Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 23rd February 2018
Wednesday 22nd March 2017, 7:13am
Winter rolls on with a nice dusting of 3cm of fresh snow this morning. It will be a spring snow day with the temperature already in the positives. With mostly cloudy sky the sun will be partially blocked so the snow shouldn't soften and go slushy too much in the morning. And even better news lies ahead...heavy snow forecast tonight! Read more ...
Wednesday 22nd March 2017, 7:45am
Sleet / rain / snow
Good morning everyone from Yuzawa.
During the day yesterday here in town we got some more rain. But enough of that, here's the fab news:
Kagura is reporting 15-20cm of fresh snowfall this morning!
So higher elevations have seen another fresh layer of snow. Looks like snow is currently falling at Kagura, Naeba, GALA Yuzawa and Yuzawa Kogen and in places a bit higher than town level. It's sleet-y kind of wet snow here just at the moment as I write this report with a dusting of snow on the ground and on my car.
The forecast seems to be cloud or this wet snow on and off today and perhaps tomorrow too, but having said that things seem to be clearing up just a little bit just to the north of Yuzawa and it's surely going to be too mild for that mid-day...
Let's see what happens!
It seems that there's some fairly strong winds in places this morning, with Tashiro Ropeway (and area) closed for the day and Kagura only open from the Mitsumata Ropeway to Kagura Number 1 romance lift.
Other resorts appear to be opening as normal this morning.
Official snow depth information as of Wednesday 22nd March 2017
Some numbers not updated yet at the time of this report
Planned 'Nighta' operations (floodlit night skiing)
** Subject to change due to snow and weather conditions
Kandatsu Kogen 'Hobo All Night' ('Almost All Night' from 6pm-4am) is on Fridays, Saturdays and nights before holidays until 1st April 2017. Spring nighta (6pm-10pm) on Saturdays and nighta before holidays from 7th April until 22nd April
Fresh snow! Hurray! Oh I love snow so much. It's brilliant. Even when it's a bit wetter than the peak season variety.
But, yes, back to my report and the snow started falling yesterday evening, giving me 6cm to report to you from base here this morning. Perhaps we will get more over the next few days though it does not seem to be a full-on kind of thing - more, a bit here and there. We are heading into late March, after all.
Earlier snowfall has stopped at the moment (here at base anyway, it may still be snowing higher up) and the temperature is slightly over zero. It even looks like the sun might be trying to get in on the action in some places. Still, the forecast for the daytime today is generally 'cloudy' with the snow falling again tonight.
Bit of a wind affecting a few top lifts - see below for more on that.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Mountain base : -2°, 8cm wet new snow. Moiwa 800m: -3.7°, W3-10m/s, 5cm new snow, minor snowdrift development. Annupuri 1150m: -7°, 11Wm/s, 10cm wet new snow. Hirafu 1250m, -6°, W5m/s, 5cm new snow. Coastal data: Kamui Cape: WNW9m/s, 1006hPa, wave 2.3m.
The passing low pressure system has dropped 5-10cm wet snow with minor snowdrift development on leeward slopes. From observation, shallow surface avalanches can easily be triggered by rider stimulation on steep(40deg) slopes. Be aware. Fracture layer is from March 21 and probability of fracture is dependent on elevation and slope orientation. Deeper layers in the snowpack appear stable, however south facing slopes around 800m the risk of full depth avalanches is high. Do not enter south facing strictly off limits areas.
Everything is covered with a shallow layer of wet snow today, mellow terrain in the trees should be good. All gates are expected to be open. Please listen to the patrols advice before going out of bounds.
People have been demanding that we strengthen Niseko Rules to avoid accidents in the future. Although the current rules are not perfect they do a good job protecting your freedom to ride most of the mountain while keeping accidents to a minimum. We believe less rules the better and ask everyone to understand and follow the existing Niseko Rules to maintain your current freedoms and show stricter measures are not needed. Have a good day.
