Please note that the fresh snowfall number being reported on this report is taken from the ‘base area’ of Tenjindaira - which is just by the top station of the Ropeway at that resort. Other snowfall numbers and commentary will be mentioned within each report when available. Read more ...
Saturday 18th February 2017, 8:32am
Snow clouds above us
Things are much improved this morning.
There's not as much fresh snowfall as we would like, but still a good 8+cm of on the ground here at base (more up top of course) and it is much, much colder. In fact it really is cold this morning, not just 'colder'. Resorts are reporting temperatures as cold as -18C at the top! Those extra layers will be needed today.
So conditions should be improved this morning, and with snow on the forecast for today and indeed over the next few days so they should be continuing to improve. There's a lot of people here out enjoy that snow though, so we need decent snowfall under normal circumstances to top-up things. So we're still looking to that big snow to come for a good old proper reset.
Top lifts affected by wind at the start of the day - see below for more on 8:30am status.
Yesterday I got caught up with a few things and wasn't able to prepare my answers. I'll try to get them done over the weekend and post them in the report on Monday.
Cold air is flowing into the area, isobars are close together and snow drifts are developing rapidly with the strong NW wind. Above 800m upper Mikaeri Bowl, 1000m Osawa cornice slope, most places in Backbowl and East ridge cornice slope, the avalanche risk is high. Gates 1, 2, 3, 4 will be closed. Gates 5, 6, 8 are yet to be decided. Please respect the patrols decisions and follow their advice.
There is frost layer from the 17th Feb under the new snowdrifts. Yesterday this layer was just wet snow but it is expected to be the fracture layer on surface slabs today. Snow conditions are different to from yesterday, SE steep slopes will fracture easily and some slopes are very dangerous. Most accidents occur right after storms. If conditions are right avalanches will always occur no matter how much snow there is. Don't be overconfident and make cautious decisions without overestimating the safety of conditions at the moment. The snow in the forest is good.
Resort specific opening news at time of writing (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.
Night skiing is planned until Monday 20th March 2017 at the Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Village resort areas. There is no nighta in the Hanazono area. Read more ...
Saturday 18th February 2017, 8:42am
Unfortunately, we did get that rain yesterday. :(
Happily, it turned into snow later on and the resort is this morning reporting 5cm of fresh. Not sure that will be enough for a reset but certainly better than wet.
This morning light snow was falling a bit earlier but that has stopped now. There's a lot of cloud around but also a few bits of blue sky. It is also colder than yesterday so hopefully we're getting back to more mid-winter conditions again.
Snow is due tonight so I hope to be reporting a decent fresh layer to you.
Enjoy your Saturday.
Operating status for the day at Madarao Kogen (at time of report):
- Number 1 lift - Number 2 quad lift - Number 3A lift - Number 5 lift - Super quad lift - Number 11 lift - Number 12 lift - Number 13 lift - Number 15 lift - Moving walkway - Kids Park - Free Ride Park - Snow Mobile Land
- Powder Wave I - Powder Wave II - River Line - Powder Theater - Adventure Aisle - Crystal Bowl - Ninja - Sawa - Rabbit - Kamoshika - Bear
- Nighta at Madarao Kogen is every Saturday until 25th March (and also on 19th March)
There was some rain falling in the Urabandai area yesterday, but it happily changed into snow over night. Luckily, we have 10cm of fresh snow at base here this morning.
Temperature are returning to winter mode once again, with light snow covering the courses so conditions should be much better this morning.
The ungroomed tree run course is beside No. 4 lift, always popular when there's fresh snow.
There is the snow festival "Eco night fantasy" in Kita Shiobara village tonight. More than three thousand candles will blink in front of the Urabandai sight station. It starts from 5:30pm and there's some fireworks to enjoy too. Let's hope the weather co-operates.
- Gondola - Number 1 quad lift - Number 2 quad lift - Number 3 quad lift - Number 4 quad lift
All courses now open
Official snow depth: 300cm
Road Condition to Grandeco: Inawashiro through Goshikinuma: icy in parts Goshukinuma through Grandeco: icy in parts Read more ...
Saturday 18th February 2017, 8:44am
Yesterday was something of a wet day, so not one of the highlights of the season so far.
The rain turned into snow later in the day though, earlier up on the slopes and then down to village last night, and while there's only a bit to report at lower levels some of the resorts are reporting up to 20cm of fresh snow higher up on the slopes. There's varying numbers coming in from the resorts this morning so it will be interesting to see how conditions are holding up. I am guessing rather varied and very much depending on where you choose to slide. I would definitely head up high though (if I weren't heading over to Matsumoto this morning!)
