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Gaper Day...A Local's Perspective

Viva Gaper Day!
Written by William Lancaster

G.A.P.E.R. - Guaranteed Accident Prone on Every Run Imagine a day where locals celebrate everything about living in a little mountain town, such as as powder days, cliff drops, and new friendships. A day when we consecrate the end of the season. To “kick up one’s heels” and say goodbye to the pandemonium that is peak ski season. The tourists start to dwindle away and residents begin to make their summer plans. Fluorescent ski suits, Pit Viper shades, fanny packs and skinny skis. This is “Gaper Day.”

Nietzsche once said, “Out of chaos, comes order.” This is a very appropriate statement. A great deal of stress can be put on locals during the ski season. Questions like, “Where do you put the moguls during the summer?” and “Which ski is the left one and which is the right one?” arise frequently during the winter in a ski community. The chaos that is ski season inexorably ripples into the calm water that is summer. April 1st, or Gaper Day, is the culmination of all of the season’s stress and the springboard to some much needed time off.

Some people might say that the gaiety of Gaper Day is nothing but the locals’ opportunity to poke fun at the tourists that have helped support the ski season that year. From an elemental standpoint that may be true. However, there are many variables (and parallels) to the celebration. In Hispanic culture, Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is not the revelry of a person’s death, but their life. The same can be said of Gaper Day. We do not celebrate that the tourists are gone, but that they have come! Get in touch with your inner Gaper. Applaud yourself and those around you for surviving yet another season. Let loose the rope of this ski season and sail towards the next. Viva Gaper Day!