Snow Report 21 January 2016 - Europe & Japan

The unpredictability of the weather is what makes skiing and riding so interesting! The skill of being able to adapt to different conditions is a good arrow to have in your quiver. However, when the wind blows so hard that the lifts close there's not much to do except seek protected runs, or spend the day in a hot spring!

Niseko Grand Hirafu - www.grand-hirafu.jp/

It was partly fine on the weekend for much of Honshu with some areas getting some sun which is nice if you were out on the slopes.

Snow arrived late on Sunday and it snowed heavily in some areas but lightly in others!

This was due to an easterly system favouring snow closer to the Pacific side of the Japanese Alps. It even snowed in Tokyo. The weather was a bit wild though, with the storm closing lots of lifts earlier this week.

The system spun around changing the winds and eventually every ski area benefited.

Niseko (Grand Hirafu) - 120cm@base. It finally stopped snowing at Niseko on Sunday after weeks of continuous snow, allowing visitors to see the mountain for once and enjoy a sunny day! A windy week has seen lifts close, but the snow has returned again so conditions will be good once the wind dies down.

Zao Onsen - 95cm@base (954m), 130cm up high (1387m). A cloudy cold weekend at Zao. Thats pretty typical for this time of year! Heavy snow arrived on Sunday and continued into Monday adding more than half a metre to the snow depths. The whole mountain is open and the skiing is great.

Naeba/Kagura - Snow on Sunday but a lot lighter than expected. Tuesday was fine and sunny in the Yuzawa area but the snow arrived on Wednesday with around 30cm falling into Thursday morning.

Happo 19.01.15 - Happo One Facebook
Shiga Kogen - Up to 30cm of snow at Shiga Kogen into Monday morning and similar into Tuesday morning. Doubled the snow depths from this storm and more snow into today. A massive dump of close to a metre at the Shiga Kogen ski areas.

Nozawa Onsen - 65cm@base (660m), 135cm at Yamabiko (1615m). Nozawa Onsen had just some light snow into Monday and a few flakes on Tuesday but things started getting going later in the week and a nice dump has got the official resort snow depths up by about 30cm.

Myokokogen (Akakan) - 145cm. A small top-up into Monday and nothing much into Tuesday, but like Nozawa Onsen, the Japan Sea facing resorts scored midweek with a dump close to 50cm.

Hakuba (Happo One) - 55cm@Base, 165cm at Usagadaira. Happo reported 15cm overnight into Monday and snow continuing on Monday. Another 20cm into Wednesday morning. Lifts were affected by the wind early in the week.

Dynaland - 120cm, double the snowdepth of last week for Gifu's biggest ski area.

The coming days: Snow looks like continuing all over with a cold blast to hit western Honshu on the weekend.

Chamonix Brevent 21.01.15 - chamonix.com

Lots of sun on the weekend at most French Alpine ski stations.

The natural snowline is now below 1,000m in the Northern Alps with 20-45cm on shady north-facing slopes, and 18-36cm on sunny south-facing slopes at 1,000m. That is significantly below village level for most ski resorts. In the Southern Alps, the snowline is a little higher.

Into this week, not much new snow fell since Tuesday.

Chamonix (Grands Montets) 150cm@1972m. Chamonix reported 13cm new snow at Flegere on Sunday. Last snow was 19th January and pretty much all lifts and runs open now.

Val d'Isere 102cm@1850m, 144 of 154 pistes and 72 of 79 lifts operating.

Val Thorens 21.01.15 - Val Thorens Facebook
Les Arcs 105cm@1600m, 99/109 pistes open.

Val Thorens 140cm@2300m, ALL lifts and runs open at Val Thorens today.

Serre Chevalier 100cm@2100m, 67/81 pistes open.

Isola 2000 45cm@2000m, opened more pistes at the weekend and now has 24 pistes operating.

It looks like staying fine through the weekend with warm temperatures. Time to enjoy the snow and sun and wait for the next dump.


A sunny weekend but winds restricted the fun at some ski resorts. The fine weather continued into this week.

Madesimo 21.01.15 - www.skiareavalchiavenna.it/
Monte Rosa now has 56 of 95 slopes open across its seven ski areas. Strong winds played havoc with lifts on the weekend, and having experienced getting stuck in the wrong valley at Monte Rosa I feel for any people struggling with the conditions there!

Madesimo 22/33 pistes open.Such better conditions there now.

Madonna di Campiglio (10cm@1500m) now has 53/57 lifts open.

Val Gardena 20cm@1500m reported 15cm on the 11th January and that was the last time it snowed there.

Sunny and warm days to come and the ski resorts will be hoping for a change to the weather to get a dump and open the rest of the lifts and runs for February.

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