Whether you’re out in the alps working for the winter or on holiday for a week, après is almost as big a part of mountain life as the skiing/boarding – almost! So here’s a few of our top tips to squeeze the most out of your après time.
- Firstly, a French lesson: ‘après’ means ‘after’. So ‘après-ski’ = ‘after ski’. So GO SKIING BOARDING!!! To fully enjoy après you need to get out on the mountain first. Nothing tastes as good as that first pint after a day of cruising the pistes or shredding powder with friends. Après-ski refers to literally any activity you do after skiing: drinking, eating, ski-dooing, bobsleigh, ice skating. This article is going to focus on the bars and drinking side things. Stay tuned to EDGE for up coming articles of the other après activities in Paradiski.
- Decide what sort of scene you want. Is it on the mountain with scenery & skiing home / shots & dancing on tables / champagne & fois gras? If you’re out with family, you probably don’t want to be hitting the local seasonnaire bar for jägar and partial nudity. One of my favourite seasonnaire bars was (wrongly) called the ‘scum of the earth’ by an angry gent who had taken his kids along to a rather lively seasonnaire party.
- Check the listings – like the EDGE event calendar to find out what’s going on and where – live music / sports / theme nights / happy hours. That way you’re always in the right place at the right time and not trying to get the party started when the footie is on the TV.
- Dress for the occasion. If you’re out on the mountain, then you’ll already be in ski gear. We are also of the opinion that if you’re not in your ski gear, then you’re probably not doing it properly. Plus, if you’ve gone home and changed… have you even been out on the mountain? You also need more than just a beer jacket for the walk home. Make sure you are wrapping up – there are some bars like Scotty’s in La Plagne Centre who will not let you in if you don’t have a coat.
BUT!! Don’t be the guy who hasn’t been skiing but puts his ski gear on just to head out to après – no one likes that guy.
- There might be a queue for the toilets, but lads don’t pee in the snow outside the bar. This is a swift way to upset both the bar staff and the locals. The same goes for vomit people! Not pleasant.
- A lot of our mountain restaurants turn into lively après spots after lunch. Or the bars serve great snacks and tapas. Keep the munchies at bay whilst enjoying the scene. Word to the wise fondue then drinking heavily doesn’t mix.
- If you’re wearing ski boots and you’re going to dance on tables, check they can take it and you can make it! Varnished tables + split beer + ski boots = 1 dancer hitting the deck!
- Don’t crowd surf in ski boots…. ouch…
- Don’t après-après ski – unless you’re prepared to lose the following morning! The whole point of a good après is that your drinking and done by 8ish. Meaning you can be having dinner and in bed by 9/10pm, ready for firsts lifts and to do it all over again the next day. But sometimes, you just can’t tear yourself away from the party and before you know it, its 2am, your still in your board gear and you’ve got 6 hours before you’ve got to be at work. Not ideal!
- Remember your skis / board! Its fair to say that sometimes après can get out of hand and you can overdo it. Don’t forget how you got there in the first place and leave your skis or board outside the bar. Also, make sure you you take your gear and not someone else’s! All rental equipment can look the same so make sure you’ve got the right stuff.
- Don’t forget you’re at altitude! Drinks are going to hit you harder out here than at home. And the kicker is that you won’t realise until you step out of the bar after your session. It’s also likely to be sub-zero outside so wrap up warm to get home. And make sure it’s your gear you are wearing home, don’t just help yourself to items. Its theft, pure and simple.
So there we go. One last note: make sure you’re staying safe and getting home ok. People worry when you aren’t where you are supposed to be. So if you go home with a new friend(!) then just let someone know. Otherwise, people will be thinking the worst and searching the mountain for you in the morning.