One of them asked: “Is it not
hard skiing as a banana?”
“Probably,” I said. “But they’re here for the Snowbombing festival. Everyone goes a little crazy. It must be the altitude, or maybe it’s the all-nighters.”
If you think you know what fun is, wait till you’ve been to Snowbombing — chances are you’ll want to revise your definition.
The premise is simple: flood the Austrian ski village of Mayrhofen with 3000 revellers keen to don fancy dress and carve world-class snow by day. Then put on a killer line-up of bands and DJs at venues throughout the village — and even an Arctic disco up on top of the mountain — that continues right through the night. Now keep the party going for an entire week, stand back and watch the sleep-deprived debauchery unfold.
Forget the cheesy ’80s pop that passes for après-ski action in other parts of Europe. Last year’s Snowbombing line-up included such quality names as The Whip, Dirty Pretty Things, Foals and the Pigeon Detectives belting out indie rock in the main venue in town, the amplifier-packed Europahaus. Then there was Madness and The Cuban Brothers playing at
a stage set in a bewitching pine forest clearing.
In nine years the festival has grown to include an eclectic line-up, but Snowbombing still stays true to its roots — it’s all about the beats, with Freestylers, Annie Nightingale, Krafty Kuts and DJ Yoda leading the way into the wee hours in 2008 at venues around the village and up in the igloo-like Arctic disco (where safety officials warned us that alcohol and other substances could affect us up to 60 per cent more at high altitude).
The only problem with all this fun is finding time to sleep. Pull the pin too early and you’ll miss some of the best après-ski you’ll find in the world. But too many all-nighters means you’re missing pristine snow during the day.
Whatever schedule you settle for, you’re never far away from the beats. Take the Penkenbahn gondola up to the main ski area packed with loads of blue, red and black runs and you’ll come across restaurants and cafés that have been taken over by DJs playing insane recovery beats and punters in fancy dress already sipping a frothy one despite the early hour.
So what are you waiting for?
Grab a beer and find a spot on the dance floor — there’s room right next to Superman.
» Trevor Paddenburg travelled to Snowbombing in Mayrhofen with Outgoing Travel (0845-331 3040; www.outgoing.co.uk).
Tick it off
Keep track of the debauchery with TNT’s checklist.
✓ Ride the Penkenbahn dressed as a superhero.
✓ Stumble home after 8am and head straight up the mountain.
✓ Dance the night away at the Arctic disco.
✓ Catch a gig in a forest clearing.
✓ Help steam up the windows in the Schlussel bar.
✓ Sip a cold beer while watching the pros hit the half pipe.
✓ Cram yourself into the Garage for some dirty DJ bliss.
✓ Stock up on cheap Austrian beer and Yager at the Spar.
✓ Thank the locals for hosting another year of madness.