Snow and weather reports posted on Thursday 25th May 2017
Thursday 25th February 2016, 7:44am
Another jaw dropper: it kept on snowing overnight and into the morning! It looks like... it looks like a good December out there (we have no snow walls to mention this year). It's not particularly heavy at the moment, but it is falling steadily, and that has meant another 25cm by morning.
And, of course, this is the day that the snowthrower threw its fan belt....
Well, we can always find some sort of machinery to deal with the snow; the important thing is that it is snowing out there, and the resorts are reporting an increase in snow cover. After a season of writing grim snow reports, I have this warm feeling inside. If this keeps up, maybe we'll have some spring skiing, and resorts staying open as planned (not to jinx anything; the snowpack really is low, and one good south wind with rain can eat a sizeable portion of it!).
I have to run early this morning, so all old reports are marked with an *
Morning from Yuzawa and I'm happy to report that there's some more fresh snow to report.
After the snow during the morning yesterday, there was a period during the afternoon when the sun was out and some blue sky but it was snowing once again in the evening and has been overnight as well.
It's another modest amount... 7cm of fresh on the ground here since yesterday morning; and just for the record, Maiko Snow Resort are reporting 10cm, Kagura are reporting 5-10cm and Naeba are reporting 10cm of fresh snowfall.
Right now light snow continues to fall though it has eased off just to the north with a few small patches of blue sky visible. The forecasts generally give us light snow during the morning and a bit of sunshine this afternoon with temperatures not rising much above zero during the day.
The 6-day forecast still has fairly regular light snowfall lined up with the most likely around Monday (though there may be a bit more rain sometime around the late weekend).
By the end of February last season we had observed a whopping 1207cm (12+m!) of snowfall here in Yuzawa town - with the majority of that falling in the very snowy months of December 2014 and January 2015.
228cm of snowfall was observed in these reports during the month of February 2015.
So far this February I have observed 145cm of snow, and the number for the season as a whole is currently standing at just 380cm.
Once we got into March last season there was just another 96cm of snow left to fall at town level through until the end of the season. The season before (2013-2014), 196cm of snow fell from the beginning of March until the end of the season, so a decent March is definitely not beyond hope. I think it's reasonable to say that we'd need a buck in the trend of the season as a whole so far for that to happen though.
Resort official snow depths (Thursday 25th February 2016) and any specific news at time of writing:
Details of the 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Open daily until 8:50pm (until 20th March). The Chuo No 1 and Chuo No 2 lifts are open daily. The Kanko No 1, Kanko No 2, Kanko No 3, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift, Hatsukaishi No 2 pair lifts are open on weekends and holidays. The basic charge is 2000 yen but various tickets are available.
Iwappara Open daily until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays (until 21st March). The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.
Joetsu Kokusai Open daily until 9pm (until 21st March). The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors. On weekdays the area in front of the main hotel is open - a larger area (including Osawa and Atema) is open on weekends.
Kandatsu Kogen Open from 6pm until 4am on Fridays, Saturdays and evenings before holidays through 26th March. Open from 4:30pm until 11pm on weekdays until 24th March. Various tickets are available starting at 2000 yen for adults, 1700 yen for seniors and 1000 yen for children.
Maiko Snow Resort Open daily with the Maiko Center quad lift operating from 4pm until 8pm. The charge is 500 yen for everyone.
Naeba Open daily until 27th March. From 4pm until 8:30pm on weekdays and Sundays (2000 yen); until 9pm every Saturday and on 20th March (3000 yen). 'All Night' opening is planned for Saturday 26th March when Naeba will be open from 10pm until 5am.
NASPA Ski Garden Extended opening until 6pm (Number 1 lift) on Saturdays until 27th February. There is no special ticket available just for the extended time.
Yuzawa Nakazato Open on Saturdays from 5pm until 8:30pm (until 12th March). Tickets are 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.
Clear patches early on, but cloud and snow returning
"It's too deep" and "There's too much snow" were the only complaints heard yesterday. The 40+cm made for some incredible skiing when the slopes were steep enough. For those who prefer the snow to be a little easier going, today should be fun. A further 8cm fell at the base, refreshing the upper snowpack while the 40cm should be a bit more supportive today. Cold temperatures (down to -16°C) will keep the snow light and fluffy, but will also make frostbite a very real possibility. The day started off clear but clouds have moved in quickly bringing more snowfall.
Local guides have been reporting touchy conditions in the backcountry over the past few days. If you are heading out of the exits, conservative terrain choice is important given the present conditions. Read more ...
Thursday 25th February 2016, 8:32am
Good morning everyone from here in snowy Niseko.
And this morning there's another 10cm of fresh snow here at Hirafu base. It's been there or thereabouts for the last five days now, so full marks for consistency! Good quality snow by the looks of it too - so conditions should be good up there this morning - even if I would prefer just a bit more each day. I must try to reign in my insatiable greed for fresh snow once again though after saying that.
