Snow Report 31 December 2015 - Europe & Japan

Nozawa Onsen 28.12.15 - Nozawa Onsen Facebook
Here we are at the end of another year yet right at the start of a new ski season for Europe and Japan. Is the snow arriving later each year?

While some European high altitude ski resorts with good snowmaking facilities have done OK, the season has not really got started yet for the smaller stations.

In Japan, meanwhile, the first decent dump of winter opened most of the resorts in time for the busy new year break.


The snowfalls began on Christmas Day and continued on for a few days delivering some nice white powder presents to those on the slopes over the holidays.

Niseko and Myokokogen did the best with snow continuing through the week with about 20cm each day. Elsewhere was more varied with Hakuba not quite getting 20cm total from the storm.

Niseko (Grand Hirafu) - 115cm@base. Has been scoring big with 20cm each day until a nice clear day yesterday to enjoy the views.

Gala Yuzawa 28.12.15 - Gala Facebook
Zao Onsen - 25cm@base (954m), 70cm up high (1387m). Skiing is now available at most of the resort except for the lowest areas (like the fun Omori area).

Naeba/Kagura - 20cm around Christmas and a further 30cm yesterday has opened up lots of Naeba after the slow start. Yuzawa Town ski resorts are also starting to open more slopes, including Gala Yuzawa.

Shiga Kogen - snow on and off for the past week has transformed the vast Shiga Kogen areas, and now all the resorts are open and most slopes skiable.

Nozawa Onsen - 50cm@base (660m), 90cm at Yamabiko (1615m). Good snowfalls on and off for the past week means most of Nozawa Onsen's lifts are now running.

Dynaland 28.12.15 - Dynaland Facebook
Myokokogen (Akakan) - 90cm. Lots of snow in the past week means most of the terrain is now open.

Hakuba (Happo One) - 10cm@Base, 70cm at Usagadaira.

Dynaland - 70cm. Snow in the past week has opened more lifts at this Gifu ski area.

The coming few days look a bit mixed with sunny spells, some snow showers and possibly some rain if it stays mild.


More sunny mild weather in the French Alps and no snow to speak of except that coming out of the snowguns at night. Resort snow depths haven't changed from last week.

Chamonix (Grands Montets) 25cm@1972m, 4/16 pistes open

Val d'Isere 29.12.15 - Val d'Isere Facebook
Val d'Isere 29cm@1850m, 101/166 pistes open

Les Arcs 12cm@1600m, 53/109 pistes open

Val Thorens 45cm@2300m, 57/81 pistes open

Serre Chevalier 30cm@2100m, 13/81 pistes open

Isola 2000 30cm@2000m, 8 pistes open

A substantial snowfall is forecast for the Northern and Southern Alps over the weekend, continuing into next week. It looks set up for some great skiing in France from the middle of next week.


Its a wonder there is skiing at all in Italy, but these days the snowmaking is incredible. Thankfully there will be some natural snow in the new year and here's hoping for a cracking January. From experience its a great time to be on the slopes in the Italian Alps.

Monterosa 29.12.15 - Monte Rosa Facebook
Monte Rosa now has 24 of 95 slopes open across its seven ski areas

Madesimo 6/33 pistes open.

Madonna di Campiglio (0cm@1500m) has 22 slopes open.

Val Gardena 0cm@1500m.

There is snow from the weekend in the next storm. How much will fall, only time will tell. Certainly the northern and western ski areas like Monterosa and Cervinia will do better than the Dolomites, but everywhere should get a good fall in the next week, enough to lay down some good natural snow cover.

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