Just Skiing Around!
With the 2018 winter Olympics underway, what an excellent time to spark interests into the skiing world. How exciting would it be to learn something new? Weather your interests are with downhill, Alpine or slaloms, there is an amazing place right here in Laramie, WY to learn about just that.
There is nothing more exciting than learning a new hobby and exploring history all at the same time. If you are an avid skier or trying it for the first time you will need a reliable place to find quality gear. West Gate Sports and Trading Post is a quaint little shop that can help you with all those needs and teach you a little history in the process.
Skiing is a sport enjoyed by all ages from toddlers to people well in their 80’s. If you have never skied it is an adventure, Lew at West Gates Sports and Trading Post has some stories for you on his adventures on how he learned and helping the ski community.
“I learned to ski in the Army, I used to do special ops and parachuting. We would parachute and take skis with us. I later got into civilian downhill skiing and I did a lot of skiing around Europe.” Lew states.
What is Skiing All About
Skiing is using a pair of long thin runners made of wood, plastic or metal to glide across the snow. The ski season typically starts mid-November after Thanksgiving and goes until Easter or beginning of April. The shops new owner Lew started as a hobby skier at a young age and it has now grown into his entire life.
Little historical fact; skis were in use by the Scandinavian farmers, hunters and warriors in the middle ages. By the 18th century, the Swedish Army trained and competed on skis. To explore more about the history of skis you can visit their site.
West Gates Sports and Trading Post opened in 1974 and Lew has been the owner for almost 4 years. Lew states he took the business over from a friend.
“Skiing was just a hobby, and a friend of mine owned this business and one day we started talking and he said he wanted someone he could trust to take over the business.” Said Lew.
The rest is history and now Lew has ambitions to grow the business into more than just a ski shop.
“I’m thinking in the future I’d like to turn the front part of the store into more of a retail part and do more than just skiing for offseason.” Said Lew.
Lew likes to help the local Laramie elementary schools with their skiing needs. Members of the school district frequent the ski shop during ski season to book class skiing trips in the Snowy Range Ski area. Giving back to the community and different organizations around town can be tough for a small family owned business but that doesn’t stop this business from doing what they can to give back.
What do you need to start Skiing?
For your first ski trip you will need to decide what type of skiing you are planning on doing. Alpine skiing is traveling over snow on skis typically downhill, this will requires a specific type of ski. Cross-country skiing will take you cross country with some hills but not to the extent of downhill, the skis are typically long and narrow for your trip across open country sides on level ground.
You can learn more about the different types of skiing featured in the Olympics this year on their official Winter Olympic site.
Per Krista a long-time skier, skiing is the best winter activity. Not only do you get to feel the breeze on your face, but you also get to take in the beautiful scenery that comes with the great outdoors.
“I have been skiing for 20 years. Skiing is by far the best winter activity because you can enjoy the scenery, embrace the outdoors and partake in physical activity” says Krista.
When you decide to embark on this amazing new journey make sure to do your research. Check out our local Wyoming ski area at Snowy Range . Learn about the sport and pick up some ski rentals at our local West Gates Sports and Trading Post’s site.
And if skiing doesn’t seem like your thing. I hear drinking hot cocoa and watching the skiers come down the hill from lodge is also a very nice and relaxing day!