Snow Report 22 February 2016 - Europe & Japan

Hakuba 18.02.16

A warm spell with some rain in Japan has dampened the pistes and caused much scratching of heads! Can we remember a year like this?

Not in my years of reporting on the Japanese snow season, but granted I've only been doing it for a few years.


It was unseasonably warm at the end of last week and some rain on Honshu didn't make the best start to the weekend.

Just when things were getting a bit more consistent in terms of snowfalls we get these follow-up warm spells. A very strange year!

Hopefully things will get nice and cold again soon.

A friend of mine has sent some pictures of conditions at Hakuba during last week ... it shows that despite this not being the best of years in terms of snowfalls in Japan, there is more than enough snow and there is heaps of great skiing to be had! Thanks Rachel!

Hakuba 18.02.16
Niseko (Grand Hirafu) - 150cm@base. Snow has fallen on and off and it was overcast and slightly mild on the weekend. Looks like consistent moderate snowfalls to come all this week!

Zao Onsen - 80cm@base (954m), 150cm up high (1387m). A mainly fine weekend.

Nozawa Onsen - 75cm@base (660m), 140cm at Yamabiko (1615m). The slopes have lost nearly half a metre of snow, compared to my previous report.

Myokokogen (Akakan) - 175cm, down 75cm on the last report! Some warm days and heavy rain after the dumps last week.

Hakuba (Happo One) - 60cm@Base, 205cm at Usagadaira. Some snow loss from the last few days but that is set to be corrected during the coming week.

Dynaland - 140cm.

Hakuba 18.02.16
The coming days: Well the good news is that this week looks excellent for some good snowfalls and cooler temperatures, especially from Tuesday night. Lots of powder to come!


A little snow fell to start the weekend nicely in the Northern Alps. This cleared for a mainly fine and sunny weekend.

The Southern Alps have seen fine weather during the past week.

The snow depths continue to climb!

Chamonix (Grands Montets) 200cm@1972m.

Val d'Isere 135cm@1850m, 148/154 slopes open

Les Arcs 160cm@1600m.

Val Thorens 130cm@2300m, 79/80 trails open

Serre Chevalier 143cm@2100m, 78/81 pistes

Val d'Isere 21.02.16 - Val d'Isere Facebook
Isola 2000 90cm@2000m.

The coming days: Snow for the Northern Alps from tonight, lowering from 2000m to about 1500m by Wednesday. A bit more touch and go in the Southern Alps with mild conditions to start and some light snowfalls possible on and off.


There was some snow last week in the eastern Italian Alps, with the Dolomites doing well. This eased for a fine and sunny weekend. Conditions have improved markedly in the east with all lifts now open at Madonna di Campiglio. About time!

Monte Rosa (25/70cm).

Madonna di Campiglio (100cm@1500m).

Val Gardena 35cm@1500m

The coming days: There could be some light snow on and off this week in the Dolomites and elsewhere. Here's hoping!


Snow Report 10 February 2016 - Europe & Japan

There has been heaps of snow in the French Alps just in time for the start of the school holidays. The snow doesn't look like easing up either as a series of storms brings some of the best snow this season to France and Italy.

Meanwhile in Japan there has been some more epic Japan-like snowfalls with some regions experiencing some massive dumps in the past week. Enjoy!


A great dump of powder has created beautiful conditions right now!

Not much snow on Honshu for the first week of February although the western areas of Niigata and Nagano did a little better.

Sunday saw a better fall with 10-20cm reported at the ski areas. And Tuesday was even better with 30-60cm reported by Wednesday morning across Nagano and Niigata.

Happo One 08.02.16 - Happo Facebook
Niseko (Grand Hirafu) - 160cm@base. 10-15cm fell each day every day this month except one day!

Zao Onsen - 115cm@base (954m), 160cm up high (1387m).

Nozawa Onsen - 100cm@base (660m), 200cm at Yamabiko (1615m).

Myokokogen (Akakan) - 250cm.

Hakuba (Happo One) - 120cm@Base, 250cm at Usagadaira.

Dynaland - 150cm.

The coming days: The snow looks like easing off for a few clearer days before the weekend. Enjoy the next few days as, at the moment, the forecast for the weekend is a bit worrying with very warm temperatures and lots of rain predicted at first. It should turn to snow by Sunday.


