The Best Ski Resort For: Nude Skiers

Obertraun, Austria

The trick with naked or nearly naked skiing is knowing where to go and when, since any lack of planning is likely to cause embarrassment to you and others on the slopes. On 1 January at Glenshee in Scotland, for example, it isn't merely acceptable for male skiers to wear kilts in the traditional fashion (that is, with nothing underneath) it is positively encouraged. Those brave enough to expose themselves to the often below-freezing temperatures and gale-force winds are commonly rewarded with a complimentary shot of whisky – without having to show their qualifications.

The trick with naked or nearly naked skiing is knowing where to go and when, since any lack of planning is likely to cause embarrassment to you and others on the slopes. On 1 January at Glenshee in Scotland, for example, it isn't merely acceptable for male skiers to wear kilts in the traditional fashion (that is, with nothing underneath) it is positively encouraged. Those brave enough to expose themselves to the often below-freezing temperatures and gale-force winds are commonly rewarded with a complimentary shot of whisky – without having to show their qualifications.

In the same month, Squaw Valley in California lets its hair and trousers down for the anniversary of the filming there of Hot Dog – The Movie, which the resort describes with pride as "the ultimate sex and party ski flick". This year, for the 20th anniversary of the event, there was a race through the new village for competitors dressed only in their underwear.

Towards the end of the season the undressed-skiing scene hots up along with the weather, particularly in Colorado. Copper Mountain's Eenie Weenie Bikini competition takes place, and Telluride runs its annual Bikini Slalom – now with the complementary Ski-a-Thong, which was added to the programme last season. Crested Butte has long been famous for its nude skiing on the resort's closing day in April, but after 25 years it had to be stopped. Increasing rowdiness climaxed with a mob of drunken, naked skiers throwing beer bottles at police officers.

In August it is more difficult to find snow than an appropriate place to undress. But both are available in the southern hemisphere at Mt Cheeseman in New Zealand, whose Undie 500 race is open to competitors wearing "the minimum attire that decency allows".

For a long season of maximum exposure, however, the place to go is Obertraun in Austria, which offers the world's first naked cross-country skiing route in a sheltered valley 1,700m above sea level. Regulars advise skiing the four-kilometre loop on a sunny day before March: it may be cold then, but at least you avoid the danger of extensive sunburn.



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