April 30, 2013 at 6:31 pm #1209
Just because it isn’t winter doesn’t mean that snowboarders have to hang up the board and gear for the next 6 months. It’s no secret that year round snowboarding can be found on Earth between the Southern and Northern hemispheres plus there are always indoor slopes now. Snowboarding is the world’s fastest growing sport, so if you haven’t tried it yet, it is a great time to learn. Here are some of the top places to snowboard during the spring, summer, and fall.Spring Snowboarding Spots (Most available winter through spring):
- Niseko, Japan’s snow season is December through March and is a popular snowboard destination for Australians since it is in the same time zone and the staff is bilingual and the signs are in English.
- Baqueira-Beret is a large ski resort in the Pyrenees that offers multiple runs for snowboarders and access to both ski lifts and draglifts. The snowboard season runs all the way through May 5th.
- Breckenridge, Colorado is listed as one of the best places for snowboarders in the world, citing the super fluffy snow due to the high altitude of the 12,840 feet high mountain with a base of 9,600 feet. For the last 20 years many snowboarding events have been held there. “Breck” as it is known, is great for snowboarding from November to the end of April.
- Laax is the most famous snowboarding destination in Switzerland and is actually known as “the spiritual home of snowboarders”. Skiers are outnumbered by snowboarders here and you will understand why when you have experience the high jumps and visit Crag Sogn Gion snowpark which is home to the biggest half-pipe in Europe. This park has also recently hosted several European Open championships.
- Livigno in Italy may be an uncommon snowboarding destination but that makes it one of the best kept secrets for snowboarders. Livigno is in the northern Italian Alps in a free zone, so it is quite a bargain. It offers wide pistes for beginners and free-riders can explore some of the most beautiful powder fields. Of course, we have to mention the amazing Italian cuisine that goes along with this destination. Ski and snowboard season is November through May.
- Mayrhofen is a village in Austria well known by boarders as “Big M” It is located 70km from Innsbruck, and is becoming one of the hottest spots for snowboarding in Europe. This place will offer you something unique and special including uncharted territory as there are about 157km of pistes yet to be explored in the Mayrhofen valley. The world class Vans Penken Park covers an entire slope and includes 11 jumps, 34 boxes, and an exciting half-pipe. Snowboarding runs from December to mid-April.
Summer Snowboarding Spots:
- Arapahoe Basin near Copper Mountain in Colorado has one of the highest altitudes of all the US ski resorts, so there is snow there year round, even in the summer.
- Port de Soleil in France is situated between Lake Geneva, Switzerland, and Molc Blanc, France and often has snowboarding available even in the warmer months. Its appeal is in the variety of the courses and tracks, plus it boars 13 ski resorts and many charming and beautiful landscapes. Port de Soleil offers more than 650km marked runs, 230 lifts and 14 valleys. So many choices, you can ride a different track every day during your stay there and never ride same track twice.
- Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia Canada has snowboarding until the end of April and is known as one of the most adventurous snowboarding destinations for all the trees that fill the 8,171 acres of about 200 trails, 37 lifts and 3 glaciers. Snowboard enthusiasts also cite the well groomed tracks, cliffs as some of the reasons that make Whistler one of the best snowboarding destinations.
- Ski Portillo in Chile is one of the U.S. Ski Team's favorite summer practice destinations. Portillo is for thrill seekers since it has killer steeps, wide-open alpine terrain, and known for its dry powder. The local resort also boasts of amazing views of Aconcagua and the glowing glacial Laguna del Inca. The resort is rather exclusive and only accommodates 450 people at a time so lift lines are virtually unheard of. The season runs June 19-Oct. 2.
- Las Leñas in Argentina is an amazing summer snowboard destination to consider. Situated at 7,400 feet about a 90-minute flight from Buenos Aires, it is at the epicenter of the lift-served South American steeps, with rocky chutes and steep open bowls aplenty with 50 degree chutes and ultra-dry powder.
- Tordrillo Mountains of the Alaska Range in Alaska has packages available through July. There is a great value at Tordillo because in addition to the skiing and snowboarding there is king salmon fishing and whitewater rafting. The luxury packages include your very own chartered helicopter.
Fall Snowboarding Spots:
- Wanaka in New Zealand features a unique snowboarding experience because of the vast openness with powder white snow for miles. The snow season runs from July to September. Besides the smooth snowboarding, there are glaciers, parks, volcanoes and mountains to explore.
- Mt. Hood in Oregon is known for snowboarding across the US. The high altitude and glaciers allow for snowboarding and winter activities year round, one of the few spots open in the fall in the US.
- Zermatt is in Switzerland with the Theodul glacier in the shadow of the famous Matterhorn, stays open for die-hard skiers (and European national ski team training) all summer and you can be guaranteed of snow all year long.
- Valle Nevado in Chile is less than 40 miles from Santiago and is helping establish Chile as a premier South American skiing and snowboarding destination. The snow at 10,000 feet tends to stick around for most of the year. Newly renovated resorted help to sweeten the deal.
Bio: Jason Hall is blogger and Brand Manager for Budget Car Hire, Australia’s premiere car rental company. He enjoys sharing travel tips and stories.
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