Best Place for Mountaineering Gear

The Trail Head

Readers' Pick

Also, Best Place for Paddle Sports Equipment

The best part of shopping at The Trail Head is knowing that you’re probably going to be helped by an employee who not only knows her stuff, but also has probably used the equipment she’s describing during her last off-day. Take Tara “Not Lara” Moser, an employee at the store for more than three years, who climbs, paddles, hikes and “does a lot of other things, depending on the season.” Moser can talk at length about The Trail Head’s boat selection, including the in-house custom-constructed NRS frames. As for climbing, it’s one of the store’s fastest-growing sections, with gear from the likes of Petzl, Black Diamond, Sterling and Mad Rock. The Trail Head takes both these categories again this year because of its selection, its commitment to the community and, perhaps most of all, employees like Moser. The Trail Head: 221 E. Front St., 543-6966, trailheadmontana.net

Finalists, Best Place for Mountaineering Gear

2. REI: 3275 N. Reserve, 541-1938, rei.com

3. Bob Ward & Sons: 3015 Paxon St., 728-3220, bobwards.com

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