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A CALL TO GAPER DAY ACTION

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Here’s the thing:

Gaper Day, which everyone knows is the most glorious day of the year, is at risk of becoming the kind of party that people make fun of from a distance, like Coachella, Woodstock 2 and The Pemberton Festival.

It’s gone a little sideways over the years and we’re all at fault.

At its best, Gaper Day is a massive posse of people shredding the piss out of late-May snow conditions:

  • human slaloms are formed on the fly
  • a ceremonial lap is blasted through the terrain park
  • everyone sluffs the shit out of one another on Chainsaw Ridge
  • people rappel down unnecessary terrain features
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Photo: Jamie Bond

At its worst, Gaper Day is Blackcomb Ski Patrol cleaning puke off the walls at The Magic Castle. Or someone needing a lift down the mountain because they’re high on ketamine.

Gaper Day was, at least in part, spearheaded by the founder of this very website: Jamie Bond. What started as “Ski in Jeans Day” in 1998 has now mutated into the uncontainable monster that we’ve seen rear its head in the past few seasons.

“Everyone has their own Gaper Day of sorts,” says Bond. “But we nurtured the one that turned into the official Gaper Day like a helpless baby destined for world domination.”

Taking it back to Gaper Days past, 2011 was a most glorious year. The mountain had dished out a ludicrous amount of pow days over the season. And Gaper Day was at the perfect balance between what it used to be and what it is now.  About 200 costumed shred-dogs took over the resort. It was impossible to go anywhere on the mountain without being cheered on and/or heckled by fellow gapers.

Only the softest and most shameful of gapers downloaded and nobody forgot to give anybody high fives. The party didn’t stop shredding until the end of the day, when beers were ultimately pounded out of sweaty ski boots at Merlin’s and Johnny Thrash swung naked from the chairlift on the rafters.

Those were the days, man. And here’s the thing: They still are the days, man.

Gaping is at an all time high, with the last couple years bringing thousands of gapers out of the woodwork and onto the slopes.

So it’s up to all of us to make sure the tradition just keeps getting stronger.

Here are a couple things that might help that out:

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Photo: Mark Warner

GAPING AS A UNIT: This is a call-out to gapers new and old. The party starts at the Handlebar at 11am, which means the stair race will be around 11:30. Be there, drop in, and let the party waves begin.

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Photo: Jamie Bond

CHANNELING OUR INNER HOTDOG: Because bashing moguls under the chair is what spring skiing is all about.

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Photo: Mark Warner

HECKLING ALL DOWNLOADERS MERCILESSLY: Which might suck for me because sometimes I download.

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Photo: Mark Warner

REWARDING ALL HOTDOGGIN’ WITH DEAFENING CHEERS: Speaks for itself.

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Photo: Mark Warner

NOT BEING ASSHOLES TO THE STAFF. Because they’re missing out on a seriously good time.

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Photo: Jamie Bond

F#%KING KEEPING IT  TOGETHER OUT THERE, MAN: Gaper Day is not the day to experiment with new drugs and/or new aerial maneuvers.

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Photo: Mark Warner

AND WE MUST NEVER FORGET THAT GAPER DAY IS THE BEST DAY OF THE YEAR: Ever.

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The Official Gaper Day is happening on Blackcomb Mountain on Monday, May 22nd. A huge thanks in advance to the staff at WB for putting up with the madness.

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