Skiing In July – Where to Score Turns This Independence Day and Beyond

Skiing In July – Where to Score Turns This Independence Day and Beyond

Featured Image: Courtesy of Timberline Lodge

For most people, the beginning of July means ice cream, hot dogs and fireworks. But for you, dear reader, it means something different. Well, it might reflect the same things, with the addition of some late season snow-hunting. If you’re still looking for places to head into the alpine, hit a jump, practice your K-Feds or just make a few slushy turns before returning to the grill, you’ve come to the right place.

Though the July sun burns long and bright in the Northern Hemisphere, there are still places to score turns at around these United States of America. The high alpine in the Western States will hold snow all through the summer if you know where to look. These areas of extended winter are often due to natural factors, such as north-facing, high alpine couloirs and glaciers. Other times, however, humans step in to preserve skiing for the joy of us all. Below you’ll find FREESKIER’s picks for top four places to go make turns this July.

Peak 10 Classic – Breckenridge, Colorado

The Peak 10 Classic has been a Breckenridge staple for more than half a decade, and for good reason. Breck’s Fourth of July bowl holds snow through most of the summer, and thanks to its name, it draws skiers from near and far to celebrate America’s birthday. A beautiful kicker and one of the finest wiggles (or snakes, depending on who you ask) are enjoyed by all.

In the past, a dedicated crew of individuals has dug out the road traversing the mountain, allowing skiers to drive up to the overlook. This year, things are a little different. The Classic will be operating under a Non-Commercial special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service. While this has stirred up mixed opinions online, the choice is not out of the blue. An event of this size was never going to be able to operate under the radar forever.

“The only thing that’s inevitable in life is change,” said the event organizers on Instagram. “We will all remember the grassroots days of the classic but we hope the community can understand and recognize that the changes this year are in the best interest of sustainability and longevity of the Peak 10 Classic and protecting our natural resources.” If you head up this year, please be respectful of the new rules, and be sure to pick up after yourself! Of course, you can score turns in the Fourth of July Bowl throughout the coming weeks as well.

Woodward Copper – Copper Mountain, Colorado

An oasis for park riders, Woodward Copper has become a staple over the past decade. While there are summer camps that operate on snow throughout the summer, the public park is also available every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There are youth and adult camps open, so whether you’re an older skier looking to dial in a trick or you have friends looking to get their kids on snow, the camps are a great option.

The public parks can be a great communal area as well. You’ll meet other passionate skiers and probably learn a thing or two from the 12-year-old who can already do a 270-on. For $25 you can spend a full day lapping rails in the summer sun. This Friday, July 5th is the first event in their Summer Rail Jam Series. Be sure to click below for more details.

Timberline Lodge – Mt. Hood, Oregon

There’s no place like Momma Hood. The legendary freestyle mecca of Mt. Hood, Oregon is home to many tales of ski lore. Most of these myths take place around one common place; Timberline Lodge. Timberline features a sprawling setup that is firing this summer with a plethora of features, including an entire rail collection laid out to be easily lapped on foot. It is open from 10am until 3pm.

The public park is located at the Palmer Lift and features medium jumps, transition features and 6-8 rails. If you’re looking for more, or want to track down some world-class coaching this summer, the Timberline Freestyle Training Center (FTC) is open through July 27th. “These programs are designed to serve the local summer ski & snowboard camps, other smaller camps and freestyle teams from across the country,” Timberline Marketing Manager Emily Stoller Smith told FREESKIER. “[The FTC] is here for professional athletes to train in the summer months, as well as for any regular customer who wants to come learn and have the ‘camp’ experience on their own.”

North Facing High Alpine – Colorado, Utah, Idaho, California, Wyoming, Montana, Alaska

We’ll admit this one is a shot in the dark, but someone had to say it! If you want to stray from masses and carve your own path, no pun intended, we suggest searching for those patches that remain hidden in the alpine. There are glaciers and small couloirs that can hold snow year-round. Some might be more well-known than others, but they’re all tons of fun.

We’ve seen motivated skiers get after it in Wyoming, Montana, the Pacific North West as well as the Central Rockies. Noah Bourns, Madison Rose Ostergren and Doug Evans have set great examples of what it means to venture out and earn those hot, sweaty summertime turns in a safe manner. There’s no telling what you’ll find if you put in some time on the map and ask around at your local ski shop. Be sure to tag us in your posts if you find pockets of snow this summer.

Of course, safety is always of the utmost importance when heading into the backcountry. This does NOT change in the summer months. Snow conditions are always changing, and avalanches are always possible. Be sure to do extensive research and go with a partner when exploring high alpine terrain. Be prepared for variable conditions and weather, and always have an emergency plan. If you don’t know or don’t feel comfortable, don’t go! It’s that simple. There will always be more ski days next winter, so don’t press your luck.

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