It’s July. You’re fighting the realization that winter is over. You’re probably mountain biking, twiddling your thumbs, questioning if it’s smart to watch a ski movie to gear up for next year. The Xs are already on the calendar counting down the days. But if you’re strong willed and work for it, you can find skiing all year round (without blowing you savings on a ski trip to South America). “While nearly every ski option takes effort in the summer months, it’s that effort that drives the appeal,” says Jason Hummel, who traversed the Cascades in 16 days last June without hitting rock.
Here’s the latest installment of A Diehard’s Guide to Skiing All Year. All summer long we’ll be sharing the next destination to add to your list of summertime snow stashes.
THE GREAT ONE: MONTANA’S SUMMERTIME CHILL ZONELOCATION: Northern Bridger Range, Montana
HIGHEST ELEVATION: 9,560 feet
CLOSEST COMMUNITY: Bozeman is an hour away
WHEN TO SKI: July-August
USER INFO: A Forest Service road accesses the Fairy Lake trailhead, and the road typically opens around July Fourth, making it a classic holiday outing. The road is fairly rugged—it’s Montana after all—so a high-clearance vehicle is preferable.
MORE INFO: Fairy Lake Campground “The Great One checks all the boxes for an exquisite ski experience. With giant fins of rock flanking both sides of the couloir, the run is aesthetically impressive and protected from the elements. The climb up the couloir, if you choose to go that route, will demand your attention for every moment of the 1,200-foot ascent. And in midsummer, the ski down is as good as it gets with snow that is steep, shaded and reliable. The rock walls lend a distinctly badass quality to the ride, pegging the fun meter all the way down to the bowl below.” —Karin Kirk, ski instructor and freelance writer This week’s Summer Stash was brought to our attention by the adventurous Karin Kirk. If you’re a summer ski lover and think you’ve got a spot worth sharing, send beta and pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.