Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 1st May 2017
Sunday 24th January 2016, 7:41am
Welcome to Sunday morning and it looks like it is going to be a great day ahead.
The resort has blue skies above it with some cloud thrown in as well, but the sun is going to break through this morning and those nice warm rays will help to take the chill out of the -10c...well it will help a little! There is only a light flurry of snow coming down right now but overnight there has been 2cm of accumulation. While not a lot it certainly helps to refresh the runs. Being a Sunday, the mountain is likely to be a little more crowded that the other days of the week.
The forecast for Monday and Tuesday is similar today. The next significant snow is likely to be Wednesday and Thursday, but winds are also forecast to increase on those days. Read more ...
Sunday 24th January 2016, 7:54am
Bluebird powder days are a rarity in Japan, especially in January. Which made yesterday all the more special! Kiroro has 2cm of snow this morning, and just a couple of clouds in the sky. Fresh tracks could be found late in the day yesterday, so powder lovers will still be able to find some deep turns today. However this powder snob will be making the most of the nice weather to do some fast groomer laps!
Without the insulating clouds, temperatures have dropped to -14°C at the peak, with a 34km/h wind adding some wind chill. Watch for frostbite if you are out and about today.
Snowfall is forecast to return tonight, with clouds expected later in the day. Looking ahead, Kiroro is due consistent snowfall throughout next week, fingers crossed January finishes with a bang! Read more ...
Sunday 24th January 2016, 8:03am
Things started off pretty calm this morning with clearer skies but snow clouds moved in and about an hour ago it started snowing... and it's snowing fast right now.
2cm already and if it carries on like this a lot is going to be piling up today, and the forecast is for lots of snow today with it getting less tomorrow.
Let's see how it turns out, will let you know tomorrow morning!
The 2016 Alpine Skiing World Cup will be held on the slopes of Naeba between 12th-14th February 2016. In preparation for that event, there are going to be some restrictions each day mainly involving the Men's Riesen Slalom run. That run is going to be closed until Friday 5th February and after that date there will be some different restrictions in the lead up to the World Cup event. Read more ...
Appi Kogen Now!
Sunday 24th January 2016, 8:18am
Good morning from Appi.
The weekend's half over and we’re bracing for another chilly day here with temperatures steady most of the day at -8 to -10 at the base. Thankfully the wind will cooperate today remaining steady at 3m/s throughout most of the day picking up only slightly late this afternoon and into tomorrow morning.
Right now it’s cloudy with no snow currently falling but the forecast has changed somewhat and we should receive around 14cm of snow throughout the day, lets hope it comes to fruition. The official base still remains steady at 80cm’s and there are still only 17 runs open.
The next few days should bring more of the white powder with a ‘supposed’ 38cm of it heading our way in the next three days. Mid week should make for some good times on the mountain if we do get more snow. Winds are forecast to die down somewhat over the next few days also with temperatures in the -6 range at the base.
On a side note the main gondola was delayed in opening yesterday and with no official reason we’re hoping this doesn’t become a regular occurrence.
Enjoy the rest of the chilly weekend.
Currently planned operating lifts:
- Appi Gondola - Central Number 1 quad - Number 2 lift A - Number 2 lift B - Number 3 lift B - Number 3 lift C - Number 4 lift - Sailer quad - Vista quad Read more ...
Sunday 24th January 2016, 8:19am
Thick snow clouds
It has started snowing this morning and snowing good at the moment.
It's actually supposed to ease off a bit later on this morning or this afternoon and then heavy snow and perhaps winds are due later in the day and tonight.
May the snow be heavy (but light if you know what I mean) and plentiful!
I look forward to my report tomorrow.
By the way, clearer skies look likely Tuesday onwards for a few, so those days should be great especially if you get a lot of snow in the next 24+ hours.
I can see storms affecting lots of areas this morning but not here in Zao. Just 2cm of snowfall (just about) since my last report and not much of a wind. It's whiteout conditions on the mountain though with fog making visibility very poor.
Still all lifts are go and the resort remains open. Just take care where you're going!
We are forecast snow for today and maybe more tomorrow but things should ease off from Tuesday in terms of snow but there might be some strong winds this coming week.
Information as of Sunday 24th January 2016 (subject to change)
This morning it has so far been snowing on and off and generally lightly. There's also a fair wind around as well which is actually forecast to get stronger as the day goes on. Hopefully it won't affect the resort operations.
New 8cm of dry powder this morning at base... try making snowballs with it!
So heavy snowfall and strong winds are likely later today and maybe into tomorrow as well. There's regular snow on the forecast through until the end of the coming week as well so we should be enjoying regular topups.
