Christy Sports The Ridge Report
A Blog About Everything Skiing & Snowboarding in Colorado & Utah
Ski Gifts

If you have all the ski and snowboard gear you think you need, but you still want more and you’re not sure what to put in your letter to Santa, worry not. There are always more things to add to your kit that you didn’t know you needed, until now. Here are a few gift ideas for the skier or snowboarder that has everything:
Arcade Belts

Arcade Belts

Who would have thought that something so simple could make such a big difference? If you’ve ever taken a metal buckle to the gut during a wipeout or felt constricted when you’re tucking for a double, then you’ll enjoy an arcade belt. They have plastic buckles that won’t poke you in the belly, and the bands are made from a quality elastic material, so they give you tension to keep your bottoms up but won’t constrict your movement when you’re getting after it.
Crab Grab

Crab Grabs

Have you been trying to tweak your grabs but your board keeps slipping out of your hands? Crab Grab makes these foam stickers that you put on your board to make it easier to grab when you’re in the air, allowing for style and ease to come together.

Heated InsolesHeated Insoles

Warm-up breaks and toe warmers are no longer needed when you have heated insoles. Don’t let cold feet stop you from shredding on the chilly days. These insoles are battery operated and remote controlled to keep your feet at the right temperature all day long.

 

Swix ViceSwix Ski & Snowboard Vices

Fine tune your tune game. If you’re a dedicated self-tuner, ask for some upgrades to your tool bench. These Swix Ski Vices and Snowboard Vices are a great accessory to help position your sticks for the perfect tune up.

Ski Travel BagTravel Bag

If you have a ski trip planned for the future, or not, ask for a travel bag. They are incredibly convenient for transporting your gear and can easily fit all your accessories. Some even have enough room for the rest of your packing list so you only have to bring one bag. Get a travel bag and finally take that trip to Whistler or Japan that you’ve been dreaming of.
Helmet Audio

Helmet Audio

Most helmets these days are audio compatible, meaning the ear pads have some sort of zipper or pocket that can hold headphones or speakers designed for helmets. Some even come with Bluetooth capability so you can listen completely wire free. Rather than tucking your headphones under your goggle strap or using earbuds that fall out or don’t fit properly, consider upgrading to in-helmet audio. Your ears will thank you.
Goggle Case

Goggle Case

Lens scratches are the worst. Although most goggles come with a protective baggy to put them in, that still doesn’t protect them from external pressure which could still lead to cracks and scratches. With a goggle case, you know that your goggles are safe when you toss them in your gear bag.

Padded ShortsPadded Shorts

Imagine bombing down a run having the time of your life when you hit a patch of ice and BOOM! You fall straight on your coccyx¹, hard. This has happened to me a few times, and it takes me a minute to get back up, wishing that I had a little extra cushion for the landing. Fortunately, they make gear for that! Padded shorts, crash shorts, impact shorts, whatever you want to call them, they give you extra protection when you fall on your rear so you can get back up and keep shredding.

For more gift ideas shop our Gift Guide.

¹The tailbone – Commonly referred to as a tremendous pain in the butt when fallen upon.

Valentine Header2

With all the hype surrounding Valentine’s Day, we thought it would be interesting to offer you a guy’s and a girl’s perspective on great dates. So, we wrote a dual post giving you some non-traditional ideas for your mountain-loving sweetheart. Here is what we came up with:


What Your Mountain Girl Really Wants for Valentine’s Day 

Emily-Headshot

Written By: Emily Scott

For the girl who owns more snow pants than dresses, a box of chocolates and some flowers for Valentine’s Day just doesn’t cut it. Girls that like to slide down snowy mountains crave adventure and adrenaline. So what do you get your Valentine that likes to play hard in the mountains? Nothing. You take her to do something that will get her heart pumping instead. Here are a few V-Day date ideas that will impress your mountain gal:

Guided Ice Climbing – If she’s never been ice climbing before, chances are she would dig it. It’s a challenging winter sport that the two of you can learn together. Go with a guide because they provide all of the equipment and show you the best spots to go, as well as make sure it’s an enjoyable experience for you both.

Sledding – Find a steep hill with plenty of snow, buy a sled, and you’ve got a recipe for a great date. This is a win because she’ll get to play in the snow and you can each bring out your inner child.

Snowmobiling – What’s more awesome than blazing powder trails on a motorized sled? She’ll be stoked. You can rent them for a few hours and go at your own pace or take a guided tour. Make sure you rent two though, because she will want to drive her own. None of that riding on the back nonsense.

Rock Climbing – Indoor or outdoor, this will be an awesome time. It’s also a great way to bond and build trust with your sweetheart as you take turns belaying and climbing. You can take a quick lesson if it’s your first time or you can try your hands at bouldering which doesn’t require ropes.

A Dog Sled Tour – It will be just like the Iditarod! Okay maybe it won’t, but it will still be a really unique experience. You can snuggle up with your Valentine on the sled while also having an adventure. It will definitely sweep her off her Sorels!

All of these dates could be followed by a quiet evening by the fire, watching ski/snowboard movies, and drinking hot chocolate, or let’s be honest, her favorite beer. Save the cliché gifts for another time, and make some memories with your betty this Valentine’s Day.


What Your Mountain Guy Really Wants for Valentine’s Day

Mic-Headshot

Written By: Mic Wilborn

Come on ladies, we all know the truth.  Valentine’s Day isn’t for your guy; it’s for you.  Sure, there may one or two dudes out there that love February 14th but they don’t represent the majority.  All of that pressure to impress used to make me anxious.  Like a heartburn inducing, shortened breath, sweaty hands, panicky type of anxious.  Then I began dating an avid skier and things started to get better.  It turns out that a shared experience based on a common passion was better for both of us.  If you love adventure as much as your guy, here are a few date ideas you could surprise him with that he might actually get excited about.  

