"Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends"
- Tom Waits
As much as we'd all like to be the soul boarder, living in a van and subsisting on herbal tea in between splitboard missions, most snowboard trips feature some sort of alcohol abuse at some point. Whether it's dainty sips of sake in Japan or two litre bottles of Genepi in France, each shred destination has its own special way of making you elaborate on your Facebook politics before puking your guts out in a hotel corridor.
So if you're heading to any of the following Alpine destinations this winter and fancy getting out of your skull, make sure you pop into one of these fine establishments.
N.B. Whitelines promotes responsible drinking - be careful not to spill any.
7) Scotland Yard Pub - Mayrhofen
Forget the Ice Bar, that techno-fuelled catastrophe that greets you as you step out the bubble. Mayrhofen is all about the Scotland Yard Pub, or Scotties as the locals fondly call it, described by the owners as "an English-Irish-Austrian Pub with a kind of 'living room flair.'"
The decor does indeed recall time spent necking 'assorted booze cabinet' cocktails with scumbag mates in your parents front room whilst they were out for the evening, but when kick out comes at 2am no one's really that mad at your slurred protestations.
6) Bar Robinsons - Morzine
Though it has changed ownership this year (sadly no more Mr & Mrs Robinson picking your change out of a pile of cents on a plate), Robbo's is still Morzine's premiere Mutzig dispensary, the brew coming from their taps taking on mystic qualities and legends of seasonaires past completing the ten-demi-challenge.
Whether it's a placebo from the aura surrounding the place, or the bottle of gin they 'reportedly' pour into every barrel, the stuff does get you pished quicker than a Scotsman in a distillery, all before 8pm too!
5) Indy Bar - Laax
If you can afford the third and fourth mortgages required for a pint, the Indy Bar is the place for both aprés and late night sessions after a day lapping P66 or searching for Nicolas Mueller's secret stashes. It's both achingly cool and welcomingly casual at the same time, the friendly staff going a long way to keep the party pumping and facilitate the obligatory bar top dancing.
It's where you'll bump into literally all the pros during events like the Laax Open, making their feats in the park the next day all the more impressive when you realise the state that their livers must be in. And for those with both the energy and the trust fund required to keep the night going, there's always the Rider's Refuge just down the way.
4) Mooserwirt - St Anton
When getting hammer-smashed is the name of the game, sheer quantity certainly helps. The mighty Mooserwirt supposedly sells the most beer out of any establishment in Europe, though how true that is we're not sure. Great nights out are built on myth though, and drinking has never been mythical than in a hall decked out like a Valhallan beer tent filled with disco lights.
Featuring ski-in-ski-out partying, there's even lockers for your board and shit hat. Ride up, sink shots and dance like a mong, then try and make your back down the mountain to town. If you can do your bindings up.
3) Loop Bar - Tignes
Literally the last building in Tignes-le-Lac before the free bus rumbles on to that wretched hive of scum and villainy known as Lavachet, the Loop bar has something of a Restaurant At The End Of The Universe feel to it. All manner of resort creatures are washed ashore here at the end of the day, from the punter family to the beanie-clad seasonaire – attracted by the chance to bask in the afternoon light and work on that goggle tan.
As sun stroke and Magners work their magic, it’s time to step inside for the evening and slur at friends who nod enthusiastically but can’t actually hear you over the band (a topless thrash metal outfit from Leeds, courtesy of Dalikfodda). Next course: draft Guinness, many pints thereof. Dessert? Warm tequila. Braving wet toilets, squeezing through sweaty plaid shirts at the bar and finally stumbling out amongst the smokers into the cold night air can feel like the fag end of a heavy one at the student union. Digs up in Val Claret? Suddenly that short cut across the frozen lake seems like a great idea…
2) Pfiff Alm - Kaunertal
The UK snowboard industry's watering hole of choice whilst at the annual Spring Break board test - though it could be to do with the fact that there's pfiff all else to do in Feichten during the evenings. The Pfiff Alm is cheap, loud and rowdy, complete with indifferent bar staff who clearly hate everyone despite it clearly being their only week of business each year.
A night out in Austria wouldn't be complete either without British smokers remembering the novelty of smoking indoors, so pack a change of lungs, but if somewhere just to get completely gazebo-ed is what you're after in Kaunertal, look no further.
1) La Rhumerie - Les Deux Alpes
Maybe our favourite of all, Les Deux Alpes' finest drinking establishment is a treasure trove to those that enjoy the fine art of getting liquored up on rum, the favourite drink of both pirates (neat) and new-ish mums enjoying their first night out in six years (mojito).
Serving a selection of, you guessed it, rums and not much else, you can order their home-flavoured concoctions by the wine bottle and drink it down in one on fucking barrels from a pirate ship. Never has getting blind drunk made you feel more like Johnny Depp, other than that one time you tried drinking absinthe in the bath.