Summer snowboarding

Summer 2010

Riding in the summer months has a different vibe than in the winter; things are just chilled. There’s only a handful of resorts that now open over the summer and most host camps to help you hone your freestyle skills.

Summer Glacial riding is a great way to give first timers an introduction to the sport, and if they still don’t like it, you don’t have to look too hard for a crevasse to push them down. It’s also good for those of you who’ve only done a few weeks to keep in practice for next season. There’s nothing worse than finishing a holiday thinking you’ve got it sussed, then bigging yourself up to your mates all summer, only to find that 8 months off the board has seen your new found skills disappear like a turd down the u-bend.

Pretty much all the summer glaciers have a terrain park and some a halfpipe, there will only be a small area open and rarely more than 20km of slopes. You’ll need to be able to handle t-bars as you won’t find any chairlifts at this altitude on a glacier.

A dying breed. The number of resorts that open over the summer is decreasing every year. A few years ago Engelberg, Garmisch, La Plagne, Les Diablerets, Mt.Hood, Soelden, Stubai Glacier and Val Thorens opened for the summer, and there were summer camps run in Iceland and Russia, but alas no more.

Resorts open in the spring and autumn. There's a stack of places that stay open into May and then re-open again come October. Look into these - A-basinEngelberg, Garmisch, Kaunertal, La Plagne, Laax,Les Diablerets, PitztalMt.Hood, Obergurgl, Soelden, Stubai Glacier and Val Thorens, St.Moritz/Diavolezza

What's open and when this summer

(Click on a resort to read more information)

  Open Time Time to slopes Total open runs Half-pipe Terrain Park Board-X
Aleskya 7th-20th June      
Y
Y
 
Blackcomb 20-June to 26-July 11:00-15:00 45mins 112acres
Y
Y
-
Dachstein From 12-June 7:50-17:10 7mins 8km
-
Y
-
Folgefonna May to November 10:00-16:00 5mins  
-
small
-
Deux Alps 13-June to 29-August 7:30-12:30 50mins 25km
Y
Y
Y
Galdhøpiggen end May to November   5mins 1.4km
-
Y
-
Hintertux 365 days 08:15-16:30 45mins 23km
-
Y
-
Kaprun 365 days 8:00 30mins  
-
Y
-
Mölltaler From 20-June 08:00-14:00 40mins  
-
small
-
Mt.Hood Until beg Sept      
Y
Y
 
Passo Stelvio From 30-May   5mins 20km
-
small
-
Saas-fee From 4-July 7:30-13:30 60mins 20km
Y
Y
Y
Stryn 29-May to August 10:00-16:00 5mins  
-
Y
-
Tignes 20-June to 30-August   30mins 20km
-
Y
-
Val d'Isére 27-June to 26-July   45mins  
-
-
-
Val Senales From 13th June 7:30-13:30 15mins 8km
-
Y
-
Zermatt / Cervinia

365 days (Cervinia From 27-June)

7:30-13:30 60mins 20km
-
Y
-

As with winter weather can be changeable, but usually baking hot sunshine. Due to the heat, most resorts will close their lifts around 1pm, so you need to get up very early to get anything out of it. The first hour or so can be pretty cold and the pistes are rock-hard, but things soften gradually and by 1pm it’s so slushy that the run-ins on jumps can be too slow, and t-bars turn into slush streams.

Zermatt summer area and crevaces
Zermatt summer area and crevaces
Photo: Steve, WSG

You still get the occasional powder day, but the snow gets very wet and heavy within a few hours of a fresh dump. More than ever, you need to be extremely careful on glaciers when going anywhere off-piste as you don’t want to drop into any crevasses, and after a fresh fall you might not be able to make them out at all.

Summer Camps

Watching locals giving it some in the park, in the winter, can be a bit intimidating for the not so gifted amongst us, so why not take a week out of your summer and get some instruction form the people who know best. Summer camps are great for anyone looking for instruction in the park.

Chilling on a Deux Alps Summer Camp
Chilling on a Deux Alps Summer Camp
Photo: Steve, WSG

Normally run on a week long basis, in June and July. Summer camps pull together some of the best riders around to teach you new moves and how to put a tweak into old ones. Some camps do offer beginner freestyle courses so don’t be put off whatever your standard, just contact camp organisers before you book.