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Carey Kish

Carey Kish of Mount Desert Island has been adventuring in the woods and mountains of Maine for, well, a long time. If there’s a trail—be it on dirt, rock, snow, water or pavement—he will find it, explore it, and write about it. Carey is a two-time Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, Registered Maine Guide, author of AMC’s Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast, editor of the AMC Maine Mountain Guide (10th ed.), and has written a hiking & camping column for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram since 2003. Follow his outdoor travels and musings here, and on Facebook/CareyKish. Let Carey know what you think at

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Maineiac Outdoors with Carey Kish
Posted: March 2, 2014

Free night skiing at Black Mountain this Thursday March 6

Free skiing? Yeah, I figured that would get you attention…

Yep, what a Thursday night this last one was, watching the sun slowly sink into the west, bathing the Androscoggin River valley in the soft colors of evening. It was an unusual vantage point to view the scene, perched as I was on the slopes of Black Mountain in Rumford.

But the lure of night skiing – free night skiing – worked, and with great anticipation I made the 89-mile drive to the scenic edge of the western mountains.

Getting ready to ride the triple chair at Black Mountain. Photo © Carey Kish.

I’d never been night skiing at Black Mountain before, but since I like to ski the mountain so darn much in daylight I figured what the hay. A little something different don’t you know.

And the price was right for sure. Free. You see, the good folks at Franklin Savings Bank had sponsored the Thursday, February 27 free night skiing event, a real nice way to give a little something back to the local community.

Franklin Savings Bank, along with Bangor Savings Bank and Sunday River have been solid supporters of Black Mountain in its struggle to survive since its primary means support from Libra and the Maine Winter Sports Center ended last year. All three concerns played big roles in the critical fundraising efforts that kept the mountain open. There’s a long road ahead to continue to keep Black Mountain viable. But meantime, well, huge kudos to you folks!

Twilight skiing on Lower Androscoggin, Black Mountain. Photo © Carey Kish.

Black Mountain is a great mountain ski anytime, a hidden gem that gets too little play in the news and too little visitation from skiers outside the local area. If you haven’t been you’ve got to put it on your list; it’s so worth it.

Black Mountain features 35 trails and 5 glades and a surprising vertical of nearly 1,400 feet, the fourth highest in Maine behind the big boys at Sugarloaf, Saddleback and Sunday River. Imagine that!

For night skiing there are 7 trails open on the main area and 4 on the novice area. A triple serves the main slopes. The tubing area is also open nights.

Enjoying a run on Allagash while there was still some daylight. Photo © Carey Kish.

Bottom line is there’s plenty to draw you there for a fun night of free skiing, and plenty more to get you there for a full day. By the way, did I tell you that regular lift tickets for day skiing are just $15? Best deal in Maine skis down.

Free night skiing at Black Mountain this Thursday night, March 6. Photo © Carey Kish.

Black Mountain’s regular hours of operation are Friday and Saturday from 9 to 9 and Sunday from 9 to 4. Besides the great skiing you can enjoy the comfy environs of the modern lodge, great food from the snack bar (awesome pizza, burgers, hot dogs and fries), and a fun après ski upstairs in the cozy Last Run Pub, complete with a roaring fireplace.

Après ski in the Last Run Pub, Black Mountain. Photo © Carey Kish.

So, you missed the free night skiing last week. No problem. Redeem yourself this Thursday night, March 6 when Black Mountain again offers FREE NIGHT SKIING from 4 to 9, sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank.

Hint: If you’re gonna make the trip, bug out of town early so you can arrive in time for the lifts to open at 4. Why? Because for the next 90 minutes or so, the entire mountain is open. Yes, all trails are open until it starts to get dark. Then the ski patrol one-by-one ropes them off, excepting the handful of night skiing trails. Foolishly, I didn’t get on the slopes till 5 but was still able to manage a couple runs down Allagash and St. John.

MORE INFO: Black Mountain, 207-364-8977.

Image courtesy Black Mountain of Maine.

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