This past Saturday Squaw Valley, Dynafit, Alpenglow Sports, and Tahoe Mountain Sports hosted California’s first ever Nachtspektakel ski touring event. More than 50 tourers came out and continue to rave positive reviews of the event.
Nachtspektakel’s (pronounced-knocked-shpeck-tockle) are cultural norms in Europe. The name means “Night Spectacular” and is a gathering meant to bond people through the sport of ski touring where skinning up a mountain, enjoying food, conversation, drinks, and riding down focus the evening.
I have to admit, it initially felt weird to show up to Squaw at 3:30pm with touring equipment, but I realized that was probably because the legality of activity hadn’t yet set in. However, the energy of the group quickly took control upon departure as old friends and soon-to-be-friends collectively started skinning up Sunnyside en route to High Camp. We all collected at the base of KT,
and started up the mountain at our own pace.
I was fully entertained talking to tourers as we made our casual progression. Some seemed to jump at the option to skin quickly, while others simply took their sweet time. Many attendees backcountry ski regularly and were local, while for a few people it was their first time skinning, and a few were just in town for the weekend. It was a great mix of participants and exactly the point of a Nachtspektakel.
As the alpenglow set in
and night arrived
everyone made their way to High Camp for a fabulous three-course dinner and drinks. I have to say, having worked at High Camp during my first years in Tahoe, the food was phenomenal! Hats off to the cooks and staff!
I’d venture to say the only issue of the night was people were ready to hang out a bit longer than the time that was allotted, which is a good thing because that just meant everyone was enjoying the evening. Although no one really seemed to mind when it was time to ski. The stoke factor was high and people were fully fired up!
A major thanks are in order for Dynafit, Alpenglow Sports, and Tahoe Mountain Sports for putting this event together. Big ups to Squaw Valley and all who attended as well. Looking ahead, if there’s enough interest, another Nachtspektakel may take place before the end of the season. Perhaps for the next round people can start skinning earlier, and have more time not only for the up, but to further enjoy the company and atmosphere at the top as well. Maybe we can even ski via headlamps next time as is the traditional way with Nachtspektakel’s, although for the first of its kind in California, and the fact this event was held at a mountain not normally open to uphill traffic, the night was an overwhelming success. I’ll make sure to share an update if another Nachtspektakel shapes up in the near future, but take note, with a few more adventurous people to share the festivities with we could be looking at some pretty memorable evenings at our beloved hill down the road.