2005-09-05 - Night Riders

Undoubtedly one of my most memorable experiences in New Zealand was night boarding... yes, that's right - snowboarding in the dark! The night we went up was very misty and this was only compounded by the snow making machines running full blast. As a result, visibility was really low and the few spotlights they had along the runs only acted as faint beacons in the haze.

One of the problems with the snow machines is that they can sting your eyes, blinding you temporarily. The solution of course is to wear goggles but this doesn't exactly help at night when it is already very dark. So I found myself riding blind, literally, on a number of occasions. It was quite scary at times but also very exhilarating. I found that in the darkness, all other distractions were taken away and I was truly able to focus on snowboarding. Maybe it was my imagination but I felt like I had my best runs that night. Another big bonus of the night riding is that it is way less crowded so you hardly have to wait for lifts.

As for the photo, I took this as we were about to head home at 9pm. I didn't have my tripod but I wanted to capture a sense of what the night boarding was like. This is the M1 again with a snow machine in full action. I waited to get a snowboarder as he passed through the light. Because of the low light I had to use ISO 1600 and under expose it by a stop to prevent blur, resulting in the equivalent of ISO 3200 - check that grain out!