The Ultimate Guide to Gaper Day in Jackson Hole
If your second home isn’t on the slopes, you may not have ever heard of this zany unofficial holiday but fear not— we’ve got everything you need to know in this Guide to Gaper Day 2023.
When is Gaper Day?
Gaper Day is a Spring right of passage for locals and visitors alike. Typically Gaper Day occurs on or around April Fool’s Day (April 1st) when the snow starts melting, temperatures are warming, and the resorts celebrate the end of another successful season.
What is a Gaper?
The term Gaper refers to an amateur skier or snowboarder. More than that is an acronym meaning “Guaranteed Accident Prone on Every Run” and light-heartedly pokes fun at someone who is absolutely clueless. Gapers may also be referred to as a Jerry, Joey, or Gorb. The term is so popular that the manufacturing industry and retail ski stores started coining the phrase “Gaper Gap” or “Gorby Gap” to refer to the gap in between the bottom of your helmet and the top of your goggles. The bigger the gap, the bigger “Gaper” you are!
How did Gaper Day begin?
Legend has it that Gaper Day can be traced back to the 80’s and 90’s on the last day of ski season (usually April 1st.) Originally known as “ski in jeans day.” Snow park junkies and beginners alike began to hop on the trend of skiing in jeans, and the holiday evolved and grew in popularity from there. According to the Whistler Mountain Museum, historians say in 1996 jeans began to morph into any and all retro outfits and costumes, poking fun at novice skiers and soon after the name was changed to Gaper Day.
So what exactly is Gaper Day?
It’s not so much a holiday as it is a way of being. It is the day when locals can dress in the most ridiculous outfits and pretend to be like their gaper counterparts — when skiers can embrace their kooky side and real-life gapers blend in with skiers disguised as gapers. On Gaper Day you don’t have to take things too seriously and you can just enjoy the fun of it all when the sun is shining, the Spring snow conditions are just right and you’re surrounded by all your friends.
How do you participate in Gaper Day?
It’s easy to join in the festivities but you’ll need a few essentials in order to maximize your fun:
- A wacky outfit:
Think neon colors, mullet wigs, onesies, 80s inspired ski clothes — anything goes as long as you wear your gear with confidence.
- A desire to shred:
Gaper Day isn’t a day to stand on the sidelines (although, if that’s your speed it’s quite alright just be prepared to watch in amazement.) A season of practice culminates in this all out showcase of talent.
- Plenty of enthusiasm:
This is not your average day on the slopes. The excitement is contagious, the energy palpable, and the enthusiasm radiates for miles. Come ready to cheer… and yell… and high five and partake in the overall liveliness of the weekend.
Whether you are a real-life Gaper or just play one on this special day, nobody does Gaper Day better than Jackson Hole.
Start planning your trip and see for yourself.Need help planning your Gaper getaway to Jackson Hole, WY? Contact our team of local experts at (888) 838-6606 for tips on where to stay, the latest info on vacation packages and offers, and for tips on tours and other top area experiences.