or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Most Snow in the World? - Page 3

post #61 of 80

Japan resorts receive huge amounts of snowfall.  Niseko is astounding as it snows almost everyday in winter and the snow is deep, light and dry. As Tony Crocker points out the snowfall is concentrated into a shorter time frame with Mid January to Mid February being the best time for powder. There are many resorts in Japan that receive huge snowfalls.

 

Asahidake in Central Hokkaido is an uncrowded powder gem which receives 13-14 metres of snow annually. A single cable car takes no more than 20 skiers up to ski 500 metres vertical of world class powder, right off the lift. One day here the snow was so deep that every turn my head was under the surface of the snow – it was absolutely mind blowing. The barometer read -15C and 2.1% humidity!

 

Hakkoda on the northern tip of Honshu is a powder factory. The mountains here get hit by constant storms off the Sea of Japan which plaster snow onto the pine trees causing Junyo or Snow Monsters. These snow monsters have huge tree wells of 20-30 feet deep below them. Snowfalls here would at least equal if not better Niseko. It snowed 3.2 metres in 5 days before we arrived there.

Other resorts in Japan also receive huge snowfalls: Sapporo Kokosai 13 metres, Kiroro 13 metres, Myoko Kogen 13 metres, Nozawa Onsen 11 metres, Hakuba 11 Metres, Happo One 11 metres . The amazing thing about these figures, based on personal experience, is that Japanese resorts tend to underestimate snowfalls! An area in Honshu which gets huge amounts of snow (20 metre plus depths) is the Tateyama area where the Great Wall of Snow drive is a popular tourist attraction in the spring. See link below.

 

http://pokcangadgets.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/huge-snowfall-walls-along-tateyama.html

 

I have found this link below which has used a number of internet sources to come up with a top 50 resorts for snowfalls.  Five Japanese resorts are included in the top 10.

 

http://arctic-quest.com/powder-resorts/top-ski-resorts-in-the-world-for-fresh-powder/#more-1580

 

A couple of other locations of interest are Gulmarg, Kashmir, India and Krasnaya Polyana, Caucausis, Russia.  Some years ago I spent 2 weeks in Gulmarg and it snowed for 10 days straight – I would imagine snowfalls here would reach the 13-14 metre mark. Krasnaya Polyana will host events for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. The area is known as one of the wettest areas in Europe.  It has classic lake effect snow from the Black Sea and its own microclimate. Internet sources quote only a 500cm annual snowfall. Other reports in blogs I have seen have quoted snowfalls of 3 metres in 3 days and when asked a question on a blog about amount of annual snowfall, the responder, who had spent a season there, said  “I have no idea, only that it gets shit on!” I have seen videos of waist to chest deep powder. I would imagine 500cm is grossly underestimated.

From other internet searches I have found the following:

 

Roldal, Norway                                             12 metres

Warth Schroeken, Austria                            11 metres

Andermatt, Switzerland                               10 metres

Anzere, Switzerland                                     10 metres

Kanin-Sella Navea, Slovenia                        10 metres

Val Venosta, Italy                                        10 metres

Nevados de Chillan, Chile                           10 metres

Pucon, Villarica, Chile                                 10 metres

 

Most of the figures above cannot be backed up by hard long term measurements. I guess that means that I will have to ski all of the above resorts for a season so I can use personal experience to validate the annual snowfall claims!!! At the moment Japan is my powder Mecca, and from personal experience I can tell you that it gets shit on!!

post #62 of 80

I'll try to examine the details behind that arcticquest list.  My site is the first source listed and nearly all of the North American places listed fit closely with my numbers.

 

The quotes from other places looks mostly credible. 

 

The "ocean effect" phenomenon in Japan is not unique to Niseko and applies anywhere on the west coast of either Hokkaido or the northern part of Honshu.

 

I had already identified Chillan and Pucon as the likely snowiest places in South America though I have no idea where the data would come from.  I would dispute the 350 inch claims of La Hoya and Chapelco as those places are both leeward of the Andes Crest and low in altitude.

