Cross country skiing at night in the Arb

Cloudy nights are a great time to cross country ski in the Carleton Arb. The glow from the lights along Hwy 3, the campus, and downtown Northfield make it very easy to see where you’re going.

Carleton Arb in winter at night Carleton Arb in winter at night Carleton Arb in winter at night
And if it’s snowing like it was last night, the glowing effect is intensified.


  1. Bruce Anderson said:

    Starry and moonlit nights are also great. I’ve probably done the majority of my cross country skiing over the 40 years I’ve been skiing after “dark.” It can get a little dicey in deep woods on a winding downhill, but there’s generally enough light to ski safely, even without one of the modern headlamps some folks now use.

    The best thing about evening skiing: you’re almost always the only person out there. (Ooops–our secret is out, Griff!) I blogged last week about skiing in the Arb, too, and included some photos. What a tremendous community asset Carleton provides!

    December 17, 2008
  2. Bright Spencer said:

    Bruce, Cool. Now what kind of things do you wear or do to keep from freezing your face off?

    December 17, 2008
  3. Bruce Anderson said:

    When the temp and/or windchill is way low, a balaclava is a good idea. Not stylish, but it minimizes the exposed flesh! Great for cold weather biking (under a helmet, of course!)/walking/whatever as well.

    December 17, 2008
  4. Bright Spencer said:

    So, you spread Greek pastry over your face and then eat what’s left for energy? Just kidding, I looked it up. Thanks, Bruce.

    December 17, 2008
  5. Bruce Anderson said:

    Baklava under the balaclava would be good, too 😉

    December 17, 2008
  6. My dog Sasha and I went and bought skijoring equipment today! I can’t wait to try it out, though I’ll probably opt for broad daylight.

    December 17, 2008
  7. David Beimers said:

    Does Carleton ever groom the XC trails in the lower arb? I’ve been there 3 days in a row and it’s been great weather, but it would be more enjoyable if the trail was groomed.

    December 19, 2008
  8. Bruce Anderson said:

    The lower Arb grooming is a bit spotty. Classic tracks are sometimes set when we get a good shot of snow on top of a decent base (as may be the case after tomorrow).

    Most of the lower Arb trails were groomed earlier before the thaw last weekend, but there wasn’t enough snow to set classic tracks.

    A lot of folks seem to think the groomed trails are ideal for hiking, so they tend to get tromped upon pretty quickly… some hikers seem to take special pleasure in walking DIRECTLY on the classic tracks–whatthe?!?

    December 19, 2008
  9. Anne Bretts said:

    Mild and quick thread drift. I like winter from the inside of a picture window next to a fire, but grandkids are here and I’m wondering where I can find fun sledding for kids under 10. Thanks.

    December 19, 2008
  10. When we were visiting Northfield in years past, my daughter and her cousins gravitated to the hill behind Old Main at St. Olaf. Not sure if this is best for under 10, though. Used to be a good hill for caf trays too, as I recall.

    December 19, 2008
  11. Griff Wigley said:

    Anne, either the Old Main hill at St. Olaf or at Bell Field at Carleton are great for sledding. There are steep parts for the thrill seekers but less challenging areas, too.

    December 19, 2008
  12. Jerry Bilek said:

    under 10 sledders can use the hill next to Sibley Elementary.

    December 20, 2008
  13. Anne Bretts said:

    You guys are great. Thanks!

    December 20, 2008

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