Snow and weather reports posted on Thursday 14th December 2017
Tuesday 27th December 2011, 9:11am
As I mentioned yesterday things picked up later on with most of the mountain ending up open.
It was snowing throughout the day again and... well, it's still snowing. I would say about 30cm new here in the village, Naeba reporting 40-50cm up top and Kagura are reporting another 30-40cm of fresh snow to play in this morning. So, lots of snow then. It should be deep fluffy conditions pretty much everywhere out there this morning, though visibilty early on is not so good.
This morning it is a cold -10 degrees up on the mountain with a light-moderate at times wind.
It looks like the Mitsumata Ropeway had a bit of a delay getting going this morning and the connecting course between Kagura and Tashiro needs some checking but apart from that it looks like it should be business as usual.
Looking ahead tomorrow looks like we may see clearer skies before some more snow coming in the day after.
One thing I got a bit wrong - we are now into the 50th year of Naeba, and there will be bigger celebrations come the actual 50th anniversary on 23rd of December in 2012. They seem to be stretching out the celebrations over a full year. And why not?! But my apologies for not being clearer on all of that!
Resort Operations, 27th Dec (subject to change) Naeba: Some lifts, including Dragondola, not moving due to strong winds Kagura: Both Tashiro and Mitsumata-Kagura operations limited due to strong winds
I have more than 40cm of fresh snowfall to report this morning as winter really digs in and gives us some fantastic conditions for the end of the year. There's lots of untouched powder out there and with the snow still coming down, conditions should remain really great for some time.
We may well see things easing off somewhat as we move into tomorrow and it looks like it will be a calm, if not cold, New Year.
It has of course been a tough year for many in this region of Japan. Yamagata thankfully came off lightly compared to some of our neighbours to the east - but it is good to see things ending on a high note, in terms of the good snow news for ski resorts anyway. Let's hope people get out and enjoy what's on offer.
Official snow depths (27th Dec 11) Utopia - 95cm Chuo - 100cm Paradise - 100cm Uwanodai - 75cm
Operating lifts (25th Dec '11) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) and all scheduled lifts operating. All the runs at Zao are now open/accessible. Read more ...
Tuesday 27th December 2011, 9:30am
We have received another 5cm of new snow overnight. Current temperature at the top is -13c and these cold temperatures will remain during the day. There will be some light snow falling today and then the next substantial snow will start Thursday evening through Friday. There is a light wind out on the mountain at the moment and with the sun blocked from coming through it will feel pretty cold out there. Wrap up well and enjoy the fantastic snow. Read more ...
Tuesday 27th December 2011, 9:42am
The forecast last night was for up to 50cm of new snow in mountainous areas, and Kagura are saying they got about 30-40cm overnight. There hasn't been as much down in town - maybe 15cm or so - but the main roads including Route 17 - still have a white covering over them and the diggers are all out busy clearing things up as best they can. It is snowing quite hard in Yuzawa at the moment though and looks pretty much set for the day so we can expect some more cm during the day.
We might see a break in the snowfall tomorrow, and we may even get to see the sun. Things should keep cold though into new year with perhaps a few more light snowfalls just before we get into New Year weekend.
Reports from around the resorts are pretty much of great snow conditions everywhere. As is so often the case in Yuzawa, once things get started properly the snow really does fall in impressive quantities.
Amongst all the excitement of lots of snow, there's some very sad news to bring this morning as well. Someone died yesterday on one of the courses of the Kandatsu Kogen resort in Yuzawa. Apparently the snowboarder was on one of the more advanced courses, fell over and basically got buried in all of the light snow and ultimately died of suffocation after being taken to hospital. Very sad to hear things like this but something to remember. It can get dangerous really quickly especially when so much snow falls so quickly. Do take care out there.
The snow has continued to fall here and coming down still as I speak. It hasn't been the kind that brings a huge amount of cm again, but probably another 10-20cm or so since yesterday on the slopes out there.