 

The top microclimates in the Alps being around 400 is also what I expect.  My frustration remains in not getting my hands on the detail level of data for the Alps that I have in North America because I have this nagging feeling that it must exist somewhere!

post #63 of 80

I'm pretty sure that list is bogus. Strikes me as suspicious that they just included the best-known Japanese resort without any other places from the region which could have comparable totals. I'm pretty sure Lech/Zurs gets as much snow as some of those places near the bottom of the list too. What about Mammoth, BTW?

post #64 of 80
Quote:
Strikes me as suspicious that they just included the best-known Japanese resort without any other places from the region which could have comparable totals.

The obscure places may not collect snow data, and even if they do good luck getting in contact with them from a foreign country in a different language.

Quote:
I'm pretty sure Lech/Zurs gets as much snow as some of those places near the bottom of the list too. What about Mammoth, BTW?

 

The top 50 list did become more incomplete as it went below 400.  We have lots of places in North America in the 300-400 range and even I have probably missed a few.  Some of that missing info is again due to lack of data collection.

 

Quote:
I'm pretty sure that list is bogus.

 

I would cut a lot of slack in terms of missing places as it's very tedious to collect this info, especially the first time I ask for it.  Bogus I would define as wrong information, and La Hoya/Chapelco are the only obvious red flags I see.

 

The URL's listed as data sources were not helpful in that regard.

post #65 of 80

Well if Tony gives it some cred, that's good enough for me. 

post #66 of 80

The numbers look reasonable based upon general knowledge and ski reputation except for La Hoya/Chapelco, but it would be nice if telemike or arcticquest could show us the sources of the Euro, Japan and South America information.  The links on the arcticquest page led nowhere in terms of the source data.

 

I would be very interested in expanding my own website to include this information, but not until I've seen the source data and have some confidence in its credibility.

post #67 of 80

Tony, what is your take on Selkirk Mountain Experiences claim of Over 100 feet annual snowfall? 30m, 1200in? 

 

post #68 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

I'm pretty sure that list is bogus. Strikes me as suspicious that they just included the best-known Japanese resort without any other places from the region which could have comparable totals. I'm pretty sure Lech/Zurs gets as much snow as some of those places near the bottom of the list too. What about Mammoth, BTW?


I think any "top 10/20/100" list is bogus to some extent. Problem is, people love to read 'em so the media keeps making 'em. And, like Tony said somewhere in this thread, the media doesn't really want to go into a whole long explanation basically undermining their article (e.g. data collection is incomplete and this list could be totally off). If transparent accuracy was the goal, Forbes should have never run a "snowiest in the world" article. It probably should have just focused on N. America, since that's where the complete data was from, but that doesn't really have the same ring as "world."

 

 

 

Quote:
Well if Tony gives it some cred, that's good enough for me.

 

The original Forbes article was based on Tony's data. So, while it certainly isn't exhaustively accurate, I think it's about the best possible information you're going to get.

 

Hey Tony, you grooming a protege to take over when you retire? It'll be back to the wild west of marketing numbers and different measurement methods, if not.

post #69 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

 

I'll say it's 99+% probability that all of those numbers are in centimeters.  Divide by 2.54.  All of of the links quoting base depths are in cm. The Wengen snowfall quote from OnTheSnow is probably a typo (saying inches when the data is really centimeters).   Wengen does not have a high snow reputation.

 

The British source I mentioned earlier has Zurs at 10.4 meters = 409 inches, exceeded only by a more obscure location in the same general region, Warth-Schrocken 10.7 meters = 421 inches.  I was contacted by this source less than 3 months ago, so I had no knowledge of him in 2007.  I have not seen the details behind this data (how many years, what months are counted, etc.).  Nonetheless if I were advising such an article today, I'd be inclined to put those 2 resorts in.  He has found 2 more places (Obertauern and Braunwald) at 9 meters = 354 inches, but no one else over 8 meters = 315 inches.

 

I agree with him that there is a tendency to underestimate snowfall in the Alps relative to North America because most North American resorts can measure higher within ski terrain due to the much higher tree line.  He also mentions as high snowfall several of the places with that reputation, like Andermatt, Grands-Montets and the Valluga, but comments they are without measuring stations at sufficiently high elevation to exceed 8 meters of snowfall.

 

The official patrol numbers I use are from the tram base.  The in-season numbers from the marketing website are estimates from the mid-Gad area.    So my comment above about North American measurement sites does not apply to Alta/Snowbird, which like Euro resorts, measure low on the mountain for some of the same reasons.

