Best Summer Snowboarding Destinations
With resorts in America recording record snowfalls and European resorts having epic powder days in April, maybe, like us you are not quite ready to apply the storage wax and stick those ski’s and boards away for summer. If so here is our list of some of the top places you can head when most lifts have stopped turning.
Time to get Epic
Australia might not be the first place to comes to mind when you are dreaming of heading to the snow but it should definitely be on your list. None more so than if you are an Epic Pass holder as you will get unlimited slope time at three of Australia’s best known resorts; Perisher, Hotham and Falls Creek. Be prepared to rub shoulders with some of the best skiers and snowboarders in the world who often use Perisher as a summer training base.
Also worth considering a trip to Thredbo where I spent a season back in 2013. Thredbo has the largest vertical drop in Australia meaning that it offers some of the longest runs down under. That coupled with a great park set up and some easy access backcountry makes Thredbo a viable option for some summer snow.
Head South For Winter
South America is on pretty much every skier and snowboarders bucket list with Argentina and Chile offering a number of top quality resorts to choose from. In 2014 I headed south to Cerro Catedral in the beautiful lakeside town of San Carlos De Bariloche. To this day Cerro Catedral remains the most scenic place I have snowboarded and would recommend the experience to everyone. Cerro Catedral also has some incredible lift accessed backcountry, with a short walk access to La Laguna area is memorable and the inbounds chutes of Nubes chair are incredible of a powder day.
Other notable resorts to consider in Argentina would be Las Lenas for some pretty extreme lines and great snow quality due to its high altitude and Cerro Castor way down in Ushuaia right on the southern tip of Patagonia. Once you have filled yourself with as much Argentinian steak as possible you should also consider heading to Chile where Valle Nevado and Portillo rank extremely high on my bucket list.
Les 2 Alpes is a major base for european summer skiing and its 11 glacier runs make it one of the largest area in Europe. Les 2 Alpes is the perfect place to practice freestyle through the summer months and it boasts a slopestyle course, big air as well as a half pipe and parks suited to all abilities. It’s summer season that runs from June through August
Zermatt is a year round resort and can be accessed from Switzerland or the Italian resort of Cervinia. It’s glacier offers over 20km of summer slopes that are mainly intermediate focussed. Of course as with most summer options Zermatt offers a terrain park but unlike most it offers incredible views of the Matterhorn.
Saas-Fee is another european resort that keeps the lifts turning throughout the summer months. With 20km of pistes open, a terrain park with features suited to beginners and professionals a like, it’s easy to see why so many professionals base themselves on the glacier during the summer months. The Glacier opens in July and closes in October.
With internationally renowned resorts and smaller ski fields accessible on both the North and South Islands a New Zealand ski trip presents plenty of variety.
The South Island has some really interesting options with the parks at Cardrona, the steeps of Treble Cone or the multi access lift pass that gives access to Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Mt Hutt . When a season pass for three resorts sets you back £335 there is very little to consider. This summer I will be completing a campervan trip around the South Island so I will be able to provide more first hand experience of the resorts on offer, so watch this space.
Unlike the ‘go-to’ South Island resorts, the North Island however has one of the largest skiable terrain in New Zealand and also boasts the highest elevation at 2,300m between Turoa and Whakapapa (pronounced “Fakapapa”) on Mt. Ruapehu. It’s definitely a unique place to ride and the weather makes for some interesting conditions. On an active volcano, you can sometimes feel tremors or smell the sulphur from the crater. If you can ride Ruapehu, you can ride anywhere. Hiking to the crater on a bluebird day is a must. You can also ride distant, but visible volcano Taranaki. The skiing is a bit more raw and a good level of competency is required.
Whistler is a destination on many hardened ski and snowboarders wish list. But did you know they are open for summer shredding. Although a relatively short season when compared to the European resorts on this list, Whistler will be open from June 8th to July 14th in 2019. Another benefit of being in Whistler during the summer months is the plethora or other activities on offer. I previously visited the Whistler Bobsleigh where you can ride the Olympic track!
Do you have a dream to ski or snowboard during the summer months? Maybe you are already a seasoned summer snow explorer. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.