Spending time in the great outdoors is even more magical when you do it at night. If you’re into hiking and camping, you’ve probably been on several night hiking trips by now. But did you know that night skiing is also a thing?
If you’re a night owl, work long hours during the day, or just want a thrilling new experience, then night skiing may be perfect for you. If you’ve never heard of night skiing or don’t know what so special about it, we’ve got you covered!
Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about night skiing — what it is, where you can try it, and what night skiing clothing and gear you’ll need to do it safely. Read on, and you’ll be whizzing down the slopes under a full moon in no time.
What Is Night Skiing?
You’re probably familiar with daytime skiing. How is night skiing any different?
Well, first of all, it happens at night. Many ski resorts offer night skiing from sundown to generally 8 or 9 PM. However, it differs from resort to resort – some can end earlier or start later.
There are many reasons why skiers love to hit the slopes at night. For starters, ski slopes are much less crowded at night than they are during the day. That gives the experienced ski bunnies plenty of time and space to enjoy their favorite skiing trails.
Although resorts light up their slopes at night so skiers have full visibility, the views at night are still stunning. There’s something undeniably special about getting to ski with a handful of avid ski lovers under a vast, starry sky.
However, the time of day isn’t the only thing that differs between day and night skiing. The temperatures plummet at night, so night skiing is much colder than daytime skiing. Therefore, night skiers should always be prepared with the proper night skiing clothing they need to keep themselves warm.
Additionally, because the snow on the slopes can warm up during the day, melt, and then re-freeze at night, night skiing courses can be much icier than daytime skiing courses. This is why night skiers need specific night skiing gear to keep themselves from sustaining an injury on a night skiing course.
If night skiing sounds like an exciting way to spend more time outside, we agree! Let’s take a look at some of the most beautiful and impressive spots for top-notch night skiing within the US.
Where Can I Try Night Skiing?
Luckily, there’s no shortage of places to try night skiing in the US. Whether you’re an amateur enthusiast or a seasoned night skiing champion, places like these are certain to provide you with thrilling skiing and breathtaking views.
Brighton, located in Utah, features stunning mountain views, more than 500 inches of snow every winter, and 66 trails. They offer night skiing six nights a week from 4 to 9 PM, as well as the largest night skiing terrain in the state of Utah, which features 22 runs on 200 well-lit acres. Have you ever dreamed of skiing through “The Greatest Snow On Earth” as constellations twinkle above you? If so, then Brighton may be a great place for your first night skiing trip.
Also located in Utah, Sundance offers night skiing from 4:30 to 9 PM four nights a week in the winter. With some of the freshest powder in the country and no shortage of stunning views extending as far as the eye can see, Sundance is an incredible spot for both daytime and night skiing. You’ll breathe in the fresh mountain air and gaze up at Mount Timpanogos towering above you in the dark of night. And you’ll wonder why it took you so long to try night skiing at Sundance.
Boreal, located in Lake Tahoe, California, offers stunning night skiing from 3 to 8 PM, seven days a week. Boasting “the best sunsets” around, there’s no doubt that Boreal is a great place to go for a magical moonlight ski trip. If the thought of skiing down a silent slope at night while snow gently falls around you doesn’t make you want to drop everything and go for a nighttime ski at Boreal, nothing will.
Mt. Hood Skibowl, USA
Another top place offering night skiing from 3 to 9 PM, seven nights a week, is Mt Hood Skibowl. Located in Oregon, they claim to offer “North America’s largest night skiing”.
With 36 well-lit night runs on Mt Hood, a formerly active volcano, the Skibowl is a historic ski resort that offers breathtaking views across an enormous area. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a late-night ski run or to watch the sunset behind the many trees dotting the mountainside.
There are dozens of mountain resorts around the country that offer high-quality night skiing. Take a look and see if your favorite daytime ski resort offers it.
Is Night Skiing Dangerous?
The thought of skiing at night may seem scary at first. After all, adjusting to changes in visibility, terrain, and crowd size can take time.
