In the Northern Hemisphere, autumn begins in September and ends at the winter equinox. Then winter until March, spring until June, and summer until the whole cycle begins all over again. But as those seasons come and go, ski season In North America it never ends (or at least it doesn’t have to). If you don’t want to ditch your skis in the spring, no problem: just try summer skiing.
I’m not the first ice addict That I had an epiphany in the summer for skiing, but that realization changed my life. Now, I fill the summers with all the warm weather and snow turns the desires of my heart. Across the country (and around the world), there are fanatics who chase snow all year long and connect the end of one “ski season” directly to the start of the next. Sure, some of them can travel to the Southern Hemisphere and pay all necessary airline tickets, hotel rooms, and equipment rental. But a huge budget is not a requirement to achieve this. And you don’t even need to leave the United States
If you like to ski all year round, America’s mountains are filled with glaciers and high rural snowfields that provide opportunities to win turns every day of the year. Here’s how to ski all year round without leaving the lower 48.
Summer skiing: how is that possible?
The short answer: glaciers. These massive ice sheets (along with high-altitude snowfields) provide year-round snow, especially on shady slopes and inside mountain trenches. The looming threat of climate change is causing glaciers to appear around the world melt and disappearbut for now, skating on them is entirely possible.
One more caveat: All-season skiing requires hiking. There is no way around it. Be prepared to pack your boards, sometimes for miles, before hitting the ice. You’ll also need the right equipment (more on that below) but most importantly you’ll need a strategy. Some areas that are great for skiing in the spring and early summer are not viable options come late summer and fall. Conversely, some places where it still snows in late summer and fall are incredibly dangerous and prone to avalanches in late spring, when they are heavily laden with powder.
This means that you have to put a real effort into planning your ski days. Otherwise, you may find yourself walking miles into a rocky, snowless field, or worse, trapped in a deadly snow slide.
what are you expecting
In the United States, at least, there won’t be rad powder daysOr mashed potatoes or even soft corn between June and November. Snow on glaciers and snowfields year-round is old, often packed, slushy, crunchy, and sloppy. There will be rocks lurking just below the surface, and here and there, you may have to loosen your skis or board to get through a section where the snow has completely melted.
Nobody goes into off-season skiing because of the deadly snow conditions. You can get into it because you are hungry for some turns and you don’t want to wait for the first snow of winter. You get into it because you want to know what it feels like to tear the lines down the mountainside in your shorts and T-shirt. You can get into it for excitement, challenge and of course for gnar points.
Fun sound? Read on to find out what gear you need and where to go.
The gear you will need
If you’ve already skied in your back country, you probably already have all the gear you’ll need for summer skiing. But just in case, here’s a quick list of the essentials:
- safety first: Anytime you venture into backcountry skiing, you should bring Lighthouse, trowel, and probe. A guide is to send or receive a signal so that someone can find you if you are buried or lost; The probe is for locating you (or your ski partner) under the ice once you have determined where you are; And the shovel to take out yourself. You must know how to use all three.
- Alpine Skiing or Split Boarding: AT skis and split boards are essential to these adventures. It’s lighter, easier to bundle, and leather-compatible, so you can ski as well as underneath.
- skins: These are long strips that stick to the bottom of skis or split board and slide in only one direction; It helps you move up. You may not use them when hiking to a glacier, but having the option is important and you should always bring a pair with you.
- columns: The shafts provide additional support and balance when hiking and stability and control when snowboarding. Lots of people ski all season without their poles, but I wouldn’t recommend it. They’re useful for every stage of a spring or summer ski adventure.
- the shoes: Obviously, you’ll need snowshoes or snowboard boots, but hiking boots are often basic equipment as well. Hiking boots are more comfortable to wear while hiking, that way you won’t add extra wear to your snowboard/skateboard boots. I usually either clip my ski boots into my laces or hoist them over my hiking bag.
- tapes: If you walk to your destination wearing hiking boots, an extra grip will make all the difference. (Nothing will burn your energy faster than sliding half a step back for each step forward as you go up a slope.) The straps will give you a more solid base, and they can be packed easily.
- on him: Your backpack doesn’t have to be a ski pack, but it does need straps on each side to secure your boards to it. The easiest way to carry skis or split board on a bundle is to install one board on each side to create an “A-frame”.
- Ski belts: Ski straps are ideal for attaching the ends of skis together to create an A-frame. They can also be used to hold broken poles together, to splint a broken end in an emergency, to keep loose items tied together, or to repair a severed tent pole. Keep some on hand.
- Snow goggles: Bright summer sunshine off a glacier can easily make you snow blind. Keep your eyes safe with glacier goggles — sunglasses with side shields that protect your eyes from ambient light and refracted light.
Where do you skate
Blowing the lid off these summer ski spots may not make us well liked by the locals who frequent them, but it’s for the greater good. Below, I’ve rounded up some of our favorite skate spots of the year. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, but these are some of the best you’ll find anywhere in under 48.
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