Top picks for summer skiing on the west coast

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Arg! It’s mid-June! Will this summer ever end?

Maybe I want to be like Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. Wilson moved his grand piano into a sandbox built in his house so that he could keep his toes in the sand while he wrote the band's iconic beach-themed music. Problem with a box of snow under the desk is – it melts into the renter’s place below me. So instead of sloshing around on a wet carpet and getting the neighbour upset, I’m on a quest for summer skiing.

I can pack the winter gear and the passport and head to the southern hemisphere but that’s too expensive. Instead, I’m packing the T-shirts and boarder shorts and heading to a few places on the west coast that will quench my desire for snow.

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Glacier skiing at Whistler Blackcomb

From June 9 – July 15, Whistler, B.C. opens up the runs on Horstman Glacier on Blackcomb Mountain for sunny days of skiing and snowboarding. Bring your gear, your best eye protection and most definitely the sun screen and spend a day at the top of the world. The adventure just getting to the glacier is worth it. While you ride the Whistler Village Gondola and the Peak 2 Peak Gondola watch for bears and other wildlife. Two T-bars on the glacier will get you to a terrain park and enough snow to carve for the afternoon. Get more information about summer skiing and boarding at Whistler here.

Volcano skiing in Oregon 

Mount Hood in Oregon is the place for many ski racers to train in the summer. Over 100 teams head to Timberline Lodge for extra time on the boards. In spring, when the rest of the resort winds down, the Palmer Snowfield is prepped for the summer season. What’s amazing is the Palmer Express chairlift isn’t open during the winter – because its buried in snow! It’s only open between the months of June and September for skiing, boarding and sightseeing.

Pack your skis to the top

For those of us who are in exceptional shape, toss the boards on your back and take the hike up Mount Adams or Mount St. Helens in Washington State. Mount St. Helens has five ski mountaineering routes good for intermediate to expert skiers. As the second highest peak in Washington, Mt. Adams at 12,276 feet above sea level is going to give your lungs a workout before you even start to ski. From the top, there are five glaciers listed as great descents from the top. Prepare to camp if you plan either of these epic summer skiing adventures.

Summer skiing that is completely different

And, if all else fails, I’m going to go to a second-hand store. Pick up a pair of skis destined for the dumpster and head for a steep gravel slope and follow this guy's lead from Terrace, B.C. The music in my ears better be pretty loud because it's not going to sound like a powder perfect day. And, it’s not going to be pretty. But hey, I’ll be skiing. It's better than standing on a soggy carpet!

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