Friday, October 23, 2009

Skiing Icon Helps Women Skiers Find Perfect Fit in St. Louis

Jeannie Thoren didn’t set out to revolutionize the skiing industry. She just wanted to ski better. Now, she has become the driving force behind women-specific models of skis and ski boots. On Friday, October 30, Thoren will visit Alpine Shop in Kirkwood to offer her expertise in fit and function to women skiers in the St. Louis area. For the rest of the weekend, she will sit down for private appointments with individuals to help them find the right fit for them.

Named “One of the 100 Most Influential Skiers of the Century” by SKI Magazine, Thoren spent over 30 years observing and analyzing the way women ski. The result of that research was “The Thoren Theory” - simple remedies that could radically improve women’s techniques.

“It seems so obvious now,” she says, “but when I started, biology wasn’t even in the equation. Now it rules because we’ve realized that women are built differently than men. They have a lower center of gravity and it’s harder for them to get enough weight forward onto the tips of their skis to turn efficiently. A little fine tuning can open up a whole new world of fun!”

Thoren will begin her weekend at Alpine Shop with a free presentation on Friday evening, Oct. 30, at 7 pm. As part of her “Get Winterized” Tour, she will explain The Thoren Theory and how she can help nearly every woman skier.

“Our Get Winterized seminars are all about fine-tuning your equipment,” says Thoren. “It doesn’t matter if you’re an occasional recreational skier, a weekend racer or an Olympic hopeful, your equipment can make or break your experience.”

Following the free presentation, women can sign up for free private consultations on either Saturday, Oct. 31 or Sun., November 1. During these personal appointments, Thoren individually analyzes each participant’s technique, pinpoints the problems and offers on-the-spot solutions. It may mean a minor adjustment to existing equipment or a complete replacement of outdated boots or skis; but the results are the same: ladies who join us for these appointments end up skiing in control and end up knowing every day on the slopes will be fabulous fun.

Jeannie Thoren’s Women’s Get Winterized Tour
What: Ski Icon Jeannie Thoren helps women skiers get a better fit from their equipment
Where: Alpine Shop Kirkwood, 440 North Kirkwood Rd.
When: Seminar and Reception on Friday, Oct. 30 from 7 pm – 9 pm
FREE Private Fit Appointments on Saturday, Oct. 31 and Sunday, November 1
Call to book appointments at 314-962-7715

For more information visit or

About Jeannie Thoren
Named one of the “100 Most Influential Skiers of the Century” by SKI Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Most Influential Skiers of the Last 25 Years” Skiing Magazine, Jeannie Thoren is a crusader for women skiers everywhere. She is the recipient of the prestigious Carson White Golden Quill Award in 2003 for her “Outstanding Contributions to the Advancement of Snowsports.” Thoren’s research and experience on the slopes led to the development of women’s specific skis and boots from nearly every major manufacturer. She was named one of the top 100 Ski Instructors in the country for 2000, ‘01, and ‘02 by SKI Magazine and she is a Veteran Women’s Ski and Boot tester for SKI and Skiing magazines.

About The Alpine Shop

The Alpine Shop began life in 1973 as a small climbing shop. Today, through its three locations in Kirkwood, Chesterfield and Columbia, Mo., it serves almost every type of outdoor enthusiast—be they backpackers, campers, cyclists, hikers, paddlers, skiers, snowboarders or climbers—with a friendly and knowledgeable staff, cutting edge products and a wide variety of how-to clinics for all activity levels. Alpine Shop is the only SKI Magazine Gold Medal Ski Shop in the state of Missouri and has earned that distinction each of the past three years. The Shop has also been named one of Outdoor Magazine’s Top 25 Independent Outdoor Specialty Retailers for the past two years. Alpine Shop is the only retailer in the country to earn both honors.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Alpine Shop Swap Festival Helps Customers and Charities

During the fall of 1992, Alpine Shop owner Russell Hollenbeck created an event to help area families sell the outdoor gear and clothing they no longer used. Sixteen years later, Alpine Shop’s Swap Festivals continue to give area families that same opportunity while also helping the store provide tens of thousands of dollars to worthwhile organizations.

The Winter Swap Festival is a consignment-based sale the Alpine Shop hosts each October. Anyone is invited to bring in used winter clothing, skis and snowboards to sell for two and a half days in a 10,000 square foot tent Alpine Shop pitches on the South parking lot of its Kirkwood location.

“Everyone is looking for the least expensive way to keep their families warm this winter. Especially for their kids,” says Hollenbeck. ”With as quickly as they grow out of everything, chances are the jacket they wore last year won’t fit them today. At least with the Swap, they can sell that old coat and find a different one for this year.”

Sixteen years ago, the first Swap was held in a 20’ by 20’ tent in the small parking lot of Alpine Shop’s old Webster Groves location. The tent has grown to more than five times that size now and the line has grown as long as up to 1000 people for the first Friday night of Swap.

The first night of the Swap festival is also the main fundraising effort of the weekend. Everyone 13 years or older pays $5 to get into the tent. Every penny of that money goes to a particular charity. This year that organization is the Gateway Disabled Ski Program – a not-for-profit recreational ski program for children and adults with disabilities. Not only do they work with the physically disabled, visually and hearing impaired, mentally challenged, developmentally disabled and behaviorally challenged athletes, they also work with such worthy programs as the Special Olympics and with wounded veterans and recovering active duty soldiers. Alpine Shop is proud to assist them in their efforts through the Swap.

Customers continue to bring in their used outdoor winter clothing and gear each year. Alpine Shop accepts an average of over 2,500 items into the Swap tent for each Winter Swap. It takes a full-time staff just to keep track of it all, especially making sure every item is correctly accounted for at the cash registers and then getting the consignment payment into the seller’s hands.

The items that find new homes during Swap are not only a few extra dollars for the seller, but also a few pounds of gear that are saved from filling up our junkyards. Even gear that doesn’t sell has a chance to make a difference instead of just being pitched. Participants can mark on their consignment contracts that they would like Alpine Shop to donate the gear to the charity of Alpine Shop’s choosing if the item doesn’t sell.

Alpine Shop’s 16th Annual Winter Swap begins Friday, October 23 at 7 pm at Alpine Shop’s Kirkwood location and continues through Sunday, October 25. Customers can begin bringing their used gear to sell on Wednesday, Oct. 21 at the Kirkwood Alpine Shop only.

For more information visit