Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 17th March 2018
Wednesday 20th March 2013, 10:02am
Yesterday cleared up to be a nice day in terms of the clouds clearing up and we got some nice sunny conditions as well - lovely evening - though top lifts were on and off during the day with the wind conditions.
Clouds moved back in and there was some light snow overnight, but nothing in terms of new cm - not here at base level anyway. It's noticeably colder this morning, but still not winter-like cold. About -1C in Hirafu now. It remains just cloudy though it should soon snowing (already on mountain?) and fingers crossed for some good news in my report tomorrow morning.
It's a national holiday here in Japan today. Mid-week of course, but we can expect it to be busier than a normal Wednesday.
All lifts seems to be open as scheduled with not that much of a wind today, though I see the top King 4 lift at Hirafu has been closed due to some maintenance.
Snow conditions hopefully though into the weekend. Fingers crossed. See you tomorrow!
Official Resort Snow Depths
Grand Hirafu & Niseko Hanazono Top - 485cm Bottom - 225cm
Niseko Annupuri Top - 400cm Bottom - 250cm
Niseko Village Top - 450cm Bottom - 210cm
Niseko base 6am: -3C, no new snow, cloudy. Annupuri peak: -10C, expected wind speed at noon NNW10m/s. Coastal data: wind W11m/s, 1.2m waves, pressure 1010hPa.
Calm weather preceding low pressure system. Upper levels of the snowpack have stabilized and avalanche risk is low. Gates are expected to open at 9.30am. Please listen to ski patrol advice when passing through the gates.
Because of the deep snowpack this season and recent rapid temperature changes, the risk of full depth avalanches is rising in Osawa, Kozan no Sawa(back bowl) and Higashione around 1000m elev. These avalanches occur regardless of air temperature, so even on cold days avoid riding in valley bottoms.
Full depth avalanches can easily have a fracture over 5m deep, an avalanche this size is devastating and will wipe out everything in its path. Cracks are a sign that a full depth avalanche could occur, however not always the case. Sometimes the crack and avalanche occur simultaneously. Use caution on leeward and open steep slopes.
Please make sure everyone in your group is carrying beacon, probe, shovel. Dont overestimate your equipment or knowledge, safe decisions are your best asset. Avoid riding alone. Have a safe day. Read more ...
Wednesday 20th March 2013, 10:17am
10 degrees this morning at 10am on another warm and very spring like morning in Yuzawa.
It's a generally fine morning with overcast-looking blue skies over Yuzawa, more cloudy to the north in Minamiuonuma.
We're actually hoping that we might get a bit of snow overnight tonight into tomorrow as things still forecast to get colder for a short while. Looking forward to hopefully bringing you that news tomorrow morning.
Slopes around town busier than usual for a Wednesday as today is a national holiday, but generally it doesn't look 'crowded' out there at all.
By the way, some kind of face mask is recommended for those of you suffering from hayfever at the moment!
Official resort snow depths @ Wednesday 20th March 2013, AM:
It's an overcast morning today in Nozawa Onsen. Winds are light across the resort and the mountain is very uncrowded - even on this national holiday. Snow conditions today should be forgiving and slushy, with positive temperatures measured from top to bottom and as high as +13C at base as of 10am. Yamabiko is reporting a temperature of +9 degrees.
Like yesterday the groomed runs will offer the best turns, especially those found in the Yamabiko area. It's an excellent day to practice in the park and the mogul runs are also in fine form.
Off piste runs are very dangerous at the moment with numerous wet, heavy slides on the steeper pitches. Massive horizontal cracks, mostly unseen from above, have formed exposing the vegetation and soil below. Not something you want to fall into.
Yesterday was good considering the conditions. The slushy groomed runs remained fast all day although there was some debris on the snow from the winds the day before. It was sunny in the morning before some heavy mist and clouds moved over around lunchtime. Visibility was obscured above about 1000 meters, but below that remained good.
With all the warm conditions snow is getting thinner on lower slopes - Karasawa now officially on 55cm - but still excellent cover even there. With Nozawa having such a good vertical, remember the upper slopes are usually open into May.
