Damn it Feels Good to be a Gaper

 

After last year’s Gaper Day had officially transitioned into Gaper Evening, I learned a very important lesson… As the blood from my upper lip bespeckled my Doctor’s costume and I sloshed the remnants of my kajillionth Kokanee on the floor of Merlin’s Pub, it became clear that it was time for Dr. Carl Sandypuss to go home.

I drank too much of the Koolaid, man. And I learned that if you hurl a small Italian girl’s skis down a flight of 37 stairs, your face might end up on the business end of a ski pole tossed from close proximity.

So when Gaper Day approached this year, I was a little anxious. And, like a total pussy, I decided not to cover the evening work shift that would inevitably eclipse the season’s last après at Merlin’s.

I regretted that decision immensely when after a morning of on-slope shenanigans amongst a mob of roughly 200 Gapers, I had to download on the Wizard (another total pussy move) and put my responsible bartender costume on.

Mexico's San Pedro Gonazalez base grinds to indisputable victory at the day's (second) opening stair race.Mexico's San Pedro Gonazalez base grinds to indisputable victory at the day's (second) opening stair race.

But I still managed to learn an important lesson that I’ll tuck into the wisdom banks for future season-ending parties. A well-prepared gaper should always have two outfits on the ready. One for a nice balmy day in the alpine, and one for a day where the weather is a bit more wintery.

To quote the large man in tiny jean shorts who was getting snowed upon next to me  on The Glacier Chair, “It was a little chilly up there.”

Sure, this looks awesome. But it's a shame you can't hear Meatloaf's "I would do anything for Love" blaring out of Mark Warner's speakers.Sure, this looks awesome. But it's a shame you can't hear Meatloaf's "I would do anything for Love" blaring out of Mark Warner's speakers.

Warner cued up TLC's "Don't go Chasing Waterfalls" for this rainy cliff drop. What an epic track....Warner cued up TLC's "Don't go Chasing Waterfalls" for this rainy cliff drop. What an epic track....

Yes indeed, I found myself to be quite jealous of those rocking nicely insulated, semi-waterproof one-pieces whereas my transgendered businessmanwoman outfit had me wishing I’d opted for something along the lines of the circa 1992 North Face Steep Tech number that I’d left hanging in my closet.

Next year, I'll nail it.

As you’ve probably figured out from reading this far, I overdid it a bit last year, both on snow and most especially off. And I wasn’t alone. That’s just how gapers roll.

For the most part, it’s all good. But www.doglotion.com, the local freeskiing website with which Gaper Day has become unofficially associated,  issued a special message this year encouraging people to pump the brakes a little.

Just another casual day on the slopes...: photo: Dave WealeJust another casual day on the slopes...: photo: Dave Weale

Fair play. There were at least 500 gapers on the slopes this year, all of whom were in varying states of insobriety and many of whom have never heard of Doglotion. In other words, I’m not sure how well the message was received. From the sober-loser-who-had-to-work’s perspective, shit was looking pretty loose on the hill. And given the insanity that I was part of last year, I can only imagine what went down at Merlin’s afterwards...

I suppose it’s only natural. The last day of the season is worth celebrating. We made it through another winter, man. And as far as the crew and community that I’m proud to be a part of goes, we didn’t lose any friends this year.

I think we can all agree that that’s something worth raising a glass (or 20) to.

Yeah Gapers......we made it through another one.Yeah Gapers......we made it through another one.

 

Big thanks to Whistler Blackcomb (www.whistlerblackcomb.com) for another outrageously good season, and to Jamie Bond at www.doglotion.com for his efforts to herd the crowd of unruly gapers......CHEERS!

 

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