When Dani and I used to compete on snowboard team, we were in high school. And as much as we would have loved to ditch class at least once per week, I don’t think that would have fared well with our schools’ administrators. Because we lived at least an hour and a half from our home mountain (Mt. Hood) and perfecting our skills required more than just practice 1 – 2 days on weekends (plus, with at least 6 competitons a year, all held on Saturdays, most weekends were already taken up) we needed a weekly weeknight to practice. Thus, every Wednesday after school, our team headed to the mountain for a few good hours of intense snowboard practice.
Though I don’t go up often on week nights anymore (now I don’t usually get off work until 6pm at the earliest), I would highly recommend that anyone who can make it up to the mountain on a week night give it a shot. In my opinion, riding at night is just as good (if not better) than riding during the day for the following reasons:
- The lines are shorter – sometimes, MUCH shorter. Thus, you’ll be able to do twice as much riding in half the time!
- It’s peaceful and quiet – One of my favorite things about night boarding (especially on a week night) is sitting on the chair lift and just listeneing. It’s so peaceful and relaxing, and you truly feel one with the mountain in ways that would never be possible during the day.
- It’s good people – At night, the mountain, well, kind of weeds out the people who are there solely to see and be seen. As a result, you’re left with people who are there for one reason – the love of the sport. And hopefully, that’s why you’re there too!
- It’s all about the park – If you love the park as much as me, night riding is your chance to spend some good, quality time with the park or pipe and really perfect your practice. During the day when the entire mountain is open, its easy to say “I’ll hit it later” and never go. But at night, you don’t feel guilty for ignoring the fresh backcountry pow (plus, most great riding isn’t open anyway!)
- The night always ends with a cup o’ noodle and hot chocolate – This was my tradition every single Wednesday night, and even though I’m a health buff now, I’d still look forward to it every week.
If you do decide to go night riding, just remember to dress warm (toe and finger warmers are always a good idea!), wear a pair of good clear or yellkow-colored goggles (my preference is clear), bring chains for your car (at night there’s a much higher risk that the run-off produced during the day will turn to solid ice at night) and buy a large hot chocolate to help warm you up on the ride home.