It is -6 degrees at the moment in the Maruike area with a bit of a cold wind blowing. Conditions do not seem to be affecting any of the resorts though as we seem to be open as normal. We're still not 'fully open' yet, with some courses here and there not yet opening up as they wait for more snow - usually the steeper ones as you might expect.
The forecast has light snow showers through today but clearer weather conditions forecast for tomorrow. Perhaps more snowfall on Thursday and Friday before clearing up once again for the New Year weekend.
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort area:
- Takamagahara Mammoth - Ichinose Family - Ichinose Diamond
Official resort snow depths as of 27th December 2011 AM:
I feel like you might start to not believe me, but there has been another 20-40cm of snow fall since yesterday in Madarao. It just keeps on coming. Not a complaint of course!
Earlier on it was a cold -7 degrees as the locals are out and about once again clearing up snow while their happy guests get out there and slide down the slopes. Visibility is fair today and earlier on we even caught a glimpse of some blue sky but that has now been hidden behind cloud once again. But most of the mountain is visible as I write this, just the top areas covered in cloud.
All of the powder tree courses (Powderwave I, Powderwave II, Usagi and Riverline) are now open as well as all of the lifts at Madarao apart from lift No13.
Lifts currently operating: All lifts apart from No13 are scheduled to be open. Kids Park and Zipline are open. Powderwave I, II, Usagi and Riverline are open.
It looks like it is going to be a slightly sunny day here in Hakuba. After about 48 hrs of pretty much continuous snow we now have a good base to ski on and lots of powder to enjoy. This morning Goryu are reporting 10-20cm of new snow, with Cortina keeping up those impressive numbers with up to 30cm on their upper slopes - where they now report a snow depth of 255cm.
Today the cloud bank is quite high so we have perfect visibility and even some sunshine to make things even better. The winds were really high this morning so some lifts may be affected and exposed ridges will definitely have some wind slab forming.
Conditions on the hills will be powder, chopped powder and crud. Then on the beginner runs we should have some nice smooth groomed terrain. Hopefully it will (and should) stay cold and we can keep the base we have. It is really nice to have the ability to ski most of the mountains now, even though early this morning some lifts are stopped by winds preventing that. Hopefully soon those conditions will change allowing more lifts to get back moving.
The forecast is calling for a clear sunny day tomorrow and then hopefully we are back to some more snow on Thursday. The temperatures are all looking into the minus range so our snowpack should remain frozen.
Official snow depths and operations @ Tuesday 27th December 2011 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 20cm of fresh snow on upper slopes and 10cm on lower slopes. All areas of the resort are now open, though early on winds affecting operations a bit. Early morning skiing will start from December 29th. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 205cm; Toomi - 90cm; Iimori - 90cm.
Hakuba 47: Winds affecting 47 lifts. Latest seems to be that Gondola Line 8 is closed and Line C and Line E also affected by the winds but will open as soon as possible. Official snow depth: Upper - 196cm Lower - 60cm
Happo-one: Ski lifts/courses: Winds affecting lifts at Happo as well this morning with only the lower lifts generally moving early on. This may change during the day and at any time, depending on the weather conditions of course. Official snow depth: Usagidaira/Kurobishi - 110cm; Sakka - 50cm; Nakiyama - 50cm.
Tsugaike Kogen: Ski lifts/courses: More of Tsugaike seems able to open with most lifts operating. Official snow depth: Upper slopes - 180cm Champion - 100cm
Hakuba Cortina: Cortina is reporting another 20-30cm of fresh snow since yesterday, taking the upper slopes up to a snow depth of 255cm. The resort is now mostly open. Official snow depth: Upper - 255cm Lower - 185cm
Hakuba Norikura: Official snow depth: 165cm
Hakuba Iwatake: You can now ski down to base at Iwatake. Official snow depth: Upper - 110cm Lower - 35cm
North Westerly wind at 12m/s. Fairly mild temperatures again today, snowing moderately and set to continue throughout the day.\r\n
There were a lot of happy faces when the avalanche report and lift operations went up this morning. The top lifts are open again making moving around the Niseko United area much easier this morning. All gates except 2 & 3 are open and with much of the mountain being shut down for two or three days because of the weather conditions there are plenty of fresh tracks to be had.
