Saturday, 3PM: the glowing digital thermometer on top of the tram, blinking red under whipping layers of snow, reads 7 degrees. It’s been a long, full day, full of powder turns and quad-busting tram laps. I glance over to my posse of skier pals as the Big Red Box departs from the dock, and without much discussion, we unanimously decide that this is the last run of the day. And then comes the biggest question of the afternoon: where should we meet up afterwards?
At the base area, blood slowly returns to my chilly fingers and toes. Stepping into the warmth of the cozy bar, I watch the color return to my friends’ cheeks, re-energized by the social scene of the restaurant. I groan with a tingly mix of pain and relief as I tug off my stiff boots, the ultimate release after a day of toe-numbing laps. I peel away my snow-saturated shell and steam rises from my shoulders. By the time we’re ready to order, I’m warmed up and ready to relish the second-best part of skiing: the après.
Skiing, by nature a social pursuit, is only enhanced by the time-tested, almost instinctive tradition of the après-ski – carrying the warmth of camaraderie from the slopes into a favorite restaurant or bar. For those lucky enough to be spending any time in Jackson, options for outstanding après spots abound. Clinking glasses after a long day in the snow, whether hiking into the side country, skidding down the bunny hill, or ripping corduroy, solidifies what we all know: skiing – in all of its forms – absolutely rules.
No matter how tired, excited, or worked our ski crew is, gathering together after a day on the slopes conjures a special magic all of its own. Maybe it’s the low lighting of a dive-y, rambunctious bar blasting live music from the stage that begs for a little booty-shaking, if your legs can take it. Maybe it’s the re-energizing plate of gooey nachos dug into by a half dozen smiling friends squished into a well-worn leather booth. Perhaps, more than anything, it’s the combination of storytelling, planning for tomorrow, and the recollection that it’s Saturday, so yeah, we should probably get another pitcher of Pako’s IPA.
Whether you’re on vacation or part of the 100-Day Club, taking time to linger after skiing is all part of the experience of an epic ski day. Check out some of Outpost’s suggestions for an ideal finish to any ski day – no matter what sort of experience you’re looking for.
- In need of a pick-me-up after skiing Jackson Hole Mountain Resort? Check out the dangerously delicious Insomnia at The Spur. A white Russian topped off with a shot of espresso, it’s the perfect start to an evening with friends. Pair your drinks with the Tuna Tacos, deliciousness come in twos.
- Brought your dancing shoes? Grab a pitcher of the seasonal draught at the world-famous Mangy Moose, and enjoy whatever musician is playing tunes on their legendary stage that night. Don’t leave without a slice of pepperoni.
- Sometimes, everyone needs to feel a little fancy. Saddle up to the Handle Bar at the four seasons and go for one of the specialty cocktails. Weather permitting, bundle up again and enjoy your bevvy fireside on the patio, overlooking the base of the resort.
- After ripping Snow King laps, put your feet up at Hayden’s Post, located inside Snow King Resort, and enjoy that hard-earned glass of red. Snag a cozy chair by the fireplace and go for the cheesy mac!
- Any backcountry adventure deserves a pint at the Stagecoach bar, located conveniently at the base of Teton Pass in Wilson, WY. Billiards and beers are a great way to wind down from south side lap.
Images © Taylor Glenn