Snow Report 29 April 2015 - Europe & Japan

This is my last snow report from the Northern Hemisphere for this winter. I hope you've enjoyed my little bit of coverage of ski season 2014-15. In a few weeks I'll begin posting about the forthcoming 2015 season in Australia and New Zealand.

If you want to get a taste of previous winter seasons in New Zealand, check out my trip reports from recent years.

A massive trip from 2011: Ski Touring in New Zealand 2011 - Kaikouras and Nelson Lakes and Ski Touring in New Zealand 2011 - West Coast, Southern Lakes and Canterbury.

From 2012 (which includes some heliskiing): Ski New Zealand 2012 - Part 1 and Ski New Zealand 2012 - Part 2.

From 2013 (which includes competing in the Peak to Pub multi-sport race): Ski New Zealand 2013.

Nozawa Onsen 28.04.15 [Source: Yamabiko webcam]

Warm days and quickly melting snow mean there are only limited options to ski and ride now despite a week and a bit to go. Check with the mountain resorts to see what's open. The ski areas with lots of higher terrain will be the go.

Don't forget to check out this cool video of my friend's trip to Niseko in 2015, and take a look back at my Japan trip reports from 2012, 2013 and 2011.


The French Alps received some good snow at the weekend, around 20-30cm for some ski stations on Sunday. This was followed up with another top-up on Tuesday and Wednesday.

To enjoy it, skiers and riders headed to Val Thorens, which is open until 10th May and has 25/28 lifts open, Val d'Isere, which is open until 3rd May, and Grands Montets at Chamonix, which is open until 3rd May.

Val Thorens 28.04.15 [Source: Val Thorens FB page]
Take a look back on my three-part picture report of my French-Italian ski trip from winter 2013-2014:
Part 1 - Trois Vallees (Val Thorens, Les Menuires), Chamonix-Mont Blanc, Les Houches, Balme, Megeve.


The upper parts of Monte Rosa-Gressoney-la-Trinite and Cervinia will be closing on the 3rd May.

Take a look back on a three-part picture report of my French-Italian ski trip ifrom winter 2013-2014:
Part 2 - Piani di Bobbio, Valchiavenna Madesimo, Paganella, Folgaria, Monte Bondone, Madonna di Campiglio.
Part 3 - Latemar, Val di Fassa, Val Gardena, Arabba, Alta Badia, Monte Rosa.


Snow Report 22 April 2015 - Europe & Japan

Happo One 22.04.15 [Source: Happo webcam]
Hi all. Here's a quick look at where you can still ski at some of the major resorts.


Sunny days and rain on and off has been the weather in Japan for the last few weeks.

There has been no snow at all in April really. This week's wild winds caused lift closures at many ski areas. Not the same as those snowy days in January and February!

A friend of mine from Sydney was over at Niseko in February on an awesome ski trip and scored 1.2 meters in 8 days!

"It literally didn’t stop snowing and the snow was light and fluffy. The terrain was also really good although often the top of the mountain was closed which meant you couldn’t get across to the other resorts." Check out his cool video of his trip to Niseko.

Nozawa Onsen 22.04.15 [Source: Nozawa Onsen webcam]
Niseko had a massive amount of snowfall again this year - you can see how the centimetres stacked up at the SnowJapan Niseko report page which compares this year to last.

Interestingly this year there was much more total snow in the Yuzawa area and at Myokokogen, according to the other SnowJapan reports.

Happo One: 140cm@1400m, 0cm@850m Closing 10th May, top areas only
Nozawa Onsen: 240cm@1650m and 0cm@650m Closing 7th May, top areas only
Akakura Kanko: 170cm Closing 7th May
Gala Yuzawa: 200cm Closing 7th May, but you can ski at the top of Kagura ski area until the end of May.
Dynaland: CLOSED
Zao Onsen: 100/10cm Closing 7th May, top areas only
Niseko Grand Hirafu: 330/10cm Closing 7th May


Chamonix 21.04.15 [Source: www.compagniedumontblanc.fr/]
A heap of major ski stations finished operations last weekend, adding to the list of smaller ones that have already closed for the season.

