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mikebee


Jan 21, 2011, 3:49 AM
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Best Gear Shop in BC
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Hey there.
There's not a lot of ice over here in Australia, and it's a bit hot for our tastes, so a buddy and I are flying over to Vancouver in a couple of weeks. We're planning to pick up a van and head to Banff/Canmore for a couple of weeks of ice climbing. We'll need to pick up a few bits of extra gear once we land, (rope(s), more screws, possbily some other things too), and were curious, where is the best place to buy climbing gear between Vancouver (MEC?) and Banff/Canmore?

Are there any cool independant stores with awesome ranges and prices worth checking out? Or are we best just heading to Vancouver MEC and spending up big there?


bearbreeder


Jan 21, 2011, 7:12 AM
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Re: [mikebee] Best Gear Shop in BC [In reply to]
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mec ... thats about it

around the mec on boradway in vancouver youll have other shops clustered around, but for climbing gear its still mec ...

there's an arcteryx factory outlet in north van if you like that stuff

in canmore the valhalla is there and there is a second hand consignment store too

in calgary if you get there, wicked gravity sometimes has a few good things

but honestly ... all you need is mec ... to avoid HST your best bet is actually hitting the mec in calgary and spending big there ... lower tax rate in alberta

make sure of conditions on the highway between vancouver and canmore as well ...for pure ice climbing you may be better off flying into calgary and then renting a car there ...


(This post was edited by bearbreeder on Jan 21, 2011, 7:22 AM)


iceclimber


Jan 21, 2011, 7:22 AM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Best Gear Shop in BC [In reply to]
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In addition to Valhalla, Canmore has Vertical Addiction and Banff has Mountain Magic (climbing gear department there has really gone downhill in the past couple of years) and Monod's. Wilson Sports in Lake Louise also carries some gear, more of a ski shop though.

Advantage to buying in Alberta is there's no provincial sales tax.


coastal_climber


Jan 21, 2011, 8:49 AM
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Re: [iceclimber] Best Gear Shop in BC [In reply to]
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Why can't BC be like alberta..... sigh


bearbreeder


Jan 21, 2011, 10:14 AM
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coastal_climber wrote:
Why can't BC be like alberta..... sigh

pickup trucks with gun racks, big breasted blond cowgirls, beefsteak rubbing against oil derricks, and god awful sushi?


markcarlson


Jan 21, 2011, 11:14 AM
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Since you still have lots of time... you could think about special ordering ropes (or any other gear) and have them ready to pick up when you get here. This way, if there is something you really want, you will not be disappointed when it's not in stock (or not stocked altogether!)

Vertical Addiction (in Canmore) likely can order anything from these companies:
http://www.vertical-addiction.com/gear.html

I have ordered ropes through Wicked Gravity (in Calgary) on two occasions.

Most stores have a relatively limited rope selection in stock (MEC has the widest selection, but AFAIK, they will not order anything for you if you want a different length/colour/coating/etc.)


jbro_135


Jan 21, 2011, 11:22 AM
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you can always make a mec order for in-store pickup, so you can get anything that's available on the website


the_climber


Jan 21, 2011, 11:29 AM
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Banff:
Monods
Mountain Magic (gone down hill)


Canmore:
Vertical Addiction (Small grassroots shop, support the small guy)
Valhalla Pure (good selection)
Switching Gear (consignment)

Calgary:
Wicked Gravity (Small grassroots shop, support the small guy)
MEC (Big Box WallMEC, great place to try things on before you order them from Wicked Gravity)
Spirit West (limited selection for what you're looking for)


(This post was edited by the_climber on Jan 24, 2011, 10:29 AM)


markcarlson


Jan 21, 2011, 11:44 AM
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jbro_135 wrote:
you can always make a mec order for in-store pickup, so you can get anything that's available on the website

Yeah... if MEC carries it and at least one store has it in stock, right?

Why limit yourself if you have the time to wait?

If, for example, you wanted a 60m Mammut Phoenix, a Mammut Revelation with Duodess, or any Bluewater rope, I'm not sure you would have any luck at MEC.


mikebee


Jan 24, 2011, 4:08 AM
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Thanks for the thoughts guys. Seems like a good poke around at MEC is the way to start, and if there's anything we're not happy with there, look somewhere else.

Much appreciated :)


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