Skibikers Reign Supreme After the Slopes Close at Night
by G. Kunkel
(This article was originally published on Yahoo! Voices on 1/11/2011)
The popularity of skibiking has increased in Colorado with the development of full-suspension skibikes. Now there isn’t enough time in the day to get out on the skibike. For those wanting to take their ski bikes out for a spin at night or take a guided ski bike tour, only a limited number of ski resorts have night skibiking.
Guided night ski bike tours
A guided ski bike tour at night is a ski resort activity one rarely encounters. In Colorado, two ski resorts offer guided nighttime ski bike tours. Since neither of these resorts have night skiing, night ski bikers will have the ski slopes to themselves. Gliding down ski trails under the stars is a completely different snow sliding experience. Tours under a full moon should be savored.
Winter Park Resort Night Ski Bike Tours
Winter Park Resort offers a guided night ski bike program on Friday and Saturday nights from mid-December to the beginning of March during the ski season. Those ages 13+ are welcome to enjoy beginner and intermediate level ski bike tours on either Cranmer or March Hare to Village Way. Tours are held on Brenter C4 snowbikes.
After registering at Winter Park Resort Rentals in The Village, night skibikers are issued: ski boots, a reflective vest, a headlamp, foot skis, a skibike, and meetup with their guide. Skibikers then board a gondola car at the Zephyr Express chairlift. At the top, everyone is given a ski bike riding lesson and safety instructions.
The night ski bike tours are from 6 pm to 9 pm and end at the base of Winter Park Resort. Reservations are required and space is limited. Preview on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iodQF_BQWRc
For the best fit, bring your personal ski boots and ski helmet.
Guests with a Type II ski bike license may choose to ride a Lenz Sport Alpine Brawler.
Vail Ski Resort Night Skibike Tours
Vail offers guided night skibiking tours starting at the mountaintop Adventure Ridge on Tuesday through Saturday from mid-December to mid-April. Intermediate skiers and snowboarders ages 10+ are welcome to join these nighttime skibike tours. The ski bike tours last up to 2 hours and start at 4:45, 5:15, 6:30, and 7 pm.
Once registered and Liability Forms signed, nighttime ski bikers are issued a ski bike, foot skis, a headlamp, and then meetup with their guide for a fun adventure on the ski slopes. Participants are given a riding lesson and safe operating instruction before beginning their tour. For a preview of all Adventure Ridge activities including night skibiking: http://bcove.me/ujrkjc50
For the best fit, bring your own ski or snowboard boots and ski helmet
Night ski bike tours are on Brenter C4 snowbikes
Ski resorts without nighttime ski bike tours but allow night ski biking
Not every Colorado ski resort offers guided skibike tours. A few ski resorts let ski bikers out on their ski slopes on their lighted terrain at night. These are the select few where skibikers can explore the slopes on their own.
Keystone Ski Resort
Keystone Ski Resort allows skibiking during daylight hours as well as at nighttime. Keystone offers the most lighted nighttime ski trail access in the state of Colorado. Scheduled night ski biking typically runs from December to March depending upon weather and conditions. Hours of operation vary during the ski season. Discount night lift tickets can be purchased on Liftopia.com. http://www.keystoneresort.com/ski-and-snowboard/night-skiing.aspx
Howelsen Hill Ski Area
Located just a few blocks from downtown Steamboat Springs, Howelson Hill Ski Area is allowing ski bikes starting with the 2010-11 ski season. Skibiking is allowed during normal operating hours only on the terrain serviced by the magic carpet lift. Ski bikes are not allowed on the poma or chairlift for this inaugural season.
Both ski bobs and peg ski bikes are allowed at Howelson Hill. All ski bikes must first pass a safety inspection by Ski Patrol and have a leash before access is granted. After the 2010-11 ski season, ski bike access will reviewed and further terrain access may be granted. http://steamboatsprings.net/departments/parks_recreation/facilities/howelsen_hill_ski_area
Skibikers in southwest Colorado can night skibike too. Located just 11 miles west of Durango, Colorado, 80% of Ski Hesperus’ terrain is illuminated at night. Ski Hesperus allows ski bikes but skibikers must use foot skis to use the chairlift. Hours are from 4-9 pm Monday – Saturday. Adult night lift tickets are $27.00 and Junior (12 & under) tickets are $16.00. http://ski-hesperus.com/
More on skibiking:
personal communication with Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation
personal communication with Keystone Communications
YouTube video courtesy of Winter Park Resort
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