There's a map of 3 Vallees lifts open this week. Most areas close on Friday including Courchevel, with Meribel-Mottaret going through the weekend, and Val Thorens open into May.

There's actually a fair bit of snow forecast at higher altitudes for the end of this weekend. so next week could make for a great last blast!

Isola 2000CLOSED
Serre Chevalier: CLOSED

Les Arcs: 185cm@3200m, 30cm@1600m OPEN, Closing this weekend
Val Thorens: 220cm@3200m, 100cm@2300m OPEN, Closing 10th May
Val d'Isere: 158cm@2500m, 52cm@1850m OPEN, Closing 3rd May
Chamonix: 175cm@3275m, 105cm@1972m Grands Montets only is open until 3rd May, all other Chamonix ski areas are closed

Monte Rosa 21.04.15 [Source: Monte Rosa webcam]

Just the upper parts of a few ski areas open in northern Italy now, for example, Gressoney-la-Trinite and Cervinia.

Monte Rosa (Gressoney-la-Trinite): 200/60cm OPEN, closing 3rd May

Madesimo: Closed 12th April.
Madonna di Campiglio: Closed 12th April.
Val Gardena: Closed 12th April. Snow cover peaked for my 13th February report: 110cm@2500m, 15cm@1400m


Snow Report 10 April 2015 - Europe & Japan

Hello, konnichi-wa, bonjour, and buon giorno! Just a few weeks to go in 2014/15!


The last snowfall for much of Japan was all the way back on and around the 25th March, so you can understand why the webcams are beginning to show lots of patches of grass lower down at the ski resorts. Some of these lower lifts are beginning to close now and skiing is moving up to the higher slopes only at some ski resorts.

Happo One 30.03.15 [Source: Happo FB page]
It was a warm weekend with temperatures reaching into the double figures. Rain arrived on Sunday on Honshu and continued through Monday and into Tuesday in places.

There was a dusting of snow midweek at a few ski resorts, but then it turned out fine again through the rest of the week.

The coming week looks a bit rainy, with the best skiing on the fine days in between.

Happo One: 200cm@1400m, 0cm@850m Closing 10th May
Nozawa Onsen: 300cm@1650m and 0cm@650m Closing 7th May
Akakura Kanko: 290cm Closing 7th May
Gala Yuzawa: 290cm Closing 7th May
Dynaland: 160cm
Zao Onsen: 160/60cm Closing 7th May
Niseko Grand Hirafu: 375/55cm Closing 7th May


Val Thorens 09.04.15 [Source: Val Thorens FB page]
Strong winds and rain caused havoc in the northern French Alps last week. This cleared somewhat approaching the weekend. Then some snow arrived to freshen the slopes, especially boosting the snowdepths at the upper slopes of the higher resorts.

This week has been fine and sunny, but the next week is looking a bit mixed with some rain in the forecast in places. In between there might be some nice, sunny days. What is certain is that it will be warm.

Isola 2000: 175/125cm Closing 19th April
Serre Chevalier: 120cm@2800m/0cm@1400m Closing 19th April
Les Arcs: 205cm@3200m, 55cm@1600m Closing 25th April
Val Thorens: 255cm@3200m, 145cm@2300m Closing 10th May
Val d'Isere: 190cm@2500m, 96cm@1850m Closing 3rd May
Chamonix: 200cm@3275m, 140cm@1972m Partial Closing 21st April

Monte Rosa 27.03.15 [Source: Monte Rosa FB page]

A sunny springtime in Italy, and all that that brings to the ski slopes. Expect beautiful warm days, but variable piste conditions.

Some smaller ski areas have closed. Here are closing dates for the bigger ones:

Monte Rosa (Gressoney-la-Trinite): 200/60cm Closing 3rd May
Madesimo: 150/100cm Closing 12th April
Madonna di Campiglio: 150cm@2250m, 10cm@1500m Closing 12th April
Val Gardena: 90cm@2500m, 10cm@1400m Closing 12th April