How To Avoid “Gaperness” On The Slopes

Learn How To Have Fun & Be Safe While Looking Cool On Vail Mountain

If you are new to the slopes or new to a particular skiing town or region, you may have recently been called a “gaper.” While this could have been for a variety of reasons, the common element in every accusation of gaperness is an overall clueless approach toward the customs of the mountain. Since the admonishment can be a blow to your skiing moxie and your self-esteem, you should be sure to take a few simple steps to avoid being labeled as a gaper. Here are four things to do to ensure you will be openly accepted on any mountain.

Blend In

Wearing bright colors with insanely busy patterns is an excellent way of telling everyone else on the slopes, “I like to dress up like a clown when I ski.” Fellow skiers will typically react to your offensive choice of gear by classifying you as a gaper. A simple one or two-toned jacket and pants is an excellent choice for slopes all over the world.

Be Respectful of New Turf

Skiers and snowboarders are often a confident and cocksure bunch, but it’s important to know when to turn on the charm and take a back stage to the locals, many of whom have been honing their skills and image at their local resort for the better part of a few decades. When skiing at a resort for the first time, don’t expect to be treated like the king of the mountain, just have fun and take time to enjoy and appreciate the new atmosphere.

Don’t Go Above Your Level

The number one reason that skiers are called gapers is a result of them getting into situations that are far above their skill level, which exposes them to embarrassment and ridicule at best and a serious injury at worst. No matter what runs your friends or the insanely hot blond that you spotted on the lift are taking, don’t let adrenaline or hormones make important decisions for you. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be constantly pushing yourself to achieve greatness and broaden your horizons, it simply means that you should be 100% honest with yourself when embarking on a journey down a slope.

Know the Right of Ways

Much like everyday city traffic, ski slopes have right-of-way rules and customs. Although ski slopes are much less congested and smoggy than a typical downtown metropolis, injuries on the mountain can be every bit as severe and painful as the ones endured in automobiles if you do not follow a simple rule. Any skier that is in front of you on a slope has an inherent right-of-way, meaning that you are entirely responsible for completely avoiding and giving them plenty of space.

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