As the Bee Gees once so succinctly sang in their big hit about New England winters, “Oh the night skiing, night skiing; we know how to do it.”
OK, maybe the song didn’t go that way. But night skiing – a less experienced but just as fun ski segment – is truly staying alive in New England.
It’s no surprise. Night skiing was born here in 1936 when, thanks to a partnership with nearby General Electric, Bousquet Mountain in Pittsfield installed mercury vapor floodlights on poles for taking turns after dark.
Crowds took to it immediately, and nearly 90 year later, that novelty has not worn off.
Today, many ski areas offer twilight and night skiing, some for a few hours in the early evening, some well into the midnight hour.
No matter the spot, there are some shared benefits to getting out for a night skiing experience. Prices are lower, parking spots more accessible, lines are shorter (sometimes non-existent) and the experience overall – from riding the lifts through the night to carving down night-lighted trails to savoring apres well into the night.
King Pine Ski Area (https://www.kingpine.com) in Madison, New Hampshire, offers twilight skiing – when lifts usually stop (late afternoon), you can join in and ski until 6 p.m., getting a look not just at skiing under the lights, but as the afternoon alpenglow pink washes the peaks around the area.
King Pine has been offering twilight skiing since 1982, and it’s long been popular. On weekdays, you’ll find a definite “after school” vibe; something familiar to anyone who grew up near a ski hill with night skiing.
If you’re there for the day and are game, King Pine does not demand you purchase another ticket for those twilight hours; you can just keep on skiing and riding as long as you please. (And you read that right: all half day and full day tickets are good until closing time in the night).
Should you want to come just for twilight, there’s a lift ticket priced just for that. And should you go on a Tuesday, you pay just $20 for twilight skiing and here’s an added bonus: they keep the lifts spinning until 8 p.m.
King Pine’s base area is a great one for nighttime fun; there’s a lovely upstairs bar/restaurant where you can warm up or, should you not love night skiing as much as say, your kids: watch and enjoy while sipping something warm.
Pre-pandemic, Crotched Mountain, New Hampshire (https://www.crotchedmtn.com) had built up a reputation for being the hot spot for night skiing. It’s not just their location (a relatively easy back and forth from the greater Boston area), or their excellent light set up. It was their overall vibe – fire pits, live music and – multiple dates each season, their Midnight Madness events when lifts kept spinning until just before they’d turn into a pumpkin.
Good news: It’s back. night skiing at Crotched is alive, well and yes, spinning until midnight multiple dates this season.
And while midnight may bring visions of wild co-eds, the Crotched vibe is very much a spot for everyone at night. Their wet-lit terrain isn’t just one or two trails; they have trails for every level.
You’ll see a mix of families making a cool winter memory, young adults having fun, racers taking practice laps, and older folks out doing what they’ve loved for years. It’s very much a totally inclusive experience.
This winter, Crotched lifts spin until 9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday until 9 p.m. Midnight Madness takes place Jan. 12, Feb. 4 and 18, and March 4. Best advice? Purchase tickets ahead of time as Midnight Madness can sell out.
Wachusett Mountain Resort: It’s the only place you can night ski and on a clear night catch a glimpse of the twinkle of the Boston Skyline. Wachusett Mountain Resort (https://www.wachusett.com) is an easy to access night skiing spot that’s popular with every level skier and rider.
Wachusett keeps the lifts operating until 7 p.m. weeknights, and until 9:30 on weekends. With lively and popular restaurants and bars on site and their easy location, it’s a great spot for a full-fun night skiing experience.
While Wachusett can get busy, nights are quieter – it’s rare to wait in a lift line for more than a few minutes – and their lifts are speedy and dependable; a good thing in the chill of the night.
They offer “session” tickets so you can choose from just the night shift or add on some afternoon (or all day) times if you’re in the mood for a lot of vertical.
Should you really love it, Wachusett offers a season pass just for night skiing.
There are so many more options. Nashoba Valley Resort (https://skinashoba.com) keeps the lifts spinning until 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays (and until 5 the other nights).
And Bosquet (https://bousquetmountain.com), of course, where it all began, welcomes you until 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
In other words, there’s plenty of night skiing fever to be had.