World record for number of people skiing in jeans set in Wyoming In Wyoming, hundreds of denim-clad people hit the slopes over the weekend to set a new world record — for skiing in jeans. (This piece originally aired Dec. 11, 2023 on All Things Considered.)o

World record for number of people skiing in jeans set in Wyoming

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Now we go to Wyoming, where a new world record has been set for skiing in jeans. Hanna Merzbach has this report.

HANNA MERZBACH, BYLINE: It's about 20 degrees and super sunny at the base of Jackson Hole Resort's two gondolas, and it's a sea of denim. Ski instructor Reyn Hoffman is practicing her disco moves near a live band.

REYN HOFFMAN: So we have a full Canadian tux with a disco helmet and a lot of glitter on.

MERZBACH: A Canadian tux is all denim. Some are wearing denim shorts or even the occasional jean Speedo. Others tuck in snow pants under their denim. Dylan Ruder (ph) dons a brown cowboy hat, thrift-store jeans and rainbow Pit Viper glasses.

DYLAN RUDER: I'm a coastal cowboy just looking to shred some pow (ph).

MERZBACH: He and some friends from Newport Beach, Calif., saw the resort advertising on social media that it was attempting to break the world skiing-in-jeans record.

RUDER: We all immediately bought tickets and booked a little lodging and came out.

MERZBACH: The resort says skiing in jeans is a way to kick off the winter season and say a record is something people can latch onto. Colorado's Arapahoe Basin claimed the title in 2020, when 80 people wore denim on the slopes. This year, a New Zealand report topped them with just over a hundred.

BLANE GILLILAD: Thirteen-sixty-five...


GILLILAD: ...Thirteen-sixty-six, 1,367. I'm not counting you till you come back in jeans.

MERZBACH: Blane Gillilad (ph) is recording the numbers as skiers file in under an inflatable black archway.

GILLILAD: We broke the record like 3 minutes in - or, like, by 8:30, before we even opened.

MERZBACH: The resort was offering lift tickets for $25 and sold out. Day tickets typically go for about 200 bucks here. Kellie Wirth, who's from Jackson, says that can make skiing unattainable.

KELLY WIRTH: It's kind of becoming an elitist sport, which is sad. So it's fun to get back to the jeans and remember the good-old days.

MERZBACH: In a group of women wearing bright pink boas, Wirth says people wear jeans when they can't afford snow pants. The latest high-tech brands can go for hundreds of dollars. Nowadays, many see skiing in jeans as a joke - something you do on April Fool's or Closing Day. But according to Ruder, the coastal cowboy...

RUDER: Skiing in jeans is freedom. That's what it is. Skiing in jeans is freedom.

MERZBACH: The final tally of skiers in jeans - 3,114.

For NPR News, I'm Hanna Merzbach in Jackson, Wyo.


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