It is a beautiful, snowy and quiet morning in Hakuba early on.
The weather forecast from yesterday said we would get large amounts of snowfall but we ended up with fairly light snow fall overnight in the end. It is still quietly snowing this morning, maybe ankle deep of fresh at the base. In fact Goryu are reporting 10cm of fresh snow up top and 2-3cm on the lower slopes of the resort.
There should be a calm westerly-NW wind all day today, and visibility is okay at the base of the mountains as it isn't snowing very heavily right now. Lowest temperature at the base is -5c at the base early day and tonight, and highest is -2 this afternoon.
It sounds like it's not going to stop snowing all day today again, and there is a decent chance of snowfall late tonight into tomorrow morning so we might be able to get some decent powder conditions tomorrow.
The regular topups seem set to continue!
Official snow depths and operations @ Tuesday 25th January AM:
Hakuba Goryu: 10cm of fresh snow on the uppper slopes this morning and a few cm down below. Night time operations from 6pm until 9:30pm. Alps daira - 345cm; Toomi - 160cm; Iimori - 135cm.
Hakuba 47: 47 is reporting 5cm of fresh snow. The resort and park at the resort are fully open. Snow depth (upper) - 205cm.
Yesterday remained mostly clear throughout the day. Although the views were magnificent and it was nice to see the sun the slopes are all completely tracked out and getting hard packed. And hard packed snow is not why people come to Niseko! There's been a little dusting of snow this morning but today will also remain mostly fine and we'll get plenty of sun. The airstream over Hokkaido currently is from the NNE meaning here in the SW we are in a rain shadow from all the mountains to the north of us. This will probably continue for another couple of days at least. At this stage I don't expect much new snow until the weekend. If you're looking for some fresh tracks it could be a good time to consider a backcountry tour or head out to some of the other nearby resorts like Kiroro which should actually be getting a bit of fresh snow from this airstream. Otherwise on piste it's nice and fast and the views of Yotei are definitely amazing as always.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu: Top - 330 Bottom - 180
Niseko Village: Top - 300 Bottom - 190
Annupuri: Top - 245 Bottom - 200
All gates are scheduled to open from the morning and peak gates 2 & 3 at 9:30. Seek for ski-patrol's advice at the gates. Be conscious that once you step out of the gates, you're entering uncontrolled and unsupervised winter- mountain backcountry area. Having the gates open does not mean in any sense that it is safe to go out. Annupuri peak 6am: -10 ℃, NNE13m / s wind and slight snowfall since pre-dawn. The wind that stagnated relatively calm yesterday shifted northerly and picked up during the night. Although most slopes are tracked out, wind-drifted surface hoar / snow has covered the tracks in some high altitude leeward slopes, resulting in a variable and very tricky slope condition, varying from wind-blown hard pack to sun-affected crusty surfaces and hardened tracked-out slopes. Visibility may be low, remain in controllable speed and ride carefully. Read more ...
Tuesday 25th January 2011, 9:14am
Snow not falling currently, but that could change
Light powder snow is the word this morning, about 30cm or so of the excellent, fluffy stuff around the base area. Part of the reason is that it is staying nice and cold—cold enough that it's good that there isn't much wind, at least down low. Condition should be very good on the slopes today, and that probably isn't going to change.
The forecast ahead: snow (not much of a surprise this year). This is the year to make the trip to Myoko, no doubt about it. It feel like things have returned to normal: a nice, stable snowpack, not much sun, good cold temperatures.
The snow is coming down fast as I begin my report today. I think the official snow measurer's must be nursing a nasty hangover because it was snowing all last night and there's at least a 10cm snow covering on the cars this morning. Kagura is reporting 10cm of fresh snow again this morning and so conditions up there will continue to be very good.
The snow is expected to continue to fall throughout the day, with it potentially stopping overnight before continuing to snow lightly in the next two days.
Winds are quite light and visibility is okay, as I can see about 60% of the way up the mountain. Temperatures are average with a top of -5 degrees expected with a windchill of -9. Both the temperature top and windchill are predicted to drop quite a lot to about -13 and -27 degrees respectively during the night session.
The lifts and runs at Naeba are running as normal but some stronger winds higher up at Kagura are affecting operations there - early on Kagura is open from the Mitsumata Ropeway to No1 pair lift and from the Tashiro Ropeway to the No6 pair lift. If and when the wind calms down we can probably expect things to open up more.
Well 10-15cm or so of fresh snow overnight at town level, though resorts such as Kagura are only reporting 10cm. But a decent topup all the same and it is still snowing this morning.
A little earlier on it was snowing quite heavily actually, but it has in the last 10 minutes or so eased off and has almost stopped snowing and the lower half of the mountains around town are now visible. Whether that will just be a short spell and the snow moves back in soon, I don't know, but the forecast is basically for snow all day today.
More snow lined up for tomorrow as well... it just doesn't seem to want to stop that often this season.
Yesterday ended up a decent day weather wise with some blue skies and clouds hanging around, but some fine views to enjoy as well as the very fine snow.
This morning we are back to snowy conditions in Zao and the mountain is once more hidden from view. There's a fairly blowy wind blowing about the 10cm or so of fresh snow that we have received overnight. It's not being shown as an increas on the offician snow depths below, but I suspect the mountain has seen more than that. Whatever, once again there has been a good topup to the snow and a nice new layer to play in. It just keeps on coming!
Tomorrow it looks like conditions should be a bit calmer and potentially clearer than today, though the snow clouds do look set to continue being with us and we are likely to see some light snowfall most days up through until at least the weekend.
Some more snow to report this morning after a generally fine day yesterday. Not a whole lot but enough to give us a new coating of soft snow to slide through today. This morning it is snowing in places and just cloudy in others and generally it's a very grey with pretty poor visibility on the whole as the clouds cover the mountains. There's a bit of a gusty wind as well here in the central area that is blowing the trees around outside.
Looking ahead it doesn't look like we are in for much snowfall over the next few days though snow showers may well be with us here and there. We can look to the weekend for a chance of more heavy snowfall as the forecast stands at the moment.
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort area:
- Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of 25th January 2011 AM:
Conditons today are high overcast with no new snow to report overnight (although there has been a dusting on the upper part of the mountain). During the first hour of opening this morning light conditions were very flat, and then improved to the point where skiing at speed could become enjoyable. With the warmer temperatures of the last few days the snow has firmed and is skiing fast. For those out there looking for a challenge try the Premium Zone off the top of the Kitanomine Gondola. Read more ...