For the first time in recent memory night skiing occurred at the Warner Canyon Ski Area on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 14-16.
People packed the slopes to take in an event that has not happened in Lake County since 1969, helped by Steve and Andy Pardue of Pardue Construction. Steve had night skied at other ski resorts in Oregon and California, and always dreamed about bringing night skiing to Warner Mountain, so people who have not been able to travel to ski had the chance for this experience.
“When I approached Dave Knowles about the idea of night skiing he lit up like a Christmas tree,” said Steve Pardue.
Pardue Construction and Peterson CAT each donated three construction level lights and set them up at various points on the hill. It opened up the hill to the midway point down, allowing people not just to ski by the chair lift, but all the runs were available from below that point.
“It brings a whole new aspect to the hill,” said Steve Pardue. “I would live to do it every year.”
While Steve was thrilled about the response from the community, the people hitting the slopes were excited about night skiing, even if it was only half the hill.
People who had night skied elsewhere described the experience as something else at Warner Mountain, and were enjoying the experience. Many kids from Lakeview made it for night skiing, and for many of them it was their first time skiing at night; which was one of the goals of Steve.
Nadine Mendias and Kelsie Davis, both seventh graders at Daly Middle School, were having a blast skiing at night at Warner Mountain. They loved it and felt that it was more fun skiing at night than in the daytime.
With the lights being visible from Lakeview, the community along with a large number of people from out of town, packed the parking lot and slopes to take in something that has not happened in a long time, though people are hopeful that it will happen once again next year.
Coming up on Saturday, Feb. 22, is the annual SnoFest, this year with a Hawaiian theme. People are encouraged to wear their Hawaiian shirts, grass skirts and leis on the slopes of the Warner Mountain Ski Area. Races begin at 10 a.m., a scavenger hunt will be held at 3 p.m., and a Hawaiian-themed dinner at 5 p.m. to support the ski patrol at Warner Mountain Ski Area. The cost of dinner is $10. After dinner will be the annual torchlight ski.
Warner Mountain Ski Area is located on hwy 140 east of Lakeview.