It may not seem like it, but skiing isn't too far off - just days, possibly - and the time is right to start thinking equipment. Nearly upon us are two of Utah's major ski swaps.

The Snowbird Ski Foundation will hold it's ninth annual swap next Friday through Sunday.The Park City Ski Foundation will hold it's 16th annual swap Nov. 4-6.

Over the years ski swaps have proven to be an excellent means for veteran skiers to update equipment or for new skiers - young and old - to get into the sport economically.

Skiers, and some ski retailers and reps, supply the equipment, some used and some new, some alpine and some cross country, to the two swaps. They, in turn, will offer it to the public at whatever the owner's asking price may be.

The Snowbird swap will be held in two locations this year - the Cottonwood and Alpine rooms. The actual swap will be in the Cottonwood Room, while movies and ski clinics will be in the Alpine Room.

Admission is $2, with children 12 and under free. Hours will be noon to 8 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m to 9 p.m. on Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information call 521-6040, ext. 4080.

Skiers wishing to sell equipment can begin checking in equipment Friday at 9 a.m. and continue throughout the swap. All equipment must be picked up by 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Check-in for the Park City swap is 4 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 4. Shopping hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 5, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 6. Equipment can be picked up Nov. 6 between 3 and 5 p.m.

For more information call Fred Turton at 649-8754. All proceeds go to support junior ski programs.