Gaper Day Is Dead. Long Live Gaper Day.

Four days ago, a scene unfolded on the slopes of Blackcomb Mountain unlike any day before it. It was a spectacle of life, fluorescent colours and tomfoolery that had been brewing and building for 18 years in a row, and now it’s an animal beyond any mortal’s control. For better or for worse, the original one and only Gaper Day Whistler died that day, decapitated by an insurgent army of new blood and law enforcement. But then it was resurrected that same day, by the same barbaric, hedonistic spirit that spawned it almost 2 decades ago.

Said differently, Gaper Day went mainstream. What began 18 years ago with a group of friends unleashing their inner gaper spirit animals has now evolved and simultaneously devolved into an event so mainstream that half the gapers participating weren’t even being ironic. First came the strategic booze check at the base of the hill. Mountain access was cleverly limited to one access lift, where police and staff manned a bag check to bust early morning boozers (albeit politely). Then came the legitimate and official mountain-endorsed slush cup event. And last came the hundreds upon hundreds of gapers, some real, some ironic, and some just simply lost in a crowd of confusion.


Security was so tight someone even hired a bear to prevent gapers from hiking uphill.

Crusty OG’s (Original Gapers) speculated the official Wizard Grill pancake breakfast was likely spiked with mind-controlling drugs to maintain obedience throughout the day. Others frowned when the booze check thwarted their plans, or when the bizarre helmet rule at the slush cup prevented their participation.

But then even the crustiest of OG’s dug deep and saw the massive opportunity that lurked within the sea of amateur gaper madness. Afterall, how could we expect Gaper Day to obtain world gaper domination without going mainstream, taking the whole world for a wild ride? And so the fun began!

Booze checks at the base area aren’t a dead end, but rather an enticing challenge that weeds out the weak and rewards the most creative gapers. Official slush cups may be taboo, but on the other hand, it’s a frickin big-ass slush pond with booters and cheerleaders right in front of a beer garden and burger stand. That’s like a gaper’s equivalent of college week in Cancun. Bring it. But if the sanctioned event rubs you the wrong way, there’s always the next obvious choice… rally 10 gapers to gangbang the whole Davies Dervish line and pin it past the course marshall for one last slush cup hurrah, moments before Stan the Man Rey throws a big sanctioned slushcup backflip while wearing a dead sasquatch as a jacket (or something like that).


Something beautifully ironic about this. Love it.

And lets not forget by far the worlds longest ever human slalom back down to solar coaster! Can’t do that with just 10 crusty OG’s.


But then came the Pièce de résistance that shined like a beacon of hope for all gapers young and old. Upon completing a grueling grass & rock filled ski out, you could say goodbye to sketchy bush parties or lame house parties, cause there was a raging official Gaper Day after party right in front of you at Merlins Bar & Grill! Boooyaaaa. Chugging, twerking, DJ’s and tree climbing ensued, then everyone stumbled home in an emotionally conflicted state of bewilderment, hope, concern, and awe.


Love it or leave it, Gaper Day is now bigger than Kim Kardashian’s butt, and it ain’t going away, ever. The Whistler Blackcomb staff and management kindly did the best they could to embrace it safely instead of squash it, and hopefully remind all gapers (OG’s included) that Gaper Day isn’t about getting drunk and breaking $%*t. It’s about laughing at the face of adversity, checking your attitude at the door, progressing extreme snowless skiing to new levels, and keeping it real.


Gaper Day is dead. Long live Gaper Day. See you all next year. And the year after that. We know this guy will be back.


More Kodak Moments from Gaper Day 2014


Skimdog prepping for a stealth move at the slush cup… getting dumped by a patrol sled and swimming the length of the pond… underwater.


The troops arriving one by one.

Some original gangsters, ready to rip.

No idea what’s going on here, but it looks like it’ll be good.

The stair skiing tradition continued, and the five-o were kind enough to let it slide.

Go time.

The evolved gaper… skin suit, backcountry gear, and an iphone chest mount.

Still got a loooong way to go. Death before download.

This just in… climbing trees is now illegal. But they were pretty casual about it. No prison sentence either.


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  1. briancolesissexy

    As long as you can still ski all the way down, lift line bang jersey cream and ride down marginal runs, gaper day can never die.

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