Best ski resorts 2013

Top summer ski resorts in Europe & North America

It may be summer, but snow is still falling — so drop the beach towels and grab your shells. For the coolest summer skiing, head to the highest resorts in Europe and North America. Here's our pick of the best summer ski resorts . . .

Les 2 Alpes has one of the largest summer ski areas in Europe. The Mont-de-Lans Glacier is open from mid-June to early September. A funicular railway transports skiers up to the glacier’s eight runs (two green, four blue, two red) which are served by chairlifts and drags. Les 2 Alpes’ snowpark rivals that of Saas-Fee's glacier, with its snowskate zone, slopestyle (Big Air, tables, kickers and rails), cool zone, half-pipe (4.5m/15ft high, 120m/400ft long) and a smaller pipe suitable for beginners. Six-day ski camps run throughout the summer. Lifts open from 7:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and a half-day ticket costs €28.80.

Summer ski resort: Mont-de-Lans Glacier, Les 2 Alpes. Photo Courtesy of Kathy Ribier.

The Hintertux is one of the few remaining glaciers to open 365 days a year. During summer, 22km (14 miles) of runs are open and accessed by nine lifts, including the Glacier Bus 3 with 24-person cabins, capable of transporting 3, 000 skiers per hour. The Hintertux offers a good range of runs for all levels, but is famous for its steep, challenging terrain. Freestyle fans can hit the half-pipe, fun boxes, table-tops, and rails at Betterpark. The Tuxer Sportbus is a free bus service which operates year-round transporting guests from Vorderlanersbach, Lanersbach, Juns or Madseit to the bottom of the glacier. Day ski passes (May through October) are €39.50.

Summer ski resort: Carving up the slopes on the Hintertux Glacier. Photo Courtesy of Hintertux.

The Grand Motte Glacier has varied terrain — blue, red and black runs — accessed by chairlifts and drags. The summer ski area is open from mid-June to early September. It takes just seven minutes to get up to the base of the glacier on the underground funicular from Tignes. The North Face run is very popular and not too steep, but can get a little chilly. The glacier snowpark appeals to freestylers, pros, and amateurs with its half-pipe, rails, moguls, hip ramp, quarter-ramps and rainbow rail. Tignes’ summer ski school runs five-day workshops and hour-long lessons each day. The glacier closes at 1 p.m. which is a perfect time to take your skis down to the water ramps on the lake. Lift tickets cost €33, 50 per day.

Summer ski resort: Strip down and hit the Grand Motte Glacier, Tignes. Photo Courtesy of Tignes.

Zermatt has a whopping 25km (16 miles) of summer skiing on its Theodul Glacier and is open every day from May to mid-November, accessed by the Klein Matterhorn cable car. The summer ski area is shared with Cervinia in Italy, so you can ski over the border for lunch. The 13 runs are divided into blues and reds. The Gravity Park features a half-pipe, kickers and rails and also offers one of the best views of that mountain — the Matterhorn. Lifts open at 7 a.m. and daily tickets cost CHF 82.

Summer ski resort: Klein Matterhorn cable car transports skiers up to the Theodul Glacier, Zermatt. Photo Courtesy of Ollie O'Brien.

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