For those that crave the snow even when Winter is over – Fear not! Somewhere in the world, at almost any time of the day, a snowy slope is open for your skiing or boarding pleasure.
Today, there are more than 5,000 ski areas around the world, shared among around 80 countries. While about 97% of these are closed between May and October, a stoic 150 or so do stay open during the six months of the year when the rest do not.
One hundred or so of these ski areas are located in the Southern Hemisphere, which is the place to go from June to September if you want real winter conditions (You can choose amongst Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, or even South Africa and Lesotho). And if you live near one of the world’s 50+ indoor snow centers, consider yourself lucky because you can satisfy your snow craving any time you’d like.
But for those who like their snow outdoors and aren’t able to make it out overseas, here’s a quick guide to where you can get your annual snow fix all year around!
This past winter’s Godzilla El Nino dumped huge volumes of snow on the slopes of Mammoth Mountain in California. As a result, the resort has announced that it will be open to at least Independence Day, July 4th, 2016.
If you fancy a long flight to find winter, ski areas in the Southern Hemisphere also begin to open in June.
Summer (July to September)
Timberline Lodge in Mt Hood, Oregon is the only real year-round ski area in the United States (although it usually closes in September for annual maintenance work on lifts). There’s a terrain park, summer camps and some exciting black diamond graded terrain.
In British Columbia, Canada, the ski season at Whistler Blackcomb usually lasts from November to June. The glacier then re-opens for five weeks into July for summer camps, which end on July 16, 2016. This year, there were only 10 days between the end of winter season and the start of summer glacier skiing—sometimes it’s less.
Outside of North America, it’s high season in the Southern Hemisphere (our summer is their winter) and in the Alps, where around 20 glacier ski areas are open for part or all of the summer. Hintertux in Austria and Zermatt in Switzerland (which operates the continent’s highest lifts) endeavor to open 365 days a year. Learn more about glaciers you can ski in the summer.
And so it all begins again.
In the beginning of October, we’ll start hearing news from high resorts in Colorado—particularly Arapahoe Basin, Loveland and Copper—that they’ve started night-time snowmaking operations and ready to kick off winter 2016-17!
There’s a similar battle on the East Coast, with Killington usually as a leading player.
This time of the year, the season in the Southern Hemisphere starts winding down with most resorts closed by early October. In the Alps, there’s a similar feeling that Summer skiing is over and it’s time to build up to the coming winter.
Oh dear, I’m already getting excited for 2016-17 season and it’s only June!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2014 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy.