So it’s that time of year again: the season’s drawing to a close, the crowds are thinning as much as the snow and it’s time to pack away your gear until next winter. Or is it? Just because the snow season has ended in your particular neck of the woods doesn’t necessarily mean that the snowboarding party can’t continue.
We have listed 10 potential resorts you can visit that offer decent snow during summer, if not all year round. Conditions can be quite different to what you’re used to. However, with limited snow to ride, most resorts offer snowboard camps so you can work on your park skills. Before heading down under, let’s explore your options for the Northern Hemisphere. Whether it is a resort located on a glacier or one of high elevation, these places are guaranteed to keep the good times rolling.
Timberline, Mt Hood Oregon, USA
- Closest Airport: Portland
- Elevation: 3427m
- Opening Times: Year round
- Lifts Operating: Palmer chairlift operates during spring and summer
- Camps: High Cascade
Timberline Lodge runs the longest season in North America—open daily between late May and early September. The resort grooms several lanes across Palmer Snowfield located on the south face of Mt. Hood. In the summer the area is primarily used for race camps, but the above-treeline terrain always includes one lane for public use. A terrain park is maintained on Otto Lang. Located about an hour’s drive from Portland, the park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Before the Palmer chairlift was constructed in 1983 (which provides access above the 2,100 m level), the conditions at Timberline allowed snow access from November through July or August. With the Palmer, a boardable surface is available year round. Timberline is the only ski area in the States with lift accessed skiing and snowboarding all twelve months of the year. Ski and snowboard camps draw thousands of people to the slopes during the months of June, July and August.
Horstman Glacier, Blackcomb , B.C. Canada
- Closest Airport: Vancouver
- Elevation: 2240m
- Opening Times: Winter season officially ends june but Horstman glacier stays open till late july 12:00 pm – 3:00pm daily
- Lifts Operating: Summer – 2 T-bars
- Camps: Camp of Champions
Less than a month after the end of the winter season, Whistler welcomes snowboarders and skiers from all over the world who are chomping at the bit to get back on the snow. Completely out of sight from the valley floor, the action on Blackcomb Mountain from mid-June to the end of July draws today’s best winter athletes as well as riders simply looking to get their snow fix. The Wizard Express Chairlift has started to shuttle skiers and snowboarders up to Blackcomb Mountain’s Horstman Glacier for one of the most unique experiences Whistler has to offer; summer skiing and snowboarding.
Theodul Glacier, Zermatt, Switzerland
- Closest Airport: Zurich or Geneva
- Elevation: 3899m
- Opening times: June to September
- Lifts Operating: 7
- Camps: Definition
Zermatt is one of the great tourist destinations. There are nearly forty 4000-metre peaks in the immediate vicinity.The resorts located on these peaks are some of the highest in the world and offer snow all year round. One of Zermatt’s biggest draw cards is the Theodul Glacier. Glacier skiing is about very broad motorways of well groomed, obstacle free snow and the majority of this summer area is quite suitable for beginners and intermediates. But Zermatt’s summer snow area is sufficiently large to offer something for everyone. Advanced riders can test themselves for a few uninterrupted kilometres at racing speeds. Even more, there is also great fun to be had at the two half pipes and summer snowboard park.
Allalin Glacier, Saas Fee, Swiss Alps
- Closest Airport: Geneva / Zurich / Milan
- Elevation: 3600m
- Opening times: July to September
- Lifts Operating: Summer – 3
- Camps: Eskimos Ski & Snowboard
Saas Fee is a decent all-round option for summer snowboarding, with around 20km of pistes available to ride, suited best to intermediate snowboarders.The whole area is serviced by 3 t-bars and while the runs are nice and wide, they can get a little steep in places.
The funicular takes you to the top of the glacier and you ride down from there, so be aware that you’ll have to take the lift back up to get to the facilities/restaurant. Saas-Fee has been a resort well known to snowboarders for many years. They have been building half-pipes, parks and other obstacles for years, way before many others areas had even heard of snowboarding. With its high altitude glacier, Saas-Fee also provides a mountain where you can ride fast and hard in the summer months, indeed for some, this is the only time worth visiting.
Winter or summer, this is still a cool place that stages numerous competitions in both seasons and snowboard manufactures do a lot of product testing. Saas Fee is a resort with two faces. In summer the small glacier area has a snowboard park which boasts three half pipes, a boardercross course, and various hits. However, in winter the snowboard park shuts down and the resort focuses itself on family skiers.
Grande Motte Glacier, Tignes, French Alps
- Closest Airport: Geneva or Lyon
- Elevation: 3456m
- Opening times: Mid June to End of August
- Lifts Operating: 4 from june – july, 1 (funicular) July – August
- Camps: Freedom Snowboarding
Tignes is one of the biggest and most established resorts in France. In the summer months between early/mid June and the end of August, the Grande Motte opens up for snowboarding. Access is via the Funicular from Val Claret and the glacier features 130 hectares and 20km of rideable terrain and over 750m of vertical. It certainly holds its own as one of the best glaciers for snowboarding in Europe.
