Snow and weather reports posted on Wednesday 13th December 2017
Saturday 26th December 2015, 8:02am
Mix of cloud, blue sky, sun
It has been an odd kind of day really here, with fine clear blue skies opening up during the daytime. The forecast was insisting it was going to be raining during the daytime, but at one point there was hardly a cloud in the sky. It was keeping on the mild side as well with a high of about 6 degrees around lunchtime.
This evening there's a few spots of rain but snow is apparently imminent. Looks like it might be early tomorrow morning when temperatures really take a decent drop. Up to 30cm of snow is expected higher up on the mountains and up to 15cm expected around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma town areas. That is what is forecast up until 10am tomorrow morning and it should be snowing all day tomorrow. So things are looking promising.
Let's see how things are come report time tomorrow morning.
By the way, with Kagura currently the place where there's the most area open, they were really very busy today with overflowing car parks. Expect more of that tomorrow too and until there's more choice.
Original morning report:
It's good to see some white again. Not a huge amount - just under 5cm outside here - but there will be more on the mountains. Kagura resort are reporting 10-15cm of fresh.
Yesterday was a mostly wet day again though it turned into sleet and snow later in the dark, with this snowfall overnight.
This morning there are actually blue skies in places and the sun is out. It's just over 0 degrees right now and will be getting a little warmer during the day today but hopefully not too much. Later on precipitation is due again... might start as rain here in town but should soon be snow.
Overnight tonight and tomorrow is still the period to look to for potentially heavy snow. It's still there on the forecast.
Resorts around town are taking things day by day now. For example, NASPA Ski Garden has announced that it plans to open on Monday (28th) - all being well with the snowfall tomorrow. I would expect similar plans at other resorts.
It all depends on how much snow falls. (Obviously!)
All we can do is wait. Or enjoy the resorts that remain open.
I will update this report this evening with the latest news and forecast.
Resorts that are now at least part open (Saturday 25th December 2015) - subject to change:
Kagura Almost all of Kagura is now open. Both Ropeways (Mitsumata and Tashiro) are open and you can ski or snowboard from one to the other. The only areas now closed at Kagura are the very top pair lift, one of the main Mitsumata slopes and the Mitsumata downhill course back to base.
Naeba Lower Number 4 and 5 courses are open (with the help of artificial snow) and the upper Takenokodaira course is open (100% natural snow).
GALA Yuzawa GALA Yuzawa is part open - the Melody and part of the Entertainment courses in the main Central Area are open.
Muikamachi Hakkaisan The Technical course and Rakuraku A courses open with just two pair lifts operating (one to get to the open area).
Resorts on standby to open as soon as there is enough snow to open:
Welcome to our new ‘Grandeco Now' reports, exclusive to SnowJapan.
As with all our Now daily reports, it extremely important to us that the information we publish is useful, honest and correct and we’ll be doing everything we can to bring you some good info from this region. Grandeco is located in Kita Shiobara village in the north western region of Fukushima Prefecture - we are very pleased to be able to begin reporting from this region of Japan. More information on Grandeco can be found here and a Resort Spotlight on SnowJapan here.
** There may be a few glitches early on but please bear with us while we settle in this new report section. Thank you. ** Read more ...
Saturday 26th December 2015, 8:34am
Thank you Santa!
I have a very respectable 24cm of fresh snowfall at base to report this morning. My friend at the resort is reporting over 35cm up there higher up on the mountain.
It was snowing through the day yesterday and at times in a particularly Niseko-like fashion. That's what we like! It feels like winter has started for proper.
OK, so with this fresh snowfall there's new lift and course action as well.
Top lifts are now open, as are top ski-able (and indeed snowboard-able) connections. But the resorts are advising only for 'advanced skiers' due to trees and things still sticking up from the snow which is still less than what we expect peak season. Hopefully not for long.
Niseko Grand Hirafu have added their King Number 4, King Number 1 pair and Ace Number 1 pair lifts to 'operating' status. Niseko Village plan to have their top Wonderland Chair operating this morning; Niseko Annupuri have their top Jumbo Number 4 lift due to be operating. I see that at the time of writing this the Niseko Gondola is running at a slow speed, probably due to wind conditions. Let's hope they don't affect things too much today.
There's lots more snow lined up today (it's still snowing) and right through until the middle of next week.
This is more like it and long may it continue.
Have a blast out there today and take care.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am: -7℃, snowing, 20cm of light crushed crystal snow in 12hours. Moiwa Mikaeri 800m: -8℃, W10m/s, notable development of snowdrifts. Annupuri 1000m: -13℃, W15-20m/s, large development of snowdrifts. Coastal data: Benkei cape WNW16m/s, Kamui cape WNW14m/s, 1008hPa, 2.5. waves.
