10 Resorts to Ski and Snowboard in Summer
Either in the Southern Hemisphere, or really, really high
Snow season is generally thought to be from November through till March, April in a good year. After that boards and boots sit at home gathering dust. But what if it didn't have to be like this, what if you could be hitting pow all year round and laying down runs in the July sun.
Now you can. Thankfully the world has two hemispheres and while we're complaining about another washout summer the southern hemisphere is getting the snow. Most of the locations on our list are from the bottom part of the world while the rest are just really, really high up.
[part title="Portillo, Chile"]
It’s pretty difficult to find a better option from June to October than Chile’s Portillo. The small resort has killer steeps, wide-open alpine terrain and views of Aconcagua, and the glowing glacial Laguna del Inca. Oh and powder. Super dry, super regular stashes of fresh powder.
As the resort famously only accommodates 450 people at a time, lift lines are virtually unheard of, although you might want to book early. Portillo is used as a base by many countries’ ski and snowboard teams, and is fairly legendary in the snowboarding world. After one run, you’ll know why.
[part title="Zermatt, Switzerland"]
The chic and epic resort that lies in the shadow of the Matterhorn has the Theodul glacier, served by the Klein Matterhorn cable car that runs every day from May to November. The glacier and high altitude combine to provide 26-kilometres of summer skiing, and with a typical efficiently run ski area, Zermatt offers an absolute snow guarantee.
The summer ski area is shared with Cervinia in Italy, so you can also ride over the border for some Italian grub for lunch. The Gravity Park, another highlight, features a half-pipe, kickers and rails, all with incredible views of the world’s sexiest mountain, the Matterhorn.
[part title="Blackcomb Glacier, British Columbia, Canada"]
Whistler Blackcomb prides itself on sustaining the longest snow season in Canada with the help of Horstman Glacier. This breathtaking glacier is open from the end of June until late July from 12-3 pm daily. The mountain also offers Glacier Camps in park and pipe, race-training and freeride, meaning that Whistler's perfectly maintained runs and parks are perfect for those winter athletes looking to keep their skills sharp year-round.
Whistler Blackcomb Video:
[part title="Perisher, Australia"]
Perisher in New South Wales is the largest ski area in Australia (and the Southern Hemisphere, for that matter). It is made up of four villages: Perisher Valley, Blue Cow, Smiggin Holes and Guthega, all of which are connected and offer varied terrain.
The fairly limited snow fall is dealt with by a huge amount of snow making, while the vibe and party atmosphere is uniquely Australian, and very friendly. The five terrain parks and a superpipe are world class and the bonus of shredding amongst Eucalyptus trees should be enough for any rider to get Down Under.
[part title="Saas-Fee, Switzerland"]
The glaciers of Saas-Fee offer 20km of slopes — suitable for all skiing and riding levels — between early July and the end of August. The park though, is the main attraction being well-shaped, and with everything you need – a pipe, a line of three big kickers, with smaller options on all their tables, a line of three learner kickers, and varying numbers of rails.
Saas-Fee's other charm is its laid back atmosphere. There are also smaller crowds, which means you often end up lapping the park with riders you meet on the mountain.
[part title="Tignes, France"]
The high altitude French resort of Tignes offers a unique riding experience, and summer glacier riding from mid June to early September. Part of the attraction, unlike most other glaciers which tend to be a hassle to reach, is that you can reach the base of the glacier in less than ten minutes by an underground funicular.
The North Face offers challenging terrain for intermediates and expert riders, while the glacier snowpark is one of the best of its kind. The halfpipe, rails, moguls, a hip ramp and quarter-ramps attracting pros and punters alike for the whole of summer.
[part title="Las Lenas, Argentina"]
Lying deep in the Andes Mountains, Las Lenas offers steep and deep terrain, and has a reputation for extreme and off-piste skiing in its backcountry. Its 50-degree chutes and ultra-dry powder have made it a haven for snowboarders craving that adrenalin-fuelled summer snow fix.
Situated at 2,255m and about a 90-minute flight from Buenos Aires, it is the epicentre of lift-served South American steeps, with rocky chutes and steep open bowls aplenty. The resort itself though, also offers great skiable terrain for all skill levels.
Las Lenas Video:
[part title="Gassan, Japan"]
Located in Yamagata on Japan's main island, Honshu, the key to summer in Gassan is the snow it receives in winter. It’s not unusual to see up to eight metres of snow fall on its glacier during the winter, meaning Gassan doesn’t really become rideable until April, and the season runs through until late July.
While there are only five lifts, there is almost 1000m of vertical descent, with varied and uncrowded runs, and it has the cultural delights, great food and fun times you would expect with any trip to Japan.
[part title="Les Deux Alpes, France"]
Les Deux Alpes has one of the largest summer ski areas in Europe, with The Mont-de-Lans Glacier open from mid June until early September. Accessed by a funicular railway, the glacier’s eight runs are served by chairlifts and drags. However, it is the snowpark that attracts most of the summer snowboarders.
It rivals that of Saas-Fee's glacier with its snowskate zone, slopestyle, cool zone, a good-sized halfpipe and a smaller pipe suitable for beginners. The park is served by two lifts, while the six day camps are a big favourite for riders who love the sunny conditions, cheaper ski passes and an uncrowded resort.
Les Deux Alpes Video:
[part title="Mount Hood, Oregon, USA"]
The resort that runs across Palmer Snowfield, located on the south face of Mt. Hood, runs the longest season in North America — open daily between late May and early September. The summer ski area is primarily used for race camps, but the above-treeline terrain always includes one lane for public use. However, it is the kick-ass terrain park that has made summers in Timberline famous.
First in the Mile Canyon and then up to the Palmer snowfield, there are no ‘small’ features in these parks, and they are recommended for advanced skill level riders only. If you have the talent, and the commitment, Timberline can change your life. It beats lazing around on a beach right?