Resort specific opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Niseko Grand Hirafu The top King Number 4 lift is on hold at the start of the day due to wind conditions.
Planned closing dates Niseko Grand Hirafu plans to be open daily until Sunday 7th May. Niseko Hanazono plans to be open daily until Sunday 2nd April. Niseko Village plans to be open daily until Sunday 2nd April (and then from 28th April until 7th May). Niseko Annupuri plans to be open daily until Sunday 7th May.
Night time floodlit operations have now finished for the season. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Wednesday 22nd March 2017, 8:35am
I was expecting some snow but was not quite expecting how much.
It feels like mid-winter this morning with around 30cm of snow on the ground. The official lift site is even saying 45cm (!), though I'm not seeing that much - my average measurement from two points is 31cm... and counting.
Whatever, it's still an impressive amount to see falling on 22nd March!
I'm excited at the prospect of how conditions will be this morning and I am going out as soon as this gets posted.
It's funny, I think at least half-joking, a few locals were yesterday saying how they were worried about next season due to how much snow we have got this season. I'm not quite sure it works that way, but we have certainly done well this year!
Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:
Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish (and don't move much!)
Planned closing dates...it's complicated! We surely have enough snow this season for resorts to be open as long as planned. Below are the dates that I have found for each of the resort areas of Shiga Kogen. Please note that from 8th May, joint Shiga Kogen lift tickets are not valid - individual tickets from the individual areas will be required.
Sun Valley Both Sun Valley lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 2nd April
Maruike The Number 1 triple lift plans to be operating until Sunday 2nd April The Number 2 pair lift plans to be operating until Sunday 26th March
Hasuike The triple lift and ropetow plan to be operating until Sunday 26th March (ropetow weekends only)
Giant The pair lift plans to be operating until Sunday 2nd April
Higashitateyama The Gondola plans to be operating until Sunday 2nd April
Bunadaira The Hoppo quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 2nd April
Takamagahara Mammoth The quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 7th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only from 10th April until 28th April). The triple lift plans to be operating until Friday 31st March. The pair lift plans to be operating until Friday 31st March (* Saturdays, Sundays and holidays only)
Nishitateyama The Nishitateyama lifts plan to be operating until Friday 31st March
Tannenomori Okojo The quad lift plans to be operating daily until Sunday 2nd April and then on 8th/9th April and from 29th April until 7th May
Ichinose Family The Ichinose quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 7th May The Ichinose Number 2 pair A lift plans to be operating until Friday 31st March The Ichinose Number 2 pair B lift plans to be operating until Sunday 7th May The Ichinose Number 3 quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 26th March (* closed Tuesdays)
Terakoya The Terakoya lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 7th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only from 3rd April until 28th April).
Ichinose Diamond The Ichinose Diamond quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 7th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only from 10th April until 28th April) The Ichinose Diamond triple lift plans to be operating on 25th March
Yakebitaiyama The Gondolas and Number 2 lift plan to be operating until Sunday 2nd April
Okushiga Kogen The Okushiga Kogen Number 4 pair lift plans to be operating on 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd April and between 29th April and 7th May The Okushiga Kogen Number 2, 3, and 6 pair lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 7th May The Okushiga Kogen Gondola lift plans to be operating until Sunday 7th May
Kumanoyu The Kumanoyu Number 1 pair lift plan to be operating until Sunday 7th May The Kumanoyu Number 2 pair A and B lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 14th May The Kumanoyu Number 3 quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 2nd April; and then on 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd April and from 29th April until 7th May
Yokoteyama & Shibutoge The Yokoteyama Number 1 Sky A and B lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 7th May The Yokoteyama Number 2 and 3 Sky lifts plan to be operating until late May The Yokoteyama Number 4 pair lift plans to be operating until Sunday 7th May (may be closed on certain days) The Shibutoge lift plans to be operating until late May Read more ...
