Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 20th January 2018
Monday 19th January 2015, 7:39am
Mostly cloudy and getting cloudier
Snowfall continued into the afternoon yesterday, leaving us with clearer skies (at last) late afternoon. And a very icy evening.
10cm of snowfall during the day yesterday and none overnight.
An odd mix of cloud this morning. There's actually a slight bit of blue sky over Minamiuonuma and it was a bit brighter when I got up but there's more grey clouds over us now with snow due anytime this morning which should continue into tomorrow morning.
Sunshine on Wednesday maybe? Would make for a change!
We only noticed this yesterday but it's very interesting all the same. So far this season on our Yuzawa Now reports here we have observed 919cm of snowfall up until today. Compare that to last season when at the very end of the season we had observed 833cm. So we are already well over the total amount of snow that fell last season and it's only mid January. It's not an exact science of course, but interesting all the same.
Official snow depths (some not updated today due to early report):
Nighta 'night skiing' - where some slopes are floodlit for skiing and snowboarding in the evening - is available at the following resorts in the area.
Ishiuchi Maruyama: Every day until 21st March (until 8:50pm) Iwappara: Every day until 22nd March (until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays, 9pm on Saturdays) Joetsu Kokusai: Every day until 22nd March (until 9pm) Kandatsu Kogen: From 23rd January, 'all night' on holidays (6pm or 10pm until 4am the next morning) Maiko Snow Resort: Every day until 14th March (until 8pm) Naeba: Every day until 29th March (until 9pm) All night on 17th January; 14th February and 14th March (10pm until 6am) NASPA Ski Garden (skiers only): Saturdays until 29th February (until 7pm) Yuzawa Nakazato: Saturdays until 14th March (until 8:30pm)
Chateaux Shiozawa also have nighta but only on certain days - no fixed schedule available. Resorts not mentioned above do not operate 'nighta' (or do not plan to have more this season). Some resorts offer tickets that include nighta, others need a special lift ticket.
Just a thin layer of snow this morning and resort is saying 2cm of fresh.
There's lots of cloud this morning and light snow has been falling and we're forecast snow for the day today.
Tomorrow once the snow clouds clear, chance of clearer skies with sun currently on the forecast for Wednesday. And back to snow on Thursday. This season so far snow refreshes have never really been far away.
Back to weekdays... great if you can be here for them with less people around!
Lifts planned to be open:
Number 1 lift Number 2 quad lift Number 3A Number 5 Super quad lift Number 11 lift Number 12 lift Number 13 lift Number 15 lift Moving Walkway Kids Park Freeride Park Tree Run Courses should be open today.
Night skiing at Madarao is every Saturday until 21st March 2015.
It's snowing again today, after a pretty nice day with lots of sun yesterday.
Looks like snow through the day, with some good accumulation possible (just in time for another major breakdown on the snowthrower.... We are surrounded by snow). It's really picking up now, too. I'd like to get these reports out early, but the reports from the areas and town don't come in until 9:30 or so—I'll report what's up from yesterday, since most weren't in as I was reporting, either.
The new snowfall is for this morning, of course.
I have to add it was a really sad day here: the husband of a friend was the man killed in Arai on an open mountain course; the second death yesterday was of someone passing through the sidecountry within Akakan, but crossing above a terrain trap—a deep valley where it only takes a little slide to bury a person quite deeply in the snow (and he was down more than two meters).
There's a new movement in North America to reduce accidents close to ski areas by posting signs saying, "The Backcountry Starts Here." People think that by being close to the ski area they are somehow safer, so they don't use avalanche beacons or carry shovels, probes, water, food or even a backpack.
It was by sheer luck (and good experience, too) that the victim in Akakura was even found by probing, as he was alone without a beacon.
If you are going anywhere off the piste, you have to think more carefully than in the resort - 100 meters or two kilometers away, it's still natural snow and terrain with all the risks involved (and the fun, too, if you're prepared).
Akakura Onsen (Kumado): until 10pm every day until 22 March Tangram Ski Circus: until 8pm on Saturdays until 28 March Madarao Kogen: until 9pm on Saturdays until 21 March Read more ...
Monday 19th January 2015, 8:11am
Cloud, fog, snow
Yesterday turned into a real beauty.
By mid morning the remaining clouds over the mountains had all but disappeared leaving us with fantastic scenery, fine blue skies and lots of sunshine.
A really beautiful early evening as well.
Not much can be seen this morning though, as the snow is back and it's coming down pretty good up on the mountains looking at the webcams just now. Limited visibility.
Only up to a few cm or so at most to report from around the ski-jo so far, but it should be snowing for the day and so I expect to bring news of fresh cm tomorrow morning.
Feels like a moderate north easterly wind, but all resorts appear to be planning on opening as normal. Hopefully that will be the case.
Back to clearer skies tomorrow and Wednesday maybe before a return to snowfall on Thursday.
