How to Be a Gaper – A Photo Essay

Gaper Day is a tradition at ski resorts. Even if they don’t have a party, the last day of the season brings out the gaper in most skiers and snowboarders. We drove to Vail for their closing day. They had their spring splash the weekend before, but it didn’t dampen the party atmosphere.

What’s a Gaper?

How to be a GaperThis term generally describes someone whose helmet slips back on their head creating the dreaded gap between their noggin protector and their goggles, revealing loads of forehead. This usually accompanies first time skier attire: Jeans, firefighter, camouflage or blaze orange deer hunting jackets… You get my drift.

On the last day of the season this is expanded to skier attire circa 1970-80’s or full on crazy costumes.

We went all out this year. Since I donated my old gear long ago, I chose a fairy costume because who doesn’t like fairies? Skiing with wings did nothing help me float above the slushy snow. It must have been in the 60’s! Rarely have I been overheated while skiing. It was a great spring purge.

How to be a gaper

We hit Aspen Highlands on their closing day, but it was much colder.

Aspen Highlands closing day party

It takes a gaper to know a gaper.

gapers in Vail

The end of the season went out with a lot of giggles and a few hearty guffaws. Don’t worry. A-basin will be open until June.

I’m donning quite a different outfit Friday night for Pikes Peak Writers Conference’s Heroes and Villains Party. Stay tuned…

Do you like dressing up? When was the last time you wore a wig? Danny really rocked his dreadlocks. Ha!

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Gapers Cheat Summer – Another Photo Adventure

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39 thoughts on “How to Be a Gaper – A Photo Essay

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  1. Funny post. Not a skier. I have been very athletic my entire life, playing every ball sport imaginable, excelling at some, until finally aging out of most of them. Still play quite a bit of pickleball though. My problem is, if my feet are not are directly connected to terra firma or there is something between my feet and terra firma I quickly become “Wimpman!” I just plain suck at any sport where I am not directly connected to the ground. You name it, snow skiing, water skiing, ice skating (any skating for that matter), surfing, swimming, horseback riding….the list goes on. Tried ’em all; sucked at ’em all. Mostly got hurt doing them. But through you and Danny, I get to ski vicariously. I thank you and my doctor thanks you.


    1. Ha! I think we all try and fail at some sports. I haven’t tried pickleball, but heard it’s a blast!
      I’m glad you took a virtual run with us! Thanks for reading.


  2. I do miss skiing. We went frequently growing up but I haven’t lived near the mountains in a long time. When I saw the headline of the post I quickly guessed ‘gaper’ meant someone who was too afraid to ski and just sat on the sidelines gaping while everyone else skied past.


      1. I’ve been looking forward to getting back into skiing for years. It’s not the cheapest hobby and my interest kind of dropped off in my lean college years, but I went once during a brief layover in Korea and I forgot how much I loved it.


  3. “Do you like to wear costumes?” If I was a little less curvy (and had almost $300 to blow), I would be cosplaying for the first time the weekend of May 18. 😉 (Usually, size doesn’t matter in cosplay, but it would be a rebel version of the Air Force, so I don’t want to shame the uniform. 😛 )


      1. The only problem is that the first character I would do is married to my celebrity crush’s character (in a fanfic I wrote), and that’s who I’m going to see next month! I couldn’t stay in character…that would be awkward! (*giggle*)


  4. Love your style, Susie! And envy you all that skiing in your “backyard”. I may get back on the boards this winter because we aren’t going to Florida until January. But the “hills” in southern Ontario don’t quite compare to yours!
    Have a fabulous summer!


    1. Thanks so much, Pat! We had an early season this year with tons of snow in December and January. Then nothing! That might be the perfect time to go. Always great to “see” you!


  5. How fun…and funny! I’ve never heard of gapers, but there isn’t a lot of skiing in Los Angeles! 😀 I’m glad to see you having a happy occasion. I’ve thought of you many times since your loss and hoped you were getting along. Being with good friends is a great healer!


    1. Thank you! It’s getting a lot easier, although I still have my moments. Had a busy weekend at a writers conference. Being surrounded by lots of wonderful like-minded people was very therapeutic!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel so soooo much better now that I have have met and have a friend far more crazy than I. I think I would have went one further and Had that plastic bald dolls headed chicken smoking a Cuban cigar. Hay did I ever tell you that I fine women that can rock a bald or freshly shaven head Sexy as all hell. ‘I have to post that one in memoirs in the chapter heading ‘Just how weird Am I.’ I think it is perhaps because when my wife went through chemo after her ovarian cancer that when she lost here hair I lost my hair for her, along with her, and fell in more in love with the women. Yah! baby’ ‘that bald headed punker Chicken is ‘Hot!’


  7. Love it, Susie, and you absolutely fabulous. I wore a wig just the other night. I found one of my Nana’s old Halloween costumes where she dressed up as Diana Ross with the silver stranded disco dreads and quite literally looked more like Rick James. Hahahaha So happy to be back on the blogosphere and catching up with our friends. We’ve missed you all so much. Mathair and I hope you have a great weekend.


    1. Thanks so much, Inion! So great to “see” you too. I’ve been at a writers conference since last Wednesday. Slipped in a post between classes!
      Costumes are great. I’m tempted to show the one I wore for Villains and Heroes night. Ha! Over the top is my style! I can imagine the disco dreads. Fun times!


  8. I have never skied…I have enough trouble walking and driving in snow, so I don’t need to try to fly over it on a couple of thin, waxed poles! 🙂


  9. The only occasion I dress up for anymore is St. Patrick’s Day. You just will never get the Irish out of this old girl. We use to have all kinds of theme parties. We had a Gangsters and Gun-moll themed party for St. Valentines Day. We had a cave man party for some reason and dressed appropriately. Halloween was always fun trying to stump everyone who was who. I once went as a black mechanic (male). No one had a clue who I was or that I was even female. I don’t ski but I’m pretty sure I would make a good gaper.


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