Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 16th December 2017
Friday 27th January 2017, 7:36am
Generally cloudy-overcast, some patches of blue sky in places
Good morning from Yuzawa.
Yesterday was a stunner of a day. Most of the clouds over the region disappeared during the morning leaving us with clear blue skies and bright sunshine. It was quite mild too. A fantastic day to be out skiing and snowboarding.
It didn't get that cold overnight and while it is an icy start to the day we are expecting things to warm up fairly quickly. And warm up a fair bit as well, perhaps even approaching 10C in town later on. We could definitely do without things warming up that much.
Anyway this morning has started with generally overcast/cloudy skies but there is some blue sky in places - while we may well get some clearer skies during this morning it is expected to be cloudy later on with precipitation due. With the warm temperatures there's a chance it will be rain down in town but hopefully overnight will be snowing particularly in higher elevations. Don't think we can expect much though.
Happily, tomorrow should be a return to colder temperatures again and clearer skies are forecast.
After another bit of a warm up on Sunday, the next snow is currently due around Monday.
Official snow depth information as of Friday 27th January 2017
GALA Yuzawa The South Area is has re-opened again - meaning that all three main areas are now open Official snow depth: 340cm
Below are details of the planned 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma this season. This information is subject to change due to snow and weather conditions. *** Please note that this section will not be updated every day.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Daily until 19th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 8:50pm. The Chuo Number 1, Chuo Number 2 and Kanko Number 3 Express lifts are open daily. The Kanko Number 1 Express lift, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift and Hatsukaishi Number 2 pair lifts are also open on weekends and holidays.
Iwappara Daily until 20th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays. The Main course, Grand course and West courses are open during nighta.
Joetsu Kokusai Daily until 20th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm. The area in front of the main base hotel is open for nighta.
Kandatsu Kogen 'Hobo All Night' ('Almost All Night') is on Fridays, Saturdays and nights before holidays until 1st April 2017. The nighta opening times on those days is from 6pm until 4am the following morning.
Maiko Snow Resort Daily until 19th March 2017. Nighta is from 4pm until 8pm. The Maiko center quad lift on the Maiko Side of the resort operates for nighta.
Naeba Daily until 26th March 2017. Nighta is from 4pm until 8:30pm.
NASPA Ski Garden 'Thanks' (extended) opening on Saturdays in January and February. On those days the Number 1 lift is open until 6pm.
Yuzawa Nakazato Every Saturday until 11th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 8:30pm. The Number 2 pair lift operates during nighta. Read more ...
Friday 27th January 2017, 8:22am
Rain/sleet at base areas (snow)
Good morning from Niseko.
Unfortunately, it's not the nicest of mornings!
I was just looking back at what I wrote at the end of my report yesterday:
"In the meantime we can probably expect generally cloudy conditions for the day today with the snow starting to fall and winds picking up overnight."
Well, it was generally cloudy with some blue skies showing through at times. And a dusting of snow shows signs that it has been snowing a bit overnight but...
Oh dear, rain at base. Hmmmm. That wasn't the plan. It was an uncharacteristically warm overnight in the region and is still at 8am around +3C.
It is actually trying to snow - sleet and wet snow is falling in places, still rain in others - but there's a real wet feel to proceedings at the moment. As temperatures drop this morning hopefully we'll be seeing proper snowfall... soon. Please. We are actually holding out for a decent amount of snowfall as well, so I look forward to being able to do that in my report tomorrow morning.
Strong winds are also adding to the 'not particularly nice' feel to this morning and affecting lifts at the start of the day. More on that situation below.
It's the Chinese New Year weekend and so Niseko is busy (* yes, I know, it's always busy in season!) with people here celebrating those holidays. I hope that they all have a good time and that the weather turns good for them quickly. Enjoy!
Apologies for an incorrect image going up on the report yesterday - technical issue!
A developing low-pressure system is causing an inflow of warm southerly wind. A drastic development of wet snowdrift is seen in areas above 800m. Those slabs are highly unstable and break into pieces through their weak lines. The overall avalanche risk is high. Peak gates will be kept closed for safety measures. Wet and heavy slab slides are to be expected in steep slopes under lifts. The weather is forecasted to deteriorate even worse as the low-system passes.
“Weak lines” may not be a regular term used in today’s avalanche science, however we use this term to define the weakness within the developing wind-affected snowdrifts. Rapidly developing snowdrifts becomes a deposition of heavy, dense and unstable snow which can naturally collapse within itself and trigger an avalanche. Since most avalanche accidents occurred during storms in Niseko in the past, this is the premise that we base on for accident prevention. Any leeward slopes during storms and high-winds is hazardous, and slopes with large development of dense new snow are the most dangerous. Have a safe day.
Resort specific opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Niseko Grand Hirafu The top Ace Number 3, King Number 3, Ace Number 4 and King Number 4 lifts are on hold at the start of the day.
Lifts operations: All lifts plan to be operating apart from: - Yunomine pair - Mizunashi pair - Challenge pair - Utopia pair - Kandahar pair
Most courses at Nozawa Onsen are open. Courses not open are: - Grand Prix - Kandahar East - Kandahar West - Kamoshika Read more ...
Friday 27th January 2017, 8:34am
Morning from Hakuba.
It was a truly beautiful day yesterday in the region. The mountains looked magnificent, and the snow was... playful!
This morning, there is a lot of cloud around and while it was cold overnight it's due to get mild during the day again today. Perhaps a little too mild for our liking - hoping for snow later on (and definitely hoping to avoid possible rain). It's not due to last long though with clearer skies and calm conditions forecast for tomorrow morning.
Back to today though and some strong winds are causing some issues for top lifts at some resorts including Goryu/47, Happo-one and Tsugaike. More details can be found below.