It is a cloudy/overcast start to the day here in the village - I notice Happo is reporting snow on upper slopes - and that seems to be what we can expect for the day. Thankfully today should be generally quite a bit colder as well which is good. Visibility also looks rather varied this morning, ranging from decent to rather poor.
Snow is due to be falling overnight tonight - forecasts argue on how much we can expect so let's just see what we get out of it.
In the meantime, have a good Saturday.
(And choose well!)
Resort news as of 8:40am on Saturday 18th February 2017:
All information as available and subject to change during the day due to weather and snow conditions.
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 5cm of fresh snowfall this morning. The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth Upper: 255cm Base: 130cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting up to 15cm of fresh snowfall on upper slopes. The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth Alps: 335cm Toomi: 170cm Iimori: 130cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 5cm of fresh snowfall (Riesen quad top) and up to 20cm on upper ungroomed areas. The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 230cm Kurobishi: 270cm Lower: 140cm
Tsugaike Kogen: The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 335cm Han-no-ki: 320cm Maruyama: 150cm Oya-no-hara: 150cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 150cm
Hakuba Cortina: The resort is reporting 2-5cm of fresh snowfall. Official snow depth: Top: 335cm Base: 215cm
Planned nighta operations - be sure to check with resorts for latest:
Hakuba Goryu: Planned to be open daily from 6pm until 9:30pm
Tsugaike Kogen: Planned at the Katamatsu-Shirakaba area February 18th; March 4th, 11th, 18th, 19th (6pm until 9pm)
Hakuba Cortina: Planned to be open daily from 5pm until 8pm (until 9pm on Saturdays)
Hakuba Happo-one: Planned to be open daily until 9pm on the Nakiyama area.
Kashimayari: Planned to be open daily.
There is no night skiing at the other resorts in the area. Read more ...
Appi Kogen Now!
Saturday 18th February 2017, 8:55am
Mostly sunny blue skies
Or maybe not. It is currently blowing a gale here and it’s cold. As you can probably see with the above snow depth we’ve lost 20cm of snow because of the rainfall we had yesterday. It rained most of the day turning the whole resort into a wind blown, rain soaked mess. It finally stopped around 4pm and turned in to snow. With rapidly falling temperatures it made for some fun driving around here last night.
So what’s in store for today? More wind and falling temperatures. You can expect very strong winds all day and temperatures around -8 to -11. Couple that with the wind and you’ve got a cold day in store.
The wind may drop in velocity tomorrow and we may get another few cm of snowfall.
Don’t expect many lifts to be in operation today, as of now there only looks to be 4 of them running. Obviously the main gondola isn’t in operation so there’s no way right now to get to the top. Lets hope that changes soon or today will be a bust.
Dress warm if you’re coming, it's chilly.
Planned operating lifts at time of report (subject to change due to weather conditions):
Central quad Central number 1 Sailer Number 1 Sailer Number 2 Sailer connecting
I seem to be timing my visits to outside of Nozawa well this season - avoiding rainy wet conditions. Not everyone is so lucky of course and we want to avoid wet as much as possible over winter. The official snow depth numbers have taken something of a hit today and very likely conditions out there. Hopefully that was the end of our short blast of spring and we can get back to winter...
On that note I'm glad to report that the rain turned into snow overnight leaving us with 10cm of fresh on upper slopes, though none on lower. It's definitely going to be a case of 'head high' this morning I think.
It is certainly colder this morning and hopefully tomorrow more so again. The forecast looks good for regular snowfall over the coming week (though there's a few umbrella icons in there too). Let's hope it keeps on the colder side of things.
Anyway, cloudy skies at the start of the day and limited visibility on upper slopes by the looks at the webcam images. All lifts back to normal this morning so time to head up to Yamabiko!
Courses not open today are: - Kandahar East - Kandahar West - Grand Prix Read more ...
Saturday 18th February 2017, 9:04am
Generally just cloudy, but...
Good morning from Yuzawa.
The day started off with those lovely clear skies yesterday, but by mid-morning things were changing with cloud appearing... and eventually rain falling in the afternoon. And quite heavily at times unfortunately.
We were hoping for snow overnight but that didn't happen - well, not down in town anyway. Kagura are this morning reporting 3-5cm of fresh snowfall while Maiko Snow Resort are reporting just a dusting. That probably gives you a good idea of the range of how much fresh snow to expect out there today.
Very light snow is trying to fall right now in places at town level and so surely higher up on the ski slopes, but it's not the kind of snow that will bring us any fresh cm.
Heavier snow might be coming our way tonight so let's see if we can get a good refresh by the morning.
For now though snow conditions will be how you might expect them to be after the warmth and rain of the previous days, with better conditions the higher you go.
