Author Topic: Seattle/PNW skiers- get me to the slopes STAT  (Read 2574 times)

Paul der Krake

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Seattle/PNW skiers- get me to the slopes STAT
« on: November 27, 2016, 09:08:57 PM »
So all my winter sports gear is collecting dust 5,000 miles away.

I need skis, pants, a jacket, gloves, socks, and boots. Preferably cheap, but willing to pay for quality. What's the Mustachian way to acquire all this stuff around here? Back home I would just wait until April, hit the stores and buy the past season's model for 40% off. But I want to go ski now. And to make things worse, I haven't followed the ski market for about 15 years, and therefore can't tell the good stuff from the duds.

Also, do I need winter tires for my Corolla if I'm mostly going to hit the passes around Seattle? I can't distinguish the experienced skiers from the consumer suckas justifying their 40k Subaru.

Please advise.

sol

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Re: Seattle/PNW skiers- get me to the slopes STAT
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 09:28:21 PM »
You only need winter tires if you're planning on hitting every blizzard that comes through, at the opening bell.  The pass is generally either passable by normal traffic, passable because it's been plowed, or closed.  There isn't any time when 4WD is going to get you to the major ski areas when a regular car won't. 

You're a little late for swap meets and such, which is usually the best way to pick up discounted gear.  I'd recommend craigslist, or failing that one of the second hand sports stores.  Goodwill is putting out ski equipment, but this time of year it sells as soon as they set it out.

lhamo

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Re: Seattle/PNW skiers- get me to the slopes STAT
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2016, 09:35:11 PM »
Don't know much about ski gear -- REI has their "garage sale' site on line, which is mostly returns.  Might be decent prices there.

What year is your Corolla?  I have a pair of chains that went with my mom's '92 Corolla that I totalled last year.  Also a couple of spare bulbs for the tail lights.  Let me know if you want them.  I'd need you to arrange pickup M or Tu this week, or after Dec 20 when I'm back from China.

No Name Guy

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Re: Seattle/PNW skiers- get me to the slopes STAT
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2016, 10:40:53 PM »
Chains.  A must carry.  Use them before you think you need them.  Also have a winter kit in the car in case WADOT closes the pass on you for avvy control and you are stuck waiting for an hour or two. 

I believe Stevens Pass has a shuttle bus from Monroe or Gold Bar.  Easier than driving up. 

As for the gear, consider renting the first few times out.  If you have been out of the market for 15 years you probably want to try our some of the newer stuff before buying.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Seattle/PNW skiers- get me to the slopes STAT
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2016, 11:33:46 PM »
You only need winter tires if you're planning on hitting every blizzard that comes through, at the opening bell.  The pass is generally either passable by normal traffic, passable because it's been plowed, or closed.  There isn't any time when 4WD is going to get you to the major ski areas when a regular car won't. 
Awesome, that's what I figured.

Quote
You're a little late for swap meets and such, which is usually the best way to pick up discounted gear.  I'd recommend craigslist, or failing that one of the second hand sports stores.  Goodwill is putting out ski equipment, but this time of year it sells as soon as they set it out.
I work 10 minutes away on foot from what appears to be the most upscale Goodwill in the country (seriously, I don't think I will ever need to set foot in a regular clothing store). I will check it out on my lunch breaks this week.

What year is your Corolla?  I have a pair of chains that went with my mom's '92 Corolla that I totalled last year.  Also a couple of spare bulbs for the tail lights.  Let me know if you want them.
Do you have the chains specs handy? I have a 2010 with standard rims/tires. If they fit, I will gladly take them off your hands. Like No Name Guy said, it's good to have if the weather turns for the worse unexpectedly.

Telecaster

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Re: Seattle/PNW skiers- get me to the slopes STAT
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2016, 11:52:46 PM »

Do you have the chains specs handy? I have a 2010 with standard rims/tires. If they fit, I will gladly take them off your hands. Like No Name Guy said, it's good to have if the weather turns for the worse unexpectedly.

There is a regional tire dealership here called Les Schwab.  If you buy chains from them in the fall, they will refund the full purchase price in the spring if you don't use them.    Their chains seem to be expensive-ish though.

That said, I really recommend snow tires, or at least all-season, if you will be skiing regularly.   The snow here is wet and slippery and you'll want to go skiing right after a snow storm.  At least I do.    Conditions can change fast, too. 

No Name Guy

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Re: Seattle/PNW skiers- get me to the slopes STAT
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2016, 01:21:31 PM »
You only need winter tires if you're planning on hitting every blizzard that comes through, at the opening bell.  The pass is generally either passable by normal traffic, passable because it's been plowed, or closed.  There isn't any time when 4WD is going to get you to the major ski areas when a regular car won't. 
Awesome, that's what I figured.

Quote
You're a little late for swap meets and such, which is usually the best way to pick up discounted gear.  I'd recommend craigslist, or failing that one of the second hand sports stores.  Goodwill is putting out ski equipment, but this time of year it sells as soon as they set it out.
I work 10 minutes away on foot from what appears to be the most upscale Goodwill in the country (seriously, I don't think I will ever need to set foot in a regular clothing store). I will check it out on my lunch breaks this week.

