For most passionate skiers, jetting off to winter while the northern hemisphere languishes in the heat of summer is both an exotic luxury and a non-negotiable, must-do bucket list item. When it’s your lifelong dream or if you just need a little more inspiration to dig out your gear while everyone else heads to the beach (again), ski camps of all sorts abound, and not just for the kids.
We’ve rounded up and broken down a few of the most highly regarded camps, for all ages and from far-flung ones to those you don’t even need a passport to access. Not only do summer ski camps offer a welcome taste of winter, but a chance to choose your own adventure, up your game, and ski with some of the industry’s most accomplished athletes, including NASTAR athletes and Warren Miller Entertainment film stars, up close and in person.
1. Ingrid Backstrom’s Women’s Freeride Ski Camp, August 1-8, 2014
For women only, all ages, advanced intermediate or higher
For the ladies only (sorry boys), Ingrid Backstrom is holding her popular freeride and backcountry ski camp for the third year in a row. This year, Ingrid and organizing partner PowderQuest have moved the location from La Parva, outside of Santiago, to the spectacular southern Chile ski resort of Nevados de Chillan. Backstrom, who will again be coaching with fellow professional skier Leah Evans (founder of Girls Do Ski), says that Chillan is one of her favorite places to ski in Chile. Famous for powder skiing through mossy, old growth forests, abundant untracked lines in both the off piste and resort-accessed backcountry, Nevados is a perfect place to up skills in gorgeous, playful terrain, so that you, like Ingrid, can effortlessly and gracefully outski the boys. As an added bonus, thermal springs dot the landscape, and South America’s best ski bar – SnowPub – awaits in Las Trancas.
2. SASS Global Travel: Sessions run from August 2 – September 6, 2014
For ski and snowboard, adults, men, women, separate under-18 sessions, advanced intermediate or higher
Sass Global travel is known for running some of the best and most adventurous backcountry ski and snowboard camps in the heart of Argentina’s stunning lake district. The company focuses improving skills out in the Alta Patagonia backcountry, and is based at the Cerro Catedral ski area. SASS gives clients an extensive choice of dates, unlike most other camps in South America that only run one session per season. Available programs run from 8 days to 36 days, and offer something for both the under-18 crowd as well popular adult sessions. SASS’s staff roster includes male and female ski and snowboard pros, guides, including WME’s Michelle Parker, who says the camps are so fun to coach, the terrain so fabulous, and the other coaches and clients and so wonderful, she can’t imagine doing anything else with her summers.
3. Ski with the Superstars, August 9-16 2014
Ski Portillo, Chile
For men and women, expert skier level and higher, skiers
Now in its eleventh year, Ski With the Superstars is one of the most well-known camps in the southern hemisphere, not least thanks to its location at the iconic, isolated, big mountain paradise of Portillo. Instruction at the camp focuses on steep skiing techniques, terrain recognition, and superior powder shredding skills. From Portillo’s incredible spot the high Andes, in sight of Aconcagua, with coaches such as Chris Anthony, Ingrid Backstrom, Wendy Fisher, Mike Douglas, camp founder and WME skier Chris Davenport, attendees can’t help but be inspired to shred all the big mountain lines that Portillo has to offer. Portillo also wins the easy access award hands down, at just over a 100-mile drive from Chile’s capital city of Santiago and international airport.
4. Momentum Ski Camps, June 20th – July 28th
Whistler, BC, Canada
For adults, boys and girls, all levels, skiers
Momentum offers the whole spectrum of summer skiing, from halfpipe and slopstyle to moguls, as well as kids, adult sessions, and a mixed ages session where the whole family can shred the summer scene together. Most sessions are coed, excluding Girls Week, a program that former Momentum camper and longtime coach Sarah Burke instituted.
Park and race camps for the under 18-crowd only:
1. Camp of Champions, June 29th – July 27th, 2014
Whistler, BC, Canada
For boys and girls, all levels, ski and snowboard
Many of skiing and snowboarding’s current successful park athletes got a kickstart to their careers by attending Camp of Champions, which offers skiing, snowboarding, and even mountain biking sessions. Ambitious snowboarders can sign up for a week and ride with the likes of the versatile, legendary snowboarder, entrepreneur and WME rider Rob Kingwill, as well as national slopestyle teams from around the world.
2. Keely’s Ski Camp for Girls, big mountain and racing, various dates
Alta, Utah, and Mount Hood, Oregon
For girls only
Keely Kelleher, a former racing star and rising big mountain star, turns her formidable talent, work ethic and infectious energy towards the next generation of female skiers, with spring big mountain camps for girls in April at Alta, Utah, and summer race camps for girls at Mt Hood, Oregon.
3. Ligety Weibrecht Ski Camp (racing) June 21st - July9th
Mount Hood, Oregon
For boys and girls
A slew of Olympic medalists, World Cup racers, National, NorAm, and NCAA champions, and US Ski Team and ski academy coaches make for an impressive roster at this ski camp for racers. For skiers serious about speed and getting speedier, there’s more than enough inspiration and expertise to go around at these sessions.