Palatinalps: The Parties
We know the real reason why you came on Palatinalps. It wasn’t for the powder (well…), nor was it for the ‘experience of being in the mountains’. You asked for parties. You got them.
Last week saw the biggest Durham contingent yet traipse to Tignes on Palatinalps 2014.
Made up of an astounding 1750 students, the trip was bigger, and better, than ever. NUCO, the tour company, were a breath of fresh air after the chaotic disorganisation of Outgoing last year and provided a wicked trip.
Here, we investigate the social scene: the organised parties put together by NUCO and Palatinalps, and the clubs and bars that made up local Tignes nightlife.
The Organised Stuff:
Opening Night Party:
Held in a sports hall 5 minutes’ drive from the accommodation, the Opening Night Party proved an awesome way to start off the week.
The Other Tribe put on an energetic set that got people going regardless of whether they knew the songs or not and NUCO’s free-of-charge cloakroom and quick service at the bar allowed for things to get lairy quickly.
Highlight: Drinks were cheap: 10 euros could get you three glasses of wine, punch, or three pints.
Low Point: A power cut mid-way through Too Many T’s set cut the night short for many. The location of the venue meant a bus journey described by one engineering student as “a pain in arse”.
Held in nearby Le Lac, the pool party was a bit of a surreal experience. Queuers were greeted with a leisure centre reception upon entry and given a Palatinalps token for a free pint or drink.
After navigating the absolute labyrinth that was the changing rooms, revellers enjoyed a number of steam rooms, jacuzzis and pools. It was like what old people do but with beer and less golf.
Palatinalps-branded beachballs were floating and flying about everywhere, whilst people generally got pretty loose and frolicked in the pools like the satyrs and nymphs of Greek mythology. Cheeky.
Highlight: Having a pint in a jacuzzi was absolute bliss.
Low Point: Losing all your tokens in said jacuzzi because of your lack of pockets and having to awkwardly fish them out. This problem was endemic.
A short waddle across the piste from Val Claret saw Palatinates to the funicular station, where they boarded a train more packed than the Loveshack loos.
Held on the glacier, the funicular party was a rousing success, with Eton Messy and XXXY more than making up for Bondax’s cancellation.
The chalet-like atmosphere of the building really added a sense of character to the party, making it more than just another event.
Highlight: Taking the funicular on the way back down – stumbles, chants and general drunken madness abounded.
Low Point: Having to trek outside in -15°c weather because the outdoor bar had no queue.
Final Night Party
The same venue and drinks deals as the Opening Night proved another hit. The centre of the dancefloor soon dissolved into a mosh pit whilst more composed dancing was initiated around the edges.
Big up to NUCO for the much-needed water fed to sweaty and exhausted moshers throughout the night. Melting Pot proved the perfect after party venue which stayed busy until after 5am.
Highlight: Subfocus were “unreal, the loves of my life”, according to one student. Many other comments were unprintable. Crowdsurfing happened.
Low Point: The fancy dress theme, ‘post-apocalypse’, was even more poorly adhered to than last year’s. There were a few measly trickles of fake blood here and there that were soon wiped off with sweat and the power of Sub Focus’ bass.
With a name reminiscent of fumbling through your French oral by ingeniously adding ‘le’ to the beginning of English words, Le Coffee had definitely been earmarked as the students’ choice for après.
Vin Chaud at €2.50 was a winner with the hundreds of students that congregated at Le Coffee from 4.30pm daily to unwind after a strenuous day on the slopes. NOVA DJs got feet tapping and heads nodding and raised the hype for the night to follow.
Highlight: the general vibe was great: free sunglasses handed out by Palatinalps and a ski-in ski-out location meant it was busy daily.
Low Point: Le Coffee was too small; inside the squish for the bar was arduous. The music was not always loud enough.
La Folie Douce
A stop off point for many a skier since 1969, La Folie Douce acted as the unofficial venue for Après. It was expensive, difficult to get to for beginners, but definitely worth the visit.
Magnums of Moët were scattered across tables and on display in cabinets, really just exemplifying the way in which this venue absolutely oozed class.
People regularly danced on tables and chopped pints like there was no tomorrow. It was 2pm.
A massive screen replays huge previous gatherings, making it known that at La Folie Douce, it’s always pardy time.
Highlight: The venue itself. It was simply magnificent and afforded a lot more space for partygoers than Le Coffee.
Low Point: Forgetting your voucher and spending more than €20 on a plate of food and a drink.
Going Rogue – Tignes Nightlife
Walking into Saloon is an experience I can only express as akin to walking into Klute were it full of hobos and decaying armadillo corpses. The wall of sweat and pure moisture is just a bulldozer to the senses.
For those brave enough to continue on, however, Saloon promised a messy and highly enjoyable night. Drinks were fairly cheap and people inside were going absolutely mental. A top night for all.
Highlight: it was like Klute.
Low Point: it was like Klute.
The alternative pre-bar to Saloon, Dropzone was packed nightly, with two levels and a huge covered smoking area. Drinks were not too outrageously priced, a cup of watered-down wine would knock you back 3 euros.
Highlight: bigger dancefloor than Saloon.
Low Point: “nothing particularly special” according to one second-year.
One of the official Palatinalps venues, the Melting Pot got busy around 1am nightly and closed at 7am. Downstairs in a pitch black underground bunker with strobe lighting and pounding music it always guaranteed a grimy but incredible night.
The large Russian bouncers outside really made it feel like you were entering a gang-controlled crack den. Lovely.
Highlight: all the clubs were free entry. By the time it opened and people arrived all were suitably inebriated to let loose on the dancefloor. Dim lighting meant that those lucky enough for a dancefloor kiss did not have to realise that their Prince Charming was more of an ugly frog.
Low Point: drinks were expensive: 9 euros for a single and 7 euros for a Jaeger Bomb. The toilets were inexplicably gross – unisex as most French toilets – but with the hanging air of disease constantly present.
At first written-off as the dodgy option due to its weekly female strip show, Blue Girl soon became the go-to venue after a warm-up boogy in Melting Pot.
The initially foreboding podiums and poles soon became hilarious entertainment that saw one esteemed DUHC member land on his head when trying to pull off a particularly complex move.
Highlight: bigger than Melting Pot with cheaper drinks. One Classics student’s “favourite place on earth”.
Low Point: only open til 4am. So packed at times moving was impossible. Being punched in the face as people attempted the Soulja Boy dance.