Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 7th May 2017
Monday 17th February 2014, 8:10am
Lots of wind about at the moment - following on from yesterday, it's agoing to be another windy day here today.
Early on before the lifts get moving here's the lifts that we are hearing will not be operating - as always subject to change with conditions of course:
Hirafu: Ace 3 and 4, King 3 and 4; Hanazono 2 and 3 Annupuri: Gondola, Jumbo 3 and 4 Niseko Village: Gondola and Wonderland
About 5cm of fresh snowfall to report this morning. The wind means that it's more and less in places, lots of windblown snow around this morning. The Avalanche Report says up to 20cm. The snow clouds are going to be staying over the region for the next few days, so fingers crossed we should be getting good topups.
Niseko Avalanche Report
Niseko base 6am: -5C, 20cm crushed snow crystals in the last 12hrs, snowdrift development. Moiwa 800m: -8C, wind N15m/s, major development of hard snowdrift, easily fractured. Annupuri 1150m: wind N20m/s, snowdrift development. Hirafu 1000m: -8C, blizzard conditions, snowdrift development. Annupuri peak 1308m: -11.6C, wind N17.4m/s. Cape Benkei: N14m/s, Cape Kamui: NNE13m/s, wave 3.6m, pressure 1015hPa.
Currently we are experiencing winter weather pattern bringing intermittent wind and snow from the north. There has been major snowdrift development above 800m. From observation and data the avalanche risk is HIGH. The wind has formed hard slabs that are not bonded well to the Feb 13-15th layer. Expect these to easily fracture to a depth up to 120cm. Slab growth between 3am and morning was 25cm, a small scale surface avalanche will easily occur. Take note, at around 1000m leeward slopes, a small avalanche is likely to trigger a large scale avalanche. The storm has hidden cracks and because of that they are even more dangerous today.
Peak gates will be closed today, please follow the patrols directions. Do not duck ropes to get fresh snow. Do not enter restricted areas. The snow in the trees is good . Take care falling into cracks, hitting trees. The snow changes everyday. Be safe.
Official snow depth numbers and lift news at time of writing:
The winds are back and at the moment are blowing around the mountain with moderate force. This means that Kitanimine Gondola operation will be suspended until the winds reduce.
Clouds are rolling over the tops and down the upper third of the mountain causing visibility to be a little limited at the top but it gets better as you head down the mountain. There has been 7cm of snow in the village but expect a compacting wind affect on that snow on the mountain. Overall it should be a good day but just remeber to put on a extra layer to combat that wind as it does feel cold.
Operating lifts: Kitanomine Gondola 9:00am-3:50pm (operation currently suspended due to wind) Kitanomine high speed quad 8:30am-8:00pm Kitanomine #2 chair 8:45am-3:50pm
OK so the snow did ease off yesterday as expected. The clouds started to disperse mid morning, things calmed down and by lunchtime we had nice blue skies over Hakuba.
It was clearly quieter than you would expect for a normal Sunday in mid February. The heavy snow in lots of low-lying areas that aren't used to it really did knock out lots of (almost all!) transportation options and there have been some amazing stories of people stranded and also very sad ones of even some weather related deaths. Sometimes it's difficult snow country people who are used to the snow to grasp just how disruptive the snow can be.
Back to today and clouds haved moved back in over Hakuba and light snow has started to fall. Oh yes just a few cm of snow to add to the haul we had yesterday. It is a bit warmer this morning and as we approach 9am it is just hovering under 0 degrees.
Avalance risk and dangers remain high. Powder remains on the slopes - enjoy them!
A calmer and drier patch seems likely though - perhaps snow showers on and off today and then the chance of clearer skies tomorrow.
Official snow depth numbers and operations (as of 17th February 2014):
Hakuba Goryu: Reporting 1cm of new snowfall. Upper - 290cm Toomi - 180cm Iimori - 160cm
Hakuba 47: Reporting 2cm of new snowfall; 3-4cm on upper areas Upper - 285cm Lower - 115cm
After that somewhat wild weekend, things have calmed down somewhat now. Cloudy with light snow early this morning and generally just cloudy conditions and sometimes snow forecast for today and just cloudy tomorrow. Perhaps even a bit of sun.
Yesterday during the day there was another 5cm or so of snow over the mountain and this morning Nozawa is reporting up to 10cm on the upper slopes, with none down at base. It's about 0 degrees at the moment, with -7 degrees posted for the top Yamabiko area. Visibility limited on the upper areas this morning at the moment.
The Kamoshika and Tanuki runs coming off Skyline still seem to be remaining closed for the moment.
