Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 1st May 2017
Friday 1st April 2011, 9:01am
Bluebird, clear skies
It is a beautiful morning here in Hakuba.
Clear blue skies contrasting with the magnificent snowy mountains. It was a cold night getting down to around -5 degrees but it is already warming up and we can expect a high rising to about 10 degrees today in the village.
We will post another report this evening with more details on specific lifts at the different resorts around the valley...
Official snow depths and operations @ Friday 1st April AM:
Hakuba Goryu: Upper slopes plan to be open until 8th May. The Iimori area is now closed. Alps daira - 270cm; Toomi - 120cm.
Hakuba 47: All lifts except Line D lift operating, some courses will remain ungroomed. Snow depth (upper) - 200cm
Happo-one: Largely open and the Gondola is now operating. Usagidaira/Kurobishi - 195cm; Sakka - 55cm.
Tsugaike Kogen: Fewer lifts moving now as we enter April, but you can still ride down to the bottom. Snow depth upper - 305cm
Hakuba Iwatake, Hakuba Sanosaka and Hakuba Minekata are now all closed for the season.
As promised, the latest on resort operations in the Hakuba area (subject to change):
Hakuba Goryu: The upper slopes at Goryu plan to be open until 8th May. The Gondola, Alps No1 and No3 pair and Toomi Sky Four lifts are operating. The Iimori area is now closed.
Hakuba 47: All lifts except Line D lift operating with all courses open (some courses will remain ungroomed). 47 also plans to be open into May.
Happo-one: The lower slopes at Happo will be open until 3rd April with the upper slopes planning to be continuing on until 5th May. Lifts operating for now: Grad quad, Alpen quad, Kurobishi 2 quad, Kurobishi 3 pair, Skyline No2 pair, Panorama pair, Namikio No3 triple AB, Happo Riesen quad, Sakka Kita One quad, Kita One No3 pair.
Tsugaike Kogen: Limited lift operations now at Tsugaike, but the Gondola is operating and it is possible to ski/board down to the bottom of the resort, so there's a large course area still open.
Hakuba Cortina: The No2 quad and No4 pair lifts are operating. Cortina plans to be open until Sunday 3rd April.
Hakuba Iwatake, Hakuba Sanosaka and Hakuba Minekata are now all closed for the season. Read more ...
Friday 1st April 2011, 9:36am
Welcome to April and spring skiing. Excellent conditins out on the slopes today with vivid blue skies and brilliant sunshine. Things should stay like this throughout the day. Temperatures have been above zero from early morning, but it did freeze overnight. Expect firm conditions until mid morning and then the snow pack will soften. The weekend looks promising with a forcast predicting a return to colder temperatures and some fresh snow. Read more ...
Friday 1st April 2011, 13:08pm
Partly cloudy with increasing winds
Similar day today to the last few days. Partly cloudy and mild. We are expecting the approaching low pressure system to start affecting us later in the day though with the passage of a warm front bringing some rain. The low will move towards the NE fairly rapidly though and as it does a cold front will cross the island bringing colder air and snow over the weekend. Strong winds are starting to pick up already preceeding the front and higher lifts in Grand Hirafu are on wind hold including the Hirafu Gondola.
As we head into April obviously the chances of more snow drop off considerably and overall there will be little to report beyond the ongoing Spring melt so the reports may not be updated every day later in the month. I intend to keep up regular reporting for at least the next week and probably the week after.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu: Top - 375 Bottom - 175
Niseko Village: Top - 370 Bottom - 160
Annupuri: Top - 380 Bottom - 170
This season's Niseko Avalanche Information is finished
Hell on another sunny day here in quiet Myoko. Sorry not to have been on for a couple of days; nothing much has happened (including me not getting out on the lifts); if something does happen, I will be sure and get it up here right away.
OK, with that lack of motivation behind us, let's look at the weekend. The weather is nice today, not too warm, but a nice start to April. Looks like we might have some snow, or clouds at least, tomorrow and into Sunday. No problem there, as we love skiing spring (heavy) fresh snow. Three areas are still open, although this will be the last weekend for Tangram. Looks good for the weekend and beyond, though, with a good solid base of snow out there.
Open Ski Resorts
Akakan (Akakura Kanko): Sky Cable gondola, Hotel No. 3.
Seki Onsen: Open until May 8. Earthquake charity event on April 3.
It has been a beautiful day in the region, and warm too. Tomorrow looks set to be more cloudy with a chance of light rain and/or snow. Hopefully at least upper areas will get the snow if anything is falling. It will be colder than today as well.
