For most people, summer skiing means indoor snow centres or glacier skiing above 3,000 metres (hey, whatever keeps the snow beneath our feet right?). But neither option promises once-in-a-lifetime adventure in waist-deep powder. For this you'll have to look beyond Europe or North America and head to the mountains of the Southern Hemisphere.
Experience the ulimate in summer ski adventures with a guided snow safari in Chile, Argentina or New Zealand. The Southern Hemisphere ski season kicks off just after the Northern Hemipshere wraps up for winter, with most resorts opening late May or early June.
We've scanned the globe to find the best summer ski safaris. Here's our pick of the best...
CHILE & ARGENTINA
Price/Date: $6,495 (USD) per person/August 26–September 6, 2014.
In a nutshell: A 12-day guided off-piste ski and snowboarding trip through Chile and Argentina (maximum of eight people).
Ski level: Advanced to expert.
Where: This Andes crossing adventure features cat skiing in Chile and powder hunting in Las Lenas, during which skiers and snowboarders get to explore Portillo, Arpa SnowCats, Valle Nevado, El Colorado, La Parva, Las Lenas.
Highlights: Experience some of the best riding in two distinct countries, all planned out and ready to roll—just show up and ride; enjoy lesser known local lodging and restaurants; priority lift line access; Full day of adventure cat skiing in Chile at Arpa and optional cat skiing in Las Lenas; Fun nightlife in Farellones, Mendoza and Las Lenas.
Price includes: Two certifified ski guides; flight Santiago Chile-Mendoza, Argentina round trip; ski lift tickets; adventure cat skiing in Arpa; lift line priority in Las Lenas; avalanche safety instruction; lodging with private bath; half-board (breakfast and dinner); red wine and mineral water at dinner; private transportation; and off-Piste and backcountry guiding.
PowderQuest offers numerous South American ski tours for advanced and expert skiers and riders, but intermediates can also find progression-focused adventures. In addition to the guided group tours, PowderQuest also organizes custom non-guided ski vacations.
David Owen, PowderQuest founder and assistant guide says, "One of the most exciting private tours we've organized has been for a honeymoon couple. Their goal was to ski several of the smoking volcanoes in southern Chile followed by a week of luxury heli skiing out of Santiago. They ended up skiing three volcanoes and soaking in hot springs followed by a week of wine tasting and heli skiing. The helicopter departed daily right off the roof of their hotel in downtown Santiago."