Some days it is of course colder than others, and this morning is one of those. Mightily cold this morning and it's down well into minus double digits, even here at Hirafu base area. Resorts on the mountain are reporting temperatures of -16C on upper areas. An extra layer is called for this morning.
But it will be worth it.
While we 'only' have 10-15cm of fresh snow to report this morning, we are treated to blue skies. Just a few white fluffy clouds here and there. Lovely. It should be a truly excellent day. Cameras recommended.
Forecast is for continued clearer conditions than we have had in the last week or so, less snowfall and perhaps more sun. Temperatures to remain suitably low though through the weekend and into next week.
As you may have heard, there was an avalanche indident out on the mountain yesterday, apparently in the back bowl near the summit of Annupuri. Three people were buried and for some time it was feared there might not be a good ending. Happily though the day ended without any fatalities. It's worth pointing out this was outside of the resort area and people who venuture out do so entirely at their own risk. And should only be doing so either with guides or others who know the area and are prepared, for their own sake. The temptations and excitement are there, but care and clear thinking is needed. Take care out there.
Niseko Avalanche Report
Niseko base 6am: -14C, 10cm of crystal snow in 12hours. Moiwa800m: -11C, 20cm of fresh with snowdrift development. Annupuri 1150m: -13C waves, 1019hPa.
Calm morning as a high-presure system approaches and the isobars spacing out. Overnight snowfall is small, however late night wind and snow made some snowdrifts develop in some areas. Backbowl sidewalls and Higashi-One areas are still unstable and possibilities of 40cm thick slab avalanche are to be considered. These slides would be larger than the one happened yesterday, stay away from valley bottoms as avalanches run through there. Traversing across under cornices of big slopes is simply stupid and ridiculous. It is like deliberately trying to cause an avalanche. Please think about what would happen to you and the people below you if it slides. General avalanche risk is low except in 1100m cornice slopes. Peak gates will open from the morning. Ski patrols are worn out with yesterday’s rescue, please be prudent and be wise. Excellent snow condition today; have a good one.
Official snow depth numbers and lift news at time of writing:
A check of the mercury revealed -23c at the top of Furano and a more tropical -21c at base level. In short it is cold today and a hot coffee out of a vending machine to warm the hands every few runs will be a good idea.
The cold snap will continue for the rest of the week and it looks like there will be a bit of a dry spell with the next snow not forecast until Wednesday. The good news is we have beautiful blue skies and the cold is keeping the powder already on the ground in amazing condition.
The grooming team look to have done a fantstic job overnight and I will be ditching the powder skis and doing some serious carving today.
Lifts All lifts operating except: Yunomine pair Mizunashi triple Challenge pair Utopia pair Hikage Number 2 pair B
Courses All courses open except: Kandahar West Kandahar East Read more ...
Friday 17th January 2014, 10:32am
Just another few cm of snow this morning in Zao and it is snowing now.
Snow on and off forecast for the weekend really, with the chance of some guest appearances by the sun. Hard to read. The only thing that looks sure is the continued cold temperatures, it's not going to warm up much at all right through into next week. That's a good thing of course, just come prepared.
Peak season weekend means a busy Zao and so as always if you are going to be visiting a good early start is highly recommended if possible.
Official snow depths (16th January 14): Utopia: 230cm Chuo: 185cm Paradise: 210cm Uwanodai: 135cm Read more ...
Friday 17th January 2014, 10:44am
Clouds started to move in yesterday afternoon and snow was falling on the mountains as darkness arrived. Overnight we have nothing more than a dusting at base and up to 5cm on upper slopes.
This morning snow is falling and visibility is very poor on all but the lower base slopes of the resorts. Can't see much of anything out there. The forecast tells us it should get better this afternoon though and we'll probably have a clear night.
Start of another weekend tomorrow of course and it looks like it should start off cloudy/sun. We're looking at snow overnight into Sunday though so if that forecast is right the pick of the weekend for fresh would be Sunday. Doesn't always work like that of course...!
However it turns out, have a great weekend!
Official snow depth numbers and operations (as of 17th January 2014):
Hakuba Goryu: Reporting 3cm at Iimori, 1cm at Toomi and 2cm on upper areas. Upper - 275cm Toomi - 160cm Iimori - 130cm
Hakuba 47: Reporting 3-5cm of new snowfall at base, 5cm in upper areas. Upper - 270cm Lower - 120cm
Happo-one: Reporting 0cm of new snowfall at Riesen. Usagidaira - 240cm Nakiyama - 90cm Sakka - 80cm
Madarao is reporting 15-20cm of new snowfall since yesterday and light snow falling at the moment. Forecast is for cloud later on though so the snow might stop later before the clearer start forecast for tomorrow morning. But wait, more snow on Saturday night and into Sunday. So mixed weather conditions lined up for the weekend.
Just come ready for cold conditions and some very nice snow to play in.
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
All tree run courses apart from Powder Wave I should be open today.
After a mostly cloudy day yesterday snow started falling mid afternoon and continued overnight. Nothing major to report this morning with resorts throughout the town reporting 5cm of new snowfall. That's about how much there was on the car this morning as well.
Up to a further 5cm or so is expected before this evening as it continues snowing now.
The weekend is probably going to start with sunny skies over the region but by late in the day snow should be back and we're hopefully looking at some decent snowfall into Sunday.
This morning we are back to snow with perhaps 5cm or so to report, hopefully more by the end of the day. Local forecasts tell us to expect a clear start to the weekend in the morning but back to snow by the end of the day.
The same forecasts show us what looks like a promising snowfall around Tuesday/Wednesday.
Official snow depth data, as of Friday 17th January 2014, 9am):