Snow and weather reports posted on Thursday 14th December 2017
Saturday 19th March 2016, 8:01am
Welcome to the weekend. It is a warm Saturday morning and the spring melt around the village continues with snow receeding at a rapid rate. It hasn't frozen at village level overnight. The sun is not around right now, so things are looking a bit grey with the overcast skies. The forecast rain has not arrived yet but it is still predicted. The good news is that temperatures will be much colder from tomorrow with continuous light snow forecast for the next 5 days. Read more ...
Saturday 19th March 2016, 8:38am
Lots of cloud, fog
Good morning from Hakuba.
Not the best of mornings really, as unfortunately it is raining... though we were expecting it. As much as anyone tries to convince me that skiing in the rain is fun and you can go real fast etc, it's definitely not my bag! If it is yours though, due to the conditions this morning I would expect less people out there than we would if it were fine and sunny. There's a bit of a wind up there too as well apparently, though it looks like all upper areas are open this morning.
It's really noticeable how much snow has disappeared from base areas over the last run of days. Upper areas still doing ok but lower areas at resorts close to base are struggling - to a greater or lesser degree (for example Hakuba 47 remains fully open down to base).
Better news. It will be getting a bit colder again from tomorrow and we might be lucky enough to see some snow falling though it may be mountain-only rather than down to base. You never know though, especially during this season!
Resort news as of 8:30am on Saturday 19th March 2016 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: All courses at Hakuba 47 remain open. The Tree Riding Zone is closed. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba 47. Official snow depth: Upper: 185cm Base: 75cm
Hakuba Goryu: All courses open apart from Snow Diving and Adventure. The Toomi area will be open until 9:30pm tonight for 'nighta'. Official snow depth Alps: 240cm Toomi: 115cm Iimori: 50cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Happo Banks and Kurobishi Off-Piste open this morning. The lower Kokusai, Shirakaba North and Central Course areas are closed; other sections of the lower areas are only part available due to insufficient snow. Upper mountain remains all open. Night skiing has now finished for the season. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 160cm Nakiyama: 40cm Sakka: 10cm
Hakuba Cortina: All courses open apart from Mt Hieda Ridge, Mt Hieda 2, Mt Hieda 3, Itadaira Ridge, Itadaira Forest and Giant. The Ikenota area will be open for 'nighta' until 9pm tonight. Official snow depth: Top: 145cm Base: 75cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All courses are generally open, some restrictions on the forest course. Last nighta at Karamatsu/Shirakaba tonight. The top Tsugaike Ropeway is now open for spring season (extra charge required). Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 216cm Maruyama: 50cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 40cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Insufficient snow means that only limited areas of Village Side remain open - by3, Shinden connecting. Sunny Valley and Paradise remain part open. Parts of the Mountain Side that are closed - View A, View B, Kamo 4, Dangan, Sonezawa, Five Side. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: Upper: 100cm Lower: 30cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Closed courses are Kamoshika, Highway, Snake, Expert, Skyview and lower part of Satomi Ridge. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Norikura. Official snow depth: 70cm
And today is going to be warm too - perhaps not quite as... a high of around 7C is expected around base today.
Unfortunately, it's raining at the moment but hopefully it won't last long and we'll be left with just cloudy conditions from around mid-morning.
Looks like fog and poor visibility up top this morning which is preventing all of the top lifts from moving at the start of the day.
It's not the nicest of mornings!
The better still news is that come tomorrow morning there might be some snow falling on the mountain; and there's a bit of snow on the forecast at times into mid week as well. So we might even get to see some new cm.
Someone sent a mail into SnowJapan yesterday, directed towards me - from an email address apparently belonging to an accommodation - asking for us to refrain from mentioning the word 'rain' if it was raining this morning. (It's raining this morning). They asked perhaps we could use other cunning words and phrases to describe this less than desirable precipitation (ie. rain). Or perhaps even just ignore it (the rain). It may well have been a joke mail but given past experience I don't think it was. It certainly made me laugh. And at this late stage of the season as well!
And while I'm on the subject of emails and messages, thank you to the people who have sent in mails, comments and words of encouragement - always appreciated. Thank you.
