Snow and weather reports posted on Thursday 14th December 2017
Wednesday 25th January 2012, 6:49am
Last night we got a lot of snow. This is the first good snowfall we have seen in about a week or so and the snow is still coming down. Just look at the official number for the top of Hirafu.. up by 45cm! Don't read much into that though as the updates aren't perhaps as regular as we would like - 20-25cm is more like it. Today should be amazing, but I doubt the backbowls will open. The resort should be great today, albeit a little crowded.
It's looking like more snow is going to hit us as this low pressure sits over Hokkaido. I don't know why you are still reading and haven't jolted to the door with your skis yet - although of course lots of you will no doubt be reading this from afar. Needless to say, it's going to be a good one out there and tracks should be filled in overnight tomorrow as well.
Be safe if you are going into the backcountry. Conditions are not ideal for safety and slides are a very real possibility. The snow hasn't had time to consolidate and bond yet.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 380cm Bottom - 200cm
Niseko Village: Top - 340cm Bottom - 210cm
Annupuri: Top - 360cm Bottom - 210cm
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am: -8â„ƒ, 25cm crystal snow in the past 12hours. Coastal data: WNW 14m/s at Benkei cape on Japan sea. Annupuri peak 1308m: WSW4.7m/s, -17.6â„ƒ. Snowfall transition: Looking at the past 12 hours weather transition, a 40cm thick soft slab of wind-drifted snow is developing in leeward slopes with cornices (coordinate D4-D5, F4-E6, G7-H8). Hazard evaluation: Surface slab avalanche hazard is high in the above-mentioned areas. Potential triggers are weak lines within the newly formed slab (Jan 24-25, 40cm thick) or crust/hoar layer at 60cm depth (Jan 22nd). The deeper snowpack is rounding and stable down to Jan 7th. Caution: Avalanche risk is high in above-mentioned areas between 750m and 1200m altitude. It is strongly advised to avoid cornices and knolls and to choose ridgelines to come down. Skiing or resting at the valley bottoms is a very bad idea. If it slides anywhere above you, the chances to get buried are very high. The snow in the trees is in better condition. Have a safe day. Gate opening: Peak gates are scheduled to open. Please respect the ski patrolâ€™s decisions. Read more ...
Wednesday 25th January 2012, 8:04am
Just a few cm of new snow overnight which might be seen as something of a disappointment but the snow clouds are moving in and we are due for our heavy snowfall to start very soon. For the next few days we should see very cold temperatures and some impressive amounts of snow falling. Good conditions out there this morning, but more fluffiness right around the corner.
I hope to be bringing you the first batch of that kind of news tomorrow morning.
Lifts currently operating: All of Madarao is scheduled to be open today. Connection with Tangram Ski Circus open.
Wickedly cold today in Minakami. Clear skies all night and temperatures dipping way down in the minuses mean there is lots of ice around at the moment so care advised if you are driving. The snow is pretty hard this morning but should hopefully soften up at the temperature climbs. Patches of blue sky at the moment but big grey clouds are gathering and the forecast has us down for snow showers for the whole day (and for the next week or so too for that matter.) Read more ...
Wednesday 25th January 2012, 9:17am
Some cloud, blue skies > due to cloud over soon
Did I say today would be a day of heavy snow? Hmmm, well it may well end up being a day of heavy snow but for now early on.... the sun is out and I can see quite a lot of blue sky above Naeba. It's all calm as well with just a slight breeze at the moment.
In all fairness it does look like clouds are moving into the area and all the forecasts do indeed say 'snow' and so I think it's just a question of when rather than if. Tonight, then Friday and Saturday all look set to bring with them decent if not very large amounts of fresh snow.
So for now it's a lovely morning in Naeba. Expect things to change later on! I hope to bring you some more snowy news tomorrow morning.
Resort Operations, 25th January (subject to change) Naeba: All areas open apart from Mens/Womens Riesen Slalom and Mens Slalom, courses. Weekday lifts operating. Kagura: Open as planned.
It is another cold and cloudy morning here in Zao and I have perhaps about 5-6cm of snow to report. Light snow is apparently falling higher up but here in the village as I write this -- just cloudy. There is just a light wind and fair visibility on the mountain, although everything looks a shade of grey/silver/white this morning and not a lot of contrast.
The latest forecast tells us that snow should set in tonight and be with us (perhaps on and off) basically into next week along with cold mid-winter temperatures.
Wrap up well! If you are coming for the weekeend you should be rewarded with some great conditions and the 'Juhyo' Ice Monsters are looking good as well now.
The Ropeway/Gondola to the top of the resort are operating every evening now until the end of February. At the top you can get some fantastic views of floodlit 'Juhyo' which makes for a unique experience. Please note that you need to buy a seperate ticket to make use of this service - the ski lift ticket or nighta tickets for skiing are ot valid.
