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January 2007

Mountain Spy :: January 2007

Mountain Spy tackles women-specific rental equipment.

Written by Liz Eren | 0 comment

The Question: I'm coming up to the mountain with a couple of my friends in the near future. We're all women with varying heights and weights and need some rental gear. We'll have two snowboarders and three skiers. Do you have women-specific rental equipment for us?

Mountain 1: Large Area, Colorado
First contact: Real person—woman, friendly
SAM: Stated question
Staff: We do… Um, we’ve got a pretty good selection of the women’s K2 skis. Hold on one second, let me get that information for you.
(One second turned into a solid, silent, two minutes.)
Staff: Are you still there?
SAM: Yes (barely).
Staff: OK, so we have, for the skiers, we have in the K2 line the Lotta Luv and Tru love—that Love line might be a good choice today. And we have, uh, in the Völkl line for women we have the, uh, Attiva Aura and then we have a Salomon ski line also.
SAM: Many choices—what do you have for snowboarders?
Staff: Uhh, well we have Burton and K2 beginner lines and then we have our premium packages for Burton and K2.
SAM: OK, great, so you have many options for everyone. Would I be able to reserve them over the phone now with a credit card for when I come?
Staff: Oh sure, we can do that.
SAM: All right, I’ll get back to you, thanks so much.
Staff: Uhhh, yeah, anytime, bye.

Rating: 7
Comment: A thorough enough answer. Though the wait was longer than expected, she took her time to find out the specifics. Details are always great to know.

Mountain 2: Quebec, Large Area
First contact: Automated machine, chose further options, transferred to rental shop
Answering phone: Young woman, very friendly
SAM: Stated question
Staff: OK, one minute please.
Staff: Hi! OK, so do you. . .uh, hold on this phone has a problem (transferred somewhere. . . ).
Answering phone: Young male
SAM: Restated question
Staff: Yeeaah. . .we do (silence).
SAM: OK, so you have rental equipment that is specific for women, made for women?
Staff: Oh no, we just have the regular equipment for both men and women
SAM: Oh all right, well then I guess no women’s gear. That’s OK, thanks though.
Staff: Oh you’re welcome, bye.

Rating: 5
Comment: Their accents, or say, my accent, made it hard for them to fully understand my question. However, each contact was cheerful and patient which deserves some points, but the answers were lacking.

Mountain 3: Maine, Large Area
First Contact: Woman, needed a kick of coffee.
SAM: Stated question
Staff: You’d have to call the rental shop on that one. Here’s the number. . .
SAM: OK then, thanks.
Called rental shop
Answering phone: Woman, had her cup of coffee all right.
SAM: Stated question
Staff: No, unfortunately we don’t. What we have for rental gear is unisex equipment for both skis and snowboards.
Staff: All the boots we have will fit both men or women and we’ll work with you to make sure that you have the right size and are adjusted correctly so you are as comfortable as you can be.
SAM: Oh, well that could work.
Staff: Yup. Then we’ll do the same thing for the skis and boards to give you the proper size and settings. Since women definitely ski and ride differently based on their build, adjustments can be made to make sure the experience is more enjoyable.
SAM: Great, thanks so much. If I want to reserve the equipment now, would I be able to over the phone for when I come?
Staff: Oh sure, you can do that.
SAM: Perfect thanks.

Rating: 8
Comment: No hard feelings for not having women-specific gear and definite props for taking me through the steps of how they could accommodate my anatomic needs. The great friendliness deserves an extra point as well. Minus a point, though, for making me call rental.

Mountain 4: Minnesota, Day Area
First contact: Automated machine, chose operator
SAM: Stated question
Staff: Let me transfer you to rentals.
Answering phone: Young male, sounded like he was sleeping
SAM: Stated question
Staff: No, not women-specifics (wicked long pause).
SAM: OK, then.
Staff: Yeah, we don’t have any. We are pretty much set up with Tyrolia rentals. We have the standard stuff.
SAM: All right then, thanks. Can I reserve over the phone if I want to?
Staff: Um, no. But we have like over a thousand pairs so you’ll be good.
SAM: Thanks.

