Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 16th December 2017
Thursday 15th January 2009, 6:58am
Snow clearing into cloudy by 9am. Some sun in the pm.
Again, major snowfall last night, topping 40cm at Akakura! Whatever the Sea of Japan's got, it all comes down here, with powder all the way down to the gelande today. What's better (for the short term) is that it's stopping just after sunrise, so get out the sunglasses and take to the powder. There's no scheduled snowfall till Sunday, so get yer lift band today and descend from that heavenly powder with minimal crowds today! Read more ...
Thursday 15th January 2009, 8:33am
Bluebird in the morning yesterday, the clouds came in in the afternoon and some strong North-Westerlies came up but there was still some untapped powder to be had. Some snow fell yesterday evening but left only 5-10 cms in the valley this morning. Goryu reported 15cm fresh snow this morning so powder out there for some.
It was a cold one this morning measured at -10 at 1800m and its currently -6 in the valley. The winds at the top of Happo have shifted to the South but aren't blowing too hard this morning. The low weather system seems to have passed us and is sitting over Hokkaido now. Glad we got our share...
SNOW STABILITY INFORMATION:
The sun crust of January 4th is still proving to be a weak layer now under 20 - 90cm of wind affected new snow. Facets were found above and below the crust Sunday in 3 pit locations all dug on solar aspects in the Tsugaike shizen. Compression tests found easy results in the top wind affected new snow and moderate results just above the crust with the new lighter snow not bonding to what might be buried surface hoar or developing facets. There is still the Dec 23rd rain crust is also still a concern as we receive more snow and today's strong solar radiation puts extra stress on those lower layers.
AVALANCHE OBSERVATION: 1 large slab avalanche that appears to be a size 3 has ripped out on the South face of Happo One next to the Grat Quad lift. The Crown fracture appears to have propagated out 100 metres plus at a crown height of about 60 cm. This is proof that the new snow that is over riding the Sun crust is still very reactive and the probability of natural avalanches is high. BE VERY CAREFUL of solar radiated exposures in lee areas and cross loaded bowls and gullies.
Be extremely careful of entering into lee slopes from scoured ridges or convex terrain and around warming rock bands.
Areas of deep snow pack will have greater stability than the thin shoulders and areas where overnight radiation of heat has created near surface faceting and faceting crystals around the areas of shallow crust. Big alpine bowls may be slow to stabilize and may propagate very wide due to the very tensile nature the present wind effected alpine snow pack.
Continued caution around cornices should be practiced and these areas avoided all together. CORNICES ARE VERY FRAGILE in today's solar radiation!
Suffocation by falling face first in to deep powder. High danger of falling snow from roofs. High density new snow over lower density snow layer. Increased snowfall adding load to buried week layer. Steadily increasing air temperature Cornice fall. Radiative cooling of snow surface causing low density snow and frost at surface. Rapid air temperature increase. Rapid settlement of surface snow causing load on buried weak layers. Falling tree bombs (Possible triggers and cause of avalanches as well as overhead hazards). Extreme radiation and warming of southern exposures. Warming of surface snow causing instability in surface and near surface layers. Solar radiated cornices becoming weak with direct solar radiation. Use caution if crossing solar radiated slopes. Increased instability of solar aspect start zones especially under cornices and very steep slopes. Increased caution advised around rocky outcroppings‚ cliffs and well spaced trees in start zones. Lee side loading. Windward scouring of ridges and rock out-crops creating uneven loading of slopes. Due caution on cross loaded slopes. Surface hoar frost created overnight. Poor bonding at or around buried crust. Facet layer around buried crust. Wide propagation due to wind slab. Stay away from steep and convex terrain.
DANGER LEVEL: 4 - High
Natural and human triggered avalanches likely. Danger level ratings are set for conditions at tree line and may vary from below tree line and High Alpine areas. Use this information as a guideline only.
It is a cold, snowy morning here in Nozawa. 10cm of new snow is reported for Yamabiko and 15cm for Uenodaira taking the snow depth to 220cm and 165cm respectively. There is a Northwesterly wind of around 30km/h at the top of the mountain. It is currently -6 degrees in the village and -13 degrees on Mt Kenashi.
Light snow and snow showers are predicted throughout today and tomorrow, with more heavy snow coming Friday night. The wind is expected to continue from the west/northwest and stay fairly constant. Sunday morning should bring clearer conditions before more snow on Monday.
Yesterday's beautiful sunny weather and fresh fluffy snow provided great conditions for riding, and the cold temperatures have kept things from melting. With the extra top-up from last night and the snow falling right now, it should be another great day out there, albeit without the sunshine!
The village has been abuzz with the preparations for the famous 'dosojin' fire festival - participants spent last night (and some of the morning) constructing the 'shaden' and excitement is building in anticipation of the festival proper tonight.
A reminder to all attendees to enjoy the festivities responsibly - be respectful and don't over indulge!
