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A Made-in-Colorado gift guide for the skier in your life

Try these home-grown skies, poles and pants


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Powderpoint Sports Snow Pants

For his 30th birthday, David Urban had one simple wish: a pair of ski pants with a smiley face on the knees. He sought out Aurora-based Flatlock Colorado to sew his dream knickers, which led to a few more pairs for friends, and people started asking about the pants on the slopes. In 2013, Urban teamed with his sister, Christy Strawbridge, to launch Powderpoint Sports. Today, the company makes a catalog of high-performance, soft-shell snow pants with smiley faces, Colorado flags and custom images adorning the knees. The waterproof soft shell pairs with base layers for year-round comfort, and the company has no plans to manufacture overseas. “We are 100 percent committed to having everything made in the U.S.,” says Strawbridge. “Everything is made in Denver.”

$250-$300

Denver
www.powderpointsports.com

 

Powder Factory Skis

Casey Day started making skis at ScottyBob in Silverton in 2002 before he struck out on his own with Powder Factory in 2012. He moved northeast to Silver Plume and set up shop in a historic miner’s cabin and now makes nine different models of backcountry and powder skis that are notably fat underfoot. An avid skier who gets 200 days on the slopes per season (including at least one ski day every single month for 12 years running), Day makes cores from domestic hardwoods for “a light and snappy, responsive feel,” while also utilizing aerospace-grade carbon fiber and Kevlar. He also can offer custom shapes and graphics. “We can re-create any ski out there, but with our tried and true materials,” says Day. His latest project: mogul skis that are due out midseason. “It’s kind of an oxymoron to have Powder Factory make some really narrow mogul skis,” he laughs.”

$850- $1,150
Silver Plume
www.powderfactory.com

 

Grass Sticks

“Everybody gets excited about their skis, their pants, their jackets,” says Grass Sticks founder Andrew Beckler. “Nobody talks about their ski poles.”  He set out to change that by making custom poles in 2014, using Calcutta bamboo instead of aluminum or carbon fiber. “We’re able to use it as-is,” says Beckler, touting tensile strength that’s greater than steel. “It can flex to about 90 degrees before hitting a breaking point.” After five years working as a ski instructor, Beckler went full-time with Grass Sticks for the 2015-16 winter and sees potential for growth. “We’re lucky to be in Steamboat and have that great local market,” he says. “We have very happy customers. People are really stoked.”

$89 Steamboat Springs
www.grasssticks.com

 

Colorado Powder Pillows

Veronique Jarrell-King works with her mom, Janet King, to upcycle retro ski jackets and onesies into the perfect accessory for that Adirondack chair made from old skis: the Colorado Powder Pillow. The duo sources materials from thrift stores in Durango and other ski towns. “There’s no lack of funky old ski outfits,” laughs Jarrell-King. A jacket turns into two pillows, and a one-piece ski suit typically results in a set of three. “We also have an option for people to send in an old ski suit,” says Jarrell-King. “It’s fun to work with people and brainstorm with them.”

$30 - $100 for 2-3 pillows

Durango
www.facebook.com/coloradopowderpillows

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Eric Peterson

Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer's Colorado, Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver's Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com

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