“Squallywood” began as the affectionate nickname for the ski-able terrain under the famous Squaw Valley KT 22 lift. On powder days a fever burns in every skier and snowboarder; a fact of mountain life true in any resort town. However, in Squaw, there is an intimacy of the shared stoke between mountain crushers and KT22 line riders. Skiers and boarders fly closely over the extreme terrain. Loving and heartfelt heckling can be heard as one tries to get radical, extreme, and gnarly. The area became known as Squallywood. Rob Gaffney, of the ski-famous Gaffney Brothers, wrote a book of the same title to serve as a guide to the many lines presented in the rocky slope and technical terrain. At the end of the text is a detailed description of the game known as G.N.A.R. The game serves as a reminder to not take skiing too seriously, to stoke the fire of the inner goof ball, and to make as many others smile while your looking to find your own. It’s a game and a vibe which reaches further than Squaw, though the term was coined there. It exists in all mountain ski towns. It evokes the inspirational stoke of one of it’s founders; the late and great Shane McConkey. McConkey was the most influential skier of all time and the goofiest. His extreme humor almost overshadowed his creative skiing. He still serves as a reminder that skiing at its core is an activity for pure enjoyment, pure fun. G.N.A.R. reminds us all not to take ourselves too seriously and to never act like Joe Extreme Cool Ski Guy. Have fun, kick ass, smile, and above all else get GNARly!
By the way, I’m the best skier on this blog. I stick uphill ice…every time. (500 G.N.A.R. points!!!)
Brush up on your G.N.A.R!!!
Check out the GNARly celebration!
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