2.12.16

Snow Report 2 December 2016 - Europe & Japan


A few of the big ski stations in France and Italy opened last weekend, and more are scheduled to start lifts spinning this weekend. In Japan, its still early days but there is some limited skiing available.

Niseko 02.12.16 - www.grand-hirafu.jp
JAPAN

Rain on the weekend hasn't helped get things ready, but for most of Japan its still early days. Hokkaido, however, has earlier starts and Niseko has got some lifts running and the season under way.

Elsewhere its still pretty grassy even on the peaks. Its snowing in Hokkaido today and, after the weekend, it looks like more on the way up there and maybe snow down in Niigata and Nagano as well.

Opening dates at my featured Japanese ski resorts:

Yuzawa (Kagura) - limited skiing at the top of Kagura
Niseko (Grand Hirafu) - OPEN - 45cm at base
Nozawa Onsen - part opening (Yamabiko) ASAP
Hakuba (Happo One) - 17th December (part opening ASAP)
Zao Onsen - early December
Myoko Kogen - mid-December

Val d'Isere 28.11.16 - Val d'Isere Facebook
FRANCE

Its only the first week of December and there is already a lot of skiing available at the higher stations in France. This despite not much snow falling in the last week.

Val Thorens has almost double the lifts and runs compared to last week and Val d'Isere has extensive terrain for skiing and riding. Isola 2000 and Serre Chevalier have lifts spinning for the first time this weekend.

However, there's not so much snow below 2000m, so Grand Tourmalet, for one, has put back its opening another week.

Opening dates at my featured French ski stations are:

Val Thorens - OPEN - 85cm@2300m, 25/30 lifts, 48/85 pistes
Val d'Isere - OPEN - 5cm@1850m, 44/77 lifts, 75/167 pistes
Chamonix (Grands Montets) - OPEN on the weekend - 30cm@1972m
Isola 2000 - 3rd December partial opening
Serre Chevalier - 7th December (with a pre-opening on 3rd December)
Grand Tourmalet -  10th December
Les Arcs - 10th December
Val d'Allos - 10th December
Super Besse - 10th December

Madonna di Campiglio 30.11.16 - Madonna di Campiglio Facebook
ITALY

Some of the larger northern Italian ski resorts are already open for limited skiing.

In the Dolomites, Val Gardena and other Sella Ronda ski areas open this weekend.

Opening dates at my featured Italian ski stations:

Madonna di Campiglio - OPEN - 11 lifts, 10 runs
Madesimo - OPEN - 4 lifts, 7 runs
Monterosa - 3rd December
Val Gardena - 3rd December

25.11.16

Snow Report 25 November 2016 - Europe & Japan


The first snows making it down to village level arrived this week for many ski resorts in Japan. In Europe, the season really gets started this weekend with some more ski stations opening.

Happo One 25.11.16 - www.happo-one.jp
JAPAN

Snow began falling yesterday in Japan, down to town level as well as the peaks.

The snowy weather has arrived in Honshu and Hokkaido at the same time, so everyone's getting a whitening in the mountains! Just a dusting in Niigata and Nagano, but a nice little dump in Hokkaido.

Opening dates at my featured Japanese ski resorts:

Yuzawa (Kagura) - ASAP
Niseko (Grand Hirafu) - ASAP
Nozawa Onsen - part opening 26th November (maybe!)
Hakuba (Happo One) - 17th December (part opening 26th November - unlikely!)
Zao Onsen - early December
Myoko Kogen - mid-December

FRANCE

Good snow in France for the end of November, particularly for those stations that are above 2000m. Val Thorens opened last weekend and already has 13 lifts running.

Val Thorens 26.11.16 - Val Thorens Facebook
Val d'Isere is opening tomorrow with the Pissaillas glacier/Iseran, Fornet, Solaise, and Bellevarde sectors all open. Chamonix (Grands Montets) is also opening this weekend.

Grand Tourmalet in the Pyrenees has put back opening to the 3rd December.

Opening dates at my featured French ski stations are:

Val Thorens - OPEN - 80cm@2300m, 13/30 lifts, 32/85 pistes
Val d'Isere - 26th November - 10cm@1850m,
Grand Tourmalet -  3rd December
Chamonix (Grands Montets) - 26th November - 58cm@1972m
Isola 2000 - 3rd December
Les Arcs - 10th December
Val d'Allos - 10th December
Serre Chevalier - 7th December (with a pre-opening on the weekend of 3/4th December)
Super Besse - 10th December

ITALY

There is still some snow at higher altitudes in Italy.

