Snow Report 26 November 2015 - Europe & Japan

Val Thorens 21.11.15 - Val Thorens Facebook
The first big snows arrived in Europe last weekend. About 50-80cm fell at the resorts close to the central Alps, with the snowfalls centred on Switzerland.

A little snow fell on the peaks only at Niseko over last weekend. This week brought a little more snow to Hokkaido with some rain mixed in. Becoming much colder on the weekend.

A little snow has been falling in Honshu also, with the upper slopes of the higher ski areas getting the goods while the lower slopes and villages got a bit wet. Its also set to get colder on Friday, lowering the snow level.

Les Arcs 22.11.15 - Les Arcs Facebook
Niseko, Nozawa Onsen and the top of Kagura typically open on 28th November. The rest are set to get lifts running some time in mid-December, however Happo One in Hakuba has promised to open the top lifts at least as soon as there is enough snow.


Snow arrived last Friday at the higher altitudes in the northern Alps ski stations at first. Then on Saturday the snow lowered to village level and really set in nicely.

Val d'Isere 22.11.15 - Val d'Isere Facebook
Its snowed on and off through the weekend in the north. Val Thorens reported 60cm at 2300m from the weekend's storm.

The southern Alps missed out on the big falls, but the peaks are now white.

Val Thorens, Val d'Isere and Chamonix's Grand Montets ski area opened this weekend. Isola on 5th December. Les Arcs on 12 December. Serre Chevalier will open some lifts for the weekends only until mid-December.

Val Thorens 22.11.15 - Val Thorens Facebook

Monte Rosa got snow, but not as much as was expected. About 25-30cm above 2300m altitude. It seems unlikely to open lifts this weekend.

Madonna di Campiglio only received a dusting, and Val Gardena was passed by.

Madonna di Campiglio and Monte Rosa opened limited areas on the 21st November last year.


Snow Report 19 November 2015 - Europe & Japan

Just a few more weeks to go now as preparations are finalised at the resorts and we watch the weather in anticipation of the first big storm of the season. The pictures today don't look white, but they will by next week!

If you're planning trips to Japan or Europe, don't forget to check out my trip report posts from previous years for some ideas:
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
Niseko 18.11.15 - Niseko United Facebook

A warm and rainy weekend all over Japan gave way to a few fine and warm days before the rain set in again. It has been clearing up for a bit in the middle of this week, before some snowfalls on the weekend but only in Hokkaido.

That's good news for Niseko, which was due to open on 21st November but has now announced a postponement until there is more snow. Check out this cool video of my friend's trip to Niseko in early 2015.

Nozawa Onsen and the top of Kagura typically open on 28th November. The rest typically open some time in mid-December.

Last year, there was no snow on the ski fields until the first week of December, when it dumped up to a metre. Check out my report from last year.


Les Houches 18.11.15 - chamonix.com
Fine and warm conditions through the weekend continued into this week. There are signs of a massive dump this weekend associated with some very cold weather. Here's hoping!

Val Thorens is usually among the first ski stations to open lifts in November, opening on 21st November last year. Opening this year has been delayed until the 28th November allowing time for the runs and lifts to be prepared after the forthcoming storm.

Of our featured resorts, Val d'Isere is also due to open on the 28th November, Les Arcs on 12 December, Chamonix (Grands Montets) on 28th November, and Isola on 5th December.

However, things were slow to get started last year, with limited skiing right up until Christmas. That doesn't look like being repeated this year if this weekend's storm comes off!

Alpe di Siusi - valgardena.it

Fine and warm conditions have been the order of the week in Italy as well. However, the storm this coming weekend should deliver snow to the ski areas up close to Switzerland and Austria near the main Alps. Its not likely there'll be as much snow falling as in France but any snowfall is welcome at this time of year.

Madonna di Campiglio and Monte Rosa opened limited areas on the 21st November last year.


Snow Report 12 November 2015 - Europe & Japan

November is a month of preparations as the ski resorts in Europe and Japan begin to organise themselves in advance of the first dumps of snow. Skiing is still limited to glaciers in Europe right now, and Japow is some time off. But the dustings on the peaks will soon turn into the occasional good fall to village level.
Happo One 31.10.15 - Happo Facebook


A little dusting at the end of last month whitened the peaks on Honshu and Hokkaido.

Nothing much to speak of has fallen since, and this weekend looks a bit wet and warm.

Niseko is due to kick off ski area openings in Japan on 21st November, followed by Nozawa Onsen and the top of Kagura on 28th November. Dependent on snow, of course.


Warm conditions across the continent have kept the snow reserved to the peaks and the glaciers.

This weather pattern is expected to continue with sunny mild days in the Alps, so little snow on the horizon for now.

Cervinia 08.11.15 - Cervinia Facebook
The Grand Motte glacier at Tignes is open with five trails available on 60cms.


In Italy, Cervinia in Aosta is open (3 runs, 115cm), and Val Senales (6 runs, 75cm) and Solda (6 runs, 60cm) in South Tirol are open.