For most of my life, I've heard the same lament: "But it's so dark all the time. How can you stand it?"
True, it's dark. On the shortest day of the year in December, there's about five and a half hours of official daylight--sun up to sun down. You go to work or school in the dark, and go home in the dark. There's twilight on either side of that, though, so it really isn't that short.
At the winter solstice, the earth tips again and the days grow longer. But in the meantime, there's snow on the ground and a full moon.
And night skiing at Alaska's largest ski resort in the little town of Girdwood, 35 miles south of Anchorage.
Driving home from Anchorage one evening last month, I stopped alongside Turnagain Arm to take this photo. A few feet from me, the ever-moving salt water tides in the arm moved huge chunks of frozen fresh and brackish ice to and fro.
These are the night skiing lights of the resort. The chairlifts and tram take skiers high above them in the daylight hours. The view of a clear day is breath-taking.
The following photos were copied from the resort's photo gallery.
|That's gray salt water of Turnagain Arm to the left..|
And when the clouds roll in, you ski above them in the sunshine.
I've skied this mountain under a full moon with no artificial light. I've watched torchlight parades at midnight.
Full moon, white snow--there's something quite mystical about it.