Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 19th March 2018
Friday 16th December 2016, 8:14am
The snow is coming down, and it is coming down GOOD! Just in time for our second opening, at Akakan, with more to come tomorrow.
I'm going to give a real round number right now&madash;20 cm—because it is really snowing Myoko style this morning. We wondered a bit, with a beautiful moon shining down last night and nothing falling when we went to bed (and way to late, I have to say; daughter is back from high school and we had to get some panic projects done until wee hours). So it's probably only begun over the past few hours.
Powder time today! Get out there and start the season the right way (who needs artificial snow?).
The resorts that are open aren't all sending snow reports; some are old.
Akakura Kanko: Opening today, full from tomorrow; all lifts except the lower two at the Hotel side (meaning gondola up) -5, 70cm
A very good morning to you from here in the Niseko region, and what a morning it is.
After the disappointment of yesterday, what do we have here? Only an impressive 36cm of fresh snow on the ground! And if you check the Avalanche Report below, they are mentioning up to 60cm of fresh out there on the mountain. Very nice.
I almost didn't think it was going to happen but the snow started coming down in style later in the afternoon. And it really was snowing heavily for a while there - what a sight it was too! Strong winds joined in the mix and were blowing the snow around and so it's a case of more-or-less in different places. I think my 36cm is a representative amount to record in the report though and wherever you are taking readings from this morning, it's a lot.
It is keeping very cold, less wind and the snow is still falling now, so conditions out on the slopes should be fantastic. I tend to avoid using cheesy variations on the words like 'deep' in my reports, but that word will apply this morning. Especially with the limited visibility conditions early on, remember to be careful where you go. Everyone gets excited on a day like today but we need to keep our thinking head on at the same time.
Hopefully soon I'll be able to take down specific lift operation information and just be able to declare 'everywhere open', but it doesn't look like we're quite there just yet. This fresh snow will certainly help.
Snow clouds are forecast to be over us today and tomorrow but after that there's a run of clearer skies lined up along with somewhat milder temperatures.
Anyway time to post the report. I am officially excited and am going to wrap myself up, get the low visibility goggles on and go experience it all myself. I might not make it to the first lifts of the day - there's already people lining up for the first lifts as I write this about 30 minutes before they start moving - but there'll be more than enough for everyone to enjoy this morning.
Just a quick look at some numbers:
Last season, up until 16th December 2015 I had observed 137cm of snowfall. This season, up until 16th December 2016 I have observed 223cm of snowfall.
Same me, same place. I like the sound of that. May it be the pattern for the season...
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6.00am: -8C, 50cm new light crystal snowfall in the last 12 hrs, light winds. Elevation 800m: light winds, 60cm new snow, no snowdrift development. Coastal data: Kamui Cape: W10m/s, 1008hPa, wave 1.1m.
We are currently in the middle of a winter weather pattern and there has been 40cm of new snow fall at mountain base. The wind above 800m is expected to increase from the west, along with increasing development of cornices and snowdrifts above that altitude. The weak frost layer from 14th Dec persists, however above this layer there is no wind pack so general avalanche risk is considered low..
Leaving the ski runs today and riding into the valley bottoms is not recommended today, it will be difficult to impossible to make it back to the resort in this deep snow. The gates are not set up yet and riding out of bounds is not allowed yet.
Don't duck ropes, passes will be confiscated. The snow is deep and good- winter is here!
Resort specific opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
All four resort areas appear to be able to open as planned at the start of the day.
Night skiing is planned until Monday 20th March 2017 at the Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Village resort areas. There is no nighta in the Hanazono area.
The lifts marked with a * above are the lifts that are planned to be operating for nighta. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Friday 16th December 2016, 8:33am
Morning from Nozawa and 5-10cm of snow being reported by the resort this morning and 6cm measured by myself.
Yesterday late afternoon deserves a mention. Not for snow but the spectacular colours that nature provided - a mix of pink and blue pastel shades to the skies and clouds, it was beautiful.
But we want more beautiful snow of course, so it's good that there's some fresh this morning and it is snowing as I write this as well. After today the forecast is looking rather dry and at times quite mild too, so we could do with a decent dump of snow today.
Actually, from today the 'Yu Road' is open and also the Hikage Gondola is going to open so the Paradise course is scheduled to be available as well. The resort has also said that it is preparing the Paradise Four lift, the Hikage triple lift and Shinyu pair lift as well, so we're going to be seeing more open very soon.