If you like the sun, perhaps Tuesday is your best bet. Conditions should be great too once this storm passes.
Not much earlier on as it has only really taken hold this morning, but it's really falling quite heavily now and there's a wind as well so it feels very cold outside. Storm like conditions just at the moment.
Snow should ease off tomorrow and then we are due a few days of potentially clearer skies - a great time to be here if you can! In the meantime, lots of snowfall today please let's get as much in as possible...
Take care if you are out on the slopes though, visibility is generally limited and in some places very poor - be sure you know where you are going.
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Sunday 24th January 2016):
Hello from Niseko and it's another cold blue sky morning.
The Ace Number 1 lift at Niseko Grand Hirafu had about 90 minutes downtime for (official reason) 'inspection and maintenance' at around lunchtime yesterday, but other than that things were open as normal and it was a fine day with blue sky and some white cloud here and there hanging around the mountain.
It was snowing very lightly earlier on, but those clouds have quickly dispersed and there are blue skies above now. I can't award any cm of new snowfall this morning as it's more a case of there being just few mm dusting - so it's 0cm for the record today I'm afraid. That ain't enough of course to give us anything like a reset but with the fine weather this morning again it should still be another fine morning to be on the mountain.
Some forecasts do tell wonderful stories of snowfall today, but my eyes show me almost clear blue skies all round at the moment, just a few wispy bit of cloud here and there and Mt Yotei wearing a little cloud hat. Still, snow clouds have been known to move in quickly so you never know. More reliable ones tell of sunny spells over the next few days and that regular (but probably modest) snowfall through the end of the coming week.
I have said things along these lines before but it's worth mentioning again. Niseko is of course an extremely popular ski resort and that means that there's a large number of people eager to get out there early on and enjoy it. Obviously.
What it also means is that we do actually require decent regular snowfall to fill in the tracks and keep things in fresh shape.
I have a friend who lives near a small local ski hill in Nagano Prefecture and he says that he can go up on the lift at 4pm and still pretty much have an untouched mountain to enjoy. Ii ne! Alas, there's not much of that here in Niseko in these modern days. (I'll avoid the 'I remember when...' kind of stories!).
Having said that there are areas of the mountain that are much more popular than others, meaning there are also places that are quieter and get less tracked out. You too can find them. It is possible to get to experience Niseko without feeling that it is over-crowded with cunning planning and maybe a bit of luck and timing too. That discussion is perhaps for another day...
Anyway, perfect for me would be say 20-25cm of fresh each day, or rather overnight. Followed by some cold but fine weather in the daytime. But I suppose that applies for everywhere doesn't it!
Resort specific lift opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Niseko base 6.00am: -10°C, 5mm new snowfall, moonlight. Moiwa 800m: light winds, no new snow, no snowdrift development. Mikaeri 740m: -10.2°C, N0.1m/s, trace of new snow, minor snowdrift development. Annupuri 1150m: -14°C, light winds, trace new snow. Hirafu 1000m: -10°C, no new snow. Coastal data: Benkei Cape:light winds. Kamui Cape s4m/s, 1003hPa, wave 0.9m.
No new snowfall and except for the strictly off limits areas the mountain is completely tracked out. From observation and data analysis avalanche risk is low. The Jan 24 snow surface has formed a frost layer during the clear night and will become a notable layer in the future snow pack. All peak gates are expected to be open. Out of bounds the snow surface is covered in hard tracks from yesterday, take care loosing control and hitting something. Please listen to the patrols advice before leaving the ski area. Yesterday Haru no Taki strictly off limits area was entered by a number of people, two lift passes were confiscated. The number of people illegally entering Yu no Sawa is also increasing. The freedom and safety of all resort users is protected by the Niseko Rules and should not be tolerated by any mountain users. These rules must be followed by everyone regardless of their country of origin. People who disregard the rules will be banned from the ski resorts. Each accommodation provider has a duty to properly explain the rules to all guests. This information is issued for the purpose of accident prevention in out of bounds areas. The groomed runs are in excellent condition. Have a great day.
Official resort snow depths as of Sunday 24th January 2016:
Yesterday was an interesting one. The snowfall eased off and the clouds were stubborn for most of the morning but around lunchtime we did get some blue skies and sunshine over Yuzawa with cloud moving back over later in the afternoon. And quite a clear evening with a beautiful moon.
This morning I got up around 7:30am and looked out of the window hoping to see heavy snow falling only to see.... calm and quite clear skies. Not again, was my first thought.
