ARNOLD WAYNE JONES
2012 was a challenge for ski resorts — and not just during gay ski week. Unseasonably warm months kept the season shorter than usual in most places, and base inches where disappointing. But skiers know: Never give up. A good run is always worth the wait. And the dump of cold weather early on the East Coast following Hurricane Sandy last month left hope that this would be a good season.
So snap on your binders and wax those skis — here’s our annual rundown on the major North American gay ski weeks for 2013.
Aspen Gay & Lesbian Ski Week, Aspen, Colo. Jan. 13–20. The forerunner of gay ski weeks has event at Aspen, Snowmass and Highlands for this, its 36th annual winter party. Favorites like the Downhill Costume Contest return, along with a film festival, a gala and the GayWatch pool and dance party. GaySkiWeek.com.
Winter Rendezvous XXVIII, Stowe, Vt. Jan. 23–27. You can segue right from Aspen to the opposite side of the country for Winter Rendezvous in Stowe, Vt. The 29th outing includes performances by returning DJ Harrison, a Sound of Music sing-along (Stowe is the American home of the Von Trapps) and a live performance from Dina Martina. Winterrendezvous.com.
WinterPride, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. Feb. 3–10. Whistler’s big annual ski week turns 21 with the addition of the word “snowboard” to its official title (of course, snowboarders are always welcome at ski weeks anyway). Book by Nov. 15 to save. GayWhistler.com.
Elevation: Utah Gay Ski Week, Park City, Utah. Feb. 21–24. Park City, Utah’s Gay Ski Week (put on by the same folks as Elevation: Mammoth) gets a new look in its third official outing in the home of the Sundance Film Festival. UtahGaySki.com.
Telluride Gay Ski Week, Telluride, Colo. Feb. 22–March 3. Named the U.S.A.’s top gay ski week by Gay.com, the Mountain Village event is back with its 10th incarnation, which runs a full 10 days this year. DJ Brandon Moses, DJ Casey Alva and drag diva Nuclia Waste are among the draws this time, plus Dallas’ own A-Lister, Levi Crocker. American Airlines, the official airline for Telluride Gay Ski Week, offers direct flights from DFW to Montrose, plus a discount code when booking at AA.com/rainbow. TellurideGaySkiWeek.com.
Elevation: Mammoth Gay Ski Week, Mammoth Lakes, Calif. March 13–17. For its 11th outing (literally), this California resort highlights lots of themed après-ski parties like Beach Party, Defrost and the big one, Avalanche. MammothGaySki.com.
OutBoard Gay and Lesbian Snowboard Week, Winter Park, Colo. March 19–24. This gay winter week that targets snowboarders especially is unique for always changing locations. This year it moved from Steamboat Springs to fellow Colorado destination Winter Park for its 18th year. OutBoard.org.
Once again, at least two planned ski weeks haven’t confirmed their dates as of press time. Vail Gay Ski Week, Vail, Colo. (VailGaySkiWeek.com) and Lake Tahoe WinterFest XVII Gay & Lesbian Ski Week, Lake Tahoe, Nev. (LakeTahoeWinterfest.com) have yet to confirm what will happen with them, but keep an eye out on their web site.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 9, 2012.