This new 10cm brings the February total up to 228cm (32cm more than February 2015) and the season total up to 839cm. Let's see where those numbers stand come the end of February.
Over the previous two seasons, by the end of February we had received what ended up being just under 90% of the total snowfall of the season (here at base), with 139cm of snow observed in March 2015 and 113cm observed in March 2014.
But back to today.
It's nice and cold this morning and fingers crossed wind won't be an issue as well.
I almost might as well copy and paste it*, but the 6-day forecast remains one of consistent and regular snowfall as well as cold temperatures.
(* not that I would ever do such a thing!)
Resort specific lift opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
I'm down with a bad cold at the moment so I wasn't able to get out yesterday and enjoy the fresh snow but friends who came back seemed to have had a good time up there. There was more snow during the day yesterday and overnight with the resort reporting 3-5cm this morning (they also I believe had 10cm during the day on the upper slopes which isn't included).
So it should be a decent morning again - perhaps adjusted to 'this season standards'. Cold too this morning with the resort saying it was -10C up on Yamabiko as of 8am.
Light snow falling early on due to ease off during this morning. We might even get to see the sun this afternoon.
There is regular snow on the weekly forecast which is promising. It might get slightly warmer around Sunday with the chance of some rain at base, but should be cold enough even then to be snowing higher up.
Official info at time of writing on Thursday 25th February 2016 (subject to change):
Paradise connection Kurokura Grand Prix Hachiman Mukoubayashi Kandahar West Kandahar East
Lifts planned to be rested today:
Yunomine pair Mizunashi triple Challenge pair Utopia pair Kandahar pair Hikage Number 2 pair B line
There is currently an issue with the 'Yu Road' which means that for the time being it will be open going towards the lifts from 8am to 2pm and then coming back down towards the village from 2pm until 5:10pm.
I don't know if it was just me but it felt really cold yesterday out on the mountains! A good thing, cold is good. It was pretty calm up there as well which made for a decent day outside on the slopes even if it's not 'deep powder conditions' (as I read someone claim yesterday... how do they have the nerve?!)
It's a cloudy morning and about -3C here in the village, so another cold start to the day. There's no new snow to report from base or generally from resorts, apart from Hakuba Cortina who this morning seem to be reporting 3-5cm of fresh.
There is a lot of cloud around but a few patches of blue sky to be seen as well, and some forecasts to predict some clearer skies and maybe some sunshine later on in the day today. It should keep quite cold though.
The forecast? Back to snow tomorrow hopefully and snow should be falling on mountain on and off through into early week, though some forecasts do warn of the chance of rain sometime around Sunday at village level along with slightly warmer conditions.
Resort news as of 8:40am on Thursday 25th February 2016 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All courses are open and all of the Tree Riding Zone is open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba 47. Official snow depth: Upper: 215cm Base: 110cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All courses are open except Snow Diving and Adventure. The Toomi area will be open until 8:30pm tonight for 'nighta'. Official snow depth Alps: 210cm Toomi: 110cm Iimori: 110cm
Hakuba Happo-one: All courses/areas open except the Kurobishi Off Piste Area. The Happo Banks Snow Park looks set to be closed today for maintenance. The lower Nakiyama area is open for 'nighta' every day until 9pm. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 195cm Nakiyama: 50cm Sakka: 40cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 3-5cm of fresh snowfall again this morning. All courses open except Mt Hieda Ridge, Mt Hieda 2, Mt Hieda 3, Itadaira Ridge and Giant. The Ikenota area will be open for 'nighta' until 8pm tonight (9pm on Saturdays). Official snow depth: Top: 175cm Base: 103cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All course areas are open. Nighta at Karamatsu/Shirakaba on 5th/12th/19th March. Note that the top Tsugaike Ropeway only opens from spring. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 220cm Maruyama: 75cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 60cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Parts of the Mountain Side not open (Sonezawa, Dangan, Kamo 4, Five Side, View A, View B). An event is currently being held on Kamoshika Pocket, Big Bahn and Up Bahn areas of the Village Side. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: Upper: 120cm Lower: 50cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: All courses apart from Snake are open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: 105cm
Nice conditions to enjoy yesterday morning and this morning there's another 7cm of snow here at base and Madarao Kogen are reporting 5-10cm of fresh snowfall on the slopes.
It is currently cold and snowing lightly though we're not really expecting much more in terms of snowfall today. It should be snowing lightly again tomorrow and Saturday, perhaps on and off rather than a sustained snowfall. Slightly higher temperatures are also expected over the weekend but hopefully not by too much.
Forecasts seem to be showing decent snow expected on Monday as well to finish off the month of February.
Pre-weekend update coming tomorrow morning.
Madarao Kogen lifts operating (planned at time of writing):
All lifts plan to be open today
Tangram Ski Circus lifts operating (planned at time of writing):
All lifts plan to be open today
Tree Run Courses open at Madarao Kogen:
Powder Wave II Powder Theater Ninja Crystal Bowl Kamoshika Sawa Read more ...
