Ski Technician Gets Geared up for Snow Lovers

Sport Chalet Ski Technician Mike Brabham has worked at the little ski shop in La Cañada Flintridge for 16 years. The avid skier has regular clientele from as far away as Orange County.Snow is falling, and the slopes are calling as the annual ski season begins.

This year before you head out to the mountains, whether to ski or snowboard, make sure all your gear is in tip-top condition and that your clothes are nice and warm. If they are not, then there is no better place to go than the original La Cañada Sport Chalet Ski Shop, which has been in business since 1959.

Opened by Norbert Olberz, Sport Chalet was built on a set of core values -- seeing things through the eyes of the customer, creating ease of shopping, doing a thousand things a little bit better, not being the biggest but the best and being the image of a sportsman.

For more than four decades Sport Chalet has been living up to these values -- selling top-of-the line brands, renting and repairing.

This year if you are interested in buying new skis, snowboards, boots or clothing, look no further than Foothill Boulevard, where you will find a knowledgeable staff ready to fulfill all your needs in a corner shop devoted only to winter sports.

Mike Brabham, a ski technician, who has been working at Sport Chalet for 16 years, is part of the staff.

Working with state-of-the-art equipment, such as Wintersteigers and Stone Grinders, Brabham repairs and helps maintain skis.

As a technician Brabham performs tasks such as properly tuning skis, fixing bindings and repairing bases. Over the years he has formed a regular clientele, some of which come from as far as Orange County.

Learning the skills for tuning and binding from hand-on experience and a few clinics Sport Chalet offers, Brabham has gained expert status.

An avid skier himself, Brabham began skiing when he was a teenager quickly learning he wanted to be involved with skis in someway or form for as long as possible.

After spending time in Tahoe and then Mammoth he came down to La Cañada, becoming a technician for Sport Chalet, where he has worked ever since.

"I have been involved in the ski business for a long time," Brabham said.

When the retail season for skis dies down, after Thanksgiving and Christmas, Brabham hits the slopes.

"People sometimes forget there is still good skiing in the spring," he said. "There is good snow fall up through April."

A back country skier, Brabham had skied in places such as Alaska, Oregon, Utah and New Mexico. He adds that, despite popular belief, there is a lot of good skiing in California.

"I love skiing in California," he said. "But I do have to say the Sierra Nevadas are my favorite place to ski."

If you are going to journey to the snow this season be sure to stop by and see Brabham and the rest of the Sport Chalet staff, whether you are buying, renting or repairing your snow gear.

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