Words and photos by Clay Dolan
One of the best perks of living in The Blue Mountains is being able to enjoy four seasons of recreation without having to travel any further than your backyard. It’s no secret that Blue Mountain’s 5 x 7 pass is a great deal, and one that my wife and I take advantage of every year. It’s become a mid-weekly tradition for us to knock off work, throw on our ski boots and rip some laps together under the lights at Blue, followed by dinner and a few frosty cold beers. It’s like having a mini-weekend on a Wednesday!
Forget the crowds and lineups, midweek skiing is laid-back and the views from the top of the Escarpment are incredible after dark. And because night skiing runs are groomed daily at around 4:30pm the conditions are usually perfect. If you’re looking for soft snow, follow the groomers as they make their way across the hill—not literally, of course—trails are closed while the machines are grooming, but if you wait at the caution tape you’ll be first down when they reopen the run. If you’d rather be carving on hard pack, look for the runs that don’t get groomed because this is where the snow has set up.
We always make a point to ski from one end of Blue to the other, with a few stops along the way. The Bullwheel Pub (which opened last winter) at the base of the Southern Comfort Lift is a new favourite. And now with the Badlands Terrain Park located at Orchard, it’s even more fun heading to that side. It’s probably sage advice to save the Bullwheel visit until after our park laps. Once our legs are spent and our bellies are rumbling we finish the night with a romantic dinner at one of Blue Mountain’s original Restaurants, The Pottery. Park your skis right outside and don’t worry about your ski boots—they’re encouraged! Cozy up in front of the roaring fireplace, or request a table near the windows to watch the snowflakes fall under the night skiing lights.
If you still have energy afterwards, be sure to head next door to Jozo’s for a pint of Smart Alec Ale and live music (check the website for the entertainment schedule). It’s easy to see why this has become a mid-week tradition for my wife and I, and perhaps the reason a few of our friends have decided to join us. Now double-date ski night is our favourite night of the week, and a great little reprieve before the weekend.
For more information go to bluemountain.ca