Can You Ski without Snow? (5 Ideas for Summer Skiing)

Can You Ski without Snow

While skiing is one of the major winter sports, you don’t have to depend on the weather to ski. After all, the winter season has been decreasing by about five days every year in the Northern Hemisphere since the 1970s.

If you only get to ski once or twice every winter season, then you need to have excellent skills to make the most out of your limited time on the snowy mountain. 

And since skiing holidays can be pretty expensive, you don’t want to spend your precious time in a ski resort numbing about your skill. Your trip should be an enjoyable adventure. 

So, what should you do before the snow season returns? Can You ski without snow? 

Many people think that the ski season usually ends when there is no longer any snow on the mountain to ride on. Then they spend several months daydreaming about the winter and the beautiful snowy slopes, especially if they truly love skiing.

But isn’t that the way things just are? Well, not all the time! We have some good news for skiing fanatics, as there are many summer skiing ideas for the taking.

Being active during the summer is a great way for skiers to build better ski ability and advance their technique. It also allows them to remain in shape and be prepared for the actual ski season. 

Now, there are a few locations in the world where you’ll always find piles of snow to ride on throughout the year. 

And even if you can’t get to such destinations, you can take advantage of the various snow-free skiing alternatives. We actually have five summer skiing ideas for you. Check them out!

5 Best Summer Skiing Ideas

5 Best Summer Skiing Ideas

Before we get on the summer skiing ideas, you might have heard about ski simulators that most professional skiers use to practice off-season. 

Ski simulators are great tools that allow athletes to maintain stamina and remain in shape when they can’t access snow-covered slopes. 

With a ski simulator, a skier is able to keep their ski muscles engaged as it stimulates the movements made when riding on the mountain. This way, the body remains in great shape and ready for skiing when the winter season approaches. 

While you may feel some soreness, especially if you haven’t been on the slopes for a while, your body will get used to it after several sessions. 

Practicing with a simulator is also an excellent way for beginner skiers to build some confidence before they start hitting the actual slopes. 

This is usually very helpful, especially for beginners with friends who are already experienced but feel intimidated to try out skiing and learn some basics on the mountain. 

The only problem with ski simulators is that they can be costly, and not every skier can afford to buy one. 

But the good thing is that you don’t have to buy one. If the cost of ski simulators is beyond your budget, there is no need to worry or give up on your practice. 

You can look for a facility that has ski simulators near your area and schedule a time when you can use them at a reasonable cost. 

In most cases, these simulators are designed with VR technology that adds some realism to the extent of making skiers feel like they are actually on the snowy slopes. The overall experience is great for both experienced and beginner skiers. 

Now, if you aren’t sold on the ski simulators, it’s not the end of the world for you. There are other options for engaging in your favorite winter sport during the hot season. 

That said, not all of these options discussed below will be accessible to you, depending on where you live. Read on to see which idea is the best for your skiing needs.

#1. Dry Slope Skiing

Also known as artificial snow slopes, dry slopes are ski slopes designed with the characteristics of real snow using materials (wet plastic) at normal temperature conditions to allow skiers to ride off-season. 

The plastic material features some bristles that let skiers glide their skis smoothly down the slope, achieving the same speed they use on regular snow slopes. 

These slopes are usually lubricated using a jet or mist system to reduce friction and damage as skiers ride on the material. 

They are usually common in the UK and Netherlands, but the US also offers a few places, including Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre in Virginia and Buck Hill, Minnesota. 

Since dry lopes do not have any snow, you may be tempted to wear less protective gear. But this isn’t a good idea as you still need protection even on a warm day. 

For example, wearing glasses can protect you from the sun’s glare, which may otherwise disrupt your vision. 

Ski gloves come in handy when holding your ski poles as they give you a better grip and protect your hands from injuries in case of a fall. Your protective clothes can also save you from bruises and help you avoid road rash when you fall.

So, it’s important to bring your regular ski gear when riding on dry slopes. With the appropriate equipment, you can still get the thrill that skiers seek on snowy slopes. 

#2. Indoor Skiing

Another perfect idea for summer skiing involves skiing in a climate-controlled place with man-made snow. 

Just like dry slope skiing, indoor skiing is a great way to get started in the popular winter sport and fine-tune your riding skills off-season.

It also allows experienced skiers to recover from injuries, improve their skills, and remain in great shape when there is no snow on the mountain. 

What makes indoor skiing even more exciting is that most facilities are designed with a mirror at the bottom, allowing you to view your movements as you ski.

The mirror also helps in giving feedback to the instructor as it enables them to gain a good view of their students from all sides. You can always be sure of instant help whenever you need it. 

To ski indoors, you’ll need long sleeves, thick ski socks, long pants, and a ski helmet. Bringing a bottle of water is also crucial because you need to stay hydrated when riding on the artificial snow. 

While indoor skiing may give you almost the same thrill you get on a real snow-covered mountain, it has some restrictions. 

