[Please note: The following report was posted at 8:11AM on Sunday 22nd January. The time stamp above shows an incorrect time due to the complexities of a server move]
The snow is back! Looks like we should be getting snow today and tomorrow. It will take a bit to cover up the crust that exists from the other day. Temps are a bit warmer now so the snow will be a bit more dense. If we get this layer and then lighter snow on top, it will be a great skiing base. The supportive underneath mixed with floaty light snow is a pretty ideal set up. The next few days should be fun as the snow returns and it starts feeling like January again. However, there isn't much room for complaining because we have been fortunate so far with snow and it looks like we will pick back up with that fortune soon. It also looks like the cold temps are coming back along with that so expect this week to be -10 and -15 again.
Local weather is saying tomorrow will be the heaviest snow. It could be a bit windy too, so that means a lot of snow may be stripped into wind-favored areas like dense forests and gullies. If that's the case you should be careful because these are often times terrain traps and windloaded snow can slide.
Other than that bit, time to get off the computer and go ski! It should hopefully be snowing all day but with relatively warm temperatures.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 320cm
Bottom - 160cm
Top - 330cm
Bottom - 200cm
Top - 330cm
Bottom - 200cm
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am: -2C, 10cm of new snowfall since predawn.
Coastal data: S4m/s at Benkei cape, no waves and 1017hPa at Kamui cape.
Annupuri peak: SSE19.9m/s and -8.2C.
Snowfall transition: Snowfall picked up from early morning and left 10cm of fresh snow as of 6am. The snow is typical of a pre low-pressure system snowfall. A southeasterly wind 12m/s is blowing at 800m altitude. Snowdrifts developments cannot be observed, but is seen to start developing quickly as the storm picks up today.
Hazard evaluation: Shallow surface slab slides are to be expected in steeps, cliffs and under lift lines below 800m altitude. The hazard level will rise, especially in leeward slopes, as the storm picks up in the afternoon. Carefully follow the snowfall transition.
Gates opening: Gates 2 & 3 will be kept closed. Please respect the ski patrol's instructions.
Caution: The mountain condition is ever changing. Many of the avalanche related accidents are happening during poor weather. Better not push it too far in conditions like todays. Visibility is very bad.
[Please note: The following report was posted at 2:17PM on Sunday 22nd January. The time stamp above shows an incorrect time due to the complexities of a server move]
The snow that has been coming down is very heavy. Right now it wouldn't be wise to do any backcountry traveling. The terrain around Niseko is extremely 'slabby', this means the snow is not bonding well with the layer created by sun and warm temps from the past two days. I would be careful over the next couple days as it continues to snow. As of right now we are looking at 10-20cm slabs which can still carry you in places you don't want to be. However, as the snow falls, the conditions will worsen until the snowpack has some time to stabilize. Be careful out there and stick to resort areas is the best advice.