However, the dangers of night skiing are relatively easy for any skier to handle — as long as they value safety and respect the power of the outdoors. Here are some of the main dangers of night skiing and the ways in which you can handle them.
Although night skiing trails are typically extremely well-lit, slopes can be icier than normal. The temperatures are lower at night than they are during the day, which affects the slope. Make sure that you have a buddy nearby in case you sustain an injury due to a fall.
Additionally, prepare yourself for the fact that icy terrain is more difficult to ski. You’ll likely need to adopt a slightly wider stance and ski through a larger turn radius than on non-icy snow. Feeling comfortable skiing on icy terrain will go a long way in preparing you for night skiing.
Night skiing is much colder than daytime skiing. That means that you’ll need slightly different clothing and gear to stay warm and mobile.
Warming up with a hot beverage and eating before you start to ski can help keep you warm. Also, keep in mind that gripping your poles too hard can limit your circulation. In order to get the most out of your night skiing experience, staying warm is extremely important.
Although night skiing is certainly fun, it’s important to be as safe as possible. Pay attention to your surroundings and to other skiers. Keep in mind that responsible skiers never let anything impair their vision, judgment, or reflexes on the slope.
What To Wear For Night Skiing?
As the circumstances when you’re skiing at night are significantly colder and darker, you might want to rethink your usual clothing and gear choices for winter outdoor activities.
All of your skin should be covered when you’re on the slope so you can focus on enjoying your night skiing — not worrying about how to quickly warm up as temperatures continue to drop.
It may be tempting to approach cold temperatures by just continuing to bundle up. However, it’s actually not a bad idea to dress similarly to how you would during a daytime skiing session. There are, of course, a few changes.
Check out these guidelines below to help you choose the best night skiing clothing and gear for your nighttime skiing venture.
For night skiing, as well as any other winter outdoor activity, consider sticking with the winning formula of a base layer, mid-layer, and outer layer. That can help trap your body heat, provide additional warmth, and keep the elements out.
For your outer layer, pick a ski shell like the Deflektr™ Hybrid Shell. This top-performing technical jacket will keep you warm and dry all night long with waterproof fabric and temperature-regulating vents. It will also let your body move freely in all directions.
Depending on your personal preference, for a mid-layer, you can pick a Merino wool long sleeve shirt or a fleece sweater. Make sure it’s a shirt you can easily move around in.
A top-quality base layer top is a must for winter night skiing – it will conserve the heat your body is producing and keep you warm, but not sweaty and overheated.
As for the bottom, start with a base layer bottom as well, to trap and retain your body heat when you move. On top of that, you can add a durable, waterproof garment like the Klash™ Pant. The Klash™ Series for men and women is designed to seal out moisture and resist abrasion and tearing.
By ensuring that you’re opting for high-quality, extra-warm layers instead of simply adding bulkier, low-quality layers onto your current daytime ski outfit, you can keep yourself warm without restricting your mobility.
In addition to keeping your body covered, warm, and dry, it’s also important to make sure that your face, neck, and hands are also covered.
Use thin socks to keep circulation going in your feet, and choose a pair of high-quality gloves with liners. A Merino wool neck gaiter is a good asset as it will not get in the way when you ski. Don’t forget a warm hat!
Just as night skiing requires extra clothing, so does it require extra gear.
Most importantly, night skiers need goggles and lens that are designed for lower light conditions and decreased visibility of night skiing. Yellow or clear goggles are ideal for night skiers; they let in approximately 99% of all visible light, allowing night skiers to better see the trail in front of them.
Although clear goggles let in the most light, some skiers prefer yellow ones because they allow them to better identify contrast. Take the time to determine which one helps you more clearly see what’s in front of you and improves your depth perception: it could be a lifesaver on a night ski slope!
Ready To Get Started?
If night skiing sounds like something you’d like to try, great news — it’s well within reach. First, pick the perfect place for your first night skiing experience. Then, find us or order online to load up on the proper night skiing clothing and gear that you need to stay safe, warm, and dry during your night skiing adventure. All that’s left is to get out there and have fun!
Featured Image: Night Skiing in Morin-Heights, Canada. Photo by William Topa.
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