For example, you cannot dig your edges in when riding. You should instead maintain a balanced stance and keep your weight evenly balanced when sliding across the surface. 

The resistance is also higher on the artificial snow, but I see this as a good attribute as it will later translate to an easier time when you go to the real snow. 

One of the biggest indoor ski parks in the US is the Big Snow America, which opened in December 2019. You also can find great skiing facilities in places like Denver, San Diego, Leesburg, Minneapolis, DC, and more. 

Once you find an indoor skiing facility near you, you can practice making turns, stopping, and using ski poles in a relaxed and controlled environment. 

#3. Sand Dune Skiing

While you wouldn’t think it’s possible to ski in the desert, sand dunes are an ideal way to emulate skiing and stay fit when there is no snow on the slopes. 

You can wax your skis and head out to a sandy route, and you’ll get an experience almost similar to what you feel when skiing in the snow.

The only downside of sand dune skiing is that it will inevitably damage your skis. Keep in mind that your skis are designed for use on sand dunes but for riding on the snow. 

If you want to minimize the damage that dunes will do to your skis, you can wax the base properly before heading out. You can also buy a pair of cheap skis if you are worried about ruining your premium set.

#4. Water Skiing 

If sand dunes don’t feel like your thing, you can get specific water skiing gear and head out to the ocean. 

Water skis usually come with a thicker base compared to regular snow skis, so you’ll need some practice to get used to them. 

You also need to bear in mind that water skiing is quite different from skiing on the snow. While on the water, you’ll have to lean backward when a boat pulls you rather than lean forward as you would on the slope. 

When it comes to speed, you’ll need to travel faster on the water than the normal pace you use on the slope. If you aren’t used to the high speeds, you can start slowly and increase as you become comfortable on the water. 

Overall, water skiing can be a fun experience for skiers during the summer season, and most of the movements involved are almost similar to what happens in winter skiing.

#5. Roller Skiing: Cross Country Skiing and Rollerblading

Roller skiing was originally a European sport invented in the 1930s. It involves cross-country skiing and rollerblading. 

Many skiers use roller skiing to train, get ready for winter skiing, and maintain physical fitness. 

If your main aim is to remain in shape and prepare for your winter ski holiday, roller skiing is your best option as it provides a full-body workout. 

It boosts your cardiovascular health and promotes weight loss, resulting in overall fitness. And if you have injuries, this sport is easy on joints, so you can recover while still having fun. 

What I love most about roller skiing is that it’s ideal for all categories of skiers. Whether you are a seasoned skier or are just getting started in skiing, you can gain a competitive edge with roller skiing. 

Best Destinations for Summer Skiing

Best Destinations for Summer Skiing

There are many places across the world where you can hit snowy slopes, even in the middle of the hot season. 

Here are the 8 best destinations for summer skiing that skiers and snowboarders should try:

Tordrillo Mountains Alaska

While many skiers visit Alaska between February and April, you can ski in this state during the summer as there are several places with snow in July. 

The phenomenal Tordrillo Mountains provide travelers from all over the world with ultimate heli-skiing and snowboarding adventures. 

Even so, a summer getaway to the Tordrillo Mountains can be quite expensive. But you’ll have lots of exciting things to do, from salmon fishing to downhill skiing, once a helicopter drops you on the mountain. 

Perisher Ski resort, New South Wales

When the winter ends in the Northern Hemisphere, it actually begins in countries in the Southern Hemisphere like Australia and New Zealand. 

You can have an unforgettable experience on the epic slopes of the largest Southern Hemisphere ski resort, Perisher, in Australia. 

This ski resort has 7 mountain peaks to explore, 47 ski lifts, and 4 interlinked villages to visit. And it doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or advanced skier/snowboarder, as you’ll find slopes of all ability levels. 

Fonna Glacier Resort, Norway

Did you know that some Norwegians commute to and from their workplaces on their skis during the winter? 

Well, skiing is not only a national sport in Norway but also an activity that almost every local enjoys when winter approaches. 

And even in the summer, skiing remains alive in Norway, and the Fonna Glacier Resort makes it possible. 

The small Norwegian ski resort has one ski lift and seven runs where skiers and snowboarders can enjoy riding from May to Mid-July. You can visit the resort with your family and friends and find various slopes for different skill levels.

Timberline Lodge, Portland

If you are looking to ski in North America during summer, Timberline Lodge has the longest ski season. To get to this lodge, you can use the bus service operated by Mount Hood, and it will cost you as low as $3. 

The ski resort is usually open for ski races and freestyle camps from June to early September, but you can always find a lane for skiing or snowboarding. 

Valle Nevado, Chile 

Located a few miles from Santiago city, Valle Nevado is a modern world-class ski resort with modern lifts to serve local and international skiers. 

The stunning resort boasts 25 miles of smooth ski runs where skiers and snowboarders can ride and have fun on the incredible mountain ridge from July to October. 

