VAIL VALLEY, Colorado - In 1986, the skis were skinny and the snow was fat, and during a 14-foot storm, the infamous underground crew of the Jackson Hole Air Force was going stir crazy in the Bear Claw Cafe, waiting for the mountain to open.
In those days, the bartender would send a freshly filled beer mug sliding down the bar to the patron who ordered it. One fateful night, a beer mug slid off the end of the bar and took air. A deft young man then caught it, seconds before a glass-shattering catastrophe, and promptly pounded it. Thus, Gelande Quaffing was born.
Apres ski competitions followed, testing the unique skills of all who entered, and provided exciting entertainment for all spectators. But somewhere along the way gelande quaffing was lost and the apres spirit forgotten.
Until now. Over 20 years later, e-town won't let this art be forgotten. Saturday at 4 p.m. e-town will host the 2nd annual Gelande Quaffing Colorado Championships, and the spirit of the past will live on again in the Vail Valley.
"It's just a great way to get together and observe the end of the ski season while enjoying a few laughs and libations," said organizer Miller Lewis. "There is definitely skill required, but most of all, it is supposed to be a great time and celebration of the mountain lifestyle."
Teams of four people will test their skills sliding mugs across a table, catching the full beverage and quickly consuming its contents. The teams with the most points at the end of each round will move on and one will eventually be crowned the champ. There will be free beer for participants and $2 Coors Lights for spectators.
Stop by e-town to sign-up. Space is limited to the first 16 teams.