The Garden Party

I race up to my room and throw open the window shutters – the balcony is packed with housemates, all cradling beers and wearing ski jackets against the cold. I whip off my apron, grab a cider and join them to watch this season’s biggest garden party and snowboarding competition in Morzine: Stomp the Nant.

The view from my room is incredible. The sponsored free beer is long gone, but a BBQ is still going, smoking us out with delicious smells of roasting sausages. A crowd of seasonnaires and spectators pulse to a dubstep beat that makes the windows shudder and shake, various snowballs fly indiscriminately back and forth over beanied heads. The garden is floodlit and transformed – a snowpark sculpted by ingenious and hard-working housemates.

The commentator is wearing a cowboy hat and screams into the mike every time a boarder drops from the shadowed hill above and twists 360s into the light before the crowd. Cheers and gasps as we watch our friends pull off daring jumps, or hurtle off the break wall to land upside down into a 10 foot high bush.

I grin, exhaustion from a hard shift already being replaced with excitement, as it so often does here. Where else has a garden full of partying seasonnaires and snowboarders competing for the best trick of the night but the Nant?

The Nantegue is the largest accommodation for seasonnaires in the Alps. Not for the light hearted, this super chalet is home to 36 hosts, transfer drivers, chefs and ski bums, all here on a powder pilgrimage to worship the mountains and the pistes they provide.

Despite the imbalanced gender ratio (34 guys : 2 girls), the Nant is just like one giant, dysfunctional family where love for snow, cheese toasties and beer are genetic traits. And no matter what time you fall through the door, someone is always around to have a laugh with.

But the Nant is in its prime when there’s a party at its door, and tonight is no exception. Stomp the Nant is shifting up a gear – a photographer’s flash illuminates a tray of Toffee Vodka shots – home brewed in the dishwasher with melted Werthers and Smirnoff – being passed through the crowd. I duck as a snowball hurtles at my head, and cheer as a skier lands a front flip in front of me. Oh yes, I think. There’s no place like the Nant.

Join us for the next Stomp the Nant party:

Wednesday 9 March, 8pm, The Nant

(photography: Shredits)

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