Snow and weather reports posted on Wednesday 21st February 2018
Monday 11th January 2010, 9:08am
Sunny & Clear
This morning it is a beautiful clear and sunny day, a perfect way to end the long weekend. The conditions that you can expect on the slopes are variable, from nice corduroy on the groomers, packed powder and chopped powder on the edges of the runs and still some nice lines to be found through the trees. The light snow that we had yesterday has settled and we can expect some more tomorrow, starting with light snow fall on Tuesday and by Wednesday it will be getting heavier.
Today is the last day of the long weekend and so resorts will still be busy today, getting quieter towards the afternoon as everyone starts heading home. You can expect some lift lines, but waiting time will not be long.
The sun today will be taking temperatures up slightly by midday, so it will be a nice warm day, however, this will also cause some snow melt which will freeze as soon as the sun starts to go down. In the late afternoon watch out for icy patches in shaded areas. From tomorrow temperatures will drop back down to below zero and continue dropping throughout the week.
The recent storm of 100110 came in from the North West in the middle of the night with little wind before winds shifted and came in from the South west with constant moderate force from 11:00 and strong gusts at all elevations through out the day. However at ridge top and in the Alpine winds were a more constant strong from the South West. Snow fall was between 2 and 3 cm per hour during the storm and by the end of the 18 hour storm 40 cm of dry new snow had accumulated in the Tsugaike area at 1700m. The new snow was accumulating on top of the previous days sun crust and evening surface hoar that had formed on south slopes, North and West slopes did not see the formation of the sun crust but tests on 110110 showed signs of buried surface hoar from the 090110 early evening pre snow fall in the early hours of 110110.
Avalanche Activity: Slab avalanches reported running natural on the steep North aspect of Wakagurimine, Otari in the afternoon of 100110 during the hight of the storm. Today’s clear weather gave clear views of the skier triggered wind slab, size 2 on the East face of Norikura Dake. The crown fracture could be seen just below the cornice high up on the prominent East face just climber’s right of the summer trail. There has been a lot of stored energy and tension in the new snow due to rapid accumulation and intermittant moderate and strong winds and thus shooting cracks have also been observed both during and post storm. Debris from multiple size 2 loose naturals during the storm on the east faces of Yamakami no One were also observed today. Most of these stopped mid or bottom of track.
Tests in the Tsugaike area during and post storm found the weakest layers at the new snow / crust or new snow / buried surface hoar interface down 15 ~ 25 cm on Southern and Northern aspects. The N aspect snow pack has multiple faceted layers with in the upper 50 cm in both the new snow and past storm snow. An AK block 3 SP released with in the old storm snow at 50 cm. ECT M at 40 cm from surface with 50% propagation was also observed in the same location on the North aspect of Hiyodori west saddle; 1900 m.a.s.l.
Travel Advisory: Be extremely cautious in the Alpine with travel on lee slopes and cross loaded slopes in the Alpine not advised. There were continued strong winds at ridge top all day 110110 with moderate snow transport to the east facing slopes. Use caution on lee slopes and cross loaded slopes at Tree Line on steep and convex terrain. Be aware that there are definite wind slabs with stored tensile energy still waiting to release. Take due caution also around cornices as they are still fragile and getting bigger by the day.
Most treed areas below tree line have been quick to stabilize and are still good riding on the northern aspects. Do be careful of large tree wells and steep convex slopes, entering open glades and exiting on to cat road cut banks as there is still a possibility of rider triggered slabs in steep terrain.
ALPINE: High with continued strong winds ( lee slope loading)
TREE LINE: Considerable ( lee slopes)
BELOW TREE LINE: Moderate (watch for day time warming and solar radiated slopes)
It's a bright morning in Yuzawa and it looks like we might have a day of clearer skies for this last day of the long weekend. There's still a fair bit of cloud cover but they seem to be moving on and the sun is out at the moment.
While it was snowing for most of yesterday, there wasn't much new snow to move - perhaps just 5cm of so at town level.
Right now it is 0 degrees, but there's a high of 4 degrees forecast as the sun does it's job and it gets clearer as the day moves on.
Tomorrow it's cloud/sleet followed by snowy conditions once again from Wednesday into the weekend.
After a week of heavy snow and cloud Nozawa has finally been greeted with a clear day. Today will see some light cloud and sunshine. Winds will be light and the 265cm base will ensure skiers and boarders have a great day up on the mountain.
Today marks the end of a long weekend for the Japanese, so the crowds should start thinning in the afternoon as people take to the roads and battle the traffic back to Tokyo.
Have a great day up the mountain and don't forget the suncream.
The sun is out this morning! It's shining down onto Naeba with some blue skies in the background making for some spectacular scenery this morning.
Not much snow to report since yesterday and while perhaps just a sprinkling in the village, Kagura are reporting 5-10cm. So, conditions remain good and today should not be too busy especially this afternoon as many of the long-weekenders will be making their way back.
Make the most of the sun as it looks like the snow clouds are going to be back from perhaps Wednesday.
