Alpiner’s Pick: Father’s Day Gifts


Father’s Day is June 21st

The day is coming up quick, so we asked our staff ” What would you LOVE to get your Dad this year?” OR “If you’re a Dad, what would you LOVE to receive?”. These are a few of their answers!


Michelle, E-commerce Manager: ” My father really needs a new jacket and loves Myles’ Arc’teryx. As with most Arcteryx, the Beta AR just feels sooo nice when you put it on, completely non restricting, and waterproof.  Plus the brand has a dinosaur for its logo, and my dad is a nut for fossils. He’d never splurge on himself so I would LOVE to get him the Beta AR Jacket this Father’s Day!



Emily Korsch, Programs and Event Coordinator: ” I would LOVE to get my Dad a Eagles Nest Lounger Chair or a DoubleNest Hammock with a set of Twilights Camp Lights to go with it!”


Angela Roam, Camp Buyer: ” My Dad always LOVES a new pair of Sanuk Sandals!”


Cathy Blaies, Chesterfield Store Manager: ” My Dad is a big fan of the Ex-Officio Air Strip Shirt and Insect Shield products… Hats, bandana’s, shirts etc.”

bugsaway airstrip

Kevin Bouckaert, IT Director: “As a father of 5, I’d say Earplugs for peace and quiet, kid trailer so we all can go for a bike ride, or a Yeti Rambler Tumbler to hold my soda and keep it ice cold!”


Dave Colby, Our newest addition to the Buying Department & Snowsport, Footwear, and Sunglasses Buyer: “For my Dad it would be a book like “Ten million steps” and a new pair of Kuhl Revolvr pants.









Chaco: A Brand 25 Years in the Making

1989-1995: The Early Years

The small brand, based out of a Mark Paigen’s Paonia, CO home was first called Gecko to signify his shoe as “The Ultimate Sport Sandal”. You see, the Gecko has tiny micro-suction cups on the bottom of their feet helping them scale walls quickly and efficiently.  When the company was four years young, Mark moved his operations outside of his home. The real change that has helped this brand sky-rocket into fan dome was their highly designed footbed, the Z1 in 1994. The footbed was given the name due to its creator,  Dr. Gerhard Rill, a graduate of the Munich School of Orthopedics, who famously stated “That’s ze one!”.  Finally, in 1995 Mark decided it was best to give the company a much-needed make-over. The name Gecko was too closely related to another brand and in order to choose a new name, the company held a competition. This is how the brand we know and love today is called Chaco.

Why we love this brand?

There are so many reasons to love this brand. Our top  reasons include the shoe (of course!), their warranty program ReChaco, their involvement, and their sociability! Who doesn’t love a shoe that gives you complete arch support, keeps your foot supported while having the breezing feel of a sandal? Not to mention the never-ending array of patterns and colors for the straps in their MyChaco program!  Their warranty program, ReChaco involves re-strapping, repairs and even replacement helping you keep your favorite pair of Chacos forever. The company is super social! They are always asking for your favorite pictures while wearing Chaco sandal or a Chaco tan to share on social media, as well as your outdoor adventures in their Chacosphere. Finally, we love how involved Chaco is with their dealers and their customers!


Chacos + Alpine Shop

We’ve been selling Chaco for more than 15 years and they continue to grow year after year. You can purchase your new Chacos online at or in store! Today through Friday, June 5th when you purchase a pair of Chaco sandals online you will receive a special edition Chaco belt (6/3/15-6/5/15) ONLINE ONLY. Chaco has also teamed up with Alpine Shop in the upcoming Al-Pint Night-Luau this Sunday, June 7th from 4-7pm. During the event we’ll sell limited edition 16 oz. acrylic double-wall tumblers brought to you by Chacos for $10 which includes two pours of craft beer. The proceeds will be donated to the Open Space Council for the St. Louis Region.







Alpiners’ Picks: Our All Time Favorite Tents!

Anyone who is looking for the perfect tent has been confronted with the large number of options! To help with buyers anxiety, we wanted to bring you a short list including some of our staff’s favorite tents and the adventures they’ve enjoyed while camping. We’ll even tackle the unfortunate circumstance of finding a comparable tent for one that has been discontinued; ‘Oh the horror!’.

