Skiing is big business but was traditionally considered a strictly winter time activity. No more. Summer skiing is now big news with more and more ski resorts offering up the best of both worlds.
In addition to emerging ski zones in the Northern Hemisphere, with international travel becoming more accessible to the masses, it is now a simple matter to hop on your private jet and fly away to the Southern Hemisphere where it is actually winter! From well known resorts to countries not considered snow zones, there are many options.
Here are seven of the most amazing hot spots for summer skiing throughout the world.
1. Timberline Lodge – Oregon
The long-time queen bee of summer skiing has to be Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood in Oregon. With skiing season running well into summer, Timberline has multiple lifts that continue operation long after other resorts of shuttered their doors. Palmar lift tops out at 8540 feet elevation and is the scene for the US Olympic Ski teams summer training. In addition to the excellent skiing, historic Timberline Lodge is one of the most beautiful lodges anywhere. Over two million visitors a year can attest to magnificence of this National Historic Landmark, also used for exterior footage in The Shining.
2. Whistler-Blackcomb – Canada
Head north of Oregon into Western Canada to stunning Whistler-Blackcomb. Horstman Glacier is open long into the summer season and offers up endless days of sun-filled days on the slope. Sunscreen is a must! When time on the slopes is done for the day enjoy the charming village of Whistler, world-renowned for being a year-round destination, the village has seemingly unending restaurants, bars, and shops all offering up endless opportunities for fun on and off the slopes.
3. Tignes – France
If a European holiday is on your agenda know that the summer ski season is short but sweet. Tignes is one of the best places for summer skiing in the Alps offering up a couple of months each season to hone your skills on the slopes. Off the slopes summer offers up an extensive array of activities for the whole family including fishing, golf, mountain biking, climbing and of course hiking in the gorgeous mountains that are the Alps.
4. Coronet Peak – New Zealand
Spectacular terrain and stunning scenery makes Coronet Peak one of the worlds premier ski resorts. Summer in the United States is winter in New Zealand and the snow is flying. Known as a ski resort that suits everyone from beginners to seasoned skiers. Located just a 25minute drive from Queenstown, the “adventure capital of the world”, Coronet Peak is ideally situated for all of the fun you can handle. When not on the slopes go for a vodka drink at an Ice Bar, bungy jump, take a gondola ride, or even try paragliding before heading into the city for food and fun.
5. Las Lenas – Argentina
Still in the southern hemisphere but across the big pond brings us to Las Lenas ski resort in Argentina. Las Lenas is huge, offering up more ski able terrain than Whistler with the incredible Marte chairlift taking skiers to areas reserved for extreme snow sports. Snow cat tours and back country touring make this a paradise for aficionados. When the day is over never fear for things to do. Las Lenas Valley, near the famous Mendoza wine region, is famous for discos and late night revelers partying until dawn. While located in Argentina, Las Lenas is actually much closer to Santiago, Chile to add another country onto your vacation dreams.
6. Ski Portillo – Chile
Located only 160km from Santiago, Portillo ski resort sits high in the Andes of the Valparaiso region. Portillo resort, built in 1949 by the Chilean government, unlike Jackson Hole or Aspen is more of a sleepy getaway for adults who love great skiing followed by a great bottle of carmenere. Totally old school, this is not a resort for the young millennial’s but for the more mature traveler. A place where the grand lodge and fine wine is as important as the slopes. For a total change of pace post ski trip, head to the Atacama, the driest desert in the world. Explore the mind-blowing rock formations and view the Milky Way more clearly than anywhere else on earth before heading to 14,000ft elevation to check out some fascinating natural geysers.
7. Perisher – Australia
A ski resort in Australia? Who knew! Located in New South Wales Perisher ski resort actually covers several villages that are all connected under the joint name Perisher as of 1995. Seven mountain peaks, five terrain parks, and 47 different lifts offer up an enormous range of options on what is the most reliable snow in Australia. As unique as all of the country, directions to the resort advise watching out for kangaroos on the way to the hills, creating a surreal overall experience. A mere 2.5 hour drive from Canberra or 40minute flight from Sydney, Perisher makes for an easy weekend away from the big city.
8. Benefits of Summer Skiing
Off-season travel traditionally has multiple perks. Fewer crowds, reduced rates, and the assortment of activities outside of time in the snow. Hotels regularly offer excellent off-season specials and lift passes special fares. Heading to a different hemisphere, of course, may put you into the prime ski season but even then the perks are many.
For families with children, off-season skiing to the opposite hemisphere is a perfect way to create a lengthy holiday without drawing the kids out of school. Summer in the United States or Europe means prime ski season in South America and yes, even Australia, combining a great trip to the snow along with an exotic culture. Throw in some city sightseeing in Sydney or Santiago perhaps for fun for all.
For snow fiends looking to remain in their own hemisphere, summer finds opportunities for other summer fun. North and South know that fantastic options are found around the globe to get your ski fix anytime of year.