Naked skiers have ‘no influence’ in Beaver Creek | VailDaily.com
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Naked skiers have ‘no influence’ in Beaver Creek

Steve Lynn
Vail, CO Colorado
NWS altitude sickness KA 03-02-08
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BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” A middle-aged man wore a white turban and a blue fanny pack as he skied quickly through the lift line. It wasn’t Barack Obama.

An older man in a neon yellow jacket picked up his skis and walked toward the escalator. He wasn’t pretending to be an 1980s throwback ” this was for real.

A snowboarder wearing an argyle jacket pushed slowly toward Centennial Express Lift even though Easter is still three weeks away.

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society,” Mark Twain said, so clothes must make the skier, because you wouldn’t want to freeze. So without thinking that no clothes might look better, skiers and snowboarders followed Twain’s mantra and wore their goofy gear on Beaver Creek Mountain Sunday afternoon.

‘Gaper Day’

Justin Beard wears a blaze orange hunting mask when he skis. The mask not only looks “good,” it could help identify the North Carolina man if he crashed and got stuck in a ditch, he said.

“I’m not that good of a skier, I need it,” he said.

Though not the chosen layer for locals, Beard said he wore jeans under his snow pants and he hopes to get a pair of fur boots, like Jim Carrey’s character, Lloyd, wears in Aspen in the movie “Dumb and Dumber.”

“That’s how you should rock it,” he said.

Fortunately mountain folk dedicate certain days specifically to teasing people wearing such garb. The best example is “Gaper Day” in Breckenridge, where locals dress up in their favorite tourist gear.

In the late 90s, snowboarder Kim Hornbeck wore a tight purple one-piece ski suit for Gaper Day. Now she lives in Aspen, where the funny fashion seems equal to that in Vail and Beaver Creek, she said.

“Now you see the neon colors,” she said. “They’ve come back.”

Back to the ’80s

Indeed, skiers and snowboarders have reverted to the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan ruled and gangsta rappers wore bandanas.

So why do bandanas cover snowboarders’ mouths these nowadays? This isn’t a dirty joke, they really wear them.

Billy Johnson, a snowboarder who lives in Tennessee, wears a red bandana around his neck.

“I’m not in a gang, I promise,” he said.

He probably got the idea to wear one from watching snowboarding videos, but “it looks better than those ski masks, I think,” he said.

Sure, but this ain’t a rodeo.

Ten-year-old snowboarder Carlos Holguin’s Chivas soccer jersey makes him go faster and jump higher on his snowboard as he thinks of his favorite player on the team, Omar Bravo.

“I feel more, like, hyper,” said Holguin, who lives in Avon.

Carlos, if a soccer jersey gave me energy, you bet I’d wear one.

Ski racer Kolby Glissman said she and her friends wear swimsuits underneath their ski suits when they race and Hawaiian leis before and after their races.

“It helps us relax,” said Glissman, who lives in Eagle.

Try some Bloody Marys, kids ” when you turn 21, of course.

Jim Priebe, who lives in Dallas, wears a cowboy hat when he skis. He cut two holes in the hat and tied on a piece of yarn that fastens under his chin so he doesn’t lose it.

The hat helps Priebe’s family recognize him on the slopes, he said.

“It keeps my head warm and makes a fairly decent crash helmet, I think,” he said.

Don’t fall too hard, Texas.

Editor’s note: For “Altitude Sickness,” skiers and snowboarders on Vail and Beaver Creek mountains are asked irrelevant questions. They range from the politically incorrect to the downright ridiculous, so blame your answers on the high elevation.

Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or slynn@vaildaily.com.


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