Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 17th December 2017
Wednesday 22nd December 2010, 8:01am
It has been raining in Yuzawa since last night, quite heavily at times, and it is a wet morning here. Kagura are reporting snow up there and actually perhaps a surprising 15-20m according to their official report, but at the same time are having to close the Mitsumata slopes due to there not being enough snow.... so it's back to the bus to get to the Kagura gondola from the top of Mitsumata Ropeway.
Good news though. It might be raining now but hopefully by the time the day has ended it will hopefully be snowing, hopefully to fairly lowe levels - and the forecast for the next 3-5 days is looking good. The heavy snow kind of good. A fair bit of snowfall is promised, especially om Friday/Saturday. Enough to get places really going for the season - if the forecast comes true then very likely yes. So I'm hoping to bring you some more exciting reports very soon!
Well, this morning it is raining in Naeba and even Kagura --- but Kagura and the Tashiro areas are reporting some snow overnight, about 15cm of it in fact. Even so, the rain a bit lower down hasn't done the Mitsumata area any favours and the resort has closed the Mitsumata runs due to the snow being thin on the ground. That means that to get to Kagura via Mitsumata you once again have to get the bus from the top of the Ropeway to the base of the Kagura Gondola.
The lower slopes of Naeba are also looking rather bare this morning apart from that one course that is open helped along by artificial snow.
I doubt that situation will last long though as we have some good snowfall on the way. Honest! Yes, everyone is highly expectant that the next few days into the weekend will be bringing some considerable snowfall to the region. Hopefully starting tonight. I would hope that by the time the weekend rolls around, Santa will have brought us some fluffy dry powder snow and we can all get out there and play in it for Christmas.
So, rain at the moment but lots of promise for the next few days. Read more ...
Wednesday 22nd December 2010, 9:09am
Cloudy with light rain
Currently Hakuba is sitting under cloudy skies and there is a light drizzle of rain falling. We had fairly heavy rain all through the night at the resort base, with the freezing level at around 1600m, even the upper runs were getting rained on. The light rain is expected to continue throughout the day, then with any luck turn to some snow by evening.
Expect wet and slushy snow condition out there today on the runs with some heavier fresh snow at higher elevations. Be careful of unmarked man made and natural hazards out on the hills as there are still bare patches, exposed rocks and trees.
Once again rain forecast for tonight in the village but snow up top and then after perhaps clear weather at the start of tomorrow we can expect an onslaught of some heavy snowfall over the following few days. By the end of the weekend hopefully there won't be much need to tell you which parts of resorts are open. Fingers crossed all!
Official snow depths and operations @ Wednesday 22nd December AM:
Hakuba Goryu: Alps daira - 105cm; Toomi - 20cm; Iimori - 20cm; All of the Alps daira area is now open. Gondola and Alps No 1 and No 3 pair lifts are operating. Parts of Toomi and Iimori areas are also now open with the Toomi Sky Four lift and Milky Four lift moving. The downhill course from Alps daira to the Toomi area is still not officially skiable.
Hakuba 47: Snow depth (upper) - 47cm; Now all of the official routes at Hakuba 47 are open apart from Route 7 and the lower part of Route 1. All lifts apart from the Pair line D lift are operating at the resort. Unchanged from yesterday.
Happo-one: Usagidaira/Kurobishi - 70cm; Lower slopes - 10cm. The Gondola, Alpen quad, Kurobishi quad, Panorama pair lift, Skyline No2, Hakuba Kokusai No 3 Pair AB lifts are operations remain unchanged.
Tsugaike Kogen: Snow depth - 95cm Champion area - 15cm The Gondola, Tsuga No 2 pair lift, Han-no-ki high speed pair lift, and now also the Tsugaike Chuo triple chair lift, are operating today.
Hakuba Iwatake: Upper - 45cm Lower - 5cm Iwatake remains part open. The Gondola as well as the View No 3 pair lift, Iwatake No 4 pair lift and Kamoshika No 4 pair lifts are operating - you need to get the Gondola back down the mountain.
Hakuba Minekata and Hakuba Sanosaka plan to open for the season on 23rd December. Read more ...