Monterosa 23.11.16 - Monterosa Facebook
Madonna di Campiglio opened last weekend and is opening again this weekend for skiing on the Groste area.

Similarly there were slopes open at Valchiavenna, which is reopening this weekend along with Monterosa.

Opening dates at my featured Italian ski stations:

Madonna di Campiglio - 26th November
Madesimo - 26th November
Monterosa - 26th November
Val Gardena - 3rd December

17.11.16

Snow Report 17 November 2016 - Europe & Japan


Its looking like there might be a strong start to the season in the European Alps, with snowfalls through the weekend and more on the way.
Les Arcs 15.11.16 - Les Arcs Facebook

JAPAN

For Japan, however, not much snowfall in the past week, with some warm temperatures across the mountain regions. A return to cooler temperatures today in Hokkaido, but remaining warm on Honshu.

Opening dates at my featured Japanese ski resorts, subject to snow:

Yuzawa (Kagura) - 19th November
Niseko (Grand Hirafu) - 23rd November
Nozawa Onsen - part opening 26th November
Hakuba (Happo One) - 17th December (part opening 26th November)
Zao Onsen - early December
Myoko Kogen - mid-December

Argentiere village 16.11.16 - Chamonix Facebook
FRANCE

Snow fell through the weekend. It was a nice dump actually, and snow fell quite low for this time of year and is sticking around.

Chamonix has groomed some slopes as a result, opening for skiing at Grands Montets this weekend.

Opening dates at my featured French ski stations are:

Val Thorens - 26th November
Val d'Isere - 26th November
Grand Tourmalet - 26th November
Chamonix (Grands Montets) - 3rd December (partial opening weekend 19th/20th November)
Isola 2000 - 3rd December
Les Arcs - 10th December
Val d'Allos - 10th December
Serre Chevalier - 7th December (with a pre-opening on the weekend of 28/29th November)
Super Besse - 10th December
Valchiavenna 16.11.16 - Facebook

ITALY

Snow at the higher northern resorts through the weekend. Good cover at some ski areas already means opening dates have been fixed and brought forward.

Opening dates at my featured Italian ski stations:

Madonna di Campiglio - 19th November
Madesimo - 26th November (with a pre-opening on the weekend of 19th/20th November)
Monterosa - 25th November
Val Gardena - 3rd December

10.11.16

Snow Report 10 November 2016 - Europe & Japan


Greetings snow fans!

We're not too far away now from the Northern snow season openings - the first typically occur in late November. The weather is changing and as autumn begins to give way to winter there has been a bit of snow around to get us in the mood.
Niseko - Niseko webcam

JAPAN

A fair bit of snow fell earlier this week on Hokkaido. A dusting was observed on the peaks in Honshu, such as at Hakuba and Yuzawa.

Opening dates at my featured Japanese ski resorts:

Yuzawa (Kagura) - 19th November
Niseko (Grand Hirafu) - 23rd November
Nozawa Onsen - 26th November
Hakuba (Happo One) - 16th December
Zao Onsen - December
Myoko Kogen - December

FRANCE

Some good snowfalls earlier this week in the Northern French Alps. with snow down to resort level.

The glacier at Tignes - Tignes Facebook
The Grand Motte glacier at Tignes opened in October with five trails available. However, we are a few weeks away from proper resort openings.

Opening dates at my featured French ski stations:

Val Thorens - 26th November
Val d'Isere - 26th November
Grand Tourmalet - 26th November
Chamonix (Grands Montets) - 3rd December
Isola 2000 - 3rd December
Cervinia - Cervinia Facebook
Les Arcs - 10th December
Val d'Allos - 10th December
Serre Chevalier - 12th December (with a pre-opening on the weekend of 28/29th November)
Super Besse - 12th December

ITALY

Breuil-Cervinia is open for skiing on the upper slopes.

Opening dates at my featured Italian ski stations:

Monterosa - 25th November
Madesimo - Opening date not yet fixed
Madonna di Campiglio - Opening date not yet fixed
Val Gardena - 3rd December

21.10.16

Snow Report 21 October 2016 - Europe & Japan


With the Southern Hemisphere ski and boarding season wrapping up, its time to look forward to the coming Northern Hemisphere season which begins at the end of 2016 and runs into 2017.

