Keep your ski boots on and drink some beer — the concept of après is really that simple. It’s the magical time of the day when your overly stimulated mind and exhausted muscles can relax, and you can rehash the day’s triumphs with friends and a well deserved drink (or six).
If you’re of the belief that high altitude libations are often just as important as the skiing and snowboarding, then you know there’s absolutely nothing better than winding down with a drink and some atmosphere after a heavy session up on the mountain. But let’s face it, it’s hard to equal the Europeans when it comes to après-ski culture. One place, though, can give those Euros a run for their post ski dollars: Tremblant.
Ground zero for Quebec’s ski and snowboard scene, this village paradise of bistros, bars and boutiques goes off on a level you’d expect during spring break — except here, it’s all year round. Whatever you want, it’s all here, just waiting for skiers and snowboarders to get off the slopes and make the transition from athletic activity to other forms of recreation. Nowhere at Tremblant is après more happening than at the bars of Plaza St. Bernard. Steps from the base lifts, this is the heart of the action, providing perfect sightlines to scope the scene and take in the vibe. On sunny days, patios (or “terraces”) are packed with people sporting flouro zinc, working on goggle tans and indulging in a tasty beverage or two. When there’s a contest happening, you’ll want to post up on a prime piece of sideline real estate to heckle riders and take in the many musical acts that rock the plaza.
You see, as great as the skiing and snowboarding is at Tremblant, the activities afterwards have the same draw. Where else do you find locals bonding with New Yorkers and flatlanders from Ontario? Together they swig pitchers of tasty microbrews from Le Diable, while singing along to pop anthems. And this is all before dinner.
Indeed, there are plenty of après options that make perfect excuses to miss the slopes the next morning. But for après professionals, you’ll always go back to throw a bit of skiing into the mix as well, secure in the knowledge that a long lift ride in subzero temps can shift the most stubborn of hangovers.