Top 5 tips for aprés-ski
Sadly, we're headed into the end of this ski season in Europe but there’s still a month to hit the slopes and a couple more months if you live in North America. While most snow fanatics are familiar with the term ‘aprés-ski’, it means ‘after ski’ in French and is a happy hour after the end of the skiing day in which bars and restaurants will have parties and reduced prices to draw customers. It usually involves alcohol.
Obviously, any time you mix alcohol with a sport you need to take several things into consideration. Here are our top 5:
1. Know the drinking age for the country you’re in.
In the UK, Switzerland and Italy you can drink beer and wine at 16 and liquor at 18. In France, it’s 16, in Austria and Canada it’s 18 and in the United States it’s 21. If you’re asked for ID and under those ages you shouldn’t be allowed to buy alcohol. If you are in a place where you get into trouble and are found to be drinking under those ages you could be incarcerated or sent home.
2. Don’t drink and ski
Strangely, skiing is one of the few sports in which it’s socially acceptable to drink and participate. People don’t drink and then swim a 2000 metres or run a 10K. But it's OK in skiing. This is more odd given that downhill ski speeds can reach 30-40 mph which is enough to do some serious damage to a person – even when they’re in a vehicle. You wouldn’t drink and drive so why would you drink and ski?
3. Aprés-ski after you’re off the slopes
Sure, all those half-naked mosh pits of thumping Euro-dance hits look like fun there halfway up the hill slope but moments before the slopes close all those drunken fools will be booking it for the bottom. Do you really want to ruin your ski trip, or someone else’s, by being involved in a drunken pile-up at the bottom? Not all of those fools can ski. (I know as I’ve been one of them). There are plenty of places in the towns where you can go have a drink after you have ditched your skis and gear. Why not head there instead?
4. Alcohol and altitude aren’t a great mix
There are different theories about the extent to which alcohol affects people at altitude. Some believe it has no ill effect and any effects are related to altitude sickness. Others believe it increases the effects of the alcohol. Either way drinking at altitude has the potential to make you ill, reduces your response time and decreases your sound decision making.
5. Remember that it’s cold out there
When you start drinking and you’re in a cozy, warm restaurant or bar you can forget how cold it is outside. Alcohol heightens this feeling of warmth. If you have to walk for a while to get back to your hostel or room or you should wait outside for a taxi or bus make sure to bundle up. You don’t want to end up lost with hypothermia!
Following these five safety tips will help improve your trip and ensure that you enjoy both your ski and aprés-ski!