Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 18th February 2018
Friday 19th January 2018, 6:50am
Cloudy and Foggy
Good morning! It's a dark and damp morning here, with low cloud clinging to the mountainside and hiding the peaks from view. The temperature did drop below 0°C last night, meaning that the pistes will likely be hard first thing this morning. Despite the dense cloud this morning, we can expect this to thin out as the day goes on, and possible even catch some sunshine before dark. Temperatures are expected to hover around 0°C overnight tonight.
Looking forwards, it seems as though winter is about to be back with a vengeance. Snow is currently forecast at the base from Saturday through until at least Wednesday, with the heaviest snow falling between Monday and Wednesday. Temperatures will remain around 0°C until Tuesday, when they plummet down to as low as -12°C overnight during the next storm cycle to blow through. The wind is also forecast to pick up significantly during this period, of course, bringing with it all that wonderful snow.
It is a nice morning looking up towards the mountain. The sky is clear and blue, with a patches of cloud spread around. The day will be mild starting off from -5c now and moving upwards a little to a high of -3c. Light snow is expected later in the day. The weekend looks like it will be a bit windy from Saturday afternoon onwards. Overnight there has been a nice new layer of 6cm of new powder which will transform the slopes from the firm base to a nice powder experience. Read more ...
Friday 19th January 2018, 7:51am
Good morning from Grandeco.
There was 3cm of new snow last night and it is fair this morning.
Temperature is getting colder again which is good news and snow conditions should be better than yesterday.
According to the forecast, the next snow fall will be Saturday night through Sunday morning.
Very few people around this morning, it will probably be like your private ski course!
It’s a chilly one out there today with wind speeds moderate, set to ease into this afternoon with tops of -3C.
The winds may ease but the temps are only going to get colder, with a low of -6C expected.
Vis is okay, the wind will be picking up some flurries here and there throughout the day though.
Saturday: clear and sunny, chance of snow into the afternoon. Winds increasing to moderate with tops of 0C Sunday: snow showers, moderate winds and tops of -4C Monday: cloudy with some heavy snow into Tuesday, tops of -2C
Zones open include Summit, Rabbit, Beech & Stream. At this stage Shooter will remain closed until the main gondola is open.
News on Main Gondola:
At this time unfortunately the Main Gondola (Gondola 1) is closed for repair. The resort is working on the repairs, but it will require the next few weeks until it is back in operation. They estimate late January, early February for it to be back in action.
Official snow depths:
Top: 315cm Base: 230cm
Nighta skiing operations are planned at Geto Kogen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 25th February 2018. Read more ...
Friday 19th January 2018, 8:12am
Good morning. Yesterday ended up being another generally mild day with the sun finding a way through the clouds and a few spots of rain in the evening. The local news said that temperatures rose to above 8C in the day - that's more like early March than mid January.
And so, it's Friday again... already. Too fast! Of course, this week hasn't been a good one in terms of snow and conditions but we can now positively look forward to some much better snow news in the first part of next week.
Yes, the forecasts are looking much better at the moment. And this time, instead of snowing in the plains and cities to the north it should be snowing right here over the mountains. Apparently it might be the strongest winter front of the season. Nice. Loads of snow please.
Until then, we are expecting some clearer skies and maybe some sun here later today. It is definitely colder this morning. Early on it is cloudy and the roads are wet - GALA Yuzawa, Yuzawa Kogen and Maiko are reporting light snowfall; and it looks like there is a bit of fresh snow on the road up by Mikuni/Tashiro Ropeway.
The clouds will probably clear up though during the day today with that chance of clearer skies later on.
Sunshine is expected tomorrow morning.
And perhaps a little snow on Sunday.
And then... some proper decent snowfall from around Tuesday!
Let's hope we get some major snow action.
Images today from GALA Yuzawa, NASPA Ski Garden and Yuzawa IC exit (Route 17).
The gates were closed yesterday (I believe) and that was due to the really poor visibility up there. They should be open today with improved conditions - though I would expect still fairly limited visibility this morning on mountain.
I have 8cm of fresh snowfall on the ground to report this morning; falling yesterday afternoon and last night. Very nice to see of course; perhaps not enough to completely cover tracks, but certainly welcome and I believe a personal inspection is required this morning!
