HOW TO APRES EURO-STYLE


Let’s face it, half the fun of skiing is the après, and there’s simply no place better for it than Europe. (In case the French term doesn’t tip you off, they invented it, after all.) But with the pandemic rearing its ugly omicronic head and most of us having to forego our European vacations for yet another year, you may have to find some shot-skis on your own soil. Here are the best places to find them.


St. Anton, Austria = South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

SKIING, ASPEN, CUSTOM SKIS, WAGNER SKIS, WAGNER CUSTOM

 

The most raucous après scene in all of skidom is found in St. Anton, Austria, where the Mooserwirt and aptly named Krazy Kangaruh set the standard for table-dancing in ski boots. But South Lake Tahoe is no slouch, with huge casinos in nearby Stateline adding a Vegas-vibe that will keep you partying till dawn. 
 
Start on the slopes at California’s largest ski resort, Heavenly, where the daily Unbuckle Après party at the top of the gondola comes with DJ music, scantily clad dancers named Heavenly Angels, and enough liquid courage to fuel it all. Then head to the casinos, swanky lounges, and bars (the Hard Rock Hotel is iconic), where you can take advantage of Nevada’s 24-hour drinking laws (read: no last call, and probably no first chair come morning, either). Sleep? Here, it’s for the weak and the dead.


Val Thorens, France = Killington, Vt.

APRES SKI, TELLURIDE, ASPEN, COLORADO, SKIING

Val Thorens has always been the rowdy neighbor of high-brow Meribel and Courchevel, with a large contingent of university kids on weekend getaways partying hearty. Enter Killington, Vt., where the hordes of college kids descend on Killington Road to chug beer and do shots like it’s a frat party (which of course, it is).
 
The Lookout is always hopping, partly thanks to free peanuts (and a floor covered in crunchy shells), a great beer selection, and a shuttle that will take you home after one too many. Another must-hit is the iconic Wobbly Barn, a steakhouse/music venue/classic bar, which also has a free shuttle. The Pickle Barrel is also known for its rambunctious scene, with four bars and two music stages to serve the masses. 


Meribel, France = Aspen, Colo.

SKIING POWDER, ASPEN, COLORADO

Meribel has long been the favorite party resort of the well-heeled, where live music plays a starring role. Which, of course, leads us to Aspen, Colo., where the beer and music flows like wine and the glamorous set dance side by side with visitors and locals alike. 
 
Cloud 9 on Ajax is the perfect place to start. You might want to keep your Gore-Tex on, however, because come afternoon the Veuve gets sprayed like cheap champagne in the NASCAR winner’s circle. Then hit up the J Bar in the historic Hotel Jerome, where you can settle into the same corner where Hunter S. Thompson whiled away much of his time. Music pours out from nearly every bar in town, but if you want a real show with intimate seating, head to Belly Up and enjoy one of the best concert venues in the world.  


Chamonix, France = Jackson, Wyo.

KATY K, SKIING, POWDER, JACKSON HOLE

Chamonix and Jackson are both the best resorts in the world when it comes to ski pedigree—and it turns out they’re both hard core at partying, too. 
 
The Mangy Moose, at the base of the slopes in Teton Village, is a must. It’s kitschy and a little grungy, maybe, but its history and location make it one of the most iconic in skidom (if only those walls could talk). In town, the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar always delivers, and you can saddle up to the bar on actual saddles and watch real cowboys and girls line dance to live country music. Come Thursday, though, the only place to be is the Stagecoach Bar (aka “The Coach”) in Wilson, where Disco Night attracts all the local college dropouts to boogie down in outlandish costumes. (Sundays there are for “church,” when the famed Stagecoach Band, headed by legendary ski mountaineer Bill Briggs, has played for the last 40-some years.)


Wherever you find yourself partying this winter, bring your custom Wagner skis and plenty of Advil. And remember that Europe has been there for a long time

—it’ll still be there when we’re ready. Cheers!