Northern hemisphere to ski season 2015/16? Here's what to expect

Australia and New Zealand are experiencing some seriously good powder conditions this winter with epic snow falls, which have us looking north to fuel the addiction come Christmas time and beyond.

There are plenty of reasons to head to North America, Europe and Japan, and snow isn't the only one, though it does help. Many resorts are celebrating milestone achievements and others launching more terrain, new lift passes and gondolas and chairlifts galore.

CANADA

Qantas announced more flights from Sydney to Vancouver for the peak ski season of January and a code share agreement with American Airlines for San Francisco.

Sun Peaks continues its terrain domain as Canada's second-largest ski area. Two new runs will be completed to expand the terrain further, with private full day back-country tours launching this coming season. Plus the resort will have a new NHL-sized outdoor ice rink.

Big White opens the doors on a new day lodge – the Black Forest Day Lodge – as well as the renovated Sessions Taphouse and Grill and new horse-drawn sleigh ride brunches.

Silver Star offers an extra 40 hectares of skiable terrain this coming winter, a new race centre and expanded gladed tree skiing for intermediate and expert skiers and fat biking for winter mountain bikers.

Marmot Basin offers the opportunity for the first time to have private coaching with the snow sports director plus a new Double Diamond Tour to take on the deepest and steepest runs.

Sunshine Village will boast the first heated chairlift in Canada this winter with the new Tee Pee Town high-speed quad complete with footrests, orange bubble covers and heated seats.

The Fairmont at Lake Louise will run a yoga and ski retreat from February 19 to 21, 2016, including daily yoga, meditation, all meals and skiing.

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The Cliffhouse Bistro at Mt Norquay near Banff launches full moon dining at the top of the North American chairlift to dine among the stars.

Panorama turns the key on its newest slope-side lodge with the 1000 Peaks Lodge, featuring 37 units from studio to three bedrooms.

Whistler Blackcomb celebrates "50 years of going beyond" this northern winter with a party at the Roundhouse Lodge on December 12. The Rendezvous Lodge will undergo a $5.4million renovation in time for the new winter. Expect a new RFID online interactive platform called WB+ to monitor your vertical, distance, days on snow and more.

UNITED STATES

Jackson Hole, in Wyoming, is celebrating its 50th birthday this coming season with a series of gala events and the launch of the new Teton high-speed quad chairlift. The chairlift spans 1600 vertical feet and accesses terrain that until now has been accessible only by a lot of hiking.

Vail Resorts took over Park City Mountain Resort in Utah last winter and will link both The Canyons and Park City Mountain Resort with $50 million transformation that included a new gondola to combine the two resorts to create the new Park City brand. This makes Park City the largest resort in the US, with 3000 skiable hectares.

Over in Colorado, Aspen's Little Nell launches the T-Lazy-7's Guest Ranch winter dinners in a private yurt accessed by snowcat with a private chef and personal sommeliers.

Aspen's iconic Cloud Nine mid-mountain party restaurant on Aspen Highlands will open with a new $1.1million refurbished look.

Snowmass will welcome a new high alpine chairlift, new tree runs and expanded snowmaking plus the Sled Food Truck, a mobile food truck, on weekends. Rent ski or snowboard equipment for kids ages 7 to 12 from Four Mountain Sports and they will ski that day for free.

Vail Mountain will have a new six-passenger Avanti express lift this season to reduce waiting times and improve reliability. Vail also has a new bar, The Remedy, at the Four Seasons In Vail, with playful concoctions, local produce and Colorado meats and cheeses.

Beaver Creek presents the White Carpet Club for the first time with members enjoying an exclusive club steps from the Centennial Express lift. The club has lockers, boot drying room, complimentary food and drinks and an intimate lounge with on-site concierge.

Crested Butte welcomes direct flights from Los Angeles this winter to make the ski resort that much more accessible for Australians.

EUROPE

In France, La Plagne celebrates this coming northern winter with a new gondola to replace the Montalbert and Fornelet chairlifts cutting the journey up the mountain to a mere six minutes. Skiers and boarders can now also stay overnight on the off piste Le Chalet du Friolin every Wednesday night to ensure first tracks on Thursday morning.

Le Totem hotel will open in Flaine this December. The first of a series of more accessible mountain hotels from Maisons & Hotels Sibuet new Terminal Neige brand. Le Totem will feature 100 rooms with ethnic interiors and a blend of vintage and contemporary furniture and a Pure Altitude spa.

Courchevel is already known as the most luxurious resort in Europe now LVMH Hotel Management will open White 1921 and is designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte. Expect 26 guest rooms with immediate access to the resort village and lifts, ski valets, sauna, hammam, Jacuzzi and beauty salons.

In Austria, Arlberg1800 resort in the village of St Christoph launches Chalet Skyfall loft suites and a concert hall and arts gallery, which will be Europe's highest art space.

JAPAN

Niseko's Zabo Ryokan will be open for winter business. The eco luxe resort features 15 villas, each with an indoor/outdoor hot pool. For lovers of traditional Japan the ryokan offers a tea ceremony room, cigar lounge, concierge, ski valet and shuttle bus to the ski hill.

Hakuba Valley joined the Mountain Collective Pass for the 2015/16 season ,joining Thredbo, Valle Nevado, Alta Snowbird, Aspen Snowmass, Jackson Hole, Mammoth Mountain, Banff and Lake Louise, Sun Valley, Squaw Valley and Whistler. Mountain Collective Pass holders pay $510 and receive two days of skiing or riding at each resort plus 50 per cent discount on all additional days.

Instagram2Win a ski trip to Whistler

We've partnered with SkiMax this season for the annual #misssnowitall Instagram competition. You could win seven nights for two at the swanky Fairmont Chateau in Whistler, plus lift passes for two people at Whistler Blackcomb​ for six days and return flights for two from Sydney to Vancouver, thanks to SkiMax.

Just tag your winter-inspired Instagram pics #misssnowitall #skimaxholidays to enter. We'll publish five finalists each week, with one winner at the end of the season. See this week's top entries in the gallery at the top of the page.

The Fairmont Chateau in Whistler.

The Fairmont Chateau in Whistler.

Pro photographers can win a Sony 4k action cam with helmet side mount and board mount valued at $697 (they are not eligible for the Whistler prize) by tagging their pics #misssnowitall #skimaxholidays #pro. We'll choose one pro shot a week as a finalist with one overall winner at end of season.

The Sony 4k Action Cam.

The Sony 4k action cam.

Click here for competition terms and conditions. See the latest entries below.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter @misssnowitall

See also: Ten ways to tell you're a snow addict
See also: Who has the best snow - Australia or New Zealand?

Follow on Instagram and Twitter @misssnowitall

 

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