Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 15th December 2017
Tuesday 24th April 2012, 8:23am
Clear and sunny - hazy
I'm happy to report that this morning is a bright one with the sun out. Looks like Kagura is shrouded in cloud early on, but I suspect that will quickly disappear to leave sunny blue skies up there as well if not somewhat hazy. So things are back to normal after those few days of less than pleasant weather conditions and disruption to lift operations at ski resorts.
There's just a slight breeze early on and right now it is 9C outside. As forecast today should be warming up considerably and it looks like a high of around 18C is likely. Tomorrow we should be in the early 20s.
At Gala Yuzawa, all of the Central and North area courses apart from Roman Holiday are open - including the downhill course.
Lifts at Kagura that are planned to be operating this week are as below:
Official resort snow depths @ Tuesday 24th April 12, AM: Kagura - Mitsumata: 320cm Kagura - Tashiro: 280cm GALA Yuzawa: 210cm
Open from 28th April until 6th May: Kandatsu Kogen Naeba
Open daily until 6th May: GALA Yuzawa [Central Area, North Area, Downhill course] Kagura (Tashiro)
Open daily until 27th May: Kagura (Mitsumata)
All other ski resorts in Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma are now closed for the season. Read more ...
Tuesday 24th April 2012, 9:14am
Welcome to a much kinder morning in Niseko. There's quite a lot of cloud up there this morning but some blue patches about the resort areas here and there but most importantly hardly any wind and nothing falling from the sky. Should be a pleasant day I would think. Tomorrow as well, along with things warming up as has been forecast. Perhaps a high of around 10C today but the temperature might even get to be approaching 20C tomorrow afternoon.
All lifts that are scheduled to be open today seem to be operating as normal.
Current lift operations (24th April 2012 @ 9am):
Grand Hirafu: Ace Quad Lift No2 King Hooded Triple Lift #3 King Lift #4 The Hirafu Gondola will operate on 28th, 29th, 30th April, and also from 3rd May until 6th May.
Grand Hirafu and Annupuri both plan to be open until 6th May. The Hanazono and Niseko Village areas are now closed. Niseko Village plans to re-open for the Golden Week holiday period from Sunday 29th April until Sunday 6th May.
That's more like it. There's lots of blue sky this morning with a band of fluffy cloud covering lots of the peaks of the mountain backdrop. This morning it is 13C in the village and a high of around 20C forecast and tomorrow should bring more sun and an even higher high, so things are warming up. We might see some rain on Thursday but after that it looks like a clear run into the weekend.
The lower slopes of Happo are now almost all brown as the snow has departed for the season, while the lower slopes of Goryu and 47 are retaining snow better with just some patches here and there.
Just a reminder about the 'Golden Week' holidays in Japan. Monday 30th April, Thursday 3rd May and Friday 4th May are national holidays in Japan and so we effectively have two long weekends coming up... some lucky people may also have the Tuesday and Wesnesday off work, making it a 9 day long holiday for some. The ski season will then officially end in Hakuba on the last Sunday (6th May) at the resorts that remain open. We can probably expect all of the Golden Week to be busy out there, especially those long weekends, so keep that in mind if you plan to be in Hakuba for this last part of the season. Hope you can get here to enjoy it - lasto chansu!
Official snow depths and operations @ Tuesday 24th April 2012 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: Gondola and Alps daira No1 and No3 lifts operating. The Toomi lifts are now closed but you can still ski down the course to the Gondola. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 185cm; Toomi - 60cm
Hakuba 47: Top to bottom skiable. All lifts apart from Line D operating. Official snow depth: Upper - 160cm Lower - 90m
Happo-one: Top areas open - you need to get the Gondola back down to base. Lifts normally operating daily for spring are: Gondola Grat quad Alpen quad Panorama pair Skyline No2 pair Kurobishi No2 quad Other lifts: Kokusai No3 pair lift plans to be open from 28th April until 6th May. Usagidaira pair lift plans to be open from 28th April until 6th May. Kurobishi No3 pair lift plans to be open from 28th April until 6th May. Official snow depth: Usagidaira - 150cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Top to bottom skiable. Planned lifts operating are Ropeway, Gondola, Tsuga No2 pair lift and the Hannoki pair. Official snow depth: Upper slopes - 245cm Lower - 90cm
Planned ski resort closings in Hakuba and Otari, all subject to change:
Hakuba Goryu: Upper area plans to be open until 6th May.
Hakuba 47: 47 plans to be open until 6th May.
Happo-one: Upper slopes plan to be open until 6th May.
Tsugaike Kogen: Plans to be open until Golden Week
The Hakuba Cortina, Norikura, Iwatake, Sanosaka and Minekata resorts are all now closed for the season. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Tuesday 24th April 2012, 9:49am
Sun, some cloud
Good morning from Shiga Kogen. Some very spring-looking thin clouds up there this morning but generally blue skies over the region and warm temperatures. The resort areas that remain open for this week are very quiet - there's hardly anyone out there at the moment.
This coming weekend is the beginning of the Golden Week holidays in Japan. It's a 3 day weekend, followed by a 4 day weekend next week (3rd-6th May) and so we can definitely expect more people to be around for that. Once Golden Week is over just part of Kumanoyu and Yokoteyama/Shibutoge will remain open.