Temperatures are a bit warmer today, combining with much lower winds to make conditions very comfortable on the hill. It is snowing moderately with white skies and dimmed light, low light or even clear lenses are the way to go today.
We are set for consistent snowfall with no major storms over the next week so conditions should continue to be good. The peak gates will likely open in the next few days and the Mizuno no Sawa avalanche program will likely start at the same time.
If you're not already here or on your way... why not? ;) This season has had a really incredible start and being Niseko the next few months are pretty much guaranteed to be just as good. It would be such a shame to miss out. We'll keep on bringing you the latest throughout the season. Hope to see you out there.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu: Top - 300cm Bottom - 160cm
Niseko Village: Top - 260cm Bottom - 170cm
Niseko Hanazono: Top - 300cm Bottom - 160cm
Annupuri: Top - 265cm Bottom - 170cm
Niseko Avalanche info reads: Niseko base 6am: -4℃ and 15cm of crystal/broken particles snow in the past 12 hours. Coastal data: NW11m/s wind at Benkei cape, 2.7m waves, 1016hPa at Kamui cape. Annupuri peak wind: NW12.2m/s.
The development of cornices and snowdrifts is moderate. Although some layers of hail (Dec 25th & 26th) is mixed within, the snow accumulation above Dec 22nd layer is rounding and stabilizing. However, surface slab avalanche hazard (up to 80cm thick) remains high in area with drastic development of cornices and snowdrifts. Namely, 1000m leeward slopes of Kozan no Sawa (Backbowl), O-Sawa, Higashi-One and around 900m Yu no Sawa, Mizuno no Sawa & Haru no taki. All gates except no. 2 & 3 are scheduled to open, however is subject to lift operations. Ask the ski patrol some advice before going out and respect the Rules. It is highly discouraged (potential risk of avalanche is high) to traverse around coordinate F5 (O-sawa) & H7 (Higashi-One) on the Niseko Rules’ map, and to rest in the valley bottoms. Outside the gate is outside the ski resort, you’re stepping into backcountry area at your own risk. Always use gates to access the out of bounds areas, crossing the boundary ropes is strictly prohibited. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Tuesday 27th December 2011, 11:48am
Snowing heavy has not stopped for a while now
In the war of man versus nature we are now a distant second in Nozawa Onsen. Snow has engulfed the whole town and it is all hands on deck to try and stay on top of it.
The snow conditions on the resort are simply amazing. Have had a few seasoned campaigners telling me that it is by far some of the best powder they have experienced. The resort is quickly approaching the 300cm mark on upper slopes with another 35cm overnight and gaining. All this and it is still December!
Tomorrow the reports are showing we should get a window of sunshine then looking like a sun to snow pattern for a few days so will be perfect.
Anyway better get up on the roof and try and get rid of some of this snow before we get snowed in!
Current Official Snow Depths Numbers:
Current Lift operations: All but Kandaha
Current courses open: All but Kandaha Yu Road is also open the moving walkway from the Village Read more ...
Tuesday 27th December 2011, 15:15pm
Still hammering down today with another 30+ cms up high and plenty accumulating down in the valley. Certainly causing problems in various places and the some of the locals seem to be fighting a losing battle with the snow clearance. The fleet of machines are out keeping the roads clears and will be plenty of overtime for those crews this week.
Great snow all over and getting to the point where there is almost too much in some places. A good problem to have though it may occasionally cause a few delays/closures to some lifts. Read more ...
Tuesday 27th December 2011, 18:03pm
More snow, and more snow. Yesterday was a monster of a day, with snow that looked like fog for a lot of the time. Pretty light snow, though, so the total volume wasn't that much—but still tens of centimeters. It's cold as well, keeping the snow in good condition. Just too much of it, and it's not consolidated, which makes for pretty fun hiking offpiste (as I did today). Well good for building leg muscles, rather than fun, really.
A little bit lighter today, with even some sun earlier in the morning. ut things are looking very good for the new year holidays—not likely to see many icy patches and tufts of grass, even if lots of people visit.