Friday night will bring with it the third night skiing/snowboarding session of the new year at Table Mountain.
Offered Friday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Jan. 25 will mark the return of night skiing after the event had to be cancelled last week due to poor weather conditions.
Night skiing is automatically cancelled when the temperature dips below -20 Celsius.
One of only a couple places in the province to offer the program, night skiing is a unique activity for the area.
“We’ve had night skiing since probably the mid-70s,” Table Mountain General Manager Lawrence Blouin said. “A lot of people in North Battleford couldn’t go out [during the day] so some lights were installed in the 70s, and [now] we’ve had night skiing for some 30-odd years.”
Although by its very nature, night skiing takes place in the dark of the night, it is not as though the stars overhead are the only source of light to guide the trail.
“About 70 per cent of the trails are lit up,” Blouin said.
“We have a very good lighting system on the hill as it was all upgraded here maybe 10 years ago,” he said. “We went out and got some experts to come in and told us what kind of lighting we’d need, and how close together [to put the lights] to eliminate as many of the shadows as possible. There are still a few shadows, but it’s not really a big deal.”
While for beginners the initial thought of strapping on a pair of skis at night may sound a bit nerve-racking, Blouin is quick to assure that regardless of previous experience on the slopes, night skiing is an activity people of all ages and skill levels can enjoy.
“The bunny hill’s in operation and we have novice to intermediate runs that are all lit up too, so it’s for anybody,” Blouin said. “You don’t have to be an expert skier to come out and enjoy night skiing.”
The chalet is open Friday nights from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. with canteen available from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Every second Friday also features a steak dinner, with the next one scheduled for Feb. 1. All steaks must be pre-ordered ahead of time.
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