Rowdy après ski. It's as important to any good snow holiday as perfect slopes, essential chairlift photos and spending as little as you possibly can on as much wine as possible.
Of course, no après session is truly complete without thunderous tunes banging from speakers bigger than your park-mad mate's ego, and the festival scene on snow has boomed in recent years as a consequence.
Big name acts, big stages, big crowds and big bad mountains in every direction you look. What's not to love? But is it really all it's cracked up to be? Is it really the party-packed paradise so many shred-happy music-lovers are rattling on about?
Well, being the ever-generous researchers we are, we decided to take a whirlwind trip to Rise Festival in Les Deux Alpes - think Skream, Sigma, Jackmaster, Blonde, Ms. Dynamite, Eton Messy... - to find out for ourselves. Here's what we discovered...
1) Skiers and snowboarders seem to enjoy a good party
2) The slopes tend to be very quiet the morning after the night before
3) ...and when we say quiet, we mean quiet
4) We have absolutely no idea why of course...
Approach L'Avalanche Club with caution. Seriously. Caution. You will... WILL not leave without a brutal hangover.
5) Ski hire on day one can prove a bit of a nightmare
If you can get down to ski hire early on, or before the majority arrive, we highly recommend doing exactly that...
6) Three euro bottles of wine are probably the best thing ever
7) ...and there's always a party to be had somewhere
8) Some of the stories on the grapevine the next morning are truly ridiculous
*Apparently some dude needed the toilet so badly on the way down from après that he opened the gondola doors, stuck his head inbetween the two to make sure they didn’t shut, and then took a leak mid-ride.
9) If there’s a French dude standing next to a sign like this shouting ‘ferme’, you should probably listen to him
10) ...or you’ll end up trying to get down a shut-off, icy-as-hell black run without being able to see
11) Ms. Dynamite should now be your everything
She absolutely killed it on the main stage at Rise on Sunday night. The crowd was absolutely bouncing, and for very good reason.
12) Sometimes hangovers get in the way of the fun
This note was left on our chalet table after not all members of the party decided to follow through on the "first lift" plans formulated at 3am the night before.
"Yo! Don't wake me up too early! I was up late trying to turn the oven off :("
Oh dear Adam. We hope the rest of your week was slightly more productive.
13) ...though a balcony with a view is a very nice thing
14) The chairlift is the perfect place to make new friends
15) Some of the costumes on show are very, very bizarre
16) Even if the snow isn’t amazing, the views still will be
17)The Sigma crew certainly know how to throw a party
18) It’s possible to survive for days on only croissants, baguettes, water, beer and wine
19) ...though certainly not advisable
20) A hip flask is a bit of an essential
21) It’s possible to play a sick grime set in an après bar and look incredibly cool, all the while holding a Fanta lemon in your right hand (shoutout to Novelist)
You may not be able to see it... but trust us. That Fanta Lemon is there.