Featured Image: Stephen Shelesky
From the million-dollar deck of Aspen Highlands’ Cloud Nine to Abasin’s parking lot Beach, to pickup truck tailgates across the country, skiers of all walks of life revel in the idea of enjoying a sip or a snack after a day in the mountains. It’s our time to come together, to muse over the magnificence of a day spent in the mountains. The camaraderie forged in the après scenes across the globe bring life and culture to skiing as we know it, no matter what shape the festivities may take.
But après-ski isn’t always as straightforward as it might seem. There’s no wrong setting, beverage, or attire; but there are unspoken, cosmic laws that transcend our silly little constitutions or scriptures. In the end you’ll do as you please, but these are FREESKIER’s official unofficial DOs and DON’Ts of the après.
Expand your friend group to (respectfully) include those around you. Not everyone has hordes of people dying to ski with them like you do. Reach out to the girl or guy leaving the hill to see if they’d like to join. Even consider uniting forces with a neighboring squad from across the bar to form a new posse. We’re all here to aimlessly slide down snow, so we may as well share our stories together at the end of the day!
Bring a beverage or snack to share with everyone. Whether you offer up hot chocolate, a six-pack of beer, fondue fixings, refreshing water, rocky mountain oysters, pickles & peanut butter (for real, people do that), crackers and brie or ol’ reliable—hot dogs—everybody loves a shareable. Be generous; it’s sure to come back around.
Take a minute to enjoy the sights. The end of the day can be one of the most scenic times on the mountain. A glorious beginning to a sunset that paints the freshly coated mountain a lively orange, a storm rolling in over a nearby range, or a slight clearing in the clouds that seems to freeze the whole blanketed mountain in time; no matter the occasion, be sure to take a moment to appreciate what’s around you. Life moves quickly, and a brief pause after a glorious day on the hill can put you in the right mood to return to civilization. Savor the beautiful moments skiing gives us, no matter how small.
Be. (get it?) Seriously, a post-powder joint will make you the local hero. Smoke it responsibly and don’t be afraid to help the poor weedless chap to your right. Puff, puff, you know the rules.
Aggressively hit on the people you run into. Plain and simple. A friendly conversation and a nice smile are perfectly acceptable but take the hint. Don’t be a douche.
Drive home intoxicated. Too much is too much. If your friend is drinking, don’t let them drive. You needlessly put yourself and others in danger. The roads are slick, visibility is bad and that cop is itching to pull you over. Make a plan, stick to it, and get home safe to have another best day.
Blast your EDM beat so loud people can hear it in the lodge. Admit it, your music choice could sometimes be considered questionable at best. We’re here for a good jam as much as the next guy, girl or Garcia, but the people hanging on the patio next to you might not share your love for wild bass drops. If you must entertain those around you in the lot or at the base with tunes, try some crowd-pleasing Grateful Dead, Outkast or The Band (seriously, they have hits on hits). Just be courteous. The same goes for those bumping tracks in the lift line. At least give the lifties the joy of choosing the music.
Only talk about yourself. We get it, you scored some sweet turns, hit a “50-foot” cliff, your DIN’s are at 18, and your new jacket was $800 but your buddy has a pro deal. You can probably lay a mean arc, and those new K2s are honestly pretty sweet, BUT the people around you are pretty interesting, too! Ask about how other people’s days went. Who has a favorite run they can recall? Anybody take any good tumbles, and better yet, have a video? There’s plenty to chat about, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how interesting other skiers can be.