Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 19th March 2018
Friday 13th December 2013, 8:40am
More snow since the report yesterday.... Happo have added 20cm to their upper slopes, Goryu reporting 10cm and Hakuba 47 reporting 15cm up top.
Just a few more cm down at base areas.
Snow still falling I am happy to report. And we should be seeing snow clouds over the valley until the end of the weekend, so there is more to fall.
I'm liking it. Loving it, even!
I'm going to try and keep up with the news from around the resorts in each report as the season kicks off properly here. Gambarimasu! Things may well change during the day so please keep that in mind.
Pretty much all of Hakuba 47 is now open, with Hakuba Goryu planning on opening at least part of Toomi from tomorrow. Happo plan to be operating the Kokusai Number 1 pair and Skyline Number 2 pair lifts tomorrow in addition to what they already have going, the Gondola will still be just used for getting up to the open slopes.
Tsugaike Kogen has 192cm as the official snow depth on it's upper slopes. That's impressive. I don't see any changes in lift and course openings there, but would expect that for tomorrow.
So we're not quite there yet with resort operations, but there's certainly going to be more open this weekend and from what I have heard from a few friends yesterday the conditions were great out there. Deep as you would want. While they were very excited and using all sorts of adjectives freely, I do believe them! ;)
Hakuba Cortina of course is well known as getting excellent snow, and they are opening up tomorrow for the season. Norikura seem a bit shy with details but we have found out that they plan to have one lift operating from tomorrow morning.
Anyway, should be a very fine weekend.
Official snow depth numbers and operations (as of 13th December 2013):
Hakuba Goryu Reporting 10cm of fresh snow this morning on upper slopes. Upper - 125cm Iimori - -cm Toomi - 65cm Lifts operating: Gondola, Alps Number 1, Alps Number 3. Upper slope area open. Toomi area will open from tomorrow (Saturday).
Hakuba 47: Reporting 3cm at base and 15cm of fresh snow on upper slopes this morning. Upper - 155cm Lower - 35cm Lifts operating: All moving apart from Line D. All areas basically open apart from Route 4 Snow Park and Tree Riding Zone.
Happo-one: Usagidaira - 170cm Nakiyama - -cm Sakka - -cm Lifts operating: Adam Gondola, Alpen Quad, Kurobishi Number 2 quad, Hakuba Kokusai Number 3 pair, Panorama pair. The Gondola is just for getting to and from the open slopes. Upper slopes (excluding top quad lift) area open.
Other resorts planned opening dates: Hakuba Norikura - mid December Cortina - 14th December Hakuba Iwatake - 20th December Read more ...
Friday 13th December 2013, 9:09am
Clear, blue skies, sunny
I was hoping to bring news of huge amounts of fresh snowfall this morning, but.... it's clear and sunny!
Yes, we have beautiful blue skies over Yuzawa and there's hardly a cloud to be seen over this particular valley anyway. To the north it looks like there's a fair bit of cloud. Currently it is 1C with a high of 5C due later on.
No new snow overnight to report, but it was snowing for most of the day yesterday and so I have added a few cm to the numbers on this page.
Snow should be back though by the end of the day and snowfall along with cold temperatures are forecast for the weekend.
In resort news, from tomorrow the connecting course between the Kagura area and Tashiro areas will be open for the first time this season. This means that most of the Kagura resort will be open. Not quite all, but most of it. Certainly enough to have a fine day in that fresh snow. Both of the Ropeways at Kagura will be opening from 7:30am tomorrow morning. The Dragondola between Naeba and Tashiro should be up and running from Saturday 21st December.
Over at Naeba, lovely blue skies over that part of Yuzawa as well. They have the Number 4 pair lift moving today, possibly in celebration of the main base hotel opening for winter.
Joetsu Kokusai in Minamiuonuma have actually opened a run this morning and Iwappara in Yuzawa are planning to be open tomorrow. Both are limited openings as things stand but if we do get snowfall tonight they will adjust as is possible.
