Backcountry shop opens in Lionshead
December 6, 2016
Business name: Cripple Creek Backcountry.
Location: In the Lions Pride Building near base of the Lionshead gondola. Located above the Swedish Clog Cabin and next to Boot Lab at 500 East Lionshead Circle.
Date opened: Nov. 1.
Owners: Randy Young and Doug Stenclik.
What goods or services do you provide? We provide all the gear you need for ski touring, splitboarding and telemark skiing. Our inventory includes new and high-end uphill demos, as well as all service work, including mounting, tuning and custom boot fitting to get the gear running great.
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What's new or exciting at your place? We were the first uphill specialty shop in the country and this is all we do. Year-round, we are only focused on skinning and skiing. Skinning up the mountain to earn your turns has evolved to be easy enough for anyone to do it. We are excited to be at the center of a vibrant uphill community in the Vail Valley.
What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? The gear for touring is so intricate it takes the knowledge of a dedicated shop to get skiers and snowboarders in the right uphill setup. We use focused specialization only on uphill and touring gear to separate ourselves from the competition. No alpine bindings or solid snowboards, no snowshoes or camping equipment, just backcountry and uphill equipment year-round. Additionally, we host as many community events as possible to bring people together and unite around our love for being active in the mountains. These include avalanche talks, tuning clinics, group skins and slide shows from sweet trips all around the globe.
What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? What can your customers expect from you? If you are brand new to the sport, we are here to make your introduction as easy as possible in a fun and educational environment. But if you have been backcountry skiing for years, we have the knowledge and the stoke to nerd out on gear with you for hours.
Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: We both worked for mountaineering shops around the country before realizing that there needed to be a dedicated uphill shop. After owning an existing touring shop in Carbondale for four years, our next realization was that we should be at the base of a ski mountain rather than 30 miles away!
What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? At our opening party in Carbondale we had a couple at the party with a brand-new baby. When we congratulated the mother, she told us that they had the baby because of Cripple Creek Backcountry! You can imagine our confusion. How'd we have anything to do with a baby? Turns out the couple met because they rented gear from us separately and then ran into each other while out skinning. One thing led to another and they are now married with a baby!