Marmot Limelight 2



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Gretchen Carleton, Assistant Buyer for Women Apparel: “The best part about this tent is that it is the perfect size for two people. It takes only a couple of minutes to set up, it compacts very nicely and is extremely light.

My husband and I took the train from Saint Louis to Sedalia Missouri, and then rode our bikes back to Saint Charles on the Katy Trail. We carried all of our supplies on our bikes and this tent was one of the items. It was perfect shelter on a perfectly beautiful ride!”

Chloe Tennant, Director of Social Media: “The Limelight 2 is super cozy and perfect for two campers. The rain fly also withstands those pouring summer showers keeping you both nice and dry!

My boyfriend and I decided to take a last minute trip over Labor Day weekend to Johnson Shut-ins, there we were able to camp comfortably under the stars in our Limelight 2! We fell asleep with the rain fly off until I woke up at 5am to thunder! I quickly grabbed the rain fly, flung it over and it turned out to be a massive rainstorm! Luckily the tent kept us dry!”

Mountain Hardwear Drifter & Shifter Series

$227.97 (Drifter) & $249.00 (Shifter)


The Drifter Series has been modified into a new series, The Shifter!


Bart Karnowski, Alpine Shop Kirkwood Assistant Store Manager: “Mountain Hardware Drifter 3 (The Shifter 3 is the newer version) is my pick.
It sets up in five minutes and is easy to take down.

I spent the last warm weekend of the year last October at Cuivre River State Park. It was the week after SWAP and the perfect/relaxing wrap up to the sunny season.”

Paul Miller, Alpine Shop Columbia Outfitter: “I have a Mountain Hardwear Drifter 2, and as posters have said above, the Drifter series (and now Shifter Series) is solid. Easy set-up and take-down. It could be a little lighter but I’ve been happy with mine.”

Nemo Losi 3



Beth Rutledge, Alpine Shop O’Fallon, IL Outfitter: “I’m a fan of the Nemo Losi 3person with the add on footprint. I saw it in use this past summer in Glacier National Park. The guy who owned it was traveling from California to Chicago with his husky and they were on their 10th travel day when we met him. With the optional footprint, the pup was able to be in the tent with him without poking his toenails through the bottom of the tent. There was loads of room inside the tent with a ton of head room. Great looking tent and not terribly heavy. He, his name is Mark by the way, also has a 2 person Losi for backpacking, he’d like a lighter one but it is such a good tent it’s hard to get attached to a lighter one as good as this!”

We carry Nemo products at our store and although we do not have the Losi on hand, we can special order this item.

Mountain Hardwear Optic 2.5



Liza Babington, Alpine Shop Columbia Store Manager: The Hammerhead 2 from Mountain Hardwear is my favorite! It is unfortunately not made anymore. What makes this tent awesome is the zip out window that goes from the floor of the foot side of the tent all the way past the top and about 1/8 of the way down the other side, giving an awesome star view at night and tons of airflow. Because you can zip the whole thing closed it also means you can pitch it without the fly when it’s hot and still have privacy. It has 3 smaller windows so you don’t lose airflow, plus tons of headroom because of it’s crazy shape. My favorite adventure in my tent was camping at Horseshoe Canyon on a climbing trip. It wasn’t a crowded weekend so we were able to find a spot where we could pitch it without the fly and stargaze all night!”

The Hammerhead was loved for its airflow and views due to it large mesh zip-out windows! The Mountain Hardwear Optic 2.5 is the best comparable model! It’s catty-cornered zip-out windows offer a good amount of airflow and a beautiful view of the surroundings and sky!

The North Face Tadpole 2 & Stormbreak 2

$309.00 (Tadpole 2) & $159.00 (Stormbreak 2)


Mike Prasse, Alpine Shop Chesterfield Outfitter: “I’d have to say that my favorite tend has been and continues to be my original North Face Tadpole. I love love the easy set up, it’s durability in very strong winds, and the vestibule size for a two man tent. Sure the older model isn’t quite as light as the newer versions yet I still love it. I spent nearly a whole summer in it while I was in college running school groups down to Sams Throne in Arkansas. I still have it, use it and love it.”

We are able to special order the Tadpole 2 tent, its the perfect technical backpacking tent: super light, functional, and sturdy. Another great option for someone who doesn’t need the high technical specs and is looking for a middle range in price, The Stormbreak 2 is the pick for you! It’s not as light as the Tadpole, but it can be put together in a jiff!