Its at this time that the ski resorts across Europe, North America and Northern Asia begin to get things ready.

Opening dates are still some way off. November usually sees some high-altitude resorts get started, but mid-December is more typical. Depending on the season, conditions can be quite marginal with limited skiing well into December some years.

My reports focus on Japan, France and Italy, as that's where I've skied before. If you're planning your trips or already booked, you might be interested in reading some of my previous trip reports. They are:

Skiing in Central Japan 2011 Part 1 and Part 2 
Ski Japan 2012 - Snow, Onsen, Sushi Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 
Ski Japan 2013 - Powder, Onsen, Sake Part 1 and Part 2 
Ski France and Italy 2013-14 Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3

Happy planning!

30.9.16

Snow Report 29 September 2016 - Australia & New Zealand


The 2016 ski season is rapidly coming to an end, but there are a few options on both sides of the Tasman if you're after a few last turns in Australia or New Zealand.

AUSTRALIA

Snow conditions:

Mt Baw Baw - Closed for season
Mt Buller Closed for season
Mt Hotham - Closed for season

Falls Creek - Still good cover in Sun Valley with lifts open until 2 October 2016.

Perisher - Fresh snow and 20 groomed runs at Perisher Valley only. Smiggins, Blue Cow and Guthega are closed. Closing date - 3 October 2016.

Thredbo - 6 lifts are open and Friday Flat base area is closed. Closing date - 3 October 2016.

Selwyn Snowfields - Closed for season


NEW ZEALAND

Its closing weekend for most South Island skifields. Time for some last turns of the season!

Mt Hutt and Cardrona are going to keep going for another week, subject to snow conditions.

North Canterbury and Nelson

Rainbow - Closed for season
Mt Lyford - Closed for season

Canterbury

Mt Hutt - Closing 9 October 2016
Porters - Closing 2 October 2016

The Mackenzie

Roundhill - Closed for season
Mt Dobson - Closed for season
Ohau - Closing 2 October 2016

Wanaka

Treble Cone - Closing 2 October 2016
Cardrona - Closing 9 October 2016

Queenstown

Coronet Peak -  Closing 2 October 2016
The Remarkables - Closing 2 October 2016

23.9.16

Snow Report 22 September 2016 - Australia & New Zealand


The season is starting to wrap up on both sides of the Tasman, with some of the smaller ski resorts already closed.

AUSTRALIA

After a warm and fine start to the week, a few days of rain/snow mix, but mainly rain sadly.

Snow conditions:

Mt Baw Baw - Closed for season

Mt Buller Snow depth: 13cm, with skiing limited to Bourke Street, Summit, Family Run, Howqua and Little Buller Spur). Closing date - 2 October 2016.

Mt Hotham - Snow depth: 60cm, with the best skiing and riding in Heavenly Valley. Hotham is closing this weekend on Sunday 25 September 2016.

Falls Creek - Snow depth: 75cm, all lifts apart from the pomas are running and Summit and The Maze is closed. Still good cover in Sun Valley with lifts open until 2 October 2016.

Perisher - 19 lifts running at Perisher Valley only. Smiggins, Blue Cow and Guthega are closed. Closing date - 3 October 2016.

Thredbo - 10 lifts are open and Friday Flat base area is closed. Closing date - 3 October 2016.

Mt Hutt webcam
Selwyn Snowfields - Closed for season


NEW ZEALAND

Lots of sun this week and no snow. Things have been rapidly warming up and the snow melting. Skiing is fairly limited now at the main skifields in Canterbury.

Lots of patches now down south, even at Remarks and Cardrona and in the Treble Cone Saddle. However, the runs are holding up well and there should be good skiing into the NZ school holidays.

North Canterbury and Nelson

Rainbow - Open
Mt Lyford - Closed for season

Canterbury

Mt Hutt - Open
Porters - 2 October 2016

The Mackenzie

Roundhill - Closed for season
Mt Dobson - Closed for season
Ohau - Closing 2 October 2016

Wanaka

Treble Cone - Closing 2 October 2016
Cardrona - Closing 9 October 2016

Queenstown

Coronet Peak -  Closing 2 October 2016
The Remarkables - Closing 2 October 2016
Remarkables webcam
Coronet Peak webcam