World Snow Vrap Up Vol. 13, 24 January – There’s Always Powder Somewhere

January 24th, 2011

Waist deep pow in Vail 23 January. Image:: Connor Walberg/Vail


The snowfall heros
We knew it couldn’t last all season, though we hoped it would. The stupendous run of snow we saw before Christmas has petered off. We’re now into our second week of what we might call ‘ordinary’ snowfalls. But there’s always powder somewhere and this week that somewhere is Colorado and Japan.

  • Breckenridge, Colorado – with 152cm last week – and Colorado as a whole, Vail, Crested Butte, Silverton, Steamboat the snow fell all over
  • Niseko, Japan90cm and the air’s cooled off so that snow is nice and dry
  • Arabba, Italy70cm on top of a 4m base. Nice

The snow forecast heros:
This is even harder. When you’re looking at a list of the top 10 snow forecast totals for the week and resorts with just 3cm forecast are making it, you know it’s going to be a dry one. Still, as we said – there’s powder out there somewhere

  • 57cm for Niseko, Japan
  • Hakuba, Japan with 39cm
  • Whistler, Canada, with 27cm

Last week’s event highlights:

  • Undoubtably the World Snowboarding Championships where Australia won THREE, count them THREE, world titles. Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin (snowboard cross), Nate Johnstone (halfpipe) and Holly Crawford (halfpipe) will reign as World Champions for the next two years.

Event highlights this week:

  • 25 January 2011 ALPINE SKIING WORLD CUP, Schladming, Austria. Men’s slalom
  • 26 January 2011 SNOWBOARD WORLD CUP – big air. Denver, USA
  • 26 – 30 January 2011 ALPINE SKIING WORLD CUP, Chaminox, France. Men’s downhill and super combined
  • 27 – 30 January 2011 WINTER X GAMES 15, Aspen, Colorado.
  • 27 – 30 January 2011 ALPINE SKIING WORLD CUP, Sestriere, Italy. Women’s downhill, super G and super combined
  • 28 – 29 January 2011 FREESTYLE WORLD CUP – moguls and aerials. Calgary, Canada
  • 29 January 2011 FREESTYLE WORLD CUP – skier X. Grasgehren, Germany
  • 29 January 2011 FREERIDE WORLD TOUR Nissan Freeride Engadin St Moritz 2011 by Swatch. The second stop of the FWR
  • 30 January – 5 February 2011 FREESTYLE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS – moguls, slopestyle, skier x, aerials, halfpipe, dual moguls. Deer Valley, Park City, Utah, USA

If we could pick anywhere this week, we’d be: Colorado. Give us a USA-sized ‘pickup’ and a western-sized stetson hat and we’ll hit the road cowboy style.

Local legend Chris Davenport in Snowmass 19 January. Image:: Jeremy Swanson/Aspen Snowmass


Aspen Mountain

Recent Snowfalls: 25.4cm at Aspen Mountain in the last 7 days and 38.10cm at Aspen Highlands
7 Day forecast: 3cm forecast in the next 7 days for Aspen Mountain
Current snow depth: 109.22cm at Aspen Mountain, 175.26cm at Highlands
Current conditions: powder and packed powder
The powder was forthcoming last week and Aspen did its best impersonation of powder-paradise. This week Mother Nature is offering sunshine instead. Which is nice too, as long as it makes way for more snow soon.

Faceshots at Breck with Ben Comber from Ben Comber on Vimeo.



Recent Snowfalls: 152.4cm in the past 7 days
7 Day forecast: about 4cm for the coming week
Current snow depth: 226cm
Current Conditions: powder and packed powder
Sun pundits were all talking Breckenridge last week – it enjoyed one sizable storm indeed. Things will continue snowy with mild (very mild) flakes and overcast skies until next weekend.


Recent Snowfalls: 33.2cm in the last 48 hours
7 Day forecast: about 4cm forecast in the next 7 days
Current snow depth: 182.88cm at mid mountain
Current conditions: packed powder
Overcast skies will keep the snow nice and dry this week, though there won’ be many flakes in the clouds. come the weekend the sun will be out again for some bluebird cruising.

It looks like fun, Vail 21 January. Image:: Larry Pierce/Vail


Recent Snowfalls: 142cm in the last 7 days
7 Day forecast: 4cm
Current snow depth: 165.61cm
Current conditions: packed powder and powder
It was the pow week of the year thus far in Vail, one that ended in a few days of perfect sunshine, one of those glorious weeks anyone fortunate enough to have scheduled their Vail visit in would have been unable to stop grinning.

Vail, 20 January. Image:: Connor Walberg/Vail

And Colorado generally…

It’s been nicely snowy in Colorado these past few days. Along with the 1.5m-ish at both Breckenridge and Vail, Crested Butte and Silverton both scored in the vicinity of 60cm over the weekend. The storm seems to have burnt itself out now, leaving a few days of overcast skies before bluebird on the weekend.


Park City

Recent Snowfalls: 15.24cm in the past 3 days
7 Day forecast: 2cm on the forecast
Current snow depth: 223.52cm
Current conditions: powder and packed powder
The weekend was pretty spectacular in Park City, but the majority of the action is on the streets – yup, Sundance is coming to town… With everything happening in the cinemas and the bars, the slopes will be relatively empty.


Recent Snowfalls: 15.24cm in the past two days
7 Day forecast: about 2cm
Current snow depth: 271cm at mid mountain
Current conditions: packed powder
An on again-off again week of sunshine coming up, to be honest, it’s looking like one of those forgettable weeks, neither perfect sun nor lashings of powder. But pleasantly cool temps and with plenty of terrain to explore it’ll still be a good one.

And Utah generally…
40cm at Brighton and anywhere below that for the rest of the state last week. Utah is doing well snow wise but it’s been a little while since the state saw some real Utah snow, unfortunately it’s not on this week’s forecast. But fingers crossed…



Recent Snowfalls: 0cm in the last week
7 Day forecast: nothing forecast for the week
Current snow depth: 228cm at the summit
Current conditions: packed powder, man made and machine groomed
Last week the uninterrupted run of blue skies was a welcome change from endless snow clouds. Now coming up to the second week without snow and the sunshine is getting a bit passe…


Recent Snowfalls: nothing recently
7 Day forecast: nothing really
Current snow depth: 441cm at the summit
Current conditions: packed powder and machine groomed
Oh dear. A whole week of sunshine has eaten nearly a metre from Mammoth’s mammoth snow base. with 441cm remaining it’s still one of the largest snow depths in the world, but then there’s another week of clear skies coming up. Luckily Mammoth knows what to do when the sun shines – make snowmen apparently.

It’s giant snowman week in Mammoth. Image:: Mammoth

And California/Tahoe generally…
Crack out the surfboards cause California is back to being the beach state. Sun, sun and more sun across the state this week and next. If you’re looking for day after day of cruising under blue skies head to California. If you want powder, try Crested Butte.

And the rest of the USA…
Keystone, Winter Park, Copper Mountain – Colorado is faring well in the snow stakes. Utah isn’t looking too bad either, and Jackson Hole is by some accounts the powder mecca of the week. We’re not seeing the awe-inspiring storms of December, but truthfully if you want powder, you’ll be able to find it somewhere in the USA this week.

Vail, 20 January. Image:: Connor Walberg/Vail



Recent Snowfalls: about 90cm this past week
7 day forecast: 57cm
Current snow depth: 355cm at the Grand Hirafu summit
Current conditions: Japan powder!
The weather has been a little better in Niseko this week, winds have died down and there were a few patches of blue sky. The snow is going to continue pretty steadily throughout the week though.


Recent Snowfalls: about 90cm this week
7 Day forecast: about 39cm for the week
Current snow depth: 340cm at the summit
Current conditions: powder and packed powder
The temperature has dropped in Hakuba over the past few days and the snow is becoming drier and lighter, which is good news as it had been heavy going for a little while there. The air should stay cold next week and the wind will stay calm. All round a pretty nice to be next week.

And Japan generally…
We’ve seen an about face in the past couple of weeks. Japan is now smashing North America in the ‘place-to-be-if-you-want-to-ski-pow’ stakes. There’s snow anywhere you may choose to go.

Steamboat, 21 January. Image:: Larry Pierce/Steamboat

British Columbia

Big White

Recent Snowfalls: 37cm this week
7 Day forecast: 6cm in the next 7 days
Current snow depth: 198cm
Current conditions: powder, packed powder and machine groomed
It’s about the congenial vibe at Big White really. It’s going to be a bit of an overcast week but as Australian school holidays come to a close the Aussie families will make for a cheerful week.


Recent Snowfalls: 24cm in the last 7 days
7 Day forecast: 4cm for the week
Current snow depth: 211cm
Current conditions: powder and packed powder
Fernie is one of those big mountain resorts you’ve just got to visit. At the moment it’s got to be one of the best places to ski, though this week isn’t looking promising for a snow dump.

Silver Star

Recent Snowfalls: 35.0cm last week
7 Day forecast: 3cm
Current snow depth: 178cm
Current conditions: packed powder and machine groomed
Again, a little rain on the forecast which will be a dampener on the last week of Australian school holidays.

Sun Peaks

Recent Snowfalls: 35.9cm last week
7 Day forecast: 4cm for the week
Current snow depth: 150cm
Current conditions: packed powder
It’s not the best outlook this week. Overcast skies and the possibility of some rain lower down, hopefully those temperatures will drop a bit and that precipitation will turn to snow


Recent Snowfalls: 16cm in the last week
7 Day forecast: 27cm coming up
Current snow depth: 234cm
Current conditions: packed powder
A solid snowfall is on the cards for Monday, though with freezing levels at only 1400m there may be some rain in there for the village and lower slopes. Then overcast skies all week, intermittent snow and a day or two of warmer air that may play havoc with the quality of the cover.

And BC Generally…
Similar story to last week, overcast skies, precipitation and a whole bunch of people crossing their fingers and hoping those clouds drop snow not rain.

And I didn’t have to share it with anyone… Image:: Lake Louise


Lake Louise

Recent Snowfalls: 35cm in the last 7 days
7 Day forecast: 8cm for the coming week
Current snow depth: 145cm
Current conditions: powder and packed powder
Temperatures down to minus 10 degrees should keep things dry and fluffy at Lake Louise. Unlike its BC neighbours Lake Louise should have a decent week, not too much fresh snow but cold air and some sunshine.

Going Global

Recent snowfalls: Snow in some parts of France this week – Ascou-Pailhères recorded the most with 55cm – but the larger international resorts didn’t see much in the way of freshies. Morzine had 5cm, Val Thorens 4cm… that’s about all really.
Forecast snowfalls: The next lot of snow should come through on Wednesday but there won’t be much in it. Just a few centimetres here and there for most of the Alps
Current conditions: Things are getting a little sketchy in many of the French resorts, La Nina is REALLY going to need to send a top up soon.
Top pick: This Ascou-Pailhères place, obviously

Recent snowfalls: 64cm at Meiringen-Hasliberg but the snow clouds seemed to have passed over the major resorts. Verbier had a small 4cm.
Forecast snowfalls: Similar story to Frace, Wednesday should see some light snowfalls. Other than that, sunshine all round
Snow conditions: The snow base is holding up ok, but like France, Switzerland needs some new snow, soon.
Top pick: Meiringen-Hasliberg, why not?

Recent snowfalls: with 70cm, Zugspitzplatt Ehrwald topped the snow list for Austria last week. Saalbach Hinterglemm was the first of the major resorts, with 28cm. Most places received about 10cm – 15cm.
Forecast snowfalls: Austria’s snow should come in on Monday and there may be a little more in it. Not much though and the storm will peter out by the middle of the week
Snow conditions: packed powder
Top pick: Saalbach Hinterglemm, for the Red Bull buckets served at the Goatbar… don’t ask, just try one

Recent snowfalls: Ahhh Italy, as the rest of Europe melts slowly, the Dolomites are collecting snow like it’s going out of fashion. Arabba once again scored a nice 70cm
Forecast snowfalls: A light dusting across the Alps on 26 January
Snow conditions: powder packed powder
Top pick: Arabba once again