What I'm really pining for is snowflakes that stick to my nose and eyelashes. But, if you're still in the market for brown paper packages tied up with string, here are a few of my favorite things:
First, save money. Here are the best discount and overstock Websites for outdoor gear:
www.steepandcheap.com (careful, it's addictive)
www.sierratradingpost.com (small quantities, don't waffle.)
Second, feel free to covet.
I love the Colorado-based Osprey Backpacks Talon Series -- super light packs that don't cut back on the bells and whistles. Mountain Chalet carries most of them.
I've really been coveting the Cadillac of jackets, the Alpha LT from Canadian company Arcteryx. Light, simple, strong, stylish, but ouch, it's like $400.
For that much, I could pick up a pair of the Black Diamond Kilowatts, and all around fun and super light ski. Wanna know what the ski techs at Mountain Chalet ski? The Kilowatt. 'Nuff said.
And what would go better with it than a pair of Scarpa T1 Telemark boots. I skied them recently at a demo, and can't wait to get back into them.
How 'bout a last minute hut trip? Most of the slots are full, but keep your eye out on the forum and you can score cancellation spots.
Nothing goes with a hut trip like down booties. When the floorboards of the outhouse are 8 degrees, these guys are key!