Our Mission

In store and online we are determined to help you find the best tent (and any of gear you might need) for you and your adventures! Many of our tents are 3-season and paired with the right sleeping bag can keep you comfortable through many different climates. Give us a call, visit us in store, or shop online for your new favorite tent!


This Adventure Needs GORE-TEX® Sweepstakes: Winners and Honorable Mentions

Over the past couple weeks we’ve asked our Alpiners, “Does your adventure need GORE-TEX® and why?”. We’ve literally been stunned by some of the most impressive, daring and inspirational adventures that were entered into the sweepstakes. There’s some pretty adventurous folks out there and we want to highlight the winners and those who embody our very mission! “Get Outside Yourself”

The Grand Prize-Winner

“Snowstorm came through at Brighton Resort in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2014. Getting some airtime and ready to land in a pillow of powder, would be epic to repeat this memory with a new one…and of course some new GORE-TEX® gear!”- John Collier

John has won $500 in GORE-TEX® Products, SPF 15 Lip Balm and a WINDSTOPPER® Headband!! May your future snowboarding adventures be full of pillows of powder and as epic, or even more, with some brand new GORE-TEX® Gear!

The 1st and 2nd Runner-Up Winners

“Summited my first 14er in 2014! Could have definitely used some GORE-TEX® gear!”- Rich Asadorian
“Skiing in Wolf Creek, Colorado. My siblings and I love the mountains, especially all the snow at the Wolf Creek Ski Area!”- Katherine Costello

Rich and Katherine have both won $50 in GORE-TEX® Products, SPF 15 Lip Balm and a WINDSTOPPER® Headband!

Honorable Mentions

Photo Credit: Karen Holtmann
Photo Credit: Stephanie Mafla-Mills
Photo Credit: Bill Kraemer
Photo Credit: Robert Schnieders
Photo Credit: Derek Stagner
Photo Credit: Jack Wilkinson
Photo Credit: Brian Pfiefer
Photo Credit: Herbert Lorenz
Photo Credit: Gregg Healey
Photo Credit: Kathleen Doherty




This Adventure Needs GORE-TEX® Products Sweepstakes


Share a picture of an adventure you’ve been on (or hope to go on!) where a GORE-TEX® garment would play an essential role in keeping you dry, comfortable and outside for longer periods of time! Whether it’s skiing in Colorado, snowshoeing in Utah or hiking in the misty forests of Washington State, you will stay dry and protected in GORE-TEX® products. GUARANTEED! Enter for your chance to win a $500 Alpine Shop coupon to be used on GORE-TEX® Products, Lip Balm and a WINDSTOPPER® Headband.


Celebrate Shreddin’ the Gnar, Cruisin’ the Pow and even Hitting the Yard Sale: Snowboard Lingo 101

Today is World Snowboard Day and we have a few words to cover! Ever wonder what those snowboarders with the 1960’s surfer-like vernacular were actually saying? In the spirit of celebration, we’re hear to clear some things up! In no time you’ll be shreddin’ the gnar and telling your buddy how crispy the pow is that day!

For Starters…

Shreddin’ the Gnar: Just a uber cool way of saying “going snowboarding”.

Pow: Short term for soft powder snow. Freshly fallen, huge snowflakes and super fluffy.

Crunchy or Crispy: really awesome, really sweet, super.

Ridin’: Another term for snowboarding or going down the slope.

Spoice: A word that can be used for anything, especially “nice”.

Chatter: The noise your board makes on rough terrain.

Gnarley: Awesome, really good or could be used to describe a crazy fall.

The Nitty-Gritty

Yard Sale: When you fall down the slope and you lose some of your gear on the way.

Jib: A trick you do off anything on the spine of a jump. A spine of a jump is an edge where a vertical side meets the horizontal, like a rail or tree.

Carve: Another word for turning.

Taco: A fall after a trick where your body folds over a rail.

Biff: wipe out, fall.

Blinger: A person who cares about matching their gear and clothing  over actually riding.

“Trade-Up”: Kids’ Bike Program

In just three easy steps, your kiddos will be outfitted in a properly sized bike and you’ll be able to save a little bit of money! They won’t outgrow this deal!

