Here it is, June, and we’re just now getting to the final day of the 2015 “winter” season. Regular readers will know all about Gaper Day in Whistler, and this year is set to be older than the average school, thanks to the original mountain selected to carry on late season operations this year.
So what do we need for a June Gaper Day? Mountain Life hopes to help you out with this handy check list.
Baz Luhrmann was onto something in that weird song from 2000 – sunscreen remains an important part of every day on the hill past March (except maybe this season). Even a little sun can reflect back off the snow, creating twice as many rays doing damage to your pristine face. It might not be a bad idea to pack a water bottle as well. Goggle tans aside, no one likes having sunburn, and everyone knows that one jerk who will slap your scarlet shoulders to make you wince.
Please be aware: it is set to hit 30ºC on Sunday. Sun protection is in your best interest. No one wants to be the last person that Ski Patrol has to deal with for heat stroke.
Wet Weather Gear
Yep, welcome to the We(s)t Coast, where sun and rain prep is a daily struggle. Almost as important, but more for comfort than safety. Skiing in an old, wet one-piece (more on that later) is just asking for diaper rash (except all over). It’s as simple as a garbage bag, or you can go full Mary Poppins and take an umbrella up in place of a ski pole.
The Set Up
Gaper swag is the ultimate in ironic: the more Day-Glo, the tighter, the weirder, the better. It’s the only day you should be caught with a Gorby Gap, and costumes are always welcome – even and sometimes especially if they interfere with your skiing. As for your sticks, look for the oldest pair you can find, or your rock equipment. Some true devoted few have skied to the Village over grass and rocks. It might be a little more difficult this year, thanks to the Bike Park, but who wouldn’t want to see that??
Check out the vid from ML’s buddies over at Doglotion for some ideas (and major props go to last year’s SkiFree Monster.)
Of course, we here at Mountain Life would never condone nor even dream of skiing while under the influence (anymore – Feet Banks). That being said, it’s not Gaper Day without a little something more than good times to keep you going. Gaper Day celebrates that time where everyone went a little more wild than usual – and it started here in Whistler. Think of the reputation you need to uphold.
A quick note: earlier this year, on Blackcomb’s final day, the gondolas were staffed by bag-checkers looking for contraband. So if you were thinking of taking up a little hooch (you naughty thing), you’d best get creative. Or plan ahead.
Gaper Day is Sunday. Whistler Mountain remains open every day before that. Do the math.
Think of this as the way to show your friends what they missed. A picture is worth a thousand words, and Instagram is your megaphone. Keep an eye on what your fellow gapers are up to, and who dropped the biggest waterfall rappel. #Gaperday2015