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    Upcoming Gay Ski Events

    tonyLGBT skiers who live in the Bay Area won’t want to miss the Gay Ski Weeks being held at some of our closest ski resorts. Now is the time to pack up your skis and parkas for some incredible winter fun, starting with the First Annual Lake Tahoe Gay Ski Week, which is being held at Squaw Valley from February 5–8. As many as 500 participants are expected, but that number could easily skyrocket.

    The mastermind behind this and many other gay skiing events is Tom Whitman, who partnered with one of the biggest gay party planners and promoters in Northern California—Gus Presents—to organize the Tahoe happenings. Whitman recently took time out of his busy schedule to speak with me.

    He said that Squaw Valley will be “stamped with our signature blend of sporty days and sexy nights.” The terrain can be gnarly and nice, suitable for all types of skiers. He also reminded that this is one of the largest ski areas in the U.S. It additionally features the “Gold-Coast Funitel,” which is a beefed-out gondola system that you won’t find anywhere else in the country.

    “I love the beginning of new events,” Whitman said. “It is good to see repeat attendees at our longstanding events, but I really enjoy seeing new faces each time.” As for his own winter sports choice he said, “I’m primarily a snowboarder, which I believe is easier on the knees than skiing.”

    If you can’t make the Lake Tahoe event, there will be another Gay Ski Week at Park City, Utah, from February 19–22 and, from March 18–22, you can check out the 13th Annual Mammoth Gay Ski Week. The Mammoth event is truly mammoth, and it earns money for charities too.

    Nearly all gay sporting events are run by individuals or non-profits, so it’s unusual for a business such as Whitman’s to organize LGBT sports outings. While he expects to receive no profit from the Tahoe event, he quickly added that the organizers are not necessarily motivated by money, but rather by how they can help the community. The evening parties, for example, allow for a social comfort that’s usually only found at places like a gay bar or on a gay cruise.

    Whitman is proud that attendees at the events are diverse in age range. Most who attend are gay men, but LGBT women are always in attendance too. The mixture of sport and socializing cannot be beat, so if you’re a skier, be sure to consider coming to one or more of the upcoming three Gay Ski Weeks. For more information, please visit http://elevationgayski.com/

    Tony Jasinski is the former president of the San Francisco Gay Basketball League.