Friday 16th December 2016
Lifts that are planned to be operating: Nagasaka Gondola (8:30am-3:30pm) Yamabiko Four Lift (9:00am-3:30pm) Yamabiko Number 2 Four Lift (8:55am-3:40pm) Uenotaira Four Lift (9:00am-3:40pm)
Courses that are planned to be open: Yamabiko A course Yamabiko B course Yamabiko C course Yamabiko D course Yamabiko E course Uenotaira course Paradise
Fresh snow reported by resort since yesterday morning Yamabiko: 10cm Uenotaira: 10cm Hikage: 8cm Nagasaka: 8cm Karasawa: 5cm Read more ...
Friday 16th December 2016, 8:40am
The sky if mostly overcast as the snow is still falling.
There hasn't been a great deal of snow overnight last night but the snow is still falling hard this morning in Naeba.
We are also happy to report that more of the resort is now open for us to explore! Gondola 2 is now open and it leads to Daishamen, the downhill course and high speed piste no. 4. Looks like our snow dances have paid off!
The conditions on the mountain are chilly but with a little powder from the snow that's still falling. Wrap up warm and enjoy the new runs! Read more ...
Friday 16th December 2016, 8:44am
The snow continued falling for most of the day yesterday, though it didn't actually result in that much more cm on the ground. With more snowfall overnight I record another 8cm of fresh snowfall since my report yesterday morning. (Interestingly, Kagura are just reporting 5cm of fresh and so are Maiko Snow Resort).
Talking of Maiko Snow Resort - they are open this morning. They have their gondola moving as well as the two lifts in the upper Okusoeji area and about 2/3 of the courses up there open. They are reporting a snow depth of 95cm up top with about 30cm at base.
And it also looks like Kandatsu Kogen have opened this morning as well - their official opening was planned for tomorrow, but it seems they just can't wait! In what they are calling 'pre-open', 60% of their courses will be available.
GALA Yuzawa enjoys a high elevation and so expect a large part of that resort to be open. They have said that they will have their Central and North areas open with 7 courses available.
There's a bunch of ski and snowboard resorts in Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma preparing to open from tomorrow and with the snowfall we have received I expect them all to be able to - to varying degrees. There's still not a huge amount of snow at town level but more the higher up you go.
It's all happening now though, and it feels good. After the poor start to the season last year I think many people were wary but we need to remember that last year was not 'normal'. We have a promising start here now so hopefully we're back to normal and we can expect some very nice snowfall this season. For the moment, it will be really great if the resorts can all open as planned.
There's so much information to try and gather and with resorts themselves crazy busy in 'bata-bata' mode, I will do my best tomorrow morning to bring you all of the latest details.. and apologies in advance if the report is posted later than usual.
Oops, I nearly forgot the forecast - snow through the day today and perhaps into tomorrow, some clearer skies and milder temperatures into early next week. Not too warm please!!
Resort-specific info as of Friday 16th December 2016
Ski resorts that are currently open in the region: Kagura All areas of Kagura are now open. The top Kagura Number 5 pair lift and course will open from 1st January 2017. The resort is reporting 5cm of fresh snow. Official snow depth: Kagura - 120cm Mitsumata - 80cm Tashiro - 100cm
Naeba More of Naeba opening up now with the Number 2 gondola operating. Official snow depth: 60cm
Maiko Snow Resort The top Okusoeji area is about 2/3 of that area is open from this morning. Official snow depth: Upper - 95cm Base - 30cm
Kandatsu Kogen Special 'pre-open' today with the resort saying it is '60% open'. Official snow depth: 80cm
Planned opening dates for other resorts in Yuzawa Town and Minamiuonuma City (by date):
Below are details of the planned 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma this season. This information is subject to change due to snow and weather conditions.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Daily from 23rd December 2016 until 19th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 8:50pm. The Chuo Number 1, Chuo Number 2 and Kanko Number 3 Express lifts are open daily. The Kanko Number 1 Express lift, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift and Hatsukaishi Number 2 pair lifts are also open on weekends and holidays.
Iwappara Daily from 17th December 2016 until 20th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays. The Main course, Grand course and West courses are open during nighta.
