Meet me slopeside in three weeks.
December 5, 2011 4:50 AM   Subscribe

What is the best way to get two snowboards (and associated gear) from Seattle, Washington to Aspen, Colorado if we don't know where we will be staying while there? Flying with the snowboards would be hugely inconvenient, since travel plans include two continents and several cities with extended stopovers before we eventually meet up in Aspen for NYE.
posted by halogen to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total)
Mailing snowboards is really expensive (I used to work next to the shipping doc at a snowboard company).

I'd do a cost/benefit analysis of just renting once you're there - and renting doesn't mean crap newbie gear - you can get 'demos' from the good shops and use 'em.
Yes your boots won't be broken into your feet, but to reduce the hassle of getting your gear from your house, it'd be worth it.
posted by k8t at 5:32 AM on December 5, 2011

Ship your gear UPS or FedEx. You can either: (1) call up a hotel and explain the situation and ask if they will hold your gear until you get there; or (2) ship your things to any hotel and then show up and explain that you are actually staying somewhere else but shipped your things to the wrong place.

Every hotel will hold onto ski equipment shipped there regardless of whether the recipient is on the guest list or not. Include your phone number with the shipping information just to be safe, but it shouldn't be a problem. I remember this happening occasionally when I worked at Aspen Square four or five years ago.
posted by unreasonable at 5:34 AM on December 5, 2011

Response by poster: I should have mentioned that I will absolutely not consider renting gear, and cost is not a huge concern.
posted by halogen at 5:46 AM on December 5, 2011

The USPS will hold that kind of thing if you send it general delivery but then there's the hassle of getting to the Post Office when it's open.
posted by thewestinggame at 5:53 AM on December 5, 2011

I know some bike shops will let you ship bikes to them - maybe you could find a ski shop that does the same kind of thing?
posted by mskyle at 6:15 AM on December 5, 2011

If I'm on a long trip that will eventually involve snowsports, I schelp my boots along with me, and rent skis or a board at my final destination.

Could you possibly explain why you're so soured on the idea of rental equipment? As others mentioned, you can rent very nice equipment.

Hell, in some cases, you can buy fairly nice equipment for what it's going to cost you to mail a snowboard. Mailing large/awkward items is astonishingly expensive.

Alternatively, you could try mailing the package to a UPS Store for pickup. Touring musicians will frequently send merch (or even equipment) via UPS to UPS Stores along the route of their tour so that they can pick up things as they need them, rather than carrying everything at once. Make sure that UPS know what your intended pick-up date is; they normally don't hold packages for more than 5 days.

USPS offer a similar service called "General Delivery," although you positively need to call the receiving post office beforehand to make sure that they're able to handle such a request. USPS policy is to hold mail for up to 30 days.
posted by schmod at 8:37 AM on December 5, 2011

I live in Aspen and would strongly encourage you to sort out your lodging situation ... two months ago. There are currently a handful of rooms left in Snowmass Village, but as far as I know, Aspen has been sold out for a few weeks. Airbnb & VRBO have a few scant offerings remaining.

Additionally, if you use the us postal system, please keep in mind that it often takes a week+ for priority mail to reach us, let alone standard packages. UPS and FedEx are fairly reliable, but delays of a day or two are not uncommon. Aspen has two FedEx locations, while the closest UPS Store is 25 miles away in Basalt/El Jebel.

If you end up considering renting gear, take care of that NOW. Many stores will be sold out of rentals during the holidays.

P.S. If you are the group which is flying in from all over and renting rooms from me on airbnb, just have the equipment UPSed to the house ;)
posted by mmdei at 9:16 AM on December 5, 2011

If money is not a huge concern, why not just decide now where you're going to be staying?
posted by rhizome at 11:11 AM on December 5, 2011

Response by poster: rhizome, we have not booked lodging because we don't know for sure yet how many of our friends will be joining the two of us.
posted by halogen at 1:37 PM on December 5, 2011

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