Snow and weather reports posted on Thursday 14th December 2017
Monday 16th January 2012, 8:02am
There was another 15 cm of new snow overnight in Madarao with the resort reporting up to 25cm of fresh in places. Not enough to bog the car but enough to keep the conditions excellent for the day and another very nice new layer.
The skies are still grey and more snow may be coming, so the stellar start to the season looks like it will continue. At the moment the trees skiing at Madarao is fantastic, so get into it while the holiday crowds are away.
A few clearer and milder days are on the cards starting tomorrow.
Lifts currently operating: All of Madarao is scheduled to be open today. Connection with Tangram Ski Circus open.
The snow is great out there right now. It has perhaps been a bit heavier than the traditional Japanese powder we think of. It's a great day to explore outside Niseko, including Moiwa, and find some fresh snow. It looks like the peak gate at Hirafu will not be opening, even though the tests we ran yesterday showed a great improvement in stability.
Yesterday we saw large amounts of settling. This means that the snowpack is becoming much more stable. Yesterday, backcountry touring at one of the steeper pitches in the region, we saw absolutely no slab activity. The snowpack was stable and snow was very nice. We skied the North facing aspect, which is the more "dangerous" of the directions, because of wind slabbing. This is not indicative of all North facing aspects. Some may be more windloaded than others.
It's a shame the Hirafu gate will not be open today, but there are plenty of areas to explore. Travel in groups and heed caution, but remember to have fun and enjoy the amazing season we have been having!
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 350cm Bottom - 185cm
Niseko Village: Top - 330cm Bottom - 210cm
Annupuri: Top - 320cm Bottom - 200cm
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am: -10℃, 10cm of crystal snow in the past 12 hours. Coastal data: NW13m/s at Benkei cape, 2m waves and 1015hPa at Kamui cape. Annupuri peak anemometer: NW10.8m/s, -16.8℃. 12 hours snowfall transition: The development of snowdrifts is moderate and the snowpack is rounding and stabilizing. 10cm layer of rimed new snow will form Jan 15th in the future snowpack. Hazard evaluation: The general avalanche hazard above 800m in lowering. Good condition. Gates opening: Gate 2 (Annupuri peak) is scheduled to open after lift operation. Gate 3 (Hirafu peak) will be closed. Please respect the ski patrol’s instructions.
The gates’ opening decision could be less conservative only if all resort users can step out of bounds without under-evaluating the pointed out dangers. Looking at the current situation, where chaotic traverse tracks across potentially highly hazardous terrains is a common sight; namely Backbowl’s sidewalls (NE of coordinate E6), O-sawa’s cornice slopes (coordinate F5) and around Higashi-One no.3 gully (coordinate H8), there is no choice but being cautious in making the gate’s opening decisions in order to prevent major accidents to happen. Minor accidents are occurring frequently; be conscious, be safe and enjoy your day. Read more ...
Monday 16th January 2012, 8:33am
Overcast skies with some clear patches.\r\n
This morning we have observed obscured skies and calm winds in Hakuba. This was the general trend overnight and looks like it will be mixed with some clear patches throughout the day.
Yesterday there was an accumulation of about 2cm in the valley with a minimum temperature of -5.5 C overnight. Today calls for -2 C to -5 C up on the hills with a wind chill making it feel like -8 C. The freezing level will only reach 300m by mid day making sure that snow conditions are affected minimally. 1 m/s winds are expected S and SW and should remain calm throughout the day.
5 to 20 cm of new snow have been recorded on the resorts slopes overnight which is being followed by a high pressure system that will bring clear skies. Today should be a mild and calm day out on the hills with variable visibility but clouds lifting in and out throughout the day. By mid week freezing levels will rise as the new weather system moves in. Mornings will remain cold, followed by warmer conditions in the day.
Official snow depths and operations @ Monday 16th January 2012 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: Goryu is reporting 20cm of fresh snowfall up top and 1cm down below. All weekday lifts (all except No2/No4 pairs) operating. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 240cm; Toomi - 105cm; Iimori - 105cm.
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 reporting 5cm of fresh snow this morning. All lifts plan to be operating, though early on the Gondola is having some checks done but will be open asap. Official snow depth: Upper - 205cm Lower - 95cm
Happo-one: Ski lifts/courses: All lifts apart from Grad quad, Usagidaira pair, Central pair, Kurobishi No3 pair and Skyline No2 pair open. Official snow depth: Usagidaira/Kurobishi - 150cm; Sakka - 90cm; Nakiyama - 90cm.
Much the same as yesterday with grey skies and a bit of light snow falling up high. Cold temperatures again with the thermometer still well below zero but the upside of that is that the snow is still in fantastic condition. Plenty of fresh stuff to be found if you go out looking for it.
Forecast is looking good with blue skies predicted for the next two days before the cloud comes in again bringing snow for Friday and the weekend. Read more ...
Monday 16th January 2012, 9:01am
Just a bit of snow on the car this morning.