Maiko Snow Resort are hoping to open tomorrow but it's borderline right now. Again, probably will depend on snowfall overnight.
I can tell that I'm going to be very busy tomorrow morning, and I'll try to bring you all the latest from around town.
Today's photos (below) were taken from the slopes of Joetsu Kokusai.
Currently part open:
Kagura: Most of Kagura will be open from tomorrow including the connection between the main Kagura area and Tashiro.
Naeba: Number 5 quad Number 4 pair lift
Planned resort opening dates for resorts in Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma:
This is something more like it. Some decent snowfall yesterday afternoon and last night particularly and this morning there is 20cm of fresh snowfall to report from Hirafu. Remember, that means more up there on those mountains. Grand Hirafu have changed their official snow depths to 60cm at base and 160cm at peak.
Nice and cold -3C as well. Snow conditions were actually pretty decent yesterday considering the weather we had before it, but with this new delivery of fine powdery snow the conditions should be great today.
Light snow still coming down as I write this report and hopefully it should be falling right the way through for at least two more of my morning reports.
I would expect further terrain to be open for the weekend, but there's no details on that to share right at the moment. For now, I'll just enjoy watching the snow come down for a while before getting out there.
Get wrapped up well it should be a cold and snowy weekend.
Planned lift operations:
Grand Hirafu: Ace Family Pair Ace Number 3 Pair Ace Number 2 Quad Center Four King Number 3 Triple Swinging Monkey Hirafu Gondola Holiday Number 1 Pair
Hanazono: Hanazono Number 1 Quad Hanazono Number 2 Quad Hanazono Number 3 Quad
Niseko Village: Gondola Community Chair Banzai Chair
Annupuri: Gondola Jumbo Number 1 quad Jumbo Number 3
The resort has announced it's intention to open up more lifts and courses from tomorrow. The Uenotaira four quad lift and the Skyline connecting pair lift will join in the fun tomorrow. Courses that will additionally be open as well as what we have had until now will be the Uenotaira course area and the Kokenashi A and B courses. That brings it to a total of 10,100m skiable area according to the statistics.
Further updates coming in the report tomorrow morning.
MORNING REPORT - 9:35AM:
No new snow to report from Nozawa - both top and base - and perhaps surprisingly the sun is out this morning.
The news of the day though is that the Gondola isn't moving, with the resort telling us the reason is strong winds. Only a light wind here in the village this morning, but that's one of the things about Nozawa.... there's often a big difference in what is happening at base and what's going on up at the top of the mountain.
Fine conditions up there yesterday though. Can't wait fore more of the mountain to open. No word yet but hopefully if the snow that is due to fall overnight turns up, we might have news (and action) on that in the morning.
The forecast for the weekend is snow with cold temperatures.
Friday 13th December 2013:
Official snow depth: Yamabiko - 65cm Lower slopes - no official snow depth yet
Lifts Nagasaka Gondola - 8:40am until 3:30pm Yamabiko Four lift - 9am until 3:30pm Yamabiko Number 2 Four lift - 8:55am until 3:40pm
Courses Yamabiko A course - 1300m Yamabiko B course - 800m Yamabiko C course - 850m Yamabiko D course - 1250m Yamabiko E course - 1000m Bunabayashi course - 2500m Yunomine B course Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Friday 13th December 2013, 9:45am
Blue sky some cloud
So we got some more snow yesterday. Not huge amounts but gradually it is building up.
This morning the sun is actually out. Lots of blue sky as well, though cloud hanging on and the forecasts tell us to expect snow later on today and over the weekend.
A lot of snow is still needed to get Shiga Kogen fully open. The news I have this morning is that Okushiga Kogen are open for the first time this morning with their Number 2 pair lift.
Hopefully there might be more news to share tomorrow morning.
