Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 23rd February 2018
Sunday 11th May 2014, 16:32pm
Blue sky, some thin cloud
Well, that's it folks.
Just a short while ago the Gondola at Hakuba Goryu was due to bring the last people down from the upper slopes after their last slide on the snow for the season.
That means that the snow season is now officially over at all of the ski resorts in the Hakuba area - you're going to have to hike higher now if you still want snow!
I was just looking back over the reports from the season and noticed that the first lifts started moving on 22nd November 2013. I make that...
171 days; 5 months and 20 days; Nearly 47% of a full year.
That's a long season.
Otsukaresama deshita, everyone involved in Hakuba!
I wonder for those of you visiting Hakuba, how was it? It sure was long, though I don't think anyone would describe it as being a classic season. We had our fair share of drier periods and a few wet ones. But we also had lots of great conditions on mountain too, and surely they will be the ones that get remembered. I was reading the wrap-ups from the other Now reports on the site, and can only echo one common theme that was mentioned in a few - our expectations here are so high, and those of us who know the area well and have visited often are simply spoilt! An average or even less than average kind of season here would be a great one in other places.
(Remember also that those snowfall numbers added up below are for down in the village - which is obviously much lower than higher up on them there mountains! Reported snowfall at the resorts was also recorded within the reports where available).
I have talked to lots of people through the season and most seemed to be very pleased with their visit to the village. Not just the skiing and boarding, but the atmosphere, things going on, things to eat and drink, friendly locals... :) Hope you come back.
'When's the best time to visit' is a common question. Always a difficult one and sadly there's no guarantees with the weather of course. You can come here mid season and be unlucky with the timing; on the other hand you can come early or late on and enjoy awesome conditions.
The best thing I can suggest is you sit down with a cup of your favorite beverage and read through the Hakuba Now reports here on SnowJapan from recent seasons. There's a lot of reading but it will give you a clear idea of how things have happened going back over a decade.
There was another noticeable increase in the number of foreigners visiting Hakuba this past winter too - and lots of different languages able to be heard as well. I think some Japanese visitors are surprised by that change. It will surely continue into the coming years.
So now we head into late spring, rainy season and then summer. Even here in Hakuba, the summer heat can be brutal - but we have the nearby mountains to climb and are able to escape to higher altitudes. Ropeways will be operating to help you get there. At the time of writing, I believe the correct dates to be as follows:
Happo-one - from Saturday 24th May (the Alpen Line until 4th November; Kurobishi line from 5th July until 13th October) Tsugaike Kogen - from 31st May Hakuba 47 - from Saturday 12th July
Please do check with the resorts for the latest information and updates... they don't seem to have got their 'Green Season' mode into full gear just quite yet!
I'm signing off for now.
On behalf of the good SnowJapan folks, thank you for reading the Hakuba Now reports.
The reports will be back again later in the year when things are cooling down and the 2014-2015 season is approaching.