FEAR OF THE FIRST-GONDOLA QUEUE
What better reward after a hard day on the snow, than to loosen the ski boot buckles and settle into some post-lift closure mayhem. In Austria après is a national obsession and even the smallest, most local of ski hills will be rocking to rehashed euro-pop and Jägermeister games.
Après ski is where company folklore is forged. The great leveller, après ski is the pursuit where non-skiers prove they really can ski (of sorts) and groups can come together under one roof or umbrella and celebrate the joy of being in the mountains.
APRÈS SKI BASICS
Etiquette usually dictates that après ski is a post-lunch pleasure, although not everyone is so well versed. Like bats fleeing caves to darkening skies, as the afternoon wears on après skiers make themselves visible on terraces across the mountain. Wearing a look of ‘that’s me done for the day’, on-duty après skiers signal to others that it might be time to join them and leave the carved-up slopes to the younger mountain users. This codified behaviour garners responses and the terraces reach a tipping point in their day, with plates cleared and schnapps skis launched.
Après ski is reward for the hours of exercise on the snow & lifts of the mountain. It is open to non-skiers, who through participation become après skiers or skiers without snow. It is a hugely communal gathering where everything is in the mix – classic songs are remastered to offer a contemporary slant and dance classes are free to join. Warm, cosy and friendly – après ski is a required stopping-off point for many, between the ski binding and bed. As the evening wears on, the remnants of hard-core après skiers mingle with the washed and showered clubbers.
APRÈS SKI LOCATIONS
Austria, Austria, Austria. The undisputed king of après ski, Austria lead the way and continues to be the foremost proponent of après ski, whether it be the raw, undiluted ski boot après ski of yesteryear, or cutting edge, fusion types of après where comforts such as table service and sheepskin blankets are thrown into the mix. If you love your ski boots so much that you want to wear them 24/7 or can't stomach that crush for the first gondola – Austria is the place for you. There are so many choices of phenomenal après ski resorts that we have listed the best in one place.
If we had to stick our necks out and crown a King of après ski then it would have to be Ischgl. Sölden, St Anton, Kitzbühel, Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Mayrhofen …. they all run it close but Ischgl has taken après ski to a whole new level. The resort is rocking from season opening to season closing, it has numerous centres of après ski action and offers everything shoulder to shoulder beer halls to waitresses dancing on bars. Musée du Louvre it isn’t, but if you want to feast at après ski’s top table, we believe that Ischgl is the biggest hitter in world après ski.
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