Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 16th December 2017
Sunday 20th March 2016, 8:25am
Good morning from Grandeco, and it's a bit windy at the moment.
No snow is fall at this moment and no new cm to report - just cloudy with this wind blowing around at times. Hopefully the wind will ease this afternoon but some of the lifts may be operating at slower speeds if and when it's particularly windy.
Temperature have got a bit colder this morning, and the course conditions are a little hard but not icy.
According to the forecast, unfortunately no snow until 24th Thursday with mostly just cloudy conditions until then. It should keep quite cold though so hopefully snow conditions should keep ok.
98% of the courses are open, 4km run from the top to base.
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 ...
Sunday 20th March 2016, 8:38am
Cloud, some blue sky appearing
Good morning from here in Niseko.
And after the rain, there's a little bit of snow to report... there's just about enough for me to record 1cm of fresh to the report. I think 9mm deserves a 1cm, ne?
That's nowhere near enough of course to cover up the frozen and 'hard and lumpy' (as the Avalanche report puts it) conditions out there this morning. So take care, it's not soft and fluffy.
As I write this report it's snowing a bit but the sun is actually shining through my window as well and I can see some patches of blue sky. Might it actually clear up? Currently the temperature is hovering just above zero here at base.
The forecast is looking quite interesting though with what looks like the chance of regular light snow over the coming week and temperatures should keep fairly low, if not mid-winter low (but we can't really expect that in the second half of March).
So there is a chance that I will be bringing you some fresh snowfall numbers in the coming days.
Night operations plan to finish tomorrow night so just two more changes.
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, Ace Number 3 and King Number 3 lifts are on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds and poor visibility.
Niseko Village The Niseko Gondola and top Wonderland Chair lifts are on hold at the start of the day.
Niseko Annupuri The Annupuri Gondola and top Jumbo Number 4 lift are on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6.00am: -3°C, trace new snow. Moiwa 838m: -5°C, E6.6m/s, trace new snow. Annupuri 1150m: -6°C, N15m/s, trace new snow, hard icy snow surface below new snow. Hirafu Ridgeline: -6°C, moderate NE winds, trace new snow. Coastal data: Benkei Cape:NE13m/s. Kamui Cape ESE3m/s, 1013hPa, wave 2.0m.
The rain has stopped and a moderate atmospheric pressure gradient is causing strong northerly winds at higher elevations. Weather has improved however expect intermittent flurries and cooler temperatures today. Be careful riding this morning, yesterdays warm wet snow has frozen and is hard and lumpy. There are some snow drifts formed though. From observation, except for small scale slabs, the risk of surface avalanches is low. However the risk of large scale full depth avalanches is increasing. Avoid riding in the valley bottoms.
Peak gate openings are yet to be decided and are subject to lift operations. Today's snow conditions are difficult judge while riding, so take extra care. The surface is very hard and could hurt if you take a fall. If you can't walk to the gates by yourself, we recommend you stay inbounds. Have a good day.
Official resort snow depths as of Sunday 20th March 2016:
It's not a very nice morning. Not here down in town anyway - it's raining. :(
In protest at the naughty weather, that's all I'm going to write about it.
Apart from mention the prospect of a bit of snow (higher up at least) around mid week.
Today is the last day for nighta at Ishiuchi Maruyama; tomorrow is the last nighta for the season at Iwappara and Joetsu Kokusai.
Resort official snow depths (Sunday 20th March 2016) and any specific news at time of writing:
There are now lots of patches of ground on view showing on lower slopes around town. Some more than others. The snow situation means that some courses/areas at resorts are now closed. If you are planning on visiting, I recommended that you check with the individual resorts for their up-to-date details. You can find 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.
Closing date information (as we have it) - all of course subject to change due to snow conditions!
Ishiuchi Maruyama - daily until Sunday 3rd April Maiko Snow Resort - daily until Sunday 3rd April and then 9th/10th April Ishiuchi Hanaoka - until Sunday 27th March (Saturday, Sunday only) Mt Granview - until Sunday 27th March (Saturday, Sunday only) Joetsu Kokusai - daily until Sunday 3rd April Chateau Shiozawa - until Thursday 31st March Muikamachi Ski Resort - daily until Sunday 3rd April Muikamachi Hakkaisan - daily until Monday 21st March
Yesterday the rain did eventuate and hung around for a few hours, but didn't detract many from enjoying themselves on the mountain. Today the temperatures have dipped back to more wintery levels. After yesterdays rain the slopes will be a bit firm and frosty, although the sun is out and may help soften things a bit. The winds were fairly strong earlier in the morning but have reduced and now are only light around the village. There is a thin dusting of snow at village level.
Tomorrow should be similar but there may be cloud cover so we may not get to see the sun. Expect some more light snow between now and then. Read more ...
Sunday 20th March 2016, 9:01am
Cloud, fog, blue sky above it all
Hi from Hakuba.
Yesterday wasn't a particularly appealing day of course with rain falling even high up. Lots of higher and lower cloud hanging around making for some very interesting 'cloud scenery' in places. Though we're not hear for the clouds, right!?
I was over at Hakuba 47 yesterday and they are actually doing pretty well re: snow cover. In fact, cover is pretty complete - no doubt the northerly facing base helps. Other resorts are less fortunate on lower slopes with varying levels of restrictions now due to lack of snow. Good job there's lots of higher terrain available.
