Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 20th January 2018
Tuesday 1st December 2015, 8:10am
Good morning from Niseko on what is to be the first day of the season.
First of all, new snowfall. After some more rain yesterday, thankfully it turned into snow once again around evening time and this morning I have 14cm of snow round the back of my place. And all of a sudden, Niseko Grand Hirafu are reporting 110cm up top! Which brings me to the big news of the day of course...
And so, today is the first day of the season here in Niseko with a few lifts starting their season at the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri areas. It's a limited opening due to the amount of snow we have at the moment, but of course great to get the season going.
At Niseko Grand Hirafu the Ace Number 2 Quad Center Four will be starting from 8:30am, taking people up to the Ace Number 3 lift with the Center Course up there open.
At Niseko Annupuri, from 9:15am they plan to get the Jumbo Number 3 lift started with the Utopia Course scheduled to be open. The Annupuri Gondola will be starting from 9am to take people up there.
At Niseko Village, the Community Chair and Banzai Chair lifts should be operating from 8:30am. Courses planned to be open are the Banzai Course, Next Stage, Final Fling and Shaky Knees.
The start of the season this year may be 9 days later than originally planned and hoped for, but I'm sure we will all soon forget that -- and here's to hopefully a very snowy December.
To finish off with a quick look at the forecast which says that the early morning light snow will ease and the rest of the day should be cloudy with similar conditions expected tomorrow as well. There might be a bit more rain before snow due later Thursday. Looks like there's potential there!
Resort specific news as of 8:00am - subject to change during the day
Niseko Grand Hirafu: Lifts planned to be running - Ace Number 2 Quad Center Four (transport), Ace Number 3
Niseko Village: Lifts planned to be operating - Community Chair and Banzai Chair
Niseko Annupuri: Lifts planned to be operating - Annupuri Gondola (transport) and Jumbo Number 3 lift
'Nighta' should be starting on Saturday 12th December 2015 Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Tuesday 1st December 2015, 8:40am
Not a whole lot to report to you at the moment as we continue to wait for the snow to arrive proper and the resort able to open... which isn't just yet, we have to wait a bit longer. The resort remains on standby to open as soon as possible but there's not much up there at the moment.
It's all cloudy and fog on the upper part of the mountain this morning with a lot of cloud down here at base too. A relatively mild night and wet too, but conditions should dry off today with sun and warmer conditions forecast for tomorrow. Snow at higher elevations around Thursday/Friday is something to look forward to and keep an eye on.
Morning from Hakuba where it is cloudy and around 3 degrees and a bit wet with rain falling at the moment which will hopefully soon stop as the forecast tell us. We might even get to see some sunshine if the forecast is right. All a bit cloudy early on though.
It should be colder tonight than it was last night and tomorrow there is a good chance of sun and temperatures rising to about 10 degrees at base village level, perhaps even slightly higher.
After that some more rain but that should soon be snow - especially higher on the mountains - through Friday. Let us hope that delivers.
It looks like lifts and openings are the same as yesterday this morning with the exception of Line E at Hakuba 47 not operating as was scheduled.
Resorts that are currently at least part open
Hakuba 47: The base area of Hakuba 47 base is still closed open but the top areas of Goryu/47 are open via Hakuba Goryu, as well as the Line E lift. 2500 yen for adults, 1350 yen for children. Lifts operating: None today, but Line E should be open tomorrow Official snow depth Upper: 50cm Base: 15cm
Hakuba Goryu: The upper area of Hakuba Goryu is open along with one of the Hakuba 47 lifts. 2500 yen for adults; 1350 yen for children Reporting 2cm of snow up top. Lifts operating: Telecabin Gondola (to get to the open area) Alps Number 1 pair lift Official snow depth Alps: 55cm Iimori: - Toomi: -
Hakuba Happo-one: The Panorama course of Happo-one is now open. 2600 yen for adults; 1600 yen for children Lifts operating: Adam Gondola (to get to the open area) Kokusai Number 3 lift Panorama pair lift Official snow depth Usagidaira: 40cm Nakiyama: - Sakka: -
Tsugaike Kogen: Part of the upper area of Tsugaike Kogen are open. 3500 yen for adults; 2000 yen for children Lifts operating: Eve Gondola Han-no-ki high speed pair lift Official snow depth Tsuga-no-mori: 52cm Maruyama: -
As expected yesterday the weather was nice and sunny with blue skies all round. Would have been great for skiing and boarding, I would have liked to have been at Kagura!
But we need a few blizzard like days before we want to see more of those kind of conditions.
It rained overnight along with mild conditions, and temperatures remain around 7 degrees this morning. The forecast for the day is for any lingering rain to stop and generally cloudy conditions. It should be getting colder overnight tonight before warming up again with more sunshine tomorrow during the daytime - back up to around 12 degrees here in town. That's too warm.
Kagura is this morning reporting a borderline light rain/snow situation early on and by the looks of the webcam they have had a slight dusting of snow up there. The same area remains open.
Keep an eye on the forecast for Friday as there is promise of snow there!
Last year December was an incredible month for snow and it will be hard to match it. We need reminding that in some past seasons it has been Christmas and even past Christmas before some resorts around town can open, though we certainly don't want this season to be like that. It's all down to mother nature.
Planned opening dates for resorts in Yuzawa Town and Minamiuonuma City (by date):
Currently part open: Kagura (Mitsumata) - the lower part of the main Kagura area (real snow + artificial) is open and a 1100m run of Mitsumata is open (snow mats)
When I went to bed last night it was snowing, when I awoke, the same. This morning I toddled out for the usual photos and in the time it took (not long at -4C) the winds ceased and the sun shone. Mother Nature is on full minx today.
Wind drift makes it tricky to measure, but most of what I walked through was about 6 centimetres deep. The winds over night will have filled in some hollows nicely and blanketed the hibernating bears, too, I hope.
Photo 1 is the resort in this morning's snowy conditions. Photo 2 is the same resort 10 minutes later playing tricks on me... Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Tuesday 1st December 2015, 10:08am
Cloud and fog
It is a cold morning and some snow is falling this morning - not a huge amount and it is likely to not last long with clearing conditions expected today. Clearer skies are expected but a more significant snowfall is lined up on the forecast for later Thursday into Friday.
Takamagahara are trying to prepare to open their Number 2 lift as well, playing around with the available snow. There's not a whole lot to play with though just now.
What we need of course is a decent snowfall. Fingers crossed the end of the week might provide that.
We have been to the mountain and can give you an update
Had a few runs, did a few turns. Excruciating of course but we do it all for you, heh heh.
So I will revise my snowfall by an additional 9 centimetres because when I got up the hill this morning, immediately after doing what I thought was an accurate snow and weather report, I was faced with my own error. About 15 centimetres of fresh had fallen up top, I reported 6cm this morning. My bad. Will work out a better system because as you may have discovered, this resort has no snowcams. Sob.
So that clear visibility thing I told you.... Yeah not so much. Up top it ranged from good to fair to poor. You're welcome.
I left at midday precisely, I know because the town's horn sounded as the gondola left the top dock. Blue sky was evident.
I mention this because with all my good intentions, it is just possible that even as I upload this, it is inaccurate. Such highly changeable conditions.
Perhaps I should go and do a few more turns...
For you, of course.
Photo 1 is the view from the bottom of the gondola. Photo 2 is the view of the back of the people in front of me on the chair.
Ps keeping the base at 60cm because it's compacting new snow all the time. Read more ...