Appi Kogen Now!
Thursday 25th February 2016, 8:52am
Good morning from a cloudy Appi.
Yesterday brought the few centimetres of snow forecast and we may see the same again today. It’s certainly nice making first tracks on the hill and then second tracks as the crowds have all gone home after the racing event over the weekend. The run conditions are relatively good with an icy undertone to keep you on your toes.
Todays forecast is much the same with cloudy skies most of the day, fairly cold -10 temperatures at the base making it around -20 with the wind-chill at the summit. Winds should remain steady today so it will be another fun day out there. Fresh power awaits anyone who’s out early today and the Sailer and Second runs will remain empty for most of the day.
The next few days will bring increasing temperatures with sporadic light showers. Winds are subject to varying intensity but nothing too blustery. Get dressed, get your hand warmers ready and get out. You might be skiing solo on the hill today.
Currently planned operating lifts:
- Appi Gondola - Central Number 1 quad - Number 2 lift A - Number 3 lift B - Number 3 lift C - Number 4 lift - Sailer Gondola - Sailer Quad - Vista quad
Those wintery temperatures are still with us and this morning and -17c was recorded at the top of the resort. There is not really anything to report in the way of fresh snow as only 1cm was recorded in the village. Perhaps there will be a bit more on the mountain, but nothing to get excited about today. There is plenty of blue showing through the partially cloudy skies. Like yesterday the blue will likely disappear during the morning leaving overcast skies. Visibility is excellent this morning.
For the rest of the week it is expected similarly chilly temperatures will persist with continuous light snow. The heaviest falls of snow are predicted for tonight and Friday night. Fingers crossed for a decent top up. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Thursday 25th February 2016, 9:10am
It almost feels like mid winter!
Some good snow falling here this morning and there's just under 15cm of fresh light snow on the ground.
Yesterday calmed down and we ended up with a fine day. But it was back to snow and this morning nice big snowflakes are still falling.
Like I said it feels like mid winter, oh yes. Please continue.
Regular snow (perhaps on and off) is forecast for the coming days and through into early next week so we can look forward to a decent end to the month of February. Could we be in for a good last third of the season?
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Thursday 25th February 2016):
Sun Valley 60cm Nighta on Saturdays until 19th March (7pm-9pm)
Takamagahara Mammoth 120cm
Tannenomori Okojo 120cm
Ichinose Family 120cm Nighta daily until 27th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Ichinose Diamond 120cm Nighta on Saturdays until 26th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Ichinose Yamanokami 120cm
Yakebitaiyama 150cm Nighta on Saturdays until 12th March (6pm-8pm)
Okushiga Kogen 90cm
Kumanoyu 100cm Nighta on Saturdays until 26th March (6:30pm-9pm) Also on 20th March
Enough snow fell that the ice layer was out of play, max 20 people on the mountain, decent visibility and it snowed through till around 2pm. Today things look like they are going to stay nice and cold, its overcast out but visibility is excellent and though the 20 of us managed to thrash the resort pretty good, the backcountry is set to be deep with about 50cm of fresh snow cover.
Doesn't appear as though the other resorts in Minakami got any but Tenjin is set up for a great day.
Fairly decent weather though generally cloudy, but the cold should be keeping the snow in decent condition. No new cm to report, just a thin dusting.
As we approach the end of February, the forecast for Zao is looking quite promising really with snow forecast for at least times on each day into early next week.. and moderate to heavy at times as well.
We should hopefully get enough over the next few days for a decent pre-weekend refresh and no doubt the evening light up will be ok through until the scheduled last one this coming Sunday.
I expect this weekend to be pretty busy.
It's funny - even in a season of lots of snow and great snow conditions, once we get into March things get quieter. And once news of cherry blossoms starts making the news, that's the clear sign for lots of people that spring is here and the snow season is behind us. A big mistake of course as we can have some great conditions in March and beyond and Zao Onsen always hopes to open for skiing and snowboarding through until early May.
Just how this particular season will turn out will be interesting as we don't have as much base as usual. It's all going to depend of course on how early sustained spring like weather arrives.
The 'Juhyo Lightup' evening ropeway service is currently operating. All being well it should remain open every day until Sunday 28th February, from 5pm until 9pm - the last ropeway goes up at 7:50pm. Please note that you need to buy a separate ticket to use this service - it is not included in any of the normal ski lift tickets.
Information as of Thursday 25th February 2016 (subject to change)
All planned lifts are operating this morning. The Karamatsu pair lift does not operate on weekdays.
Well we had a decent amount of snow yesterday falling throughout the day which equaled a collective 20 cm as of 09:00 this morning. Whilst conditions aren't quite powdery on piste it's certainly still good conditions to go riding in.
Looking forwards snow is still predicted every day with the heaviest snow fall coming on Monday. Let's hope this all comes through.