Have you ever asked yourself which place in the world receives the most snow? Or maybe you were just looking for a snow guaranteed destination for you next ski holidays?
Look no further, we have put up a list of the 15 snowiest ski resorts in the world for you. This list is based on the winter average snowfall over the past ten years, so be prepared to shred powder in the best snow destinations in the world!
1.Mount Baker, Washington State, USA – Average 19.06m (62.53 feet) per season.
The record snowfall was set during the season 1998-1999 when Mt Baker received a whopping 28.5m (93.50 feet) of snow! The resort is famous among the back country riders for its almost infinite possibilities.
2. Alyeska, Alaska, USA – Average 16.07m (52.72 feet) per season.
Located 30 miles outside of Anchorage, Alyeska Resort boasts an average snowfall of 16.5 meters (54 feet). The record was established record during the 2011-2012 winter seasons with 24.8 meters (81.4 feet) of snow. Alyeska is famous for its deep and steep terrain but will also cater for all abilities.
3. Alta, Utah, USA – Average 15.59m (51.14 feet) per season.
Alta has celebrated its 75 years last season, and the resort is renowned for its incredible snow conditions, just outside of Salt Lake City. This ski only resort attracts all the skiers in the world and the record season for Alta has been set in 1982-1983 with an amazing 21.5 meters (70.5 feet) snowfall.
4. Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan – Average 15.11m (49.57 feet) per season.
The first non American resort to make this list is Niseko, probably the best ski resort in Japan. The country is renowned worldwide since the winter Olympics games in 1998, where everybody discovers the Japanese snow potential. Hokkaido and especially Niseko offer some of the best dry, light and fluffy pow you could find in the world. Every skier and boarder has heard about the incredible snow conditions, and as you can see in the photo above, everyone should experience this at least once!
5. Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada – Average 15m (49.21 feet) per season.
Revelstoke is a mountain for serious skiers and will suit the hard core riders. The resort boasts the biggest vertical drop in Canada with 1,613 meters (5,620 feet) and this is the only place where you can enjoy lift, cat, heli and back country skiing from one village base. The snowfall record for Revelstoke has been established during the winter 1971-1972 with 24.5 meters (80.3 feet).
6. Nozawa Onsen, Nagano, Japan – Average 14.44m (47.37 feet) per season.
Located near Nagano, Nozawa Onsen is one of the few “big ski resorts” to still provide authentic Japanese snow experience. As per its name, Nozawa Onsen is famous for its multitude of hot springs where you can relax after a long day in the neck deep snow.
7. Gulmarg, Kashmir, India – Average 14m (45.93 feet) per season.
India hasn’t developed hundreds of ski resorts like Japan or North America but being at the bottom of the highest mountain in the world, this is finally not a surprise to find Gulmarg in this top 15. Located in the Kashmir region, the resort received a huge 20 meters (65.6 feet) snowfall during the season 2004-2005.
8. Kirkwood, California, USA – Average 13.96m (45.80 feet) per season.
Located on the south shore of Lake Tahoe, Kirkwood boasts “the lightest, the driest and the most plentiful snow in the Tahoe region”. There are lot of other ski resorts around the Lake such as Heavenly or Northstar, but Kirkwood is the one receiving the most snow. The record was set in 2005-2006 when the resort received a stunning 20.4 meters (66.9 feet) of snow.
9. Rusutsu, Hokkaido, Japan -13m (42.7 feet) per season.
Like Niseko, Rusutsu in located on the snow blessed island of Hokkaido. Rusutsu delivers some of the most perfect powder and tree skiing to be found anywhere in the world. The powder is so dry and light you can ride it with virtually no resistance!
10. Grand Targhee, Wyoming, USA – Average 12.7m (41.66 feet) per season.
Located not far from the famous Jackson Hole ski resort, Grand Targhee offers some truly epic snow conditions. It might be considered as the small cousin of JH, but Grand Targhee received more powder and you won’t have to wait in the line to shred some perfect untouched fields of light powder.
11. Snowbird, Utah, USA – Average 12.5m (41.01 feet) per season.
Snowbird ski resort is a perfect playground for all powder hunters. Snowbird is famous for the abundance of light and dry powder that falls, just outside of Salt Lake City. However, everyone wants to taste a bit of paradise so be ready to wake up early! The record for Snowbird dates from 2011 with 17.5 meters (57.4 feet) of snow.
12. Whistler, British Columbia, Canada – Average 11.9m (39 feet) per season.
Whistler-Blackcomb could make any list, whether it’s for activities, après ski, accommodations or fun. But the snow is probably what contributes to make of Whistler-Blackcomb one of the best ski resort year after year. This is also why the 2010 Winter Olympics has taken place in Whistler. The record snowfall for Whistler-Blackcomb has been established during the 2010-2011 winter season with a huge 15.8 meters (51.8 feet).
13. Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA – Average 11.6m (38 feet) per season.
Jackson Hole is a true North American ski resort with western touch. Nicknamed “The Big One”, it has everything to attract riders looking for a true snow experience. Everything is big, from the vertical drop to the skiable terrain. These elements combine with the famous deep and steep challenging terrain is what makes this destination so attracting for the hard-core skiers and snowboarders. In 2008, the 14.5 meters (47.6 feet)snowfall has set a new record for Jackson Hole.
14. Squaw Valley, California, USA – Average 11.5m (47.6 feet) per season.
Squaw Valley is a ski resort around the Lake Tahoe in California. With stunning view over the lake, amazing light powder and an Olympic heritage, Squaw Valley is one of the best ski destinations in the world. The snowfall record of 17.8 meters (58.4 feet) has been established during the season 2010-2011.
15. Hakuba, Nagano, Japan – Average 11m (36.1 feet) per season.
Hakuba is located in the Japanese Alps near Nagano and is a huge ski resorts interconnecting 9 ski areas. Hakuba differentiate itself from other Japanese ski resorts by offering excellent English instructors, accommodations and activities that suit families. To top it off, snow is amazing which makes Hakuba one of the best ski destinations in the world.
This list is obviously mainly made up of North American and Japanese ski resorts. These regions are blessed with amazing abundance of snow. Surprisingly, no European resorts make the list. Indeed, Europe boasts some of the highest ski resort in the world with a lot of 2,000 meters ski resorts and some of them reaching 4,000 meters (13,124 ft) like Zermatt. The high altitude combine with glaciers and excellent snow conditions allow European ski resorts to compete with the best ski resorts in the world in terms of quality of skiing, even if they receive less snow.
On the other hand, a lot of ski resorts in North America and especially Japan do not reach more than 1,500 meters, meaning the snow can melt down rapidly in case temperatures rise.
According to Tony Crocker, European Alps have a geographical disadvantage to the mountains of North America. “Snow does not fall in the same quantities in Europe, where the mountains are oriented more east-to-west. In North America, particularly with the Cascades, Wasatch, Tetons and the Sierra-Nevada Range, the mountains run north-south, creating giant buffers where clouds run into land and dump snow.”