Anyway, I just wanted to post this great report that Tubby Beaver posted on our Forums. He was up at Kagura on Thursday and as you can tell, he had a pretty great time.... thanks for the stoke.
"After the roller coaster ride that this country has been on for the last 2 weeks or so, there really hasn't been an appetite for snowboarding/skiing or having fun in general due to the terrible situation up North. There are a few threads on the Forums about the pros and cons of getting out there again, however after deciding to get out of my funk I went to Kagura yesterday.
I'm so happy I did. After the weather of the preceding couple of days, I was expecting to be riding on spring snow, getting a bit wetter and heavier and more cement-like as the day wore on. Last year about this time I went to Gunma and the snow was so sticky that i couldn't get enough speed to launch from the edge of the kicker!
Well how surprised I was! It had just started lightly snowing, more the odd flake blowing through as I strapped in. The snow underfoot was soft and squeaky...the type that makes good snowballs! I took a warm up run down Mitsumata to check out the sides of the runs, all of which were untouched....the snow was perfect! Soft, light and powdery. I headed down to the Gondola and there was no one around, as I'm getting on the snow really starts to come down and looking out the window it appears no one has been down the long gondola run yet, so that was my first port of call.....again, fantastic snow.
Usually I don't like the Gondola run so much because it is all chopped up and its mega busy but yesterday it was ace. The top lift was open and that was calling me.......the forestry course is fantastic and I hate that Kagura don't open it until March, but damn the conditions were excellent. I spent the rest of the morning lapping the top lift, in and out of the wooded areas, running high across the face and down towards the lift (actually the open face wasn't that good, some ice bombs lurking under the powder made it difficult and less enjoyable to ride) but the forest areas just kept giving face shots and boot to knee powder all day.
As the snow got heavier and the wind picked up visability on the lift became pretty bad - you couldn't see but you could hear the few other riders up there coming through the pow forest with their whoops of joy....fantastic!! Had lunch and then it was back up to the top but this time I was linking through to the bottom of the Quad, through the side forests that eventually lead back onto the main Kagura slope. I have never had back leg burn like I did yesterday, my leg was killing me and by 3pm the top lift closed and I had to catch the bus back to the station at 3.50pm, so last run it was. From the top of the Quad I ducked under the lift itself (no one had been through here all day!) and into the forest, negotiated down onto the cat track that meets the end of the run out from the Top lift, cut across the track and under the ropes again into the trees that will lead back to near the bottom of the Kagura main slope…. and it was powder slashes all the way.
This was meant to be my last day of the season and it served up my best day of the season.....who knows if it really will be my last day!
If anyone is able to get out but are swithering for whatever reason, my advice is do it.....it'll cheer you up no end Thanks Kagura, you served up the powder goods once again!" Read more ...
Friday 1st April 2011, 18:26pm
Well we have seen a few seasons since the last report. There was some fine snow falling - quite heavily at times - up high mid-week and a return to excellent conditions.
Today we have been back to spring mode, with clear, sunny skies and mild to warm temperatures.
Tomorrow should be cooler and cloudier with a chance of rain in the town but that might translate into light snow higher up. Fingers crossed. Sunday should see a return to sunnier conditions.
Latest on resort operations in the region...
Tanigawa Tenjindaira: The resort is now open.
Marunuma Kogen: Part open with No5, No3 and No1 lifts operating. Marunuma plans to be open until early May.
Norn Minakami: No3 quad lift operating until the end of Sunday 3rd April.
Kawaba: Two lifts operating at Kawaba. Open every day until 10th April and then after that on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th April, which will be the last day of the season at Kawaba.
White World Oze Iwakura: The resort will open for the weekend 2nd/3rd April. 3rd April will be the last day of the season. Two lifts (No3 quad and No4 pair) are scheduled to be operating.
Houdaigi: Now closed for the season.
Okutone: Now closed for the season.
Minakami Kogen 200: Now closed for the season.
If you plan to visit a resort, we strongly suggest you contact them directly to find out the latest information. Read more ...
Friday 1st April 2011, 19:27pm
Another quick post with some good news.
Zao is planning to re-open! At the moment they are saying around mid-April, so no fixed date as yet but it does look like we will be able to ski and snowboard here again before the snow all melts away.
The snow is actually keeping really decent and we have had another few cm yesterday. Certainly way better than last year. So hopefully we can all get genki with a few last turns of the season.