Snowdrifts are developing with the persistent 15m/s westerly wind. These snowdrifts have drastically built up to 100cm thickness in some leeward slopes around 1000m. The wind may calm down in the afternoon and the snowdrift development may also slow down, however 60cm class surface slabs slides will be highly likely to occur in 40 grade slopes. Even the smallest avalanches can be powerful enough to burry a person to asphyxiation. Although the snowdrifts may be good snow to ski on, it is wiser to stay away from steep slopes in tight gullies and/or under chairlift lines for now.
Beware also of freshly buried obstacles lurking just beneath the surface.
The snow in the out of bonds area is still insufficient and gates’ opening is still to be confirmed. Please refrain from stepping out until the gates open. NEVER enter strictly off limits areas and NEVER duck any ropes. You are risking your lift ticket and maybe your season. Please respect the Niseko Rules. Winter has finally come.
Planned resort operations (subject to change due to weather conditions during the day)
The lifts market with an asterix (*) below are planned to be open for night skiing
Niseko Grand Hirafu Lifts planned to be running: - Ace Family pair* - Ace Number 1 pair - Ace Number 2 Quad Center Four* (for transport) - Ace Number 3 pair - Hirafu Gondola* - King Number 1 pair - King Number 3 triple - King Number 4 - Holiday Number 1 pair* - Swinging Monkey Courses planned to be open: - Family - Beginners access - Center - Shirakaba - Green - Kokutai - Ni-kabe - Alpen - Sennoki - Kogen - Boyo - Rinkan - Jumbo - Dynamic
Niseko HANAZONO Resort Lifts planned to be running: - Hanazono Number 1 quad - Hanazono Number 2 quad - Hanazono Number 3 quad Courses planned to be open: - Connecting - Parallel - Silver Dream - Stairway to Heaven - Setsuzoku course - Crystal Garden - Yotei Sunset (ungroomed)
Niseko Village Lifts planned to be operating: - Niseko Gondola - Community Chair* - Banzai Chair* - Morino Chair - Wonderland Chair
Niseko Annupuri Lifts planned to be operating: - Annupuri Gondola - Jumbo Number 1 quad* - Jumbo Number 2 pair - Jumbo Number 3 pair - Jumbo Number 4 pair Courses planned to be open: - Utopia - Shirakaba - Paradise - Junior - Family - Dynamic - Silver
Official resort snow depths as of Saturday 26th December 2015:
Getting a bit sunnier than we would like, but mostly cloudy
I'm sitting here waiting for the official report to come in (which since you're reading this, have in fact arrived). The good, great, wonderful news is that we have snow on the ground. Not a whole lot, but enough to fire up the mighty snowthrower and for ski areas to start opening up (belated Merry Christmas present for all!).
And they're starting to come in! Most everyone is open, at least a little bit. Kyukamura and Tangram are not open; Suginohara has not sent a report to the town or updated its own website today, so I don't know what they're doing. It's still snowing (yeah!) but the sun is also peeking out a bit (boo!).
Good morning from Nozawa and we have a fresh blanket of snow with the resort reporting 15cm of fresh snowfall on the upper Yamabiko and Uenotaira areas this morning. Colder too as well. It is not snowing as I write this report but snow is expected on and off during the day today, with temperatures not rising that much over freezing. Currently it is -1C here at base.
Should be some improved conditions up top this morning then and they are set to improve more in the coming days with decent snowfall forecast for tonight and into tomorrow and hopefully a bit beyond as well. The cold is going to continue as well with low temperatures tomorrow in particular expected.
I am hoping that my report tomorrow morning will bring you some exciting snow news.
In the meantime, a lot of people are expected in Nozawa this weekend. Early starts recommended especially as the whole mountain is not yet open.
Until tomorrow. Let it snow!
Official info at time of writing on Saturday 26th December 2015 (subject to change):
I was hoping to be able to report more than 1cm of snow this morning, but that's the number. That's not the whole story though as proper heavy snow is due tonight and tomorrow. Strong winds as well due tomorrow along with a real drop in temperatures so it might get stormy out there.
For today though the day has started off calm enough but due to turn into those mid-winter conditions later on in the day.
See you tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have to shovel myself out of the house!
Information as of Saturday 26th December 15 (subject to change)
Lifts that are planned to be operating at Zao Onsen:
- Sky Cable (gondola) - Zao Chuo Ropeway - Zao Ropeway - Onsen Number 1 pair - Mikaeri pair - Chuo Number 1 pair AB - Chuo Number 1 pair AB - Katakai triple - Diamond Number 1 pair - Zao Paradise pair AB - Shobunuma Number 1 triple - Shobunuma Number 2 pair - Utopia Number 2 pair
Morning from Hakuba where it is snowing, I am very happy to report.
Resorts around the area seem to be generally reporting up to 10cm of fresh.
