Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 18th November 2017
Saturday 15th December 2012, 7:16am
A stunning day yesterday in Minakami - blue skies, no wind and a bit of fresh snow. Not so lucky today with some grey clouds around and right now it looks like it could go either way. It is a bit warmer today than it has been for the last few days but still plenty of snow around though it took a bit of bashing from the riders who were out yesterday putting some fresh lines down.
Some choice in Minakami today with Houdaigi opening and Tenjin has all lifts running.
Norn - Dec 20 Minakami Kogen - Dec 22 Okutone - Dec 21
Greetings to everyone from Madarao. Today is the first day for the 2012/13 season and there is plenty of early season snow. In hindsight the resort probably would have been able to open last Tuesday as there was powder galore.
Today it is much warmer with a strong wind blowing, and a light rain falling early on so really not the best of conditions. But there is enough snow to burn a few runs and get those summer legs back in shape.
In Madarao we have two lifts open today. Ticket prices are cheap though... only 2500 yen for all the runs you can eat!
Yesterday remained clear(ish) all day with nice blue skies in the morning and gradually some thin wispy clouds appearing in the sky - but it was sunny and mild all day.
You all want to know about this morning though, right? For the moment, no rain, lots of cloud and even the sun peeking through the clouds from time to time. Mild as well with and just a short while ago when I checked it was +3C, with Kagura reporting a temperature up on the slopes at 0C. One forecast has as high of +11C in Yuzawa today.
I'll be happy if we escape any rain for today though and it does look like we might be able to.
Mild temperatures to stick around for the next few days according to the local forecast as nature can't make it's mind up if it wants to go completely into winter mode. Onegai shimasu!
As I mentioned, today the Daishamen course at Naeba is open with the Number 2 Gondola operating and so you can now ride down to base from that point. Courses open at Naeba still limited though. If you want terrain, Kagura is pretty much all open.
Going to be busy today I think! Have fun if you get out there.
Official resort snow depth: Naeba - 90cm Kagura - 200cm
Lifts operating at Naeba: Prince Number 2 Gondola No5 high speed lift No4 romance lift Takenokodaira romance lift Daishamen romance lift Read more ...
Saturday 15th December 2012, 9:10am
Welcome to the weekend in Hakuba. Not the best of starts really from a weather point of view. We had a bit of snow overnight in the village and resorts reporting 5cm on lower slopes and up to 10cm on upper slopes, though rain is unfortunately spoiling it early on this morning.
So it is a bit of a wet start to the day today and definitely feels more mild than it has been - temperatures didn't really drop below zero overnight and today a high of around 8 degrees is likely. Cloud and rain seems to be what's in store for the day and perhaps overnight as well. Resorts are reporting that new snowfall though and snow does seem to be falling higher up in places on the mountains.
As I mentioned yesterday more resorts are open this morning, along with more terrain and lifts opening up at resorts that have been open (see yesterdays report).
Tomorrow will remain mild, though with temperatures not as high as today, with a return to colder conditions around Tuesday/Wednesday.
Have a fun weekend.
Official snow depths and operations @ Saturday 15th December 2012 AM: Please note that resort lift operations are subject to change at any time.
Hakuba Goryu: No new snow since yesterday. Lifts operating - Gondola, Alps No1 pair, Alps No3 pair, Toomi Sky Four, Toomi No1 pair, Cosmo Four, Milky Four, No1 high speed, No6 pair. All main areas and courses at Hakuba Goryu now open. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 185cm; Toomi - 95cm; Iimori - 45cm
Hakuba 47: 5cm of new snow reported, though the snow depth numbers are down. All runs at Hakuba 47 are now open. Lifts operating - Gondola, Line A, Line C and Line E. Official snow depth: Upper - 165cm Lower - 60cm
Happo-one: Ski lifts/courses: Lifts operating - Gondola, Alpen quad, Kurobishi No2 quad, Kokusai No3 pair, Panorama pair, Happo Riesen quad, Nakiyama No3 triple lift. You can now ride down to gondola base. Official snow depth: Usagidaira - 180cm Nakiyama/Shirakaba - 70cm Sakka - 70cm
Tsugaike Kogen: The Gondola, Tsuga No2 pair, Hannoki pair, Shirakaba quad and Tsugaike Chuo triple lifts are operating. Official snow depth: Upper slopes - 230cm Lower slopes - 90cm
Hakuba Cortina: 5-10cm of new snow reported on this first day of the season for Hakuba Cortina. Number 2 quad and Number 4 pair lifts operating. Official snow depth: Upper slopes - 190cm Lower slopes - 100cm
Hakuba Iwatake: The Gondola, 4 line East, 5 line South, Paradise triple lifts are operating. Official snow depth: Upper slopes - 120cm Lower slopes - 60cm
Hakuba Sanosaka: Number 2 quad, Number 3 quad and No6 pair lifts operating. Official snow depth: 60cm Read more ...
Saturday 15th December 2012, 9:32am
Around 5cm or so of new snowfall since my last report in Niseko, though all the snow depth numbers from around the resorts remain unchanged this morning.
It is a calm and a cloudy start to the day with just a slight breeze and cloud cover above us. It was cold overnight but it is now around -1 degrees outside and will likely stay around there for the day. We might get some new snowfall tonight into tomorrow and it does look like it should be getting colder over the next few days and then dip further around Tuesday or Wednesday.
Decent visibility out there this morning.
As I have been mentioning, today is the first day when the lifts will be opening for 'nighta'. It makes for a special expecience and when snow conditions are just right it can be amazing - highly recommended. Lifts at Niseko Annupuri (Jumbo No1 quad), Niseko Village and Niseko Grand Hirafu (Ace Family, Ace No2 Quad Center Four, Kind No3 triple, Hirafu Gondola and Holiday No2 pair lifts) are scheduled to be open. Nighta finishes at 8:30pm.
Lifts Operating (at time of writing)
Niseko Grand Hirafu Ace Family Pair Ace Number 2 Quad (Center Four) Ace Number 3 Pair King Number 3 Triple King Number 4 Hirafu Gondola Holiday Number 1 Pair Swinging Monkey
Niseko Annupuri Jumbo Number 1 Quad Jumbo Number 2 Pair Jumbo Number 3 Pair Jumbo Number 4 Pair
Niseko Village Niseko Gondola Community Chair Banzai Chair Wonderland Chair Morino Chair
Niseko Hanazono Hanazono Number 1 Quad Hanazono Number 2 Quad Hanazono Number 3 Quad
Official Resort Snow Depths
Grand Hirafu Top - 235cm Bottom - 115cm
Niseko Annupuri Top - 150cm Bottom - 120cm
Niseko Village Top - 150cm Bottom - 100cm
Niseko Hanazono Top - 235cm Bottom - 115cm
Niseko Base: -7C, thin overnight snowfall. Annupuri 1000m snowdepth: 200cm. Coastal wind: SSE2m/s. No snow-clouds can be observed over the Sea of Japan. The weather is calm and the avalanche risk is low this morning. Please refrain from entering restricted areas to seek fresh lines. Gates and ropes aren't ready yet. Follow the ski patrols instructions. Beware; the snowpack is still insufficient, rocks and bushes are still hiding shallow underneath the surface. A strong SE wind is predicted to pick up from the afternoon due to approaching low-pressure system. Accidents generally happen in bad weather conditions. Pay attention to the changing weather. Moiwa gate No.6 is scheduled to open today at 10am. Think safety first, stay humble and better not overestimate your skills. The groomers are in an excellent condition today. Read more ...
Saturday 15th December 2012, 9:35am
Clear to partly cloudy, occasional showers
I'm glad I didn't report first thing in the morning as I would have had to write things like, "An inauspicious start to the season" (even though I'm totally not superstitious) because things are looking, well, OK. There is a little rain falling from time to time, but it's meant a series of spectacular rainbows right over the mountains. The wind was howling like mad during the night and in the early morning, but the Sky Cable gondola at Akakan is running just fine. And there's still plenty of snow on the ground, so all in all it's not a bad early first day of the season! If my new boots arrive, I might get out there, too (I'd prefer to ski cold powder, but I'm a gearhead, too....gotta try the new toys).
Today marks the first day open for a number of ski resorts around town. It's a cloudy start to the day but quite bright with the sun even casting shadows at times - and more importantly the rain that was forecast is holding off for now. In fact the rain has dropped off the forecast for today, though hanging about as a chance into early tomorrow. Hopefully we can avoid it.
It is a very mild morning in the region, currently about 7C, and it looks like it will be Wednesday before things get much colder again and for decent snowfall to be with us.
