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You’ve probably heard it casually from your skier/snowboarder friends. Sometimes it’s shortened as just “après”. They make a big deal out of it and it sounds like a fun thing to do. Well it is!
Staying true to my cause here (to inform and educate), here it is:
“Après ski” is a french word that translates to: “After ski” in english. It roughly refers to what you do after you all ski: most of the time drinking is involved, sometimes partying too 😀
How Mountains and Ski Towns Work
The are small ski resorts around the world and with these small ski resorts it becomes financially viable for them to actually invest in night lights, cover the entire mountain, and offer night skiing. In car analogy terms, these
mountains hills are just the Infiniti’s, or Lexus’s of the mountain size range. If we’re talking about the Benz to Bugatti onwards, they are so massive. These are the alps or the North American Rockies; the best of the best. These mountains are so massive that of course you can’t cover them with lights. At best they just light up one trail (but who wants to go up and down the same trail right?). So naturally when this happens, you’ll have an earlier closing time, around 3-4pm.
When the mountains close, everyone doesn’t have much to do (activity-wise) and so the town lights up, and most people head straight to the nearest bar! There are even slope-side bars that you can ski straight to on your last run!
More About Après Ski
I guess technically it’s about what you do after you ski but usually après ski is mostly about going to a cool town bar/pub, drinking lots and having fun with your friends, dancing with your ski/snowboard boots (ha, snowboarders win in this lol) still on. I know for some it’ll just sound like a night out just in a different setting, and it’s true, but…it’s more fun! It’s a thing you do when you ski/snowboard. Usually you do this on big ski trips so it’s also more of a travel thing.
There you go! It’s like partying when you’re travelling!
This varies by region too btw. I’m mostly talking about European après ski. For them, it’s like what I described (parties). North America’s is a bit tamed. I don’t know (yet) how it works for AUNZ, or even in Japan. I’m thinking delicious japanese food in Japan mixed with onsens (hot springs). But it’s not like you can/should party in those things right?
If you’re in Europe, they play European party music (less rap/west coast chill music, more dance/house vibe) which I like. They also have regional songs too which gets stuck in your head (think of the music you hear on oktoberfest lol), most notably Johny Däpp. Correction, they still have rap too actually…………in GERMAN, HA! (Fun times Greg!)
I have a bunch of party vids much more fun looking than below but I’m sure you’re more interested in something new and different, so here 😀
It’s a great experience because you go there with your friends so you have that comfort already. At the same time, the location, the event, the entire skiing experience just invites everyone to be friendly and open to chatting up other people too. In these events, it’s just easy(er) to socialize! People bond over where you ski or snowboard, or if you’re also a traveller, or you’re just getting the same beers! While you’re skiing, you actually get to meet and talk to people so sometimes your crew ends up partying with their crew, or if there’s flirting going on…~well let’s just say it would start by drinking during après. You guys will come together and hopefully it’s the same later that night too.
It’s Not Always Party (Outside)
Sometimes they are house parties, and they would be equally fun as described above. It’s easier too since you can change and get out of your boots too.
It’s also not always a party. If you don’t ski or snowboard, you’re probably thinking of parties every night. That could happen, but that’s rarely the case. You’ll probably max yourselves out and go one hunnit if it’s a destination ski trip, but if you’re just in your local ski hill, probably not.
Here’s my experience for example. I go to Blue Mountain usually since it’s the most accessible. It’s almost a 2-hour drive though (so that’s another 2 to go back). So after I snowboard around 7-9pm, I can’t really party even if I wanted to (how am I gonna get home). Plus it’s not really a thing there.
Specifically to me too, I’m always onto my own snowboard progression so each time I go to my local hill. It’s like training days for me. I give it my all, I try a lot of things and by the time I’m done, I’m spent. I only have enough energy to do a safe drive home. The goal is to get better (in general) and I’d want to be in a comfortable ski level so that come big mountain ski trips, I can enjoy it properly and fully!