Puttin’ Her in Gear

3.26.2010 | Uncategorized

Yesterday I decided that I was going to use part of my ‘For Gear Only’ donation that I earlier received from a very generous, imaginative, amazing person. I took $500 and headed downtown to Mountain Equipment Co-op (aka: Co-op, The Co-Op, Equipment Co-Op, Mountain Equipment, M.E.C., MEC…) to tick some items off my Gear I Need list.

I chose MEC because the prices are good, and it’s basically a one-stop-shop. I need a headlamp, gaiters, gloves and liners, base layers, mid layers, thermal underwear, pants, shorts, improved cardio, legs of steel, the will to survive this climb… you get the idea. Anyway, MEC seemed the right choice.

How totally uninspiring MEC was.

Is it just me, or has MEC really changed over the past 10 years? I used to be able to walk in there and leave with arm-fulls of stuff. This time around I couldn’t find anything that I really liked, and the stuff that attracted me was hella expensive.

So I left.

I walked down the street and into Valhalla Pure on the next block west. I bought my boots here a couple months ago, and they were really good to me. So I sought out the same salesdude (it must be a hiring condition of all outdoor sports shops that a certain percentage of employees be from either New Zealand of Australia) and listed off some of the things I need. He showed me some stuff, and the prices weren’t too bad. But then he said, “why don’t you start upstairs in our sale section?” Upstairs?

I went upstairs (tripping once because I was too busy gawking at the photos of shirtless climbers that were on the wall), and…

*Cue Angelic singing here* GLORY BE!

It was awesome! All the clothing I needed at really, really reduced prices. I loaded up! Pants, tops, a jacket, a headlamp… ‘oh what fun it is to buy in one store on Broadwaaaay…’

So, I came out of there with a bag full of stuff, having spent $474. That may seem like a lot of money, but for the amount of gear I was able to purchase, it’s a phenomenal deal.

Valhalla Pure
, I love you. Thank you for being so generous and full of awesome. So convenient, so full of quality equipment, so very understanding of my fetish for photos of shirtless climbers…

I’ll be back my wondrous, giving friend. Oh yes, I will be back.