Most Americans hang up their skis around April or May, if not a little earlier, and turn their attention to spring and summer pursuits. However, for the most die-hard skiers and snowboarders, there are plenty of options for skiing and riding in the summer. After all, our summer is the southern hemisphere's winter. Glaciers and snowfields also make skiing possible in our own backyard.
North America's largest resort is also one of only two to offer summer skiing. Skiing is made possible thanks to the Horstman Glacier on Blackcomb Mountain. Whistler offers a summer season that runs from June through late-July with limited hours and discounted lift tickets. One of the best parts about skiing Whistler in the summer is that you can combine glacier skiing or snowboarding with such summer activities as world-class mountain biking and hiking. Whistler offers both day tickets and summer season passes, and summer skiing is recommended for intermediate and expert skiers. A terrain park is part of the summer terrain. Whistler offers a series of camps in the summer.
Timberline at Mt. Hood
Timberline at Mt. Hood is the other North American ski resort that offers summer skiing. Skiers and snowboarders can enjoy lift-served, above-treeline terrain on the Palmer Snowfield. Summer skiing is offered from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. beginning in June and runs through Labor Day. Day tickets and summer season passes are offered, and Timberline hosts summer ski and snowboard camps.
Some Alaska heli-ski operators offer corn-snow ski trips into the summer months. Chugach Mountain Powder Guides is one such operator that runs trips into late-June. The service offers the "Kings and Corn" trip that combines late-season heli-skiing with king-salmon fishing for a distinctive, multisport outing.
Glacier and snowfield skiing is great, but for some, it just makes you miss the winter that much more. The option for full winter skiing is to head south, and one place to do so is South America. The Andes Mountains are some of the largest in the world and offer world-class skiing with excellent snow and stunning scenery. South American ski resorts are concentrated in Chile and Argentina. A visitor poll on OnTheSnow.com rated Portillo, Chile; Cerro Catedral, Argentina; and Las Lenas, Argentina among the "Top 10 Summer Ski Resorts." Valle Nevado in Chile is a sprawling resort offering 7,000 acres of terrain.
New Zealand offers large, glacially cut mountains and plenty of resorts, backcountry and heli-ski operators. Ski resorts are located on both the North and South Islands of New Zealand, and there are even resorts within half an hour of Queenstown. According to "The New Zealand Tourism Guide," all of New Zealand's ski terrain is treeless. New Zealand offers a variety of ski resorts, including Treble Cone, The Remarkables and Whakapapa. The latter provides skiing on an active volcano. Heli-skiing and backcountry tours are also widely available on the islands. For those that prefer a raw, rustic skiing experience, New Zealand's minimalistic snow fields were the inspiration behind Silverton Mountain in Colorado. New Zealand's season typically runs from early-June until early-October on the South Island and from late-June until mid-November on the North Island.