Joetsu Kokusai Daily from 17th December 2016 until 20th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm. The area in front of the main base hotel is open for nighta.
Kandatsu Kogen 'Hobo All Night' ('Almost All Night') is on Fridays, Saturdays and nights before holidays between 29th December 2016 and 1st April 2017. The nighta opening times on those days is from 6pm until 4am the following morning.
Maiko Snow Resort Daily from 28th December 2016 until 19th March 2017. Nighta is from 4pm until 8pm. The Maiko center quad lift on the Maiko Side of the resort operates for nighta.
Naeba Daily from 17th December 2016 until 26th March 2017. Nighta is from 4pm until 8:30pm. Part of the lower area of the resort is usually open for nighta.
NASPA Ski Garden 'Thanks' (extended) opening on Saturdays in December, January and February and also on 23rd December and from 30th December until 8th January 2017. On those days the Number 1 lift is open until 6pm.
Yuzawa Nakazato Every Saturday from 7th January until 11th March 2017, 29th December until 3rd January, 8th January 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 8:30pm. The Number 2 pair lift operates during nighta. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Friday 16th December 2016, 8:46am
Morning from Shiga Kogen.
I enjoyed a great half-day yesterday. The sun was out and there were some fine snow conditions to be found as well. We're still early season low on snow of course, but there was some real fun to be had.
From early this morning the snow has returned and already there's decent cm piling up, and it's coming down in style as well just at the moment. Well it was when I first started writing this report, it has eased off a bit right now. But... snow forecast for the day so fingers crossed we're on for some decent numbers before the weekend.
I don't have any inside info to share but especially if we can get some more decent snow falling today I would think that there'll be more lifts operating and courses open from tomorrow.
Areas of Shiga Kogen currently open:
Ichinose Family The Number 2 pair A and B lifts are operating with 600m of course open.
Kumanoyu The Number 1 and Number 2 lifts are operating.
Okushiga Kogen The Number 2 pair and Number 3 pair lifts are operating.
Yakebitaiyama The Number 2 Gondola and Number 2 pair lifts are operating with the South Course, Panorama Course and Karamatsu Course open. The resort is preparing the Number 1 Gondola to get moving as well by the looks...
It was a lovely day yesterday and I had a fine time up at Hakuba Goryu.
There's not a whole lot to report this morning in terms of weather with just a dusting again at lower levels and resorts reporting a thin layer of snow higher up (Cortina saying there's up to 10cm of fresh on it's slopes).
There's lots of cloud around this morning and light snow has been falling and snow is on the forecast for today and tomorrow. Here's to a snowy report tomorrow morning.
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field opens up for the season from this morning and they have their Gondola moving along with two lifts and courses over on the Mountain Side of the resort. At Hakuba Goryu, the Toomi Sky Four lift is now operating and the Toomi course open from today.
Hakuba Sanosaka, Hakuba Norikura Onsen and Kashimayari are set to open from tomorrow - I would expect them to be 'part openings', as per the resorts that are currently open.
More people are now arriving in Hakuba for an early season ski and while there's places open and fun to be had we could do with a decent dump of snow to really kick things off.
Until tomorrow and... let it snow!
Resort news as of 8:45am on Friday 16th December 2016:
All information as available and subject to change during the day due to weather and snow conditions
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is currently part open. The resort is reporting 1cm of fresh snowfall. Gondola downloading required. Connection with Goryu not yet open. Lift & course info: The Gondola, Line A.B and Line C lifts are operating. The following courses are open: - Route 1 (Upper) - Route 2 - Route 3 - Route 5 - Route 6 - Route 8 (Lower) Official snow depth Line C Upper: 100cm Base: 10cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is currently part open. The resort is reporting 1-2cm of fresh snowfall. Gondola downloading required. Connection with Hakuba 47 not yet open. Lift & course info: The Gondola, Alps Number 1 and 3 and Toomi Sky Four lifts are operating with the Toomi course available from today. The following courses are open: - Grand Prix - Panorama - Toomi Official snow depth Alps: 80cm Toomi: 20cm Iimori: 15cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is currently part open. Lift & course info: The Adam Gondola, Alpen Quad, Panorama pair, Kokusai Number 3 pair and Kurobishi Number 2 quad lifts are operating. Gondola downloading required. The following courses are at least part open: - Kurobishi - Usagidaira - Panorama Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 75cm Nakiyama: -cm Sakka: -cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Tsugaike Kogen is currently part open. Lift info: The Eve Gondola and the top Han-no-ki and Tsuga Number 2 pair lifts are operating. The following courses are open: - Han-no-ki - Tsuga-no-mori Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 70cm Han-no-ki: 70cm Oya-no-hara: 20cm Kane-no-naru-oka: -cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is currently part open. The resort is reporting 5-10cm of fresh snowfall. Lift info: The Number 2 quad lift and Number 4 pair lifts are operating. The following courses are at least part open: - Ikenoda - Mt Hieda Rinkan - Mt Hieda 1 - Itadaria Official snow depth: Top: 100cm Base: 50cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field is currently part open. Lift info: The Gondola, 3-sen North and 4-sen East lifts are operating. The following courses are at least part open: - North - East Official snow depth: Top: 30cm Base: -cm
Kashmayari: Kashimayari plans to open from Saturday 17th December.