What year is your Corolla?  I have a pair of chains that went with my mom's '92 Corolla that I totalled last year.  Also a couple of spare bulbs for the tail lights.  Let me know if you want them.
Do you have the chains specs handy? I have a 2010 with standard rims/tires. If they fit, I will gladly take them off your hands. Like No Name Guy said, it's good to have if the weather turns for the worse unexpectedly.

Note - what I was talking about is nothing "unexpected" around here when driving I-90 / US-2 / Mt Baker Highway / US12 White Pass / Crystal Mountain.  Normal is for the passes to be closed for avvy control.  Normal is for the road to be shut down for hours to clear a pile up or dozens of spun-out-in-the-ditch drivers who thought their 4WD SUV can handle anything.  Normal is to have "chains required" driving conditions.  Normal is where you might need chains simply to move around the parking lot at the ski area. 

Know how to put chains on - don't be that laughable example of a driver that has never taken them out of the box until you're on the side of I-90 in the chain up zone, freezing while you futz around.  Even worse from the MMM perspective, don't be the fool that pays the person to put the chains on for them.
http://www.wsdot.com/winter/chain_install.htm

Your winter driving kit should include items suitable for chaining up as well as those for getting stuck on the closed highway.  A sheet of plastic or tarp, heavy duty insulated gloves, a beater water resistant / proof coat you won't mind lying down in to reach around the back side of the tire, chain tensioners / bungees, sand / kitty litter, headlight / flashlight, etc.

Good stuff on the above here:
http://www.wsdot.com/winter/


As for chain specs - read the sidewall of your tire to get the tire / rim size.  It should be something like "P195/70 R13".  Write this down.  Walk into the local O'Rielly / NAPA auto parts store.  Ask for cable chains as you slide the note with your tire / rim size details across to the person working the parts counter and they'll  hook you up.  They're not too expensive.

lhamo

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Re: Seattle/PNW skiers- get me to the slopes STAT
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2016, 01:38:14 PM »
The chains I have come in a little pouch that reads:

Laclede Chain Company
Cable Chains
Fits SAE Class "S" Cars
Fits Radial and Bias Ply Tires

Important!  Due to tire size variations PREFIT PRIOR TO USE!

On their website, it gives this description for SAE Class S:

SAE CLASS "S"

Regular (non-reinforced) passenger tire chains and cables for vehicles with restricted wheel well clearances.

1.46" clearance on tread-face, 0.59" clearance on side-wall

Let me know if you want to give them a try.  I can put them in my Buy Nothing pickup bin on our front porch and PM you our address. 


Paul der Krake

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Re: Seattle/PNW skiers- get me to the slopes STAT
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2016, 10:40:30 PM »
Let me know if you want to give them a try.  I can put them in my Buy Nothing pickup bin on our front porch and PM you our address.
Yup- definitely want to see if they will fit. If they don't I will put them right back in your buy nothing bin.

Laserjet3051

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Re: Seattle/PNW skiers- get me to the slopes STAT
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2016, 10:11:38 AM »
You can either skimp on, or rent, most things you'll need....except for a ski shell. hands down, a quality shell is worth its weight in gold. With careful advance planning you can get a deal, if your out of time, not so much. Not suggesting that the $850 ArcTeryx shell is a must, but a good shell that will keep you warm and dry in the most heinous of blizzards will cost close to $300, at minimum. Just picked up a Marmot shell for my daughter with a deep sale for only $200, but we waited and waited fr the right moment.

Last year we picked up some highly functional Head ski gloves at Costco, at ~ 50% less $ than what most retailers were charging. Costco also currently has a solid base layer (top and bottom) at dirt cheap pricing.

Have fun!

sol

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Re: Seattle/PNW skiers- get me to the slopes STAT
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2016, 11:56:20 AM »
You can either skimp on, or rent, most things you'll need....except for a ski shell. hands down, a quality shell is worth its weight in gold.

I strongly disagree with this sentiment.  A $50 rain shell layered over thermals and fleece is just as good at a fraction of the cost.  It's just not as fashionable.

I would argue that boots and gloves are far more worthy of your attention and expense than torso clothing.  Nothing ruins a day on the slopes like numb hands and boots that don't fit.

littlebird

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Re: Seattle/PNW skiers- get me to the slopes STAT
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2016, 12:04:19 PM »
You could do a season's rental on the skis and boots so you don't have to deal with the rental shop every week, they'll be crappy rental quality but they'll get you into the sale season which starts in like February (ski season can go until May or June). A few years ago we did a season's rental on skis from Stevens Pass Snowboard Shop, in Gold bar. Can't recall the exact price but I think maybe ~$120. Was worth it for us since you can easily save 5 or 6 hundred dollars on boots/bindings/skis by waiting for the spring sales.