This is the 14th annual Bay Area Ski and Snowboard Expo, produced by the California company which sponsors four such extravaganzas across the country, and the Bay Area's largest.

The San Jose edition boasts 125 exhibitor and sponsor booths at which industry specialists dispense information and answer questions about equipment, clothing, resorts, tour packages, airfares, and more, in what the organizers term "a World of Skiing and Snowboarding under one roof."

Eager shoppers have their pick of $2 million in brand-name gear at prices up to 70 percent off.

There is also the Any Mountain Sale and Factory Rep Center. Any Mountain shops are billed as the Great Outdoor Store.

Get your heart beating as you cheer on resort pros during the Rail Jams held every day.

Then compete yourself in the always popular tire snow chain installation contest, and try your hand, well actually hands, on the 25-foot climbing wall. Professional instructors make sure their free attraction is safe for young and old.

Novices can pick up pointers during free ski lessons from Heavenly Resort with equipment provided by Any Mountain.

Bring your swag bag to haul away some of the giveaways and prizes at the exhibition booths. A free $80 maximum value "SuperLift" Ticket is offered to everyone who buys an adult show entry ticket. The lift ticket option you choose to redeem will be good for a 2-for-1 or free lift ticket to one of six Northern California ski and snowboard resorts. Participating resorts are: Bear Valley, Heavenly, Mt. Rose, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Sierra-at-Tahoe and Sierra Summit. Some restrictions apply, so consult SkiDazzle for details.

This expo is described as "the most important ski trip you'll make all season," allowing would-be travelers to venture to Alaska, the Canadian Rockies, the Pacific Northwest, California, Nevada, and Colorado in one go.

Make sure you stop by and meet the Official Snow Dog mascot, a white German Shepherd trained for backcountry rescues.

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