Official snow depths (25th January 12) Utopia - 180cm Chuo - 170cm Paradise - 180cm Uwanodai - 135cm
Operating lifts (25th January 12) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating. All the runs at Zao are open. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Wednesday 25th January 2012, 9:53am
Cloud, snow, sun in short blasts in some areas
There are fast moving clouds over Shiga Kogen this morning and once again light snow is falling in some places but at the same time the sun is out and casting shadows for short periods in others, then quickly getting covered with cloud again. It's not the big fluffy-flakes type heavy snow we were expecting today - yet - but we are still promised that it is on it's way. I'll eat my hat if it doesn't snow a decent amount tonight. Still looking good for the days after that as well so fingers tightly crossed that this cold snap and heavy snow really is about to hit.
It is a cold morning, -10 degrees outside here in Maruike area.
Here's to a hat-in-place, happy snowy report tomorrow morning!
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort areas:
- Ichinose Family - Yakebitaiyama
Official resort snow depths as of 25th January 2012 AM:
Yesterday started off with snow of course but by the middle of the afternoon we had some unexpected blue skies above the region and it was all very picturesque with some remaining low lying cloud clustered around the mountains. After a clear night we woke up to some sunshine as well. It got down to around -8 degrees overnight and is currently about -3 degrees in Yuzawa.
Over the last hour or so it has been clouding over and those blue skies have for the most part been covered now. Snow seems to be on it's way. Up to 5cm forecast between now and 3pm for the localised region, but the heavy snow seems to be due starting tonight. We still look set for heavy snow, so I am hoping that tomorrow I can bring news of that.
In fact, I'll update this report tonight with an update.
And here is the update. Actually there is not a huge amount of snow to report yet... it seems to be snowing more to the north than here so far, with some images of heavy snow in Niigata City and other parts of the prefecture.
After snow starting this morning and then easing off again for a quite clear evening, it has now started again and hopefully this is going to set in. Indeed the local Niigata forecast has us receiving a nice 40-50cm of new snowfall between now and 9am tomorrow morning, so I am hoping that the report tomorrow will say something like that. Currently it is about -4 degrees.
It is a picture perfect day in Furano with deep blue sky all around and magnificent views out across the valley to the Daisetsuzan range. The sun is out in full force and things certainly feel really warm if you are in the rays of the sun. The mountain has been extensively groomed from top to bottom, and edge to edge. The snow base is firm in the shade and very soft when the sun has hit it. There are literally hundreds of school kids weaving their way down the mountain today, so take care as you navigate past them. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Wednesday 25th January 2012, 13:45pm
Sunny start then blizzard conditions
A blizzard in Nozawa just hit us and the whole place has turned white once again. Up top is a bit of a white out and lots of people seem to be coming back down early. The good news is we have had over 10cm of fresh snow in about 2 hours and it is starting to ease!
It started this morning like it finished yesterday - nice and sunny - but some dark clouds rolled in and it quickly changed later on this morning. Yesterday was an amazing day on the mountain with 30cm of fresh and beautiful sunshine in the afternoon.
Some of the season long gang have been claiming it as the best day of the season, but I have heard that mentioned a few times before now!
The best may be ahead of us with a few heavy dumps and lots of snowman marks on the radar in the coming week. Expect lots tonight and over the next few days. So dig out the powder straps and hang on for a great ride.
More new snow in Hakuba this morning with resorts around the village reporting up to 25cm of fresh snow on the upper slopes, and about 5cm or so down lower at village level early on. It has been snowing all morning and looks like it is going down good now on the upper slopes, and as forecast it is still looking promising for heavy snow tonight and decent snowfall over the next few days in Hakuba and Otari as well.
It's keeping cold as well now which is more good news. -5 overnight in the village and it hasn't really moved much during the day keeping cold at about -4 degrees currently. Not too strong a wind either at the moment.
So, lots of snow on it's way over the next few days. Visibility out on the slopes is generally not good, but as time goes on more fluffy snow out there to enjoy. Hopefully good news of big snow in the report tomorrow, and it looks like the coming weekend will be a good one to be on the mountains.
Official snow depths and operations @ Wednesday 25th January 2012 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: 15cm fresh up top and 5cm below as of this morning Goryu. All weekday lifts operating. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 220cm; Toomi - 100cm; Iimori - 90cm.
Hakuba 47: 25cm of fresh snow reported at 47 this morning. All weekday courses and lifts open/operating. Official snow depth: Upper - 203cm Lower - 100cm
Happo-one: Ski lifts/courses: All lifts apart from Usagidaira pair, Happo No1 pair, Central pair and Kita One No3 pair operating. Official snow depth: Usagidaira/Kurobishi - 150cm; Sakka - 80cm; Nakiyama - 80cm.
So yesterday there was about 20-25cm or so on the lower slopes and down in town with less than that up high. Hmmm, 'satoyuki' is what they call that. There wasn't a huge amount of snowfall since yesterday really, perhaps 5-10cm or so and more in places where the wind has blown it about and there have even been some sort of brighter times to the day (especially early on this morning), though right now the mountain is shrouded in cloud with only the lower slopes visible.
There's a real feeling that the main course is up ahead of us and the just released 4pm local Niigata forecast says that the mountains of Myoko could receive up to 60cm of fresh snow between now and 9am tomorrow morning, with even lower areas such as Arai city getting up to 40cm. Now wouldn't that be a treat. I hope to bring you the good news tomorrow morning.