When I wrote the original of this post for Liftopia.com in mid-May, it was snowing. I-70 was closed in Colorado and in California, the iconic Mammoth Mountain sign was buried in a late spring blizzard.
Winter, it appeared, at least in the West might be endless.
Yet, as we all know, the snow will melt and ski resorts will close.
Which begs this question: come summer, where will we ski?
Summer Skiing in North America
If you live in Colorado, California or Oregon, you’ve got a pretty good shot at skiing through June, into July and beyond this summer. While up in Montana, you’ll find Beartooth Basin, a summer-only ski area that opened on June 15th and closes on July 7th.
But for many of us, natural snow isn’t a viable summertime option.
Skiing on Dry Slopes
We skied on the dry slope at Buck Hill a few summers back on a warm, humid day. Lindsey Vonn was visiting, hosting a Lindsey Vonn Foundation event for teenage girls, and while we didn’t see her ski, there were plenty of people enjoying the beginner hill, training in race gates and riding the terrain park. And, yes it was fun!
While dry slopes are a big deal in Europe, the U.K. alone having 53 dry slopes, they are a rarity in the U.S. In fact, we have just three options: Buck Hill (MN), Powder Ridge (CT), and Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre (VA).
Tips for Skiing Dry Slopes
- Rent synthetic-ready skis or snowboards to avoid your personal equipment.
- Wear a helmet, long pants, long sleeve shirts and lightweight gloves to avoid road rash if you fall.
- Before getting on the chairlift, pass through a shallow pool of lubricant to help you slide. Ski on rainy days when the surface is especially slick.
- For stability when turning, keep your weight on your inside, big toe edge.
- Give yourself at least four runs to adjust to the surface.
- Have fun and enjoy skiing amongst wildflowers and rabbits.
Taking the Outdoors Indoors
Again, indoor skiing is not nearly as much of a thing in North America as it is in other parts of the world. While this will change a bit come fall when Big SNOW America opens as part of a 3-million square foot retail, dining and entertainment complex in the Meadowlands (East Rutherford, New Jersey), right now our options are limited.
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