Wednesday 22nd March 2017, 8:42am
Cloud and blue sky
Good morning from Hakuba.
And I have fresh snow to report to you this morning!
Here's the headlines that the resorts are reporting:
Hakuba 47: 10-15cm Hakuba Goryu: 1-10cm Hakuba Happo-one: 5cm (though hearing reports of up to 30cm) Hakuba Cortina: 5-10cm (base); 10-15cm (top)
3cm from here at base, so it sounds like there's a (modestly) decent fresh layer of snow out there this morning - and I would imagine more than that higher up of course. Early morning should be good today.
As of 8:30am, there's quite a lot of blue sky opening up, though a bank of cloud around the upper mountain areas. Fine weather due for the day perhaps.
Although having said that, I have just noticed that top lifts at Goryu, Happo-one and Tsugaike are affected by wind on mountain.
The forecast has more snow coming tomorrow evening and then perhaps late weekend into early week as well - so we're not done yet!
I'm going to make the most of it. Maybe see some of you out today.
Resort news as of 8:40am on Wednesday 22nd March 2017:
All information as available and subject to change during the day due to weather and snow conditions.
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 10-15cm of fresh snowfall. The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth Upper: 325cm Base: 155cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 1cm (Toomi) - 10cm (top) of fresh snowfall. The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth Alps: 290cm Toomi: 145cm Iimori: 95cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 5cm of fresh snowfall (Riesen quad top). The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning, though top lifts affected by wind at the start of the day Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 250cm Kurobishi: 330cm Lower: 100cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Top lifts are on hold due to weather conditions at the start of the day. The Tsugaike Ropeway is now operating for the spring season. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 370cm Han-no-ki: 355cm Maruyama: 130cm Oya-no-hara: 130cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 120cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 5-10cm of fresh snowfall at base and 10-15cm higher up. The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth: Top: 355cm Base: 210cm
Planned nighta operations - be sure to check with resorts for latest:
Hakuba Goryu: Planned to be open daily until 31st March (6pm until 9:30pm)
Hakuba Happo-one: Planned to be open daily until 25th March (until 9pm on the Nakiyama area) Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Wednesday 22nd March 2017, 8:44am
Good morning from Nozawa.
Fresh snow to report this morning and also the official snow depth at Yamabiko going up to 400cm. Excellent! Not bad at all.
So the resort is reporting 5-15cm of fresh snow, base to top across the mountain this morning so there should be some great turns to enjoy this morning. It's a bit wetter than peak season of course, but it's fresh snow and needs to be shredded.
Looks like limited visibility at higher elevations with snow still falling but somewhat clearer conditions are expecting in the middle of the day with the chance of snow at times tonight and tomorrow too.
Nozawa Onsen plans to be open daily until Sunday 7th May
Remaining nighta: one more time - on Saturday 25th March
Lifts operations: - All lifts operating except: - Yunomine pair (usually closed on weekdays) - Mizunashi triple (usually closed on weekdays) - Challenge pair (usually closed on weekdays) - Utopia pair (usually closed on weekdays)
Courses not open today are: - Grand Prix - Hachiman - Kandahar East - Kandahar West - Kamoshika Read more ...
Wednesday 22nd March 2017, 9:01am
Fresh snow, folks!
I am measuring 8cm and the resort is reporting 10cm of fresh snow on the mountain. Both sound good to me and need further investigation!
Bit of a wind by the looks at the moment and kind of limited visibility, so googles needed. But get them on and let's go make the most of this gift from nature.
Madarao Kogen plans to be open until Sunday 2nd April. 12 days to go!
Operating status for the day at Madarao Kogen (at time of report):
- Number 1 lift - Number 2 quad lift - Number 3A lift - Number 5 lift - Super quad lift - Number 11 lift - Number 12 lift - Number 13 lift - Number 15 lift - Moving walkway - Kids Park - Free Ride Park
- Powder Wave I - Powder Wave II - River Line - Powder Theater - Adventure Aisle - Crystal Bowl - Ninja - Sawa - Rabbit - Kamoshika - Bear
- Remaining nighta at Madarao Kogen - today and Saturday 25th March.