Light-moderate snow is falling now as the resorts open up for the day and all lifts appear to be starting up as planned.
Maybe see some of you out there.
It was funny, the other day someone asked me 'if I liked toast' when they heard that I lived locally. They were trying to uncover the identity of the Niseko Now writer! Of course, I pretended to be confused by such a question and held back with my response! ;)
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6.00am: -5°, 10cm new snow. Moiwa 800m: -5.9°, E3.4m/s, 15cm new snow, minor snowdrift development. Annupuri 1100m: -6.7°, WNW3.5m/s, 15cm new snow, minor snowdrift development. Hirafu 1250m: -11°, light westerly winds, 20cm new snow, snowdrift development. Coastal data: Benkei Cape:NNW12m/s. Kamui Cape: N7m/s,1017hPa, wave 1.4m.
From midnight the atmospheric pressure gradient increased and above 800m there was some slow snowdrift development. The mountain is reset for the first time in a while. From observation the general avalanche risk is low. All gates are expected to be open. Listen to the patrols advice before going out of bounds. Be careful riding, the old tracks are not completely covered.
Cracks are appearing everywhere on the mountain. The risk of large scale avalanche from a deep layer or full depth avalanche in Haru no Taki is increasing due to the warm winter and large amount of snow. Do not duck ropes to enter this area from either the Hirafu or Higashiyama side. Do not overestimate your knowledge, skills or equipment. Always err on the side of caution. Groomers are in fantastic condition.
Friday 19th January 2018
Resort specific information (operations subject to change):
Lifts scheduled to be operating: - All lifts apart from King Number 2 should be operating - 'Early Morning' services from 8:00am until 8:20am (Ace Number 2 Center Four quad lift). Until 28th January. 500 yen special ticket required.
Lifts scheduled to be operating: - All lifts apart from the Country Road Chair lift should be operating - 'Early Gondola' service from 7:30am until 8:30am (Niseko Gondola). January 20th-21st, 27th-28th; February 3rd-4th. 1,400 yen special ticket required.
Official snow depth: - Top: 280cm - Base: 170cm
Floodlit 'nighta' skiing:
Night skiing is planned for every evening at the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri areas. There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO area. Ski lifts that are scheduled to be operating for nighta are noted below (subject to change):
* Niseko Grand Hirafu - Ace Family quad, Ace Number 2 quad, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 pair * Niseko Annupuri - Jumbo Number 1 quad lift * Niseko Village - Village Express, Upper Village Gondola, Community Chair, Banzai Chair Read more ...
Friday 19th January 2018, 8:37am
Good morning from Hakuba.
I had a good few hours out there yesterday. Conditions are not currently what we want for mid-January of course, but I enjoyed a good work out all the same. I spent my time over at Hakuba 47. Some blue skies appearing around mid-day and even a bit of sunshine but as I was finishing up light snow was falling. Fun, though I am looking forward to the next heavy snowfall to give us those lovely light snow conditions.
That should be happening from sometime early in the week.
And it's looking good.
'Heavy snow'. I like the sound of that, a lot.
It is going to be a snowy week with temperatures dropping back down to where we want them in late January.
Before that happens, there's lots of cloud (and fog on mountain) this morning but there's a chance of some sun later on today and sunny skies are forecast for the start of the day tomorrow.
Monday/Tuesday seems to be when that 'mid-winter' switch will be flicked to our preferred setting.
This morning Goryu and Cortina are reporting 1cm of fresh snowfall and Happo-one are reporting 3cm at the top Gondola station with a dusting around bases. So expect a slight dusting to thin cover out there.
Ski resort information on Friday 19th January 2018 (at time of writing):
Night time skiing (nighta) at resorts in the region - weather & conditions permitting The below 'nighta' information will not be updated every day - please check with resorts if you plan to go!
Hakuba Happo-one Daily from 5pm until 9pm in the Nakiyama 2 area Adults - 2,000 yen; children - 1,200 yen
Hakuba Goryu Daily from 6pm until 9:30pm in the Toomi area until 31st March The Sky Four quad operates daily; the Number 2 pair mostly on Saturdays and holidays Adults - 1,900 yen; children - 850 yen
Hakuba Cortina Daily from 5pm until 8pm (until 9pm on Saturdays) Adults - 1,500 yen; children - 1,000 yen
Tsugaike Kogen Kane-no-naru-oka area from 6pm until 8:50pm on 3rd, 10th, 11th February Karamatsu Shirakaba area from 6pm until 9pm on 20th, 27th January; 10th, 11th, 17th February; 3rd, 10th March Adults - 2,200 yen; children - 1,700 yen
There are no other nighta operations at other ski resorts in the region Read more ...