 

With respect to the Pacific Northwest I should have mentioned that nearly all the high volcanic peaks have glaciers, not just Rainier.  But my point remains that for the conventional mountains that top out around 7,000 like Crystal, not much in the way of glaciers.

They are definitely in centimeters and even then they are inflated.  I have been skiing the Alps for the past 5 years.  The snow depth is nothing like the Western U.S. or B.C.  Even at the high altitude resorts, a 200 cm base is a stroke of good fortune.

post #70 of 80
We:
Originally Posted by surfacehoar View Post

Tony, what is your take on Selkirk Mountain Experiences claim of Over 100 feet annual snowfall? 30m, 1200in? 

 

 

I'm not Tony - but really? There are two places that have been acknowledged as record holders for "most snow" in the past while. Baker is acknowledged to hold the current title at 1140 inches or so. Paradise, was the previous record holder - I believe at 1120 inches. Neither reached 1200 inches... Which makes me scratch my head about Selkirk's claims of over 1300 inches... Seems something is odd.

 

Of course there is the water content discussion to be had as well...

 

FWIW - any place getting 400 or 500 inches or more of decent water content (not too much, but especially not too little) snow can keep me pretty happy. wink.gif

post #71 of 80

I've never been up there, and their isn't any weather stations either. So really it's all just speculation. No one is up there measuring eveyday. Part of me even thinks that it's an inside joke by Reudi's and that he's poking fun at using annual accumulation as a way to grade the skiing experience.

 

Having said that, it's pretty obvious to me that there are areas on planet earth that don't have weather stations that receive more snow than the best stations report. Personally if I was looking for the place with the most snow, I would start my search on the ablation zone of the biggest glaciers, located closest to the equator, at the lowest altitude, furthest inland. 

 

This pic puts some perspective on the area:

 

1000

 

Here is a video from nov.1 last season. Which probably belongs in the other thread help validate my claim that Nov, even Oct snowfall should be counted towards the annual total. 

post #72 of 80
Quote:

I had already identified Chillan and Pucon as the likely snowiest places in South America though I have no idea where the data would come from.  I would dispute the 350 inch claims of La Hoya and Chapelco as those places are both leeward of the Andes Crest and low in altitude.

 

I totally agree, no way La Hoya, Chapelco or even Catedral get 350" per year!

I would be very surprised if they get 250" on the high elevation slopes.

 

Pucon gets lots winter precipitation, snow and rain. Maybe the glaciers at the top of the volcano get 401" in a year. The ski area I don't think so.

Although a very beautiful and special place, I wouldn't consider Pucon a reliable ski destination even for SA.

Probably Chillan gets the most snow down here.

post #73 of 80

Catedral by its own admission claims 240 inches at the top and 60 at the base.

Quote:

Originally Posted by surfacehoar View Post
 

Tony, what is your take on Selkirk Mountain Experiences claim of Over 100 feet annual snowfall? 30m, 1200in?

I've been cat skiing in Canada since 1997 and trying to collect data, of which there isn't much.  The western crest of the Selkirks from the Trout Lake area and north get about 500 inches November to April as validated by the extensive data from Mt. Fidelity, overlooking Rogers Pass at 6,100 feet.  Limited data from Great Northern is similar as I would also expect Selkirk Mountain Experience, which I believe is just north of Revelstoke/Glacier National Park.  Moving south in the Selkirks Whitewater gets about 400 and the cat areas north of Nelson but south of Great Northern should be around 450, which fits with the scattered data collected by White Grizzly.

 

Quote:
FWIW - any place getting 400 or 500 inches or more of decent water content (not too much, but especially not too little) snow can keep me pretty happy.

That's called an Intermountain snowpack by the avalanche researchers, with Alta being the usual benchmark of optimized snow quantity/quality.  The Monashees get the most of that kind of snow.  The was a Monashee mining site Mt. Copeland that averages 600 inches when indexed to Mt. Fidelity.  Mustang Powder's lodge at 5,700 (from which Mt. Copeland is distantly visible) averages 550.   The Monashee heli operations of Wiegele and CMH probably get comparable snow in the 600 inch range at high elevation.

 

As noted earlier though Hokkaido is an island at low elevation its "ocean effect" snow during the coldest part of the winter (Dec. to mid-Feb.) has similar water content to the Intermountain snow of the Wasatch/Selkirks/Monashees and during the peak snow period in January the quantity is more.

