I know you’re thinking, “Megan, you can barely ski during the day. Why are you attempting to ski at night?!” Well, apparently, they do these things in Switzerland. (I say apparently intentionally, because I’m still not convinced it’s true.) But I get ahead of myself…
Yesterday, a friend asked if I wanted to go night skiing at Les Pléiades. It’s a relatively short drive up the mountain from my house, and since I really only have a few more occasions to ski this season, I decided I might as well. I invited some of the other newbies, but I couldn’t find any information about night skiing on the website to send a link with details. Yes, the site was in French, but I understand enough to decipher when something is talking about “la nuit” [night]. I decided not to be a control freak and refrained from asking those planning to confirm whether or not there was actually night skiing on Wednesdays. Clearly someone had received the details if they were coordinating.
I ran out of the office at 17:30 to change into ski gear and load the skis onto the car. Then, I picked up two others and their skis before heading up the mountain. We were to meet several other friends at the top – one of which was waiting for us when we arrived around 18:45.
We had a brief huddle about where we thought we should park. I’ve only been up this mountain in the summer time, and I know you can’t physically drive to the top. I assumed one of the lifts would come down to the parking lot, because I most certainly did not intend to hike up the mountain carrying my skis and poles.
We drove a little bit further for me to show them where the road ends. My friend pulled up Google maps and showed me a route that looked like it went to the top. We tried it – ignoring a road sign I didn’t understand. (This happens more often than I should probably admit.) It was only wide enough for one car, and it felt like someone’s driveway. It was super steep, super dark, and super windy. (And it was crazy foggy tonight! Perfect conditions for night skiing, right?) As you can probably guess, the road came to a dead end at someone’s house. A kid was outside sledding and said the ski runs were closed. Then, a woman came out and made it very clear we weren’t supposed to drive up here. Oops!
We wound our way back down to the original parking lot. I saw a small office or concession stand or something at the far end and decided it was time to ask. (Mind you, there’s absolutely no sign of night skiing anywhere.) A group of people were sitting around a table drinking wine in the little building. An old man came out to chat. In the end, we established there was no downhill night skiing – only cross-country skiing! BAAAHHHH!
We laughed and laughed when we realized there would be no skiing. Just a trek back down the mountain through the dark, fog, and windy roads. Before we left, we decided to take a photo to commemorate the evening. And when we saw the outcome of our selfie, we laughed even more! The friend who got us into this performed a disappearing act for the picture!
Allegedly night skiing really is a thing in Switzerland, but at this point, I have no way to prove it.