At the moment the forecast looks quite promising. After some showers this afternoon we should experience some snowfall overnight and cold temperatures overnight. With a bit of luck there will be some fresh snow on offer tomorrow.
Lifts operating: All lifts operating except: Hikage No2 pair B line
Courses open: All courses open except: Grand Prix Hachiman Challenge 39 Kandahar East Kandahar West
Cloudy, overcast, some blue patches - clearing up?
A fine day yesterday in Hakuba. A bit windy at times. Nice and clear with some clouds forming around the peaks of the mountains from time to time - and warm. I keep on saying that recently, don't I?! It was up above 15 degrees yesterday at base and even double figure temperatures at 1400m.
And on this mid week national holiday here, it's going to be a similarly warm day today after dipping down to around +2 overnight.
A greyer and overcast start to the day here though but there has been more blue sky start to appear in places over the last hour or so, so we may end up as a fine and sunny day. The sun is shining through on me now as I write this report.
Good news alert! There's a chance we might get some fresh snow tonight. It might start as rain in village and likely nothing major but I am hopeful of some snow news tomorrow morning - and at least colder conditions. Hopefully into next week it might be colder than it has been this last week.
Official snow depths and operations @ Wednesday 20th March 2013 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: 0cm of new snowfall reported by Hakuba Goryu Official snow depths: Alps daira - 245cm; Toomi - 95cm; Iimori - 80cm
Hakuba 47: 0cm of new snowfall reported by Hakuba 47 since yesterday. Official snow depth: Upper - 170cm Lower - 80cm
The sun is out and right now it is 7C at valley level and a high of above 13C forecast for this afternoon.
The next 10 days looks like just more of the spring weather we have been having with warm temperatures, sun and rain on the forecast. For tonight in higher slopes we can expect some snow.
Some trails are now closed at Okutone and Norn due to lack of snow but the resorts remain open.
Houdaigi will have no problems staying open until early April and Tenjin is still planning on a Golden Week close. Read more ...
Wednesday 20th March 2013, 10:47am
Overcast but bright and clear
Welcome to a mid week holiday here in Japan. It's 'Shunbun no Hi' (Vernal Equinox Day). Wikipedia told me this - 'This national holiday was established in 1948 as a day for the admiration of nature and the love of living things. Prior to 1948, the vernal equinox was an imperial ancestor worship festival called Shunki kōrei-sai'.
So anyway, not just a normal weekday and that means more people here, though still not busy.
It's definitely another spring morning though. Warm and bright. More overcast than yesterday. We might actually see snow overnight, but I'll try to keep that quiet and not get too excited just in case. I'll let you know how that goes tomorrow morning.
Madarao Kogen plans to be open until Sunday 31st March this season. Read more ...
Wednesday 20th March 2013, 10:47am
We are back into wintery temperatures again. The slopes are going to be pretty icy after yesterdays melt so take it easy other there.
The forecast snow has not started yet but if it does come through things could be pretty epic tomorrow morning as there are some serious centimetres appearing on the forecast. Read more ...
Wednesday 20th March 2013, 10:53am
Cloud, some clearings
No rain so far. It's a cloudy start to the day, a few bright spots of sky on show here and there. No wind. Warm at 9 degrees in the village.
Rain turning to snow overnight is a possibility as it gets colder for tomorrow. Perhaps windy too. After that not really any snow on the horizon I'm afraid.
Resort plans from now
The following lifts will run through until 24th March:
Onsen Number 3 Parallel A and B Onsen Zao Kokutai Pair Ryuzan Pair Karamatsu Pair Paradise Number 3 Pair Kurihime Number 2 Quad (only on Friday, Saturday, 20th March)
The following lifts will run through until 31st March:
Onsen Number 4 Quad Sunrise Pair AB Nakamori Number 1 Triple Nakamori Number 2 Pair Diamond Number 1 Pair Diamond Number 2 Pair Oomori quad Yokokura Number 2 Pair Astraea Number 1 Pair Astraea Number 2 Pair Astraea Number 3 Pair
The following lifts plan to be open through until 6th May:
All the Ropeways Chuo Number 1 Pair AB (every day) Chuo Number 2 Pair AB (every day until 14th April, then 20th/21st April and 27th April until 6th May) Katakai Triple (every day until 14th April, then 20th/21st April, 27th-29th April, 3rd-6th May) Paradise Pair AB (every day until 14th April, then 20th/21st April and 27th April until 6th May)
The Yokokura Number 1 Pair AB will remain open as long as there's enough snow.
