestrale boot is highly recommended by Beattie because of its versatility of skiing at the resort one day and in the backcountry the next. Mountain Gear happens to be the only shop that sells telemark ski gear, and one of the select few to have Jones splitboards. If you’re nervous about the financial leap of getting new gear, take advantage of their rental or demo programs. They also offer free backcountry awareness classes. 

New tuning machine at the Spokane Alpine Haus // Photo by T. Ghezzi

Alpine Ski & Snowboard Gear

Pistole Boardshop is one of the area’s only true board shops. The shop is rider owned, and Josh Yandell is a guy you’ll see in the lift line on a powder day, wearing and riding what he sells. Pistole offers top of line Volcom Gore-Tex outerwear, Smith goggles, Union bindings, and boots by Vans. Pistole consistently has an impressive quiver of top of line boards by Lib-Tech, GNU, and Capita. For snowboarders looking to ride fast and loose, this shop is for you. 

Spokane’s recently remodeled Shred Sports Outlet offers a vast amount of skis, boards, boots, and outerwear for all different ages and skill levels. Chad Ohman, the manager, is stoked to offer Armada skis this season, especially pro models by Tanner Hall, Phil Casabon, and Henrik Harlaut. With a fleet of new snowboards, the Lib Tech Travis Rice Orca is definitely a stand out. They are offering this pow slasher/resort ripper in a variety of sizes.  

The Spokane Alpine Haus is stocked up and ready for the 2020 season with boxes of new skis, snowboards, boots, and outerwear literally stacked to the ceiling. With the motto, “Internet can’t fit your boots,” the husband and wife team aim for the highest quality service, fit, comfort, and performance. Owners Rachel and Drew Harding are keeping the tradition of a shop on Spokane’s South Hill. The Alpine Haus is definitely a ski and snowboard destination for the entire family. They serve up an incredible season lease program, which is perfect for families with children and adults looking to get into winter sports. The Alpine Haus recently purchased brand new, top-of-the-line tuning machines for skis and snowboards. The combination of the new machines, with the knowledge and experience of their shop tech, Fred Nowland, enables them to produce exceptional, highly-quality waxes and tunes.

T. Ghezzi has written multiple ski and snowboard articles for OTO the past two winters. He’s stoked to ride fresh powder and shred Wild-Cannon style.