Friday 19th January 2018, 8:45am
A bit of snow to report this morning. I measure 3cm; the resort is reporting 5cm. So a think layer that won't be totally covering up tracks, but of course welcome all the same. But when can we expect some decent snowfall? I'm happy to report that the forecasts are looking very positive and good for decent snow in the coming week, starting sometime on Monday and getting Madarao-tastic around Tuesday and Wednesday - and hopefully beyond. It is looking like that suck us right back into mid-winter - where we want to be!
Earlier light snow to ease off leaving us with generally cloudy conditions. Perhaps even get some sun. Tomorrow is set to be sunny from early in the morning.
Deep fresh snow? Coming soon!
Official snow depth: 170cm
Number 1 lift Number 2 quad lift Number 3A lift Super quad lift Number 11 lift Number 12 lift Number 13 lift Number 15 lift
Powder Wave I Powder Wave II River Line Free Ride Park Powder Theater Adventure Aisle Crystal Bowl Ninja Sawa Rabbit Kamoshika Bear
Kids Park Snow Mobile Land
Planned nighta operations this season:
11th February 2018 Every Saturday between 4th January and 24th March 2018 Read more ...
Friday 19th January 2018, 9:07am
Good morning from Zao.
A fine day yesterday with sunshine and blue skies to enjoy.
This morning there is more cloud around and currently covering the sun - which seems to be trying to get through! Maybe it will.
As with other regions, next week is looking promising with some heavy snow lined up on the forecast. Look out for that starting sometime around Monday.
Before then, we are likely to see lots of the sun tomorrow and perhaps some light snow on Sunday.
Lifts and course info:
- All lifts operating (apart from Karamatsu, which is rested on normal weekdays) - All areas open
In the Uwanodai area: Daily until Sunday 4th March 2018 Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 9th March until Sunday 18th March 2018
In the Yokokura area: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only until Sunday 18th February 2018 Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 2nd March until Sunday 11th March 2018
Night time 'light up' sightseeing ropeway is planned for the following dates:
January 2018: 20th-21st, 27th-31st February 2018: every day March 2018: 1st-4th Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Friday 19th January 2018, 9:32am
Overcast, fine, some sun
Good morning from Shiga Kogen.
I'm glad to report that this morning is colder and hopefully we are now going to start seeing a return to something more like mid-winter weather patterns. Looks like we are on for some real cold and potentially heavy snow over the coming week. That should really refresh things good and proper.
This morning started cloudy and there was a dusting of snow on the ground but right now (nearly 9:30am), the sun is out. Sun is forecast for tomorrow too.
The snow we are waiting for should begin maybe Sunday but get serious later on Monday. I am looking forward to being able to report some good numbers to you next week.
Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:
Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish and we check and update them each morning.
Last night's snow was pretty wet and there wasn't much of it either on the car park. I spent the day at Hodaigi which is in great shape. There was about 5cm of soft fresh snow at higher elevations. Tenjin was the surprise package. According to those who went up, there were a few ice scoured patches to watch out for but most of it was soft snow. Heard the gullies in the backcountry were deep and fluffy and by tomorrow this snow should be settled on lower angled terrain.
Another plus was that the warm weather that was supposed to be around today was not in evidence at all. -2C at the base of Hodaigi at 3pm. Winter may well be back considering the forecast is for some serious snow hitting imminently. The call is for temps to stay in the negative henceforth, snow showers to start up tomorrow afternoon and continue till Monday noon when snow arrives in earnest for what looks like a proper reset.
What this may mean is that Sunday and Monday are surprise snow days for the likes of Tenjin and Kagura that seem to suck the weather towards them. We could use some fresh but then that is pretty much always the case!
Please note that the snowfall numbers posted in this report will be observed from close to the base Tenjindaira Ropeway station - which is often much more than in the central town area of Minakami. Read more ...