Snow Report 27 October 2014 - Europe & Japan

All I have to say to those of you who are off to the Northern Hemisphere to ski and ride sometime over the next six months or so is ... you lucky, lucky people!

Hakuba Happo 17.10.14 [Source: Happo FB page]
The ski resorts across Europe, North America and Northern Asia are now well and truly gearing up for the 2014-15 season. Check out all the resort social media working up a storm.

Just be aware that the first lot of important opening dates aren't usually until late November, and conditions can be marginal well into December some years.

All the same, there is always a bit of excitement to be generated when the temperatures get cold enough for those first wintry snowfalls to blanket the slopes and ski villages. I've scoured the resort social media pages for some of the early snow pics to get people in the mood.

Les Arcs 23.10.14 [Source: Les Arcs FB page]
Those of you who haven't read my blog reports before should be aware that my Northern Hemisphere posts focus mainly on three or four countries. I've skied a lot in Japan, am not familiar with skiing in North America, and my European skiing experience is limited (while extensive in those countries) to France and Italy.

So my reports this year will be spread across these areas but should be enough to give you a good indication of the conditions as the season gets under way.

That means I'll update from Isola and Serre Che in the south, through Val D'Isere and Chamonix, into Italy through Monte Rosa to Val Gardena.

In Japan, from Gifu, through Nagano and Niigata right up to Yamagata.

Val Thorens 23.10.14 [Source: Val Thorens FB page]

So what snow have we had so far in the pre-season?

The French and Italian Alps got a dusting of snow right up high above 2,500m on 14th October.

The real first snows to village levels in France were on 22nd October, even getting down to Chamonix and Meribel villages.

The snow then pushed east into Italy, with Val Gardena getting about 10cms at village level and more up on the slopes.

Val Gardena 23.10.14 [Source: Val Gardena FB page]
In Japan, in Nagano and Niigata, there was a little dusting of snow on 16th October.

The week ahead? Some precipitation this week in the forecast for Japan, but it may be too warm in Honshu - snow is more likely in Hokkaido.

Nothing in the forecast this week for the southern Alps with lots of fine weather.

The first openings are in late November, and I'll be back closer to then with an update. Happy planning if you're thinking about a trip!

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