32nd Vail Nordic ski swap set for Saturday | VailDaily.com

32nd Vail Nordic ski swap set for Saturday

If You Go

What: 32nd annual Vail Nordic ski swap

When: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Gear check in 5-8 p.m. Friday, or by prior arrangement

Where: Homestake Peak School, Eagle-Vail

Cost: No admission fee, no listing fee

Information: Benefits the Homestake Peak School Nordic program.

EAGLE-VAIL — The 32nd annual Vail Nordic ski swap is Saturday, but please don’t call Dawes Wilson and ask him what’s available.

“We don’t know what will be there until it’s there Friday night,” Wilson said.

Wilson is 63 years old and fit. He was riding his bike when we caught up to him to talk about this year’s Vail Nordic ski swap. OK, we didn’t actually catch up to him, he was kind enough to answer his phone when we called.

The kids’ gear goes quickly. So does good gear and the stuff everyone is looking for.

“Good equipment goes early, as with all swaps. If you want the stuff everybody wants, you have to get there early,” Wilson said.

The Nordic ski swap doesn’t charge a listing fee, and admission is free.

“Nordic skiers are frugal. They’re looking for something less expensive to sell and buy gear. We thought it would be appealing,” Wilson said.

It has been for more than three decades.

When the uninitiated walk in, they want to do everything — backcountry, touring, skate skiing — and they want to do it on the cheap.

It’s OK to try walk in not knowing anything about Nordic skiing. They’ll take care of you.

“There will be people there who know this stuff well,” Wilson said.

First, Wilson said, figure out where you’re going to ski most of the time. Vail Pass? Your backyard? A Nordic center?

If you’re headed to a Nordic center, they’ll steer you toward one setup. If it’s your backyard — and in Eagle County that’s also U.S. Forest Service land — that’s another. From there, get some expertise.

“Now go take a lesson at a Nordic center. It’s more fun — as most things are — if you know how to do it,” Wilson said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.