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Night skiing in Canada - James Cove, Quebec City
Saturday March 10, 2012 - Email this article to a friend

As dusk falls most ski resorts are long since closed. Not around Quebec where several ski resorts are bursting into life as interest in skiing at night becomes increasingly popular. PlanetSKI reports from the dark side.

There are several ski resorts about half an hour from Quebec. It has a population of 600,000 and a sizeable portion are skiers and snowboarders.

Most people work during the day and can't make it to the slopes so the authorities decided a few decades ago to do the obvious.

Put up some floodlights and keep the lifts running.

It started off slowly but in recent years it has taken off.

Now Stoneham has up to 3,000 people come on a busy night; the resort is just 20 minutes away from Quebec.  The bar is packed, while on Friday and Saturday night a band plays and the après ski kicks off.

The main impetus to the recent growth is marketing and pricing. The resort introduced a full season's night pass for just $150. It allows skiing from 4.00pm to 9.30pm and the tickets were snapped up.

More than 10,000 passes have been sold.

The other main resort of Mont Sainte Anne is slightly further away, but it only takes just over half an hour, and it has the highest vertical area of night skiing in Canada with 17 runs covering eight miles of terrain.

Skiing under cover of darknessSkiing under cover of darkness













As I emerged from the main lodge after couple of après ski beers while we waited for night to fall it seemed distinctly strange to be putting on skis and heading up the hill.

A leisurely bath or maybe even another beer is my normal pastime early evening in a ski resort.

Not in Stoneham.

So, what is it like?

Well firstly the light is more than enough to see by and the floodlights do not dazzle. It is quite possible to see the snow and the lights give a slightly surreal edge to the experience.

The snow was crisp and grippy under the colder temperature. 

People seemed more sociable too - we were all doing something together and there were friendly chats in the ski queques.

The half pipe had people in it, and the groomers were busy; though for some reason I didn't see one person in the bumps.

Can't think why.Wink

Above all though it is doing something different that is the attraction. There is night skiing in Europe and I have skied under the floodlights in Sestriere in Italy and St Moritz in Switzerland. 

I have also done a slightly more adventurous version in Verbier when I skinned up from the village to Attelas and came down by the light of a full moon - though that takes a touch more stamina.

In Stoneham and Mont Sainte Anne there are lifts and if you get the chance to try them then night skiing comes highly recommended by me.

3,000 a night at height of season3,000 a night at height of season














Skiing at nightSkiing at night













James Cove is on a short visit to Quebec - seeing the city and its nearby ski resorts.  Shortly he will be taking a train along the shoreline of the St Lawrence to visit Le Massif.  The resort has some of the most spectacular scenery as its slopes go down to the shoreline.

For the spirit of the mountains

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