This morning it is cloudy, with lots of fog (it would seem higher up) making for very limited visibility in places. Take a step back though here at base and you'll see blue skies up above the thick bank of cloud.
It's a bit more chilly than it has been this morning though temperatures remained over freezing at village level and at 9am currently about 3C. After the rain of yesterday I'd expect conditions to be a hard and icy early on at least. Take care out there.
We are forecast a few days of clearer weather followed by the chance of some snow falling, hopefully perhaps even down to village level, around Wednesday. (Having said that some forecasts show no precipitation at all...)
Tomorrow is a national holiday here in Japan so if it's clearer weather I'm sure people will be making the most of it while the snow lasts.
Resort news as of 8:50am on Sunday 20th 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. Official snow depth: Upper: 180cm Base: 70cm
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: 110cm Iimori: 50cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Happo Banks is 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. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 155cm Nakiyama: 35cm Sakka: 5cm
Hakuba Cortina: Courses closed: Mt Hieda Ridge, Mt Hieda 2, Mt Hieda 3, Itadaira Ridge, Itadaira Forest, Giant, Snake and Kamoshika. The Ikenota area will be open for 'nighta' until 8pm tonight. Official snow depth: Top: 133cm Base: 70cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All courses are generally open, some restrictions on the forest course. The top Tsugaike Ropeway is now open for spring season (extra charge required). Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 212cm Maruyama: 50cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 30cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Insufficient snow means that only limited areas of Village Side remain open - by1, Valley and Paradise remain part open. Parts of the Mountain Side that are closed - View A, View B, Kamo 4, Dangan, Sonezawa, Five Side. Official snow depth: Upper: 90cm Lower: 20cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Closed courses are Kamoshika, Highway, Snake, Expert, Skyview and lower part of Satomi Ridge. Official snow depth: 65cm
Lots of cloud and fog around early on this morning but it seems to be clearing up. Keeping relatively cold too (colder than we thought).
It's the Madarao Speed Challenge event this morning as well. Good luck to everyone taking part.
Bad weather - rain - last night meant that the fireworks at Madarao Kogen were cancelled, but they have been re-scheduled to tonight (after nighta).
Madarao Kogen plans to be open until Thursday 31st March so there's only 11 more days left after today. Tangram Ski Circus plans to be open a little longer, until Sunday 3rd April. Where has the season gone?
The forecast is curious. Are we going to get snowed on in the second half of the coming week? Would be a good way to end the season for sure...
Very limited visibility up top early this morning. Some wet conditions yesterday in the end and it looks like a bit of rain (could it be snowing) on the webcam up there as well, though we're ok down here at base... generally cloudy conditions on the local forecast today with a high of around 5 degrees at village level so not overly warm.
The Skyline course has been closed now and along with it Kamoshika and Tanuki.
The forecast is interesting. From Wednesday some forecasts are showing the chance of snowfall at times through the end of the week. Sometimes we do get a "last snowfall" and sometimes it is even quite impressive for the time of the year. Let's hope we get one of them!
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 Sunday 20th March 2016 (subject to change):
Kind of a nasty start to the day today, with pea-soup fog and rain.
It's getting a little colder now, and the rain has at least turned to small hail (should we call that snow?), and the sun is even trying to come out.
One of the area webcams also showed blue skies higher up, so it might be that we have unkai, the sea of clouds, higher up. That happens miserable at base, sunny, clouds stretching out in all directions below and usually great views of the mountains in every direction. Ya just never know.
Looks like it will in fact turn to a little bit of snow as the freezing level comes down, so perhaps even a better Monday to end up this three-day holiday weekend.
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)
A dusting of light snow this morning (though not enough to award 1cm to the reports!)
Nice and chilly too. And it is snowing as I write this report here in Maruike area. Not building up into new depth but snowing all the same. What's most interesting is the snow that is forecast for around Wednesday - good potential there - and through into Friday. It would make for a really nice weekend next week if it happens.
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).
Another sunny day here at Appi with the temperatures dipping to the below freezing mark and variable winds. Just a great day to hit the slopes if you can deal with the weekend crowds and fairly sloppy conditions on the mountain today.
The forecast has been changing rapidly and for the better though. We may be looking at a whole week of freezing temperatures coupled with maybe, just maybe, a few centimetres of snow. Partly cloudy skies the next few days with temperatures falling even lower than they are now perhaps to -6. The winds may pick up in the next few days but nothing too remarkable.
As far as the runs go expect Spring like conditions on the runs. Icy at the top turning to slush at the bottom. Not perfect but better than no slush at all right?
Sunscreen check and hit the slopes. Every day that goes by is another day closer to closing. Make good use of what we have.
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
Cloudy, light snow at the top, light sleet at the base
Crisp, cool weather up in the mountains this morning.
We have seen a little light rain but not enough to do any harm and the snow pack is holding its depth for now. Also got some snow falling up high but not enough to be significant.
The forecast is for clear, cold weather tomorrow, a little snow Tuesday and then what looks like a dump on Wednesday. Cold weather and a little snow on Thursday and Friday too so potentially some good riding later in the week.
As an aside, was over at Hodaigi this morning and the resort is humming with plenty of people and still enough snow to run most of the lifts.