How it Works:

1. Buy any new kids bike from Alpine Shop.

2. Within 3 years, bring it back and trade it up for a new kids’ bike.

3. We’ll give you up to 50% of what you paid for the trade in as a credit towards the next size bike.

Roll Into the Program

Didn’t buy a bike with us from the start? We can’t save you as much money this way, but…bring in ANY used kids’ bike in decent riding condition to donate to Boy & Girls Club or St. Louis Bike Works and we’ll give you 10% off a new kids’ bike.

What Happens to the Old Bike?

Trade-ins from the Trade-up Program that are not sold are donated to either the Boys & Girls Club or St. Louis Bike Works.





Small Business Saturday Coupon: Save 20%!

Thank You For Following Our Twitter Page!

How It Works:

Stop by any of our Alpine Shop locations or online at on  Saturday, November 29th for Small Business Saturday and save big for the holiday season! We know there might be an item you’ve had your eye on that may not be on sale and we would like to extend the list by giving you a 20% Off ONE Item Coupon*! You may show the coupon digitally, printed or by simply mentioning the “Twitter Coupon” at the register. Online you may use the coupon code: “SHOPSMALL”. Please double check with the exclusions below. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season!


*2014 Small Business Saturday “SHOPSMALL” coupon code valid 11/29/2014 ONLY at Alpine Shop locations or on-line at Discount only good on one item. Discount may not be combined with any other coupons or offers. This promotion excludes all hard goods as well as clothing from The North Face, Yakima, Burton, Specialized, GoPro and Jackson brands. Promotion excludes all previous purchases, gift cards, Alpine Shop clinics and any boat or ski package deals or service work. Sale price limited to in-stock items only. 

Team Alpine Shop Race Report: Castlewood 8hr Adventure Race

Hi everyone! It’s Emily here, coming to you LIVE as the NEW PROGRAM COORDINATOR at Alpine Shop! That’s right, the local business that has supported my adventure racing team for so many years has now become my employer. Let me tell you, it’s a dream come true. Not only am I surrounded by the very best outdoor gear and apparel all day long, the people I get to work with are amazing and share my passion of GETTING OUTSIDE YOURSELF! If you’ve been following Team Alpine Shop in our adventure racing season, you know that I write extensive and detailed race reports over on my personal blog. But here, I’d like to give you a shorter recap of our day at the Bonk Hard Castlewood 8hr Adventure Race.

Jeff, Erl and I at the bike drop on race morning. Photo by Stacey Hagen.

Race morning was early and cold. Erl (our substitute teammate since Doug was out of town) and I met Jeff at the bike drop in Castlewood at 0630 and it was in the low 20s. We dropped off our bikes and biking gear at the beach, and then drove over to Race HQ at La Salle Middle School. The school had its doors and bathrooms open for us, and it was so nice to have a warm place to get ready! We figured out the perfect combination of base layers, insulation layers, and shell layers to keep us comfortable for this fast-paced race, and pretty soon it was time to line up for the start.

TREK 1, 2mi, CP 1-3, 0:15

Team Alpine Shop among the top 5 teams at the start! I’m in the purple fleece top. Photo by Mary Welter.

We take off in a herd of racers…172 to be exact. We let other teams set the pace and are quite content to sit somewhere in the top 10 overall. Jeff punches the CP1 cleanly and we take off to CP2. Here, the path turns to gravel and we start to encounter some Saturday morning dog-walkers who are a bit confused to see a mass of pack-wearing people barreling down on them. We pass them as politely as we can on the out-and-back run to CP2. I love out-and-backs early in races because they let us cheer for a lot of teams, and today is no exception. I actually get super out of breath from yelling “good job!” so much so I try to hide behind David to recover. We reach the end of the trek and tumble down the hill where all of the boats are staged. 

Jeff, Erl, and David running to CP3 with Nathan from Toporadicals. I’m just out of the picture. Photo by Patrick & Donovan Feder.

It’s basically mass chaos, but somehow we manage to collect 4 paddles, 4 PFDs, 2 canoes, and 1 punch of CP3. Oh, and….SURPRISE! The volunteer hands us a bonus map which adds an unannounced trekking section to the middle of the paddle. Unfazed, we put in to the Meramec River with minimal fuss and get paddling.

PADDLE 1, 4.2mi, CP 4-5

At the put-in. Steamy. Photo by Patrick and Donovan Feder.

We’re in the mix of the top 5 teams as we start paddling downstream on the Meramec. We’re in our planned pairs, me in the back with Jeff and Erl in the back with David. I’m using my super-warm ski mittens to avoid the frozen hands like last year and so far they’re working great, even as the spray from the paddle starts to freeze on the gunwhales and thwarts. It’s really a beautiful morning to be on the river, and I use all my concentration to keep the boat on the most efficient line. We punch CP4 at Sherman Beach and get back out into the main channel. Pretty soon, we start seeing the boats in front of us land at CP5 for the start of the surprise trek. We get there quickly and do the same. Both Jeff’s and my packs are soaking wet, but for some reason I don’t even feel the chill when I throw it back on.

TREK 2, 2mi, CP 38-42

This is the map we were handed at CP3. I added the orange arrows showing our route. Also ignore the red scribbles, that was from later in the race.

We negotiate our way up the steep earthen bank with 5-6 other teams and take off on a clockwise loop for the 5 surprise/bonus trekking CPs. David’s decided to route us 39-41-42-40-38, and we join a pack of teams on the trail run to CP39. This entire map is a flat flood plain with only a few mapped vegetation features and basically one contour line to navigate off of. Once we’ve punched all 5 bonus CPs, we run across a field of tall, dead grass, take a group pee-break, and hop back in the canoes. Somehow, even though we’ve been running with about 5 other teams, we get onto the water in the lead!

Our friends on Team Virtus running through the field on Trek 2. Photo by Bob Jenkins.

PADDLE 2, 2mi, CP 6, 1:45 total for paddle-trek-paddle

Jeff and I finishing out the paddling section. Photo by Patrick and Donovan Feder.

Just because we’re leading for a moment, doesn’t mean it’s easy to stay there. We have 2 other boats for company through the first little congested section but I focus really hard on keeping my line and no-one dumps, although David and Erl tell us later that they came scarily close. This paddle is shorter than the first, so we work really hard to keep the boat moving as fast as possible. Finally, the Castlewood beach appears and we take-out with about a 30-second lead on Team CRX and AMTZ, with Toporadicals, 36 Down, and Extreme Electrical not far behind! CP6 has a gear check which is more mass chaos, but the volunteers do a great job at managing everything. A lot of teams opted to do this race with flat pedals, but we all take a bit of extra time to change into biking shoes, hoping that our feet will appreciate being dry and warm after the paddle.

At the take-out, with AMTZ hot on our sterns. Photo by Stacy Hagen.

BIKE 1, 6mi, CP 7-14, 0:40

Getting ready to start riding, I’m helping Erl put on his glove. Photo by Donovan and Patric Feder.

We’ve got a loop of Castlewood singletrack, and the route is pretty much the best-case scenario for me (keeping the most technical bits on the uphills instead of the downhills). We can’t see anyone ahead of us, but that doesn’t mean anything with the quality of the teams we’re racing today. We get to work climbing Grotpeter, motor through Roller Coaster, and descend smoothly down Love. The trails are starting to thaw and get greasy as we hit the short out-and-back on the dirt crit loop, but we all keep the rubber side down as we knock out the last CPs on this leg. Then it’s into TA where we will be given maps for the rest of the course! 

As we approach the shelter, we spot AMTZ already there, so we know we’re a few minutes down in second place. We punch CP14 and the volunteer hands us a map with instructions for 8 trekking CPs, 3 of which we have to plot ourselves. This isn’t a big deal, until David digs around in his pack for our plotter and discovers it fell out at the gear check! We allow ourselves about 5 seconds of panic, and then Jeff tells me to make a plotter out of paper like we did at the Berryman 16hr. I rip off a piece of the map and use the printed scale to make a rudimentary plotter. David calls UTM coordinates and we slowly get the 3 CPs transferred onto the trekking map. I’m not even sure if they’re right, but we have to leave NOW if we’re going to have a chance of catching AMTZ. 

TREK 3, 3.5mi, CP 15-22, 0:45

The map for Trek 3. We ripped the bottom of the map off and used it to plot 17, 18, and 19.

