After a long day, unlacing rock shoes or unbuckling ski boots verges on a religious experience. And the sound of a beer cracking after a 4,000-calorie day wraps it up perfectly. It makes it seem like après is the main event and the sport is just what we do to make the après feel so darn good.
Some of our best memories of mountain sports are those days after a huge adventure. Here are three of our favorite après escapades.
1. Like spending the day after a big wall in El Cap meadows – doing nothing from sunrise to sunset except watching the shadows dance along the golden granite, swapping stories with the world’s best climbers, and eating as much as possible while still losing weight.
2. Or hanging out in Revelstoke after a week of non-stop ski touring – starting in the café slurping Americanos and nibbling pastries before chatting with the ski bum friend that walks through the door, then moving on to the pub in the afternoon for a pint or three to celebrate the miracle of powder.
3. Letting the forearms recover from climbing on the overhanging wonderland of Australian stone while listening to exotic birdsongs and relaxing in the crooked branches of ancient gum trees.
If only we could bottle the elixir of the après sport. Food tastes incomparably delicious. We are more patient and understanding with friends and family. In many ways we’re the best people we can be. We could give the elixir to world leaders before they make foreign affairs decisions, to couples who argue, to kids who can’t relax in school – for that matter we could give it to everyone. World peace thanks to the après mountain sport zen? Why not?