Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 17th November 2017
Wednesday 16th March 2016, 6:24am
Magnificent weather to go ride.
Good morning from Naeba everybody.
Today looks like the setup is complete for a brilliant day on the slopes. We've received 10 cm + of new snow overnight and now the weather has cleared and it looks like we're in for a perfect blue bird.
The weather from now is supposed to be cloudy today (it's not) and then clear tomorrow with rain arriving on Friday. Don't worry though it looks like we'll be getting snow again as of Saturday night.
Today is a sunny but windy day at Kiroro. No new snow to report, but clear skies make up for that. Temperatures have warmed up to between -3°C and -7°C and are expected to go above freezing today.
Unfortunately strong winds have resulted in the Gondola and Asari #2 being unable to open this morning. Nagamine #2 is still open, however with winds expected to pick up more that may not last. Read more ...
Wednesday 16th March 2016, 8:31am
Good morning and it's a lovely spring morning here in Niseko.
Blue skies all around. Well, just a few small clouds still hanging around - there were many more about when I got up this morning - but now it is mostly blue sky and sunshine. It was pretty cold overnight but is currently hovering around 0C and it's going to be quite warm today with a high of around +5C forecast.
We might need to keep an eye on wind conditions today as they are expected to get stronger later on in the day in particular. Indeed it seems some top lifts are affected from the start of the day (see below).
Tomorrow will probably sunny again and warmer still than today with temperatures perhaps even approaching 10 degrees at base/town level.
Is that rain I see on the forecast for around Saturday? It looks like it might well be, perhaps with snow falling higher up. But there's really not much in the way of snowfall at all currently on the 6-day forecast...
Let's spring! There's hardly anyone waiting for the Ace Number 2 quad to start moving at Hirafu, even now at 8:25am. I'm off out there...
Resort specific lift opening news at time of posting (subject to change during the day):
Niseko Grand Hirafu The top Ace Number 4 and King Number 4 lifts are on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds.
Niseko Village The top Wonderland Chair lift is on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds.
Niseko Annupuri The top Jumbo Number 4 lift is on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6.00am: -5°C, no new snow. Moiwa 838m: -3.2°C, NE3.1m/s. Mikaeri 838m: no data. Annupuri 1000m: snowpack 300cm. Hirafu Ridgeline: -6°C, NE15m/s, no new snow. Coastal data: Benkei Cape:SSE3m/s. Kamui Cape S15m/s, 1012hPa, wave 1.3m.
Light winds at mountain base, however above 1000m winds are strong. Warm air before lunch will continue the snow melt. The risk of full depth avalanche in the Hirafu Centre 4 lift area is becoming higher. In the next few days staff will be doing avalanche control work, please stay away from the area. Do not enter strictly off limits areas YunoSawa, Haru no Taki or Mizuno no Sawa. Conditions are bad at the moment, no new snow and in some places there snow is completely frozen. Peak gate openings are dependent on lift operations. Respect and follow the patrol and ski area staff's decisions. This information is published for the safety of all mountain users. The mountain is starting to change. Have a safe day.
Official resort snow depths as of Wednesday 16th March 2016:
Some thin cloud around early morning, but generally fine weather to start the day and with the snow we got yesterday it should be a good day to be out on the slopes. The sun will probably be out during the day today and also tomorrow... and while it is a chilly early morning it will be getting warmer over the next few days, as the forecasts told us to expect.
Rain is looming on the forecast for late Friday into Saturday at the moment, hopefully that'll be short-lived. And while there's no snow on the forecasts, temperatures are set to drop once again by Sunday.
Well at least it’s not raining here yet. Today brings bright blue skies, temperature right at freezing point at the base and fairly light winds. Expect the clouds to roll in late this afternoon and the wind to pick up too. Thursday and Friday don’t look good at all. High temperatures, strong winds tomorrow and rain. A great combination leading up to the weekend right !
The runs on the mountain are still in relatively good shape. Icy in the morning and no doubt today and tomorrow they’ll be in pretty slushy shape by mid day. If you need to get out this year I’d suggest you better do it now because it’s only going to get worse out there.
