JACKSON, WY— Every year on April 1, skiers, snowboarders and real-life gapers gather at various ski resorts across the country to celebrate “The Gaper.” Real-life gapers blend in with skiers disguised as gapers and are free to be their most gape-y selves. A “gaper” is more than just an obviously amateur skier or snowboarder; it’s a fashion statement, a way of life. Whether you’re an actual gaper or just play one once a year, we’ve compiled some tips about how to be the best gaper you can be.
Dress to impress
Jeans are the favorite skiing attire among gapers. Their lack of breathability and stretchiness combined with denim (cotton) fabric in wet snow make them totally impractical, but the right fit looks good, right? There’s a chance of rain this gaper day, but if “fashion over function” is a tenant you live by, by all means, ski in jeans. Spandex is a more moveable but equally as fashionable alternative.
That one-piece snowsuit that’s been sitting in storage since the ’90s has been waiting literally decades for this day. Try finding one in a thrift store if you don’t already have one.
Weather permitting, many treat Gaper Day like a day at the beach. If the sun is out and it feels like spring, Hawaiian shirts, shorts and even swimsuits are sure to fit in.
Generally speaking, bright colors and outlandish headwear are easy starting points. Glitter is welcome, even encouraged.
Mind the Gap
Gapers are so popular, they have a look named after them! The “gaper gap” is a wide, drafty gap between the top of the goggle and the brim of the helmet. At least two fingers worth of space recommended for maximum gape-age. Better yet, wear your goggle upside-down. If you’re too good for goggles, a good pair of sunglasses will create a similar effect.
Hang out at the beach
Historically, crowds gather at “Casper Beach,”at Casper Restaurant, to socialize and pretend they’re on spring break, too.
There are likely to be hundreds and hundreds of people out to play at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort on Sunday. Be mindful of other skiers. Save the party for après. A safe gaper is a happy gaper.
About The Author
Buckrail @ Shannon
Shannon is a Wyoming-raised writer and reporter pursuing a master's in journalism at Boston University. Jackson shaped her into an outdoorswoman, but a love for language and the human condition compels her to write. She believes there's no story too small to tell nor adventure too small to take.
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