Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 7th May 2017
Tuesday 19th January 2016, 7:40am
Clear and sunny
I was totally not expecting this.
Woke up this morning and looked out of the window to see.... clear blue skies.
Yes, it is a stunning beautiful morning here in Yuzawa and to the north in Minamiuonuma. Once again, the clouds seem to be missing our valley and tracking to the north of us.
Seemingly laughably as I look at the skies now, snow is still forecast for the whole day today here (!) with it getting really heavy overnight tonight and into tomorrow.
Yesterday we actually did get snowfall for lots of the day and at times it was snowing quite heavily as well. There was about 4cm of fresh snow on the ground through the day and so I would expect there will have been a better layer the higher you go, though I do not have any numbers this morning from the resorts.
With the snow from yesterday and the lovely early morning weather it should actually be a really good morning out on the slopes higher up.
Resort official snow depths (Monday 18th January 2016) and any specific news:
All resorts in the area are now generally open for the season, though please note that some areas and courses are not yet open. Generally some steeper slopes that need more snow are still closed and some lower slopes are patchy, to varying degrees.
Madarao Kogen lifts operating (planned at time of writing):
All lifts plan to be open today
Tangram Ski Circus lifts operating (planned at time of writing):
All lifts plan to be open today
Madarao Tree Run Courses:
Ninja and Kamoshika open - others not yet available Read more ...
Appi Kogen Now!
Tuesday 19th January 2016, 8:18am
What a wonderful white day here at Appi.
I'm being a tad conservative when I say 42cm of snow fell yesterday and last night. Wonderful news for everyone here. Most of it fell last night after the runs had been groomed so those early morning first run skiers can expect knee deep powder to kick off their day.
Right now I'm looking at cloudy skies, moderate snowfall and a temperature of -4. Today's forecast is promising more snow in the 30cm range for the rest of the day with light winds and temperatures hovering in the -5 area for most of the day.
The official base has increased to 70cm and even with the fair amount of snow yesterday no more runs have opened which is disappointing to say the least. Perhaps tomorrow will bring additional open runs... maybe.
The snow will decrease in intensity over the next few days and the wind should pick up slightly but not too much. Temperatures remaining steady in the -6 range for the next two to three days.
The first lift awaits, enjoy the fresh snow!
Currently planned operating lifts:
- Appi Gondola - Central Number 1 quad - Number 2 lift A - Number 2 lift B - Number 3 lift B - Number 4 lift - Sailer quad Read more ...
Tuesday 19th January 2016, 8:32am
Good morning from here at Hirafu base.
The day started off seemingly fairly calm yesterday morning, but unfortunately by mid morning there were some lift disruptions due to windy conditions. First to be stopped was the top King Number 3 at Niseko Grand Hirafu as early as 9am, and then by 10:30am all of the top lifts at each of the four resort areas were not moving, with the Annupuri Gondola and Jumbo Number 3 lifts also finishing their day by early afternoon.
I have just 3cm of new snowfall to report to you this morning since yesterday. It is not as cold as it has been this morning but there are windy conditions on mountain from the start of the day. Niseko Annupuri are reporting northerly winds of up to 19m/s on their upper slopes.
From the start of the day the top lifts at all areas but Hanazono are waiting on conditions and the peak gates will be closed.
As mentioned in the Avalanche Report this morning we should expect conditions to be somewhat different from the last few days with the wind blowing the snow around and snowdrifts. Extra care is needed.
We can probably expect a similar picture tomorrow morning as well by the way.
This storm is so far bringing us here in Niseko less snow and just strong wind - where's the fun in that? - but it is great to see that lots of other ski resort areas of Japan have been getting some decent snow. Those scenes looked more like the usual scenes we see each winter, rather than all this talk of lack of snow. Let's hope that it continues.
Oh yes, and more snow up here too please. I know, I'm greedy.
Resort specific lift opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Niseko Grand Hirafu At the start of the day the top Ace Number 4, King Number 4 and King Number 3 lifts will not be open due to the windy conditions. Other lifts plan to be open.
The mountain base is relatively calm. Snowfall is scarce but a strong easterly wind is blowing above 800m, drifting snow and growing packed snowdrifts. Cornices and snowdrifts in knolls will drastically develop as the day goes by and the avalanche risk will rise accordingly. Be careful as heavy snowdrifts are also present inbounds.
