On the way to and from climbing last weekend, we repeatedly passed North Conway, NH’s one-stop shop for climbing and all things outdoors, International Mountain Equipment Inc. Opened in 1974, IME was bought in 1979 by Rick Wilcox, who has been president of the Mountain/Rescue Service, Inc. of New Hampshire, served as secretary to the American Alpine Club under three presidents and for six years was a director of the American Mountain Guides Association. He knows his climbing.
IME’s ground level and upstairs are filled with an amazing selection of climbing gear, camping gear and Tibetan prayer flags and garments, but to be completely honest, it was the little red corner of the store’s sign that made me want to get out of the car. The bottom floor of IME is a consignment shop, filled with old hiking boots, vintage backpacks from deceased New Hampshire and Maine outdoor companies and loads of clothes. And the stuff is cheap. Real cheap. Much to my dismay, my camera decided to stop working for a few hours because of the cold it was exposed to on the mountain, so I couldn’t grab any photos, but if you’re around that area anytime in the near future, don’t forget to poke your head in and leave with a pair of wafflestompers the size of your face.