Powder hounds and gear heads eager for the start of the 2005-06 ski season woke up early and lined up well before the eight o'clock hour Saturday morning for the annual Hesperus Ski Patrol Ski Swap. Bargains on both new and used gear brought out everyone from hard-core skiers to thrifty parents looking to outfit the entire family with affordable ski gear. Tables of backpacks, goggles, hats and all things winter were quickly picked through as the early birds chased down the morning bargains. As the ski and snowboard crowd rubbed shoulders and jockeyed for position among aisles of apparel, the line to the cashier's stand quickly backed up. The newly equipped slowly left the La Plata County Fairgrounds and eyes quickly gravitated skyward hoping to find a little cloud cover and the possibility of snow.

Steve Jarvis tries to make the tough decision between two pairs of skis while there were still bargains to be had at the Hesperus Ski Swap on Saturday Morning. Bob Croll greets the hordes of ski enthusiasts as he collects the entrance fee Saturday morning. Rows of ski boots tempt buyers near the fairgrounds entrance. Kathy Fritch gets ready for the masses at her table full of avalanche preparedness material. Ski apparel hangs from the racks inside the fairgrounds. Nicholas Baikie, 3, hugs his new pair of skis as the family takes advantage of the pre-season bargains.


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