Once you finish exploring Valle Nevado, you can extend your ski trip and visit other ski resorts bordering this area, including La Parva and El Colorado. The ski resorts are easily accessible with the interconnected lift system and trails. 

Gran Catedral, Argentina

Gran Catedral ski resort is Argentina’s oldest and most famous ski area. It is widely known for its rugged terrain with a lot of snow that intermediate and advanced skiers can cruise on. 

With about 120 kilometers of piste, 40 ski lifts, and the largest snowmaking facility in South America, Gran Catedral has a lot to offer. 

And if you love riding off-piste, Gran Catedral has plenty of places where you hike up and cruise on untouched snow. The resort is usually open between late June and early October. 

Horstman Glacier, British Columbia 

For most people, mountain biking is a great sport in the summer months, while skiing is their best activity in the winter months. But wouldn’t it be perfect to enjoy both sports in your summer holiday? 

Well, Horstman Glacier in British Columbia allows skiers to relish both skiing and bike riding at the same time. 

You can visit the resort from mid-June to late July to enjoy riding a bike and cruising on powder snow. The best way to enjoy the activities is to start with a bike ride in the morning and take a lift to the ski area afterward. 

Your ride on the ski lift will take about 45 minutes, but it never feels like a long drive, especially with the scenic views of the beautiful Whistler Valley. 

Nonetheless, the resort suits expert skiers as the runs can be quite challenging for beginners and intermediate skiers. 

Zermatt, Switzerland

Are you an advanced skier and always feel like the winter season ends when you haven’t gotten enough of the snowy slopes? 

You can have extra fun skiing on the impressive slopes of Zermatt, Switzerland. It’s usually open for skiers and snowboarders almost all year round. 

This resort has some of the most challenging ski slopes where skiers and snowboarders can have great pleasure. 

The charming villages and breathtaking high mountain views will also delight you as you enjoy spending time in this Swiss resort. 

What’s even more fascinating about Zermatt is that it borders the Italian town Cervinia, which also has outstanding slopes and is open between July and September. This makes it possible for you to explore both resorts during your holiday. 



Q: Can You Ski without Snow?

A: Yes, you can ski without snow, and there are many ways to do that. Some of these methods of skiing without snow include dry slope, sand dune, indoor, and roller skiing. 

You can also head out to the beach or a lake and ski on the water. But you’ll need to bring the appropriate water skiing gear. 

Most skiers prefer dry slope skiing when the summer months approach as it’s convenient and available when all the snow melts on ski resorts. 

Dry slope skiing is also a perfect way for beginner skiers and snowboarders to learn some riding skills and build confidence before hitting a real beginner hill. 

If you want to try dry slope skiing, you may not need as many layers as you would during the cold weather on snowy slopes, but it’s important to have adequate protection. 

You should cover your legs and arms before riding on a dry slope to avoid road rash in case of a hard fall.

Q: Are There Places to Ski in the Summer?

A: Yes, there are many places to ski in the summer. Depending on where you live, you can ski on dry slopes or a terrain park with artificial snow. 

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you can plan a vacation to ski resorts in Australia and New Zealand, as they have great snowy slopes and terrain parks for international tourists. 

Q: What Do Ski Resorts Do When There is No Snow?

A: Some ski resorts close when there is no snow in their ski areas, but most resorts in North America and Europe produce artificial snow. Other resorts offer alternative outdoor activities that don’t require snow, such as bike riding and downhill scooting on the terrain parks. 

The artificial snow is made by firing compressed air and cold water under high pressure onto the slopes to make small icy crystals. 

However, producing artificial snow is quite expensive and consumes a lot of energy. It also relies on cold weather as the ice would quickly melt on a warm and humid day. 

Q: Is There a Summer Only Ski Area?

A: Yes, there is a summer-only ski area known as Beartooth Basin, located at the Montana-Wyoming border in North America. If you want to ski in North America during the summer months, you can visit the Beartooth Basin ski area from late May to early June. 

Q: How Do You Prepare Your Body for the Ski Season?

A: The best way to prepare your body for the ski season is to get in shape and build stamina. You can include some cardiovascular exercises and stretches in your workout routine. 

Most expert skiers practice skiing without snow on dry slopes, sand dunes, and indoor ski facilities to ensure that their bodies are used to the ski movements all-year round. 

If you are a beginner, engaging in such sports can also benefit your body tremendously and give you the confidence you need when sliding on the actual slope. 



As the winter days continue to reduce in the Northern Hemisphere, many people have to ski on artificial snow, which comes at an extra cost, or engage in other sports that don’t rely on snow.

But the good thing is that there are several ways to ski without snow, as explained in this article, from dry slopes to water skiing. 

Skiing without snow has become a thing in North America, as skiers and boarders want to remain in great shape while still enjoying their best sport regardless of the weather. 

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Picture of Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.
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