Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 20th November 2017
Tuesday 17th December 2013, 7:30am
An early report this morning and we can actually see a bit of the mountains this morning after those few days of cloud, snowfall and poor visibility. No new cm of snow overnight though there was probably another 5cm during the dayime yesterday. Wet snow, and the wind was quite strong.
This morning it is just cloudy as I write this, with cloud and sometimes light snow forecast this morning and just cloudy this afternoon. Having said that, even in the 15 minutes since I started writing this, it feels like it's clearing up a bit. The clouds are nowhere near as thick as the last few days. There's only a light wind as well this morning. The local forecast for tomorow is just cloud but it feels like it might end up being clearer.
Kagura is back open as planned after a few wind affected days and reporting 10cm of fresh snow since yesterday. With some lifts not moving during the snow storm, there should be some fine untouched conditions there this morning.
In other resort news, all of the Okusoeji bowl area of the Maiko Snow Resort is now open.
Looks like there will be more snow before the weekend, and so I would expect (and hope) that for the weekend places will be close to fully open.
Yesterday ended up being a curiously warm day (well warm for Niseko in December). It even rained a bit in the afternoon, which is never good to report, and the winds remained quite strong affecting the lift operations on mountain. Not the best of days.
It was quite cold overnight again though, getting into the negatives, giving us some icy conditions this morning and crusty conditions around town. At the moment it is +1C.
It has still been quite windy early this morning but much less so than yesterday, and it looks like most of the lifts planned to be operating will be running this morning - if perhaps not at full speed.
The sun is actually shining through at the moment. Clouds seem to be moving on out and leaving behind more blue sky.
Not a whole lot of snow on the weekly forecast as it stands right now - perhaps at the weekend.
Niseko Grand Hirafu are now boasting that 25 of it's 30 courses now open. The mountain is not fully open yet, but we're getting there. The fact that the slopes aren't peak season busy yet means that there's plenty goodness to be found.
Planned lift operations:
Grand Hirafu: Ace Family Pair Ace Number 3 Pair Ace Number 2 Quad Center Four King Number 3 Triple Swinging Monkey Hirafu Gondola Holiday Number 1 Pair
Hanazono: Hanazono Number 1 Quad Hanazono Number 2 Quad Hanazono Number 3 Quad
Niseko Village: Niseko Gondola Community Chair Banzai Chair Morino Chair
Annupuri: Gondola Jumbo Number 1 quad Jumbo Number 2 Jumbo Number 3
Niseko Avalanche Report
Niseko base 6am: -1C, 12 hours snowfall 10cm of wet crystal snow. Moiwa 500m: 90cm snowdepth, mild easterly wind with light snowfall. Good visibility. A light surface hoar has been observed and will form a notable Dec 17th layer in the future snowpack. Coastal data: Benkei cape E10m/s, Kamui cape NE3m/s, 3m waves, 1021hPa. The isobars are spacing out and snow-clouds are hardly present. Annupuri 1000m: 110cm snow depth.
The snowdrifts above 800m formed hard-packed slabs depending on the slope orientation. 20cm thick slabs (from Dec 15th layer) are likely to slide with ski stimulation. Beware of slip-drops. Shallow slides in steep slopes are fast and powerful enough to cause critical accidents. A thin layer of fresh snow is present in treeruns below 500m altitude. The snow is fast and hard to steer, beware of loosing control and hitting trees.
The general avalanche risk is low. Bush and stumps are still present in the out of bounds area. Need more snow to set the gates. Groomers condition is good. Have a nice day.
A fine weather day in Hakuba yesterday with blue skies and cloud hanging around the upper mountain areas. Wind did affect lift operations especially in the morning yesterday but Happo-one for example was able to open by mid morning.
It was a cold night, with temperatures dipping down to -7C, and this morning it is just under zero at 9am.
Quite a lot of thin cloud up there right now but blue sky as well and the sun is out. Should be another fine day and there's less wind so lift operations around the open resorts should be something like normal this morning.
More snow on the way later tomorrow with decent snowfall forecast for late in the week into Saturday.
Official snow depth numbers and operations (as of 17th December 2013):
Hakuba Goryu Reporting 0cm of new snowfall. Upper - 235cm Toomi - 100cm Iimori - 65cm
Hakuba 47: Reporting 0cm of new snowfall. Upper - 200cm Lower - 50cm
Happo-one: Reporting 0cm of new snowfall. Usagidaira - 190cm Nakiyama - -cm Sakka - -cm
Hakuba Cortina: Reporting 0cm of new snowfall. Upper - 200cm Lower - 125cm
Other resorts planned opening dates: Hakuba Iwatake - 20th December Read more ...
Tuesday 17th December 2013, 9:17am
A little warmer today; the streets are wet rather than white, although some light snow is falling. Tomorrow things will probably get even warmer, but the freezing line will go back up the mountain on Thursday and snow is supposed to return.
Actually, that's a good thing to point out: be sure to look at the freezing line part of the Snow Japan weather report for the area. This is really useful information that tells a lot more about what to expect than predicted snowfall. I use it year-round; it once helped me tell a group of hikers from Okinawa to prepare winter wear before an early October climb. We got 30cm of snow up high, and they (many not ever having seen snow) were both pleased and warm.
