Well, it’s April, or whatever. If you’re like me, you’re a little bummed. Didn’t winter just begin, didn’t the lifts just start turnin’, and don’t we deserve another powder day…or 30? I’m never ready to hang my boots and boards up at the close of ski season—because, let’s be honest, skiing is just the best thing going. But fret not, my ski bum compadres. There are many ways to scratch the noodling itch all summer long, from the swanky to the go-get-it-yourself.
SASS Global Travel
SASS is an action sports adventure travel service whose guide staff consists of professional snowboarders and skiers. They’ve been shredding the slopes of Bariloche, Argentina, for the last 15 years (suffice to say they’ve got the “smiles for miles” trip down pat in Patagonia) and just began offering trips in Chile a few years ago. Every summer, they set up shop at a huge compound at the base of Cerro Catedral. Aside from cannonballing into the heated pool, expect to ski dream lines in the Andes and become a member of the SASS family. High-fives and hugs all day, every day.
First of five sessions begins July 29, $2,695
Superstars Ski Camp
Wanna ski in Portillo, Chile with shred legends like Chris Davenport, Jess McMillan, Mike Douglas, Ingrid Backstrom, Wendy Fisher, Chris Anthony, and probably Ullr himself? Yeah, me too. “The camp is open to all expert skiers looking to take their skiing to the next level,” says Davenport. “It’s a really fun vibe. We do some drills and work on skills, but mostly we just go out and ski hard in a variety of terrain and search out the best lines and snow.” Plus, the uber-talented Jesse Hoffman shoots video and photos of the entire experience. Pics or it didn’t happen, bro.
Dates and price for 2017 still TBD, but typically beginning of August for $2,900
Lift-served backcountry skiing, anyone? Yes, please. Lackluster winters have kept Beartooth Basin from opening the last two summers, but the lifts will be spinning this year. BB first opened in the mid-1960s as a training ground for private groups and ski teams. Ownership has changed hands several times since and BB now operates as a come one, come all, bare bones summer ski area. No lodge, no warming huts, no fur lined booties, no crowds, no problem. Lots of creamy tater turns above 10,000-feet to be had for all.
Season May 27—July 2, $300 season pass, $45 day ticket
If the kids can do it, so can you, right? Adult Week at Woodard Copper will make you feel eight years old again. Spend the morning on snow perfecting your twister-spread-splaffy, or whatever the kids are doing today, and launch off ramps into foam pits in the afternoon. WC’s The Barn is a 20,000-square-foot warehouse filled with ramps, tramps, foam squares, and skis with skateboard wheels. It’s awesome. And if you’re not into that, they’ve got go-karts out back.
TBD, typically mid-July, roughly $1,000
North American Glacier Shredding
Summertime shredders have been schlooshing on Mount Hood’s Palmer Glacier since 1979. Hood offers adult race and mogul camps, while freestyle oriented programs like Windells use it as their base of operations. Or you can tear it up on your own through Timberline Lodge. Further north, Whistler’s Horstman Glacier on Blackcomb Mountain is open for sunburns and turns from early June to late July.
Dates and prices vary
Go Find It, Bro
Your other option is to put that camp or airfare money into your gas tank. After not seeing serious snow for far too long, California finally had a huge winter this year. Dormant backcountry lines will be open for slush runs deep into the summer. The same should be true for Jackson, too. Rumor has it that those folks like to ski in that park they got there. Colorado always seems to keep snow above 10,000 feet and above until September. Independence Pass, the Maroon Bells, and the San Juans are sure to have wiggles for a long while. As summer stretches, snow will get sparse. Be okay with dodging talus and scree on sun-pocked patches. But turnin is turnin, my friends. Even if ya only link two, it counts.
Photo by Juan Carlos Labarca