Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 16th December 2017
Sunday 14th December 2014, 8:13am
Yesterday started off really disappointing, the sun even came out for a few moments time to time and some clear conditions. It was frustrating seeing the heavy snow in Niigata City reported on the TV news... it's wasted up there! But anyway, snow clouds came down to this region later in the day and...
This morning is very different.
Tons of snow on the ground, easily more than 50cm on the top of my car - and Kagura is reporting 50-80cm of fresh snow (though the snow depth remains at 150cm!)
Naeba are reporting 40-6cm of fresh and that their patrol are out this morning checking things and there's a chance of more opening up today, depending on safety etc.
I can't find any news on other courses/lifts opening up at the resorts that are now open but of course would expect that to happen soon if not today. Then again, it's blowing a snow storm out there at the moment - not sure many people will be wanting to be out just at the moment. Once it has eased off a bit though things will be very good indeed I should imagine. Though looking at the forecast, while snow might ease off later today or into tomorrow, we're going to get a quick second wave move in late Tuesday into Wednesday.
So no complaints this morning. (Perhaps other than from people who have to have to go outside and shift it!)
Loads of snow and we're now back and beyond what we had last weekend. There's no doubt now that this snow will be sticking around, especially with the snow lined up in the coming week as well. In fact, it will surely be a really great start to the season for all of the resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma which is a great thing to be able to report.
I'm going to spend the day first off moving snow and then watching it from inside and looking forward to being able to enjoy it.
Remember you can win lots of Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma lift tickets in the Prize Draw here:
This would have been a nice, early report if it weren't for the (dramatic pause, please) nearly one meter of snow that fell overnight.
Thanks to my highly sensitive testing methods - ruler on the leg up to the snow level point, discovered as the snowthrower cut through the drifts - I found 95cm of snow on the driveway. Some from yesterday was there; let's say 90cm of fresh.
And it's still snowing.
Looks like we're getting 2cm or more every hour.
Traffic will be terrible, especially along the coast with the north wind picking up right now. But that's nothing, when it looks so great (and with skiing to do soon....) Read more ...
Sunday 14th December 2014, 8:35am
'It just doesn't stop snowing' is what I heard a few people say yesterday, and sometimes it feels like that.
Another 30cm of snow observed since last report and the official numbers are gradually going up as well with Niseko Grand Hirafu nearly up to the 2m mark at peak. Take a look at the Avalance Report below... 50cm of new snowfall at Annupuri 1000m. It probably shows how much we are use to things here and how much we expect when the snowfall we have been having is seen as 'still insufficient'!
There's more on the way though. It might ease tomorrow but heavy snowfall is again forecast from later Tuesday through Wednesday with a good chance of strong winds as well.
Did I mention it's keeping very cold? -8 here earlier and that was at base. Shouldn't be quite as cold from tomorrow.
So great snow conditions to play in at the moment, and still things are not as busy as they will soon be getting so a it's a fine time to be able to get out there.
Hope you can get to enjoy it. Don't get stuck in it!
Niseko Avalanche Report
Niseko base 6am: -8C, 30cm of broken crystal snow and light development of snowdrifts. Moiwa 650m: WNW10m/s, 40cm of new snow and moderate development of snowdrifts. Coastal data: NW16m/s at Benkei cape. Anupuri 1000m: W13m/s, -12CX, 50cm of new snow and bad visibility.
The strong atmospheric pressure gradient is generating continuous snowfall. Cornices and snowdrifts are developing above 800m. The snow is slightly wind-affected, heavy and deep but in good shape. The snow is deep and you’ll easily get stuck in flat slopes, better stay close to the groomers. Beware of hitting trees. The snow is still insufficient and the gates opening will take some more time. Do not duck ropes to step out of bounds, always use gates. Niseko’s backcountry safety has been based on this simple rule in Niseko. Please follow the rules to protect the freedom of out of bounds riding. The avalanche risk is relatively high in all areas around Niseko today, especially around 800m leeward open steep slopes. Carefully select your route. No matter the snowfall amount, avalanches happen when the conditions are right, and become an accident if a person is involved. Beware of frostbites. Have a nice day.
Here's what is planned to be open today (subject to change):
Niseko Grand Hirafu Courses: Family Course, Sen-no-ki, Alpen, Detour for Beginners, Green, Onsenzawa, Center, Shirakaba, Kokutai, Kogen, Ni-Kabe, Jumbo, Parallel, Rinkan, Setsuzoku, Jumbo, Parallel, Holiday Lifts: Ace Family Lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Ace Number 3 lift, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift, Hirafu Gondola, King Number 3 Triple lift, Swinging Monkey. Night skiing lifts: Ace Family Pair lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift
Niseko Hanazono Courses: Stairway to Heaven, Silver Dream, Legend of Shinya, Yotei Sunset, Crystal Garden Lifts: All 3 quad lifts operating Night skiing lifts: No night skiing at Hanazono
Niseko Village Courses: Final Fling, Shaky Knees, Next Stage, Banzai, Cruiser, Don't Blink, beginners course from Gondola, Junkyard, Namara (part ungroomed), Jagaimo (ungroomed), Misoshiru (ungroomed) Lifts: Niseko Gondola, Community Chair, Banzai Chair Night skiing lifts: Community Chair and Banzai Chair
Niseko Annupuri Courses: Paradise, Family, Challenge, Marchen, Dynamic, Junior, Utopia, Shirakaba, Silver (9 out of 13 courses open) Lifts: Annupuri Gondola, Jumbo Number 1 Quad, Jumbo Number 2 Pair, Jumbo Number 3 Pair Night skiing lift: Jumbo Number 1 Quad
Official snow depth numbers at the time of writing:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 190cm Base - 110cm
Niseko Village: Top - 120cm Base - 80cm
Annupuri: Top - 130cm Base - 100cm
Niseko lift tickets can be won in the SnowJapan Prize Draw, details here:
That new snow has all of a sudden brough up the snow depth on the top Yamabiko runs up to 165cm. In previous reports I have mentioned how quickly things can change and today is a great example. All of a sudden, 1m of fresh snow.
