Whether you just got into town after the lifts closed, you worked all day or you just don’t get out of bed until 3, night skiing can be your only option sometimes.
I am lucky enough to be able to ski in the daytime most days, but this warm weather got me thinking about what it’s like up there after dark. Temps in the high 30s in late January aren’t ideal, but they are good for something. That something is night skiing. So instead of talking about the conditions on the mountain this morning, I am going to talk about how they where last night.
Riding at night has an entirely different feel to it than normal daytime riding in Steamboat. You can only ride a few runs down from the Christie Peak Express lift, but the mood set by the lights and the glow from town in the distance makes it a really cool experience. The runs are groomed after the gondola closes, so they are fast and grippy. Both See Me and Vogue where great last night, and the warm air made it really nice to be out after dark.
As an added bonus, the Li’l Rodeo terrain park is lit and open at night so you can practice riding the rails and hitting the kickers. As I’ve said in the past, I’m no good in the park, but from the look of things, I am in the minority during night skiing. Riding the lower section of Christie was like watching the X-Games. Seriously, where are all these awesome riders in the daytime? I saw roughly 10 back flips over the course of the evening and twice as many moves on the rails that would surely end in a broken bone for me.
Aside from getting to ride the fastest lower mountain groomers under the lights, night skiing offers one more cool experience: When you pass the lower station on Christie, you venture away from the lights for a few minutes and are treated to one of the best views in the Boat. Silently gliding through the trees, you have the perfect view of downtown with nothing but the forest around you.
Night skiing starts at 5:30 p.m. Thursday through Monday (closed Super Bowl Sunday), and now is the perfect time to go. Don’t forget that tonight is the first Sunset Happy Hour of the winter so your options for enjoying nighttime on the mountain are doubled!
Dan Tullos, snowboarder