As usual Hakuba 47 seem to be juggling what is open over there and reacting to the snowfall, but for the moment it looks like the other resorts that are open remain open with the same lifts and courses. For now. If this snow continues we can of course expect more openings very soon.
Hakuba Cortina are this morning reporting 10cm which of course isn't enough to get open, but the forecast for the region is for continued snow today and tomorrow. Cortina is of course well known for being a place that often enjoys huge amounts of snow dumpage during a storm, so let's hope that tonight and tomorrow delivers.
I hope to bring exciting news in my report tomorrow. Wrap up warm if you plan to be here, it's going to get very cold.
Resort news as of 8:45am on Saturday 26th December (all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 10cm of new snowfall this morning. Upper Route 1, Route 2, Route 4, Route 5, Route 6 and upper Route 8 courses are open. Planned lifts: Gondola Line AB Line C Line E Official snow depth Upper: 80cm Base: 3cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of new snowfall, but there was definitely some! The upper Panorama Course, Grand Prix and Super courses at Hakuba Goryu are open, as well as the lower Toomi run. Upper and lower areas not connected - gondola needed to get down from upper area. Planned lifts: Telecabin Gondola Alps Number 1 pair lift Alps Number 2/4 pair lift Alps Number 3 pair lift Toomi Sky Four lift Official snow depth Alps: 65cm Iimori: -cm Toomi: 20cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Happo-one is reporting 10cm of new snowfall this morning. The Usagidaira, Panorama and Kurobishi areas are open. The Gondola is operating to take skiers and boarders there and back. Planned lifts: Adam Gondola Alpen quad lift Usagidaira pair lift Kurobishi Number 2 quad lift Kokusai Number 1 lift Kokusai Number 3 lift Panorama pair lift Official snow depth Usagidaira: 50cm Nakiyama: -cm Sakka: -cm
Tsugaike Kogen: The upper Tsuga-no-mori area and upper part of the Han-no-ki course areas are open. Planned lifts: Eve Gondola Tsuga Number 1 pair lift Tsuga Number 2 pair lift Han-no-ki high speed pair lift Official snow depth Tsuga-no-mori: 79cm Maruyama: -cm
Kashimayari: Course 2 is open Planned lifts: Number 2 pair lift
Madarao have suddenly decided to open this morning. The 15-20cm of snow on the slopes since last night no doubt helped, and it was actually more than they were expecting.... hence the 12 noon opening today.
Hurray! Thank you Mr Santa-san. But... more please!
It's going to be the Number 1 lift again moving, so limited and the lift tickets will cost just 1000 yen for adults and 500 yen for children.
More snow is due today, tonight and tomorrow as well so fingers crossed that tomorrow more of the mountain might get to be open.
The Tangram Ski Circus is not opening just yet it would seem.
Madarao Kogen will be open from 12 noon today. Tangram Ski Circus is not yet open. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Saturday 26th December 2015, 9:30am
Cloud, bit of sun
Good morning from Shiga Kogen. It is snowing, though right now as I type this there's even a bit of sun coming through the mostly cloudy skies.
Snow to report this morning. Certainly not as much as I wanted to be able to report - around 5cm - but we'll take it. And the forecast is still looking good for some decent snowfall going into tonight and through into tomorrow.
Maruike and Giant are now part open and with more snow arriving expect more areas, courses and lifts to follow.
We could just do with one significant snowfall to really get things going. I seem to recall saying that before now. Might tonight deliver the goods?
I'll let you know tomorrow morning.
Resort operations (Saturday 26th December) - subject to change
The following resort areas of Shiga Kogen are part open. Snow and courses that are open remain limited as wait for more snowfall.
Bunadaira Maruike Giant Ichinose Diamond Ichinose Family Kumanoyu Nishitatyama (Mammoth side) Okushiga Kogen Sun Valley Takamagahara Mammoth Yakebitaiyama Yokoteyama
Other ski areas of Shiga Kogen currently remain closed.
Lovely fat snow falling in Furano, typically dry and light. No wind but occasional breezes. Just saw a gust in town while I was at a red light.
Minus seven degrees Celsius just now when I crossed the Sorachi River into town. Forecast is for (wait for it) snow. No breaks, no sun. I hope they are a tiny bit wrong because I like the sun. But this snow is fantastic.
The skiing and boarding on the resort is superb. The gondola is running today on the Kitanomine Zone and most of it is now open. Those top runs are excellent. I was just talking to an American boarder who had never skied snow like it. She fell at the top and spent ages getting back up. I asked how deep it was and she said neck, but I think she meant while she was fallen over. Although she was petite...
It is about thigh-deep at the top though. Really dry and floaty.
Photo is at Kitanomine gondola base where the learner's magic carpet should start operating soon. Read more ...