Ski China

Having the world’s largest national population and plenty of the world’s highest mountains makes China, where skiing was virtually unknown less than 20 years ago, and which has by far the world’s fastest growing ski population, the fastest growing number of ski areas, and the country with the most potential growth market through the 21st century for winter sports anywhere in the world.

There is skiing right across the country however in 13 provinces and autonomous regions.

The greatest proportion are in the most northerly province of Heilongjiang, where the distinctly chilly regional capital, Harbin - known in China as the 'Ice City' and famous for its annual ice festival with spectacular ice carvings – staged the country's first ski forum in 2003, with guests and speakers pouring in from almost all the world's ski nations.

The region also bid to host the 2014 Winter Olympics and is home to China’s best known resort YaBuLi where Club Med opened a resort in 2010.

There are also a dozen or so small ski areas around capital Beijing and many other ski hills are located near to China’s other cities. These include some of the world’s largest indoor snow centres of which China now has six.

However destination resorts are beginning to develop too. Xiling Snow Mountain which opened in 2004 is now claiming to have taken the title of “Leading resort in China” from Yabuli and appears to offer the potential to grow in to a major international resort.

The resort has a gondola, double and quad chairs, currently serving ten trails for all standards and up to a kilometre long, but significantly the famous Xiling Snow Mountain extends to over 5300m above giving plenty of scope to create one of the world’s biggest lift served verticals.

Tourism professionals are keen to point out that two thirds of China’s 1.3 billion population live in mountainous areas, or than 700 million live within three hours of one of the new ski areas so are able to ski China.

Currently the Chinese ski market is variously estimated at between 1 and 10 million people (most commonly a figure of 3 million is quoted). As many as 15 million people have been 'made wealthy' out of China's 300 million urban dwellers in China.

The number of operational ski areas is uncertain and difficult for anyone to know for sure, including the Chinese. Again reports vary between wildly optimistic estimates of “50 opening each year with 500 by 2010,” to more conservative figures. At least 60 Chinese ski areas can be identified however.

The rapidly increasing numbers of Chinese skiers, most of whom are from the increasingly wealthy Chinese ‘middle-class’ coupled with the limited facilities in China to date for novice skiers to progress on to, has led to the most recent development of more substantial ski areas with greater challenges.

The country is now also home to the world’s two highest lifts, both gondolas, although only one serves a (small) ski area. Lift company Doppelmayr completed the world’s highest gondola in 2008 with eight passenger cabins which reaches 4,843m above sea level. The lift accesses The Aba Great Glacier in Sichuan province, about six hours driving time from regional capital Chengdu. The top station is 327m higher than the previous record holder, also in China, the Leitner built Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Yunnan province, which has a top station height of 4,516m and has recently added two drag lifts to create a small ski area at the top, the world’s highest.

China: latest snow conditions round-up

Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in China. Fresh snow is forecast at 0 resorts. Powder is reported at 0 resorts and 0 are reporting good piste conditions.

All resorts

Ski resorts of China, alphabetically

snow depth
top and bottom



Last Snow

Next 9 Days
0–3 | 3–6 | 6–9
snow (cm)
Next 5 days weather forecast.
Freezing level (m)
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue

(69m — 419m)

4 cm
on 12 Feb
clear cloud light rain clear part cloud
Mid station 244 m
3400m 3400m 3000m 3500m 3450m

(610m — 1219m)

1.0 cm
on 29 Apr
clear part cloud cloud cloud part cloud
Mid station 914 m
2600m 2850m 3000m 3050m 3250m

(555m — 1405m)

2.0 cm
on 30 Apr
part cloud clear cloud light rain cloud
Mid station 980 m
2500m 2600m 3250m 2850m 3350m

(1771m — 2100m)

2.0 cm
on 28 Apr
clear part cloud light rain part cloud clear
Mid station 1936 m
3200m 3550m 3050m 3300m 3350m

(1500m — 2174m)

4 cm
on 28 Apr
clear cloud light rain part cloud clear
Mid station 1837 m
3100m 3550m 3050m 3350m 3350m

(255m — 463m)

3.0 cm
on 15 Mar
clear part cloud cloud light rain part cloud
Mid station 359 m
2150m 2450m 3250m 2900m 3000m

(300m — 900m)

2.0 cm
on 25 Apr
part cloud clear cloud cloud cloud
Mid station 600 m
2600m 2600m 3300m 2800m 3400m

(1700m — 2100m)

5 cm
on 28 Apr
clear cloud light rain clear clear
Mid station 1900 m
3100m 3550m 3000m 3400m 3350m

(1649m — 2159m)

5 cm
on 28 Apr
clear cloud light rain clear clear
Mid station 1904 m
3150m 3550m 3000m 3400m 3350m

(450m — 1206m)

2.0 cm
on 29 Apr
light rain clear cloud light rain cloud
Mid station 828 m
2700m 3050m 3200m 3100m 3550m

(820m — 1210m)

5 cm
on 29 Apr
light rain clear cloud cloud light rain
Mid station 1015 m
2650m 2850m 3150m 2950m 3650m

(1710m — 2110m)

5 cm
on 28 Apr
clear cloud light rain clear clear
Mid station 1910 m
3100m 3550m 3050m 3400m 3350m

(998m — 2097m)

1.0 cm
on 28 Apr
clear cloud light rain clear part cloud
Mid station 1548 m
3300m 3500m 3000m 3450m 3400m

(500m — 1384m)

2.0 cm
on 30 Apr
clear clear part cloud light rain part cloud
Mid station 942 m
2150m 2250m 3200m 2900m 3200m