Resort specific lift opening news at time of posting (subject to change during the day):
Niseko Grand Hirafu The top Ace Number 4, King Number 4 and Ace Number 3, King Number 3 and Swinging Monkey lifts are on hold at the start of the day due to poor visibility.
Niseko Village The top Wonderland Chair lift is on hold at the start of the day.
Niseko Annupuri The top Jumbo Number 4 lift is on hold at the start of the day due to poor visibility.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6.00am: 3°C, no new snow, light winds, cloudy. Moiwa 838m: 2.8°C, WNW3.1m/s. Annupuri 1000m: snowpack 300cm. Annupuri 1150m: 1°C, SW8m/s, snow surface wet snow. Hirafu Ridgeline: 0°C, light winds from ridge line toward Backbowl, no new snow, snow surface wet snow. Coastal data: Benkei Cape:NNW3m/s. Kamui Cape SW9m/s, 1006hPa, wave 1.1m.
Mountain base visibility is good, however above 800m there is heavy fog and poor visibility. There is no new snow and with warm air flowing into the area, temperatures are above zero at 6am and snow melt will continue throughout the day.
The mountain has changed to spring conditions over the last few days. From observation, except for small scale slabs, the risk of surface avalanches is low. However with rising temperatures the risk of large scale full depth avalanches is increasing. Avoid riding in the valley bottoms. There are many places where wrinkles are below cracks, however the snow pack is still creeping down the slope. Many snowballs are rolling down the mountain, take care not to be taken out by one. The snow is slow and sticky, be careful catching ski. There are many cracks below knolls that are hard to see from above. If you fall in one onto your back it could be serious injury.
All peak gates are expected to be open. Listen to the patrols advice before going out of bounds. Keep an eye on your gear, there have been reports of some going missing. Have a good day.
Official resort snow depths as of Saturday 19th March 2016:
Ski resorts around Mt. Bandai are announcing their planned closing dates:
Listel Ski Fantasia - already closed (on 12 March).
Numajiri / Inawashiro resort / Inawashiro and Minero ski resorts - until 21st March
Alts Bandai / Urabandai ski resorts - until 27th March.
After 27th, resorts that remain open in the region will be Grandeco, Nekoma and Minowa.
Nekoma will be closed between 19th-21th and 26th-28 Apr but these resorts all plan to be open until 5th May ---- but whether they can do that or not will totally depend on the snow levels of course, which are less than usual and less than expected. We'll just have to see how things develop over the coming weeks. Read more ...
Saturday 19th March 2016, 8:49am
Hello from Madarao.
Sadly we had to endure some rain last night - it's just cloudy right now as I type this but rain might be falling this morning from time to time. It's keeping mild at the moment but we're hoping to see a drop in temps by tomorrow, or from tomorrow... maybe even a dusting of snow perhaps. There's more snow mid to late week on the forecast which is interesting.
It was raining when I got up earlier on but right now it's just cloudy and in fact there's a bit of sun poking through the clouds. The forecast for the region is cloud/rain for the morning and just cloud for the afternoon with a high temperature of around 11 degrees here at base.
A bit colder temperatures are due tomorrow and some forecasts are even showing some light snowfall for the upper areas of the mountain. And perhaps down to base around Wednesday-Thursday in the coming week. Keep an eye on that one to see how it develops.
With the warmth and rain, lower courses have taken more hits in recent days. The resort has said that nighta planned for today, tomorrow and next Saturday has been cancelled.
Course cover on the upper 2/3 of the mountain remains complete and is not a problem at all. Just need to head up high, which most of you probably would be doing anyway!
From Monday 21st March until Friday 25th March, the Yamabiko B Course will be closed to the general public as it is going to be used for a competition event.
Official info at time of writing on Saturday 19th March 2016 (subject to change):
There's a fair amount of high level cloud out there today.
Good morning from Naeba everybody.
Well rain was predicted for today and a small amount has fallen however it looks at the moment like we may get lucky and nowhere near as much rain as was predicted will actually end up falling.