Currently planned operating lifts:
- Appi Gondola - Central Number 1 quad - Number 2 lift A - T Bar - Number 3 lift B - Number 3 lift C - Number 4 lift - Sailer Gondola - Sailer Quad - Vista quad
Tenjin was shut due to wind yesterday and on the open today the pow was around 20cm deep. Great weather today with no wind, clear skies and having some fresh snow this time of year is just a bonus.
The forecast looks clear and warmer going forward with the possibility of rain on Saturday though its a bit far off to take too much notice of the forecast.
Next major event and the last on the season is April 2nd and 3rd when the mountain is transformed for Minakami Vibes. Looks like there will be plenty of snow to make what is usually a really cool bowl that everyone can rip. Mark your calendars accordingly!
Fun day yesterday. Fairly heavy snow conditions but it was fun, not much of a wind and it kept pretty cold up there.
There is no new cm to report this morning from around any of the resorts.
It was cold overnight but things are going to start warming up today beyond where we want them to be. Temperatures rising up to double digits might be on the cards over the next few days and then rain is forecast for Saturday. Oh dear. Before that though there should be lots of sunshine and so I'd get my skiing or boarding in before the weekend if possible.
Having said that, the forecasts have got things wrong before this season on more than a few occasions so you never know. The warming up bit though I think is a given.
Late weekend and into next week, those temperatures look likely to drop once again.
Resort news as of 9:00am on Wednesday 16th March 2016 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All courses set to open this morning. The Tree Riding Zone is open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba 47. Official snow depth: Upper: 195cm Base: 85cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All courses open apart from Snow Diving and Adventure. The Toomi area will be open until 9:30pm tonight for 'nighta'. Official snow depth Alps: 254cm Toomi: 120cm Iimori: 75cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall again this morning. Happo Banks and the Kurobishi Off-Piste area are both open. Parts of the lower areas of Happo-one are now closed due to insufficient snow - still lots of upper mountain open though. Night skiing has now finished for the season. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 180cm Nakiyama: 55cm Sakka: 30cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall again this morning. All courses open apart from Itadaira Ridge, Itadaira Forest and Giant. The Ikenota area will be open for 'nighta' until 8pm tonight (9pm on Saturdays). Official snow depth: Top: 165cm Base: 103cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All courses are generally open. Nighta at Karamatsu/Shirakaba on 19th March. The top Tsugaike Ropeway is now generally open for spring season (extra charge required) - though it looks like it is closed again this morning due to weather conditions. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 237cm Maruyama: 60cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 60cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Insufficient snow means that only limited areas of Village Side remain open - by3, Shinden connecting. Sunny Valley and Paradise remain part open. Parts of the Mountain Side that are closed - View A, View B, Kamo 4, Dangan, Sonezawa, Five Side. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: Upper: 120cm Lower: 40cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Closed courses are Kamoshika, Highway, Snake, Expert, Skyview and lower part of Satomi Ridge. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Norikura. Official snow depth: 85cm
Well spring is certainly in the air with warmish mornings and warmer days. The ice pack covering the roads has receeded to reveal the colour of tar seal that hasnt been visible for months. It is a nice spring morning with blue skies and plenty of sun. Temperatures have been well below freezing overnight so the snow will be firm on piste and slowly softening as the day rolls on. There is a very slight breeze which this is expected to pick up in the afternoon.
This evening the resort should get a light dusting of snow. Temperatures will be warm, and by warm I mean above 0c through until Saturday, and then on Sunday they will drop back into the negatives. Read more ...
Wednesday 16th March 2016, 9:10am
Overcast but bright
Morning from Yuzawa.
It was actually pretty chilly outside last night though we are expecting warmer conditions over the coming days through until Saturday - it might start getting colder again after that.
This morning it's cloudy, but bright. The sun isn't breaking through the clouds just now, but there's a good chance it will do... and we are forecast clear sunny skies for the day tomorrow (and temps rising to over 10 degrees).
Not the best of news for those of you planning to be here over the weekend though as rain is due, perhaps the bigger chance of that hit happening on Saturday. The forecasts have been fickle though so I wouldn't want to bet on that timing!
