Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 18th March 2018
Friday 16th December 2011, 7:25am
Light snow up high
A wet one yesterday down in Minakami but at least it was snow higher up. It looks like it will be the same today with rain in the valley and snow in the resorts.
Norn aren't going to make it for this weekend but will have a look at the conditions and make another assessment for a revised opening date.
Okutone also don't have enough snow to make it for their original date.
Houdaigi though are ready to go on a limited basis so will be opening on Saturday with a fancy dress theme and 2,000 yen lift tickets for the opening week. Read more ...
Friday 16th December 2011, 7:42am
Cloud, light sleet/snow
An early report today as I plan to make another report this evening with the latest.
We had snow forecast overnight but it didn't come unfortunately - not down to town level anyway, the mountains seem to have got a dusting. As I write this it seems to be trying to snow, but nothing particularly convincing right now. Snow is forecast for the day though so I will update things later on this evening with the latest...
On standby waiting for snow: Iwappara Yuzawa Kogen Joetsu Kokusai Kandatsu Kogen
It has certainly been a day of mixed weather conditions. Earlier on for a short while there this morning were blue skies and it was sunny over Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma and we were all wondering where this snow had gone to. Hearing about 10cm of snow falling in Niigata city didn't help but many times when Niigata gets snow it means that it is on it's way down here and this afternoon it started snowing properly in the area. Strong winds blowing around as well.
It has been snowing this afternoon then and there's probably about 5cm to show for it around town so far. The forecast is promising more snow overnight down to town level. It looks very promising in fact. I'm almost too scared to mention it, but the number 'up to 50cm' is being bandied around by the local forecast people. Now wouldn't that be nice! Let's keen our hats on and not get too excited just yet, but just hope in anticipation of good news tomorrow morning.
Right now - snowing, -1 degrees and a cold wind.
At the very least, more of Kagura and Naeba will be open. If we do get a good amount of snow though expect the other resorts that are on stand-by (see below) to get things moving tomorrow morning. Some of the resorts may not be able to get things going immediately but within a day or two.
Anyway, I'll try to get tomorrow mornings report up as soon as possible on gathering enough info.
On standby waiting for snow: Iwappara Yuzawa Kogen Joetsu Kokusai Kandatsu Kogen
It certainly feels a lot colder today and the temperatures confirm that. There is also a light wind whipping around which is making the cold seem even colder. There has been 5cm of fresh snow overnight and more is expected to fall during the day if the snow flurries continue as forecast. The weekend should see more light snow topping up the already great conditions. Kitanomine Gondola is not operating. Read more ...
Friday 16th December 2011, 9:19am
Hakuba received about 10cm of new snow overnight and it is still snowing quite hard at the moment which is very encouraging.
The conditions on the hills today should be some good powder this morning and if it continues to snow, the powder will be good all day long. Finally it is looking like winter is here... and here to stay.
It is still looking like the temperatures should remain cold through the weekend and into next week and with any luck the entire resorts (top to bottom) will be fully open. We can certainly expect more to be open for the weekend and the forecast for the rest of today and overnight into tomorrow is right now looking very promising.
Currently open resorts are Goryu (just Alps Dai ichi pair lift), Hakuba 47 (line 8), Happo One (just the Kurobishi Quad and Usagidaira Pair Lift) and Tsugaike Resort (upper lift only). You will need to ride the gondola to access the open runs on all the resorts right at the moment.
The resorts are giving discounted tickets until the rest of the runs open. Read more ...
Friday 16th December 2011, 10:34am
Welcome to the first day of the season then!
Not a whole lot of snow overnight - probably about 10cm or so - but enough for the resort to get the No1 lift moving, with 30cm as the official snow depth on the small area that is open.
It is snowing lightly at the moment buy heavier snow is forecast for later on today, so bring it on I say. Hopefully the results of today and tonight will allow the resort to open up a bit more come tomorrow.
OK so we have had some snow overnight but perhaps not as much as we were led to expect. Here in Naeba just a few cm really and hardly a covering, with Kagura reporting 5-7cm of fresh up there.
