Late yesterday the skies cleared over the region and the temperature plummeted getting down to -18 by about 11:00pm. Then through the early hours of the morning a band of heavy snow moved through adding at least another 20cm of extremely light blower powder to the slopes. It cleared up again after this first thing this morning in Kutchan it was -20 degrees. Currently there is a bit of cloud around the resort with light snow falling and it is still very cold. The wind has abated and the snowpack is becoming more stable. All gates, including the peak gates are expected to open but take care as avalanche danger is still reasonably high. Light snow will continue on and off through the day but some sunny breaks can be expected as well. Should be an awesome day up there with plenty of fresh tracks to be had in about as light powder as you ever get here.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu: Top - 280 Bottom - 185
Niseko Village: Top - 300 Bottom - 180
Annupuri: Top - 270 Bottom - 190
Niseko Avalanche Info No.32
Moiwa base 6am: -9℃, 30cm of overnight snowfall consisting of mixed particles. Coastal data: 8m/s NW at Benkei cape, 8m/s NNW, 2.5m waves and 1024hp at Kamui cape. Annupuri peak wind: 34.8m/s NW at 1:30am, 26.2m/s at 6am and forecasted to calm down to 15m/s westerly at noon. Upper Mizuno no sawa data: 9.3m/s NW and -11℃. Winter weather pattern continues with on and off storms making cornices and snowdrifts to develop. The SE facing slopes at 1000m will remain unstable until noon, as a high density slab (80cm) sits on a relatively lower density layer (Jan 15th). Avalanche risk is HIGH. Peak gates are scheduled to open at 10:30. Stay away from knolls and wide open slopes, better stick in the trees. Riding the Backbowl or Annupuri Osawa SE slopes is extremely dangerous today, a 80cm thick surface slab avalanche is possible to occur. Good snow can be found without going too far, it is strongly recommended to stay within the resorts. Do not duck ropes. The gully bottoms are deep. A skier passed away caught in an avalanche accident in Shiribetsu-dake yesterday. Don’t take this incident as somebody else’s problem, it could have happened to anyone in Niseko too.
Yesterday it was snowing on and off for most of the day, but for the most part only light snow and only a slight breeze.
Not sure what happened overnight but this morning the snow is still coming down. There is also about 10-20cm or so of snow on the car since yesterday afternoon. Just s slight wind again, so fairly similar conditions to what we had yesterday.
This cold snap seems set to fizzle out by the end of today and tomorrow we have cloud forecast, possibly with the sun appearing for the first time in a while... followed by a few days of warmer weather.
Snow; unbelievable, ongoing deep snow. The trains stopped, your reporter just barely made it on the highway to pick up a group at Narita, and a complete plowing of the driveway at 11 p.m. Friday was covered more than knee-deep by 3 a.m.
I think it's safe to say we have a good base of snow for the rest of the season. Outside the ski areas, the small trees and brush that was so annoying last year is now totally buried snow. The snow now just needs to settle a bit; a quick check on Friday saw stability in the snowpack below about 50cm of fresh, but big sluffs when skiing steep slopes—big enough to be a concern in valleys. The wind packing also makes for pretty tough skiing—except on steep slopes, you're likely to have to walk done hills as well as hike up. The ski areas are probably the best, safest bet today.
Temperatures are also staying cold, although some warming has been predicted. Morning sun is turning to overcast, with what looks like more new snow starting to come over the mountain.
By the way, the official snow reports are insane, even the ever-exuberant Seki Onsen, as none of them have shown an increase in two days. There was over a meter of new snow; maybe it just blew off the open spaces of the resorts (more likely, they're as overloaded with snow clearing as the rest of us).
It was just cloudy earlir on this morning in Zao, but light snow is now falling from the skies once again. There is almost no wind and right now -5 degrees in village and -10 on the higher parts of the mountain.
The cold front is easing off and from tomorrow it still seems like we are probably going to have warmer temperatures and possibly even some fine weather.
Fantastic snow conditions out there on the mountain.
Another 15cm of so of snow up at Kagura and 5-10cm in the village to report this morning as the snow clouds continue to provide over the region. It is coming down but visibility is pretty decent today and it may well clear up by the end of the day. (I think I said something similar yesterday and it was on and off snow for the day).
The sun is likely to make an appearance tomorrow with finer weather forecast for the next few days along with generally milder conditions.
It is cloudy here this morning but clouds are breaking up in some parts of Shiga Kogen while light snow is falling in others. It looks like the last of the current cold front is moving on as we enter a milder period in the region - it might be the end of the week before we see more snow in the area and in between we could be in for some fine sunny weather. It will be a great time to be visiting Shiga Kogen to enjoy all these fantastic snow conditions that we currently have.
Nighta this evening planned at the following resort areas:
- Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of 17th January 10:
Today the Furano Zone is the place to be. From one o'clock there will be a children's relay race where participants will have to catch a piece of bread dangling from a string with their teeth and race towards the finish line. Apparently this is a traditional Japanese event. Even if you are too old to join in the fun, who does not want to see this? I was up on the slopes from 10am until now, and although it is very cold, the conditions are excellent. Not a lot of wind, perfect weather, the only complaint would be the -14 temperature, but if you bundle up and make sure to cover your face, the ample sunshine makes it seem about 5 degrees warmer. Fair conditions should continue throughout the day, with a sharp warmup forecast for the evening hours. Perhaps this is the time to take advantage of the picturesque Night Skiing offered by the resort.
The snow we received yesterday has made the lesser used runs absolutely gorgeous, with about 5 to 10cm of the freshest, finest powder buffering up the already hefty 155cm snowpack. Today I was boarding, and there were plenty of places for me to bite the edge of my board into. The further up the mountain you go, the more opportunity for freshies you will find. The ski school was hitting the slopes today as well as the local youth ski club, so the place seems pretty packed. Be sure to bundle up and happy skiing!
Still snowing. The forecast had promised us a glimpse of sunshine after this long period of snow but it wasn't to be. Grey cloud and snow when we woke up and it hasn't deviated from that since, only changing in intensity.
Great snow up in the resorts today. Still plenty of soft snow around and this top-up has been a good refresher for all the runs that have been cut up over the last couple of days.
Still feels pretty cold over here but the lower temperatures are keeping the snow in good condition. The forecast for the next week looks a little undecided at the moment - cloud and sun seem to dominate early next week, with the snowman making another appearance towards the end of the week.
Today was a great day on the mountain, with Hakuba having one of the few blue bird days of the month so far. Snow conditions on piste were groomed runs, with some hard, chopped compacted powder to the side of the runs.
It looks set to stay the same over the next few days, with a mixture of some cloud and sunshine tomorrow and temperatures staying low. Towards the middle of the week the temperature is set to rise up to 4 or 5 degrees, this will of course cause a lot of snow melt with spring skiing conditions throughout the day and icy conditions in the late afternoon and early mornings.
The slopes have been quite busy over the weekend and tomorrow they will quieten down once more, allowing those lucky few to enjoy the good weather and open runs. Read more ...