Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 7th May 2017
Thursday 10th March 2016, 8:09am
Blue skies giving way to clouds
It was a sunny bluebird day for a whole 2 hours this morning! The clouds have now moved in and the forecast snow should hopefully be arriving soon. 5cm fell at the base over the past 24 hours building up some more powder on top of that ice layer. It is still very hard underneath the new snow, so caution is advised in steep terrain.
Thanks to the clear skies, the temperature has dropped to -11°C at the base making it feel like winter again. It is -12°C with 25km/h winds at the peak, so wrap up warm.
All weekday lifts are open, it looks as though the blustery conditions are behind us for the next week. There is more snow forecast for the coming days and temperatures are due to remain cool for the next week. Read more ...
Thursday 10th March 2016, 8:20am
Good morning from Yuzawa where the day starts off just cloudy, and that is what the forecast is for much of the day really with a high of around 4C expected.
The day is starting off fairly chilly though, currently around 0C.
Yesterday soon after my report went up it was snowing properly and it was good to see it coming down. Not as much as we would have liked though with just a few cm on the ground around town and hopefully a bit more than that higher up. I notice this morning that Kagura are reporting 1-2cm of fresh, with both Naeba and Maiko Snow Resort reporting 5cm.
There's the chance of occasional snow here and there still on the forecast over the next few days, but if and when it does snow I wouldn't expect much more than light snow like yesterday.
Local forecasts seem to be pointing towards a largely sunny day tomorrow in fact.
We can just hope that things don't warm up too much...
Resort official snow depths (Thursday 10th March 2016) and any specific news at time of writing:
After some very warm conditions recently, there are some patches of ground on view on some lower slopes around town now. Southern facing slopes are generally more affected. Some courses at resorts are closed due to the snow situation - best to check with the individual resorts for their up-to-date details. Snow cover remains good higher up and is not a problem.
Details of the 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma. Subject to change due to snow conditions.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Open daily until 8:50pm (until 20th March). The Chuo No 1 and Chuo No 2 lifts are open daily. The Kanko No 1, Kanko No 2, Kanko No 3, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift, Hatsukaishi No 2 pair lifts are open on weekends and holidays. The basic charge is 2000 yen but various tickets are available.
Iwappara Open daily until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays (until 21st March). The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.
Joetsu Kokusai Open daily until 9pm (until 21st March). The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors. On weekdays the area in front of the main hotel is open - a larger area (including Osawa and Atema) is open on weekends.
Kandatsu Kogen Open from 6pm until 4am on Fridays, Saturdays and evenings before holidays through 26th March. Open from 4:30pm until 11pm on weekdays until 24th March. Various tickets are available starting at 2000 yen for adults, 1700 yen for seniors and 1000 yen for children.
Maiko Snow Resort Open daily with the Maiko Center quad lift operating from 4pm until 8pm. The charge is 500 yen for everyone.
Naeba Open daily until 27th March. From 4pm until 8:30pm on weekdays and Sundays (2000 yen); until 9pm every Saturday and on 20th March (3000 yen). 'All Night' opening is planned for Saturday 26th March when Naeba will be open from 10pm until 5am.
Yuzawa Nakazato Open on Saturdays from 5pm until 8:30pm (until 12th March). Tickets are 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.
Yes, there's a nice layer of fresh new snow on the ground this morning. 12cm of it. And it does look lovely.
It's mostly cloudy at the moment here at base with perhaps snow still falling higher up on the mountain, but things are generally calm and all of the lifts are moving as planned. Actually, since I have been preparing this report there's some blue sky as well to see now and the sun has started to shine through my window.
So fresh snow to enjoy this morning. There'll still be that somewhat icy layer under it though so remember not to get too carried away!
I'm off out there myself now.
Speak again tomorrow when hopefully there might be a few more cm to report.
Resort specific lift opening news at time of posting (subject to change during the day):
Niseko base 6.00am: -8°C, calm, 15cm new snow, no snowdrift development. Moiwa 838m: -9.2°C, ENE0.7m/s. Annupuri 1150m: -11 °C, 15cm new snow, no snowdrift development. Hirafu Ridgeline: -14°C, 10cm new snow, calm. Coastal data: Benkei Cape:WSW3m/s. Kamui Cape S5m/s, 1019hPa, wave 0.8m.
Atmospheric pressure gradient is shallow and weather is calm. Cold air has flowed into the area bringing 10-15cm new snow. There is no new snowdrift development. From observation, the new snow over the 8th Mar layer, general avalanche risk is low. However at higher elevations there is a possibility of 20cm surface slab avalanches on wind effected, open steep slopes. The new snow is good but you will still be hitting the icy surface underneath. Be careful loosing control and hitting trees. Cracks are hidden, ride cautiously. A weak front is expected to pass through around noon, with an increase in wind and snow. Be careful of a sudden change in weather. All peak gates are expected to be open. Listen to the patrols advice and be prepared before going out of bounds. People are still ducking ropes to enter strictly off limits areas. Your freedom to ride out of bounds is protected by the Niseko Rules. However with freedom comes responsibility. If one person ducks a rope lots of others will follow, increasing the chances of an accident. For the safety of everyone, respect and follow the Niseko Rules. If caught breaking the rules, expect severe treatment.
Official resort snow depths as of Thursday 10th March 2016:
Morning from Hakuba and there's a bit more fresh snow to report today.
Yesterday it was snowing for lots of the day and about 5cm or so reported from on the slopes. Better than none of course and great to see it falling once again and the feeling of fresh under the board(s). Some nice big flakes as well at times while I was up at Hakuba 47.
This morning just another slight dusting and light snow was falling earlier on and may well still be higher up now but the forecast for the day is generally just cloudy, with a high of around +2C in the village.
It's pretty cold start to the morning though, so wrap up more than you have been the last week or so if you're venturing out. And it appears to be limited visibility in lots of places on mountain as well early on - cloud, 'gas' or fog? One or more of them!
There's still snow on (some of) the forecast(s) from time to time over the next few days. But as they don't all agree, I suspect it's going to be a borderline kind of situation once again.
Around the resorts it looks like the Tree Riding Zone at Hakuba 47 has re-opened. Not sure what the story is there, perhaps the fresh snowfall.
And also the night skiing at Happo-one has now closed for the season due to the snow conditions down on those lower slopes.
Resort news as of 8:50am on Thursday 10th March 2016 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 5cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All courses set to open this morning. It appears that the Tree Riding Zone has re-opened. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba 47. Official snow depth: Upper: 190cm Base: 85cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0-3cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All courses open apart from Snow Diving and Adventure. The Toomi area will be open until 9:30pm tonight for 'nighta'. Official snow depth Alps: 251cm Toomi: 125cm Iimori: 65cm
Hakuba Happo-one: All courses appear to be open. Due to the snow conditions on the lower slopes, night skiing has now finished for the season. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 180cm Nakiyama: 40cm Sakka: 20cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 2-5cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All courses open apart from Itadaira Ridge, Itadaira Forest and Giant. The Ikenota area will be open for 'nighta' until 8pm tonight (9pm on Saturdays). Official snow depth: Top: 165cm Base: 97cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All courses are open except Uma-no-se. Nighta at Karamatsu/Shirakaba on 12th/19th March. Note that the top Tsugaike Ropeway only opens from spring (no news yet). Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 233cm Maruyama: 60cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 60cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Areas of Village Side that remain open - Sunny Valley, by2, by3, Shinden connecting. Kometsuga and Paradise remain part open. Parts of the Mountain Side that are closed - View A, View B, Kamo 4, Dangan, Sonezawa, Five Side. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: Upper: 110cm Lower: 35cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Closed courses are Kamoshika, Highway, Snake, Expert and Satomi Ridge. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Norikura. Official snow depth: 85cm
Morning from Shiga Kogen where it still feels fairly wintery and there is 10cm of fresh snow to report since my report yesterday which should freshen things up a bit but remember there'll be that icy layer beneath the thin layer of new snow.
It has been quite cold as well this morning. At the moment there's clouds and there is some sunshine in places.
Any more snow due? Yes, it's still there on that forecast so we can hope for some more fresh on the way over the next few days.
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Thursday 10th March 2016):
Sun Valley 60cm Nighta on Saturdays until 19th March (7pm-9pm)
Takamagahara Mammoth 120cm
Tannenomori Okojo 120cm
Ichinose Family 120cm Nighta daily until 27th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Ichinose Diamond 120cm Nighta on Saturdays until 26th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Ichinose Yamanokami 120cm
Yakebitaiyama 120cm Nighta on Saturdays until 12th March (6pm-8pm)
Okushiga Kogen 85cm
Kumanoyu 120cm Nighta on Saturdays until 26th March (6:30pm-9pm) Also on 20th March
A bit of snow since yesterday with 5cm up top and it's another quite cold morning.
It looks like we're set for a generally cloudy day today, though even now the sun is managing to peek through the clouds in places. So perhaps it might clear up somewhat. Hopefully staying cold at the same time...
It should be cold overnight tonight again and tomorrow we are probably going to enjoy some sunshine.
Sporadic light snowfall is still there on the forecast over the coming days but I wouldn't expect much from it - think of it as a real bonus if we do get much.
Official info at time of writing on Thursday 10th March 2016 (subject to change):
Just a dusting of snow since yesterday, so no new cm to add to the total this morning.
It's another calm morning here and mostly just cloudy after some light snow falling earlier on.
There's not a whole lot of snow lined up on the 6-day forecast I'm afraid; in fact, close to none. It does look like temperatures should be keeping fairly low though so at least there's no imminent major warm up due.
So we just have to enjoy what we got!
Information as of Thursday 10th March 2016 (subject to change)
All lifts are operating apart from the Karamatsu pair lift which is closed on weekdays.
Not much snow overnight - I'll be generous and say we had 2cm - but it has started up again in the last few minutes.
I notice that some of the ski areas are showing +10cm or so, so perhaps there was more snow higher up during the day.
It was coming down pretty hard during the Yama no Kami (mountain god) ceremony yesterday mid-slope at Akakura Kanko. Maybe a good sign for the rest of the season... at least, as all the local dignitaries there said, it wasn't raining.
Good morning from Naeba where as I write this report the sun is casting shadows on the lower slopes as it breaks through some of the clouds.
Still a lot of cloud around the upper mountain but some blue sky up above us here at base.
There's some fresh snow as well, up to around 5cm of it. Not a huge amount but it's all welcome. And there is still some occasional snow on the forecast over the next 4 days along with temperatures remaining on the colder side. Fingers crossed we'll get some more fresh to play in.
Temperatures overnight have remained well below freezing and there is a light layer of 2cm of fresh powder snow in the village. The skies are mainly blue with some clouds floating around and the sun is very strong even if the temperatures are cold. The mountain has been well groomed and the courses have a firm base with the overnight powder on top. The snow on course will soften a little with the morning sun.
Light snow is expected later today and through until Monday. The heaviest fall will be on Friday evening. Wind conditions should be calm and temperatures should remain cold for the next few days. Read more ...
Thursday 10th March 2016, 11:45am
Clear, blue skies
After 24 hours of full-on weather here at Tenjin the result was 10-15cm of pretty nice snow at the top of the mountain.
Temperatures are hovering around zero at the top and slightly above at the base of the mountain and winds are generally light with the odd strong gust coming through. We were supposed to be getting some more snow today but skies are blue and the next significant snow forecast is currently for tomorrow night.
Definitely nice to have some colder temps back, the banked slalom course is open and is super fun and the cat track is iced up and lightning fast. Not bad for March but some more snow would be nice. Bout a meter would be just fine.