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It's spooky. It's dangerous. You can't see a damn thing. Skiing at night is everything you'd expect it to be, until it isn't. Salomon Freeski TV delivers their second episode of this season with a journey into the dark entitled "Quarter Past Midnight." Its premise: skiing at night like no way before.
I was lucky enough to tag along on much of the season-long mission to capture footage with fluorescent Burning Man LED light strings and thousand dollar Swedish headlamps. My first night on the pitch-black mission was a tour into the dusky, dense Japanese forest. Though none of us admitted it then, there was a nervous energy that accompanied our journey out into the backcountry. The fading light and haunting silence grew the gap between civilization and the wild. But as we relaxed into the blackness and the ghouls, goblins and all things that go bump in the night decided to not bother us, we hiked to the top of a tree-marked, steep ravine and prepared to ski by the dimmest of lights.
We slowed down up top and let our eyes adjust. With my retinas as wide as dimes, I pushed off into black abyss. The darkness suddenly accelerated everything. A mellow pow turn suddenly felt like a hyper drive slash as four senses awakened while the fifth, eyesight, deadened. The turns were deeper. The pitches felt steeper. The hollers rang exponentially louder. It was a new experience of skiing. In fact, it felt like an entirely new type of skiing.