Please note that Yanaba ski hill will not be opening for the 2016-2017 season Read more ...
Friday 16th December 2016, 9:06am
Good morning from Zao.
It's a cloudy start to the day with what looks like limited visibility up on the mountain.
It's a cold start to the day as well, and still only -3C here at base and minus double digits higher up.
I have just a few cm of fresh snow to report this morning but hopefully I will be reporting some good numbers tomorrow morning. After tomorrow the forecast shows some clearer skies and milder temperatures as well early next week and not much in terms of snowfall...
To a snowy day today!
Lifts that are planned to be operating today at Zao Onsen:
Zao Ropeway Chuo Ropeway Sky Cable Mikaeri pair Chuo Number 1 pair AB Onsen Number 1 pair Utopia Number 2 pair
Official snow depths: Chuo - 40cm Utopia - 40cm Uwanodai - 40cm Paradise - 40cm
There's another 2cm of new snow this morning. Not as much as we would like of course but it all counts. The cold low temperatures are giving us very good quality snow even in this early season. More of it please!
The new soft snow is covering the top of the base which is still a little hard so a bit scrape-y in places.
According to the forecast, this area can expect new snowfall for today and tomorrow... but how much? I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.
The resort is hoping to open more courses for this weekend.
Snow park information:
One 6 meters down box at this moment; another 6 meters wide box will appear from tomorrow.
Ski resorts which are open at this moment in the region are Minowa, Grandeco --- and Nekoma from today.
- Gondola - Number 1 quad lift - Number 2 quad lift
- Center Course (2km) - Upper part of Rainbow 3500 (1km) - Lavender B course (1km)
Official snow depth: - 65cm
Road condition to Grandeco: - Inawashiro through Grandeco, compacted snow, snow tires are necessary. Read more ...
Friday 16th December 2016, 11:19am
It is another extremely cold day in Furano with -16c at base level and even colder -18c at the top of the resort. As is often the case with these cold Furano mornings it is a superb day with deep blue sky, full sun and not a breath of wind - I have posted 3 photos below the report that were taken this morning. The snow today on course is also very very good with a further 6cm of extremely light powder accumulating in the village overnight.
Todomatsu Course is now open at the bottom of the Furano Zone. Night skiing is now available on both the Prince Course and Todomatsu Course.
There is still no offical guidance from the resort as to when they expect to get the Kitanomine side operating. Lets just see if they make an announcement over the weekend. With guest numbers in the resort increasing as we head towards Christmas the lift system on the Furano Zone is under a bit of pressure. Yesterday there were reports of the line for Furano Ropeway being extremely long.
Saturday and Sunday are expected to be windy, but both days should deliver a little more snow, althought nothing siginificant.
The following courses are expected to be open today: Technical Panorama Spies Sailer Prince Todomatsu
More snow last night here and more to follow. Only 5cm overnight. It's been snowing all day and we've received quite a bit more for the report tomorrow. Perhaps an additional 10cm at least.
It's certainly hilly on the mountain and only 2 runs are still open but I'm sure we're going through see that improve for the weekend.
Temperatures are firmly in the -7 range with the wind-chill making it feel like -14. Saturday, Sunday and Monday are looking good bringing more snow to our hill. Let's hope the forecast rain for Tuesday doesn't materialize.
The runs open are in relatively good shape but are fairly tracked out by mid day so come early if you're coming.