But soon after light snow started falling and now (9:15am) it is snowing heavily. It looks and feels like it is set in as well. Proper snow this time, it's really coming down. Brilliant! I'm logging 3cm so far since the snow started.
Kagura reported 1-2cm overnight and Maiko reported 0cm, but that was before this morning snow started and it if does continue like this today we should be on for some decent numbers by tomorrow. Exciting.
Forecasts do say it should be snow all today and most of tomorrow as well. They disagree somewhat on what will happen Tuesday but it could definitely be one of those clear sky days after a storm and the perfect time to be here. We'll see.
For now we want as much snow as possible out of this storm.
I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow morning.
Resort official snow depths (Sunday 24th January 2016) and any specific news:
All resorts in the area are now open - and they are now 'mostly' open with just a few steeper courses still unavailable. Importantly, lower slopes have also enjoyed a decent refresh of snow over the last few days. But we still need more!
Apologies for the later than planned report this morning.
It's snowing again.
Just a bit of snow yesterday on the mountain and while there wasn't really much 'overnight', as we got into this morning it has been snowing heavily and it has been really coming down at times.
Visibility on the slopes this morning - especially higher ones - looks to be generally somewhat limited - and I am hearing there's some windy conditions as well on upper areas. Happo have their top lifts on hold at the moment and the top part of the Tsugaike gondola is also on hold. Hakuba Goryu seems unaffected just now but Line C quad and Line E pair at Hakuba 47 are also on hold.
Heavy snow is forecast through the day today with it probably getting lighter as we get into tomorrow and then perhaps some clearer skies around Tuesday; but more snow is lined up for later in the week.
Things feel more like normal now and it's good to see Happo-one showing all their lower areas open at last.
If we could now just get some days in where there's no complications or drama (mostly wind now that we have our snow), I'd really like that!
Resort news as of 9:15am on Sunday 24th January 2015 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 15cm of fresh snowfall at base and 20cm up top. All courses are now open. The lower part of the Tree Riding Zone is now open. Please see my report yesterday for more information on that. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba 47. Official snow depth: Upper: 190cm Base: 60cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 5cm of fresh snowfall at base and 20cm up top. All courses except Snow Diving are now open. The Toomi area will be open until 9:30pm tonight for 'nighta'. Lift info: All lifts operating as planned this morning. Official snow depth Alps: 205cm Toomi: 90cm Iimori: 90cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 10cm of fresh snowfall. The top lifts are on hold at the moment due to the weather conditions - Grat quad, Alpen quad, Usagidaira pair and Kurobishi Number 3 pair. All lower areas of Happo-one are now open though so once the storm passes it should be an 'all open' situation! The lower Nakiyama area plans to be open for 'nighta' every day until 9pm (note snow is still pretty limited down there). Lift info: All planned lifts are now operating. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 185cm Nakiyama: 70cm Sakka: 40cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 10cm of fresh snowfall. All courses apart from Mt Hieda Ridge are now open. The Ikenota area will be open for 'nighta' until 9pm tonight. Lift info: All lifts (apart from Number 7 pair) plan to be operating. Official snow depth: Top: 180cm Base: 105cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All course areas are now generally open, weather permitting. 'Nighta' is planned for Kane-no-naru-oka area until 8:50pm, and at the Karamatsu and Shirakaba areas until 9pm. Lift info: All lifts apart from the top part of the Gondola, the top Tsuga Number 1 pair lift and lower Kane-no-naru-oka Skyliner I are operating. Note that the top Tsugaike Ropeway only opens from spring. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 231cm Maruyama: 90cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 70cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Reporting up to 0cm of fresh snowfall. Most of the Village Side is now open. The Sonezawa area and View A and B areas are still closed on the Mountain Side. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Lift info: All lifts on the Village Side are now operating and all lifts on Mountain Side except View 1 and Hikage are operating. Official snow depth: Upper: 140cm Lower: 50cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: All lifts apart from Number 8 lift and all courses except Snake and and Expert are open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: 85cm
Hakuba Sanosaka: All 5 lifts are operating though some of the courses are not yet open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: 55cm Read more ...
Sunday 24th January 2016, 16:12pm
The forecast for snow last night came good with 20cm at the top of Tenjindaira as of this morning.
We had a flurry of snow heavy snow today at around 10am which was short lived and was starting to think the forecast storm was a Unicorn but it is dumping very heavily now and accumulating to the tune of 30cm in the past two hours at the base. This is supposed to continue all night. I expect Tenjin to be closed tomorrow and the spot in Minakami will most definitely be Hodaigi. Tuesday should be the day for Tenjin.
All snow resorts in Minakami now once again all (at least part) open: