The state of the global snow play – who has it, who needs it

Jay Peak, Vermont USA

A week before Christmas we take a look at which global resorts have more snow than they can play with and which ones are sacrificing their first borns to the snow gods in the hope of snow falls.

Who has it

It’s a huge and long awaited high five to Europe this season with France, Austria and Switzerland leading the snow way. Just in time, too, because after the last few seasons many had forgotten what snow actually looks like.

Montafon in Austria had tissues falling from the sky for those crying in relief.

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Professional skier, Mike Douglas, posted this heinous shot in France. Time to unfriend him.

Nothing to see here, look away. Pic by Mike Douglas.

The folks in Tignes are having a terrible time on the early season groomers. Sigh.

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And their friends in the Rhones Alpes can’t get out of their homes.

The folks at Refuge de Loriaz searching for their windows.

Japan can feel the Europeans pain as the crew in Niseko, Japan are battling 4 meters of snowfall already. You wouldn’t wish it upon your worst enemy, right?

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Meanwhile in Honshu on the main island of Japan the people of Myoko are playing dodge the snowflake with little success.

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In the USA the East Coast has been killing it. Well deserved too as who can forget those barren dry years a mere 24 months ago?

Jay Peak FB

Who needs it

While some in Canada would like some more snow, despite having had a better than average start, it really is the people of Utah and Colorado we should be sending care packages to.

I won’t humiliate them with images of their barren ski mountains (though truth be told snow making is off the charts right now and keeping the hills alive and skiable). I will, instead, just put this sandwich board I spotted on Main Street Park City this week, here. If you fancy a coffee at Riverhorse Provisions cafe, all prayers are welcomed.

Go on, coffee won’t kill you but the lack of snow might. Riverhorse Provisions on Main St Park City.

Who is going to get it

Europe and Japan aside, they are clearly on the snow ball right now, the USA and Canada do have some snow on the horizon.

If you’re in the USA over the next 10 days, according to, you want to make a beeline to Washington, Montana or Idaho.

In Canada it’s all about Whitewater, Fernie, Kimberley, Panorama, SilverStar, Big White and Red who are all forecast to get over 50 centimetres in the next week or so. Whistler is expecting 40 centimetres over the next few days too.

Good news for Utah and Colorado who could have up to 20cms by Boxing Day. There is talk of a significant snow event in the first week of January so don’t pack your skis up just yet, it’s early days people, early days and everything can change with one epic storm.

Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.


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