When The Sun Goes Down, The Lights Come On

Hitting TBay’s Slopes After Sunset

Although most people lament that Thunder Bay winters are long, die-hard skiers tend to disagree. This is especially true for skiers whose time on the slopes is limited by other commitments (you know, the kind that pay the bills). Thankfully, both of Thunder Bay’s ski hills—Loch Lomond and Mount Baldy—offer night skiing for weekend warriors and visitors who want to get the most out of the ski season.

Night skiing has been available to Thunder Bay skiers for decades. The idea caught on at ski hills around the world after a ski hill owner near Seattle aimed huge flood lights at the hill so that employees could take a few runs after the customers went home. The employees had so much fun, the owner decided to incorporate it as part of his business. At most hills, crowds are a little thinner after dark, but the lack of lift lines and lower ticket prices make night skiing even more enjoyable.

The added exhilaration of skiing under the stars along with the inviting atmosphere of the chalet more than makes up for the chillier temperatures outside. Sure, it can get a little frosty, but who are you trying to impress? There is no shame in ducking into the chalet every couple of runs for a hot bevvy and some snacks—the après ski scene is a big part of skiing culture and Loch Lomond and Mount Baldy’s chalets have a full bar and offer a pub-style menu. As an added bonus, they regularly feature local bands belting out tunes in the bar—you’ll hear blues, rock, and reggae and everything in between.

By far, one of the best perks of night skiing is the view of the city’s twinkling lights from the top of the hill. Located on opposite sides of Thunder Bay, Loch Lomond and Mount Baldy offer different, but equally beautiful views and they are close enough that the lights on each hill are visible from the other.

Loch Lomond, located just south of the city, offers night skiing on runs located on their north and south sides from Thursday through Saturday and Mount Baldy, located just north of the city, offers night skiing on Friday and Saturday nights. This means true weekend warriors can pack in upwards of 32.5 hours of skiing from Friday morning to Sunday evening.

There is no need to lament that the ski season is too short—head to the hills and get in some extra runs after dark.

Loch Lomond Ski Area is located off Highway 61 and Mount Baldy is located off Highway 527.

For hours and ticket prices visit lochlomond.ca and skimountbaldy.ca.

Tips for night skiing newbies

  1. Dress in layers. Bring a fresh base layer, socks and mitts to avoid the chills if you are skiing day and night.
  2. Wear clear or lighter goggle lenses.
  3. Always ski with a buddy.
  4. Enjoy the sunset.
  5. Don’t drink and drive.
About Michelle McChristie

Michelle McChristie is a freelance writer from Thunder Bay and frequent contributor to The Walleye magazine. She is passionate about the outdoors and enjoys exploring Lake Superior in all seasons with her family.

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