Ski Resort Cycles
If you’re looking for some deep wisdom about massages, giving massage, receiving massage, the benefits of massage, the business of massage – you might not wish to read on. Occasionally I digress into discussion about life in Jackson Hole – as lived by massage therapists here. Overall – we lead not such a bad life – especially when it’s end-of-ski-season PARTY TIME.
As I write this post, Rochelle – otherwise an almost completely sane massage therapist in Jackson Hole, has gone skiing with a tutu round her waist and a small stuffed bird attached to her shoulder. Yes folks, it’s ‘Gaper’ Day on the slopes of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. As if concerts by Karl Denson, Blues Traveler and Michael Franti weren’t enough – it is PARTY WEEK here in Jackson Hole. Over the weekend we had the ski-season-end multi-faceted race – the PPP (Pole Pedal Paddle) – but we’ll get back to that soon. Meanwhile – back to Gapers…What’s a Gaper? You might ask… Well – it’s a rather derogatory term for people who are well behind on the ski fashion curve – to put it mildly. It’s a throw-back and a poking of fun at how absurd ski fashions looked – oh just so recently – and how we thought we were so cool in wearing them.
Here’s the Wiki definition:
The day (usually April Fool’s Day
or thereabouts) when all the mountain employees and locals who don’t have to work dress up in absurd tourist outfits and imitate all the dumb gapers we have to deal with the rest of the year. Usually involves lots of neon clothing, ridiculous stunts, and massive amounts of alcohol.
“It’s gaper day! I’m going to wear my dad’s 80’s onesy.”
Now, this isn’t to say that Jackson Hole has dibs on Gaper Day – no way – it’s a phenomenon that has spread throughout ‘cool’ ski resorts all over the country (and maybe Europe for all I know.) But frankly – it’s hilarious wherever it takes place.
The other thing I mentioned above is the Pole Pedal Paddle, or PPP (which this year has added two additional legs for the first time and so it becomes the PPPPP). As the name suggests, it a multi-legged, multi-skilled race from the top of Jackson Hole’s aerial (the first leg is on Alpine skis) tram to a place on the Snake river many miles away and several thousand feet lower on the banks of the Snake River (the last leg is in kayaks or other river craft). In between those two legs, there’s Nordic (cross-country) skiing, and road-biking.
There are ‘serious’ race classes, where athleticism counts and winning is a serious goal. There are more casual classes, where simply competing and completing the course is the goal; there are relay teams if all of the various skills are better shared among a group of friends or business colleagues; and then (again), there’s the ‘party’ class – where costumes count and nobody really cares who completes what – just get the prize for the best costume. Again, this race is not just a Jackson Hole thing – many ski resorts, with a river nearby, will have their own PPP races.
It’s a great and fun event for all. Entry fees and other fund-raising activities to to help finance our very own Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club.
Teams are formed by local companies – whether serious, relay or costume based – and the whole thing helps, among this entire week of festivities, to round-out yet another ski season at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
Yet the end of one season is the beginning of another. Whilst many may lament the end of ski season – well, we’ve had it since November and it’s time to move on…spring and summer in the Tetons are just around the corner – and I’ll have lots to write about that in my next post.
Hamish and Rochelle