The trees have dropped their leaves and the snow is just started to fall. While I’m not quite ready for Mariah Carey to start playing in my headphones while out for an early season ski tour, I did just buy a permit to cut down a Christmas tree in the Uintas and I’m getting excited for a snowy season of holiday cheer.
So in honor of the upcoming holidays, I’ve collected a few of my favorite things from Ski Utah partners, local Utah companies and a few additional ski/snowboard-themed gems perfect for gifting. Happy shopping!
When we were kids, getting clothing for Christmas was the worst. But turns out, receiving clothes as an adult is amazing, especially when it’s from a brand as great and environmentally friendly as Stio. I’m loving this piece as a do-it-all shacket that can be used as a layer or as a cool jacket for après drinks. There’s also a woman’s version in flannel here.
Growlers are the gift that keeps on giving. Grab one for just a couple bucks, fill it with some delicious beer at one of Wasatch Brew Pub’s breweries scattered throughout Salt Lake City and Park City, and gift it to the friend or colleague hosting the obligatory holiday party this year. From there, that person can continue re-fill it with their favorite beer to their heart's content. I’m a big fan of Wasatch's seasonal Guava Rose ale, but the Polygamy Porter is always a crowd-pleaser, especially for the out-of-towners who love the name.
Hestra has the best mittens I’ve ever worn, hands-down (get it?!). And while I generally go for more classic-looking mitts, I opted for the Wakayama Mitt this year. I love its retro style and the variety of colors it comes in, and it even has an extra layer of insulation to make sure your hands stay warm and cozy on those chilly days up Big Cottonwood. Add some matching red wrapping paper to make a great present that will last them for years.
Heads up to my family and friends, this is really just me publicly asking for a pair of these for the holidays. I’m loving Ripton & Co’s gear, which is referred to as “performance denim”—or soft, stretchy and quick-drying denim made for skiing, biking, hiking and general adventuring. While I’ve been coveting their mountain bike jorts, these overalls are so cool and fun and the perfect outfit to store in your car when you have somewhere to be after a day on the mountain. Though this company stems from Colorado and not Utah, you’ll see many a ripping skier at Alta Ski Area and Snowbird (and hey, even Deer Valley Resort if someone buys a pair for me!) sporting these.
Scratched goggles are an inevitable evil, so may I recommend to you a new pair of the coolest goggles I’ve seen so far this year: Smith’s I/O Mag XLs in “Flamingo Archive,” a perfect description for this retro pink, purple and green color amalgamation. Plus, Smith’s ChromaPop lens technology boosts color and contrast when skiing around, so you can see perfectly when you sneak out of the house after opening presents on Christmas morning.
Fellow Ski Utah blogger and skier Lexi Dowdall has a secret hidden talent next to her writing and skiing abilities: painting. This insanely talented woman has been conducting a concept in which she’s “painting by powder”—taking snowmelt from each ski resort and painting an iconic scene from the area in watercolor. The results are stunning and would make for a perfect gift for any ski or snowboard enthusiast (plus 5% of the proceeds are donated to Protect Our Winters!). The Snowbird Paint By Powder piece might be my favorite so far—I like the little tram car heading up the mountain in a sunset.
My favorite neckie company from my home of New England, Skida, combined with my favorite chosen-home Utah company, Pit Viper, have come together for a collaboration and I could not be more excited about this new product. You can now match your hat to your balaclava to your sunglasses to your croakie and feel warm and cozy while looks gosh-dang awesome. Buy this for anyone who loves to nordic ski, alpine ski or just wants to look cool.
Ski Utah just launched a partnership with Wild Tribute, an apparel company that donates 4% of all merchandise to parks and public lands, to create and sell their new apparel. The gear is cute and is the ultimate gift to give to someone that wants to celebrate The Greatest Snow on Earth®. By purchasing, you’ll be supporting tree-planting in Utah and this great organization—so thank you!
Trying to get your friends stoked for that upcoming ski trip to Utah this winter? Look no further than a bundle of Utah treasures from Caputo’s—a paradise of a food market in Salt Lake City. This curated package is full of savory and sweet goodies hand selected from around the state, including chocolate from Ritual, cheese from Park City Creamery and salami from Creminelli. Yum.
For someone who needs a little alone time to unwind and relax before ski season really ramps up, it’s hard to go wrong with a gift certificate to a spa. Whether they want a pedicure, deep tissue massage or just a soak in the hot tub, there are dozens of great spots at and near ski areas around the state. In the Cottonwoods, I love Snowbird's Cliff Spa at the base of Snowbird and the stunning Stillwell Spa at the Snowpine Lodge at Alta. If you’re heading towards Park City, it’s hard to go wrong at the The St. Regis Deer Valley or the new Lodge at Blue Sky, an Auberge Resorts Collection, which offers something called a “High West Whisky Rubdown” paired with a High West Distillery and Saloon hot toddy and oh goodness, how amazing does that sound?!
Have a family member who’s a crafter? Look no further than Blazing Needles in Salt Lake City. This adorable store is my mom’s favorite. There are gifts abound at this shop—from knitting classes to locally sourced yarn to already-knit scarves—but my recommendation is the Foxtales Hat Kit. The receiver gets to learn how to knit the hat and can brag to their friends about their newfound talent when wearing it at après this winter.
A new iteration of the old Mountain Gazette—a fantastic print outdoor magazine based in Tahoe—is producing some of the coolest swag I’ve seen. I’m partial to this t-shirt—a perfect gift for your friend that likes to shred resorts like Sundance Mountain Resort, Brian Head Ski Resort, Beaver Mountain, Eagle Point or Nordic Valley.
Speaking of magazines, an easy-to-ship gift is a subscription to your favorite ski-oriented media. I’d recommend the aforementioned Mountain Gazette, SKI Magazine and the Adventure Journal as great places to start. Each publication is well-researched, perfectly written and beautifully shot and I promise it will get you hyped on skiing this winter. It’s hard to not get stoked when you have a beautiful piece of ski-themed art sitting on your coffee table all winter long.