Après Ski Is The Reason That I Ski, So I Can’t Believe I Just Learned About Gelande Quaffing This Week

A person in a blue shirt
Amy Jimmerson

Imagine a world where après ski is a sport.

That world exists, and it’s populated by a small, dedicated, highly degenerate, and shockingly athletic faction of elite and hard-partying ski bros and girls who built the sport of “Gelande Quaffing.”

On March 16th, these visionaries held their 14th annual World Championships in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. And I was mortified to discover that I wasted 14 years skiing and snowboarding my way to après ski when I could have just been “quaffing” the whole time.

Gelande Quaffing is a team sport that originated from this one time in Jackson Hole when a bartender mistakenly slid a beer off the end of the bar. A skier caught the beer in mid-air, chugged it, accepted “legend status” from the screaming bros in his vicinity, and started a movement.

The whole sport revolves around replicating that feat while your team rotates from Thrower to Catcher/Chugger. It’s a frat party game on steroids, on ice, and in the middle of the luxurious and iconic Teton Village at Jackson Hole Resort. Sign me up.

On the World Championship stage, teams are awarded points for successfully executing the beer slide, catch, and chug, the “Par” of Gelande Quaffing. You get more points when you start adding tricks: the Birdies, Eagles, and Albatrosses of the sport.

There are spins, and under the leg catches, and double beer grabs. There are beer launches from expertly placed ski and snowboard “ramps” at the end of the bar, and there are bro stacks erected to catch flying towers of frosty mugs. Some of the mugs are even on fire.

Costumes, themes, and maximum creativity are encouraged by both the judges and the crowd of rabid and sauced-up fans encircling the action. And at the end of the competition the judges tally the scores, and all jumping, hugging, beer splashing hell breaks loose when the winning squad is crowned Champion.

I like to ski and snowboard. But my passion is après ski. The fact is, I only ski so that I qualify for après ski at the end of the day (there’s no après ski if you didn’t ski, which is very unfair). On that first chairlift after lunch, I count down the minutes to closing time and strategize how early I could call it quits to start Après without sacrificing my Ski Bro Man Card. It’s so inconvenient that you must ski a full day before you can feel good about crushing beers at the lodge. It’s a little fascist…

Now, I have my excuse. It’s called “training” for the 2023 Gelande Quaffing World Championships. And I really wish I could ski and train at the same time, but I just don’t think I should spread myself that thin if I’m going to take this sport seriously.

Footage from the World Championships showcase some serious athleticism, sensational creativity, Broadway-caliber timing and coordination, and a level of beer consumption reserved for those aged 19-25.

Yet, as a 30-something, après ski enthusiast, I’m all-in. Like Tom Brady, even at an advanced age for my sport, I can’t help myself: I must compete at the highest level, even when it seems that decision would be bad for my health and might make my wife mad.

As John Muir once said, “The mountains are calling, so I must quaff,” or something like that. And I can’t argue with The Father of our National Parks. There’s still some spring après skiing left this season, so I must go and slide my beers off tables and catch them and chug them while my future opponents drink motionless beers during the off-season.

This 30-something, Gelande Quaffing rookie is coming for the crown in 2023.

“Throw a beer, catch a beer, drink a beer.”

Now that’s a winter sport I can commit to.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock