Our 9th annual guide to gay ski week events across North America in 2015
ARNOLD WAYNE JONES | Executive Editor
The cliché is that gay folks have great bodies they love to show off in the summer with skimpy bikinis. That’s false. Many, many gays also have great bodies they like to cover in ugly sweaters while showing their prowess shushing down the slopes.
Gay ski weeks have been around nearly 40 years, and continue to grow in popularity. Whether you’re an experienced skier or snowboarder, or merely a cold-loving après-skier who likes to cuddle by the fire and attend the many social events gay ski organizers offer, there’s something for you. Here’s our annual rundown of the major North American gay ski weeks for 2015.
Aspen Gay & Lesbian Ski Week, Aspen, Colo. Jan. 11–18. The granddaddy of gay ski weeks takes place (for the 38th time) in Aspen, kicking off the season when the new year is still in its infancy. Featuring a “four mountains, one ticket” deal for as little as $250, you can hit a different slope all weekend long with the “mountain du jour” plan. Keep this in mind, though: The $375 black diamond pass is all about unfettered access to the parties, not the lifts. Every day also features and après ski hot tub party, as well as dance parties, a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, fashion events, whiskey and costume contests. GaySkiWeek.com.
Winter Rendezvous XXXI, Stowe, Vt. Jan. 21–25. On the other side of the continent, Stowe, Vt.’s Winter Rendezvous party touts its “five days of wintry bliss” for the 31st time. From the opening night party to entertainment by Bianca del Rio and Dixie Longate to an ice sculpture carving competition to performances from DJ Mary Alice and the unexpected indoor pool party (hey, those bikini bodies will be useful after all!), there’s fun for all. WinterRendezvous.com.
WinterPride, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. Jan. 24–31. For the 23rd time, Whistler’s big ski week welcomes tons of entertainment in what organizers call a festival, not just a ski party. The fest includes Margaret Cho, the hilarious Ballets de Trockadero de Monte Carlo (The Trocks for short), a cowboy party, movie screenings, a Bollywood party and more. DJ Abel performs, too. GayWhistler.com.
OutBoard Gay and Lesbian Snowboard Week, Steamboat Springs, Colo. Feb. 17–22. This gay party that opens its doors primarily to snowboarders has often moved, but has returned for a sixth time to Steamboat Springs for its 20th year — and it moved up about a month as well. Experience what they call the “most laid back” ski event under the sun. OutBoard.org.
Elevation: Utah, Park City, Utah. Feb. 19–22. The baby of the bunch is Park City, Utah’s Gay Ski Week, celebrating just its fifth year in the same city as the Sundance Film Festival. Musicmaking will come from seven DJs at seven parties spinning over the course of the weekend in the breathtaking facility. UtahGaySki.com.
Telluride Gay Ski Week, Telluride, Colo. Feb. 21–March 2. The 11th annual party at Telluride’s Mountain Village again runs for 10 days with many parties (often with no cover charge, and others free with your t-Pass). If you notice Dick’s Happy Hour sounds a lot like a Dallas event, that’s because Dallas’ Scott Barretto and John McGill run the week, which includes a fashion show and big gay wedding party featuring two of the men responsible for getting Prop 8 overturned. TellurideGaySkiWeek.com.
Elevation: Mammoth, Mammoth Lakes, Calif. March 18–22. The same folks who do the Park City ski weekend host this California incarnation, which celebrates 13 years in 2015. Expect 2,500 fellow skiers and snowboarders to attend some of the 11 DJ’d parties, as well as a comedy night and wine reception. MammothGaySki.com.
Last year, Lake Tahoe WinterFest, in Lake Tahoe, Nev., took place March 2–9 with guests including Bruce Vilanch, but as of press time, they had not confirmed dates for 2015. Check out LakeTahoeWinterfest.com for more information.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 5, 2014