Temperatures are spring like warm out there at the moment and caution should currently be exercised due to the thin snow pack in some areas. The main slopes are still good to ride on but if you go too far off the sides expect to be grass skiing.
The weather going on is supposed to be rain today turning to snow by tomorrow then after that we should have light snow with some occasional rain mixed in all the way until Thursday.
Tonight there's a big fireworks event as part of Naeba Snow Festival. At 20:15 there will be a torchlight ski procession and at 20:20 they will let off the biggest fireworks display of the season.
I heard a bit of rain falling on the roof late last night and it was drizzly earlier on but right now it's just cloudy - the rain clouds currently seem to be doing their thing just to the north of us, hopefully they may stay there! The forecast though does warm of rain on and off for the day
At 9am this morning it is 9 degrees but it's not forecast to warm up much more than that.
Tomorrow there's a still a chance of light rain at times according to the local forecast, though less than today. We might be lucky to avoid it completely. It will not be as warm as well with temperatures generally dipping from tomorrow.
Resorts are playing around with snow on lower areas to try and keep things going especially for this weekend - it's a 3-day weekend with Monday being a national holiday. I don't have any official news yet, but I would imagine after that we'll be hearing about some places closing next week.
Higher up there's still plenty of snow to play in and those resorts will be open for quite a while yet of course. It will be interesting to see how long they can last this season, for example Kagura plans to go right through until the end of May (and in a normal season usually is able to).
Resort official snow depths (Saturday 19th March 2016) and any specific news at time of writing:
There are now lots of patches of ground on view showing through now on some lower slopes around town. Some more than others. Some courses/areas at resorts are now closed due to the snow situation. If you are planning on visiting, I recommended that you check with the individual resorts for their up-to-date details. You can fine their websites from the links below.
Note that snow cover is not a problem higher up. There's still a lot of skiing and boarding left.
Details of the 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma. Subject to change due to snow conditions.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Open daily until 8:50pm (until 20th March). The Chuo No 1 and Chuo No 2 lifts are open daily. The Kanko No 1, Kanko No 2, Kanko No 3, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift, Hatsukaishi No 2 pair lifts are open on weekends and holidays. The basic charge is 2000 yen but various tickets are available.
Iwappara Open daily until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays (until 21st March). The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.
Joetsu Kokusai Open daily until 9pm (until 21st March). The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.
Kandatsu Kogen Open from 6pm until 4am on Fridays, Saturdays and evenings before holidays through 26th March. Open from 4:30pm until 11pm on weekdays until 24th March. Various tickets are available starting at 2000 yen for adults, 1700 yen for seniors and 1000 yen for children.
Naeba Open daily until 27th March. From 4pm until 8:30pm on weekdays and Sundays (2000 yen); until 9pm every Saturday and on 20th March (3000 yen). 'All Night' opening is planned for Saturday 26th March when Naeba will be open from 10pm until 5am.
Rain last night I'm afraid. Not sure how long it lasted but for the moment we just have clouds above but the roads are wet. The rain clouds aren't far away though and we might get some this morning in particular. We may also avoid it completely which would be best of course.
It's a warm morning. Just cloudy. Not much of a wind. If the rain holds off, it should be nice to be out on the mountain for some spring riding.
That's about it really for today.
There's actually some snow forecast for early week with the colder conditions that are expected. Whether it would be anything more than a thin layer or not, we'll just have to wait and see.
Information as of Saturday 19th March 2016 (subject to change)
From 21st March (Monday), 'spring season' lift tickets will be available:
4 hours - 3500 yen (500 yen cheaper than main season) 5 hours - 3700 yen (800 yen cheaper than main season) 1 day adult - 4100 yen (900 yen cheaper than main season) 1 day senior - 3800 yen (600 yen cheaper than main season)
Some good news on the weather front here with rain forecast for last night and this morning turning out to be a non-event. It looks as though a small amount of rain did fall overnight but despite a few clouds around this morning, the weather looks pretty good.
Temps are still well above where we'd like them but that looks set to change from sometime this afternoon or early evening.
Snow showers are on the forecast for tomorrow and are set to persist for the duration of the forecast (Thursday). Hopefully some comes through in decent size.
