December 16, 2012

Skiing in Maine: Stuff those stockings with skis, accessories

By JOSH CHRISTIE

(Continued from page 1)

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Volition skis, made in Bangor, come in two models – the hard-carving Knotty Wood and the all-mountain twin-tip Drift Wood, either of which could make a fine Christmas gift.

Courtesy photos

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Flanon’s bandanas, from Lincolnville, made of cotton plaid flannel, are warm and colorful with a design that screams “Maine!”

Though they're a bit on the expensive side, skiers can get locally made boots. Strolz offers custom ski boots ($1,150, strolzboots.com), made in New Hampshire, completely customized (shell, footbed and liner) boots for the discerning skier. With all control of the skis transmitted through our boots, it's crucial that the boots fit the skier. Strolz builds each set of boots with the skier, a two-hour process that allows the buyer to leave with boots in hand.

Gift certificates and coupons, always popular stocking stuffers, are also easy to find in Maine. Nearly every mountain and ski shop offers gift certificates for food, equipment, lodging or lift tickets. Ski Maine's Maine Winter Activities Pass ($24.95, skimaine.com) is one of the best deals for skiers in Maine -- especially those that aren't devoted to a single resort. Each pass booklet contains a variety of discounts, including $10 discounts to mountains like Sugarloaf and Saddleback, 2-for-1 and 50-percent-off Nordic coupons, Maine Huts and Trails trail pass vouchers, and discounts at participating retail shops.

For a truly unique experience for someone on your list, I highly recommend a night or two in Shawnee Peak's Pleasant Mountain Cabins ($165 for the first night, $125 for additional nights (shawneepeak.com). The cabins are pack-in, pack-out with ski-in, ski-out lodging located near Shawnee's summit. Accessible by hiking or by lift, the cabins offer a chance to stay near the top of one of Maine's mountains in the middle of winter and to easily bag first tracks. Skiing the night of check-in is complimentary and skiing on following days is discounted so that all guests ski for the price of a junior.

Josh Christie is a freelance writer and lifetime outdoors enthusiast. He shares column space in Outdoors with his father, John Christie. Josh can be reached at:

joshua.j.christie@gmail.com

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