Want to join a ski club this season? Hop to it to avoid missing one of the first events.

During the long Columbus Day weekend in October, many ski clubs take trips to Sölden, Austria, for what is known as test weekend. Skiers can check out the newest innovations in skis, snowboards and other equipment from top manufacturers and give the new models a test run on the slopes.

Sölden’s high alpine location and two glaciers, plus snow-making ability, ensures there will be enough white stuff on hand to give the new gear a whirl. Clubs making their way to Austria’s Tirol region on Oct. 5 include Bavarian Ski Club (, Heidelberg International Ski Club (, Patch Ski Club ( and Tannenbaum Ski and Social Club.

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