How come most ski resorts/hills close around 330pm or 4pm everyday?
Is that a reason for the groomers to work during the night?
Why don't hills stay open till 5pm or more at times? with exception of some places have night skiing?
Yeah agree with Gary. I've never seen a resort close at 3:30 though. Usually it's 4 or 4:30. I've seen 5 at some smaller mountains.
I always wished that they would keep the resorts open later as light allows, but I guess there's not much revenue in that for them.
The chair lifts close for last paying customer to load at 4:00pm. Ski patrol rides the last chair up which can take 15 minutes to get to the top. Ski Patrol begins skiing down and sweeping the trails at 4:15pm when last patrol is off the chair lifts. Ski patrol finishes sweeping trails at 4:35pm. Last patroller at top of the mountain is told he/she is clear to come down. At 4:40pm last patroller off the mountain. At 5:00pm its dark. If patrol does find an injury on sweep they have an extra 15 minutes of daylight to transport the patient to the bottom in the daylight.
Last chair at Whistler is currently 3:00PM. Consider that it starts to get dark around 3:30. Later in the year the last chair is 3:30, then 4:00 during the spring period (though the first chair won't run until 10:30 then).
When I spent the season at Les Arcs, I also recall them extending the hours for the last chair as the days got longer, possibly as late as 5 for certain lifts...one of the things that really amazed me was a December day at Espace Killy where I was able to catch one of the last chairs back from the Val d'Isere side to Tignes at something like 4:30 and then be able to get a great waffle with chocolate at the top before skiing down to the base with very little light left...
Depending on location relative to the base, some runs and lifts will close earlier than 4 pm due to personnel and sweep requirements. After daylight savings kicks back in, the past few years, some areas open later: 10am and close at 5pm. For spring snows this is more desirable anyway since it can give the frozen crust more time to warm and soften.
Some chairs at Baker close at 2:45, the entire ski area closes at 3:30. At this time of year it gets very dark soon after that and the patrol needs to have time to sweep.
The reason groomers work at night is so they won't run over anyone.
The earlier closings tend to happen at more northern latitudes (where the daylight is shorter), or at eastern ends of a time zone (where the sunset will be earlier).
Also, once the sun disappears behind a mountain, depending on the calendar date, the slopes can get incredibly dark. When you combine that with the overall tiredness of the skiing public, throwing in another variable (reduced vision) makes for an often dicey situation. When you factor all of that in with the mountain's closing responsibilities (the aforementioned last sweep by patrol, working folks back in from far-away regions of the mountain, etc.), closing the lifts at a seemingly "early" time makes sense.
I understand the reasons for ski areas closing at 4:00pm this time of year. What I find nice is that one ski area that I know of here in the east (Sugarbush) adjusts their hours of operation in the spring opening at 10:00am & closing at 5:00pm. It's nice to sleep a little later or not rush as much & still be able to hit freshly groomed runs.
The hours make sense now. But with Daylight Time starting in early March when many areas still have winter conditions, operating hours should be adjusted accordingly. But very few areas do it. Telluride is the only one I know for sure.
Both Alyeska and Whistler adjust their hrs of ops after the sun starts to stay out longer. It all comes down to hours of daylight during the season. And believe it or not there are ski areas that do have night skiing still in America.
Ten or so (maybe twenty?) years ago several New England areas kept the chairs running later when the light lasted longer in the spring. I haven't seen it lately, though.
We were skiing on Dec 20 - one day away from the shortest, let me point out. It was downright dark when the lifts closed at 4pm.
At the other extreme, one late spring night skiing at Brighton we skied trees till after 7pm and then left at 8pm when they finally turned the lights on (and roped off the unlit areas).
Up here in BC, it is twilight by 4-4:30 and pitch black by 5pm, especially up in the mountains. No way the hills here could stay open later than 3:30-4:00 and still be confident in getting everyone off the mountain. That being said, the hours do get extended (to 4:30) late in the season, but it is still pushing it as it gets dark fast still.
Yeah, a lot of resorts do that.
Does Keystone charge more for skiing at night? Or can I ski at Breck all day and then head to Keystone at 4pm without paying extra?
That is a joke movie trailer, right? Please tell me it is. She's holding on to the chairlift bar with bare hands. Right.
at Castle Mountain we close at 3:30 right now, and it's getting dark by the time I finish the sweep if i help with it. the sun drops behind the mountain around 3, just the way it's situated. Now they hours get extended as the daylight extends and it's 4pm later on in February and a afew weeks of a 5 pm close but 10pm open I believe in late march.