Resort official snow depths (Wednesday 15th March 2016) and any specific news at time of writing:
After some very warm conditions recently, there are some patches of ground on view on some lower slopes around town now. Southern facing slopes are generally more affected. Some courses at resorts are closed due to the snow situation - best to check with the individual resorts for their up-to-date details.
Details of the 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma. Subject to change due to snow conditions.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Open daily until 8:50pm (until 20th March). The Chuo No 1 and Chuo No 2 lifts are open daily. The Kanko No 1, Kanko No 2, Kanko No 3, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift, Hatsukaishi No 2 pair lifts are open on weekends and holidays. The basic charge is 2000 yen but various tickets are available.
Iwappara Open daily until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays (until 21st March). The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.
Joetsu Kokusai Open daily until 9pm (until 21st March). The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors. On weekdays the area in front of the main hotel is open - a larger area (including Osawa and Atema) is open on weekends.
Kandatsu Kogen Open from 6pm until 4am on Fridays, Saturdays and evenings before holidays through 26th March. Open from 4:30pm until 11pm on weekdays until 24th March. Various tickets are available starting at 2000 yen for adults, 1700 yen for seniors and 1000 yen for children.
Naeba Open daily until 27th March. From 4pm until 8:30pm on weekdays and Sundays (2000 yen); until 9pm every Saturday and on 20th March (3000 yen). 'All Night' opening is planned for Saturday 26th March when Naeba will be open from 10pm until 5am.
I was up on the slopes yesterday and it was pretty decent spring skiing, a few cm of fresh snow in places. Could do with a complete refresh of course, but I don't think we can hold too much hope for that at this stage of the season!
This morning while it's bright it's generally overcast with thin clouds. We might get some sunshine later.
And sunshine is expected for the whole day tomorrow as temperatures rise. Friday should see a peak in the temps for the moment - double digits? - before dropping a bit again from Sunday.
There is the chance of rain going into Saturday and perhaps a chance of some light snow at times as we get into early next week; don't expect anything significant though.
From 21st March (Monday), 'spring season' lift tickets will be available and here's how much they are:
4 hours - 3500 yen (500 yen cheaper than main season) 5 hours - 3700 yen (800 yen cheaper than main season) 1 day adult - 4100 yen (900 yen cheaper than main season) 1 day senior - 3800 yen (600 yen cheaper than main season)
Information as of Wednesday 16th March 2016 (subject to change)
Lifts currently closed: Karamatsu pair, Ryuzan pair
There was a strong wind forecast but lucky the wind is quite mild at this moment and all lifts are operating as a normal speed. Temperatures are keeping low and the courses are perfectly groomed.
According to the forecast, it will be sunny day until Friday, cloudy and occasionally the chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday! Good news is that there is a bit of snow on the forecast for Monday.
Because we are now into spring mode, ski resorts around Mt. Bandai are starting to announce their planned closing dates. Here's the news I have for the moment:
Listel Ski Fantasia - already closed (on 12 March).
Numajiri / Inawashiro resort / Inawashiro and Minero ski resorts - until 21st March
Alts Bandai / Urabandai ski resorts - until 27th March.
After 27th, resorts that remain open in the region will be Grandeco, Nekoma and Minowa.
Nekoma will be closed between 19th-21th and 26th-28 Apr but these resorts all plan to be open until 5th May ---- but whether they can do that or not will totally depend on the snow levels of course, which are less than usual and less than expected. We'll just have to see how things develop over the coming weeks.
All lifts operating
All courses open except [H] Center 33 and the Snow Park
Another day with the sun out there, but shining through a thin layer of high clouds
I've been waiting for the town to release the official report for the day but it's still not out, so I'm going ahead (it's a slow morning at base level, let's just say that for today).
It's sunny; the air temperature is not so high but that sun is putting a lot of energy into the snow (as shown by the wet street outside). We've also got a pretty strong south wind coming through as well - not a combination we like to see. That snowpack will really start coming down in the wind, especially.
The freezing level is already up at the top of the resort level, and will be going higher over the next few days. Looks like back to cold by Saturday and Sunday, though.
Maybe we will make it to the end of the month with the ski resorts running.
Take these official numbers with a large spoonful of salt... the listing on the tourist office website and the official report, which should be the same, often aren't.