Rating: 3
Comment: Yikes. A little TLC for the customer is always nice but this guy just wasn’t feeling it. At least he dropped the rental name to give me something. Worth the 3 points I guess.

Mountain 5: Michigan, Day Area
First contact: Automated machine, chose ski shop
Answering phone: Woman, super pleasant
SAM: Stated question
Staff: Umm, well gosh, no, I think it’s all the same. Yeah, all the skis are the same.
SAM: OK, so all your rental equipment then is the basic unisex gear?
Staff: Yes, that would be right, you’re correct.
SAM: OK, well then I’m guessing I wouldn’t have to reserve anything over the phone even if I could.
Staff: Oh no, not at all, we have more than enough to go around.
SAM: OK, well, thank you.
Staff: Oh, of course, you are so welcome, have a great day.

Rating: 8
Comment: All right, I know there wasn’t an overload of information, but was this women ever nice. I didn’t care that they didn’t have the gear or even the fact she was only kind of sure they didn’t. Her tone was genuine and she was in no rush to get off the phone—I’d go there and ski on 2x4s just for their hospitality.

Mountain 6: Large Area, Washington
First contact: Real person, transferred to rental shop
Answering phone: Young woman, nice
SAM: Stated question
Staff: Um, it’s actually all unisex, and so, um, basically for the most part you’ll have all the same kind of equipment.
SAM: All right, well what about any demos for women’s skis?
Staff: Um, no, we don’t have that either. We have plenty of rentals though.
SAM: OK, thanks so much.

Rating: 4
Comment: Not much to judge here but she receives a four for lack of energy in the phone call. This area just got dumped on—she should be a little happier for that reason alone!

Mountain 7: Utah, Medium Area
First contact: Woman, friendly
SAM: Stated question
Staff: OK, ah, I will put you through to our ski shop.
Answering phone: Young male, enthusiastic and excited.
SAM: Stated question
Staff: Oh yes, we most definitely have women’s skis, entry level and high performance and then in terms of just snowboard gear, what we have is just the regular rental line which is good for women and men. Because what you’ll find is that it’s ideal to have a softer feel board for entry-level riders so unisex boards work just fine. If you’re looking for high-performance women’s boards, I’d suggest something else. There are a couple shops close by that you could easily get those types of boards at. Our women’s gear is great though, with high performance and powder skis available. We have a pretty good variety with the K2 Tru Luv and One Luv and are anticipating getting the fat Lotta Luv ski which is just great. Ha ha, that’s a mouthful. (He just sounds so pumped!)
SAM: Yeah, there’s a lot of love going on in that line, huh?
Staff: Ha ha, yeah, I know right, but it’s all great equipment.
SAM: OK, well then, if I wanted to reserve the gear could I do it over the phone?
Staff: Well typically, no, but when are you planning on coming up?
SAM: Not entirely sure, but some time soon though.
Staff: OK, well, we’re not up to speed yet for phone reservations, we’re working on it, but we don’t have the ability to do that, yet. If you’re thinking of coming up during the day we might not be open, but we definitely have night skiing going on. The rental shop is still open for the night, of course, but we actually only offer the entry-level gear that I was telling you about, not the high-performance women’s skis. We offer those skis during day skiing, so if you want those types, you might want to wait until we’re open during the day which should be really soon. We just have to start praying for some more snow!
SAM: Oh yeah, I hear ya. Think snow right!
Staff: Oh yeeeah, I like the way you’re thinking.
SAM: Thanks so much though for all your help.
Staff: Oh, hey, yeah, no problem! Hope you come visit us.

Rating: 10
Comment: Awesome conversation. This guy sounded like the Santa Claus of rental equipment and his cheerfulness really boosted his score. Plus, his answers went beyond the basics. He really let me know that we’d be taken care of at this resort. This guy definitely deserves the thumb’s up for kicking butt.

Identity Revealed: Powder Mountain