Who the *$#! is Mark Gibbons?
Mark Gibbons claims he also might not know who Mark Gibbons is
There are stickers floating around Big Sky, some prominently placed throughout Brothel Bikes that ask: “Who the F––– is Mark Gibbons?” So, LPL set out to solve the mystery.
The problem is Mark Gibbons says he also does not know if Mark Gibbons knows who Mark Gibbons is. Maybe at the end of the day, most people cannot say who they are.
Gibbons’ situation gets a little more complicated, though. Many folks know him by the moniker “Bucky,” a nickname given to him before he was born. In some aspects Bucky could also qualify as his alter ego. Mark Gibbons, he says, is quiet, laid back, (maybe even a bit shy) and does not really care what most people think.
“Mark Gibbons is just a person who loves the mountain and loves this town. I love the actual, true people of this town. Maybe some of them are dirtbags and maybe some are more dirtbag than they think. Mark Gibbons just lost his train of thought,” he said.
Bucky, on the other hand –can get a bit wild from time to time. He is a proficient and prolific skier, even earning the title of 2018-2019 Dirtbag King. His feelings from being part of a Big Sky tradition that goes back to the 1970s are still difficult for him to articulate.
“It has a whole lot of meaning, but there are not a lot of words that can describe it. I still don’t have the words two years later. I would never change or give up that year for anything,” he said.
One of the greatest mysteries every year before Dirtbag Day is: “What will Bucky do?”
The tradition began around six years ago. Everyone does funky things, so Bucky elected to just shave half of his beard “from the nose over.”
“It’s a mystery and a secret every year as to what is going to happen next time. Everybody wants to know, but only two people really know what is going to happen before it happens,” he said.
His Dirtbag Day hairdos have included a combover, a monkey tail, “the monkey tail beard-mustache thing”, a mohawk, cornrows, a scullet, which is a bald head except for a mullet. Every year he comes up with something unique.
When asked about his education he tells everyone he went to college in Big Sky. The community shaped him – Lone Peak shaped him.
“I learned all my life lessons here – some definitely way harder than others,” he said.
His first introduction to the community kind of slanted his view of Big Sky in an astoundingly positive way and established his determination to return:
“I was a senior in high school in March and skied Big Sky. When I was here at the end of the day, three ladies skied down in bikinis and I said, ‘I need to come back here.’ It took me until 1999-2000 to come back. I started working at the resort. And I still haven’t seen those ladies ski down in bikinis again. Still looking for them – haven’t seen them,” he said.
He came to Montana shortly after graduating from high school and stayed in his grandparent’s cabin until he ventured to Big Sky.
“There is no place like Lone Peak. That mountain is why I’m still here, pretty much everyone knows that,” he said, noting he also has a lot of respect for Maverick Mountain in his backyard.
Although from Minnesota, his Montana roots go deep. He actually was introduced to the Treasure State when he was just one year old, staying in the cabin his grandparents built in 1978 that is 38 minutes from Dillon and across the valley from Maverick Mountain.
He credits his grandparents, who are now deceased, for teaching him what he needed to learn about Montana.
“They taught me the love and respect of the outside and the animals. Just respecting what nature has for you out there – that’s their legacy,” he said. “To still have [the cabin in the family] and to still do all the things that my grandparents loved about Montana – having that family tradition of a place is great.”
So to both Mark Gibbons and Bucky, Montana has meant a whole lot of love, a whole lot of time outside, a whole lot of powder days and whole lot of weird hair.