Summer Glacier Skiing/Riding
Once summer hits, most skiers and riders have to travel south for their snow fix. Not so in Whistler where summer snow can be found from late June to the end of July, making Whistler Blackcomb’s ski season one of the longest in North America.
Blackcomb Mountain’s Horstman Glacier attracts some of the best ski and snowboard athletes in the world to train on its snowy summer slopes, not to mention an army of professional filmers and photographers hoping to document the next big star. The glacier teems with jumps, rails, giant air bags, a halfpipe, moguls and race gates as ski and snowboard athletes learn new tricks and train for winter.
Everyone is welcome to witness the progression and try summer glacier skiing if they can ski at an intermediate or above level. There is one lane and a small terrain park open to the public.
Access to the Horstman Glacier starts by uploading the Wizard Express chairlift from the base of Blackcomb Mountain, followed by the Solar Coaster chairlift. From there, take a short shuttle bus to the base of 7th Heaven chairlift and then head up the chair. The Showcase and Horstman T-Bars provide access to different camps and lane space while on the Glacier.
The Horstman Hut is a European Style Hut that sits at the top of 7th Heaven Chair on Blackcomb Mountain at 2,284m/7,494ft. Guests and sightseers can enjoy sunny days on the Horstman Hut patio while taking in 360 degree views of the Horstman Glacier, Whistler Valley and the iconic Black Tusk peak. The BBQ is hot on the patio all summer making this the perfect place for lunch or a beverage on a sunny day. The Horstman Hut is open to all summer skiers, snowboarders, and sightseers from late June to late July.
Summer Glacier Camps
The Horstman Glacier plays host to 13 different summer ski and snowboard camps over the course of the summer catering to skiers and riders, teens and adults, and intermediates to professionals. From freestyle skiing and riding, to mogul skiing and racing, Summer Glacier Camps have played a key role into progressing up and coming winter athletes onto the world stage. With top pros coaching the camps and training on the glacier themselves, the Horstman Glacier is a hot spot to learn from some of the world’s top talent.
Whistler Blackcomb’s Snow School began its own summer glacier camps in the summer of 2014, coached by the Mountain’s top professional instructors. Currently the Snow School hosts two different camps, one dedicated to ski race training and one for freestyle skiing.
National Team Training Ground
As skiing and snowboarding become commonplace on the world stage, national ski and snowboard teams have started making the Horstman Glacier in Whistler an annual stop in their summer training programs. Great summer snow conditions plus world class terrain parks creates the ideal training grounds for the best in the world. With the introduction of halfpipe and slopestyle skiing and slopestyle snowboarding in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the summer of 2013 brought the arrival of national teams from Russia, USA, Canada, France, and more, many of whose athletes we saw standing on the podium in Sochi. Each year as the sport gets more competitive we see these teams returning to Whistler in hopes of being the best in the world.
In the summer of 2010, the late Sarah Burke, a pioneer of women’s freeskiing, decided it was time to encourage more girls to get out on the mountain learning the sport she loved the most. The result was Girls Week, a special summer camp session held by Momentum Ski Camps on the Horstman Glacier every year where girls come together to improve their skiing skills while they are coached by the top female skiers in the world. Girls Week creates a comfortable and supportive environment for female skiers to push themselves to progress in a safe way and the results show that. Dara Howell, Olympic gold medalist in the Sochi 2014 Women’s slopestyle attended Girls Week as a camper in 2011, and now returns each summer as a coach. Girls Week began with 28 female skiers and now there are over 50 female campers that attend the session in July.
Whistler Blackcomb’s Camps
For years Whistler Blackcomb has played host to numerous summer ski and snowboard camps on Blackcomb’s Horstman Glacier. In the summer of 2014, the Whistler Blackcomb Snow School opened up its very own summer camps for skiers ages 8-14. Coached by Whistler Blackcomb’s professional instructors, Whistler Blackcomb offers two different camp sessions focusing on ski racing and freestyle skiing and both including five-days of on snow instruction, lunches and lift tickets.