Winter is upon us and the ski season is just getting started. Now with the coronavirus pandemic slowly improving, the 2022 ski season is opening and returning to some sense of normalcy, albeit with likely enhanced safety regulations in most places. Most large events were canceled in 2020 and 2021, but depending on your location and the destination, 2022 might be back on! Of course, any gay ski event that does take place in 2022 may require vaccines as well as having possible restrictions on the number of attendees, parties and group events. But if all goes well, you might just be lucky enough to attend one of these 5 events in 2022.
What is a Gay Ski Week?
An LGBT+ ski event, often referred to as a gay ski week, is an organized event at a ski resort specifically for the LGBT+ community. These events started in the 90’s and there are now lots of events to choose from, mostly across North America and Europe. Gay ski weeks can attract hundreds or even thousands of attendees and the organizers put on a variety of shows, parties and gatherings throughout the event. Even if you’re not a ski or snowboard fan, most of these events have enough going on to keep you entertained. If you're a reader of our blog then you know we love gay prides, LGBT+ parties & events and winter sports. So what better way to celebrate than to attend a gay ski week – our absolute favorite winter activity!
Packing Tips for a Gay Ski Week
Packing for a gay ski week will not only involve typical warm winter gear but you may also be encouraged to pack costumes for themed events (pending 2021 restrictions). If you’re an avid skier or snowboarder then be sure to include all your standard adventure gear from goggles and jackets to gloves and neck warmers. For the best gear to stay warm and look cool, check out Hoo-Rag, which offers bandanas, hats, neck gaiters, and headbands, just to name a few. If you own your own gear, then you’re welcome to bring it all with you, otherwise you can rent just about everything from the ski resort. All gay ski events host a variety of activities and events so be sure to check the schedule to see if you need to pack any special outfits, gear or costumes.
European Gay Ski Week (France)
March 19-26, 2022
European Gay Ski Week is in its 14th year and takes place in the French Alps bringing crowds from across Europe. Located in Les Menuires, the event normally attracts more than 1,000 people during the week. The organizers have a ton of experience with these events and a large budget to provide fun and engaging activities. In addition to hitting the slopes during the day and dancing it up at night (depending on current restrictions t the time of the event), you’ll find other activities like pool parties, private mountain tours and cabaret shows. During the daytime, there is an exclusive European Gay Ski Week ski school and also guided groups that you can join. Then for lunch, you can meet other European Gay Ski Week guests at their designated lunchtime restaurants.
Jasper Pride Festival (Canada)
April 1-10, 2022
Canada is known as a very gay-friendly destination. It was the 3rd country in the world to legalize same sex marriage making it a welcoming destination for LGBT+ visitors. Jasper hosts one of the most unique Pride celebrations in Canada and combines the celebration with an LGBT+ ski event. The entire community comes together to celebrate pride, proudly displaying flags and banners all along the town’s Main Street. There’s an energy at Jasper Pride Festival that you won’t feel anywhere else. Being surrounded by natural beauty in a town that openly and proudly supports the LGBT+ community year-round. You can’t help but feel like you’re a part of something special. The Jasper Pride Festival Society strives to create a safe and inclusive atmosphere of equality, acceptance and support for the LGBT+ community.
Gay Ski Weekend Queenstown (New Zealand)
August 26 – September 4, 2022
Queenstown Winter Pride is the largest and perhaps the only major gay ski event south of the equator. This event takes place in New Zealand’s winter during the month of September. If you make the trek to New Zealand you’ll enjoy great events including drag shows, a foam party, queer quiz night and more. This LGBT+ event has been going strong for years. And given the fact that it takes place in August, it’s much more likely that you can actually fly to Zealand and attend the event if you're not a resident. Held annually, Queenstown is one of the best places in the world to host such a festival. As well as being the adventure capital of the world, it’s also a top tourist destination and is full of supportive local businesses and people who welcome the community all as their own. Attendees are typically 45% Australian, 45% New Zealander, with the rest coming from other places around the world.
Arosa Gay Ski Week (Switzerland)
January 22 – 29, 2022
Arosa’s 2021 event was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but they are coming back bigger and better than ever in 2022. During the last week in January, the Swiss Alps will heat up as LGBT+ people from across Europe come together to celebrate Arosa Gay Ski Week. The event creates a welcoming atmosphere for all LGBT+ people and allies in the gay-friendly village of Arosa, Switzerland. From the White Party at the top of the mountain to evening classical music concerts, the week-long event has something for just about everyone and every taste. If there’s one thing Arosa Gay Ski Week does well it’s entertainment. They arrange for countless drag queens and dancers from across Europe to join the event and entertain the crowds by both day and night. Perhaps the only thing we like more than snowboarding is joining the après ski in the afternoon after a long day on the mountain. Each day attendees can join the official Après Ski held at various locations throughout the week in Arosa.
Marin Montaña (Spain)
March 3-6, 2022
Coming in March 2022, Spain’s gay ski week is back. Taking place in the north of Spain, Mari Montaña is the premier LGBT+ ski week in Europe and one of two events in Spain. The original Snow Queer Festival will not take place in 2022, but all things look positive for Marin Montaña to go on. The 4-day event has a long weekend full of activities including skiing, wellness, drag shows, parties and relaxation, celebrations plus much, much more. From March 3-6, 2022, the event will take place at the Panticosa Spa Resort. The ski resort itself has more than 180km of slopes to explore. Though not as long-running as its gay ski week cousins in the Alps like European Gay Ski Week or Arosa Gay Ski Week, Mari Montaña is the only gay ski event in Spain taking place in 2022. Plus the prices for the festival are a bargain compared to those you’ll find in France or Switzerland.