Moonlight starlight ski
Do you enjoy new experiences? Do you look forward to surprises? Anticipate the unknown? Well then, try skiing in the dark with a cheap headlamp.
I checked out the natural snow trails at the CNC late yesterday afternoon. Didn’t get started ’til 4:45 pm. I headed out on Bow trail, took a left onto Grey Wolf up to Banff Trail and proceeded to the end. All of those trails are trackset but have grass and small twigs. You can easily avoid the hazards by stepping out into the skating lane. Did not hit any rocks.
It was pitch dark by the time I started back on Meadowview. Luckily, the snow is much better and the tracks had almost no grass in them. It’s quite a thrill, though, to be going downhill in the dark! A completely different experience compared to being able to see what’s upcoming.
All things considered, the skiing on the natural snow at the Nordic Centre is reasonably good. I’d go so far as to say it’s as good as anytime last winter(remember, it’s still November).
I could see large hills of man-made snow on the Banff Trail loop(upper), so the loop should be excellent by the weekend. The trails as you near the stadium(Salt Lake, Albertville, Lillehammer, Nagano) are nearly perfect.
There’s an Alberta Cup race this Sat and Sun. The manager of the CNC has sent me an email regarding recreational skiing while races are in progress:
“During any of the winter races, there are many options for the recreational skier. For this weekend, Banff Trail will be open along with several of our man-made snow-base trails and all of our natural snow-base trails. In short over 40kms of trail will be accessible to recreational skiers this weekend during the races.”
I skijor most of the time. Skijoring in the dark seems TERRIFYING. =)
I began night-skiing last year. My first ski this season was under a headlamp, and because of that pesky work – related ailment many of us are afflicted with, anticipate more night skis this season than under natural light.
A word of caution however…unless you are completely at ease and aware of the risks conducting solo trips in the back country, ski with someone else at night. It can be rather spooky alone.