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Monday, Jun 24, 2024

Snow Bowl plans to introduce night skiing in coming year

A new addition at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl will offer skiers an opportunity to hit the slopes later in the day. The college is planning to install LED light fixtures within the next year, allowing for night skiing.

With trails first created in 1934, the Snow Bowl is one of the oldest ski areas in the state of Vermont. Located off of state Route 125 in Hancock, the Snow Bowl is a place where students, faculty and community members alike come together to ski and snowboard more than 700 acres of trails. 

The Snow Bowl is currently just open to the public during the daytime, but the state recently approved the installation of LED lights on the Sheehan Lift and the Discovery Zone in order to expand hours for night skiing. 

Mike Hussey, director of the Snow Bowl, confirmed that night skiing is indeed in the works and said he is enthusiastic about the addition. 

“It is definitely happening,” Hussey told The Campus. “We got the permit last fall, and we own all the parts and pieces now. We even tried to begin last fall, but the stars didn’t align. We will be spearheading this project come summer.” 

The permit that Hussey referred to is the Vermont Act 250 permit. The permit is part of Vermont’s Act 250, a state land use and development law created in 1970 that ensures the protection of Vermont’s landscape and community by having mandated checks on development projects within the state. This involves a process of reviewing the social, fiscal and environmental costs and benefits of each project. The LED installation passed this review, so it complies with state statutes. 

Not the entirety of the Snow Bowl will be lit up, however. Only certain trails will be outfitted with LED fixtures.

“We will be putting them up on trails served by the Sheehan Lift, including the novice Lang trail, Kelton and Hadley for intermediates and expert Cameron trail, as well as the Discovery Zone for beginners as well,” Hussey said.

For recreation, the Lang and Kelton trails will be covered by 10 LUX lights. The Cameron trail will have 20 LUX lights for skiers training for races, according to New England Ski Industry.  

The lights will use electrical conduits that are laid onto the ground next to the snowmaking lines and will be mounted on 30-foot poles. 

Not only are Middlebury Snow Bowl staff excited for the lights to be installed, but students, too, are excited for the possibility of night skiing. 

Piper Harring ’25, a member of the Middlebury Ski Patrol, said she is thrilled about the addition of night skiing. Harring said she believes it will make skiing more accessible for students. 

“I think that the addition of night skiing will be really great for the Snow Bowl and Middlebury students,” Harring told The Campus. “Once the spring semester starts and people’s schedules start filling up, it can be hard for people who love skiing to find time for it. The addition of night skiing would be a great way to make the snow bowl more accessible for students and community members alike.” 

Anna Doucet ’26 expressed similar sentiments.

“Night skiing is very fun, and I would expect a lot of interest from students and the community,” Doucet said. “It would also bring in a lot more money for the Snow Bowl through rentals and lift tickets.” 

Although net earnings have not been predicted, the project is expected to cost around $675,000, including both the price of the physical lights and the installation process. 

In addition to student excitement surrounding night skiing, Hussey said he hopes that community members can also get more involved with the Snow Bowl because of the increased accessibility for workers.

“It will benefit the community as a whole,” Hussey said. “We want to make sure that everyone is given the time to ski, and I think this really does it.” 

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Hussey added that they plan to have night skiing available three days a week — Wednesday, Thursday and Friday — for about three hours a night.

“We are hoping to reestablish the high school ski team as well with this new addition, which would definitely benefit the young community members here,” Hussey said.

The Snow Bowl has not released any official statement about the new addition, so some students are raising some questions that have yet to be answered.

Talia Trigg ’26, an avid skier, said she is wondering about transportation.

“I love night skiing, but the prospect makes me wonder if the TVT Snow Bowl shuttle bus will run later into the evening, since I rely on it to get to and from the Snow Bowl.” 

Though there is no word yet on transportation, the Snow Bowl will begin releasing updates and official statements on the new addition on their social media accounts in the coming months, Hussey said.

Mandy Berghela

Mandy Berghela '26 (she/her) is a Local Editor. 

She previously served as the SGA Correspondent and contributing writer for the Campus. She plans to major in Political Science, with a minor in Arabic. Along with the paper, Mandy serves on the Judicial Board, social media manager for the Southeast Asian Society (SEAS), and is also involved in many campus theatre productions. On her free time, she enjoys long walks, cycling, and reading fantasy novels.