Epic January Conditions All Over
What a start to the year it's been. From Canada to Japan via Switzerland, resorts are reporting metre-plus snowfall for the past week.
We're not even halfway through the season yet, but 20 of our resorts have already passed the five metre mark and one of them is very close to an unbelievable 10 metre total. As January draws to a close, here's how the resorts across our programme are looking right now...
It just hasn't stopped coming down in Whistler recently. 179 cm in the past week alone and another 75 cm in the forecast. Last week the resort hit the six-metre mark and then three days later passed seven as well!
After quite a slow start to the season in Colorado, most resorts have been blessed with plenty of powder throughout January. Winter Park, in particular, has had an awesome week with over a metre of snow while Breckenridge and Telluride have each received just shy of half a metre.
In California, both sides of Lake Tahoe have enjoyed plentiful snowfall. 71 cm for Heavenly in the south, 69 cm for Squaw Valley in the north. Plus, some classic California sun to enjoy in between the storms.
Montana doesn't always make it into our snow round-ups as the resorts are generally less known to UK skiers, but they do tend to get a lot of snow! Whitefish is just a couple of powder days short of five metres with 74 cm this week. Big Sky has had regular 15 cm dumps this week adding up to half a metre.
Firstly, a quick note on Japan snow totals: the site we use for snow updates (snowjapan.com) measures snow at the base of each resort, unlike North American resorts which measure either at mid-mountain or even at the peak. So considering the Japan totals are often a lot higher, you can expect even more on the slopes!
On the main island of Honshu, Myoko is reporting the highest snowfall for the season and the past week - 976 cm and 149 cm. That's possibly too much snow, but the breaks between storms have meant perfect powder. Nozawa Onsen has also had over a metre this week while Hakuba is only five centimetres shy.
To the north, Hokkaido is also enjoying a lot of deep powder. That's great news as we currently have two group trips out there - the Telegraph Readers Trip is in Niseko (82 cm this week) while the Warren Smith Ski Academy has just landed in Furano (46 cm) - both are in for a treat.
Not always known for its powder skiing, you may be surprised by how much you can find in Scandinavia. Our favourite powder weekend destination, Myrkdalen, isn't far off a metre of new snow this week with 89 cm while Geilo, Voss and Hemsedal have all had more than half a metre. The week before, the nearby (but in different countries) resorts of Trysil and Stöten had excellent powder conditions, or as the latter put it: "JANUARIPUDER".
Unfortunately, there is such a thing as too much snow, as experienced in some of the Swiss resorts this month. Too much snow means closed lifts, but when they open conditions are something else, as Luke is currently experiencing in Laax. The resort has had 170 cm in the past week and while that meant a day of no lifts, he described the powder as the best he's ever experienced - and he has a lot of experience to go on!
Luke is currently in #Laax where 120 cm of snow has fallen in 48 hours. He says he can't remember ever having snow conditions as good as this, with knee-high powder even on piste - and with sunshine in the forecast, the rest of the week looks like bluebird! #skisafarimoments #switzerland #powder #snowboarding
Experience it Yourself
Whether you're looking to book this season or planning ahead for next year, we're here to help. Call us on 01273 224060 Monday to Saturday or request a quotation online.
Snow stats sourced from resorts, onthesnow.co.uk and snowjapan.com
One of the handful of non-skiers before joining Ski Safari, I've now skied in North America, Europe and Asia. After my first taste of powder and tree skiing in Japan last winter, I'm looking forward to more off-piste adventures!