Snow and weather reports posted on Thursday 22nd February 2018
Saturday 23rd December 2017, 6:51am
Cloud and Fog
It's rather dark and cloudy in Naeba this morning. The forecast predicted that the clear and calm conditions we have been experiencing for most of the week would not change until Sunday, however it's look as though things have moved in a sooner than was expected. Currently there are low light conditions at the base, with a layer of thick cloud hanging around towards the top of the ski hill. This could indicate there is a chance of light rain/sleet/snow later in the day, however this should ease off into the night with a break from the precipitation through Sunday. The temperature currently is expected to be above 0°C for most of today, remaining warm overnight and into tomorrow. The pistes are likely to be a little hard this morning, but hopefully the warmth will soften them up after lunch time.
Looking forwards, we have a significant snow storm system predicted to roll into town on Monday morning, with the heaviest snowfall being spread across Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. The 6-day forecast shows no sign of this storm letting up as of yet. Temperatures are expected to remain well below 0°C for the duration of the snow storm.
Dragondola starting the season from this morning connecting Naeba with Kagura.
It's been a week now since a significant dump of snow, so a new storm system coming through for Christmas is an exciting prospect, and it's still very early in the season.
Yesterday ended up being a generally cloudy day and there's no fresh snow to report this morning.
This morning we are starting the day off with some clearer weather with some moderate winds. Not too cold. A lovely morning.
The G Park opens today again with a special opening event.
Snow and wind is due from Monday. A storm is on the way!
Official snow depths:
Top: 220cm Base: 120cm
* All lifts operating
Courses & Tree Runs:
* All main courses open * Tree Run courses not yet available
Nighta skiing operations are planned at Geto Kogen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 25th February 2018.
Welcome to our new Geto Kogen Now daily reports section
Geto Kogen is a ski and snowboard resort in Iwate Prefecture in the northern Tohoku region of Honshu, the main island of Japan. It’s known for heavy snowfalls, quality snow and tree run courses. Hopefully we will be able to bring you some good snowy reports through this season.
For more information on Geto Kogen please check out these pages on SnowJapan:
As with all our daily ‘Now’ reports, the bottom line is that they are independent and honest – they are published by us, not by the resort. The new snowfall number is being measured at the base area of the resort. Read more ...
Saturday 23rd December 2017, 7:39am
Lots of grey cloud
Good morning from Yuzawa.
After the fine sunny weather of yesterday - the sun was out and when I went past the temperature reading by the side of the road in town it was saying +7C degrees. I recall we were expecting more of the sunny skies today...
It hasn't started off that way though. I was woken up by the sound of water - it was automatic snow-melting sprinklers that were turned on; so it may well have been snowing but I can't see any evidence of that. A little later when I got up it was raining. Happily that has now stopped but the roads are wet. There is lots of grey cloud still around but hopefully a chance that things will clear up as the morning progresses.
Today sees the small Ipponsugi ski hill in the central Yuzawa open as well as the Muikamachi Hakkaisan resort to the north in Minamiuonuma. The Dragondola lift that connects Naeba with the Tashiro part of Kagura opens from this morning. And in other Kagura news, their top Kagura Number 5 lift is set to start operating from 1st January.
So, ski hills are now either partly or fully open with generally very good snow cover. The mild conditions that look set to continue through tomorrow though mean that the snow has gradually been reducing so we would like some more sustained snowfall to build those bases up.
It still looks like snow should be falling again from Monday. Fingers crossed!
Have a good Saturday.
Updated: Saturday 23rd December 2017
** Official snow depths (where available) and resort specific information
Ski resorts in Yuzawa:
GALA Yuzawa GALA Yuzawa is open with 6 lifts operating and 9 courses (Central and Northern Areas) open. The sledding area is also open. - 130cm
Iwappara - Iwappara is open from this morning. The central and top area was open yesterday with more scheduled to be available today. - 70cm
Kagura Almost all of Kagura is open. The Dragondola connecting Kagura with Naeba plans to open from this morning. The top Kagura Number 5 lift should be open from 1st January. - Kagura area: 180cm - Mitsumata area: 120cm - Tashiro area: 140cm
Lots of sunshine yesterday along with milder conditions.
This morning there is a lot of cloud about; can't say I was expecting that. A look at the webcams shows some very limited visibility up on the top Yamabiko area - fairly decent in other areas of the resort at the time of writing. Perhaps we will get to see the sun shine once again today later on.
Today and tomorrow are set to remain relatively mild and fresh snowfall is still due to be here come Monday (and beyond).
I heard rumours that Santa was going to be hitting the slopes at other ski resorts in Japan. Don't believe them, they're not true... because he's here in Nozawa! He can't be in two places at once, can he?! He has already been spotted this morning and apparently he has presents for 100 people who say hi to him.