Here are the latest lift operation plans for the resorts around Shiga Kogen, as of Wednesday 20th March. Please note that they are of course subject to change and in particular snow conditions.
Sun Valley: Number 1 quad open until April 4th, then April 6th and 7th. Number 3 lift open until March 31st March, morning of April 2nd, April 3rd, and morning of April 4th.
Maruike: Number 1 triple lift open until April 2nd. Number 2 pair lift open until March 31st.
Hasuike: Triple lift open until April 1st. Ropetow open until March 31st.
Giant: Open until April 5th.
Happo Bunadaira: Open until March 31st.
Higashitateyama: Open daily until March 31st and then open on April 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st and April 27th until May 6th.
Nishitateyama: Number 1 'hoodie', quad open until March 31st. Number 2 triple open until March 31st and then mornings of April 27th until May 6th.
Terakoya: Open daily until March 31st and then open on April 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st and April 27th until May 6th.
Mammoth: Quad open until May 6th. Number 2 triple lift open until April 7th and then April 25th-27th. Number 3 pair lift open until March 31st.
Tanne no mori okujo: Open until April 2nd and then open on April 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th and April 26th until May 6th.
Ichinose Family: Quad open until May 6th. Number 3 quad open until March 31st. Number 2 Pair A line open until March 31st and then open April 10th-15th, April 17th-22nd, April 24th-25th. Number 2 Pair B line open until April 9th and then open April 13th, 14th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 23rd and then April 26t until May 6th.
Ichinose Diamond: Quad lift open until April 7th and then on April 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st and then April 27th until May 6th. Triple lift open until March 31st. Moving walkway open until March 31st.
Ichinose Yamanokami: Open until April 7th and then April 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st and then April 27th until May 6th.
Yakebitaiyama: Number 1 Gondola open until April 7th. Number 2 Gondola open until April 7th and then April 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st and then April 27th until 6th May. Number 2 high speed lift open until April 7th and then April 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st and then April 27th until 6th May. Number 3 high speed lift open until March 31st and then April 5th-7th. Number 4 romance lift open when the Number 2 Gondola is not running.
Okushiga Kogen: No details yet.
Kumanoyu: Number 1 pair lift open until May 6th. Number 2 pair lift open until May 12th. Number 3 quad lift open until March 31st and then April 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st and then April 27th until May 6th.
Yokoteyama & Shibutoge: Yokoteyama Number 1 Sky lift open until 6th May. Yokoteyama Number 2, 3 Sky, Shibutoge romance lifts open until late May (basically as long as they can open).
All the above are subject to change of course and we'll try to keep it all updated regularly.
From 7th May onwards, special individual lift tickets are required at Kumanoyu and Yokoteyama - season tickets and all Shiga Kogen tickets not valid. At Kumanoyu they are 3000 yen (children 1500 yen) for a full day and 2000 yen (children 1000 yen) for half day. At Yokoteyama and Shibutoge they are 3000 yen (children free) for a full day and 2000 yen (children free) for half day.
It's quite busy for a Wednesday. But it is a holiday so that explains it. It's a kind of a dull and cloudy overcast kind of morning here. There were signs that it might clear up but that isn't happening just at the moment. A warm westerly wind and a temperature of up to 10 degrees at base here.
Tomorrow should be considerably colder as temps take a dive (hopefully a big one) and forecasts tell us even to expect some... snow!! Yey. So let's see if I can report such things happening tomorrow.
Have a fun holiday, those of you in Japan (and not working on a national holiday!)
Official resort snow depth: Naeba - 250cm Kagura - 380cm Read more ...