The Shiga Kogen - Kusatsu (Gunma) stretch of Route 292 will be opening officially at 10am tomorrow morning, so from tomorrow you can get to and from Shiga Kogen via Gunma. It's a great road just for a drive as well actually!
Resort areas in Shiga Kogen currently part open (as of 24th April, AM):
Mammoth Ichinose Family Okushiga Kogen Kumanoyu Yokoteyama Shibutoge
Official resort snow depths as of Tuesday 24th April 2012 AM:
Higashitateyama: Open 21/22, 29th April - 6th May. (Even when courses closed access to Terakoya available)
Terakoya: Open 21/22, 29th April - 6th May.
Mammoth: Quad open until 6th May. Triple lift open 17th-19th April and 24th-26th April.
Tannenomori: Open 28th April until 6th May
Ichinose Family: Quad until 6th May. No2 pair open until 6th May except 16th, 17th and 27th April.
Ichinose Diamond: Quad open 21/22 April, 28th April - 6th May.
Yakebitaiyama: Gondola and No2 high quad lift open weekends and Golden Week.
Okushiga Kogen: Gondola open 16th April and then 21st-23rd April, 28th April until 6th May. No2 and No3 pairs until 6th May. No4 pair open 21st-22nd April, 28th April until 6th May.
Kumanoyu: Some lifts open beyond 6th May (after that date the Shiga Kogen ticket not valid)
Yokoteyama: Plans to be open until late May. Beyond 6th May, the joint Shiga Kogen ticket not valid. Read more ...
Tuesday 24th April 2012, 9:57am
Warm and springlike again in Minakami after a couple of days of miserable weather. It is warm out with some hazy cloud in the sky and soft snow underfoot.
Tenjin have started closing the lifts with the Toge lift shut to switch it over to its summer job of taking sightseers and hikers up to the ridge. The next lift will have its last day on 6th May and then the final lift will close on the evening of Sunday 13th May ending another long season for Tenjin.
The forecast is changing daily at the moment. Warm and sunny today and tomorrow, rain on Thursday, overcast Friday and then hopefully fine for the start of Golden Week this weekend. Read more ...
Tuesday 24th April 2012, 9:59am
Cloud, clear at times
It's a cloudy morning in Zao, but a warm one with hardly any wind. We might get to see the sun sometime today, but definitely should tomorrow - the forecast is for a clear and sunny day with some very warm temperatures and almost certainly the warmest day of the year so far.
The forecast is for fine weather this weekend as well. It's a long weekend and the first part of the Golden Week run of holidays in Japan - Monday is a national holiday. After that, Thursday and Friday next week are also holidays so that will be a four-day long weekend.... and the last of the season at Zao.
News about the Zao Echoline road - it will be opening from 11am on Friday 27th April. This road connects Zao Onsen with the Zao-machi (Zao Town) in Miyagi Prefecture and is closed for the winter months. They started the task of moving the snow in late March and a month later the road will be open for us all to use. Of course this opens up options on how to get to Zao for those living or approaching from the Miyagi region. There's also some impressive 'snow walls' to see on the way.
Official snow depths (24th April 12) Utopia - 150cm Chuo - 150cm Paradise - 155cm Uwanodai - 50cm
Operating lifts (24th April 12) Limited lifts now open.
Current planned lift operations at Zao, as of 24th April - subject to change:
Uwanodai Area Sky Cable (open all year, but closed from 7th May for maintenance)
Chuo and Paradise Area Zao Chuo Ropeway (closed for maintenance 9th-25th April except Saturdays and Sundays) Chuo No1 pair lift (only 21st and 22nd April, 28th April until 6th May) Chuo No2 pair lift (until 6th May) Katakai triple lift (only 21st and 22nd April, 28th April until 6th May) Paradise No1 pair lift (only 21st and 22nd April, 28th April until 6th May)
Yokokura and Utopia area Zao Ropeway (open all year, closed for maintenance 7th-18th May) Utopia No2 pair lift (dependent on snow but latest until 6th May)
Omori and Kurohime Area Kurohime No1 quad (no fixed closing date, dependent on snow (but only Fri, Sat and Sun from 16th - 26th April) Read more ...
Tuesday 24th April 2012, 11:13am
We have light rain at the moment which looks like it will stay with us for a while. A little on the chilly side today but there are rumours of the temperature hitting a summer like 20c tomorrow. If that is the case it is time for sunnies and t-shirt skiing. The snow pack on the Furano side is still holding up very well. On the Kitanomine side spring is well on the way with large areas of grass breaking through. Read more ...
Tuesday 24th April 2012, 12:22pm
A bit of a delay since my last report, but yesterday's weather was nothing to write about - rain, wind, etc...
Today, though is a very lovely day with fair skies, warmth, lots of snow and even a pretty good turnout of cars in the Akakan parking lot. Looking toward the weekend, Ikenotaira will be opening up again this weekend, and going on through the Golden Week period.
For backcountry fans, the snow is great; we went up to Mt. Hiuchi at the end of last week and found really good conditions on the mountain, and for the descent back to Sasagamine at the western base. The road is open all the way to the parking lot/summer climbing path, so that, too, should be very good for Golden Week and beyond.
The wind and rain did bring down the snowpack, but it's almost May, and there's still a lot out there.
Akakan: Sky Cable Gondola and No 3 lift, through to May Seki Onsen: Open through May Ikenotaira: Will open from April 28 to May 6