Perhaps you’ve lost a bet. Maybe you’re using it as a way to publicly protest an injustice or to attract attention towards something noble and charitable. Maybe you’re just interested in flying down a frigid mountain au naturel simply because you’re looking to spice things up with some thrill and danger. The point is, nude skiing doesn’t discriminate. There are more than a few reasons why naked skiing should be on your Ultimate Nude Bucket List, and all of them are as legitimate as the next.
We could cite convenience or saving time as reasons — in that you won’t need to pack jackets or pants — but that’d be beating around the newly exposed bush. In truth, the most widely-cited reason for skiing naked is the feeling of liberation. We’re talking airflow, gusts of cool wind in southern regions, the uninhibited sway — and a gesture of both tender vulnerability and alpha-dominant power that says to other skiers, “this is who I am”.
An Age-Old Tradition
People have been dropping trou and sending pow for decades, so consider your first foray into nude skiing to be an honorable initiation into an age-old tradition. The torch has been passed down to you, my friend, but be careful where you hold it. Things aren’t exactly as lax as they were in the 80s and 90s, but that isn’t to say there isn’t any wiggle room for keeping the fire alive.
Where to Go
Central Austria’s mountain town of Obertraun is widely considered to be the mecca of nudist skiing. That said, things have gotten a bit more strict in recent years. Make sure to call ahead to confirm whether it’s permitted. For fantastic skiing with clothes on, check out the Best Ski Resorts in Europe.
Mount Cheeseman, New Zealand
If you’re schedule (and finances) make summertime skiing more doable, head down to New Zealand in August. Mount Cheeseman located on the country’s southern island is known to allow skiers to strip down to at least their undies. Get the most bang for your buck and get over to these Best Skiing Spots in New Zealand while you’re down south.
Tianchi Ski Resort, Urumqi, China
Tianchi Ski Resort in China hosts a costume competition every year, but in addition to strange outfits, many people elect to hit the slopes without any costume at all.
Copper Mountain, Colorado
Around Tax Day of every year (for reasons unknown), Colorado’s Copper Mountain hosts its annual Eenie Weenie bikini contest, where skiers take to the runs in their bathing suits. As the name suggests, it’s more PG-13 rated, but some people go topless without too much fuss. For other Colorado spots to shred, discover the 7 Best Ski and Snowboarding Resorts.
Crested Butte, Colorado
Another Colorado gem, Crested Butte has a long tradition of allowing guests to ski nude on the last day of the season, which is usually sometime in April or May.
Squaw Valley, California
Every year this ski resort throws a celebration and sponsors a race for scantily clad contestants.
Some Things to Consider
While safety probably isn’t a priority for most budding nudists skiers, it’s worth noting that this sport comes with its fair share of danger. The sun can cause some serious damage. In terms of altitude, the sun’s rays are 5% more powerful for every 1,000 feet of elevation — which means if you’re skiing a mile high in Colorado, UV rays are 20% more powerful. Also, fresh snow has the ability to reflect 90% of the sun’s rays, which means your undersides are just as in danger as your neck and shoulders. Make sure you have a good layer of sunscreen applied before hopping on the chairlift.
Back in 2013, the Valhalla ski movie had a section on nude skiing that went viral. There are a few scenes where riders show some wounds after taking falls in the buff. One woman took a branch across her exposed chest. All this is to state the obvious: skiing naked is far more dangerous, so consider taking more conservative runs and steering clear of trees, moguls, and the parks.