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.