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Winter/Snow: Night Skiing: Oh, Starry Starry Nights

So you’re stuck at a desk all day, yearning for the great outdoors and a gulp or two of fresh air. But as fall lengthens into winter, the days are growing darker — and colder. So who’s complaining? Dig out your skis, unzip that snowboard, sling your ice skates over your shoulder and head for the hills! Many of Canada’s favourite ski resorts switch on their brights right around office quitting time. So you still have hours to live the S word—to swoosh and schuss on skis, snowboards, snowshoes and skates in a winter wonderland that’s ablaze with light. Many plan special nighttime activities such as candlelit dinners on the mountaintop offering starry-eyed views of what’s below or snowshoe expeditions and torchlight parades lit by headlamps and the light of the moon.

At Stoneham Mountain Resort, just 20 minutes from Quebec City, most of the terrain lights up every night, making it Canada’s brightest resort. Sixteen illuminated trails over 183 acres offer some of the best night skiing in Canada. Call 1-800-463-6888 or visit www.ski-stoneham.com.

At nearby Mont-Sainte-Anne, night skiers get a fabulous view of glittering fairytale Quebec in the distance while enjoying Canada’s highest vertical night drop. Ride the gondola on designated evenings for a snowshoe trek along the ridge, followed by a Swiss fondue dinner and a view of the starry starry night on the way down. To reserve, call 418-827-4561 x0 or visit www.mont-sainte-anne.com.

At Kimberley Alpine Resort, a 15-minute drive from Cranbrook, BC, cruise under the lights down the smooth Main run. At 1,798 metres, it’s more than a mile of illuminated descent. The Nordic Trails are also lit up for night owl skiers. www.skikimberley.com

At Lake Louise, voted Best Steeps and Best Scenery by Ski Canada magazine, you can reserve the biweekly Torchlight Dinner and Ski featuring après-ski appetizers, a flaming Alberta hip of beef buffer, a guided slide down the mountain by torchlight; $49 for adults, $25 for kids. Call 1-800-258-7669. www.skilouise.com.

When it snows on Newfoundland’s West Coast, it comes down thick. Like 16 feet thick. Enough to turn Marble Mountain Resort, Atlantic Canada’s premiere ski destination, into the best snowy playground east of the Rockies. Ski 150 acres of runs, hop a heated Snowcat to explore the back country, or carve up some fresh tracks on a snowboard.

There’s terrain for everyone from little ski angels to intermediate skiers to Black Diamond Devils. Then, as the sun slips into the West, the area begins to glow with light, enough to lengthen the ski day well into the night. Just five minutes east of Corner Brook, the resort opens for skiing on December 15, weather permitting. For more information, call 1-888-462-7253, 709-637-7600 or visit www.skimarble.com.





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