Resorts that are currently part open (as of Friday 13th December 2013):
Takamagahara: Reporting 40cm snow depth; -4C at 8:30am Takamagahara Number 2 triple lift
Ichinose Family: Reporting 40cm snow depth; -3.2C at 8am Ichinose Number 2 pair lift A/B
Yakebitaiyama: Reporting 60cm snow depth; -7C at 8am Yakebitaiyama Number 2 Yakebitaiyama Number 4
Okushiga Kogen: Reporting 30cm snow depth; -7C at 9am Okushiga Kogen Number 2 pair
Kumanoyu (skiers only): Reporting 50cm snow depth; -5C at 9:00am Kumanoyu Number 1 pair Kumanoyu Number 2 pair lift A/B
Yokoteyama: Reporting 55cm snow depth; -5C at 8:30am Yokoteyama Number 1 Sky B Yokoteyama Number 2 Sky
Other resort areas remain closed as we wait for snow. Read more ...
Friday 13th December 2013, 9:46am
So much for last night's forecast of heavy snow last night... we just got another 5cm or so since my report yesterday.
It's a cloudy morning here, just under 0 degrees as of 9am.
Just the same 3 lifts moving this morning, Ropeways aside, but it will be interesting to see what the resort does for tomorrow. I would certainly think there is enough snow for more lifts to be operating and more courses open. No official word yet though.
Official snow depths (13th December 13): Utopia: 60cm Chuo: 60cm Paradise: 60cm Uwanodai: 30cm
Operating lifts: Ropeways and Gondolas Chuo Number 1 Pair Zao Paradise Pair Utopia Number 1 Pair
A cold clear night last night with a bit of ice down in town at the moment though it is melting as the sun hits it. Still the ropeway and two lifts open up the top at Tenjin. Houdaigi have said that they will have one lift open tomorrow with one run down. The current forecast is light snow into next week but it looks anything but snowy at the moment.
Tenjindaira - two lifts at the top/3 courses
Planned opening dates:
Houdaigi - Dec 14 Norn - Dec 19 Okutone - Dec 20 Fujiwara - Dec 20 Minakami Kogen - Dec Read more ...
Friday 13th December 2013, 10:35am
I was really torn yesterday about putting up a report or not yesterday; we got (officially, via my really pro-model ruler) 13cm of snow at base, but the snowfall rate was so low that I really doubted that we'd be getting close to a base that would allow for the areas to open.
And after a night of strong winds, it's just barely snowing at the moment.
It looks a bit doubtful for the early-season opening the areas hoped for tomorrow; a quick phone call to all the areas tells us that... they're not going to say just yet. They promise to post by afternoon, in Japanese at least (I received some polite giggles from both of the Akakura resorts when I asked, "Will you be posting in English?"). Good luck, and try Google Translate.
I'll try and post again if there are any positive developments.
Meanwhile, it's supposed to snow a lot, but let's just see. It will come, and you will be out in the white stuff before you know it (in the meantime, put on a video; put on your boots and let them start reforming to your feet; put on your skis and full gear in the house and annoy your kids). Read more ...
Friday 13th December 2013, 10:51am
The slopes are this morning covered in snow as we got some decent snowfall yesterday.
The resort plans to go ahead and open tomorrow and Sunday for their 'pre-open', and as things stand the Number 1 lift will be moving. Lift tickets will be 600 yen tomorrow (Saturday) and 1100 yen on Sunday.
Snow is forecast for tonight and over the weekend so hopefully conditions will be good out there.
Please note that the resort plans to be closed from Monday to Friday and then re-open officially for the season (every day) from next weekend. Read more ...
Friday 13th December 2013, 11:35am
The forecast is still looking good over the next few days through until Monday morning. Over this period a snow front is forecast to move through with 40cm of snow forecast. Fingers crossed for this one.
Currently the resort is over-shadowed by clouds, looking like they are on the brink of delivering snow anytime soon.
Temperatures are well below zero which will allow the snow making team to give mother nature a helping hand.