So, with a relatively quiet Sunday because of people not actually being able to get here and all that snow, there is still a lot of untouched out there on the courses of the resort. Those trees might look very tempting, but real care needed.
It should be a fine morning for anyone getting up there today. Unfortunately I need to go over to Nagano this morning... hopefully tomorrow!
Lifts Weekday operations - all lifts operating except: Yunomine pair Mizunashi triple Challange pair Utopia pair Hikage No2 pair B
Courses All courses open except: Grand Prix Kandahar West Kandahar East Kamoshika Tanuki Read more ...
Monday 17th February 2014, 9:45am
Hurray! The resort is actually open today after the stormy conditions yesterday, but there's not much to see. Is it still there? Has it been blown away? I can't see it! Fog/'gas'/cloud is completely covering the mountain and pretty much everything else as visibility is down to almost zero.
It is a cold morning and light snow falling as well. Moderate winds remain but the resort is open. There is a chance that some lifts might still be affected by conditions today, so checks are advised.
Things should soon be clearing up though. Cloud forecast for tomorrow and it might even be sunny at times.
If we get a clear day in the next few, will be excellent out there.
Operating lifts (planned):
Number 1 Number 2 Number 3A Number 2 quad Number 5 Super quad Number 11 Number 12 Number 13 Number 15 Moving walkway Kids Park
A few cm of snow on my car this morning but it looks like more on the mountain with Kagura reporting 10-20cm, Naeba reporting 5cm, Maiko reporting 20cm.
Snow and wind on and off yesterday, both strong at times. The sun was out and some blue skies over the region for a short while as well in the middle of all that lot.
A pretty wild weekend for the most part. The good thing out of it being the snow refresh we have received. There is probably 70cm or so added to the snow bank near where I live since the beginning of the weekend. Must be good for the resorts - though keep in mind avalanche risk will have increased.
Still windy enough this morning for Tashiro to be closed and Kagura only open from Mitsumata Ropeway to the Kagura No1 pair lift. Over at GALA Yuzawa, the South Area is closed (due to the volume of snow - hopefully they'll deal with that quickly) but the Central and North areas are open as normal. This means of course that the Ropeway connecting GALA Yuzawa with Yuzawa Kogen is not running.
Moderate snowfall at the moment as of 10am this morning with up to 5cm expected before 4pm. Snow showers is the forecast for today and tomorrow.
Traffic problems persist with the Kanetsu Expressway still closed this morning from Yuzawa down to just north of Tokyo.
Getting back to something like normal here in Zao. The Ropeways are back up and running though it looks like the Kurohime quads and Paradise lifts amongst a few others are still not moving. Not exactly sure why as it is not that windy this morning. Coping with the snow perhaps.... yes, that is what the official site is saying at the moment. They may well open up later.
Just a few cm of fresh snow to report, cold temperatures but not much wind.
Snow showers at times over the next few days but we may see quickly changeable conditions.
Official snow depths (17th February 14): Utopia: 310cm Chuo: 260cm Paradise: 270cm Uwanodai: 180cm Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Monday 17th February 2014, 10:15am
It's still snowing here and coming down pretty good too. It's not quite as whiteout conditions as over the weekend, but still visibility is limited and a wind blowing. Much more lifts open as well, though a few are closed as the resorts cope with the snowfall we have had. We appear to be on the tail end of this particular storm though and can expect some clearer skies tomorrow perhaps even sun. If so it will be a great day to be out on the slopes here.
Traffic problems and not very pleasant conditions during the weekend aside, in terms of snowfall mid-February has been very kind. I'm looking forward to getting out there to enjoy it.
Official snow depth data, as of Monday 17th February 2014):
As I was waiting for the official town snow reports to come in (reluctantly not having a skiing day today), I was going to say the wind is finally down. They're not. Really nice snow is falling; big flakes, just drifting down gently until a few minutes ago and then: back to horizontal snowfall.
On piste, the worst thing is that gondolas may not be running all the time. Oh, yeah, it will be cold on your face, but you're here to ski so suck it up! Get out and ski! Actually, looking out the window again, these big gusts mean wind chill will be a factor; balaclavas are highly recommended!
In the backcountry, though, things are very dodgy. I heard some reports of pretty shaken people coming off the hill yesterday after setting off some small slides, and the complex terrain in the Myoko backcountry can make course decisions pretty difficult. The Avalanche Network issued an overall warning/advisory yesterday, so this is another day to really think twice about going, even if you think you're knowledgeable; don't even think about going at all if you don't have gear and experience and partners who are reliable and cool-headed. Practice your powder turns on the slopes.