Summer skiing is still a relatively new concept. When have you ever heard someone say they’re going skiing in May?
Winter is still the season of choice for the avid skier, but summer skiing isn’t just a toned down experience of the former.
In fact, it’s a different experience altogether!
There are a variety of ski resorts open all year round, so we’ve gone through the trouble of explaining what it’s like to go skiing in summer.
Hopefully this guide will answer any burning questions that come to mind.
How is summer skiing even possible? Doesn’t the snow just…melt?
It does. But it’s not that simple.
At higher altitudes, the temperature drops extremely low during the night to the point of freezing, making the snow firm. The higher temperatures affect the snow later in the day, making it softer and more “slushy” in texture.
This cycle tends to prevent the snow from completely disappearing, giving rise to glacier skiing.
However, unlike the winter season, it also means the conditions are far more varied throughout the day, so there are ‘optimum’ skiing times.
Since the snow tends to get softer in the afternoon, it’s best to get onto the slopes earlier in the morning and take full advantage of the overnight freezing.
A day of skiing is therefore shorter than its winter counterpart.
Terrain parks are also installed to make up for the limited snow areas and for you to fully flex your skills (you might even see a professional skier or two).
So while skiing is still physically possible during the summer, the dynamic is slightly different.
And this inevitably leads us to our next question…
If the skiing day is shorter, then what do I do for the rest of the day?
This is where the summertime resorts shine (see what I did there?).
Outside of the main activities (skiing and snowboarding), ski resorts tend to offer a range of events that take advantage of the beautiful weather.
Up in the Mountains
The summertime lets the mountain trails open up and breathe a bit more. With less snow and higher temperatures, the environment is perfect for exploration, relaxation and endurance building
The activities include but are not limited to:
- Mountain biking
- Rock climbing
In the Water
We’d imagine the last thing you’d want to do is go for a dip in the lake during the winter season (unless that’s your thing, then, more power to you).
The opposite tends to be true of the summer; people can’t wait to jump right in.
So, once you’re done with the snow, head to the waters for a number of exciting activities. Many ski resorts will offer the following:
- Scuba diving
- Water parks
Just recently, the Alpentherme Gastein (a spa in the Austrian Alps) built two new thermal swimming lakes, both of which are completely chlorine free, and are equipped with a wave slide and baby pools.
The perfect way to kick back and relax after your morning ski!
In the Air
Some of us love the sunshine so much we don’t want to stay grounded or cool off in the water. Instead, we prefer being as close to the other clear blue as possible.
Many ski resorts offer summer activities for the more daring among us, including:
- Zip Lining
Jungfrau in Switzerland (aptly labelled as the “top of Europe”) offers an 800 metre long steel zip line for those looking to get the heart pumping!
Outside of these 3 areas, there are plenty of things to keep you occupied. Post-ski recreation is likely to be geared towards the drink-fuelled antics of the après-ski.
The same happens during the summer, but there’s more to do before you hit the bars.
If anything, your days (like the snow conditions) have the potential to be extremely varied throughout your visit.
But then you may be asking…
You may also like: 5 Picture-Perfect French Alps Summer Holiday Destinations
With all these activities available, doesn’t it get crowded?
Remember, skiing during the summer is still a relatively new concept. So while it may be an extremely attractive holiday idea, not many are aware of the fact.
The main visitors tend to be sports teams who use the time to get in some extra training before the peak season.
A ski resort during the summer tends to be quieter as a result. Depending on how you look at it, this can definitely be seen as a positive:
- Fewer crowds
- More relaxed atmosphere
- Easier access to ski lifts (and other activities)
Just to name a few.
Moral of the story: take advantage of this while you still can!
And yet after all this I hear you saying…
Planning a ski trip is a hassle. Why go through it again?
There’s a simple answer to that.
It doesn’t need to be.
Alps2Alps aims to get you straight into the action without all the unnecessary stress that comes with planning a holiday.
We offer private transfers from the airport to your resort, with a range of vehicles stationed at the airport.
Our transfer scope is wide, covering resorts in the French, Swiss, Austrian and Italian Alps, so choice is far from limited.
Your plane will touch down and, before you know it, you’ll blink and be sliding down the slopes, biking through the mountains, diving deep underwater or gliding through the air.
Now I should hear you saying…
Great! I’m on the next flight out!
That’s what we like to hear.