Lifts and courses that are open seem to be the same as yesterday and while it's a decent area, it will be great to see the whole resort be able to open and I'm sure that will be fairly soon with all this snow.
Forecast: snow through today and getting weaker by tomorrow morning. Then more heavy snow late Tuesday and Wednesday.
We might get some sun on Friday. Lots more snow to get before then though.
It's all great to get very excited about the deep powder snow conditions, but care is most definitely needed.
Yamabiko A Yamabiko B Yamabiko C Yamabiko D Yamabiko E Kokenashi Uenotaira Mizunashi A Mizunashi B Bunabayashi Yunomine B Ushikubi Nagasaka Nagasaka connect
Nagasaka Gondola Yamabiko Four Lift Yamabiko Number 2 Four Lift Uenotaira Four Yu Road (Moving walkway)
There's a slight bit of sun out at the moment over parts of the valley as I start writing this report, but that's definitely not the story of the last 24 hours.
Loads of snow!
Happo-one reporting 60cm. Cortina reporting 50cm.
Hakuba 47 reported 30cm of fresh snowfall up by Line C during the day yesterday, and I can confirm there was that much to move off the top of the car at the end of the day. And the rest.
Goryu is this morning reporting 40cm on the upper slopes and 20cm at the lower Iimori area.
15cm more snow overnight, and it is still snowing now. Less so than it has been and as I said a bit of sunlight down by the village though the mountains are still covered with cloud and getting snowed on.
Snowfall is forecast for the day today and through into tomorrow morning, but it should clear up tomorrow. Bit of a rest on Tuesday maybe before another snow storm arrives by Wednesday which will bring with it more copious amounts of snow (hopefully).
I have updated the information below. Happily it will not be long now before they are all just 'open'. :)
Have fun if you can make it out. Get wrapped up well and take care. Visibility is limited and with all of the new snowfall, do remember the dangers.
Happo-one Part of upper areas open. Skyline opens! 30-40cm of fresh snow reported at Usagidaira.
Official Snow depths: Base - 50cm Usagidaira - 150cm
Open lifts: -Kokusai Number 3 -Panorama -Alpen Quad -Kurobishi Number 2 Quad -Skyline Number 2 pair -Adam Gondola (to take people up) -Kokusai Number 1 pair (to take people up)
Open courses: -Panorama -Usagidaira -Kurobishi (part) -Skyline (part) -Please note, can't ski back down to base.
Hakuba 47 Hakuba 47 is now declaring itself fully open (well, apart from the Tree Riding Zone!)
Official Snow depths: Base - 80cm Upper - 170cm
Open courses: -Route 1 Upper -Route 1 Lower -Route 2 -Route 3 -Route 5 -Route 6 -Route 7 -Route 8 -The Tree Riding Zone is not open yet.
Open lifts: -Gondola -Line AB -Line C -Line E
Hakuba Goryu Iimori Number 6 Pair joins in the fun, with the resort reporting 40cm of fresh snow on upper slopes this morning.
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field - Friday 19th December Hakuba Sanosaka - Saturday 20th December
SnowJapan is running a lift ticket prize draw with 400+ lift tickets to send out to site members - 50 of those are for resorts in the Hakuba area, so lots to win. For details on the prize draw, check out this page:
Onsen Number 1 pair lift Onsen Number 2 quad Mikaeri pair lift Chuo Number 1 pair lift Chuo Number 2 pair lift Paradise pair lift Yokokura Number 1 pair lift Utopia Number 2 pair lift Shobunuma Number 1 triple Shobunuma Number 2 pair Kuroboshi Number 1 Quattro quad lift Katakai triple lift Diamond Number 2 lift Nakamori Number 1 triple lift All Ropeways/gondolas
Uwanodai area: From Sunday 21st December until 22nd March
Yokokura area: From Friday 26th December until 4th January; Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Friday 9th January until 15th March
Open times from 5pm until 9pm and the cost is 2000 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Sunday 14th December 2014, 10:10am
Decent amount of snow since yesterday with most of the resorts adding about 15-20cm to their snow depths, but there has been more than that. They seem to like under-reporting the snow for some reason, that's what I think anyway. As if we wouldn't like heavy snow.
You may have noticed that Nozawa reported close to 1m of snow. Yes, they're not right next to each other and conditions can often be very different, but that gives you an idea.
Anyway, it's snowing quite heavily still now so I would expect more to be added. Easing off by late today but another winter storm on the way on Wednesday and perhaps the coldest - and windiest - conditions of the season yet.
Friday might be a good day to arrive here with clearer conditions forecast.
Resort areas status with official snow depths:
Okushiga Kogen 30cm Part open
Yakebitaiyama 40cm Part open
Ichinose Family 60cm Part open
Ichinose Yamanokami 60cm Part open
Ichinose Diamond 60cm Part open
Takamagahara 60cm Part open
Terakoya Part open
Higashitateyama Plans to open on 20th December
Giant Plans to open on 20th December
Nishitateyama Plans to open on 20th December
Bundaraia Plans to open on 20th December
Sun Valley Plans to open to public on 14th December
Maruike Plans to open on 20th December
Hasuike Plans to open on 20th December
Kumanoyu 60cm Almost all open (note: skiers only resort area)