Swap till ya drop

Mother Nature came through in fine form this weekend with a healthy serving of high country snow to welcome in the 40th annual Hesperus Ski Patrol Ski Swap. The La Plata County Fairgrounds were abuzz with winter excitement as the doors opened at 8 a.m. Gear hounds gained access to the roomful of equipment and bargains with a modest entry fee of 50 cents. Snow riders could also partake in a variety of bargains from regional ski areas including Silverton Mountain, Telluride and Durango Mountain Resort.

(mouse over photos for captions)

The early morning crowd peruses the mounds of new and used apparel at the fairgrounds on Saturday morning.

Aisles of used skis and snowboards were continually picked through as the early morning deals slowly dwindled.

A rack full of skis gets the once over as shoppers look for the perfect buy.

Don Fritch, a 40-year veteran of the Hesperus Ski Patrol, greets attendees as he collects the 50-cent entrace fee.

A shopper passes over a vintage Colorado Ski Country map displaying the state's ski areas and mountain ranges.

Dustin Held struggles into a pair of used boots at the swap.

Early birds gather outside the fairgrounds exhibition hall before the swap in hopes of netting a good bargain before the masses arrive.

Brad and Darcy Petzold get outfitted for the 2004 season.

Alex Schlough, of Farmington, picks through a table full of melon protectors.





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