You just might miss your chance for rock-solid deals on ski gear for the season if you don't rise early - a month early, that is. Something's in the air because the swaps that commonly sprout throughout the month of October and November are starting now.

The absolute best way to save a wad of cash is to hit up one of the ever-popular ski swaps that grace the Wasatch throughout the fall. They are also the fastest way to clear out space in your garage if you have something worth selling. Mark these events on your calendar and then sent reminders. These sales are too hot to miss.

First up is the [R404R, Snowbird] Sports Education Foundation Ski and Sports Swap, Sept. 11-13. This is the place for new and used boards and skis, bikes, etc. They charge admission on Friday and Saturday. Sunday is free.  plan on paying about $2 per softgoods items/$3 on hardgoods if you drop off gear to sell. Twenty percent of sales goes to the Snowbird Ski Team.

Next, visit [R511R, Wolf Creek Resort]'s Howl Fest and Diamond Peak Ski Swap, Sept. 26, 1-9 p.m. You will also find season pass deals, contests, and more.  Bring your gear to the Sports Den at 1350 S. Foothill Dr., Salt Lake City Oct. 8-11. You won't have to pay anything up front to sell your stuff at Utah's oldest and first swap. Instead, Sports Den takes 25 percent of your sale or gives you 100 percent in-store credit.

Help raise money for junior racers when you check in for the Rowmark ski swap, Oct. 16-17. The fundraiser for the ski academy at Rowland Hall School in Salt Lake City draws most of the sport goods retailers in town. They seem to do well unloading last year's high-end gear for pennies on the dollar. The swap will be at the Eccles Field House on Guardsman Way near the University of Utah.

Arguably the most popular and coolest swap in the Salt Lake Valley happens in the front parking lot of Black Diamond Equipment, Oct. 17, 2092 East 3900 South, Salt Lake City. The BD swap is like a gigantic garage sale. Locals park, throw open their trunks and the sale begins. Everything from telegear to kayaks. 8 a.m. to noon. No fees, no admission. You keep 100 percent of your sales.

Come to [R314R, Park City] for Summit County's largest swap Nov. 6-8. This one benefits the Park City Ski Team. Check in your gear to Cole Sport or Jans Sport on Park Avenue before Friday Nov. 6. The PCST takes a 25 percent commission, but there are no per-item fees. The best and also the craziest time to hit the swap, located this year at the Basin Recreation Field House in Kimball Junction, is Friday night. The party goes until 1 a.m. They charge admission on all three days.

Stay tuned for details on the final two swaps at REI in November and at Alta Dec. 4.

More information.