Akakan snuck on an extra lift yesterday, which was much appreciated. Not lots of people, either - it's a very good time to get out sliding!
Akakura Kanko Ski Area: Gondola, No. 3, No. 5 lifts Akakura Onsen Ski Area: Kumado No.1 quad Madarao Ski Area: No. 1 lift Others to open next week Read more ...
Tuesday 17th December 2013, 9:17am
For a change, no new snowfall this morning outside my place here in Zao.
It's not as cold this morning and as I write this around -1C. It was clearer earlier but has clouded over again. Just cloudy though at the moment.
More snow is due later tomorrow and Thursday.
Official snow depths (17th December 13): Utopia: 130cm Chuo: 100cm Paradise: 95cm Uwanodai: 60cm
Planned operating lifts until Thursday this week: Ropeways and Gondolas Onsen Number 1 pair Onsen Number 2 quad Onsen Number 3 parallel Miaeri pair Chuo Number 1 pair Diamond Number 2 Zao Paradise Pair Shobunuma Number 1 triple / 2 pair Omori quad Yokokura Number 1 pair Yokokura Number 2 pair Astraea Number 1 pair Astraea Number 2 pair Astraea Number 3 pair Utopia Number 1 pair Utopia Number 2 pair Kurohime Number 1 quad Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Tuesday 17th December 2013, 9:18am
Less windy than yesterday this morning and not as cold but lots of cloud around and thick fog in some places meaning visibility is poor this morning in places around Shiga Kogen. Light snow is falling at the moment here in Maruike.
From this week it seems that lots of the school trips have started arriving in Shiga Kogen. Ichinose Family especially was looking almost busy a short while ago when I went past with lots of lessons being taught.
The forecast is a mixed bunch of cloud and light snow over the next couple of days with heavier snow possible going into the weekend.
Resort info and lift operations (as of Tuesday 17th December 2013, 9am):
Sun Valley: Reporting 50cm of snow depth; -5C Number 1 quad
Maruike: Reporting 50cm of snow depth; -5C Maruike Number 1 triple
Ichinose Yamanokami: Reporting 60cm snow depth; -5.7C Number 2 lift
Yakebitaiyama: Reporting 80cm snow depth; -8C Number 2 Gondola Number 2 lift
Okushiga Kogen: Reporting 75cm snow depth; -7C Number 2 pair Number 3 pair
Kumanoyu (skiers only): Reporting 60cm snow depth; -6C Number 1 pair Number 2 pair lift A/B
Yokoteyama: Reporting 55cm snow depth; -8C Number 1 Sky B Number 2 Sky Number 3 Number 5 Number 6 Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Tuesday 17th December 2013, 9:20am
5cm of snow up top and no snow at base this morning. It's a cloudy/foggy like affair here at the moment.
The news today is that the Rinkan course that winds down the skiers right part of the mountain is now open and you can slide down to base via that and the Nagasaka connecting course down at base.
One thing I'd like to mention. In the "new snowfall" part of our report, we want to report and keep a record of how much snow has fallen at base area. That's why when there might be 20cm fallen up top, we still have 0cm there. We do however make a note in each report how much snow falls on each of the areas of the resort - as reported by the resort themselves.
So when's the next decent snowfall? Chance of light snow over the next few days, with more promise shown for Saturday.
Tuesday 17th December 2013:
Official snow depth: Yamabiko - 130cm Uenotaira - 105cm Lower slopes - no official snow depth data yet
Lifts Nagasaka Gondola Yamabiko Four lift Yamabiko Number 2 Four lift Skyline connecting lift (WEEKEND ONLY right now) Uenotaira quad Yuu Road
Courses Yamabiko A course Yamabiko B course Yamabiko C course Yamabiko D course Yamabiko E course Uenotaira course Paradise Bunabayashi course Yunomine B course Kokenashi Rinkan Nagasaka Connecting Read more ...
Tuesday 17th December 2013, 9:25am
The snowfall from Sunday evening was consolidated during the day yesterday and as a result Kitanomine Zone will open from 9:00am this morning.
For today, only the quad lift will be operating in Kitanomine giving access to the trails on the lower half of the mountain. This is essentially beginner terrain, so for those looking for more challenging runs, Furano Zone will be the place to head. Not a particularly cold day at the moment, and no wind, so be careful not to over dress.
Missed a report yesterday because I was stuck digging snow all day! The snow continued throughout yesterday, lightening in the afternoon and its stopped snowing around 18:00. The total snowfall from the storm was around 70cm at the valley level with over 100cm in the upper mountains.
Today temperatures have risen to around 4 deg C at the valley allowing the snow to settle. The forecast is showing some light snow from Wednesday evening through to Saturday.
The current forecast means that most Minakami resorts will be open by this Saturday with nearly all of the lifts expected to be in operation. Coverage on lower lying resorts (Norn & Okutone) may be limited but upper resorts should have a good base.
Tenjindaira - all lifts open, return course closed Houdaigi - 1 lift open
Planned opening dates
Norn - Dec 19 Okutone - Dec 20 Minakami Kogen - Dec 20 Read more ...