Aprés ski — commonly shortened to “aprés” — literally translates from French to “after ski.” The origin of aprés is unclear — some say it dates back to the mid-19th century when Norwegian skiers would gather at each other’s homes after a day in the mountains, while others trace it back to the mid-20th century, when technological advances led to the rise of commercial skiing in Europe. Others claim that aprés has existed since humans first figured out how to slide on snow.
To an extent, there is likely truth to all of these claims. Over the decades, aprés has evolved, with its most recent and notable evolution occurring during the start of the pandemic — March 2020. Since the pandemic took hold of our ski season and overall lives, there was a shift from enjoying after-ski beers and food at the local resort pub to posting up in the parking lot, emptying a cooler filled with beer and tossing burgers and dogs on the portable grill. And while some version of “parking lot aprés” existed before COVID-19 for most local skiers and riders, it seems like a lot of out-of-town skiers have discovered the joys of skipping the bar.
Now, with the pandemic seemingly on the decline and bars returning to normal, there is a semblance of normalcy indoors intertwined with this new “parking lot aprés” scene, offering skiers and riders the option of burgers and beers in the lot, or grabbing a stool to check out the resort bar scene.
Regardless which you choose, there are a number of tips, tricks and unspoken guidelines that will help you get the most out of aprés this spring, when the resorts truly come alive.