Night Skiing Masella Style in Catalonia
Are your family activities lacking in the wow factor? One way to pep them up is to do them at a different time of day. Especially at night, where a veil of darkness can turn an everyday activity or location into a new and exotic experience. While checking out Catalonia’s five great ski resorts we tried out night skiing in Masella… head torches not required.
As dusk descends skiers prepare to head up the mountain for Night Skiing, Esqui Nocturn at Masella, Catalonia
Night skiing in Masella
Midday on the mountain. What are you seeing? Nothing?
Midnight. Are you seeing it now?
Bang on time, the lights come on. The trees become fairy grottos. The chill out zone pumps a relaxed beat and vibe while the bar pumps dance. The white fields become florescent. The lift ramps into action. And the Catalonian resort of Masella turns from a ski destination in the Cerdanya Valley to a magic roundabout that we want to jump on. We waste no time, slip into our skis and board the lift to twilight.
With the sun set, the trees light up and floodlights shine like stars
Midday on the mountain. What are you hearing? Nothing?
Midnight. Are you hearing it now?
As we leave behind the dance track and the crowds, we pick out shapes in the dusk. The tips of snow covered trees we didn’t notice in the day have a ghostly glow. Sound becomes more sharply focussed; as leaves and skis compete to swish ever louder beneath us. People are like caterpillars on luminous lumps and bumps. Check out this video and feel it for yourself.
The night effect
Midday on the mountain. What are you feeling? Nothing?
Midnight. Are you feeling it now?
It’s amazing how doing something at night can change your whole perspective on a place. We’ve found this time and time again on our adventures at home and abroad. Like on our moonlight hike to the Travelodge
down the road, where swans appeared out of the night like long necked dementors. Like on our enforced Bosnian stopover in a churchyard
where stars seemed to fall out of the sky onto our bivvy bags and bikes.
Doing things at night is more visceral, more memorable, more detailed, more…well just more than it’s daytime counterpart. It’s like someone turns up the elements, sharpens your nerve endings, switches on your capacity for fight, fright or flight. Nature becomes more encompassing. The air more enveloping. You become more receptive to the experience.
So here’s an idea; If something you know well has become routine, then try it at night. You’ll be surprised how different it feels.
There is nothing quite like skiing into the sunset
Night without end
In Masella tonight everything seems without end. And in some senses it is. The resort illuminates 13 slopes; the highest number in the Pyrenees, with 10 km of skiing and 420 metres of vertical drop. But that’s nothing compared with how it feels. In the pink, then blue, then navy light, the north face of La Tosa becomes the north face of Everest. The night stretches ahead to infinity. The horizon, which felt close and heavy in the daytime, now feels like a light year away. The sound has ramped up at the bottom of the piste, but for us, it’s just the sound of our blades in the snow, our breathing in the blackness and the odd thud as we hit the ground
. We ski fast, hard, and free.
Esqui Nocturn (Night Skiing) Masella style in Catalonia
Information on Night skiing in Masella
The resort of Masella runs night skiing through till March every Friday evening 6.30-8.30 and Saturday evening 6-9. Daytime skiing closes at five to accommodate these openings. There is a bar,a DJ booth and a chill out rooms. If you want to get better at skiing you can watch the ski clubs train. There are 13 slopes, seven lifts, and a fully illuminated snow park.
Disclosure Note: Our thanks to Costa Brava Girona Patronat de Turisme and the ski resort of Masella whose support enabled us to bring you this story. The views and experience are, as ever, entirely our own.