Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 24th March 2018
Monday 19th December 2011, 9:11am
Light snow, cloud
Kagura reporting up to 15cm of fresh snow this morning though only a sprinkling really lower down the mountain and in Naeba, where a bit more terrain has opened up - the 'Wakuwaku course' (exciting, hey?). Lifts operating at Naeba, and I presume for the week unless more snow allows more area to open, are the No5 quad, No4 pair, No2 gondola and Takenokodaira pair.
Today is set for a mix of light snow and cloud. Looks like the sun is even casting some shadows up at Kagura as I write this but I'm guessing that won't last long. Snow clouds should remain into early tomorrow followed by perhaps a day or two of clearer skies.
Late Thursday looks like the start of a very cold snap that potentially will bring very large amounts of snow to the region. Oh yes.
Resort Operations, 19th Dec (subject to change) Naeba: No4 and No5 courses near base, Takenokodaira, Daishamen, Downhill, Wakuwaku courses Kagura: Most of Kagura is open.
The snow has stopped for now after a dusting up high overnight but the clouds are still lurking and probably have more snow in them. It is cold out and still plenty of snow around from that big dump. A bumper weekend for the resorts and I bet they wish every opening weekend could be like that one. Snow showers forecast into the coming days so should be a couple of good top ups on the way for those that like their snow soft and fluffy. Read more ...
Monday 19th December 2011, 9:24am
Light snow, cloud, sun at the moment
About 10cm or so of new snow since yesterday as the snowy conditions continue. Having said that in the last short while the sun has come out from behind the clouds and making it all very bright. The forecast has snow/cloud down for the day but there's always the chance that the weather will decide to do something else and it end up a fine day. Whatever, it doesn't look like we are on for that much snow today. Tonight might bring something more significant.
But talking about significant snowfall, let's take a look at the end of this week. All the signs are there for a truly significant dump of snow. Hopefully, even epic! Yes if you plan to be out on Friday and Saturday, I'd leave the cameras in and wrap up very well as it looks like it will be snowing furiously. Now let's just hope that the forecast keeps it that way.
Lifts currently operating: Number 1 lift Number 2 quad lift (subject to change depending on conditions)
Yesterday it was snowing most of the time, but it somehow doesn't seem to have amounted to much additional cm around town, though up on the mountain resorts are reporting 5-10cm of new snow. It was snowing very lightly just a bit earlier but it actually seems to be clearing up at the moment and over Minamiuonuma some blue skies seem to be starting to appear.
The forecast remains cloud and snow for today into tomorrow, so we'll just have to see how it turns out. Right now in town temperatures are hovering around 0 degrees.
After perhaps some clearer skies mid-week, later on this week we are looking at some potentially very heavy snowfalls in the region. It looks very promising. So let's hope that turns out to be the case.
Resort operatings around town seem similar to as they were yesterday with Naeba opening the Wakuwaku course and also Yuzawa Nakazato and Nakazato Snow Wood beginning operations.
Resorts operations and (official) snow depths, 19th Dec 11
Mt Naeba (60cm): Some lower and upper lifts operating - today the Wakuwaku course opens
Kagura (120cm): Almost all of the resort is open
GALA Yuzawa (100cm): The South and North areas are now open.
It's a beautiful day today—not bluebird skies beautiful, which is over-rated anyway—the snow just keeps on falling beautiful. Lovely light snow has been falling steadily since last night (at least since I unsteadily came home from a meeting about 11 pm), so there's at least 15cm of new soft stuff on the ground. The official report doesn't reflect that, but I'm sticking with it, aided by the scientific tool of my dog's nose on the morning walk. Plus the trees, which are holding on to a coating snow.
I got nothing more to say today, except I wish I was skiing; someone has to stay at the desk, report on the snow outside and make some money for Christmas presents. It did look pretty inviting up at the base of Akakan; good snow, top to bottom snow and not a lot of people yet. Good day to play hooky...
Current Official Snow Depths/Operating Condition:
Akakura Onsen: 125cm; Kumado section open
Akakan (Akakura Kanko): 115cm; Sky Cable and 2 Hotel side lifts open.
Ikenotaira: NR; scheduled opening Dec. 23
Myoko Suginohara: NR; scheduled opening Dec. 23
Seki Onsen: NR; scheduled opening Dec. 21
Myoko Ski Park: 110cm; opened today
Kyukamura: NR; scheduled opening Dec. 23
Tangram: 70cm; limited courses open; snowmobile rides from today
Snowflakes slowly falling from the skies still this morning in Shiga Kogen.
