Okay for those of you who are not familiar, Nachtspektakel (pronounced knocked-shpeck-tockle) or “Night Spectacular” in English, is a common European event that combines skiing, drinking, eating and being merry with like-minded individuals during the cover of darkness. A few years ago part of the Local Freshies crew experienced the 3rd annual Nachtspektakel and in his words, “It’s THE backcountry festival all must experience.”
What Is The Nachtspektakel
A group of liked minded individuals together and skin to the top of a mountain. Usually the ascent begins when the sun is setting or at night. Once the group makes it to the top, strap on your headlamps and ski/ride down to the lodge or a hut. At the lodge you do what we do best…eat, drink and enjoy the company! After the food and drink have been consumed. It’s back out to the snow for a stealth mission. Everyone straps on their gear, turns on the headlamps and points it downhill! As stated this is a long standing tradition in Europe that is now beginning to catch on in the U.S.
The Ants Go Skinning One By One…
On a given Saturday a few years ago in late January the 3rd annual Nachtspektakel happened at Diamond Peak Ski Resort and Snowflake Lodge in Incline Village, NV. Dynafit, manufacturers of some of the best touring gear on the market, were also present. 50 touring and backcountry enthusiasts got together for the event. From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., participants were able to warm up their legs and put in laps at the resort. Hats off to the Diamond Peak snowmaking team! Even with the draught, warm temperatures and challenging conditions they have been able to maintain coverage over a number of runs. The official touring part of the day started at the base around 4 p.m. We all gathered and prepared for the climb up the mountain. All experience levels were represented. Some had their own gear; some rented gear from Tahoe Mountain Sports and others got demo gear from Dynafit. Once all were ready instructions were given, an event photo was taken and two groups were formed based on experience. Beginners headed straight to the lodge and the experienced group headed for the top.
Easy Going.. . AND Fun
The climb to the summit was leisurely and fun. The guide set the pace so all could enjoy. After an hour, the group of 10 was gathered one last time for the decent. Tahoe Mountain Sports staff was on hand snapping cool night shots as we cruised by. Night riding is exciting and depending on your skill level, you have to give it a try. Once at the ridge a short boot pack was required to get over to the lodge. Upon entering, the participants in the other group were already enjoying the food, libations and camaraderie. The shot-ski was out, beer was flowing and the food was off the hook! After hanging out for a while, eating and catching up with friends it was time for announcements. Tahoe Mountain Sports reminded everyone of their upcoming events and special offers. Dynafit announced a new genre of uphill they are promoting and covered some of their latest innovative gear. The organizers also set up a free giveaway which resulted in most winning something!
The stoke was high, spirits were good and it was the perfect time to end the night with a downhill run under the stars. Diamond Peak’s snow crew was at it again. During the celebration, they were hard at work grooming the run to ensure every one’s safety. Once the “all clear” was given, the group began to drop one by one. Conditions were great and the last run was the best of the day. It was an awesome adventure and Local Freshies will definitely be back next year!