Perfect night for skiing under the lights

torch light trekLast week the bitter cold forced the Torch Light Trek to be postponed at Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming, but kids were out in the somewhat warmer temperatures at Suicide Hill for the annual event Wednesday night.

The Torch Light Trek is free event hosted by the United States Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame as a chance for kids to get outside and stay active during the winter.

The trail at Suicide Hill is about a half mile and it’s lit with torch lights to guide the skiers.

“Kids, even if they go a few 100 yards of the whole loop, they’re always very enthusiastic, they have a blast with it,” Torch Light Trek organizer Bob Hendrickson said.  “It’s just fun to have the kids come out and really get fired up for skiing, which is part of the fun of skiing.”

“The Ishpeming Ski Club already has a track here in the bowl that’s lit with tiki torches, so we said ‘Why don’t we just move it here?’, instead of totally redoing the track over at Al Quaal.”

It’s the 16th year for the torch light trek, and the skiing event has grown every year.

“This will be a little bit bigger than what we usually do, it started out downtown Ishpeming a few years ago, and then it moved over to Al Quaal last year, and with the cold conditions we got shut out last week,” Hendrickson said.  “Because it’s a local event, a lot of local kids do it, we decided to play it safe and reschedule it for tonight (Wednesday).”

Wilderness Sports donated skis for kids to use, 100.3 The Point provided music for the event, and hot chocolate and cookies kept the skiers warm.