What is a gaper?
“I guess you would quantify a gaper as someone from out of town who isn’t very familiar with the mountain, or the mountain lifestyle,” says Chavez.
“It’s someone who is in the wrong spot at the wrong time, all the time,” says St. Germain. “Like always standing on the other side of a blind jump or taking up the whole catwalk when you’re trying to get through.”
The etymology is simple. Gapers garnered their nickname because, while standing somewhere they shouldn’t be, thus making them an accident-waiting-to-happen, the mouth tends to be agape.
“They’re oblivious. They have no clue,” says St. Germain.
Adds Luke Eckenroth of Edwards, “They’re the only people in the middle of the hill not moving.”
-There are other indicators. If you ski in jeans, you’re a gaper. If you wear a jester hat, or big, tinted aviator glasses on the hill, you’re a gaper.-If you still wear your ski outfit from 10 years ago, you’re a gaper.-Head bands. Neon. Rear-entry ski boots. Sports-team jackets (especially noxious, red Huskers jackets).
“You learn real quick what gapers are,” says Eckenroth. “If you’re a first-time local, you are probably a gaper at one point.” (article from Vail Daily)
Riding for a couple afternoon hours at the Beav. Made it to cookie time. Walked to the bus. Put my snowboard on the outside rack and jumped at the chance of sitting and enjoying the warm chocolate chip cookie that Beaver Creek
provides every afternoon (served by chefs in white jackets, on the snow and a top a silver platter) ”Not exactly roughing it
” is soooooo true.
If you’re a local. You’ve already caught my mistake. If not, learn from me. As we’re driving down the mountain to Beaver Creek landing my eyes watch horrifically as my snowboard leans and falls off the outside of the bus. CLANK. BANG. SCRAPE. I jump up.
“WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA my board just fell off the rack outside. Stop the bus!” The driver is in shock ”what?” ”please please let me off, my board just fell off” ”hmmm, I can’t.”
She calls security “a board just fell off the bus, its in the middle of the road, can you go pick it up?”
At this point I’m red in the face. About to puke. In a dead sweat. Standing up right next to the driver. Wanting to faint. AHhhhhhhhhhh. WHAT HAPPENED???
I get off at the landing. Have to bend down. The shaking has taken over. Soon a suburban pulls up and a very nice man pulls out my board, in one piece, completely black with mud and hands it to me. “did you know that none of the buses at Beaver Creek have snowboard racks????????”
That explains so much!