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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

I'm planning the 'Perfect Winter'.

3 Months of travel and snowboarding...

I'd like to hit up Japan, Europe AND USA/Canada...

Obviously there are hundreds of resorts within these areas... but in order to maximise the best POW I need your help in recommending what resort at what time of year would be best...

Also I'd like to either start or finish in Japan, as I'm based in Australia.

INNACURATE EXAMPLE: (Please supply specific resorts, not areas)
Dec 1-20 USA (Colorado / California)
Dec 21-8 British Columbia
Jan 9-31 Europe (Chamonix / St Anton)
Feb 1-14 Japan (Hakuba / Nozawa / Shiga)
Feb 14-28 Japan (Niseko / Rusutsu / Furano)
 

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Hi guys,
....

Obviously there are hundreds of resorts within these areas... but in order to maximise the best POW I need your help in recommending what resort at what time of year would be best...

...

INNACURATE EXAMPLE: (Please supply specific resorts, not areas)
Dec 1-20 USA (Colorado / California)
Dec 21-8 British Columbia
Jan 9-31 Europe (Chamonix / St Anton)
Feb 1-14 Japan (Hakuba / Nozawa / Shiga)
Feb 14-28 Japan (Niseko / Rusutsu / Furano)
Easy...within the above dates and locations...watch the local storm cycle patterns, then just pay attention to initially the 7-10 day weather forecast and then three days prior...get ready to high tail it to the dumpage.

Start now, studying each area's general winter's storm cycle...for example PNW/Washington is a 10-14 day storm cycle...but you also need to pay attention the the jet stream and watch the weather coming out of the gulf of AK verses what might be coming from the south pacific. This year PNW is setting up for el nino (warmer/drier)...generally weather coming from the south west/pineapple express...so at my little hill (coastal/maritime whistler/baker/stevens/hood its really about watching for the lower temps and precip coming in. However inland a bit...like Nelson and powder valley they are abit drier...but definitely cooler. So that would translate coastal pnw poo vs inland pnw fluff.

edit, idk but methinks that your dates for Cali are abit early...so maybe consider CO and PNW...however me also thunks that Dec is a wee abit early for PNW...definitely Feb and March are often better.

Oh and another thing, whatever the resort...try to find out their by monthly snow stats. like here https://www.mtbaker.us/snow-report/snowfall-statistics
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mate, thank you very much... your edited part is is exactly the info i needed... i need to know what time of season is best for what area...
 

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The Swiss Miss
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I'd shift the schedule by a month. December is early for good pow as places likely don't have a good base yet.

Japan should actually be good in Jan (look up my Japan thread in the travel forum, you find lots of info from ppl who helped me plan the trip).

Europe is hit and miss in Dec/Jan. Feb/mid March are the safer bet. Last 5y stats for northern ridge of Alps:

'13/14 first pow day was by Feb 8th, all Feb was good.
'14/15 first pow by Jan 17th, non stop pow til March 3rd.
'15/16 " Feb 14th (hardpack until then), pow dumps all March.
'16/17 " by Jan 15th (until then we rode manmade WROD!), but had pow dumps all Feb until May
'17/18 we rode pow all Nov/Dec, but then Jan was dry and dumps came back by mid Feb/March.

See? There's no real pattern. Each year is very different, but in general, Jan is a month with high insecurity.

However, the thing here is that theres a two sided weather pattern. Snow comes from west. Alps go west-east. It depends highly on the latitude of storms if southern ridge gets dumped, or northern ridge. One cannot say far in advance, which side gets hit. In those periods when we on northern ridge ride WROD, Aosta valley on southern ridge get massive dumps and vice versa. (https://wepowder.com/en/forum/topic/248149)
So I wouldn't divide the Europe stay between Cham and Austria, but make my hub someplace where you can easily swap between southern and northern ridge. Wallis valley of Switherland would be such a hub where you could check the current storm cycle and then head to where the dump hits. Check out WePowder on FB. They do a great job in explaining and predicting current weather patterns. So you'd know where to head week by week.

Considering Cham... yeah. Crazy town, go there to experience the vibe, see those awesome mountains. But... you're one in a thousands crazy pow hounds. .i.e. a dump will be completely tracked out by 10am (while I, in my no name small resort ride fresh until late afternoon). You need a local guide who knows where to find untracked if you wanna ride pow (I can give you a contact to an awesome snowboarding guide). I'd go there only few days. I'd rather go to smaller places with less crowds. You can check on bergfex.com all resort options in the Alps (there are 243 in Switzerland... not only four ;))

All in all, flexibility is key, no matter which continent/region. I've been in Japan with late snow, PNW with only rain, Alaska with zero snowfall in 4 weeks. With the nowadays changing climate, there is no safe bet on weather cycles anymore. Plan in to be flexible to get the most out of the trip.
 

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If you come to Colorado, you should put Steamboat and Wolf Creek on your list if your looking for pow.

If park is your thing, you gotta check out Copper and the Woodward Barn.

I agree with @neni about shifting a bit, the snow here will be much better, ideally late February/Early March here in Colorado.
 

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All the info u seek.........is already on de intrawebs.........y don't u look............y u no look.........y u want us to do the "legwork"........y u reap the benefits..............I say..........u pull up yer big boy pants........roll up yer sleeves.....and do the work............
 

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Discussion Starter #7
All the info u seek.........is already on de intrawebs.........y don't u look............y u no look.........y u want us to do the "legwork"........y u reap the benefits..............I say..........u pull up yer big boy pants........roll up yer sleeves.....and do the work............
Because I want opinions... *hypothetically* If January is the best month for all three places (Europe, Japan & America) I cant be in all 3 places at once. So I need some help in choosing the best place for December, followed by the best place in January, followed by the best place in February.

Example (for arguments sake): February might not be the best month for Japan, February might suck for America or Europe... So Japan would be the smart decision even though January in Japan might be the best month. (again, this example is for arguments sake)

I also cant just fly there on a whim pending conditions, I need to book accom and flights well in advance so I can afford this trip.
 

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Because I want opinions... *hypothetically* If January is the best month for all three places (Europe, Japan & America) I cant be in all 3 places at once. So I need some help in choosing the best place for December, followed by the best place in January, followed by the best place in February.

Example (for arguments sake): February might not be the best month for Japan, February might suck for America or Europe... So Japan would be the smart decision even though January in Japan might be the best month. (again, this example is for arguments sake)

I also cant just fly there on a whim pending conditions, I need to book accom and flights well in advance so I can afford this trip.
Late Jan thru Feb is good for japan. We get big storms that roll through in January but depending on what fell in the early season, the back runs may not be fully filled in. I think your Feb timescale is good for Japan, if you wanted to come a little earlier then I'm sure it'll be fine......I'd say anytime from the 14th of Jan (earliest) should maximise your chance of riding the good stuff
 
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