Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 18th December 2017
Sunday 11th December 2016, 7:50am
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 ...
Sunday 11th December 2016, 8:32am
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...)
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.
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
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.
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
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
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!
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.
Please note that Yanaba ski hill will not be opening for the 2016-2017 season Read more ...
Sunday 11th December 2016, 8:54am
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
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
It's still snowing
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.
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 ...
Sunday 11th December 2016, 9:33am
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.
- Gondola - Number 1 quad lift - Number 2 quad lift
Center Course Upper part of Rainbow 3500 Lavender B course Read more ...
Sunday 11th December 2016, 9:50am
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
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 ...
Sunday 11th December 2016, 23:46pm
Lots of snow
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...