The Snow Gauge

Running the rule over the ski & snowboard industry since 1995

When will it open; what’s the snow like?

Posted by on 1:14 am in Canada, Europe, Japan, United States | 0 comments

Japan snow

Truckloads of snow for Japan in 2016/17? The suggestions are there might be. Pic:

From the USA to Japan and even Europe I’ve tabled the key resorts with expected opening dates, what if any snow has fallen and taken a broad look at what forecasters are predicting for the season in each of the regions.

Hopefully it will help you with your choice of where to head this northern hemisphere winter!


Aussies in Whistler: Arse-hats or getting a bum wrap?

Posted by on 2:31 am in Australia, Canada | 5 comments

Aussies in Whistler

With the news that Vail Resorts has confirmed the purchase of Whistler you can rest assured that means one thing: more Australians in the BC behemoth this season.

If you weren’t aware the Epic Pass has been available for a few years in Australia because of the Vail Group’s ownership of Perisher in NSW and now Whistler is part of their cache or resorts, pass holders are entitled to five days there in 2016/17.

Great say the many Aussies who have enjoyed an excellent product. But if some recent stories about what Aussies are like Whistler hold true will as many Canadians be as pleased?


World sneak peak at best new gear for 2017

Posted by on 4:42 pm in Australia, Gear | 2 comments


Australia may not have the biggest mountains, the most snow or the best facilities but there’s one thing the local ski and snowboard industry can claim – first dibs on plenty of the best new gear that comes out.

The global season release schedule sees a whole raft of stuff shown – and then effectively made available to the consumer – down under first.

I was fortunate enough to get to the Snowsports Industries of Australia trade show held in chilly Canberra (6 degrees and raining as I left – with a foot of snow on the hills for the close of the season thanks very much) and managed to park my peepers on some of the gear before the North Americans and Europeans get their hands on it!


Why you shouldn’t overlook California this winter

Posted by on 11:48 pm in United States | 2 comments

Heavenly views

Paul Scells enjoys some Heavenly views.

After four pretty ordinary seasons many felt California had lost its mojo.

Already playing in the shadows of the Rockies and Wasatch ranges, Sierra Nevada was starting to become more synonymous with its eminently drinkable pale ale than as base for a ski or snowboard trip.

But season 2015/16 brought it back to the fold. The numbers weren’t through (or over) the roof snow-wise but it was a solid season that again demonstrated just how good California can be. And some are suggesting a good to better one this season.

I’ve done Colorado and Utah and while it can’t compete for dry snow in most seasons there’s plenty of things to like about the Lake Tahoe district. Stick with me and I’ll take you through what tickled my fancy …


Flight hack: how to get cheap snow airfares

Posted by on 2:45 am in Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, United States, World | 2 comments


I spent some long hours toiling away on flight comparison site Skyscanner and came up with some very interesting information for those thinking about a northern hemisphere ski or snowboard trip this winter.

I’ll leave it for some other time to extol the virtues of various ski resorts across the globe or compare the prices of various accommodation or lift pass prices. Here, purely and simply, is the dirt on flying from Australia to the US, Canada, Japan or Europe – when to go, when to avoid and where to save a buck or two. Other points include:

– The sneaky time to get to the States (in school holidays)
– Why Europe actually represents awesome flight value
– How to save real money if you are prepared to stop off
– Some Japan hacks too.


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