Not a whole lot to report this morning actually. The runs that are open were quite busy over the weekend as you might expect. Just a thin new cover of snow since yesterday really and perhaps we can expect similar conditions today and into tomorrow. Once we get into tomorrow the forecast predicts that we may see the sun amongst the clouds.
What's really interesting is what is in store beyond mid-week. From Thursday night temperatures will drop right down once again and some heavy snowfalls are set to hit northern Nagano.
Official snow depths [19th Dec 11]: Takamagahara Mammoth - 40cm Ichinose Family - 50cm Ichinose Diamond - 50cm Yakebitaiyama - 50cm Okushiga Kogen - 30cm Terakoya - 30cm Kumanoyu - 50cm Yokoteyama - 40cm Sun Valley - 30cm
Resorts part open [19th Dec 11]: Takamagahara Mammoth - one triple lift, one quad lift Ichinose Family - two pair lifts Ichinose Diamond - one quad lift Yakebitaiyama - one pair lift, one quad lift Okushiga Kogen - gondola and three pair lifts Kumanoyu - three pair lifts Yokoteyama - two pair lifts, one triple lift, one single lift Sun Valley - one pair lift (Higashiyama gondola operating and part of Terakoya open for pole training) Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Monday 19th December 2011, 10:59am
It has been snowing lightly in Nozawa Onsen since about this time yesterday. Although the snow has been consistent it has not affected the base a great deal with about 10cm been collected over that time.
Conditions are excellent though and it is now possible to ski top to bottom with Skyline opening yesterday morning. Even the home trail that runs along the bottom of the resort is in good shape with a nice covering of snow and with a light layer on top it is all smooth sailing.
I took a walk along there this morning and it was just like a postcard with fluffy snow and flakes floating down from above.
Yesterday was an awesome morning by all reports and the powder hounds were out in force digging themselves out from under the chairs at Yamabiko. The afternoon warmed up a bit though and was a little slow in places. Last night was the annual Nozawa Onsen Fishing Club annual dinner so there are a few slow movers this morning too.
The outlook is for a bit of sun and light snow over the next few days then the snow fest continues from Thursday night getting heavy over the weekend and into Christmas.
Current Official Snow Depths Numbers:
Current Lift operations: Nagasaka Gondola Yamabiko quads Uenotaira quad
Current courses open: Uenotaira (2000m) Paradise Yunomine Yamabiko A (1300m) Yamabiko B (800m) Yamabiko C (850m) Yamabiko D (1250m) Yamabiko E (1000m) Hikage Rinkan Course Buna Hayashi Skyline Schneider/Utopia Course
Yu Road is also open the moving walkway from the Village Read more ...
Monday 19th December 2011, 11:01am
Cloud at tops
The weekend proved to be fantastic out on the mountain. Saturday was the first day the Kitanomine Gondola was operating and there was fantastic powder skiing to be found all over the Kitanomine Zone, with people claiming they skied chest deep powder in the Premium Zone. Today is very cold but good clear conditions except for some cloud hanging around the tops. There has been a nice dusting of 2cm which is sitting on top of a groomed base. Read more ...
Monday 19th December 2011, 11:23am
patches of blue sky as of 10am but mainly overcast light snow
Simply put - the best day of the season so far. Fathomless powder conditions after yet more overnight snow. Reports are saying 30cm but I cleared my car at night and was brushing 55-60cm off the roof this morning.
As the lifts started moving this morning it was still snowing moderately with a few bursts of sun here and there, and as of time of writing conditions are very still and overcast. There looks to be more light snow coming in later on and through into tomorrow, picking up again in intensity on Wednesday.
