Night skiing is exactly what it says on the tin – skiing after the sun goes down, with floodlights or torches to light your way. It started as a way for resort staff to get in some slope time at the end of the day, but now loads of resorts open up night skiing to customers too.
Why is night skiing good?
Whether you’re a skier or boarder, we can all agree that there are never enough slope hours in the day – so having extra time to hit the piste is always a bonus. The mountain is usually quieter at night too, and you’ll be surrounded by beautiful views of starry skies and twinkling lights across the town. Even better, night skiing is often included in the cost of your normal lift pass.
What time does night skiing start?
Night skiing kicks in after the normal lift closing time and generally finishes between 8pm and 11pm, but exact times vary between resorts. It doesn’t usually run every night of the week though, so it’s worth checking when it’s on before you go.
What do you need to wear for night skiing?
Temperatures drop quickly once the sun goes down, so layer up. As well as your insulated ski jacket and salopettes, make sure you wear a couple of extra base layers (merino wool’s great for keeping in the heat), as well as a buff or neck warmer and a hat. Glove liners will add an extra layer of warmth for your hands too.
Even though there’s no sunlight to shield against, you’ll still need goggles to protect your eyes from snow and ice. Pick ones with clear lenses to let in the most light, or go for yellow lenses to make it easier to see contrast in the terrain.
Resorts where you can ski at night
Not all resorts offer night skiing but it’s becoming more and more common, so pretty much every country has it somewhere. Here are some of our favourites…
Night skiing in France
Alpe d’Huez: One of the sunniest resorts in the Alps embraces the dark during school holidays, with night skiing on various slopes. Experts can join in torchlight descents on the famous 16km black run, La Sarenne.
Courchevel: This chic resort in the massive Three Valleys ski area hosts a night-time party on the piste every Wednesday, with floodlit skiing and music.
Serre Chevalier: Families visiting in school holidays can have fun with tree-lined night skiing and kid-friendly activities in this traditional resort.
Night skiing in Austria
Alpbach: One of the prettiest villages in Austria looks just as striking when it’s lit up at night. Get the best view as you ski fast reds on the Reither Kogel peak.
Obergurgl: This high-altitude resort offers weekly night skiing on a blue run. Even if you’re not taking part though, come along to watch the ski school instructors put on a show and demonstrate their skills.
Söll: Get your fill of night skiing four times a week in Austria’s second largest ski area, with 10km of floodlit piste to play on after dark.
Night skiing in Italy
Drei Zinnen: Trendy San Candido, one of five villages in Drei Zinnen, opens up 3km of local blue and red runs twice a week, for a bit of laid-back cruising.
Passo Tonale: Beginners can have a go at high-altitude night skiing on four evenings every week – two in Passo Tonale and two over the mountain in Ponte di Legno.
Sestriere: Once host to the Winter Olympics, Sestriere also staged the first world cup night slalom in 1994 – and now that same course opens up to challenge the public every Wednesday night.
Make the most of your mountain time and see the slopes in a new light next winter.