Image: Australia's Perisher Valley
Four adjacent ski areas comprise Australia's Perisher Valley, the largest ski area in the Southern hemisphere. The mountain has 50 lifts and 52 miles of cross-country trails.
updated 7/6/2007 7:40:05 PM ET 2007-07-06T23:40:05

A/C not cutting it? While everyone else bakes like a bread-crumbed clam on the shore, grab your passport and parka and hit the slopes instead.

"Most people don't realize that it's possible to go skiing during the summer," says Leo Demelbauer, director of international marketing for, an Aspen, Colo.-based seller of luxury ski trips. "In fact, there is great skiing in parts of the world that is only around when it is summer here."

One top summer ski spot is New Zealand, where the season runs from mid-June through the beginning of October.

"Skiing is a huge sport in New Zealand," says Eric McFerran, founder of New Zealand Travel, a Langhorne, Pa.-based company that plans luxury trips there. "It's a unique place for skiers to visit because the weather is very temperate compared with the States, which has very cold temperatures in ski spots. In New Zealand, there is snow on the peaks but not always on the ground."

Visitors also benefit from spectacular scenery. Wanaka on the South Island, where the "Lord of the Rings" movies were shot, has some of the best skiing in the country.

Image: Whistler
Courtesy Pan Pacific
At 7,000 feet above ski level, Whistler's Blackcomb Glacier is open for skiing during the summer.
Resorts in this area include Cardrona, which has a ski school for children, and three gentle slopes called "Magic Carpet" that are suited for beginners. Treble Cone, which is the largest ski area in the region, has dozens of advanced and rural trails for expert skiers. If you enjoy cross-country skiing, try Wairou Snow Park.

South America
Those heading south might visit Las Lenas in Argentina, the biggest ski resort in the country. It's got 16 ski lifts and 40 miles of trails from 11,250 feet above sea level. Novices or those looking to brush up their skills can take advantage of the internationally famous ski school's 150 instructors.

Thrill seekers and advanced skiers can go on guided expeditions to ski on virgin snow and unmarked trails. An example is El Soldado, a full-day trip that has four downhill rides on untouched snow.

Best of both worlds
You don't have to give up warm weather to go skiing. Snow remains on some glaciers — snowpacks that don't fully melt in the summer — in places where temperatures climb into the 80s, making glacier skiing an option. Travelers can ski in the morning and lounge by the outdoor pool in the afternoon.

The glacier on Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler, Canada, is an example. A 35-minute gondola ride leads to the 7,000-foot summit. This point also boasts a panorama of the entire Whistler Valley. Since the runs are steep, this experience is recommended for intermediate and advanced skiers.

All the ski resorts we've listed offer lessons, so you don't have to shy away if you've a novice. All also rent equipment.

Perhaps best of all, a summer ski vacation offers another bonus: bragging rights.

"It's really cool when everyone talks about their beach vacation," Demelbauer says, "to be able to talk about your skiing vacation."

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