Most travellers enjoy adventures and an alcoholic diversion; a glass of wine with dinner, several beers with new friends in the hostel bar or sipping cocktails by the pool appeal to even the most adventurous soul. Escaping from daily routine and relaxing is a prime motivator for many tourists but numerous adventures have also been spawned in a hotel bar.
Drinking often provides it’s own challenges, we’ve developed rituals and games, which are social events that often result in the participants sinking copious amounts of alcohol. These activities can’t be described as responsible drinking by any stretch of the imagination, in fact the irresponsibility is a major part of the appeal. The games are about letting go of inhibitions, the drinking is actually the main purpose of the activity and becoming intoxicated the aim.
Commercial enterprise has embraced this willingness to enjoy ourselves to excess, introducing wonderful concepts including après-ski and happy hour. These provide revellers with additional incentives to drink themselves into oblivion. Specific periods set aside by bars or hotels for people to party, usually including reduced prices for drinks. They often take place in the early evening so that when the party goers head out later they are already under the influence and it is a case of topping up.
“instant daredevil, just add alcohol”
The number of adventures that have resulted from a few too many drinks or a challenge set whilst propping up the bar are probably incalculable. Drinking in the company of adventurous friends in a mountain environment is a situation especially likely to induce alcohol fuelled bravado. Whenever snowboarders, climbers, skiers or outdoor people congregate and alcohol is available it is likely that half cocked, crazy ideas will be concocted.
The term “instant daredevil, just add alcohol” seems appropriate. It’s been claimed that alcohol destroys brain cells but it certainly doesn’t seem to have any detrimental effect on imagination as some of the challenges conceived are sheer genius. Physicists and mathematicians should also come up with an equation explaining why the level of risk involved seems directly proportional to the amount of alcohol consumed.
These challenges take many forms, some are relatively tame such as an early morning swim in a cold sea, but ice covered lakes are another proposition altogether. As climbers are often involved, attempting to ascend something, anything is a popular choice. The side of chalets, hotels, churches even a police station maybe a traverse along both sides of an alley or shopping precinct which is a particularly tough task…… allegedly.
Flag poles are a common denominator though sensibly it is safer to attempt an ascent when there is deep snow on the ground. Did I really just say sensibly? Tobogganing down steep, snow covered roads in Chamonix on a collapsed cardboard box is remarkably common and even off the roof of a chalet is not unheard of. It’s even possible some adventurers repeated the foolhardy act!
Wildlife has been known to be included in the challenges, emulating a matador or even attempting rodeo bull-riding at 3am has been witnessed, unsurprisingly unsuccessfully I may add. Elk or moose hunts through Banff or Canmore have allegedly been equally unsuccessful.
Timing is often an important aspect of these challenges, ideally all participants need to go together, it is amazing how quickly one daredevil sobers up after witnessing a colleague spectacularly crash and burn. They rapidly realise it wasn’t such a good idea, doing an admirable impression of Zebedee from “Magic Roundabout” and declaring “time for bed”.
“predawn brushes with the authorities”
There is seldom any consideration for time or a moment of pause, often the challenge involved simply must be done immediately. This usually results in early morning forays into wheelie bins for suitable equipment and predawn brushes with the authorities. Other unwanted side effects include waking up with unexplained bruises, shredded clothes resembling cast-offs from the Hulk’s wardrobe, a sore head and feeling like you haven’t slept in a week. It also usually results in a vow of “never again” which only lasts until the next time the gang get together.
The police are often amazingly understanding, catching inebriated adrenalin junkies fairly regularly but provided there hasn’t been any damage caused usually releasing them with a good humoured flea in their ear. In towns which are frequent daredevil hangouts, even getting to know the names of the group members and often dropping them off at their accommodation.
This shouldn’t be taken for granted however as the provision of free overnight accommodation in the Falkland Islands can testify. The beneficiary of this act of kindness being caught attempting to liberate a flag from Port Stanley town centre.
“it can also temporarily reduce survival instincts”
Fortunately, the most ambitious of these challenges takes too long to set up and by the time the intoxicated daredevils can begin to arrange them they’ve sobered up and common sense has prevailed. This isn’t always the case, a number of improbably ambitious jumps or routes have been attempted and even successfully completed the day after a late night out …… allegedly. Presumably quite a few skiers or boarders have looked over the top of Delirium Dive near Banff and regretted committing to it over too many shots the previous evening.
Alcohol can remove inhibitions, it can also temporarily reduce survival instincts, it deserves it’s reputation as ‘bravado juice’. Survival maybe more luck than judgement but provided they are survived, adventures from the bottom of a glass can be great fun. They provide numerous anecdotes to share with friends over drinks. Be careful how many rounds are consumed however the stories can quickly result in a completely new set of extreme challenges being dreamt up.
Why not share an adventure of your own from the bottom of a glass? No need for picture evidence, fortunately like common sense cameras aren’t usually present past happy hour!
*This website encourages responsible drinking ……….. allegedly!