While many North American and European skiers and snowboarders are storing away their gear as the hot summer sun melts down the snow cover, the opposite side of the globe is just cooling down for some of the best ski conditions during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer months. From July through September, some glacial skiing resorts even offer guests the option to ski in the morning and lounge by the outdoor pool in the afternoon to not miss out on important bronzing time (just don’t forget to apply plenty of sunblock). After tons of research and review, The Ski Channel presents the Top 10 Summer Ski Resorts of 2013!
10. Treble Cone, New Zealand
Treble Cone operates from the end of June to late September and offers beautiful backcountry terrain for the skier looking for a sizable challenge. Along with the incredible backcountry comes the sweet Jazz Intermediate Park. This terrain park features plenty of jumps, table tops and fun boxes that never have lines – a great place to perfect some new tricks. In addition to great day-to-day ski conditions, Treble Cone also brings exciting competitions to the mountain that guests can enjoy including the FIS Giant Slalom and Slalom. You don’t want to miss a second of the action Treble Cone has in store for you this season.
9. Saas-Fee, Switzerland
If you’re looking for some sweet European skiing this summer, check out the slopes of Saas-Fee in Switzerland. The glaciers offer 20 km of slopes suitable for all skiing and riding levels between early July and the end of August from 7:30am-1pm. Not only does Saas-Fee have phenomenal skiing/riding for the public, it also serves as a training base for many Swiss and international winter athletes. Each summer, the mountain hosts the Saas-Fee Ride where professionals have the chance to test their skills in the Freestyle Park. In last year’s competition, every rider unanimously agreed that it was the best park they had seen since their freestyle beginnings, which really opens the door for an even more incredible competition to come in the 2013 event.
8. Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada
For those looking to enjoy the summer heat combined with the winter snow, Whistler is the place to be. Whistler Blackcomb prides itself on sustaining the longest snow season in Canada with the help of their legendary Horstman Glacier. This breathtaking glacier is open from the end of June until late July from 12-3pm daily. While the ride up to the top of the glacier takes around 45 minutes, it’s absolutely worth it. Skiers and riders should be between advanced and expert level in skiing ability, due to the more challenging terrain. Oh, and you must be able to ride the T-Bars up the mountain (not always easy).
The mountain also offers Glacier Camps in a variety of areas including: park and pipe, race-training, freeride and moguls for those winter athletes looking to keep their skills sharp year-round. In addition, Whistler Blackcomb offers afternoon activities for all those mountain adventurers, such as bear viewing tours, zip-wiring, glacier walks, rock climbing, horseback riding and golf. Of course, we can’t forget about the kids. The mountain maintains their kids’ Adventure Zone featuring activities like the luge, trampoline and a 25 ft. high “climbing web.”
7. Timberline Lodge, Oregon, USA
Have you been dreaming about skiing year-round in North America? Timberline Lodge in Oregon will make your dreams a reality, claims to offer the longest ski season in North America, running year-round through the winter, spring, summer and fall seasons! They provide one of the best deals for the locals in the area, featuring the Timberline Complete Pass that allows full year lift access skiing and riding. Best of all – no blackout dates for as long as they are open!
Along with some exclusive bragging rights to dish out to your friends, Timberline Lodge features four of the finest freestyle terrain parks on Mt. Hood, as well as 3,960 vertical feet of powder bliss. Timberline Lodge serves as a premiere training ground for many elite racers and freestyle competitors. An added bonus for those skiers and riders looking to perfect their skills in the summer months is the variety of camps the mountain offers throughout the season.
6. Tignes, France
Tignes offers a unique skiing experience for those interested in continuing their powder adventures throughout the European summer. After the cold winter season from September to May, Tignes offers summer glacier skiing from mid June to early September. Reaching the base of the French glacier takes a mere seven minutes via the underground funicular. Tignes offers amazing terrain for all skill levels featuring blue, red and black runs.
The real beneficiaries of their conditions, however, are for the intermediate and expert skiers. While the North Face run is quite popular, the glacier snowpark offers a halfpipe, rails, moguls, a hip ramp and quarter-ramps for all those freestylers, pros and amateurs looking to score some big air. Remember to get an early start to enjoy these pristine conditions as the lifts only run from 7:15am-1:30pm.