Someone has asked why the Adventure Course at Hakuba Goryu seems to never open. Just spoken with someone over at the resort about that to get an official word - it might open but they don't feel it's the conditions to open it right now... safety concerns by the sounds of things.
Official snow depth numbers and operations at time of writing on Monday 19th January 2015. Subject to change during the day:
Hakuba Goryu: Reporting 1cm of new snowfall at Alps Daira and 1-3cm on lower areas. All courses open (except Adventure Course).
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. All courses open.... some currently being checked for safety as I write this once again.
Kashimayari: Reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. All areas now open.
Night skiing at resorts in the Hakuba area:
Hakuba Goryu: Toomi area every day until 31st March. 6pm until 9:30pm. Hakuba Happo-one: Nakiyama area every day until mid March. 5pm until 9pm. Hakuba Cortina: Every day until 31st March. 5pm until 8pm. Tsugaike Kogen: Kane-no-naru-oka on Saturdays in January (and 11th); February 7th, 14th. 6pm until 8:50pm. Karamatsu-Shirakaba on Saturdays in January 10th (and 11th); February 7th, 14th, 28th; Saturdays in March. 6pm until 9pm. Kashimayari: Every day until 15th March. 4:30pm until 9:30pm. Read more ...
Monday 19th January 2015, 8:33am
Cloudy, slight clearings at times
Good morning from my base here in Hirafu and there's another 10-15cm of fresh snow this morning an up to 20cm being reported higher up.
Earlier on when I got up it was just overcast and cloudy, later on snowing quite heavily for a short while, but currently it is snowing lightly. There's even a hint of light blue sky behind thin clouds over there by Hanazono and a brief bit of sunshine here and there.
Forecast is for moderate snowfall later on today, later this afternoon or tonight and then into tomorrow. For the moment it's fairly calm but stronger winds may also prevail later.
It does look like all of the gates are going to be open this morning. Yey!
Take care and have fun.
A last mention today for the fab Prize Draws that SnowJapan is offering the world at the moment. We seem to be getting more readers every week (every day?!), so there will be quite a few people who won't have seen this yet, and some more who just might not have entered but intend to:
Full Day Private Tour in Niseko for up to 3 people - details here
Niseko base 6am: -7C, mild wind, 15cm snowfall in 12 hours. Moiwa 800m: -7C, light breeze, 20cm snowfall with development of snowdrifts. Annupuri 1150m: S5m/s, 20cm snowfall. Hirafu peak ridge: -13C, mild wind, 20cm snowfall. Benkei cape S4m/s, Kamui cape NNW2m/s, 1009hPa, 0.5m waves.
The atmospheric pressure gradient is small. The ocean and the mountains are in calm conditions. 15-30cm of light crystal snow has fallen in the last 12 hours. The snowdrifts that developed in the last couple of days have mostly stabilized and the general avalanche risk is relatively low. All gates are scheduled to open from the morning. Bear in mind that the stabilization of the slabs in 1100m areas is delayed due to lower temperature. Human triggered avalanche are still likely to occur in cornice/knoll/gully terrain of steep faces. Be aware that the out of bounds area is not a resort no more. Consequences can be serious, better not make light of the risk you’re taking. Ride carefully, don’t loose your skis. The snow in the trees has been mostly reset and in good condition. Don’t duck ropes to step out of bounds. Do you know there are official Rules for out of bounds riding in Niseko?
Official snow depth numbers and any notes at time of writing:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 355cm Base - 155cm
Niseko Village: Top - 270cm Base - 170cm
Niseko Annupuri: Top - 240cm Base - 180cm
Lifts open for night skiing (planned):
Niseko Grand Hirafu Ace Family Pair lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift
Niseko Hanazono Resort No night skiing at the Hanazono area
Once again this morning it's limited visibility here in Zao as those clouds refuse to budge. It's not snowing now but forecast for the day before hopefully clearing tomorrow. Sunshine even?! After today there's a few days when we might actually get to see more of things... the next snowfall after today is forecast for around Thursday.
Zao Onsen is fully open (though note that the Karamatsu pair lift is closed on weekdays).
Night skiing operations at Zao this season
Uwanodai area: Daily until 22nd March
Yokokura area: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from until 15th March
Open times from 5pm until 9pm.
Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time ropeway operations
January 2015: 17th-18th, 24th-31st February 2015: Every day 1st-28th
Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm. In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Monday 19th January 2015, 8:58am
No new snowfall to report from Nozawa this morning but it has started snowing again and with snow forecast for today and overnight into the morning tomorrow I think there'll be new cm to report when we next meet.
Some great snow conditions out yesterday and more than a few people visiting Nozawa to enjoy them! We are of course back to a Monday morning here now so while I don't have new fresh to report it should be a great day out. It's a cold start to the day and poor visibility especially on the upper areas of the mountain.