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Am I the only person who doesn't understand Après-ski?

Monday 4 February 2013
Champagne in snow, baby.
I understand this, don't get me wrong.

When I was in Avoriaz a few weeks ago, a topic came up I knew nothing about. This does happen quite a lot, but in this case it related to skiing. An après enthusiast so expert she didn't even have to use the word 'ski' was talking about on piste après. 

"Like... on the slopes?" (I'd just graduated from calling them 'snowy hills' by the way)

"Yeah! You don't have to go back down the ski lifts. You can have a bit of food at the top, have a few beers, listen to some music and party"

"So... how do you get back down?"

"You ski!" 

"Pissed? Pissed on piste?"


At this stage, I couldn't really ski sober. I couldn't imagine trying it drunk. 

But it seems that on piste après is all the rage, everywhere. And it's news to no one but me. But it did kind of baffle me. Doesn't it make more sense to have all the bars at the bottom of the hill? Close to where your bed is? Where you can walk with your feet? 

I think I'm the only person who doesn't see the benefit. 

It didn't stop there. We had a great night after my day (morning) of skiing. A beautiful meal, lots of champagne, and a good giggle. But I was fucking EXHAUSTED. I couldn't survive past midnight. When the decision was made to go to a bar after the restaurant at 11pm, I inwardly sighed. I was dying for my bed. I looked and felt like Anne Hathaway dying in Les Mis. But, alas, High Jackman wasn't there to carry me home.

And the thing is, I wasn't even skiing the next day! I was travelling back to the UK, but my legs weren't going to be back in skis. 

What I can't understand is how people do it. I can see the good in both things - being out on the snowy hills all day, with your skis and sticks and everything, and having fondue for lunch. And being out in snug bars in the evening, drinking and then rolling in the snow til all hours. But I don't see how you can do both! 

People do, of course. Everyone but me thinks it's a great idea. They stay out drinking til 4am, roll into bed, then hop out at 8am to ski away, until it's time to do it all again. Is there a secret I'm missing here? Some kind of doping trick that's kept very hush hush? Am I just an old man? 

I repeat: NOT skiing the next day. 

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