The waiting is the hardest part. We love light summer nights, hazy afternoon picnics and battles with wasps as much as the next person. But there are also times when we fall asleep on sun loungers and dream about the heartbreakingly far off day when we’ll be reunited with the crisp cold of winter and deep, powdery snow. Mmm.
And we feel bad about this because summer’s so lovable. It makes everyone happy and more active and eat more healthily. The air is warmer and the weekends come quicker. It’s just that sometimes we’re haunted by these painful little reminders that the world’s so much fun on skis! For those days when you just can’t wait, here are our top tips for getting through a long, snowless summer.
Learn Something New
There are plenty of activities out there that are great for keeping you busy throughout the summer months. Mountain biking and road biking are both great for maintaining the strength in your legs. Although, if you’d prefer not to drop your hard earned cash on expensive things like bikes then hill walking is great alternative. You’d be really surprised by the breadth and variety of awe-inspiring mountains we have in the UK - Wales offers over 180 mountains all above 2000ft in altitude, there are over 230 mountains to choose from in Lake District and of course let’s not forget the countless epic mountaineering itineraries to choose from right across Scotland.
The stunning monroe Liathach from Beinn Eighe in the Scottish Highlands.
If you’re next to the coast have you thought about surfing? If you’re not next to a coast without waves, a great up-and-coming sport is Stand Up Paddle Boarding (or SUP boarding in short). If nothing else, getting out and trying to master something you’ve never done before certainly makes time go faster!
SUP boarding is a great summer sport if you're near a stretch of water; inland or costal.
Mountain boarding – essentially snowboarding plus wheels and minus snow - is a good way for boarding addicts to keep withdrawal symptoms under control and put their riding skills to use while taking in some stunning summer scenery.
Rock climbing, great fun and very good exercise.
Rock climbing is another good one for that mix of fresh air and adrenaline, and great idea for those who simply can’t stay away from the mountain. As with all of these activities, just make sure you get someone to show you how to do it first!
Stock up on Ski Gear
It’s not just accommodation that works out cheaper when you buy during the summer. Take advantage of out-of-season offers on equipment and skiwear by stocking up before the winter gets under way. With discounts of up to 70% at some retailers, you’ll save yourself so much money to spend on fondue.
An impressive range of reduced boots, jackets, skis and gloves makes the Tiso sale a good first stop for summer bargains. If you don’t find what you’re after there, Ellis Brigham have currently got offers on almost everything – from Signal boards to kids’ helmets and a great range of women’s North Face jackets.
Find Somewhere that’s Got Snow Now
So. Here we are crying into our Pimms & lemonade. But just because it’s not snowing in the UK it doesn’t mean the mountains are green everywhere. And a summer ski trip – that wonderfully enticing paradox – is something every skier should experience. In July you can ski Chile’s legendary Portillo, where you can spend a week or two 900ft up in the Andes, enjoying the deep snow, uncrowded slopes and truly dreamlike landscape. But if you don’t fancy the trek, there are also options closer to home: Tignes and, Les Deux Alpes and Zermatt are all great resorts for summer glacier skiing. Tignes is open from 6th July – 4th August this year, and lifts in Les Deux Alpes lifts will be open from Saturday 22nd June until August 31st 2013 inclusive. Zermatt’s Theodul glacier stays open all summer long.
The view from the top of the Grande Motte Glacier in Tignes.
Plan a Winter Holiday
Presumably if you’re really sick of waiting, you’ve already had this idea. But summer really is a great time to plan a winter holiday. Early booking discounts, heaps of availability and loads of time to lie around designing your perfect ski escape. What’s not to like? Get together with some friends and family, spend some time arguing about where you’d like to go and then get planning!
Finally, Embrace the Summery Greatness
Log fires, mountain hideaways and 10ft deep powder are all great. But remember all the things that aren’t so good about winter? The endless rain, the howling gales, the traipsing home from work in the pitch black? Make the most of the longer, warmer days by spending time outside under that elusive golden circle, doing all things you wished you were doing when the weather was revolting.
And if we’re really not convincing you, hey, summer solstice has already passed so the nights are officially drawing in. Thank God.
Posted on Thursday 18 Jul 2013