Official snow depth information as of Saturday 18th February 2017
GALA Yuzawa Upper part of $2,600,000 closed today due to avalanche danger. Otherwise open as planned. Official snow depth: 390cm
Below are details of the planned 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma this season. This information is subject to change due to snow and weather conditions. *** Please note that this section will not be updated every day.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Daily until 19th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 8:50pm. The Chuo Number 1, Chuo Number 2 and Kanko Number 3 Express lifts are open daily. The Kanko Number 1 Express lift, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift and Hatsukaishi Number 2 pair lifts are also open on weekends and holidays.
Iwappara Daily until 20th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays. The Main course, Grand course and West courses are open during nighta.
Joetsu Kokusai Daily until 20th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm. The area in front of the main base hotel is open for nighta.
Kandatsu Kogen 'Hobo All Night' ('Almost All Night') is on Fridays, Saturdays and nights before holidays until 1st April 2017. The nighta opening times on those days is from 6pm until 4am the following morning.
Maiko Snow Resort Daily until 19th March 2017. Nighta is from 4pm until 8pm. The Maiko center quad lift on the Maiko Side of the resort operates for nighta.
Naeba Daily until 26th March 2017. Nighta is from 4pm until 8:30pm.
NASPA Ski Garden 'Thanks' (extended) opening on Saturdays in January and February. On those days the Number 1 lift is open until 6pm.
Yuzawa Nakazato Every Saturday until 11th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 8:30pm. The Number 2 pair lift operates during nighta. Read more ...
Saturday 18th February 2017, 9:06am
A fair amount of cloud cover today
Good morning from Naeba everybody.
First up let's recap from yesterday. It was meant to rain in the morning yesterday and begin to snow in the afternoon. As it actually happened we had a clear morning with rain in the afternoon although this turned to snow only after an hour or so.
For today it looks as though we are in for a cold one today. The overcast weather combined with moderate winds on the mountain means that temperatures should remain below freezing the whole day.
It did snow a little earlier on however not too much accumulated.
Conditions on piste will be a little over firm with patches of ice being a fairly common feature.
The weather forecast is still predicting snow every day going on however, there is not really any massive dumps predicted right now.
The word rain should be banned during winter, but alas the region got that yesterday. It didn't last long though happily and this morning it is back to being much colder and there's a few cm of fresh snow again this morning... enough to make the trees look slightly frosted.
Generally cloudy skies this morning with snow likely later on and overnight tonight. In fact, the forecast is looking quite promising once again with regular snowfall lined up in the coming days.
Yes, back to winter conditions sounds good to me.
It will be interesting to see how snow conditions are this morning but if we get the snow tonight tomorrow will surely be the better of the weekend days.
Have a good one.
Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:
Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish. Also that they often don't update daily and don't reflect the amount of fresh snow falling!
Ichinose Family: Every day until 25th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Ichinose Diamond: Every Saturday until 25th March and 19th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Yakebitaiyama: Every Saturday until 4th March (6pm-8pm)
Kumanoyu: Every Saturday until 25th March and 19th March (6:30pm-9pm) Read more ...
Saturday 18th February 2017, 9:48am
Yesterday was a bit wild out there but this morning things have calmed down - just a slight breeze at the moment.
Just a bit of new snow on the ground this morning and a cloudy start to the day. And happily it is much colder than how we started the day yesterday.
We may get some fine weather today and a chance of some snow in the day tomorrow. All a bit unclear and changeable it feels at the moment.
All lifts apart from the following appear to be operating today:
Paradise Number 3 pair
All courses apart from Kotan are open.
Official snow depths (as published by the resort itself): Summit - 125cm Paradise - 220cm Chuo - 220cm Utopia - 170cm Uwanodai - 130cm Yokokura - 155cm
Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time Zao Ropeway operations
Every day until 5th March 2017. Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm. Ropeway return charges are 2,600 yen for adults and 1,300 yen for children. In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled. Read more ...
Saturday 18th February 2017, 10:40am
It is trying very hard to snow today, after a day of pounding rain and wind.
The Niigata prefectural prediction (which is pretty good) was for 15cm; maybe we got half that.
It's snowing now, but the forecast to 4pm is just two more centimeters.
If you're skiing, it's a day to stay on the slopes, I think, as it could be pretty nasty out in the woods (all that wet snow, cooling down, a dusting of snow on top....). Probably ice on the groomed as well.
I just hope the heavy snow that some forecasts see for today does come true.
It has been an epic day in Furano with 15cm of new snow at village level and 40cm at the top of the resort...wow 40cm. Needless to say there was amazing powder skiing through the day with plenty of whoo hoo's being heard as people got their powder fill. While there were moderate and sometimes strong winds blowing, the Kitanomine Gondola managed to keep going.
Looking forward, the forecast looks excellent with light snow continuing over the weekend and then on Monday heavy snow is predicted. Read more ...