 

Quote:
Having said that, it's pretty obvious to me that there are areas on planet earth that don't have weather stations that receive more snow than the best stations report.

Agree 100%, and I'm fairly sure we know the general region where they are. That would be the higher elevations in the Chugach and Coast Ranges in Alaska and B.C. north of Vancouver Island.  All of those mountains are massively glaciated and thus inaccessible for daily snowfall tracking.

post #74 of 80

A few comments on the points on South America (not being on the ground and with very little information):

 

As mentioned above, I would also be surprised if Catedral and La Hoya would get a serious amount of snow. I wouldn't know for Chapelco, I only skied there 3 hours before the mountain was shutdown due to a power failure due to heavy snowfall. The town of San Martin and as far as Bariloche had power outage from that storm. Chapelco received 1 meters of heavy snow.

 

About Canadian numbers, I saw someone mentioned Stewart BC which is, I believe, one of the town that receives the most snow in Canada. There are hill there, however there are no easy way up. :) Shames used to claim (they might still do) as the Canada ski area with the greatest snow accumulation: 475 inches average.

post #75 of 80
post #76 of 80
post #77 of 80

The Tateyama area in the Japanese alps gets a butt ton of snow. 

post #78 of 80

 



Very interesting data.  At first glance, it appears to be non-bias with some significant snowfall amounts nearing 500 inches.  Thanks for sharing...

post #79 of 80

Thanks for the Swiss reference by Random Joe.  I would prefer to see the individual years of data, but I'm guessing that's not available online.  The snowfall stats are worthwhile in that they cover enough years to be credible (20-30) and they show monthly incidence.

 

As noted before a big issue with stats from the Alps is that most are from resort levels far below most usable ski terrain.  For example the town of Zermatt was listed, but Nov-Apr snowfall is only 99 inches there.  The town of Davos gets 169 inches and the town of Arosa 245.  There were 2 higher elevation sites within ski areas: Davos Weissfluhjoch at 8,823 feet gets 296 inches Nov-Apr and Andermatt at 7,501 feet gets 346 inches.

 

Full calendar year snowfalls at the latter two high elevation sites were 385 inches at Weissfluhjoch and 426 inches at Andermatt.   Those are very high numbers outside the Nov-Apr timeframe by North American standards.  In the Pacific states maybe 10% of snowfall is outside those months, and 15% in Utah and western Canada. Only in Continental Divide Colorado is it as much as 20%.  At Alps resort levels there is very little snow outside Nov-Apr.  Also the Alps are not drier in the summer like here.  There's plenty of precipitation but it's all rain lower down and still a lot of rain high up, but some of the high altitude precipitation is snow.  Within the Nov-Apr timeframe average snowfall in the Alps is fairly even by month, sort of like Colorado, not tailing off in the spring as much as in the Pacific States.

 

The Grimsel Hospiz at 6,494 feet which is not in a ski area gets 425 inches Nov-Apr and 495 inches for the full calendar year.

 

Here's the link to the Euro snow source I've referred to earlier: www.weathertoski.co.uk/‎   The author Fraser Wilkin has collected snow data but not published summary stats in a systematic way.  He will often quote annual averages in his reports analyzing specific ski areas.   He clearly understands weather patterns in the Alps and makes useful in-season recommendations as well as listing his favored overall best resorts for powder, surface conditions, avoiding rain, etc.

 

I am attempting to negotiate a data exchange with Fraser Wilkin but that may take some time.

post #80 of 80

The Swiss website above also has monthly precipitation in millimeters.  I thought it would be worth comparing precip to snowfall to get water content.  For the 2 high altitude sites, Andermatt averaged 8.4% water content and Davos Weissfluhjoch 7.4% and these amounts are quite stable by month from Nov-Apr.  These are comparable numbers to intermountain sites in the U.S such as Snowbird and Jackson.

 

Lower sites show higher water content and also tend to show higher water in Nov. and Apr. than in the winter months.  This is almost surely due to more rain/less snow as you move away from midwinter.  Remember that in the Alps precipitation by month does not decline and in some cases actually increases during the summer.  But if you're up at 7,500 feet plus, rain is still rare Nov-Apr even though it's common during the warmer months.  Recall that the Alps are at 46N latitude, comparable to Big Sky or Mt. Hood, so in context 7,500 feet is quite high.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion