This is a guest post by Holly Fraughton of ediblelegible.com

There is nothing – I repeat nothing – that is more satisfying after spending a day snowboarding (or skiing), than putting your feet up on the patio (boots loosened, of course) and kicking back with an ice cold beer.

See, I moved to the town of Whistler, B.C. in 2008 as a non-skiier/snowboarder, having only attempted the sport once before, and ended up enjoying four winter seasons in this snowy paradise. Sure, I left only marginally better at snowboarding, but one thing I did master was the fine art of aprés.

For anyone unfamiliar with this ritual, you’re missing out on a very good thing. These “after ski” sessions have led to some of my most memorable evenings with friends, filled with many drinks, laughter, and hearty food.

Here’s how it works:

1. Go skiing or snowboarding. (Hint: the longer you’re on the hill, the more guilt-free your aprés session will be, so I thoroughly recommend going early in the morning and trying to last until at least 2:30 p.m.) You also may want to pocket a granola bar or something to give you some mid-day energy, but don’t bother stopping for a full lunch. Save your coin and appetite for aprés.
2. After unloading, flush-faced, smiling and probably covered in snow, tromp to closest patio space, trying not to trip or smack pedestrians in the head with snowboard/skis en route.
3. Choose optimal spot on patio (i.e. One with best opportunity for people-watching and running into other friends coming off the hill, too! You can always pull over another table or two!)
4. Order a pitcher of their frostiest, cheapest beer, and a greasy, delicious snack (nachos or waffle fries from the GLC were my personal faves).
5. Dig in, and recall the day’s epic bails and best lines with your buds.

It’s pretty simple, really. But for some reason, the magic of spending a day on the mountains, working up a sweat and playing in the snow makes something as mundane as a plate of nachos and pint of beer seem like the best thing going.

If you happen to be hitting the slopes in my former ‘hood, here are my favourite places to settle in for an aprés sesh:

1. Dusty’s – Order their Ceasar, you won’t be sorry (unless you’re a vegetarian: the garnish is beef jerky. Fer real). Also, they have a phenomenal pulled pork sandwich and warrior burger. Don’t forget to ask for the butt rub mayo (I swear it’s wayyy yummier than the name implies).
2. GLC – Nestled at the base of Whistler mountain, the GLC is always bumpin’. Their waffle fries are served with a kick-ass gorgonzola béchamel sauce, and taste incredible after a hard day on the hill.
3. Citta’ – Pronounced “Cheetah’s” (yeah, I know, it seems wrong, doesn’t it?) this is hands-down the best place to people-watch in the Village. They also usually have great drink daily drink specials, and the food is pretty solid…
4. Merlin’s – Located in the Upper Village, Merlin’s is a happening apres hotspot, especially for the local crowd… Try and catch a legendary Payday Party with the Hairfarmers, and order the nachos – they’re voted the locals’ favourite every year in Pique Newsmagazine’s “Best Of” awards.

Photo credit: Beer with mountain Harry F. All other photos credit to Holly Fraughton