All lifts are expected to operate today except; Yunomine Mizunashi Utopia Challenge Hikage #2 B
All courses will be open except Kurokura (Karasawa wave park not running yet) Read more ...
Thursday 15th January 2009, 9:28am
Yesterday was a very fine day with the sun out and blue skies for most of the time. Clouds moved in later on and overnight it has been snowing and there was about 15cm or so of snow to move off the top of the car this morning. It was still snowing just a short while ago, but has not eased off and is just cloudy. The sun was even making an appearance just to the north in Minamiuonuma a few minutes ago. The forecast is for snow all day though so it may just be a short break and the snow will be back. We shall see.
Gala Yuzawa is open today but winds hige up at Kagura mean that operations up there this morning are limited. (All lifts from Kagura No1 quad to Tashiro No6 pair lifts are closed).... so basically just part of Mitsumata and Tashiro open now.
Fantastic snow up there though, no doubt, and good conditions all round at the moment.
Nighta tonight is at the following resorts in Yuzawa: Naeba Iwappara
In Minamiuonuma just to the north, nighta at: Ishiuchi Maruyama Centleisure Maiko Joetsu Kokusai
Having spent the last 5 seasons here I've seen some big snowfalls and last night was right up there with some of the biggest. It was a challenge just getting to my car this morning as the snow was near thigh deep from my front door. On the way to up to the village there were many people still struggling to clear their driveways enough to get their cars out. A lot of this was from drifting as well as the falling snow as winds overnight reached gale force. There's been at least 50cm of actual falling snow, it's still snowing heavily and this should continue throughout the day. We should easily see the top of the mountain crack the 3m mark today. The winds have moderated this morning and all but the top lifts are running. The peak gates will remain closed today as avalanche danger is once again very high. It's going to be another epic day up on the hill with some of the deepest riding this season.
I have to get up very early tomorrow to go to Sapporo so I thought I'd give a quick wrap up of today as I probably won't get a report up tomorrow till late. The heavy snowfalls continued throughout today and the temperature barely got above -7 in the village. The snow is light and dry and very deep out there. Some were saying it was almost too deep, especially some boarders who found themselves getting stuck on flatter sections. At this stage the snowfalls are expected to continue unabated through till tomorrow afternoon when they should ease. Without doubt tomorrow will be epic and I must say I'm cursing the gods that I have to go to Sapporo. Saturday will see some light snowfalls continuing and at this stage another system looks set to start moving through on Monday. Currently it's looking like temps will get slightly above freezing as the system approaches and the village may see a little rain/sleet ahead of further snowfalls. At any rate the great powder we have now will be badly affected so make the most it over the next few days!
After the fine weather of yesterday the snow is back. 5cm or so overnight giving the runs a nice new topup for this morning and right now it is still snowing but it is fairly bright and softly falling at the moment and so another fine day to be out there riding the powder. It's another very cold morning so getting wrapped up right is a must.
More snow forecast for tomorrow and looks like we might be in for some fairly decent weather over the weekend and then more snow on the other side.
The following resort plans to be open for nighta tonight: Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of 15th January 09:
The snow is falling again in Minakami this morning but the wind is also gusty in some areas blowing the fresh snow from exposed areas to sheltered regions. There is currently around 10cm of fresh snow with it forecast to continue throughout the day until late this evening. This should bring a total of around 30cm of new snow to the valley level and up to 50cm in the upper mountain resorts.
The outlook for Friday is for a cool overcast day with the sun coming out on Saturday and Sunday. It looks like a great weekend to get out into the mountains and rip it up!
Long range forecast for the next month is looking good for Minakami with average snowfall and temperatures expected (this means a lot of snow!). Hokkaido looks like a warm one for the next month with 40% probability of less than average snow forecast. Go Central Japan! Read more ...
Thursday 15th January 2009, 11:53am
Another cold one today, -6 in the village, snow everywhere with white-out conditions. A real contrast to yesterdays conditions - Sun, blue skies and stacks of powder - Steep powder runs were all the rage yesterday as the wise ones stayed out of the valleys and flat powder fields - the dudes/dudesses that did venture into these flat areas found themselves surely stuck. Naeba is an amazing place to ride or ski - should the sun be out and we have fresh snow. After 8 seasons of riding this mountain - we are still finding fresh lines, sneaky routes and surprisingly lucrative stashes of powder. All good.
20cm of new snow here today - a nice top up for yesterdays used up snow. Read more ...
Thursday 15th January 2009, 21:54pm
Powder in Furano!
The first "real" powder day of the season in my book. Roughly 25 cm in the late afternoon and overnight. During the day today, we had a further 5-10 cm.
Not much snow forecast for the next several days, but it will remain cool until Tuesday next week, where the dreaded 0 C is forecast.
It is supposed to be fairly windy this afternoon, which would mean closing the upper lifts.