The Gnar of Revelstoke

Due to solar storms and planetary alignment, I somehow hit Revelstoke on assignment for SBC Skier magazine on G.N.A.R day.

My “welcome to Revy” banner was unfurled as I waited for our crew by the Revelation gondola: guys in smoking jackets, puffing on cigars, dragging a BBQ across the snow. (That was a #9 move executed with class, although I didn’t quite catch what they were cooking up.)

None of the tourists dropping their kids off to ski school had any idea what was going on, why one-piece suits were suddenly back in style, or why random guys were heckling them in the lift-line, all of which makes G.N.A.R day even funnier.

Standing in line for the Stoke Chair with Tatum Monod and Laura Ogden, (PS I can’t believe you girls are pro. I am totally better than you), we were “treated” to full-frontals from two buck naked skiers who had raced down the lift line wearing only their transceivers. One guy, feeling the exposure, with one hand cupped over his privates, mis-timed his attempt to duck the rope by the lift line and drop out of sight onto the run below. He garrotted himself, ending up splayed in the snow, to great acclaim, and surely, a points deduction.

By days’ end, we’d seen several buck-nakeds, plenty of pole whacking, many claims of being the best skier on the mountain, a couple of snowbladers, and lots of smack-talking and radness. We’d spent entire lift rides giggling our faces off at this grassroots, deeply felt, entirely viral and largely inexplicable celebration of radness and silly buggers.

The game of G.N.A.R. (Gaffney’s Numerical Assessment of Radness) was created by Shane McConkey and listed in the book “Squallywood” by Robb Gaffney. Based in Squaw Valley, California, the game was played for some time on a small scale among friends, until held a contest  where the game would be played over 2 weeks. Due to extreme amounts of radness and (mostly) nudity, Squaw Valley Ski Corp shut the contest down after 1 day. The crew didn’t give up and went on the best road trip ever, showing up at nearby mountains and reminding everyone to let go of their inhibitions, cut loose and most of all, have fun, which is what skiing is all about.

Losses have been mounting in the industry/community lately and our crew of athletes are all riding with little kernels of sorrow on their shoulders. The exuberance of GNAR day, as a way to remember Shane McConkey, was a little flash of good medicine and easy laughs.

As for me, I confess that I have not contributed to sending the Gnar off-the-charts.

I’m staying slopeside at the new Sutton Place Hotel, in a suite with my own bathroom, heated floors, a bed that I can roll over in 7 times before falling off the side (Izzy Lynch tested it in her own bed, because she’s hard-core like that), a bathtub deep enough to sink into up to my eyeballs and a kitchen so well equipped we were able to cook up a quinoa salad with toasted walnuts and a chocolate cake. (Because that’s what pro skier girls do when they’re not slaying it in the mountains.) And seriously, when was the last hotel room you stayed in equipped with glass mixing bowls, spatula, and baking dish? Awesome.

So, not gnar this weekend. Kinda pampered, actually. And I’m okay with that too. It’s all about fuelling the ski stoke – be that by nudity or bubble-baths, or both.

(Thanks to Sarah Windsor and the crew at Revelstoke Mountain Resort and Selkirk Tangiers Heliskiing for the hospitality over the past three days.)

3 Comments Add yours

  1. “garroted”. Now, there is a word that you do not see everyday.

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