On-Mountain Dining- Regardless of the occasion, a perfect day for me includes snowboarding with my wife (that avid skier actually married me) and then having a slice of pizza while enjoying a few beers. Call me easy.  So, in order to set Valentine’s Day apart from all the others, schedule a sleigh-ride dinner to an on-mountain restaurant.    You will still get to ski or ride all day, but instead of the standard pizza/beer combo, you get to head back up the hill and enjoy a good meal together after the lifts stop turning. 

Night Snowshoe Hike- If you pick really mellow terrain that you are both comfortable with, the only thing you will have to worry about is whether or not the stars are hiding behind the clouds.  As an added surprise, pack a bag with some snacks, a blanket, candles, and a bottle of wine so when you find a cool spot; you can stop and have a mini picnic. 

Moonlit Backcountry Laps– If conditions are right and you are both experienced and prepared backcountry travelers, getting in  a few laps together under the moonlight is about as good as it gets.  Even if it’s an area you are both super familiar with, the mountains have a different vibe at night.  You can fit snacks and drinks in your pack for a surprise picnic at the summit, or leave them in the car and toast each other in a successful Valentine’s Day afterwards.  

I’d really like to provide you with a few more date ideas, but I’ve unfortunately drained my shallow pool of romantic notions. If you’re going to try to surprise your mountain-loving man (short of canceling Valentine’s Day altogether) the above three brainwaves might just be enough to make the day special for him; plus, you’ll have fun too!


If you have any other date ideas, share them with us in the comments below. We love hearing your stories!

 

Fireworks

This time of year is seemingly punctuated with one question: ‘What’s your New Year’s resolution?’ Instead of the myriad cliché resolutions out there, which have the same shelf life as that eggnog in the back of your fridge, why not set out to do something that brings a smile to your face?  A resolution involving skiing or riding is always a good call, but rather than vowing to hit ’X’ number of days on the hill, I suggest that you resolve to go out and explore some new resorts.  Here is a list of 5 resorts in Colorado that everyone needs to hit this season, plus some of the classic runs at each one. Some of these are a little bit off the beaten path, or further away than some people feel like traveling, but they are all worth the trip.

Crested Butte

Image by http://www.skicb.com

Crested Butte:  This is by far my favorite place to ride in Colorado.  The terrain is as challenging as you want it to be, plus the mountain, town, and views are all incredibly stunning. With 542 acres of in-bounds double black terrain, there are unbelievable lines and aspects to explore all over the mountain. Seriously, whether you want to get crazy and scare yourself the entire time or just cruise the groomers with family, CB truly has something for everybody.  Also, the town, people, restaurants, and night life are all just a bit different than what you will find at other resorts. This place has a soul, one which is as infectious as it is charming.

Runs to check out at Crested Butte:

  • Funnel
  • Anything in the Teocalli Bowl
  • Hard Slab into The Glades
12_27_2011_Monarch_John_Trousdale_10-650x462

Image by John Trousdale via blog.coloradoski.com

Monarch:  If you’re going to take my advice and head to CB this winter (which you should), you’re probably going to have to go over Monarch Pass.  You might be tempted to just drive on past the Monarch ski area because it seems small.  Don’t.  You need to schedule a day or two to check this place out!  It’s a little mom & pop ski area, but the conditions and terrain are awesome.  You’ll hardly ever wait in a lift line, and even a few days after a storm, you can still find fresh tracks everywhere!  This isn’t your typical resort, so don’t expect to do much else besides ski or snowboard, which if you ask me, is a huge plus.

Runs to check out at Monarch:

  • Mirkwood Trees
  • The cornice on Curecanti
  • Gunbarrel

Silverton-SnowSilverton:  Well, there’s not a whole lot to say about Silverton besides; just go.  Oh, and get the guided tour. It’s worth it.  The quality of snow is only eclipsed by the intensity of the terrain. Silverton is still awash in the ski-pioneer spirit, and I don’t care how good you are, you will be able to find something that easily takes your breath away.  This place is steep, never groomed, and there are NO beginner or intermediate runs.  If that doesn’t sound fun enough though, they also offer heli-trips.  You know you want to go…

Runs to check out at Silverton:

  • Anything they let you ride, or anything that you can handle.
  • Seriously, it’s all good!

 

snowmass

Image by Jeremy Swanson via Facebook.com

Snowmass:  Snowmass is bigger than most people think which makes it easy to escape the crowds without losing out on all the amenities of a high end resort. With over 3,300 acres of skiable terrain, it’s easy to find something fun to ride. Trees, parks, groomers, bowls, glades; it’s all there; you just have to go explore.  Even after the lifts stop turning there is plenty to do, since Snowmass is well known for a variety of fantastic après and dining options.  You won’t be disappointed!

Runs to check out at Snowmass:

  • Rio
  • Powerline Glades
  • Cirque Headwall

 

telluride-1

Image via Boundforsnow.com

Telluride:  Everything about Telluride is just plain striking. First off, it’s pretty much breathtakingly beautiful. Looks aside though, this place is ideal for avid skiers and riders as there is an array of fantastic terrain spread over 2,000 skiable acres. Whether you want to placate your sense of adventure with their premier hike-to areas, or simply ski perfect corduroy while taking in the remarkable views, you will walk away from this resort with a smile on your face. There is also a gondola from the town to the Mountain Village which makes it easy to check out all of the amazing shopping, après, and dining options.

Runs to check out at Telluride:

  • Little Rose
  • Crystal
  • Audrey

Whatever your New Year’s resolution ends up being, I hope you find yourself in the mountains as much as possible. Happy New Year!