Yesterday was one of those days when things went from being sunny mid-morning to snowing heavily for a short while in the early afternoon. Things eased off in the afternoon and then there was another sprinkling late last night. But like I said not really much to show for it. Kagura are reporting 10cm.
Hearing a few varying reports from yesterday - excellent word from higher up and some wetter/heavier snow conditions around the town area, but still certainly very decent, just perhaps not as 'amazing' as the amount that actually had recently fell led us to believe.
Temperatures remained cold overnight and so it should be good out there this morning with a high of around +1 later on in the day in town.
This morning has started off with lots of grey-whitish cloud hanging over the area, though it is quite bright early on. As I mentioned before we are looking at clearer and milder conditions this week, particularly from tomorrow, so there is little chance of snowfall and it looks like the clouds may be starting to disperse up a bit and we may later get to see some blue sky here and there.
Tomorrow looks like it will be bright and sunny from early on.
Good morning from Shiga Kogen and it's a cloudy, calm one really. It was a cold night and remains cold this morning and will likely be for the day.
Look for things to get somewhat milder from perhaps Wednesday but it does look like the next few days will bring clear conditions and no real chance of snowfall. Sun is the order of the day from tomorrow it would seem, and then look towards the weekend for the next snowfall.
Back to a weekday now and so expect no wait lines for the lifts and wide open areas to explore wherever you wish.
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort areas:
- Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of 16th January 2012 AM:
A cloudy, but calm and almost wind-less morning in the region. Just a bit of snow yesterday, a day that saw changeable conditions with sun in the morning and snow clouds giving us another dusting later on. Kagura are reporting 10cm of new snowfall up on the slopes this morning.
We are back to a weekday now of course and so we can expect less people and some lifts taking a rest. All courses at Naeba are officially open except the Mens Riesen Slalom and Mens Slalom courses, with the No1 Gondola, No2 quad, No 8 quad and Daishamen pair rested.
All of Kagura looks open apart from, interestingly, that downhill course to the car park in Mitsumata. As I explained a few days ago it usually opens later in the day but according to the website this morning it is "closed" for this week. A curious one that, for sure, but it's hardly a main attraction at Kagura and so not a big issue I would imagine for most people.
The forecast for the next few days in the Yuzawa region is looking very likely to be sunny with blue skies. Hopefully temperatures won't warm up too much. Fingers crossed!
Resort Operations, 16th January (subject to change) Naeba: All areas open apart from Mens Riesen Slalom and Mens Slalom courses. Some lifts not operating as per normal weekdays. Kagura: Open as planned.
Once again the famous Fire Festival has passed for another year. The flags and dosojin statues are being taken down and everyone is nursing their wounds and headaches after what was truly a spectacular night.
It was a firey and sake soaked evening that went off perfectly to the delight of the huge crowd that assembled to witness the time honored tradition. As in the past years it was snowing a bit at the start, which made the location even more stunning.
On the slopes we have had up to 20cm in some places since lifts closed yesterday and today it is relatively clear. With many having a lie in this morning, for the genki ones it should be a quiet and beautiful day on the mountain. The outlook is for a few days of sun and then some more snow over next weekend.
No new snow overnight but super cold conditions have produced an outstanding surface to ski on today. The mountain has been beautifully groomed from top to bottom and is skiing silky smooth. There is still some great untouched powder out there as well. The temperature was super cold this morning but with the break though of some sun has become more pleasant. A great day with no crowds, so get out there and enjoy it. Read more ...
Monday 16th January 2012, 13:59pm
Cloudy; no snow at the moment
Finally a little break in the heavy snow—although last night it looked like it would just keep on going, It's actually nice; the ongoing snow has meant getting up really early to clean out the driveway so we can get out and ski/tour, then an evening doing the same (an indirect way of saying why a report didn't come up yesterday).
The word had also been for mosre sunny conditions from today, but apart from a bit of sun early in the day, it's staying cloudy (could more white stuff be on the way?). Conditions have been really good on the peaks, too; the snow has settled well, so there's a lot less sluffing than while the snow was falling. We really need to dig down some more and see what's going on, but the constant temperatures and lack of sun is somewhat reassuring. More data to come as we get it.
Hmmm well not quite as clear as we might have expected today. The day started off another very cold -10 degrees in the village and no new snow to report today. Basically it has been a grey and cloudy one with some blue sky on show from time to time. Still the forecast points to a week this week of generally clearer skies, some cloud and the chance of light snow showers from time to time. A mixed bag then.
The forecast has been wrong it's fair share this season so far, so the best thing I can say with any certainty is that we won't be getting any rain or heavy snow in the next few days. ;)
Quiet slopes today after a fairly busy weekend.
Official snow depths (16th January 12) Utopia - 170cm Chuo - 165cm Paradise - 165cm Uwanodai - 130cm
Operating lifts (16th January 12) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating. All the runs at Zao are open. Read more ...