Are you a night bird who enjoys partying, music, dancing and staying up late but you are just tired of smoky places, booze and one-night stands and you need a change? Well, if you are a skier too, then a bit of night skiing might do the trick for you! The bedtime adrenalin shot will certainly warm the blood in your veins.
Night skiing is not widely spread yet and not as popular as day-time skiing, however there a few ski resorts that offer skiing under the moonlight or under the lights and stars.
The National Ski Areas Association statistics show that only 7% of the overall annual ski visits are night visits although many resorts offer night skiing activities. They have also found that most of the night skiers are party lovers but instead of the smoky clubs they are having a blast in the fresh air.
There are quite a few advantages of night skiing.
First of all, it is the price and an opportunity to save some money if you are on a low budget. Night skiing lift tickets are cheaper than the day tickets, sometimes even double in price depending on a season.
Additionally, there are fewer skiers at night and you will certainly enjoy riding down the empty slopes than having to think about being overcrowded or bumping into someone.
Most of the night runs are very close to the resorts and are not too demanding as they are usually specialized for the beginners and intermediate skiers.
When going night skiing, you should definitely dress warmly because it gets much colder as the sun goes down. It is always better to bring a friend along and make sure you keep your eyes open as the artificial night lights and the shadows could make you think the other skiers are further that they really are. This is why it is also important not to drink when going night skiing in order to keep yourself and others safe just like the “Skier Responsiblity Code” suggests.
Now that we’ve gone through the benefits and safety measures of night skiing, it would be wise to present some of the best night skiing slopes in Europe.
A skiing center that offers an excellent night skiing slope is Sestriere. This skiing resort is just an hour away from the city of Turin and is sitting at 2035 meters above the sea line. Sestriere is a part of the 249 miles long Via Lattea, which is known as the “Milky Way” ski area. The course opens for public night skiing on Wednesdays from 6pm to 10pm. The cost of the ski pass is 10,00 Euro.
Besides Sestriere, The Dolomites area, one of the most famous ski area, offers 8 night ski slopes situated at Kronaplatz, Val Garden, Val di Fassa, Oberegen, and S. Martino di Castrozza. The runs are opened until 10 or 11 pm.
The French offer night skiing at Les Houches ski resort at Tourchet ski run as well as La Clusaz resort, where you can night ski for free on Thursdays from 8pm to 10pm and Le Grand Bornand on Tuesdays from 8pm to 10.30 pm.
The most famous Swiss resorts Davos, Zermatt and St. Moritz all offer night skiing activities. In the Parsen skiing area, close to Davos, both children and adults can enjoy rides down the slope. This slope is suitable for snowboarders as well.
In Zermatt ski resort you can ski under the moonlight without any superficial lighting on the Rothorn ski slope.
The rates range from 10 euros (for kids) to 38 euros (at Rothorn for the night skiing-fondue meal package).
Night skiing in Austria is quite popular. The well known Innsbruck area offers night skiing at Kuhtai and Gries im Sellrain ski resorts every night from 6pm top 11pm. If you are an owner of the Club Innsbruck Card, you can night ski for free. Night skiing is also available at the resorts of Igls and Mutter Alm.
Kranjska Gora in Slovenia as well as Bansko in Bulgaria also have a few slopes suitable for skiing in the star light and crispy air.