Things are looking quite promising though still for more snow today and into early tomorrow morning. A bit earlier on it even looked like it might clear up a bit, but thankfully the snow clouds are back with us at the moment as I write this and it is snowing in Naeba and up at Kagura. No more half-hearted snowfalls please, we want major dumps!!
Anyway, resort news. From tomorrow more of Naeba promises to open up --- but we don't have any details yet. I suppose it is going to depend on how much fluffy white snowflakes we receive over the next 18 hours or so. Tomorrow Naeba is also going to have a special floodlit "Nighta" open from 6pm-8:30pm.
At Kagura the news is that the Mitsumata Ropeway to Kagura Gondola is not needed again and the Mitsumata lift and slope can be used just as a connecting course. Also, from tomorrow you will be able to get from Tashiro to the main Kagura area - the connecting course will be open. So a larger area of Kagura will be operating from tomorrow. Again, just how much will probably depend on the snowfall we get today and tonight.
Fingers crossed for a decent amount. Onegai shimasu!
Official snow depths
Naeba: 40cm (open course, helped with artificial snow)
I thought I'd update the report for this evening as I bring good news.
The snow has been coming down good today and there's 30-40cm of the wonderful stuff on it's way overnight, according to my favorite weather lady. She seemed a bit down about all that cold snow falling, but it's top news for us lot. It would really kick things off in style tomorrow I reckon if we got that.
Whatever, Kagura has announced that tomorrow 'ALL' of the resort will be open - all of Mitsumata, all of Kagura and all of Tashiro. In reality it looks like there will be a few restrictions (like the downhill course at Mitsumata not being open), but generally it should all be open from tomorrow morning. Good news hey.
More of Naeba will be open as well. The Number 2 Gondola will be operating along with the two lifts coming off the top there along with the Daishamen course. Unless plans change, you'll have to get the Gondola back down though as there won't be a connecting run down the mountain. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Friday 16th December 2011, 11:26am
Cloudy with bursts of sun and falls of snow
Woke up to a nice blanket of white in the Village this morning. As predicted the snow line gradually worked its way down the mountain to greet us.
There were some large flakes falling at about 10am and bigger ones up on the slopes.
Just now the sun has started to appear, probably not what we wanted to see but very picturesque all the same.
Yesterday up top the snow was falling but visibility was limited. Today looks like the cloud is a bit higher
The forecast is for snow to continue through out today and then a bit of sunshine for tomorrow so will make for a nice weekend. The resort was running alot of the lower lifts this morning but just for a service I would say. Think we are still a while off opening teh lower slopes yet.
But if the snow pattern contnues as forecast the base should develop its usual building pattern ovre the next few weeks in time for a pretty white christmas
Resort operations unchanged.
Current Official Snow Depths Numbers:
Current Lift operations: Nagasaka Gondola Yamabiko quads Uenotaira quad
Current courses open: Uenotaira (2000m) Yamabiko A (1300m) Yamabiko B (800m) Yamabiko C (850m) Yamabiko D (1250m) Yamabiko E (1000m) Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Friday 16th December 2011, 11:34am
I think it's safe to say that this morning when looking out of the window it was a bit... disappointing. Was expecting and hoping for more snow than we got but let's move on! Just a thin new layer really though some resort areas saying they got 5cm or so even though there's no change in the official snow depths out there. So not a whole lot of new just yet and resort operations seem to be unchanged.
Good news though is that it is still snowing and we can hope and keep our fingers and other body parts crossed that we get something good to report in time for the weekend. Snow is forecast for the day and overnight tonight, with talk of the possibility of some exciting amounts of snow. I'll try not to get too excited yet and let's see how things turn out.
It's encouragingly cold as well today so come on, let's have it!
It would be great if we got enough for more runs and lifts to open up for the weekend and it looks like that will be possible if this heavy snow comes off.
We shall see!
Official snow depths [16th Dec 11]: Takamagahara Mammoth - 20cm Ichinose Family - 30cm Kumanoyu - 30cm Yakebitaiyama - 35cm Terakoya - 30cm
Resorts part open [16th Dec 11]: Takamagahara Mammoth - one triple lift Ichinose Family - two pair lifts Kumanoyu - one pair lift Yakebitaiyama - one pair lift, one quad lift (Higashiyama gondola operating and part of Terakoya open for pole training) Read more ...
