Night Skiing? Read This Guide

by Simon Naylor | Updated: January 5th, 2023 |  Skiing Articles

Night skiing is skiing after sundown and is now offered at many ski resorts around the world, so you can get more time on the slopes. Ski resorts that offer night skiing, usually offer a cheaper night skiing pass for skiers who are working or busy during the day and want the chance to ski during the night. Most night skiing is done under electric lights that follow the path of the trail.

What Time Does Night-skiing Start? 

Night skiing usually begins right after the days skiing ends and after the sun has set. It can go on for a few hours or right into the middle of the night depending on the resort.

skiing at night

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Difference Between Day and Night Skiing?

night skier

Skiing in the daytime is warmer but busier. More ski runs are open in the daytime, but at night you expect up to 50-75% fewer people.

Ski Technique While Night Skiing

Night skiing tends to be icier than daytime skiing, so you need to adjust your technique to match the different surfaces. Skiing on ice or hard-packed snow is more difficult because there is less friction to control your speed, parallel ski, or stop.

night skiing

Slide Through Turns

While turning left and right, your skis will slide further down the slope and you should expect to ski through a larger turn radius. Don't make sudden edge changes and stay strong through the full movement of the turn.

Wider Stance

A slightly wider stance helps to give you a more stable body position when skiing over ice or hard-packed snow.

For more techniques read my free guide: How to Ski Safely on Ice and Hard Packed Snow

How Cold Is Night Skiing?

Night skiing is always colder than daytime skiing. Once the sun has set, the temperature gets colder and colder until sunrise. Layer up, have a hot meal, and bring a thermal flask of hot liquid - expect it to be cold.

If you want to stay warm while night-skiing read this free guide I wrote: Ultimate Skiers Guide to Staying Warm.

Is Night Skiing Fun?

Night skiing is very fun if you're warm, still have energy, and love skiing under the stars. Like most activities, night skiing is miserable if you're cold, tired & hungry. Many skiers love the empty slopes and the chance to get in a decent number of hours of skiing while also having more free time in the day to work or enjoy the resort.

night ski valley

Is Night Skiing Dangerous?

Night skiing is not dangerous if you keep warm and stay on well-lit groomed slopes. Be aware that the piste may be icier than usual and it will be more challenging to see upcoming bumps or troughs in the snow. The upside is that there will be fewer people skiing and so you have much more room to ski and less chance of colliding with another skier.

Can Kids Night Ski?

Sure, kids of any age that can ski can night ski - with adult supervision of course. If you've never skied before then skiing at night for your first time wouldn't be the most fun.

Why Do People Night Ski?

Many people night ski because it is cheaper, and it allows them to ski on quieter slopes and has more time skiing. Others love the fresh cool air on a dry night and looking up to the stars and moon above. Usually, people night ski for a combination of cost/enjoyment and to try something new.

What to Wear for Night Skiing?

ski layers clothing

Wear the same clothes as day skiing, but with more of an emphasis on staying warm. Wearing three high-quality layers is important: a body-hugging (thermal base layer), a thicker fleece (warm mid-layer), and an insulated and warm ski jacket (waterproof outer layer).

More layers aren't better, instead focus on wearing the right layers. You'll want to wear a ski helmet, clear or low-light ski goggles, and a neck warmer (balaclava or facemask) that you can pull up over your face so you have no exposed skin.

For warm hands, don't clench your poles too hard (limits circulation), and wear high-quality gloves (I recommend Thinsulate or Gore-tex materials). For warm feet, don't over-tighten your bottom buckles, wear thin ski socks, and don't clench your feet (limits blood flow)

Night Skiing Off-piste?

night skiing

Most people night ski on groomed ski slopes with lights. Night skiing in the backcountry or off-piste is for adventurous skiers. Bring emergency suppliers, and bright head torches, and travel with someone who knows the local area well. Avoid tree wells and stay safe.

Video of Extreme Night Skiing.

How Do I See While Night Skiing?

If it's a windless clear night, you can ski without ski goggles, but for warmth and eye protection, I'd strongly recommend wearing ski goggles. For some skiers, their normal day goggles will be fine (not perfect, but still fine) whereas for others they will need to buy goggles with a specific color tint.

If you own ski goggles that are designed for low-light conditions then you can use your regular goggles. For optimum vision clarity, clear goggles with a slight light filter to block the glare from the artificial lights work the best.

What Color Goggles for Night Skiing?

The best color ski goggles are yellow or clear. Look for ski goggles that only block a very small amount of light. Less than 20% or above 80 VLT (Visible light transmission).

Best Night Time Ski Goggles for 2022

Read my full night ski goggle review here. 

How Much Is Night Skiing?

The cost of night skiing is different in every resort, but you can expect to pay 30-70% less for your lift pass than you would in the daytime. (At my local resort they offer a 50% discount). Weekend, week, or season passes will be even cheaper and offer a great discount if you live nearby and want to ski on a budget. Bear in mind that although the passes are cheaper, the lifts won't be open for 9+ hours like they are in the daytime.

skiing at night

Is Night Skiing Worth It?

For the right person who enjoys trying something new, doesn't mind adding a warmer layer, and is happy to brave the nighttime cold, then night skiing is totally worth it.

For very new skiers, still getting to grips with their turns and stops, and learning how to control their speed, then nighttime skiing is probably not the best time to learn. Mainly because the snow is more likely to be icy or hard-packed.

The best thing about night skiing, is you get to experience the resort in a totally different atmosphere. While everyone is out drinking at the Apres bars, you're getting in extra ski time and shredding up the empty slopes!

Night skiing is not for cold-blooded or early morning skiers.  But if you often get a spurt of energy in the evenings or wake up late, then give night skiing ago - you might be surprised. source.

What Is Night Skiing Like?

Night skiing is colder & generally icy. Skiing at night feels like more of an adventure and at the top of the hill on a clear night, you can get a new perspective on the world. In a whiteout, night skiing is a challenge!

night ski blizzard

Problems With Night Skiing?

  • Colder
  • Might be icier or harder snow
  • Harder to see
  • Not all slopes are open
  • You need ski goggles that block out less light

Benefits of Night Skiing? 

  • Fewer people
  • Novel experience
  • Cheaper
  • Get more ski hours in
  • Ski at night so you can do more during the day