5. Ski Portillo, Chile
Portillo provides a quite different ski adventure, as the mountain has just one yellow hotel and no town for miles. While the thought of being secluded from the outside world might seem a bit intimidating, this experience definitely has its perks as only 400 people can fit in the hotel, meaning little to no lift lines. Hallelujah! The hotel also leaves no time for boredom since it offers lots of off-the-mountain amenities, including: a pool, fitness center, gymnasium, game room, children’s activities, day care center, cinema, discotheque, piano bar, aerobics and yoga classes.
Intermediate and advanced skiers and riders rave about Portillo for its steep, off-piste terrain. When covered by powder after a storm, the snow pack last for days. For the ultimate daredevils, Portillo maintains helicopter operations to take you to even higher elevations and peaks. In addition to great skiing, Portillo also offers great backcountry hiking opportunities since the resort is 100% above tree line.
Want to get an exclusive look at Ski Portillo? Check out The Ski Channel “Destination: Portillo” Youtube series.
4. Dachstein, Austria
The Dachstein Glacier opens at the end of May and continues for an unreal 11-month skiing experience featuring slopes that maintain year-round powder conditions. The famous Horsefeathers Superpark filled with boxes, jumps, rails, jibs, and tubes complements the well-groomed ski runs. The Dachstein is also the premier international training centre for cross-country skiers, bi-athletes and Nordic combined athletes. With summer lifts running from 7:50am-4:50pm, there is plenty of time to enjoy the fantastic conditions offered at the Dachstein.
The Dachstein is highlighted by some unique features such as the Dachstein Sky Walk that peers over the Hunerkogel rock face, giving an incredible view of the Alps. Another great place to visit is the Dachstein Ice Palace that leads you through a maze of fascinating glacier ice, light and ice music.
3. Perisher, Australia
Located in New South Wales, Perisher is the largest ski area in Australia, composed of four villages that are all connected to offer varied terrain to serve all skill levels. The seven mountain peaks, including five terrain parks and a super-pipe, are accessed by 47 different lifts featuring an impressive high speed eight seater. The resort is committed to offering the best ski and snowboard experience for its guests, even by investing over $22 million in snowmaking technology within the past seven years.
Past seasons have been packed with concerts and competitions, and this season is going to be no different. The Playstation Night Slopestyle 2013 is set for July 20, where skiers and riders both male and female will compete for bundles of cash and other prizes.
2. Coronet Peak, New Zealand
Located just 25 minutes from Queenstown, Coronet Peak brings all of the winter excitement to snow lovers of all abilities. The mountain features wide-open groomed runs, moguls and even open back bowls to serve everyone in the family. An added bonus to thrilling day-time skiing is Coronet Peak’s night skiing, that runs from early July to mid-September on Friday and Saturday nights from 4pm-9pm. With some of the most extensive snowmaking equipment found in New Zealand, featuring 213 fully-automated snow guns, Coronet Peak is sure to offer non-stop powder excitement.
Coronet Peak also hosts many exciting and fun-filled events throughout their winter season highlighted by the Queenstown Winter Festival, which includes a suitcase race down the mountain and the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games. Another great challenge for the real athlete to partake in is the Peak to Peak race for both individuals and teams, where multisport athletes test their skills in a combination race featuring skiing/riding, mountain biking, paddling and running.
1. Las Leñas, Argentina
From late June to mid October, Las Leñas offers skiable terrain for all skill levels, including the youngsters just starting out. In addition to enjoying the incredible conditions, Las Leñas also offers great activities for after-ski hours including dining, bars, clubs and much more. Patagonia offers tons of expansive terrain, and the Andes Mountain region is a popular stop for foodies and wine lovers searching for a bottle of Malbec paired with famous Argentine chocolate.
Unlike most North American skiing, skiing in Argentina sees no boundaries. Literally. Most cautious skiers would find this quite dangerous and risky, but the real reason there are no boundaries is because much of the winter backcountry remains untracked and unexplored. Las Leñas is well-known for its “steep and deep” terrain and lives up to this reputation with many opportunities for extreme and off-piste skiing. Patagonia is the true, raw landscape for the complete summer skiing experience. For more advise for your trip to the Andes Mountains of Patagonia, visit: www.livinginpatagonia.com.
Now go get your summer shred on!