Recent research on behalf of the world's leading ski resort information service, Skinfo.co.uk, has found that more than 100 ski resorts around the world now boast Irish-themed pubs. It should be no surprise that the internationally branded ‘Irish pub culture' is a good mix for the après ski scene from Canada to Japan.
The Irish factor gets stronger still on St Patrick's Day which is also a major day of celebrations at many ski areas around the world, particularly where there's a strong (or even very small) Irish contingent and especially in North America.
The late lamented Brodie ski area in Massachusetts used to do the most each March 17th - dying the snow green by putting a pigment in to the snowmaking mix, as well as in to the beer. Sadly Brodie (for most likely totally unrelated issues) is no longer trading, but many other resorts mark the day - seen by many as also the first day of the Spring skiing season - with deals or events.
Here's the www.skiinfo.co.uk guide to what you can enjoy:
1. Green Eggs For Breakfast
Mount Snow in Vermont is arguably the leading St Patrick's Day ski destination running an all-day celebration attracting "10,000 people you don't know to one huge party." It all kicks off at 8am with green eggs served for breakfast, yummy.
2. Pay Less To Ski Thanks To ‘The Luck Of The Irish'
At Waterville Valley, New Hampshire (and quite a few other places) you'll pay only $17 to ski or board on the 17th. At Manchester's Chill Factore indoor snow centre it's £17 for two hours of slope time.
3. Find The Leprechaun's Gold
Come dressed as a leprechaun (or in your best green outfit) to Alpine Meadows, California and search for the pot of gold that will be hidden on the mountain. Whoever finds this lucky treasure will win an Alpine Meadows golden swag pack and a Spring Pass valid for the rest of the season! (Legal Note: Golden Swag Pack my not contain gold.)
4. Eat Some Irish Stew
Nevis Range in Scotland is offering a gondola ride up to the Snowgoose restaurant for Guinness and a dish of Irish stew for £9.50. The Hüsi Bar (www.huesi.ch) In Interlaken, Switzerland is one of many others serving up Guinness and Irish Stew at their St. Patricks Day party from 6pm.
5. Traditional Irish Pipe Music and Dancing
Enjoy the sounds of the old country with bagpipers from Denver's Emerald Society at Burke and Riley's Irish bar in Breckenridge, Colorado which will also have Celtic dancers throughout the afternoon and evening and be serving up "beor ghlas" (green beer). Also in the Foggy Goggle at Sunday River, Garovoy will set the St. Paddy's Day après ski tone with some traditional Irish music.
6. Get With The Colour Scheme
Dress in a green hat or helmet, ski jacket and salopettes and you're get two lift tickets for the price of one at Alyeska. The resort also plans to sell green beer from its Sitzmark Bar.
7. Get Kissed
Wherever you are on the slopes, try approaching someone attractive with the words, "Tabhair pog dom taim Eireannach" They're sure to be impressed when you translate: "Kiss me! I'm Irish." (Legal note: may not work if you're not Irish, or indeed if you are Irish).
8. Enjoy Some Irish Rock
Why not finish your St Patrick's Day as it began, back at Mount Snow, Vermont. After all the Guinness and green food, the party goers will be ready to really let their hair down to the sounds of Boston-based band The Gobshites, though they're apparently a little more Ramones than U2.
9. Take Part in An Irish Horse Race
So along with kissing, luck, stew, Guinness, music, U2, leprechauns and the dancing, the Irish are also famed for their horse racing. A full scale event would be tricky to organise up a mountain in winter but the creative owners of Mitchell's (www.champery-mitchells.com) in Champery, Switzerland, have come up with answer. As part of on-going St Patrick's Day celebrations they'll be staging a horse race, kind of, on space hoppers.
"There'll be some mild betting and though our space hoppers look like horses the jockeys can take any shape or form," explained owner Kina Mitchell who also revealed that a St Patrick's quiz last year failed when everyone cheated by using iPhones, with a winner eventually determined by an Irish dance off between the two biggest cheaters.
10. Forget St Patrick, Wait for St Joseph
If (inconceivably) you're fed up of St Patrick or just don't want the party to end, the good news is March 19th - just 48 hours later - is set aside for St Joseph, the well known husband of the Virgin Mary and ‘father figure' to Jesus.
The obvious way to celebrate on the slopes of Switzerland is to offer totally free lift tickets to anyone named Jospeh or Josephine after the great man/Napoleon's wife. Head to the slopes of Bettmeralp armed with your birth certificate or passport to enjoy this offer.