Snowdrifts growth depends on the windspeed; the stronger the wind, the faster they grow, and fast growing snowdrifts are the most unstable, easily collapsing with the slightest stimulations, triggering larger avalanches as they slide. Today’s snow is totally different from yesterday’s. Be prudent and plan according to the conditions. Peak gates will be closed today. Please follow the ski patrol’s instructions and do not duck ropes to step out of bounds. The snow will be better soon.
Official resort snow depths as of Tuesday 19th January 2016:
Yesterday got windy with the upper lifts closing by the afternoon.
Fortunately the wind has calmed down today and all lifts are expected to open again.
The snow has returned, with 9cm falling at the base of the resort.
Temperatures have risen slightly, with a low of -11°C reported at the peak, while the NE wind still has some bite. Read more ...
Tuesday 19th January 2016, 8:49am
Morning from Hakuba where we have more snowfall piling up...
Yes things are looking better by the day now with another 20-30cm of fresh snow being reported by resorts (upper areas) around the valley this morning. It may not be the lightest driest snow there is - a bit on the heavier side than that - but still we need those cm and there were a lot of happy people around playing in it yesterday.
The stronger winds of early yesterday morning aren't causing much problems this morning (Alps 3 lift at Goryu affected?), and it's just generally cloudy at the moment though more snow is forecast. If the forecast is right, heavy snow tonight.
More lifts and runs are also opening up, I see some of the lower slopes of Happo-one seem to be available. Don't forget to check the resort-specific information that has been updated below (every day).
It should be a great day out there on the slopes and some fine conditions to find. I'm off to get a taste if it myself.
Resort news as of 8:35am on Tuesday 19th January 2015 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 10cm of fresh snowfall at base and 30cm up top. All courses are now officially open. Tree Riding Zone not yet open for the season. Official snow depth Upper: 175cm Base: 60cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 10-15cm of fresh snowfall at lower Toomi and Iimori areas and 30cm on upper areas. All upper and Toomi areas are now open. The Soft Cream, Merry Land, Powder Snow and Sunny Way courses in the Iimori area are open. Planned lifts: All lifts plan to be operating (* Alps Number 2 and 4 are weekends and holidays only). Wind affecting the Alps Number 3 lift at time of writing this morning. Official snow depth Alps: 175cm Toomi: 75cm Iimori: 80cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 20cm of fresh snowfall this morning. Some lower areas of Happo-one are now opening up - parts of the Shirakaba (north area), Sakka, Kita One are now open. Planned lifts: Most lifts are now open at Happo-one Official snow depth Usagidaira: 140cm Nakiyama: 45cm Sakka: 30cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting another 20-30cm of fresh snowfall. All courses except Mt Hieda Ridge, Mt Hieda 2 and 3, Itadaria Ridge and Giant now open. Planned lifts: All lifts apart from Number 7 pair operating Official snow depth Top: 140cm Base: 90cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Most course areas at Tsugaike Kogen are now open. Planned lifts: Most lifts are now operating. Official snow depth Tsuga-no-mori: 194cm Maruyama: 50cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 60cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Reporting up to 20cm of fresh snowfall. Planned lifts: View 2 3sen North 4sen East 5sen South Gondola Paradise triple Line Official snow depth Upper: 120cm Lower: 30cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Official snow depth 50cm All lifts apart from Number 8 lift have been operating and 8 of the 12 courses open at Hakuba Norikura Onsen. No further updates as yet this morning.
We did get some snowfall yesterday with the resort yesterday afternoon reporting 3-5cm across the mountain, but no more snowfall this morning and as I said sun along with some blue skies over us at the start of the day.
Good news this morning is that the upper parts of Skyline are once again open (lower part still closed) as well as Schneider and Kamoshika course.
A good storm for a few days would hopefully get most of the rest of them open... it is still being promised by the forecast. Proper heavy snowfall is expected tonight and snow clouds due to be over Nozawa and the region through the week and over the weekend.
