By Stan Ashbee
Alberta Newspaper Group
Before hitting any local slopes, don’t miss the inaugural Ski Swap at the YMCA in Medicine Hat Oct. 18-19. The Canadian Ski Patrol – Palliser Zone is hosting its first-ever event to the delight of local ski enthusiasts and for those skiers from abroad.
Many communities and schools in southern Alberta and southwest Saskatchewan seem to enjoy skiing or riding at Hidden Valley Ski Resort in Elkwater.
“As we know, like hockey, children and folks outgrow their gear and are searching for the best deals possible for replacement equipment. The Canadian Ski Patrol is providing that opportunity for the public to exchange ski/board equipment and purchase newer equipment either from ski/board retailers or from used equipment,” it was stated in a recent media release. The Canadian Ski Patrol provides advanced first aid care at numerous ski areas in Canada including at Hidden Valley Ski Resort.
Ski Swap is a high-profile public event for the Canadian Ski Patrol – Palliser Zone. It provides an opportunity for the zone to generate revenue in support of its operations, remove damaged or obsolete equipment from circulation and use, and build and enhance its reputation as an organized and professional organization in the eyes of the public and the patrol’s industry partners.
According to life member of the Canadian Ski Patrol – Palliser Zone and Ski Swap Co-ordinator John Haley, the Ski Swap is a sale of new and used ski and snowboard equipment and it is a one-day sale.
“Three ski and board retailers including Gravity Ski Shop in Medicine Hat, The Boarding House in Medicine Hat and Borderline Skate Shop from Lethbridge are offering their goods at discounted prices, plus it is an avenue for families to dispose of equipment and obtain newer skis and/or boards for their children to enjoy skiing and riding,” he stated.
There are several reasons why the Palliser Zone Canadian Ski Patrol decided to organize the upcoming Ski Swap. One reason is parents need to purchase new and/or gently-used gear once a child grows – which can often be a costly endeavour. Another reason is the Ski Swap will hopefully help raise revenue for the organization, as well. And again, it is a chance to rid ski slopes of outdated gear.
“The intent is to not allow that type of stuff into the swap. We have people in the ski industry that have agreed to assist us with screening things as they’re coming in,” he noted, so it is not dangerous to the public.
Haley said the organization also provides first aid services for several Medicine Hat and area community events outside of the ski hill. John and his wife have also been members of the Canadian Ski Patrol for over four decades and have been connected to the ski industry for most of their adult life. Colleagues of Haley will be also visiting the Ski Swap to offer assistance, as they have previous experience organizing events.
Haley said the organization’s Facebook page contains more information. Registration and drop-off of equipment will be on Friday only. Saturday is the sale only from 9 a.m. To 5 p.m.