For self-proclaimed ski bum Eric Helmbrecht, it’s all about the boot. “A good boot fitting is what keeps people happy and comfortable on the mountain,” he says. That’s why his specialty shop at the base of of Alyeska Ski Resort has a spot dedicated for boot and custom insole fittings. At Powder Hound, you can get fitted for fun while relaxing with a coffee and cookie.
Eric is not just a ski bum. He studied business at the University of Colorado and has combined that knowledge with passion for the Alaskan outdoors to create a store that emphasizes quality gear, friendly service and an experienced staff that advise you on what boot, ski, pack raft or longboard is right for you.
Trying it out, tuning it up
In the winter, Powder Hound is filled with all kinds of the latest ski equipment in toddler to adult sizes. You can ski in and out, and will find boots, ski, jackets, goggles, helmets and more. If you’re looking to invest in some snazzy new alpine or backcountry skis, you’ll want to try out a pair, which is why Powder Hound offers a demo for each style of ski in stock.
Finally, find out how comfortable and affordable those custom insoles can be. Starting at $125, they can be fitted to your foot in about 15 minutes. A versatile investment, insoles come in handy off the slopes too – pop them right into your running shoes, hockey skates or street shoes to increase comfort in other activities.
Stocking up for summer: bike rentals & stand up paddle boards
Skiers may howl when the snow leaves, but Powder Hound can deck you out with essential items that will keep you comfortable and busy all summer. They offer all types of bike rentals, from hybrid style touring bikes to all mountain and downhill bikes. They’ll get you set up properly for any adventure. There are many trails to access right from Powder Hound's front door, so don’t worry about having to transport the bikes. If you prefer to have a bike for your entire stay in Girdwood, they offer weekly rental rates as well. Popular area trails include the Gird to Bird trail, Winner Creek, and the Trail of Blue Ice in Portage Valley. Alyeska Resort also offers lift and pedal access for mountain biking.
Find camping gear such as cook stoves, knives, snacks, rain gear, and windbreakers, and buy or rent adventure gear like pack rafts or stand up paddleboards to enjoy some scenic waterways in the area. The boards are extremely sturdy and even roll up into a backpack to throw in the back of any car. (Powder Hound will offer a tutorial if you need. Eric’s also an avid “whitewater guy,” so can give you some tips for playing on the water.)
Summer is a great time to check out Powder Hound’s fantastic deals on remaining ski gear, or their souvenir selections (including coffee mugs, ulus, canned salmon and fun Alaska-themed shirts and hoodies).
Gear up for all seasons
When you want to gear up for adventure in any season, Powder Hound offers a personalized touch and expertise that will get you outfitted in comfort and style. How much fun you have after is all up to you!