Wednesday 22nd December 2010, 9:31am
Today is overcast and relatively cold with a chilly -11deg at the top of the mountain. There are no changes to report from yesterday in terms of mountains operations. The courses operating are Sailer, Spies, Prince and Todamatsu. Night skiing is limited to the Prince Romance lift. Kitanomine has been beautifully groomed this morning and is looking absolutely stunning. No official opening date has been released for Kitanomine but rumours plenty of rumours are circulating. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Wednesday 22nd December 2010, 9:45am
Overcast and rainy
Playing the waiting game in Nozawa at the moment.
Everyone is hanging on the forecasts waiting for the big dump to hit. Last night saw some precipitation in town but unfortunately was not cold enough to turn to snow. Tonight is looking like the night though with heavy snow of around 20cm plus expected.
There is still enough for a few turns up top but not the best so if taking a day off today may be the one Kogenashi is Go and check out the nearby Snow Monkeys, have a relaxing soak in one of the 13 free Onsens around town or check out the Ski Museum or Cultural Museum in town
That's the beauty of Nozawa Onsen it is still a quaint and interesting Village to stroll around anytime and there are some cool little restaurants and bars to while some time away
Yamabiko courses A Yamabiko course C Yamabiko course D Yamabiko course E Kogenashi A course Kogenashi B course Uenodaira
Nagasaka Gondola (both sections) The two Yamabiko quad lifts and Uenodaira 4 Hikage Gondola Skyline connecting pair Read more ...
Wednesday 22nd December 2010, 9:50am
Yesterday mostly cleared by the afternoon and it was completely clear by the evening which allowed us a great view of the lunar eclipse. With clear skies the temperature dropped to -10 degrees overnight but this morning a thick overcast has moved over the region. Later tonight snow is expected to start and it's unlikely to stop for at least the next week. This should be the system that will cover the last of the sasa and really get the off-piste going. Plus get conditions back to what we normally expect at this time of year, deep powder!
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu: Top - 160 Bottom - 60
Niseko Village: Top - 80 Bottom - 50
Annupuri: Top - 80 Bottom - 70
Moiwa base 6am: -5℃, no new snowfall. Coastal data: SE3m/s at Benkei cape, E4m/s with 0.9m waves at Kamui cape. Predicted wind at 1500m at noon: E10m/s. The atmospheric pressure gradient is shelving and the wind will remain relatively calm all day. The snow layers are rounding and stabilizing. The avalanche risk is low. Through, the current surface layer (12/22 layer) is to be noted as it will probably remain as a notable trigger layer underneath future snowfalls. The snowdepth below 600m is averaging 1.2m and in area above 800m with heavy deposit around 2.5m. The bushes are still thick and out of bound areas are not suitable for riding yet. Deep snow cannot be found anywhere. Do not seek fresh line by ducking ropes. The groomers condition is beautiful.
Not the best start to the day with rain falling in the village and the lower slopes of the mountain. Apparently it is snowing up top. Add strong winds into the mix and conditions aren't particularly nice out there and a few of the lifts that were moving are now stopped - so it's only a very limited operation today.
Personally, I'd stay in and have an onsen and pray that the heavy snowfalls due today and then from tomorrow right through into the weekend.
It was always going to be borderline last night - rain or snow? Luckily it seems it was a more wet variety of snow than rain, though it all feels a bit wet and slushy this morning. Would have been nice to have got the snow we were hoping for though.
No fears though because at last, at long last, we can be quietly confident that over the next 3 or 4 days we will be seeing snowfall, and very likely decent snowfall as well. It will be getting colder and I am looking forward to bringing you the good news tomorrow.
Lifts currently operating in the different resort areas of Shiga Kogen:
Rain and wind have eaten up the little bit of snow we have; most of the resorts that have opened have also shut down again, with Akakura Kanko likely to do the same if we don't see snow today. Why does Australia get summer snow this year, but not Snow Country Japan?
I'll go back to what I said before; it's iffy this time of the year anyway, so at least people got to get in a few turns. The rain did mean some pretty good snowfall at high altitude, with the trees above 1700-1800 meters very white this morning. Also, the weather in the days ahead look promising, so we might be back in business in no time. At least it's likely that we'll have a white Christmas.
Overcast day with drizzle on and off for most of the day so far. We had a pretty heavy rainfall last night down in the valley, but this did result in a bit of snow up at Tenjin. They have enough to open another lift tomorrow but all the lower resorts are looking a bit bare at the moment. Hopefully this is due to change with snow predicted to start in the early hours tomorrow. With snow on the way and Houdaigi also trying to open tomorrow we are hoping for better things. Read more ...