après-ski /apreɪˈskiː/ noun the social activities and entertainment following a day's skiing.

Almost as important as the skiing itself, apres-ski is an essential for skiers from 17 to 70 years of age. I've been fortunate enough to have worked in the ski industry for 30 years now and  have enjoyed the apres from Aspen to Zermatt and all places in between. I’ve danced on tables, sung on stages, swung from beams, and skied back into resorts when I couldn't even walk in a straight line (not recommended). The truth is that my apres is better than my skiing and I’ve been awarded the esteemed title of Apres-Ski Instructor, level 4. 

Austria is to apres-ski what brazil is to football, there is nowhere like it. It has no age demographic and is truly all inclusive with kids and grandparents singing along to the cheesiest euro-rock and the beer flowing like a mountain stream. Resorts such as Ischgl, St Anton, Saalbach, Mayrhofen are out and out party towns which makes them great for non-skiers too who can seamlessly slip into the scene and feel part of the party.  

Given my extensive experience and years of diligent research I thought I'd share with you some of the greatest apres ski venues that the ski world has to offer. Listen carefully and take notes, you need to know this stuff for when you come to plan your next visit to the white stuff.

Trofana Alm, Ischgl. Completely renovated for the start of winter season 2020, The Trofana Alm is two storey apres ski bar with live music and a raucous atmosphere. Owned by the Von der Thannen family who also have the adjacent 5 star superior hotel, this place is simply stunning inside with construction from local wood, stone and slate. 

The Trofana Alm, Ischgl

The Trofana Alm, Ischgl. Rebuilt since this picture was taken.

Cocorico, Val d’Isere. An indoor outdoor venue with plenty of live music and DJ sets. It's outdoors where the magic happens though with the multi leveled bar offering a great atmosphere. Happy hour 2-4pm, live bands 4-6pm and then a great DJ set from 6-8pm. My favourite spot in Val. 

Cocorico, Val d’Isere

Cocorico, Val d’Isere.

Krazy Kanguruh, St Anton. Set on the blue Zammermoos home run at the bottom of happy valley this place has rocked since 1965. It is legendary and not without cause. The KK is maybe the most famous apres ski bar in the world!

The Krazy Kanguruh

The Krazy Kanguruh, St Anton.

Schatzi Bar, Ischgl. Piste side and under The Hotel Elizabeth this apres ski bar has plenty of stunning girls dancing on tables in traditional Austrian gingham outfits; I’ve never understood why so many sad middle aged men gravitate to this bar. 

Schatzi Bar, Ischgl

Schatzi Bar, Ischgl.

Merlins Bar, Whistler. Live bands, open mic sessions, and a great sun terrace. You have to try their classic house Poutine (fries, cheese curds, and gravy) with a pitcher or three of Keith’s IPA. a laid back atmosphere at the base of Blackcomb mountain. 

Merlins, Whistler

Merlins, Whistler.

The Rond Point, Meribel. The Ronny or Ronnies has built up a well deserved reputation over the years. It's a classic apres ski spot up on the mountain above Meribel at the Rond Point 1600m. Get there early though to avoid disappointment and secure the best standing spot in the house. 

The Rond Point, Meribel

The Rond Point, Meribel.

Mooserwirt, St Anton. Just across the piste and a little further down on the right from The Krazy Kanguruh lies the Mooserwirt. With the resident DJ comparing the fun from a minstrels gallery this place gets the crowd worked up and drinking a lot! I actually prefer the Mooserwirt to the KK but each to his own. Let loose the Moose!

Mooserwirt, St Anton

Mooserwirt, St Anton.

Brücknstadl, Mayrhofen. This place is like a small concert venue and it absolutely rocks. Reopened in 2010 The Bruck packs an apres punch as is well worth at least one visit but I reckon you'll be hooked and returning time after time.  Bruck n Stadl, Mayrhofen. 

Brücknstadl, Mayrhofen

Brücknstadl, Mayrhofen.

Nederhutte, Obergurgl. Four times a week this mountain restaurant and bar hosts the Nederlumpen, the infamous in-house party with live music and dj’s. It’s an out and out riot complete with a free of charge cat track to take you back down the hill into the village. From 4pm until 8pm this place is mental and one of my favourite venues. 

Nederhutte, Obergurgl

Nederhutte, Obergurgl - they give the kids blow up guitars!

Nikis Stadl, Ischgl. Niki created this bar in 1989 and it has a party atmosphere every night from 3pm until the small hours. Unexpectedly Niki passed away in 2015 but his fun and friendly spirit lives on in the bar today. This indoor setting is infamous for revellers stage diving from the first floor balcony and being caught by those below - it’s extreme apres. 

Nikis Stadl, Ischgl

Nikis Stadl, Ischgl.

Cheers, santé, prost, tchin tchin, prost, vum whol, salud, salute.