Ryan Turner

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Photo Essay: Night Riders A Wild Ride

THERE ARE TIMES WHEN A DAY of skiing isn’t enough. Days when the snow is so incredible that waiting for tomorrow isn’t an option.

That was the case last year, when, after an amazing powder day skiing Lone Peak in Big Sky, Mont., a few trusted buddies and I extended our time outside. Die-hard outdoor enthusiasts and experienced backcountry skiers, we set our sights on a location that looked exciting to explore on a moonlit night.

The weather forecast was clear. The moon would be full. Only a short drive to our starting point, the sun had set and the dark stage of night hovered as our anticipation grew.

We raced to get our gear prepared. As a group, we chose to avoid extreme hazards, but double-checked our avalanche gear in case we ended up in dangerous terrain. We loaded our backpacks with standard equipment, adding a flashlight, clear goggles, and extra handwarmers.

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There are times when a day of skiing isn’t enough. Days when the snow is so incredible that waiting for tomorrow isn’t an option.

That was the case last year, when, after an amazing powder day skiing Lone Peak in Big Sky, Mont., a few trusted buddies and I extended our time outside. Die-hard outdoor enthusiasts and experienced backcountry skiers, we set our sights on a location that looked exciting to explore on a moonlit night.

The weather forecast was clear. The moon would be full. Only a short drive to our starting point, the sun had set and the dark stage of night hovered as our anticipation grew.

We raced to get our gear prepared. As a group, we chose to avoid extreme hazards, but double-checked our avalanche gear in case we ended up in dangerous terrain. We loaded our backpacks with standard equipment, adding a flashlight, clear goggles, and extra handwarmers.

As our eyes adjusted to the nightscape our senses grew keen.  At the top of our hike, we took in the view — familiar, but changed in this secret light. There aren’t superlatives enough to describe the elation of making smooth turns down the powder-covered slopes by moonlight. Pure fun.