Almost all of the mountain is now open with just a few exceptions and lift slowdowns from time to time due to conditions. Current lift operations at time of writing - as always, subject to change:
Hirafu: Hirafu family pair, Ace Quad, Ace Pair 3 and Hooded pair 3, swinging monkey and holiday pair running. Gondola also running and King 4
Annupuri: Gondola, jumbo quad and Pair 2 and Annupuri Pair 3 running. as well as slowed Jumbo pair 4
Niseko Village: Banzai, Mori no and Community chair and Gondola running and Wonderland Chair
Hanazono: Hanazono lift 1,2 and 3 running
Niseko Base: -6℃, 25cm of crystal snow in the past 12 hours. NW11m/s wind at sea level and NW15m/s wind with moderate snowfall above 1000m altitude. Snowdrifts are slowly developing in leeward slopes. The snow accumulated above Dec 14th layer (60cm) is rounding and relatively stable. According to the snowfall transition and present condition, the general avalanche risk is low except in 40°slopes above 800m altitude with developing cornices, directly leeward of ridgeline and steep open faces underneath chairlifts. The snow in the trees is in good condition, however gates are yet to open. Do not cross boundary ropes to step out of bounds. Beware of hidden bushes and frostbites. Cornices have grown big and are unstable, stay away from them. Have a nice day. Read more ...
Monday 19th December 2011, 14:40pm
Cloud, fog, light snow
Similar kind of conditions in Zao today as we had yesterday and with the resort now saying that 'almost all' of the slopes and runs are open, it is really starting to feel like the season has got going properly. Other than some of the lifts over in Uwanodai, a Paradise lift, a Shobunuma lift and a Astraea lift, it's pretty much all 'open'.
Not masses of snow yet, but decent quality all the same. Right now it is about -4 degrees in the village and light snow falling - we have perhaps seen about 5cm more since yesterdays report.
Looking ahead perhaps the snow easing off into mid-week but a very cold winter front is moving in for late week that looks sure to bring with it a lot of snow for many regions of northern Japan including Zao.
Operating lifts (18th Dec '11) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) and most lifts. Almost all of Zao is now open. Read more ...
Monday 19th December 2011, 16:23pm
Good afternoon from Hakuba. More snow to report today from Hakuba - not a huge amount again, but it has been coming down and probably 10-15cm since yesterday.
Things have been getting a bit brighter and clearer down in village level this late afternoon, with clouds still cover the upper area of the mountains... but not for long though as it will of course soon be getting dark for the evening. Right now it is around 0 degrees in Hakuba and while it is holding off at the moment, we do have some more snow expected overnight. These small portions of extra cm of snow are allowing resorts to slowly open up a bit more. At Goryu you can actually ski down to base now but things are still limited as we wait for that mega-dump that seems to be on it's way. See below for the latest.
Yes, take a look at the forecast on the resort pages on the site. By the end of this week we are looking at some very heavy snowfall moving in and giving us a very fine and fluffy Christmas present. Hopefully by next weekend the resorts will be in full swing, if strong winds don't prevent that of course. Keep an eye on that forecast though as it is looking like it should be something special.
Official snow depths and operations @ Monday 19th December 2011 PM: Especially in this early season period please note that conditions can change quickly - resort operations as well as the weather, as resorts try to get as much open as possible. So please keep that in mind.
Hakuba Goryu: Goryu reporting 10-15cm of new snow. Ski lifts/courses: Telecabin (gondola); Alps Daira No1 pair lift; Alps Daira No3; Toomi Sky 4; Iimori Milky 4. You can now ski down to base at Goryu as more of the resort officially opens up. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 85cm; Toomi - 35cm; Iimori - 35cm.
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 are reporting another 20cm of fresh snow today on upper slopes. Ski lifts/courses: Gondola (to get people to Line 8), Line A, Line C and Line E lifts operating. All courses apart from Line 7, the lower part of Line 1 and the DBD Kamoshika areas are open. Official snow depth: Upper - 120cm Lower - 20cm
Happo-one: Ski lifts/courses: The Alpen quad, Kurobishi No2 quad, Panorama pair lift and Gondola are operating today. From today also the Skyline No2 pair lift is operating and the Skyline course is open. Kokusai No3 pair and Kurobishi No3 pair also started moving today, so things gradually opening up. You still can’t ski down to base though. Official snow depth: Usagidaira/Kurobishi - 70cm; Sakka - 30cm; Nakiyama - 20cm.
Tsugaike Kogen: Ski lifts/courses: Han-no-ki high speed pair lift (access via Gondola) and Tsuga No2 pair lifts are operating. Official snow depth: Upper slopes - 70cm
Hakuba Cortina: Ski lifts/courses: Number 2 quad and Number 4 pair lifts operating. Official snow depth: Upper - 85cm Lower - 40cm
Hakuba Iwatake: Iwatake will open as soon as there is enough snow.
Hakuba Sanosaka: Sanosaka plans to open for the season on 23rd December
Hakuba Minekata: Minekata plans to open for the season on 23rd December Read more ...