Approximately 97% of ski areas worldwide are closed between May and October. The worst part of outdoor winter sports, like skiing, is that it’s hard to get your snow fix year-round. Luckily, dedicated ski enthusiasts have discovered ways to extend your winter sports season. And even though us skiers are living it up in the wonderful winter right now, the time will come – much too soon, just like every year – where we’ll have to get a bit more creative to satiate our love for the slopes.
If you’re just looking to keep your “ski legs” in shape, indoor skiing might be a good option for you. Alpine Slopes in Mississauga, Ontario, and Mini Mountain in Bellevue, Washington, are two noteworthy indoor ski resorts in North America. They offer treadmill-style ski slopes that simulate the feeling of hitting the slopes. Instructors are available to help perfect your technique, and you can even change the slope angle at Alpine Slopes’ facility.
Liberty Mountain Snowflex Center is an outdoor skiing, snowboarding and tubing destination, located in Virginia on Liberty University’s 5,000-acre mountain. “Snowflex” is a synthetic material that simulates the feeling of riding on real snow. Snowflex is coined as being “the industry’s most innovative dryslope.” Liberty Mountain Snowflex Center is the first of its kind in the U.S., and they are continuing to improve the center to allow for more dynamic skiing options.
Timberline Lodge in Mt Hood, Oregon is the only year-round ski area in the U.S., but they are usually closed in September for maintenance. Timberline Lodge offers summer snow camps for varying levels of expertise, and also offers black diamond graded terrain and a terrain park.
If you’re looking to get out of North America, the Southern Hemisphere is experiencing winter during our summer months.Those passionate about skiing should consider an international trip sometime between June and September to follow the snow. Chile, Argentina, Austria, New Zealand and even South America are just a few options.
Preparing for Next Season
For avid skiers, the season never truly ends mentally. Even if you don’t have the opportunity to check out these offseason options, there are other ways to keep skiing in mind when you’re off the slopes. This could be as simple as eating well, staying active and caring for your equipment. The offseason is the best time to recover from any ski-related injuries. You could also diversify your skills by investing time in a summer sport, such as sailing, surfing, kayaking or scuba diving.
While the skiing offseason might not be your favorite time of year, making the most of your offseason months can help you fully prepare for next season.