- Gondola - Number 1 quad lift - Number 2 quad lift - Number 3 quad lift - Number 4 quad lift
All courses now open
Official snow depth: 310cm
Road Condition to Grandeco: Inawashiro through Goshikinuma: wet Goshukinuma through Grandeco: icy, very slippery Read more ...
Wednesday 22nd March 2017, 9:08am
Morning from Zao.
Just a bit of snow to report from here at village base, hopefully a bit more higher up, and a cloudy start to the day. That is what the forecast is for the day, with the chance of some more snowfall tomorrow.
Current temperature at base is 0C; up top it is -7C.
Closed for the season: - Paradise Number 3 pair - Diamond Number 1 pair - Zao Kokutai pair - Ryuzen pair - Karamatsu pair
Closed for the season: - Kotan
Official snow depths (as published by the resort itself): Summit - 150cm Paradise - 240cm Chuo - 240cm Utopia - 190cm Uwanodai - 130cm Yokokura - 130cm Read more ...
Wednesday 22nd March 2017, 9:19am
Sun is shining through from the east; clouds over the hills
Happily (once again) the rain turned to snow; once again the Niigata snow report is right on the money at 6cm. Pretty strong winds through the night, and they're still blowing strong this morning.
Some lift closures have begun. Suginohara snuck one in on me by reporting yesterday on their main site that No. 3 is still running; it is not.
We should have a rant about why resorts close from the top, where the fun stuff is, rather than the slushy little ones at the bottom, especially when they have plenty of people out there to play (OK, I do understand that you have to keep bottom lifts going for the young, inexperienced, etc. and for transportation....). We often suspect it is the area's dislike of the backcountry. (There. I've said it). Backcountry is not the issue, when people are dropping off cliff bands right next to the ski area with no gear. Backcountry folks are a lot better prepared....
*** Please note that the fresh snowfall number being reported on this report is taken from the ‘base area’ of Tenjindaira - which is just by the top station of the Ropeway at that resort. Other snowfall numbers and commentary will be mentioned within each report when available. Read more ...
Appi Kogen Now!
Wednesday 22nd March 2017, 11:33am
Another cloudy day here at Appi with westerly winds and a temperature of -2 right now. Yesterday we saw some rain arrive which is not going to help but at least with the falling temperatures late in the afternoon it turned to wet snow.
We can expect mostly cloudy skies for the whole week ahead and hopefully temperatures in the minus zone. As far as snowfall goes don’t expect much, perhaps a few cm spread out over the rest of the eek and into the weekend. Winds may pick up slightly during the week but drop for the weekend ahead.
All runs are open but given the thawing taking place during the day they re somewhat icy in the early morning. Lets face it though it’s still better than last year right!
Planned operating lifts at time of report (subject to change due to weather conditions):
Appi Gondola Central quad Central number 2 Central number 3b Central number 4 - on hold as of 1pm Central number 5 Central number 6 Sailer Gondola Sailer quad Vista quad Nishimori - on hold as of 1pm
Official snow depth:
Appi plans to be opening until Sunday 7th May this season Read more ...
Wednesday 22nd March 2017, 11:44am
Partly cloudy just at the moment
Morning from Naeba and there was some pretty heavy snow falling earlier on. And some strong winds as well, messing around with the operation of the Dragondola and top pair lift...
The snow has eased off since earlier on and now things have cleared up considerably and the wind has got less - allowing those lifts to re-open.
Here's how the rest of the season is planned for Naeba:
- open daily until Sunday 2nd April; - open on weekends and holidays between Saturday 8th April until Sunday 23rd April; - open daily from Saturday 29th April until Sunday 7th May
Nighta will continue daily until Sunday 26th March.