21st December Ishiuchi Maruyama Yuzawa Park Muikamachi Ski Resort
22nd December Gala Yuzawa NASPA Ski Garden Ipponsugi Muikamachi Hakkaisan Chateau Shiozawa
23rd December Itsukamachi Hakkaisanroku
Late December Yuzawa Kogen Ludens Yuzawa Mt Granview Ishiuchi Hanaoka Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Saturday 15th December 2012, 10:06am
Well as you know we were hoping for more of the mountain to be open today but unfortunately nature has it's own ideas and strong winds on the upper areas of the mountain is messing around with the plans... so it's only lower parts that are open this morning unfortunately. It doesn't feel windy at all down here really, but there you go. Not the best of news for enthusitastic people turning up and of course there's less snow on the lower slopes.
Anyway, while it is a very mild start to the day in Nozawa, at least is isn't raining! There is a fair amount of cloud up there but there's some blue sky as well and the sun is shining at the moment. A high of around 8C is forecast for the early afternoon.
Tomorrow should not be as warm as today but there is a chance of that rain still, hopefully not at all but if anything snow would be nice higher up on the mountain. Less wind as well meaning we should be back to the planned operations for the day.
Winter looks set to return on Tuesday night with some decent snowfall currently promised on the forecast.
Lifts operating Higake No2 pair B line Higake triple lift Nagasaka triple lift Nagasaka quad lift
Courses open Higake Nagasaka
Official snow depths Yamabiko 130cm
Official new snowfall 0cm (Yamabiko) 0cm (Uenotaira) 0cm (Karasawa) Read more ...
Saturday 15th December 2012, 10:27am
It is another relatively mild morning in Zao, but snow is falling this morning and poor visibility on most of the mountain. I doubt that the snow falling now will amount to much in terms of cm though. Having said that, I'm just very glad that it is snow that is falling... didn't want to have to mention the 'R' word!
Today is particularly mild and from tomorrow it should be colder, and then the next really cold front - along with snowfall - is due going into Wednesday.
As mentioned in my previous report, most of the mountain is now open as of today. Areas that are not open now are the following:
Kotan slope (Paradise) Karamatsu course Part of the Nakamori course
Other than that, we are nearly there for the season and certainly enough open to have a good long day exploring new runs. Most lifts are now operating with exceptions being the Zao Kokutai pair, Onsen No4 quad, Utopia No1 pair and the Kurohima No2 quad. Kurohime area is open though and so the lift not operating doesn't affect that.
And welcome to the weekend. After a very quiet week on the slopes, there's much more activity this morning as the weekend crowds appear. More lifts and terrain are open this morning as well, though with no new snowfall to report we are still limited by how much there is out there - even though conditions are actually pretty decent on the runs that are open.
One thing for sure though, it is very mild this morning. The sun is out too and so we may see the tarmac on the roads start to appear as the day goes on today. Some nice blue skies up there as well amongst the cloud that remains in the region.
Perhaps more of the same tomorrow, maybe not quite as mild, and into early in the week. Temperatures will take a big drop mid week though and hopefully bring with them some lovely new snow.
Resort areas currently at least part open:
Sun Valley - 1 lift Maruike - all lifts Mammoth - 2 lift Bundaira - 1 lift Ichinose Family - 3 lifts Ichinose Diamond - 1 lift Ichinose Kaminoyama - open Yakebitaiyama - 3 lift Okushiga Kogen - 4 lifts Kumanoyu - 4 lifts Yokoteyama - 5 lifts
Official resort snow depths as of Saturday 15th December 2012 AM:
The big story of the day is the 10-15cm we got blasted with yesterday afternoon and into the evening. The official forecast had called for snow showers with little to no accumulation, but the winds decided to favor us with a new blanket of the fluffy stuff. Those out there yesterday afternoon and early this morning were in for a big treat, as there were powder troves for everyone to be found around the mountain.
In other news, Kitanomine Zone is now partially open for skiing! For all you powder hounds out there ready to get at the freshly unlocked courses, please remember that snow depths on the Kitanomine Zone side of the mountain are somewhat less than that of the Furano Zone. There may be a few bushes here and there peaking through that snowpack, so be careful on those first few runs. However, on the whole this is great news, as it means that there is a whole lot of new terrain to explore for those of us who have already been out a few times this season.
It's currently -3 and cloudy with little chance of snow for the rest of the day. The sun looks like it might make its way through the cloud cover, warming things up a bit for those of you on the slopes this afternoon. Visibility is perfect, and winds are light and southerly.
All in all, it's a great day to be out there on the mountain. Read more ...