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Today's word on journalism

March 17, 2009

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1863-2009

"Can Seattle's oldest newspaper be successfully transformed into a child of the information age? The Northwest is a land of big dreams. With the demise of the Soviet Union, one quipster noted that Puget Sound is now home to three empires still bent on global dominion: Microsoft, Amazon.com and Starbuck's. If the stars align properly and with a quality product, Seattle will show the way to a new model for journalism of the written word."

--Joel Connelly, columnist, in today's final print edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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On the bunny hill? Here's how to choose ski equipment for beginners

By Zane Buxton

February 20, 2009 | Its time to change the way you typically go about picking out ski equipment. Now days you have so many different options of gear you need to spend the time doing the research. The best part about this is the fact you don't even have to get off your couch.

Local ski expert and self proclaimed "Gear Head" Cody Quinn says, "When you are searching for the right gear you really need to drill down and find out what you want to do with it. They make different skis for all types of skiing, just peel back the onion on what you want it to do for you. You ride the ski, the ski doesn't ride you."

So to begin my quest on finding the perfect resource all searches kept leading me to a forum site, Epic Ski Website. They have tons of skiing groups and open discussion boards for communication. I posted several questions on here and had a response almost instantly.

This group brought up a good point, you have to find what you need. This seems to be the moral of everyone's story that I have talked to, always find what is going to be important to you in the equipment. Long time Salt Lake ski shop employee Katie Jensen talked about how many people would wonder in to the shop looking for one thing and after a little direction walk out with something completely different.

"There are so many brands out there, pretty cool stuff that keeps reinventing the way skiing is done. Pretty soon the skis with turn for you," said Jensen.

Jensen turned me on to a great site, Backcountry Ski Gear, one of the coolest features about this site is the option to chat with an expert (look in the top right corner). When you choose this option it brings on a live employee to chat with and ask any question about gear. This will prove to be very helpful in your selection because you can ask questions tailored to your size, body type, and terrain type to create a ski package around you.

Now I know where to find the answers on what type of skis I want but where do I pick them up? I got talking to local family man George Van Yperen, long time skier and father of four who let me in on a secret about gear. George has been getting his kids into skiing over the past years but kept running into a problem: "They keep growing, I needed an option that isn't as permanent as a purchase but eliminated having to rent every time we go up."

Van Yperen found that Beaver Mountain Ski Resort has a program that allows you to do a year long rental. This is awesome, it allows the freedom of owning by not having to wait in rental lines every ski trip. However, at the end of the year Van Yperen can return the skis and do it all over with a different size next year. This program saves hundreds and hundreds of dollars for families over the years.

Van Yperen said, "If it wasn't for the rental program my kids would be waiting a couple years before strapping on the skis."

When all is said and done there are so many options out there to get you on the hill. So take advantage of them and start hitting up the mountains!

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