There is also floodlit nighta at Nozawa planned this evening until 8pm. If you are coming by car use the Number 1 car park - parking during nighta hours is free.
All courses now at least part open except the following:
- Challenge 39 wall - Mukobayashi - Grand Prix - Hachiman - Kandahar Read more ...
Saturday 23rd December 2017, 7:53am
It looks like the Kitanomine Gondola will commence operation for the season today. This will be most welcome by skiers who are based on the Kitanomine side of the resort as it gives access to much more terrain and longer runs. Although there was not a lot of sun yesterday it was warm and the temperatures caused roofs to clear of snow by natural avalanche. Today the sky is clear with scattered cloud, and although it is a cold start to the day, it will warm up to a tropical +2c. Sunday also looks like it will be a nice day while next week may be windy. Read more ...
Saturday 23rd December 2017, 8:06am
Cloudy here and a small amount of snow fell but the forecast is indicating things will clear and down valley I can see patches of blue.
It's also a little warmer than usual.
I'm over this clear weather but did enjoy a lovely snowshoe out to Ichinokura yesterday (photo below).
Next snow is forecast for Christmas day and it looks like the start of multi-day storm.
Planned opening dates at ski resorts in Minakami - subject to change:
Please note that the snowfall numbers posted in this report will be observed from close to the base Tenjindaira Ropeway station - which is often much more than in the central town area of Minakami. Read more ...
...and the resorts are opening up top gates for him. According to the Avalanche Reports, gates 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 10 should be opening this morning.
Yesterday we enjoyed some lovely weather in the afternoon. Blue skies and sunshine. Marvellous.
I have 7cm of snow to report this morning from my base and it's mild - well, relatively mild of course, with temps currently hovering around zero. Light snow is falling here in Hirafu as I write this but I think we can expect it to ease off this morning and we may get some more sun between now and tomorrow evening.
I have just taken a quick look at the forecast. Late Sunday-early Monday onwards looks pretty good for potentially heavy snow and strong winds. Another storm looks to be on the horizon. Until now, pesky winds haven't been much of an issue this season; that may well change come early week. Perhaps Santa doesn't have any control over that kind of thing.
In the meantime, I hope you have a good Saturday.
More people piling into Niseko now as things get more lively by the day.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am: -1℃, 5cm of low-pressure snowfall. Moiwa800m: -1.6℃, S1.4m/s, heavy snowfall 15cm without snowdrifts development. Annupuri1000m: -2℃, light NW breeze, 15cm snowfall. Hirafu1200m: -3℃, light breeze, 10cm snowfall and bad visibility. Coastal data: Benkei cape NNW9m/s, Kamui cape SSW2m/s, 1014hPa, 0.6m waves.
The isobars are spread out, however a low-pressure area is hovering above Niseko, generating 10-15cm of humid snow and falling. The snowdrifts that formed yesterday are stabilizing with time and the avalanche hazard is lowering. The current snowfall is likely to slide in 40°steep slopes. Danger of falling cornice on the peak ridge is lowering. Peak chairs are scheduled to run from the morning.
Gates 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 10 are also scheduled to open today. Looking at the snowfall transition and observations, the avalanche risk under treeline is relatively low. Avoid cornices and knolls and ride one by one. If stopping halfway on the slope, choose a spot away from avalanche path.
The Niseko Rules have been established in order to protect all resort users’ safety and freedom to ride in the out of bounds area. Please respect it for your own sake. Do not duck ropes.
Collapsing cornices sometimes trigger an avalanche. Extra caution is required in Higashi-One. Visibility is bad, be vigilant. Precaution is key to avoid accidents. Have a nice weekend.
Saturday 23rd December 2017
What's planned to be open today in Niseko (subject to change):
Lifts operating: - Hirafu Gondola (* nighta) - Ace Number 1 pair lift - Ace Number 2 Center Four quad lift (* nighta) - Ace Number 3 pair lift - Ace Family quad lift (* nighta) - Holiday Number 1 pair lift (* nighta) - Swinging Monkey - King Number 1 pair lift - King Number 3 quad lift - King Number 4
Floodlit 'nighta' skiing: Night skiing is planned for every evening at the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri areas. There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO area. Ski lifts that are scheduled to be operating for nighta are noted above. Read more ...
Saturday 23rd December 2017, 8:32am
Blue sky, some cloud
Good morning from Madarao.
Beautiful (and mild) day yesterday.
There is more cloud in the region this morning but still nice blue skies over Madarao; just a bit of cloud and keeping fairly mild.
From this morning, more lifts are moving with most of the resort now open and the shared lift ticket with Tangram Ski Circus available.
And it's good to see Powder Wave II and Adventure Aisle opening up too.
And there's nighta tonight. (My apologies, I had somehow left that off the list. Doh!)
