Altigliss is an event that unfortunately isn’t available to all travelers, but if you find yourself at a European school for the Winter term, be sure to sign up with friends! It’s an 8 day party and ski competition in the French Alps at the Val D’Isere resort.
Wake Up 🎿
Flawless … Sorry for that. Moving On. Skiing is one thing, but in the Alps? Talk about a bucketlist experience. Part of the price is a 6 day ski-pass to all hills in Val D’Isere, and this is a HUGE ski resort. We were lucky to be graced with loads of powder. If you’ve never skied in powder, just imagine floating on a cloud. You can’t even be afraid to fall because the cushioning is so soft. I’m not an expert skier but turns out nearly all my friends are. The photo I used for the header above was taken right before we went off the beaten track into a powder bowl. It was scary not knowing where we’d end up, but I had to trust the pros! An adventure for the books. I still can’t believe how incredible the view was. I took all these photos with my phone for goodness sakes – the Alps are a true beauty.
At the bottom of the ski hill there’s a big open space that’s set up for Altigliss people. It’s fenced off and you have to show your bracelet at the entrance to get in. From 12-2pm (I believe) there is a free warm lunch available along with water bottles and the sponsored drink of the day (usually Mountain Dew). There are also a bunch of sponsor tents set up that you can check out, and maybe even win some free swag.
Apres Ski 🍻
After a quick lunch, it’s back to the slopes for a couple of hours because around 2:30, La Folie Douce kicks off. If you haven’t heard of LFD, it’s basically the most epic Apres Ski party. Held outside, there are dancers and singers performing on the tables, bars, and balconies, while all the skiers (myself included) grab a drink and dance along in our ski boots (sometimes on the tables if you are lucky to get a spot). Some people even dress up in costumes over their ski suits (the bananas seen below are just a taste of the wacky outfits we saw). We stay there for a couple hours dancing, singing, and drinking. The smile on my face in the photo seen below shows how much fun it was – in that photo we were trying to follow the professional dance moves of the performers. There was even a celebrity spotting at this place. For anyone who watched the reality series Made in Chelsea, Jamie Laing was there with his posse. In true reality star/millionaire form, you could tell he thought he was the shit. By 5pm, we head back to our lodges to get some food and rest before the next activity began.
Open Bar Concert
From 7-9pm we have the famous Open Bar. This is something I never experienced until I started school in France. Basically they have buckets of mixed drinks (orange vodka, apple vodka, apple rum) along with bottles of beer. You can keep going back for more as many times as you please, because they will never run out! Did I mention all the drinks are FREE. This stuff isn’t watered down either.
For the first bit they announce the challenge winners of the day, with a daily video recap. The cinematography of this event was really impressive, not to mention how fast it was put together! After that, there’d be a music performance and everyone would dance and drink.
To The Club!
Between 9 and 11pm (after the Open Bar) everyone would rally and get ready for the club. Normally there would be a pre-party hosted in someone’s suite. Then off to the club! Cover to the club is free with your Altigliss wristband, you just need to pay for your own drinks. The clubs were CROWDED! It would be fun for the first bit but then most people would retire for the night to get up for some more early skiing in the fresh powder.
Challenges / Ride Her First Competition 🏁
The Atligliss Challenges are actually the whole purpose of the event; it’s a student ski competition. You sign up for the week as a team in one of the following categories: Village Challenge (silly obstacle courses), Mountain Challenge (extreme obstacles, all over the alps with various sports), and Ski Challenge (self explanatory). My team joined the Village Competition. We participated in the first obstacle course but as the week went on we were more interested in going to La Folie Douce than competing. There was some serious competition. Needless to say our team came last place in that one.
Another cool competition we got to experience was Ride Her First. This was a freestyle event where skiers and snowboarders would do one huge jump followed by a smaller jump with ramps. We witnessed some of the coolest tricks along with some extremely painful looking wipeouts. We even got to witness one of our friends compete with the professionals (he qualified in a previous challenge). Sadly my phone died before the competition began so I only have a photo of the setup.
So, Is It Worth It?
I will note that EVERYTHING mentioned in this post (aside from the drinks at La Folie Douce and the nightclubs) was included in the price of the trip. Only $500 euros and 100% WORTH IT. Especially with my school being the main participant, I got to experience Altigliss with more than 40 friends. I’ll admit I was skeptical about going, since I initially wanted to use that week to explore more European countries but I am so glad I signed up – it ended up being the highlight of my exchange!
Check it Out
Altigliss 2015 Official Video
My friend Robin’s GoPro video from the trip. See if you can spot me :)