Official info at time of writing on Tuesday 19th January 2016 (subject to change):
Yesterday it was a bone chilling day with cold temperatures, and when the wind was added into the equation it became quite an unpleasant day to be out on the mountain unless you were in the super hardy category of skiers. The winds increased during the day and were severe last night. This morning there is a light breeze around the village but it does increase once you get up to the ski area base, so much so that Kitanomine Gondola operation has been put on hold, as it was yesterday. Winds were approximately 30km/h at the top of the resort earlier this morning.
Today is significantly warmer than yesterday with temperatures around -4c in the village but that little bit of breeze whipping around once again makes it feel pretty cold outdoors. The weather is overcast and there is some morning fog hanging onto the top half of the mountain. Lighting is a bit flat and will likely remain that way for the remainder of the day. It is snowing very lightly now and the precipitation should increase this afternoon.
There's some sunshine this morning but it should only be a temporary break from the snow as we have heavy snowfall forecast and expected tonight and through tomorrow. Looks like it could be lots.
Kind of wet snow yesterday even though we got quite a lot of it of course - not top season Shiga Kogen quality - but we'll take it. Tonight should see the lighter kind falling (though falling 'heavier' of course). We all expect!
We should be finding most lifts and courses now open and with the snow due by tomorrow as well I would have thought that by the coming weekend we can finally call it as 'all open', or certainly close to.
Some of the official snow depth numbers are a bit ridiculous considering the snowfall over the last day or so. But anyway, it's the fresh layer that really matters.
Very fine morning and maybe afternoon on the cards before the snow clouds move back in.
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Tuesday 19th January 2016):
Today's weather couldn't be much different from yesterday. Brilliant blue skies all around and not a breath of wind anywhere on the mountain. Since yesterday's 20 cm of snow in the morning we had another 10 cm fall throughout the day. Conditions on piste are fresh and powdery.
The weather forecast is still looking good for the coming week with snow forecast everyday although today's predicted snow does not look likely to turn up anytime in the immediate future.
There's absolutely loads of snow to report this morning.
Yesterday was blizzard conditions though lifts managed to open; this morning it's still pretty wild out there but more lifts moving from the start of the day.
Whiteout and deep snow conditions. How long did it take me to be able to say something like that this season?!
Wind has been blowing it around but the average in the space behind where I live gives me 46cm to report. Yes, forty six cm! Some of the official snow depth numbers have increased, but the official snow depth for Paradise at 70cm is... silly.
Never mind, with so much snow falling here in the village areas it should be an awesome morning up there if you can brave the conditions and just like playing in fresh. Some may be more tempted to sit it out again and wait for the storm to pass. With all this new snowfall, poor visibility and excitement due to the new snowfall, extra care is required. We don't want to be hearing news of lost skiers and boarders on the evening news.
It looks like the snow should continue coming down today and basically through the weekend, though perhaps ease off somewhat after today.
Thank you Snow Gods, we do love you. We always did.
Information as of Tuesday 19th January 2016 (subject to change)
All lifts apart from three Onsen lifts are closed as of 9am.
It seems like heavy snow is falling everywhere except Myoko. I suspect people here think we're getting some good snow, but the reality is that snow is falling but we're getting very little accumulation. That doesn't mean it won't get better, though!
The forecast still holds out a lot of promise, and we're grabbing on to it. Could be heavy tomorrow, they say? Alright, we says. We have lots of hope. Enough gloom. Skiing is possible (but it will be terrible offpiste today, sorry. Low snow, lots of brush, and ice crust to boot).
The wind has shifted to the west off the coast, and it is really screaming in (19m/s, or 68 kph), which is a good sign. That wind hitting the front range (us) can mean some good snowfall.
Oh, and the lifts are all running which is much better than yesterday morning's rain, high winds and few operating lifts.
Weather forecasts have been jumping around like crazy here lately.
Turns out yesterday we didn't get the strong winds which shut a lot of places down. Winds were fierce in the morning but not enough to stop the show at Tenjin or Hodaigi. Tenjin was literally snowed on all day, tracks filled in no time type conditions. The mountain I think reported zero snow yesterday but I was sinking at least 40cm deep in parts. The areas exposed to the Southerly wind had more like 10cm of snow.
This morning I was expecting snow but instead we have clear weather. Forecast is for significant snow this afternoon and tonight and snow forever more after that. Lets hope the forecasters have it right this time!
All snow resorts in Minakami now once again (apparently) all at least part open: