Ben Skelly’s Off-Season Profile
Ever since he was a boy, Ben Skelly has craved the outdoors. During the white water rafting season, he can be found guiding groups through the pristine northeast rivers, ensuring they are safe while having the time of their lives. But what does he do when the white water rafting season is over? Well, his fun has just begun.
As an avid skier, Ben sets out on a mission to ski at least 100 days every winter. Considering the skiing season in Jackson Hole (Ben’s favorite spot) is a mere 130 days, that is a pretty lofty goal— especially when Mother Nature is ultimately in charge of the weather conditions. With so much time on the snow, Ben has developed a hunger for learning about avalanches and how to stay safe on the snow—especially when he’s out backcountry powder skiing. While he soaks in every second of scenery, he also knows that every minute matters when it comes to his safety.
Speaking of skiing, another one of Ben’s white water rafting offseason hobbies is gelande quaffing. Never heard of it? Named after gelande ski jumping and a fancy word for drinking excessively, gelande quaffing is an entertaining way to soak in the winter weather. Essentially, a four-man team takes turns sliding a full pint of beer down an icy table where the receiver must catch it mid-air and enjoy its contents fully. Points are given for precision, finesse, and fanciness. The more advanced the catch (like under the leg or after a 360-degree spin), the better. Players run in a continuous cycle, both sending down the beer and catching it.
Clearly, Ben’s agility on the skis has translated well to quaffing, because his team (The Hostel) took home the 2012 Gelande Quaff World Championships trophy. While he took a few years off from the sport, he plans to get back into it and reclaim his title—and, of course, enjoy a few beers in the process.
Yet to be seen indoors, another one of Ben’s favorite pastimes is fishing. As soon as he was of age, his father put a fishing pole in his hands, and his passion for fishing continues to grow every day. He frequents several ponds and rivers throughout the northeast (even some of the same ones he can be seen white water rafting on), and he is very proud of his catches. Just check out the pics and you will see why. So basically, Ben is always enjoying some fresh air and sunshine, whether it’s white water rafting season or not.