On scene: Steamboat's annual ski swap

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Steamboat's annual ski swap

It would have made sense to buy a snowboard at the beginning or end of last season.

Coming off a great snow year in which I picked up no more mountain skills than a 4-year-old in her first lesson - seriously, it took until about February for me to learn how to turn without falling - it would have made sense to owning up to a desire to get better and to buy the equipment to do so.

But that is not what I did.

And so, on Friday, I went to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's annual Ski Swap, paying the $5 admission to get into the sale before everyone else; or at least, just after the hundreds of people who knew to get to the sale, which started at 7:30 p.m., earlier than 8 p.m.

By the time I realized there were two rooms - yes, I know - most of the consignment snowboard gear was picked over. That's probably for the best, because I didn't really know what I was looking for, despite having spent a season on a rental board. There were a few things on the Steamboat Springs Middle School stage I wish I had any kind of practical use for, such as a three-person tandem bike, painted purple.

Walking down the carpeted steps away from the stage, I had found what I expected to find at the swap: nothing. But in an effort not to step on any of the people trying out gear as they sat on the stairs, I spotted a pair of boots in my size. So, score. Ten bucks.

If only it were as easy and cheap to come across a deck and some bindings.

Internet music discoveries

Looking for new music to get through mud season, or to load up the iPod for skiing and snowboarding? Here are a few Web sites to generate ideas:

The Hype Machine: You can look up any band you've heard of, but the best feature is Hype Machine's live Web radio, which cycles randomly through songs featured on music blogs. www.hypem.com/radio

ReverbNation: Sort of a refined MySpace promotion machine for bands, with a featured artists radio station on the site. www.reverbnation.com

Pandora: This one has been around for a while, and has had some trouble recently with song royalty issues, so catch it before it caves. It takes your favorite artists and songs and crafts a radio station around them. www.pandora.com

- Margaret Hair/4 Points

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