Okutone Snow Park joined the 'closed for the season' list as of yesterday. It's sad to see places closing earlier than planned, but nothing you can do when there's just not enough snow.
It's a bit wet this morning and raining still as I write this report. Sadly, not been able to avoid it but fingers crossed that it won't last long and that we might even get some snow later on if it gets cold enough... it's pretty mild at the moment.
Still there is actually some snowfall on some forecasts for around mid-week, so maybe we will get some more yet.
Resorts have been announcing their planned closing dates and information on what lifts should be open for the rest of the season. As you can see below, some areas are planning to be open right through until 8th May. I must say it seems rather ambitious given the amount of snow we have, but I'm pretty sure that they will doing their best to remain open as long as possible.
Spring season dates for Shiga Kogen resort areas (subject to change):
Sun Valley Both Sun Valley lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 3rd April.
Maruike The Number 1 triple lift plans to be operating until Sunday 3rd April. The Number 2 pair lift plans to be operating until Sunday 27th March.
Hasuike The triple lift and ropetow plan to be operating until Sunday 27th March.
Giant The pair lift plans to be operating until Sunday 3rd April.
Higashitateyama The Gondola plans to be operating until Sunday 3rd April.
Bunadaira The Hoppo quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 3rd April. The Bunadaira quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 27th March (* closed on 22nd and 23rd March).
Takamagahara Mammoth The quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only from 11th April until 28th April). The triple lift plans to be operating until Thursday 31st March. The pair lift plans to be operating until Thursday 31st March (* Saturdays, Sundays and holidays only in March).
Nishitateyama The Nishitateyama lifts plan to be operating until Thursday 31st March.
Tannenomori Okojo The quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May.
Ichinose Family The Ichinose quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Ichinose Number 2 pair A lift plans to be operating until Thursday 31st March. The Ichinose Number 2 pair B lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Ichinose Number 3 quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 27th March (* closed Tuesdays).
Terakoya The Terakoya lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only from 4th April until 28th April).
Ichinose Diamond The Ichinose Diamond quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only from 4th April until 28th April). The Ichinose Diamond triple lift plans to be operating until Sunday 27th March (* Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays).
Ichinose Yamanokami The Ichinose Yamanokami plans to be open until late March, depending on snow conditions.
Yakebitaiyama Currently details are unconfirmed.
Okushiga Kogen The Okushiga Kogen Number 1 pair lift plans to be operating until Sunday 3rd April. The Okushiga Kogen Number 2, 3 and 4 pair lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Okushiga Kogen Number 6 pair lift plans to be operating until Sunday 24th April. The Okushiga Kogen Gondola lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May.
Kumanoyu The Kumanoyu Number 1 pair lift plans to be operating until Sunday 3rd April. The Kumanoyu Number 2 pair A and B lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Kumanoyu Number 3 quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 3rd April; and then on 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th April and from 29th April until 8th May.
Yokoteyama & Shibutoge The Yokoteyama Number 1 Sky A and B lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Yokoteyama Number 2 and 3 Sky lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May (and perhaps beyond depending on snow conditions). The Yokoteyama Number 4 pair lift plans to be operating until Thursday 5th May. The Shibutoge lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May (and perhaps beyond depending on snow conditions).
Currently cloudy skies, a little drizzle and a temp outside my front door of +3. It’s definitely not going to be a fun day out there. We’ve also lost 10cm of snow from the base level because of the warmer temperatures. the rain should abate this afternoon and the temperature will start dropping overnight putting us firmly in the minus territory tomorrow. We may even see some very light snow showers too.
While the drop in temperature is good news it will make most of the runs in the morning nice and icy to say the least. As is usual with Spring skiing everywhere conditions on the slopes will range from good to unpleasant depending on what time you’re out there and where you are skiing. At least we’ll get 4 or 5 days on lower temperatures making it feel like a real ski resort.
Currently planned operating lifts:
- Appi Gondola - Central Number 1 quad - Number 2 lift A - T Bar - Number 3 lift B - Number 3 lift C - Number 4 lift - Sailer Gondola - Sailer Quad - Vista quad