Only a light wind today so all resort areas open as normal. It's a cold start to the day with -5 outside in the village and -9 up top.
The forecast for today was cloud but from early on the blue skies are with us and it's a beautiful morning here. It's also very cold. -10 degrees in Maruike and other parts of Shiga Kogen and Kumanoyu reporting a temperature of -13.5 degrees at 8am. Get wrapped up though and you won't notice it, but you will notice the fine snow conditions out there.
Crowds will be thinning out today on this last day of the long weekend. It hasn't been overcrowded as such but definitely the busiest weekend of the season so far in Shiga Kogen.
There are very fine views to be had today - it is a great day to take the camera out!
Nighta this evening planned at the following resort areas:
- Ichinose Family - Ichinise Diamond
Official resort snow depths as of 11th January 10:
This morning the sun is out again! The clouds have moved on and it is a clear and sunny morning in Zao.
No new snow to report since yesterday in the village - it was snowing but hardly anything in terms of new layers down in the village.
There's no wind early on and it is just -4 degrees, so nice conditions to be out on the hill. Snow conditions, while generally very good especially high up seem a little crusty down on the lower slopes this morning. We are due for some more fresh snow as early as tomorrow but most likely from Wednesday and perhaps running through into the weekend.
Yesterdays substantial snow fall transformed the runs from hard pack to powder, with some great opportunity for putting down fresh tracks. Giant Course had to be the run of the day yesterday, having been left ungroomed overnight.
It is looking like another great day on the mountain. Temperatures are relatively warm and there is little wind to be found, so expect not to have to retire due to having cold feet or fingers today. It is currently snowing lightly and a couple of centimetres has accumulated in the village overnight. Snow is expected to fall on a daily basis through until the end of the week. Read more ...
Monday 11th January 2010, 10:48am
Snow easing later
So the snow eased and there was only a little snow overnight but this morning the snow has started up again and has been heavy at times. It is expected to become mostly fine later today though but hopefully Niseko can confound the forecasts again and just keep on dumping. There hasn't been enough snow to cover all the tracks from yesterday but temperatures are remaining cold and the snow very light and if you explore a bit there's still plenty of fresh tracks to be had, especially off the peak. Reasonably busy on the hill today as it's a long weekend here in Japan so plenty of people from Sapporo down enjoying the conditions. Everything is still looking good this coming week for plenty of snow and blizzard conditions are forecast currently for Thursday. So make sure you get up there and enjoy the current powdery goodness before the winds return.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu: Top - 220cm Bottom - 125cm
Niseko Village: Top - 230cm Bottom - 140cm
Annupuri: Top - 235cm Bottom - 150cm
Niseko Avalanche Info No.27
Moiwa base 6am: -6℃ and slight overnight snowfall. Coastal wind: 12m/s NW at Benkei cape, 1.8m waves at Kamui cape. The atmospheric pressure gradient is gently shelving and no snow-clouds can be observed around the Niseko area. Intermittent 10m/s westerly wind and snow is persisting above 800m, some of the slopes has been reset with fresh snow. The wind at the peak has remained within 10m/s, and milder in upper Mizuno no sawa area. The Mizuno no sawa program is scheduled to operate today. There are no notable developments of snowdrifts and cornices. The general avalanche risk is low. Although, most of yesterday’s tracks are remaining in slopes lower than 800m, the temperature has sustained low and the snow is still light. Peak gates will open at 9:30am. Do not seek fresh lines in strictly off limits areas. Ducking ropes is severely prohibited by the Niseko Rules. These Rules are not just formalities, but has been set in order to secure the freedom and the safety of all skiers. Listen to the ski patrol’s advice and use the gates to access the out of bounds areas. Beware of tree branches lurking underneath the snow. Have a nice day. Read more ...
Monday 11th January 2010, 11:12am
Sunny and clear, with some clouds moving in from the west
After a day where the sun tried to come out, snow continued to fall and fog eventually won the day, it's started out as a sunny, cold, very nice day in Myoko. There are some high clouds moving in, and with heavy snows predicted for Wednesday these are probably the early notice of things to come.
It's stayed cold, so the snow conditions have been excellent. At higher elevations above the ski areas the snow is incredibly light — genuine, undeniable powder, with excellent snow depths further down the mountains (if a little heavier as you descend). We like our powder with a bit of body in Myoko, though.
Some snowpit tests yesterday showed that what is typical Myoko snowpack conditions have returned, with consistent snow all the way from the top to bottom — no layering at all, just firmer snow the further down you dig into the snowpack. The top 50cm or so is very light, unconsolidated snow, though, so avoid narrow V-shaped valleys where minor sluffs could become a potential danger. Today's sun should firm that up as well, so we'll see what develops when more fresh falls on top of this latest, sun-warmed layer.
The Niigata rescue helicopter just picked someone off somewhere on the north side of the mountain; the snow may show signs of stability, but it's never guaranteed, and it's also easy to ski into unintended places when the snow is good and you don't want to stop. Have fun, but ski smart!