Friday 16th December 2011, 12:26pm
fairly heavy snow at time of writing, very cold wind
A nice start to the day with 15-20cm of squeaky crystal snow underfoot at village level from overnights dump.
Riding up on legend of shinya on the first lift saw thigh high powder at 9am. The very last of the sassa grass is fast disappearing with only very few leaf blades still stubbornly poking through.
Strawberry Fields still out of bounds but looking very ready,
The snow is due to continue through Monday and like the past couple of days wind chill factor getting way below zero so wrap up warm and be ready for it. It should be the busiest yet out there this weekend - have fun.
Current lift operations at time of writing (subject to change depending on conditions)
Hirafu: Hirafu family pair, Ace Quad, Ace Pair 3 and Hooded pair 3, swinging monkey and holiday pair running. Gondola also running. and King 4
Annupuri: Gondola, jumbo quad and Pair 2 and Annupuri Pair 3 running. as well as slowed Jumbo pair 4
Niseko Village: Banzai, Mori no and Community chair and Gondola running and Wonderland Chair
Hanazono: Hanazono lift 1,2 and 3 running (3 slowed at time of writing)
Avalanche Information: Niseko base 6am: -5°C with 15cm of crystal snow. Westerly wind stagnating around 14m/s at sea level, 18m/s at 1000m altitude. Snowdrifts are slowly developing in leeward slopes above 800m due to intermittent snowfalls. Possibility of slab avalanches (up to 80cm thickness) is present in the leeward slopes of highly wind-affected ridgelines, generally slopes where cornices are forming. Potential trigger layer is Dec 14th’s. Although the snow is still shallow, leaving bamboo grasses stick above the surface, avalanches will occur when the conditions are right. All gates are still closed; do not duck ropes to step out of bounds. Fresh tracks along the courses are in good shape, but beware of bushes and bamboos still lurking shallow below the surface. Read more ...
Friday 16th December 2011, 18:20pm
Just a quick evening update to bring you the latest good news for the weekend.
It has been snowing here today - at times clearing up and then coming back - snowing this evening and snow is forecast overnight and potentially a decent amount as well. This all means that resorts in the area might be able to open up more for the weekend. Strong winds stopped some of the open lifts moving this afternoon, but that doesn't matter really now --- we need and want snow!
In resort news, at midday today Happo were reporting 50cm on Usagidaira, so we can certainly expect that to be more by tomorrow morning. At the moment the resort says that the Gondola, Alpen and Kurobishi quad lifts will be operating from tomorrow and more may open depending on the snow conditions.
Over at Hakuba 47, they plan to be operating the Gondola, Line A, Line C and Line E tomorrow with most courses apart from the bottom run down to base planning to be open.
Hakuba Goryu has confirmed that the Grand Prix course will be opening tomorrow and a decision on more possible openings to be made tomorrow morning.
We can probably expect other resort opening news tomorrow, but whatever happens tonight there will definitely be more choice out there. Just how much will be open will depend on how much we get tonight.
What a difference a day makes...BIG SNOW! Oh, it is coming down real good in Myoko, kids. The unofficial depth measurement (walking out and back to the car) says 30cm or more at our almost-base level. And that is from 3pm or so (just before 7 now). If it keeps going, we could suddenly find ourselves with a decent base for....
The official openings tomorrow! It could happen, you never know. I'll try and get the word in from the ski areas as soon as possible—it may be time for an early-morning reconnoiter with the pooch. Maybe forget the dog and get the new skis (that just came today!) out for the first lift of the first day... Poetic joy.
The official (planned) openings for the ski areas are:
Akakura Kanko Ski Area (Akakan): December 17 Akakura Onsen Ski Area: mid-December Ikenotaira Ski Area: December 17 Myoko Suginohara: December 23 Madarao Kogen Ski Area: Pre-open December 10-11; full open December 16 Seki Onsen Ski Area: no official date posted for this year (December 1 last season) Tangram Madarao: December 17
These dates are when they officially open, of course; if there's no snow, they won't be opening; if there's heavy snow, many will open earlier. We'll keep you posted!