There was a little snow last week, heaviest in the north. This cleared for a fine weekend, before the snow set in again on Sunday. The Southern Alps did best for the first time this snow season, with about 20-30cm falling compared to 5-10cm in the Northern French Alps.

Val d'Isere 02.02.16 - Val d'Isere Facebook
Since then a storm has built up and the snow set in again on Tuesday night.

Chamonix (Grands Montets) 167cm@1972m.

Val d'Isere 120cm@1850m,

Les Arcs 115cm@1600m.

Val Thorens 130cm@2300m.

Serre Chevalier 107cm@2100m.

Isola 2000 80cm@2000m.

The coming days: Snowfalls persisting, heavy for the Northern Alps but snow falling all over the Alps.


There was some snow last week across the Italian Alps from Cervinia to Val Gardena. Another fall arrived on Sunday and the snowfalls have continued on and off through this week. The ski resorts are looking a lot better but wow, the season has certainly taken a while to get going.

Monte Rosa (30/80cm).
Val Gardena 08.02.16 - Val Gardena Facebook

Madonna di Campiglio (40cm@1500m).

Val Gardena 20cm@1500m

The coming days: Looks like more snow especially around the weekend. Everywhere should get some of the white snowy goodness!


Snow Report 1 February 2016 - Europe & Japan

Can you believe its already February? We are right slap bang in the middle of the ski season now and after the (hopefully) quiet slopes of January, there are some busy periods coming up in Europe.

Happo One 31.01.16 - Happo Facebook
School holidays in France begin on the 6th February 2016 and last until 6th March 2016. This long period is because the two-week-long winter holidays are split into three zones so they spread out to a month over all.

This coming week now is also winter holidays for Germany, so expect lots of busy slopes in the French and Italian ski areas easily accessible by autoroute from the north (around the Dolomites, for example). Other nations like the Netherlands and the UK also have holidays in February.


Good snowfalls across Japan on Friday evening/Saturday morning made for great conditions on the weekend. Some light snow, cloud and the sun peaking through occasionally made for a mixed bag after the snowfall.

Nozawa Onsen 31.01.16 - Nozawa Onsen Facebook
Niseko (Grand Hirafu) - 140cm@base.

Zao Onsen - 110cm@base (954m), 160cm up high (1387m).

Nozawa Onsen - 75cm@base (660m), 155cm at Yamabiko (1615m).

Myokokogen (Akakan) - 195cm.

Hakuba (Happo One) - 80cm@Base, 185cm at Usagadaira.

Dynaland - 155cm.

The coming days: Looks like some snow on and off this week to keep the slopes fresh.


Les Arcs 01.12.16 - Les Arcs Facebook
There hasn't been much snow to speak of in the last ten days ... until yesterday!

The fine and sunny days came to an end for the Northern French Alps on Sunday. Instead there was some needed fresh snow to play in!

However the rain on the lower slopes and warm temperatures have limited the snow to the higher altitudes and made any off-piste skiing dangerous.

Ski stations in the northern French Alps were reporting 30-40cm above 2000m, and rain below. So, snow depths at the village levels have remained pretty much the same over the last few weeks.

Chamonix (Grands Montets) 150cm@1972m.

Val d'Isere 118cm@1850m,

Monterosa 01.02.16 - www.monterosa-ski.com
Les Arcs 110cm@1600m.

Val Thorens 110cm@2300m.

Serre Chevalier 99cm@2100m.

Isola 2000 45cm@2000m.

The coming days: Snowfalls on Wednesday are in the forecast, and this time the snow should fall to much lower altitudes.


A little snow in the north and west early in the weekend, buts lots of wind and balmy spring temperatures have again played havoc in the Italian Alps. Its not shaping up to be a great season unless something changes soon.

Madonna di Campiglio 01.02.16
Monte Rosa (40/70cm).

Madonna di Campiglio (10cm@1500m).

Val Gardena 20cm@1500m and the last snowfall was 11th January.

The coming days: Looks like snow midweek, heavier in the west but also falling in the east through the Dolomites.

Heavier falls are needed though to improve the season now, but also to build and maintain snow through March.