Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 18th December 2017

Furano Now!

Sunday 11th December 2016, 7:50am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: --
It is a nice looking morning in Furano with no wind, but pretty cold at -8c in the village. We have been lucky again and have received 10cm of very light dry powder overnight. Needless to say that at the top of the resort this will be substantially more than 10cm!

There is cloud rolling over the mountain and making it down until around mid mountain. Visibility will be a bit foggy right now but that cloud may lift later on in the morning. The town has a thin layer of valley cloud over it with clear blue skies sitting above that. Looks like a great morning for some turns...I'm heading off in 5 mins to get mine!   Read more ...
 

Niseko Now!

Sunday 11th December 2016, 8:32am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 17cm
Snow depth: --
It was on the national news last night so you might have seen it if you are in Japan, but lots of Hokkaido was enjoying (or not as the case may be for lots of people who don't actually want or need heavy snowfall) some mid-winter conditions with lots of snow falling. It looks like it was causing all sorts of problems for transportation and people who are just trying to get on with their lives - outside of a ski resort setting.

Here in Niseko we want lots of snow all of the time of course, and since my last report there has been another 17cm of snow pile up on the ground here at base. Interestingly, that is actually quite a bit less than my friends over in Sapporo city were reporting.

The official snow depth at the Niseko Grand Hirafu resort area has shot up to 200cm (on the upper slopes, 80cm at base) this morning which is good to see. As a quick comparison, this time last year that number was 140cm, so that sounds like a favourable comparison to me! The other resort areas don't appear to be as keen to get to bigger numbers as Niseko Grand Hirafu, so perhaps a pinch of salt should be on stand-by when looking at them. Always fun though, I like comparing. Let's comparing.

So, looking at the forecast we can expect more snowfall over the coming week after perhaps a bit of a break in the snow clouds tomorrow. It actually looks like the snow is easing off at the moment, it is getting a bit brighter and I can even see a bit of blue sky as well.

Yesterday I had an excellent few hours out on the slopes, conditions were really good. More courses are opening up now and for the Niseko Grand Hirafu listing below it is easier to mention what is not yet open rather than the other way round, so I have adjusted that.

Anyone get out for some nighta last night? It looks like from tonight the Ace Number 2 Center Four lift will be also be joining in the fun for nighta.

With conditions only looking likely to continue getting better over the coming week, I think you can officially call me excited! (Although that might also have something to do with meeting Santa the other night and him promising me some new skis...)

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Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -8℃, mild wind & snow, 20cm snowfall in 12 hours. Coastal data: Kamui cape NNW11m/s, 1016hPa, 2.0m waves.

The barometric gradient is lowering, however a weak storm persists above 600m elevation. 40cm of new snowdrift development can be observed in some places. Snowdrifts and cornices are still developing slowly in leeward cornice slopes above treeline (800m). Some snowdrifts have reached up 100cm thickness on top of Dec 9th layer and stabilizing as they grow.

The general avalanche risk is low today.

The snowpack is still shallow and bushes/bamboos remains unburied. Be patient.

Wish we had yesterday’s Sapporo snow.

The groomers are getting in better shape everyday, however the light is weak and visibility is low. Beware of the undulations and obstacles on the slopes.

The fresh snow on the side is splendid, however beware of tree stumps lurking below the surface.

---

Resort specific opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):

All four resort areas appear to be able to open as planned at the start of the day.

Niseko Grand Hirafu

Lifts planned to be operating:

- Ace Family pair*
- Ace Number 2 Center Four*
- Ace Number 3 pair
- Hirafu Gondola
- King Number 3 quad
- Holiday Number 1 pair
- Swinging Monkey

Courses that are not yet open:

- Sennoki
- Path to King
- Onsenzawa
- Super
- Large
- Kogen
- Ni-kabe
- Konayuki
- Miharashi
- Dynamic

Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Lifts planned to be operating:

- Hanazono 1 quad
- Hanazono 2 quad
- Hanazono 3 quad

Courses planned to be open:

- All open apart from Hanazono Park

Niseko Village

Lifts planned to be operating:

- Niseko Gondola
- Upper Village Gondola*
- Village Express*
- Community Chair*
- Banzai Chair

Niseko Annupuri

Lifts planned to be operating:

- Jumbo Number 1 quad*
- Jumbo Number 2 pair
- Jumbo Number 3 pair
- Annupuri Gondola

Courses planned to be open:

- Utopia
- Shirakaba
- Silver
- Paradise
- Junior
- Family

---

Official resort snow depths as of Sunday 11th December 2016:

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Top - 200cm
Base - 80cm

Niseko Village
Top - 80cm
Base - 60cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 70cm
Base - 60cm

---

Night skiing is planned until Monday 20th March 2017 at the Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Village resort areas. There is no nighta in the Hanazono area.

The lifts marked with a * above are the lifts that are planned to be operating for nighta tonight.   Read more ...
 

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Sunday 11th December 2016, 8:33am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 24cm
Snow depth: --
A very good morning to you from Nozawa.

Smiles all around this morning as we have some very decent snowfall and the season really has started now - the lifts aren't just operating, it feels like winter has arrived.

The resort yesterday was reporting 10cm of fresh snowfall on the upper half of the mountain by mid afternoon, and another 40cm this morning - so that's up to 50cm of fresh snow in 24 hours! It goes without saying that a trip up there to check it all out is on the cards. Just to check, right. Can't wait.

Anyway, down here at base area I can add 24cm of observed snowfall to my record of the season and I have just wiped it off now as we are on for more during the day today.

Tomorrow we might see clearer skies but snow is forecast again from Tuesday (though sadly it might be rain before it turns into snow at lower levels) - but upper slopes should avoid that anyway.

Yamabiko A - E courses are all now open.

Enjoy!

---

Lifts that are planned to be operating:
Nagasaka Gondola (8:30am-3:30pm)
Yamabiko Four Lift (9:00am-3:30pm)
Yamabiko Number 2 Four Lift (8:55am-3:40pm)
Uenotaira Four Lift (9:00am-3:40pm)

Courses that are planned to be open
Yamabiko A course
Yamabiko B course
Yamabiko C course
Yamabiko D course
Yamabiko E course
Uenotaira course

Official snow depths
Yamabiko: 100cm
Uenotaira: 90cm
Hikage: 50cm
Nagasaka: 50cm
Karasawa: 20cm

Fresh snow reported by resort since yesterday morning
Yamabiko: 50cm
Uenotaira: 50cm
Hikage: 40cm
Nagasaka: 40cm
Karasawa: 25cm   Read more ...
 

Appi Kogen Now!

Sunday 11th December 2016, 8:38am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
It's opening day here at Appi!

Yes, it's a day late but we are all ready to go and get the season started. It is cold outside right now and the winds have died down considerably from the last few days. There is only one... correct ONE... lift operating today and only 1000m of the slopes are available for use but it's better than nothing right?

Expect a full report tomorrow on the conditions (it won't be much) of the slop. As far as the forecast goes it's fairly positive with snow anticipated for the next few days and temperatures firmly in the minus zone.

I’m finishing my coffee and heading out for the first lift of the season!

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Opening today: The Central quad lift
   Read more ...
 

Hakuba Now!

Sunday 11th December 2016, 8:50am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, fog
New snowfall: 6cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Hakuba.

I had some fine turns yesterday at Hakuba 47 - it is great to be able to do that on 10th December. May it be a long and particularly snowy season.

Light snow is falling here this morning in the village with lots of cloud and resorts are reporting up to 20cm of fresh on the slopes this morning with a bit on the ground at base areas.

Tomorrow we are expecting some sunshine and with it being Monday it should be an excellent day to get out there. Snowfall is due back according to the forecasts and the forecast is looking very promising. It's looking like a good chance we will get rained on around Tuesday, but that will be turning into snowfall and especially at higher elevations there might be quite a lot of it falling.

We still have the large four resorts part open this morning along with Kashimayari doing it's 'pre-open' thing before officially opening fully for the season next weekend.

Hopefully by next weekend with fresh snow lined up we'll be seeing much more open. Bring it on, as they say!

---

Resort news as of 8:50am on Sunday 11th December 2016:

All information as available and subject to change during the day due to weather and snow conditions

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 is currently part open.
Gondola downloading required.
The resort is reporting 5cm of fresh snow since yesterday evening.
Lift & course info:
The Gondola, Line A.B and Line C lifts are operating.
The following courses are open:
- Route 1 (Upper)
- Route 2
- Route 3
- Route 5
- Route 6
- Route 8 (Lower)

Hakuba Goryu:
Hakuba Goryu is currently part open.
Gondola downloading required.
The resort is reporting 5cm of fresh snow on the upper slopes.
Lift & course info:
The Gondola and the Alps Number 1 and 3 lifts are operating.
The following courses are open:
- Grand Prix
- Panorama
Official snow depth
Alps: 65cm
Toomi: -cm
Iimori: -cm

Hakuba Happo-one:
Hakuba Happo-one is currently part open.
Lift & course info:
The Adam Gondola, Alpen Quad, Panorama pair, Kokusai Number 3 pair and Kurobishi Number 2 quad lifts are operating.
Gondola downloading required.
The following courses are at least part open:
- Kurobishi
- Usagidaira
- Panorama
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira: 85cm
Nakiyama: -cm
Sakka: -cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
Tsugaike Kogen is currently part open.
Lift info:
The Eve Gondola and the top Han-no-ki and Tsuga Number 2 pair lifts are operating.
The following courses are at least part open:
- Han-no-ki
- Tsuga-no-mori
Official snow depth:
Tsuga-no-mori: 85cm
Han-no-ki: 90cm
Oya-no-hara: 20cm
Kane-no-naru-oka: -cm

Hakuba Cortina:
Hakuba Cortina is currently part open.
The resort is reporting 10-20cm of fresh snowfall.
Lift info:
The Number 2 quad lift and Number 4 pair lifts are operating.
The following courses are at least part open:
- Ikenoda
- Mt Hieda Rinkan
- Mt Hieda 1
- Itadaria
Official snow depth:
Top: 110cm
Base: 40cm

---

Kashmayari:
Kashimayari will be part open today ('pre-open') before the official opening on Saturday 17th December.

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field plans to open from Friday 16th December.

Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
Hakuba Norikura Onsen plans to open from Saturday 17th December.

Hakuba Sanosaka:
Hakuba Sanosaka plans to open from Saturday 17th December.

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Please note that Yanaba ski hill will not be opening for the 2016-2017 season   Read more ...
 

Yuzawa Now!

Sunday 11th December 2016, 8:54am
Weather conditions: It's snowing
New snowfall: 26cm
Snow depth: --
Hello from Yuzawa and it is a very good morning.

I am happy to be able to report some decent snowfall, which is always something that makes me happy. I am hearing my first snow-moving-machine go up the road as well now - always a good sound!

I have 3 different snowfall readings from a few different places this morning and they range from 18cm to 30cm. I'm going to go with my usual measuring point though and log in 26cm of fresh snowfall since the report yesterday.

Interestingly, Kagura are reporting just 20cm - I thought they might have more to report than that...

It is still snowing here now and coming down pretty heavily as well just now. The forecast is for snow through the day today thought it is forecast to clear up by tomorrow morning and there may be some sun up there to enjoy. As we get into Tuesday rain is forecast for (at least) town level unfortunately but by Wednesday hopefully we'll be back to snowy skies with more due through into the end of the week. So, a bit difficult to read but as things are this morning it's feeling pretty good.

There's no word yet from the three resorts that remain on stand-by, but you can be sure that they will be opening up some lifts and courses as soon as they can. It's looking good though and I expect to hear something from them soon.

---

Ski resorts that are currently open:
Kagura (Mitsumata)
Kagura (Tashiro)
Naeba

Planned opening dates for resorts in Yuzawa Town and Minamiuonuma City (by date):

As soon as there is enough snow:
Iwappara
Joetsu Kokusai
Maiko Snow Resort

Friday 16th December:
Muica Snow Resort
Yuzawa Park

Saturday 17th December:
GALA Yuzawa
Ipponsugi
Kandatsu Kogen
Ludens Yuzawa
Muikamachi Hakkaisan
Nakazato Snow Wood
Yuzawa Kogen
Yuzawa Nakazato

Wednesday 21st December:
Ishiuchi Maruyama

Thursday 22nd December:
NASPA Ski Garden

Friday 23rd December:
Chateaux Shiozawa
Ipponsugi
Itsukamachi

Saturday 24th December:
Hakkai Sanroku
Mt Granview

Wednesday 28thy December:
Ishiuchi Hanaoka

---

Ski resorts in Yuzawa town
Ski resorts in Minamiuonuma City   Read more ...
 

Naeba Now!

Sunday 11th December 2016, 9:05am
Weather conditions: Mostly overcast today.
New snowfall: 17cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning everybody!

Well the last 24 hours have seen the heaviest snowfall so far for this season.

There is fresh powder and face shots for all.

On top of this it doesn't look as though the snow is stopping anytime soon with snow forecast every day for the coming week.

Good job with those prayers to the snow gods everyone. It has obviously paid off.

Only two lifts are running today however the ski trails have opened up far more than yesterday, meaning there is way more terrain to ride. There is also much less chance of hitting bottom from now on as we have a decent base of snow on the mountain.   Read more ...
 

Shiga Kogen Now!

Sunday 11th December 2016, 9:19am
Weather conditions: It's still snowing
New snowfall: 28cm
Snow depth: --
Yesterday was a bit wild at times with the snow coming down and strong winds as well. And there's a really good amount of fresh snow around too this morning - the wind has surely had an affect on this (it'll be less or more in places) but I think 28cm is probably a fair representation of how much has fallen since my last report.

Very good news.

It still looks like it is just the five areas of Shiga Kogen that are part open this morning but I expect to be able to report more opening up very soon.

The forecast is for snow today, maybe some sun and clearer skies tomorrow, and back to snow by the end of Tuesday.

Lots of snow, nice and cold. It feels like winter. I don't want to jinx it but it feels like it is going to be a good start to the season...

---

Areas of Shiga Kogen currently open:

Ichinose Family
The Number 2 pair A and B lifts are operating with 600m of course open.

Kumanoyu
The Number 2 lifts are operating.

Takamagahara Mammoth
The Number 2 triple lift and Number 3 pair lift are operating with the lower part of the slopes open.

Yakebitaiyama
The Number 2 high speed lift and Number 4 pair lifts are operating with the South Course and Karamatsu Course open.

Yokoteyama
The Number 1 Sky B, Number 2 Sky pair and Yokoteyama Number 5 lifts are operating.   Read more ...
 

Myoko Now!

Sunday 11th December 2016, 9:28am
Weather conditions: Snow with fog
New snowfall: 40cm
Snow depth: --
Gotta make it a fast one today - lots of snow on the ground today and three places to plow! Nice inside a hot mini-tractor, though. Better than plodding behind the snow thrower (clean and neat as it is).

You can see how snow really does define life for us in Myoko, whether it's lots of snow like right now, or a lack of snow like last season.

And it is a really good snowfall too, probably 40 cm. It's hard to tell because it keeps on falling steadily, and where the plow was an hour ago is white and soft now.

Big job to do, so I have to run, but it looks like a great start to the year.   Read more ...
 

Grandeco Now!

Sunday 11th December 2016, 9:33am
Weather conditions: Snowing
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco.

And there's a bit more snow on the ground this morning - nice and light snow too - snow falling at the moment as well. Snow is forecast for today and back from around Wednesday into next weekend.

The resort now has the Lavender B course open, so there's about 3km of ride able terrain available now. With the forecast looking how it is, I would expect quite a lot more to be open by this time next week. Exciting!

Grandeco is currently the only resort in the Mt Bandai area to be open.

---

Lifts operating:

- Gondola
- Number 1 quad lift
- Number 2 quad lift

Courses open:

Center Course
Upper part of Rainbow 3500
Lavender B course   Read more ...
 

Zao Now!

Sunday 11th December 2016, 9:50am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fog
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: --
Bit by bit, we are getting fresh snowfall - though I'd prefer the tap be set to 'fully open'! Just a few cm again to report this morning from Zao after some in the day yesterday...

Talking of which, the safety-opening ceremony went well yesterday by the sounds, in the snow which is appropriate. Hopefully the snow gods are now looking over Zao and will bring us a season of heavy snowfall and safe skiing and boarding for all.

It looks like the Utopia Number 2 lifts is now operating with part of the Utopia course now opening up.

Poor visibility on the mountain this morning as snow continues to fall, so I hope to be able to report some more tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow the snow clouds are expected to ease off but they should be back over Zao by Wednesday morning with a positive snow forecast for the second part of the coming week.

---

Lifts that are planned to be operating today at Zao Onsen:

Zao Ropeway
Chuo Ropeway
Sky Cable
Mikaeri pair
Chuo Number 1 pair AB
Onsen Number 1 pair
Utopia Number 2 pair

   Read more ...
 

Madarao Now!

Sunday 11th December 2016, 10:07am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 24cm
Snow depth: --
Quick report... lots of snowfall... things are looking very good for Madarao Kogen opening on Saturday!

---

The official opening date for Madarao Kogen this season is Saturday 17th December.   Read more ...
 

Minakami Now!

Sunday 11th December 2016, 23:46pm
Weather conditions: Lots of snow
New snowfall: 35cm
Snow depth: --
We're getting some serious snow here in Minakami, it tapered off in the early evening yesterday but is coming down hard now and the base at Tenjindaira has grown from 20cm yesterday to 1m today. Still only the middle lift running and they will need to give this some time to settle before anything else comes online. Winds are light once again and get the feeling the snow may be on the ground permanently henceforth. Lets hope so anyway...

Currently part open

Okutone Snow Park
Tanigawa Tenjindaira

Planned opening dates of ski resorts in Minakami

As soon as there is enough snow:
Minakami Hodaigi
Minakami Kogen Fujiwara

Saturday 17th December:
Norn Minakami

Thursday 22nd December:
Tanigawa Onsen White Valley

Friday 23rd December:
Akasawa
Minakami Kogen Ski Resort
Oh-ana   Read more ...
 

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Myoko Now
18th Dec, 10:29am
Shiga Kogen Now
18th Dec, 10:13
Minakami Now
18th Dec, 10:05
Madarao Now
18th Dec, 9:43
Zao Now
18th Dec, 9:29
Hakuba Now
18th Dec, 9:18
Nozawa Onsen Now
18th Dec, 9:15
Naeba Now
18th Dec, 9:11am
Grandeco Now
18th Dec, 9:08
Appi Kogen Now
18th Dec, 8:51
Yuzawa Now
18th Dec, 8:46
Niseko Now
18th Dec, 8:34
Furano Now
18th Dec, 8:30
Geto Kogen Now
18th Dec, 7:42

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