We storm out of TA on a mission, but I’m really, really scared about the 3 CPs we just haphazardly plotted on the map. I’m SO RELIEVED once we’ve found these first three CPs, and now only have the pre-plotted CPs left. We hit CP15 next, overrunning the side reentrant slightly, and as we descend back down after punching, we spot AMTZ approaching. Erl and I try to adjust our route to not give away the correct reentrant, but it doesn’t really do any good. We cross back over Ries Rd (legal to cross but illegal to run along), climb up to CP16, and then run back down to CP20. We catch up with AMTZ here because they took a slightly different order (17-16-15-20) and we all meet up at the creek crossing. David, sensing an opportunity, leads us straight through a knee-deep section of the creek while AMTZ chooses a slightly longer and dryer route. Our feet are now soaking wet but we’re in the lead! 

Here is a different team crossing the creek at CP20. We had crossed earlier in a deeper section, and then crossed here as well. We were not this careful. Photo by Patrick and Donovan Feder.

We all know this could be a make-or-break moment in the outcome of the race, so I give my team a quick pep talk, “Guys, we have a gap, we have to push it super hard up this hill and make it stick!” We charge up the backside of Lone Wolf, everyone red-lining in an effort to gain the lead. In between gasping breaths, I try to encourage as much as possible, and we make it to the top of the hill having opened up a slight advantage over AMTZ. We crash down the other side, David picks the correct reentrant for CP21, Jeff punches CP21, and we race back to TA with about a minute’s lead.

Back at the shelter, the volunteer hands us an entire packet of maps for the remainder of the race. It contants four 8.5×11 maps, double-sided, with 12 CPs scattered among them. It’s really confusing to make sense of everything and plan a route to the finish line. David and I work together to get everything sorted, reading the clue sheet again and again to make sure we’re doing everything according to the rules. Meanwhile, Erl and Jeff complete their TA and then help change David’s and my shoes so we can leave faster. Finally, we think we’ve got it all figured out and hop on bikes, leaving in 1st place!

BIKE 2, 23mi, CP 23-34, 1:46

We know AMTZ is stacked with really strong bikers, so we organize into a towing paceline and hustle out of Castlewood State Park. The first three CPs (23-24-25) must be found in order, and David guides us smoothly to each one. Then we have a bit of a route choice, and, after further analyzing the map as we’re riding, David decides to change his original plan and go 27-28-29-30-26, and then head into the west side of Castlewood for 31-32-33. We ride across Ridge Rd and descend down the paved Rock Hollow trail to CPs 28 and 29. On the way down, we actually see CP30 hanging in the woods, but race rules say we must bike to it (no bike-whacking allowed on this land) so we ride down to the Zombie trail head (CP29) and then take the singletrack uphill to the flag. This singletrack is newly-built by GORC and it’s a really fun ride. We get the punch, ride the trail back down, and then take the Al Foster path to CP26 and continue into the west side of Castlewood.

The three controls on the west side of Castlewood are really fun. The singletrack is straightforward and fast, and we’re all still feeling decent. David guides us smoothly to each CP and we’re out of there in a flash. Once we’re back on the Al Foster, we know we just have a mile to the CP34 and the finish line. Time to empty the tanks! The boys each take turns pulling while we absolutely fly down the path. Pretty soon, we spot the iconic orange and white Bonk Hard Racing inflatable arch signifying the finish line. We ease the pace just slightly to make sure everyone’s together and cross the finish line with huge smiles.

FINISH 5:11:46

Big smiles at the finish line. Photo by Mary Welter.

It is incredibly satisfying to finish 1st at the Bonk Hard Castlewood 8hr Adventure Race. Sprint races are so stressful for me, since one mistake or mechanical can derail an entire race, where as in the 24hr races you have more opportunity to recover. We did make a few mistakes out there, we always do, but each one was small and we were able to recover quickly. That’s the value of racing with three highly experienced teammates. Even though all of our transitions were chaotic, we were always communicating and trying to help the team as a whole. We were constantly checking on each other, making sure that no one was getting too cold or hungry or blown-up. When we had the opportunity to grab the lead, we all recognized it and had the legs to make it happen. 

It is so great to see a huge field in an adventure race, and we enjoyed the intense competition from several speedy teams. Everyone was so positive and encouraging, even when we were trying to rip each others’ legs off.  That is the spirit of adventure racing! If you are a beginner racer and have questions, please stop by the Alpine Shop in Kirkwood anytime, I am happy to help you learn more about the sport!