When the summer weather hits, diehard skiers venture all over the globe to find the best peaks. We’ve compiled a list of our top picks for international skiing when the sun comes out.
1. Kaprun (Kaprun Kitzsteinhorn, Austria)
At the first glacial ski resort in Austria, visitors have their choice of 41 km of slopes and 10.5 km of ski routes. For advanced skiers, the resort offers a “Black Mamba piste.” The Black Mamba is the steepest piste in the entire resort at a 63% incline. Trails like the Alpinecenterpiste are easier to test, where a wide glacial plateau allows beginners to ski gently down the mountain. There are also plenty of summer activities other than skiing. Travelers may be interested in the gorgeous mountain biking routes or even the ice arena, where you can take a hiking tour or just have a snowball fight. The summer season at Kaprun starts June 2nd so eager visitors can get a head start on the mountains.
2. Timberline Lodge (Oregon, USA)
Located near the top of an 11, 245 foot volcano, Timberline Lodge is always an exciting place to be. The resort is a good spot for intermediate skiers, with 50% intermediate trails, while the other 50% is half advanced and half beginner. In the summer, Timberland offers a 2,161 foot vertical drop, while their five high speed lifts whisk visitors to the mountaintop. This means shorter lines and more time to speed down the slopes. The lodge is also the only ski resort in the USA open all 12 months of the year!
3. Zermatt (Theodul, Switzerland)
This ski resort is the highest in Switzerland at 3,883 meters high, the equivalent of 2.4 miles. Many national ski teams practice at Matterhorn mountain . An observation window inside the mountain allows visitors to admire Zermatt’s 21 kilometers of ski slope. If you’re visiting Zermatt to snowboard, the resort hosts “Snowpark Zermatt,” which is open all year round with 15 jibs and 7 boxes to explore. Visiting with kids? Check out “Furi Adventure World.” Here, kids can play on tire swings, try out a suspended bridge or explore Gorner Gorge’s sweeping waterfalls.
4. Hintertux (Hintertux, Austria)
Hintertux is known for its groomed slopes but also has varied mountain courses for all ski levels. 57 national ski teams have practiced their technique at the resort before competing. Hardcore skiers should try out the freeriding at Larmestang, where the snow is very thick. Hintertux has a playground for children called the “Glacier Floh,” built at 3,250 meters with a snow tire carousel, tubing runs and baby lifts for apprehensive riders. The park is also great for other summer activities. Nature’s Ice Palace is an ice cave with stalactites, frozen ice crystals and a beautiful glacial lake. Cave scaling is a popular activity as well at Hintertux – just make sure you adventure with an experienced guide!
5. Cervino (Cervinia, Italy)
Cervino resort spans both Italy and Switzerland, starting at the Piccolo Cervino and ending in Valtournenche. There are 150 total ski runs which reach a maximum altitude of 3,3883 meters. A majority of their slopes are intermediate and beginner, so Cervino is a great place for cruising and for challenge slopes. Some of the most difficult slopes are the long runs between Klein Matterhorn and Cervina with vertical slopes up to 2,300 meters, as well as trails down from the Schwarzsee ski area in Switzerland, which are ungroomed, challenging runs. Cervino runs a summer snow camp for kids and adults, and the program comes with hotels, slope discounts, lessons and insurance. Some activities not included in the package include rafting, canyoning, game fishing and horse riding.