Annual Abbotsford Winter Extreme Show and Swap Nov. 16-17

The event will also help CARDA and collect donations for the food bank

One of the major fundraisers that keeps volunteer safety personnel on local mountains happens Nov. 16-17.

The annual Canadian Ski Patrol’s (CSP) Winter Extreme Ski Show and Swap sees about 10,000 pieces of ski and snowboard equipment valued at approximately $1 million on consignment at the Ag-Rec building selling for significant savings over new, said Denis Dion, swap manager.

“You can completely outfit yourself or your family members for under $100,” he said. Everything from boots to boards will be on hand, and each piece is safety inspected. Any helmets for sale are brand new. “We have extreme selection and extreme pricing.”

Nearly 95 per cent of the equipment is still new, but last year’s models.

“We don’t know exactly how much we’ll be getting until the vendors show up,” he added.

The swap has been running since the late 1970s, said Dion, who took on the event chair position in 1994. From its humble beginnings in a church basement, the swap grew and needed more space. They went from the basement to an auditorium, Tradex and now the Ag-Rec building.

Between the Abbotsford event, and a similar one in Vancouver (Oct. 19-20), these fundraisers generate enough money, about $100,000, to keep CSP volunteers in locales such as Hemlock, Manning and Seymour, where they are often the first responders to anyone who has a mishap while skiing inbounds. Any off-the-trail emergencies are handled by search and rescue teams, Dion explained.

CSP pays for its own first aid and avalanche training, and members pay to be a part of the organization.

The event will also aid the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association (CARDA) through generating awareness and collecting donations. CARDA is a volunteer society, and not-for-profit charitable organization. Its goal is to maintain a network of highly efficient avalanche search and rescue teams across Canada.

Additionally, the CSP will be helping the Fraser Valley’s less fortunate by accumulating food for the local food bank and warm winter clothing for local distribution. Attendees are being challenged to stuff a 50-foot Cypress Coach Line bus with non-perishable food items, warm clean clothing, or make a cash donation. In exchange for the generosity, free admission will be granted to the show and swap.

The group gathered three tonnes of food the first year, and five tonnes the second.

Public consignment drop off happens Nov. 15 from 7 to 9 p.m., and the show is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 16, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 17. Cheques for public consignment gear sold will be mailed Nov. 18, and unsold items can be picked up Nov. 13 at Mad Dog’s Source for Sport, 2556 Montrose Ave.

The Ag-Rec building is located at 32470 Haida Dr. (Gate 2).