Although relatively small, the terrain park features a solid range of jibs and jumps and is geared more towards the beginner/intermediate level freestyler rather than expert/pro riders.
Once the snow starts to rapidly resemble its liquid form in the afternoon, head down back down to Tignes Le Lac where you can go swimming in the lake, cruise on a skateboard, or even play some mini golf.
Stubai Glacier, Tirol (Tyrol), Austria
- Closest Airport: Innsbruck, but late winter to mid april Munich may be easier
- Elevation: 3210m
- Opening times: October to July
- Lifts Operating: Peak Season – 26, Summer – weather dependant
- Camps: LEUX
Situated right at the very end of the Stubai Valley is the majestic Stubai Glacier. Its ski resort extends all the way up to 3,210 metres above sea level and is the largest glacier ski resort in Austria. Here, high above the valley floor, the pistes are guaranteed to be in top condition from October all the way through until June.
Characteristically, glaciers are relatively smooth and featureless, except for the odd deep crevasse and some folds in the ice. But Stubai is different; its glacier flows across irregular terrain and has been diverted by rocky outcrops. If you didn’t know the slopes are on a glacier, you would never guess.
- Closest Airport: Innsbruck
- Elevation: 3250m
- Opening times: May to October
- Lifts Operating: Year round – 9
- Camps: Nexus Camps
The Hintertux is one of the few remaining glaciers to open 365 days a year. During summer, 22km of runs are open and accessed by nine lifts, including the Glacier Bus 3 with 24-person cabins, capable of transporting 3,000 people per hour. The Hintertux offers a good range of runs for all levels, but is famous for its steep, challenging terrain. Freestyle fans can hit the half-pipe, fun boxes, table-tops and rails at Betterpark.
Betterpark Hintertux is one of the highest freestyle-spots in Austria and is considered by many to be the best Snow park in the Alps. The Betterpark Hintertux is the first snow park to open in Austria allowing boarders access from April to End of May and from mid September to December. The summer freestyle offering at Hintertux is particularly solid, with a huge number of jibs and kickers to hit, as well as pro kicker line. Earlier in the season there is also a halfpipe, although this is usually closed by the time summer rolls around.
Dachstein Glacier, Styria, Austria
- Closest Airport: Graz, Styria
- Elevation: 2700m
- Opening times: Mid April until Early/Mid July
- Lifts Operating: Summer – 2 T-bars
- Camps: Der Dachstein Camp
Dachstein in Austria is the Eastern most rideable glacier in Europe, and while its small size means it won’t be your go-to resort in peak winter, the glacier truly comes into its own in the summer months. The Dachstein is actually better known in summer than in winter. No surprise being the first glacier in the eastern Alps. The Dachstein Glacier above Ramsau am Dachstein is open 11 months of the year beginning at the end of May. Its flat, north-facing slopes offer year-round powder conditions.
It boasts 18km of well-groomed runs as well as the popular Horsefeathers Superpark, featuring boxes, jumps, rails, jibs and tubes. The gondola trip up is impressive enough, a route without supports from 1000m above sea level upwards Following the motto ‘do what you want’ the choice of activities is opened at 3000m sea level.
Val Senales, Schnalstal Italy
- Closest Airport: Bolzano, Italy or Innsbruck, Austria
- Elevation: 3212m
- Opening times: most lifts are closed by June but then a limited few reopen from June 23rd to July 29th
- Lifts Operating: Peak Season – 12, Summer – weather dependant
- Camps: Big A
The Italian glacier resort opens from June 23rd to July 29th and is one of the few places in Italy open in summer offering 8 kms for snowboarding. The centre, which operates a summer terrain park and offers boarding from 7.30am to 1pm daily is located in the heart of the South Tirolean Alps, close to the town of Meran. A cable car takes summer skiers and boarders in its 80 passenger cabins up to the Hochjochferner in 6 minutes.
The terrain is suitable for beginners as well as experts, and the snowpark is the main draw in the summer. It is split into 3 parallel lines for different abilities and features around 30 different features depending on the snow conditions. Aside from the terrain park, there are 8km of runs open, and the lifts run from 7:30am until 1pm
Folgefonna, Hordaland, Norway
- Closest Airport: Bergen or Oslo
- Elevation: 1450m
- Opening times: April to end of August
- Lifts Operating: 2
- Camps: What! Camps
Folgefonna is a small glacial resort a mere 1200 metres above sea level but with the snow dumped on it all winter there’s plenty left for a bit of boarding in the summer. The highest point on the glacier is 1640 meters and although the runs aren’t all that long, the park should keep you happy. It may only be the third largest glacier in Norway, but Folgefonna is the go-to summer destination for Nordic freestyle snowboarders.
The summer season in Folgefonna (Fonna for short) usually starts around mid april right through till August. Although small, Fonna has a really sick vibe and a good selection of park features to hit. Fonna’s snow park is constructed each year around early May and is ranked as one of the world’s best freestyle parks during the summer season.The park has pipes, boxes, slides, jumps, a boarder cross, music and a demo centre where you can test next years boards and equipment.