Kind of feels like the first 'proper' day of the season with most things now opening up and available.
Now.... let's have some more snow >>> from Monday!
Official snow depth: 100cm
Number 1 lift Number 2 quad lift Super quad lift Number 11 lift Number 12 lift Number 13 lift Number 15 lift
Powder Wave II Free Ride Park Adventure Aisle Kids Park
Planned nighta operations this season:
Daily between 29th December 2017 and 3rd January 2018 7th January 2018 11th February 2018 Every Saturday between 4th January and 24th March 2018 Read more ...
Saturday 23rd December 2017, 8:33am
Sun shining through the clouds
Very light snow to welcome the first day of all resorts being open. Very light - blowing in from the peaks, actually.
Looks like a pretty mild, maybe even sunny day today, then slowly moving back into the snow hopefully!
Looking good for the holidays. And I'm not very talkative today. Time to go skiing!
Lots of updates have been made to the resort specific lists this morning (below), so be sure to check them out.
The main headlines:
- The Grat quad lift and top course at Happo-one is now open - All of Goryu-47 is now open, including the Iimori area - The Tree Riding Zone at Hakuba 47 is now open
This morning there's 5cm of fresh snow to report though curiously the resorts aren't reporting much - Cortina are mentioning just 2cm, Goryu are mentioning 0cm (!) and 47 report 10cm. Perhaps due to the snow starting early morning. But anyway a bit of a layer of fresh snow out there. Snow cover is not a problem but we could do with some more...
So what about heavy snowfall? This coming week shows lots of exciting potential with heavy snowfall due to be with us from tomorrow night or Monday morning - and it's due to continue for at least a few days. We should be a getting a lot of snow out of this, so we can look forward to renewed excellent conditions.
Before that, sun is on the forecast for tomorrow (and perhaps later today) --- the calm before the storm, hopefully.
Enjoy your day.
Ski resort opening status on Saturday 23rd December 2017:
There was just a little bit of snow fall last night, just a 2cm or so cover down at base. So not really enough to cover the somewhat hard snow conditions around the base area. We could do with a good dump of snow - good news is that the forecast is looking exciting for lots of snow from Monday.
In the meantime it is a little warm morning. Snow conditions can change easily, so be careful.
Floodlit night skiing for the 2017-2018 season is planned as follows:
In the Uwanodai area: Daily from Saturday 23rd December 2017 until Sunday 4th March 2018 Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 9th March until Sunday 18th March 2018.
In the Yokokura area: Daily from Saturday 23rd December 2017 until Monday 8th January 2018 Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 12th January until Sunday 18th February 2018. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 2nd March until Sunday 11th March 2018.
Night time 'light up' sightseeing ropeway is planned for the following dates:
December 2017: 23rd-24th, 29th-31st January 2018: 1st-7th, 13th-14th, 20th-21st, 27th-31st February 2018: every day March 2018: 1st-4th Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Saturday 23rd December 2017, 9:25am
Clouds clearing, sun
Good morning from Shiga Kogen.
Just a light dusting of snow early this morning but the clouds have been clearing up and currently the sun is shining down on us.
So here we are on 23rd December and from today most of Shiga Kogen is - at least part - open. We're not at 'fully' open yet, but the main skiable connections are not mostly available.
Terakoya and Higashitateyama are notable exceptions; I can clearly see that the latter is in need of more snow.
I have added the official snow depth information below. If you have been following my reports over the years you will be aware that they don't all exactly keep things up to date. I report 40cm of snowfall, certainly don't expect them all to be bumped up by that amount. But for what it's worth, I will keep this updated as best I can during the season.
You can see though that while the ski resorts are now open and we have generally good snow cover - better in some areas than others - we still don't have huge amounts of snow and deep cover.
Hopefully the storm that is on the way - due by Monday - should change that.
Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:
Most areas of Shiga Kogen is now at least part open. Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish.
Almost all the runs are open now... even Mt.Nishimori! Come and have a great weekend before the rain comes on Sunday night.
That's correct - rain.
Lets forget about that for a brief moment and say the resort is in fine shape overall. Today we will get some sun shining through every now and again and that couples with generally light winds sure a wonderful day up there, whichever run your on. (Though at the time of writing it does look like the Sailer Gondola is on hold).
The forecast isn’t looking good though. Sunday night the temperatures are expected to climb to +5 and with it some heavy rain. Winds are still expected to increase significantly to the 30-35ms range and stay with us until Thursday. Lets hope that changes.
Have a great weekend on the mountain.
Lift operations on Saturday 23rd December 2017 (at time of writing; subject to change):
- APPI Gondola - Central quad - Central number 2 lift - Central number 3 lift A - Central number 4 lift - Central number 5 lift - Sailer Gondola - Vista quad - Sailer quad - Nishimori lift