Gay ski getaways
The new year brings a slew of gay ski weeks, with aprs-parties aplenty.
Tue Dec 15 2009
With the chill of winter comes an increasingly hot lineup of gay ski weeks, luring snow bunnies out of town to powder-packed slopes as close as Stowe, Vermont, and as far as Arosa, Switzerland. What will they find besides the white stuff when they get there? Cocktail soirees, dance parties and hot-tub action, of course! Here's all you need to plan your own 2010 getaway.
AROSA GAY SKI WEEK
On the slopes: This powdery fantasyland, located in the Schanfigg valley at 6,000 feet above sea level, is sheltered from wind and showered with sunshine (and is an easy train ride from Zurich).
In the lodge: Drag cabaret, classical piano concerts, horse-drawn sleigh rides, fondue dinners and a slew of dance parties, including a version of London's legendary Horse Meat Disco, will spice up your schussing.
Jan 9--16, arosa-gayskiweek.com
33RD ANNUAL ASPEN GAY SKI WEEK: INTO THE WOODS
On the slopes: Four mountains have something for everyone, from snowboarders, who can hit the terrain parks and half-pipe of Buttermilk Mountain, to expert skiers, for whom the 12,500-foot Aspen Highlands was created.
In the lodge: A massive pool party at an indoor water park, daily hot-tub fetes, a fund-raising night of Aspen shopping and a downhill costume competition, with professional drag entertainers, are all on tap.
Jan 17--24, gayskiweek.com
On the slopes: At an elevation of 4,395 feet, Mount Mansfield may not be as high as the Colorado peaks, but it's just six hours from NYC! Plus it's got 116 trails, with distinct areas for all levels (snowboarders, too).
In the lodge: Parties are set to include a classic disco ball, a bonfire bash and sing-along, and performances from Varla Jean Merman and comedian James Judd.
Jan 20--24, winterrendezvous.com
VAIL GAY SKI WEEK
On the slopes: This powder paradise (which got a whopping 38 feet last season) is blessed with extra-wide trails, seven bowls, three terrain parks, three distinct mountain areas and more than 5,000 miles for free-riding.
In the lodge: The agenda includes a beer blast (with DJ Sammy Jo), pancake breakfast, polar-bear swim, dance party and even a women-only event: lesbian wrestling! Do-gooder perk: This year's beneficiary is the GLBT Community Center of Colorado.
Jan 27--31, vailgayskiweek.com
TELLURIDE GAY SKI WEEK
On the slopes: Find everything from groomed runs to tough moguls and terrain parks, with a total of more than 2,000 skiable acres.
In the lodge: The festivities include an ice-skating soiree, Bloody Mary brunches, a Matthew Shepard Foundation benefit dinner (with host Judy Shepard) and the White Night Party with L.A. DJs the Perry Twins.
Feb 20--27, telluridegayskiweek.com
WHISTLER, BRITISH COLUMBIA
On the slopes: The be-all and end-all for many ski and snowboard fanatics, this top-notch terrain (which will have just hosted the 2010 Olympics, by the way) has more than 200 trails, three glaciers, 12 alpine bowls and more than 8,100 skiable acres—plus an average snowfall of more than 33 feet.
In the lodge: Gear up for a country-western dance, cooking classes, beer and wine tastings, group workouts, an inner-tube riding party, a mountaintop dance event with DJ Hex Hector and various women's-only bashes.
Mar 1--8, gaywhistler.com
LAKE TAHOE WINTERFEST
LAKE TAHOE, CA
On the slopes: With annual averages of 35 feet of snow and 300 days of sunshine, you're pretty much guaranteed excellent conditions, with terrains for all levels.
In the lodge: Expect themed fetes—Chocolate Martini Lounge, Luau on Ice Hawaiian barbecue—plus wine tastings, an Italian dinner party, comedian Danny Leary and dancing with DJ Joe Bermudez.
March 7--14, laketahoewinterfest.com