More gays are emerging from winter hibernation to head for some of the most famous mountain retreats for increasingly popular gay ski weeks. Today the snow-mosexual is more visible than ever with the rainbow flag adding that missing speck of colour.
Close to home, Arosa Gay Ski Week was established in 2005 and has become an event for people wanting that all gay winter experience. What better place to play host than the Swiss Alps in January. Arrive to 2000 metres above ground to experience an average of three-feet of snow, excellent weather (often clear blue skies) and a huge expanse of slopes for the inexperienced and professional skier.
While still in its infancy, Arosa attractss over 350 gay guys and girls from across Europe to enjoy a lively schedule for a mix bag. Small compared to the thousands that attend the infamous Gay Whistler in Vancouver, yet the friendly and intimate group delivers a more personal experience.
The Ski Week Team welcomed us with a warm furore, forming like-minded ski groups helping to break the ice (so to speak). There are certainly a lot of gay couples, however for a lone traveller there’s singles dinner tables, just to put you in your place.
Après-Ski at Kursaalwas was the perfect way to unwind. Its lounge room with huge leather sofas, open-fire place, and floor-ceiling windows with a mountain backdrop is warm and intimate. While in the bar the music blared to classic cheese pop disco providing a great way to relax the muscles after a couple of Swiss biers.
Wednesday the Swiss Chesse Fondue evening by candlelight and night-time ride on the gondola to Tschuggen plus some sledging fun too. Thursday’s Splash Pool Party was a relatively sedate affair, a large whirlpool, Jacuzzi, and dance room – the room so well heated the best way to cool down was in the warm salty water. Friday’s Avalanche Party with Ibiza’s Sandra Love was a night of classic gaydar dance music until 4am.
The Drag Race on the Saturday afternoon ended the weeks skiing with contestants certainly putting their heart into their costumes. Flamenco snowboarders, Birds of paradise and sexy serenading skiers gracefully descended the slope, challenged to blow-up balloons in the bitter cold before downing an alcoholic shot – all of which had to be completed in good time with excellent poise and style.
The final fling for the week was The Snow White Party with most dressed head-toe in white. Exhausted bodies with wiped-out faces begrudgingly sipped on their last beers, tapping their failing legs to the rhythms of house before crawling home early.
Arosa Gay Ski week; romantic natural Swiss Alps landscape, littered with cosy log cabins and traditional chalets, accompanied by an incredibly laid-back and social atmosphere. This event is easily rated 8/10.
Arosa has a limited number of restaurants many of which stop serving by 9.30pm, not ideal for events that don’t get going until 11pm.
Switzerland is expensive, beers will set you back FR6 (equivalent to £4) while a vodka lemon will set you back FR15. An average meal is about FR26.
Flights from Heather / London City Airport by SwissAir / British Airways to Zurich
Train from Zurich Airport – Zurich Central – Chur – Arosa, three changes and takes approximately 3 hours.
Arosa town is easily walkable.
Arosa Gay Ski Week Gold Pass CHF200
Arosa Ski Lift Pass: CHF242 (6 days)
For more information on Arosa Gay Ski Week: www.arosa-gayskiweek.com
For more information on Switzerland Gay tourism: www.myswitzerland.com/gay
Other Gay ski weeks around the world.
The European Gay Ski Week. Alp d’Huez, 24 – 31 March 2012: http://www.europeangayskiweek.com/
Scandinavian Ski Pride, Hemsedal, 12 – 15 April 2012: http://www.skeiveski.no/
SWING – Swiss Gay Skiing and Snowboarding Week, Lenzerheide, 3 – 10 March 2012: http://www.swing-on.ch/
Winter Gay Pride event – GayWhistler, British Columbia, Canada, 5 – 12 February 2012: http://gaywhistler.com/
Gay Ski Week in Queenstown. Australia, 25 August – 2 September 2012, http://www.gayskiweekqt.com/
Bariloche Gay Ski Week, Argentina, 9 – 15 September: http://www.barilochegaytravel.com/index.php/en/bariloche-gay-ski-2010