World's Biggest Snow Events For 2015-2016

17 April 2015

Powder hounds the world over are forever thankful for Earth's make-up: a Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere.

This essentially means that for the most passionate skiers and snowboarders the snow season never ends.

The rest of us have a healthy choice of snow events at different locations around the world depending on the time of year.

Read on for the world's 2015-2016 line-up of winter events.

 Gliding across the powder

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Australia

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Snow Travel Expo
Sydney (May 17) & Melbourne (May 24)

Representatives of 50-plus snow destinations from around Australia and around the world will be on site to talk about their area. A live rail jam and Siberian huskies also feature.

Peak Music Festival
Perisher (June 5-8)

On the season’s official opening weekend, this music festival, in eight venues around Perisher, has everything from soul and acoustic sessions to jumping rhythms.

Australian Snow Unigames
Thredbo (August 23-27)

Expect toga parties and a packed social schedule, but there’s also serious ski racing at the annual university games, with over 500 students from Australia’s 42 universities participating.

 Performers at Perisher's Peak Music Festival brave the cold to deliver quality live tunes (image: @peakfestival)

Warren Miller's No Turning Back
National tour (May-June)

The annual marker that says the season is around the corner. Warren Miller made his first ski movie in 1949 and in 2015, No Turning Back pays homage to 65 years of mountain filmmaking.

theSKImag Ski Demo Days
Hotham (July 11-12) and Thredbo (July 25-26)

Try out the latest 2015 skis (and some not due for release in the northern hemisphere until 2016) from all the big brands; $20 for one day or $30 for two.

Abom Mogul Challenge
Mt Buller (September 5)*

First held at Mount Buller in 1989, this freestyle mogul skiing event attracts some of the world’s best mogul skiers, with Australian Olympian Matt Graham the reigning men’s champion. There are open, youth and masters divisions.

Falls Creek Ice Plunge
Falls Creek (June 1)

Marking the opening of winter with a splash, plungers summon all their courage for a quick dip into Rocky Valley Lake. Entry is free and there are plenty of prizes.

Kangaroo Hoppet
Falls Creek (August 22)

This 42km cross-country ski race is part of the Worldloppet series of races and the culmination of a cross-country festival in Falls Creek and surrounds. Parallel events include the 21km Birkebeiner and the 7km Joey Hoppet.

Australian Interschools Snowsports Championships
Mt Buller (September 9-13)

For sheer competitor numbers, Interschools ski competitions in the separate Australian states rank among the world’s biggest events on snow. The best of the best go on to compete at these national championships.

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New Zealand

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Winter Festival
Queenstown (June 19-28)

A 10-day cultural and community event with parties, fireworks, local and international performers and the infamous Dog Derby where farmers and working dogs show their stuff on the Queenstown snowfields.

Winter Games NZ
Otago (August 21-30)

Many of the world’s elite winter sports athletes train in New Zealand over the southern winter so there’s logic in luring them along to big competitions. Winter Games events include freeskiing, snowboarding, alpine and cross-country ski racing and even curling.

World Helichallenge
Aoraki/Mount Cook (August 22 - September 5)

A cult event among big mountain freeskiers and boarders, the Helichallenge celebrates its 21st birthday this year and marks it with an Australia/NZ tour of a movie about the event.

 Freestyle day at the World Helichallenge (image: WHC)

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Northern Hemisphere

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Grand Traverse, Crested Butte to Aspen
Colorado (March 27-28)

It’s a midnight start for this gruelling, 65km ski tour up through Crested Butte Mountain Resort and over the mountain ranges, to finish with a fast run down Aspen Mountain. The race record is seven hours, 32 minutes.

Freeride World Tour Final
Verbier, Switzerland (March 28)

The world’s best freeriding skiers and snowboarders compete in a tour that covers the globe – this is the finale on the extreme mountain faces of a prestigious but very challenging destination.

Ski World Cup Finals
Meribel, France (March 22)

The FIS Ski World Cup season starts in October and runs across Europe and North America, culminating in the finals for alpine disciplines, this year in France. The 2014-15 season was interrupted by the Alpine World Championships, at Vail and Beaver Creek in Colorado during February.

World Ski Awards
Kitzbuhel, Austria (November 20-22)

A global initiative that acknowledges excellence in alpine tourism. In 2014, Val Thorens in France was voted World’s Best Ski Resort, Perisher was named the best in Australia and Treble Cone New Zealand’s No 1.

 See the world's best aerial artists at events around the world (image: Getty)

The White Ring Race
Lech and Zurs, Austria (January 16, 2016)

This challenging 22km ski circuit takes in the best of these neighbouring resorts and turns competitive every January when competitors ride seven lifts and descend over 5500m to cover the distance. The record of 44 minutes and 35 seconds is held by local Olympian Patrick Ortleib.

Hahnenkamm
Kitzbuhel, Austria (January 19-24, 2016)

The ultimate expression of Austria’s love for competitive alpine skiing, with the highlight the World Cup downhill event on the infamous Streif. Racers describe the opening section as “like skiing in a lift shaft.”

X-Games Aspen
Aspen, Colorado (January 28-31, 2016)

Four days of wild snow action that is as remarkable as a live spectator sport as it is on a TV broadcast. Expect big air and amazing aerial manoeuvres by skiers, snowboarders and even snowmobilers.

Sapporo Snow Festival
Hokkaido, Japan (February 4-11, 2016)*

Snow and ice sculptures line the parks and streets of this former Winter Olympics host city for a week every February, transforming Sapporo into a winter dreamland.
*TBC

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