Resort news as of 8:30am on Friday 27th January 2017:
All information as available and subject to change during the day due to weather and snow conditions.
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. Top lifts affected by wind at the start of the day. All planned lifts are operating. Tree Riding Zones scheduled to be open. Official snow depth Upper: 315cm Base: 170cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. Top lifts affected by wind at the start of the day. All scheduled lifts plan to be operating. Official snow depth Alps: 330cm Toomi: 150cm Iimori: 135cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. Gondola and top lifts affected by wind at the start of the day. Otherwise all courses open. The Kurobishi off-piste area is also now open. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 195cm Kurobishi: 235cm Lower: 135cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Gondola and top Tsuga Number 2 pair lift on hold at start of the day. All courses open, though looks like Lower Han-no-ki is restricted (not sure why). Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 290cm Han-no-ki: 280cm Maruyama: 200cm Oya-no-hara: 140cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 150cm
Hakuba Cortina: The resort is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. Official snow depth: Top: 305cm Base: 205cm
Planned nighta operations - be sure to check with resorts for latest:
Hakuba Goryu: Planned to be open daily from 6pm until 9:30pm
Tsugaike Kogen: Planned at the Kane-no-naru-oka area on January 28th; February 4th, 11th (6pm until 8:50pm) Planned at the Katamatsu-Shirakaba area on January 28th; February 11th, 18th; March 4th, 11th, 18th, 19th (6pm until 9pm)
Hakuba Cortina: Planned to be open daily from 5pm until 8pm (until 9pm on Saturdays)
Hakuba Happo-one: Planned to be open daily until 9pm on the Nakiyama area.
Kashimayari: Planned to be open daily.
There is no night skiing at the other resorts in the area. Read more ...
Friday 27th January 2017, 8:41am
Hello from Madarao.
Yesterday it was clear skies; this morning it is mostly cloudy with a few patches of blue sky on show.
Quite strong winds likely during the day today but at the start it seems lifts are opening as planned.
It will get quite mild today and there's a chance of some (wet?) snow later on, but nothing major. If it's going to be wet, we might prefer it hold off all together.
Tomorrow the sun should be out from early on...
Operating status for the day at Madarao Kogen (at time of report):
- Number 1 lift - Number 2 quad lift - Number 5 lift - Super quad lift - Number 11 lift - Number 12 lift - Number 13 lift - Number 15 lift - Moving walkway - Kids Park - Free Ride Park
- Powder Wave I - Powder Wave II - River Line - Powder Theater - Adventure Aisle - Crystal Bowl - Ninja - Sawa - Rabbit - Kamoshika - Bear
- Nighta at Madarao Kogen is every Saturday until 25th March (and also 8th January and 19th March)
Bit of a (relatively) warm morning here today - just over 0C at the moment - and mild and cloudy conditions forecast for the day.
Some strong winds on mountain yesterday and there may be more of that today.
Clearer skies are forecast for tomorrow along with a return to colder conditions.
All lifts apart from the following appear to be operating today: Diamond Number 1 pair Paradise Number 3 pair Karamatsu pair Yokokura Number 2 pair
All courses apart from Kotan are open.
Official snow depths (as published by the resort itself): Summit - 100cm Paradise - 170cm Chuo - 170cm Utopia - 135cm Uwanodai - 100cm Yokokura - 115cm
Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time Zao Ropeway operations - upcoming dates
January 2017: 27th-31st February 2017: 1st-28th March 2017: 1st-5th
Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm. Ropeway return charges are 2,600 yen for adults and 1,300 yen for children. In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled. Read more ...
Friday 27th January 2017, 8:53am
Clouds with occasional sun
The sun is peaking through the clouds here and there this morning here at Grandeco. No new snow fall last night, but the conditions are anything but icy. Conditions today are groomed and packed powder through out the resort. Grandeco is now 100% operational and all trails are open with just over 4000 meters of vertical ski-able terrain.
For people looking to climb Mt. Nishidaiten, please be sure to fill in the mountain climbing sheet located by the information desk next to the ticket counter. Take the gondola and the lift 3 or 4 to hike up. It takes about an hour and a half from the top of either lift to reach Mt. Nishidaiten peak on foot.
Snowshoes or skinned skies are highly recommended for the hike up.
Snow adventure park (snowmobiles and snow rafting) will open today.
Lifts Operating: - Gondola - Number 1 quad lift - Number 2 quad lift - Number 3 quad lift - Number 4 quad lift
All courses now open
Official snow depth: 210cm
Road Condition to Grandeco: Inawashiro through Goshikinuma: plowed/icey Goshikinuma through Grandeco: plowed/icey Snow tires are necessary and be sure to take your time when driving. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Friday 27th January 2017, 9:01am
Morning from Shiga Kogen.
No fresh snowfall to report this morning. Feels odd, that!
It is a mild morning here and - for the moment - just light winds here in the Hasuike area.
Lots of cloud around this morning. We might perhaps get some light snowfall before my report tomorrow, but sunny skies are forecast for the morning again. It should be a decent weekend weather-wise and I am sure there'll be lots of here to enjoy the snow conditions.
The next snowfall looks due to be with us late Sunday and into Monday.
Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:
Most of ski lifts and courses in Shiga Kogen are now open. Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish.
When I awoke this morning there was no sign of any snowfall happening, however in the last hour the forecasted snow has arrived and so far has accumulated to 2cm. A lot more is snow is expected from this afternoon and will continue through Saturday.
The winds have also arrived and at base. They are moderate already and very strong further up the resort. The resort has advised the Kitanomine Gondola and Furano Downhill Romance #3 chair (thats the double at the top of the Furano Zone) will not operate due to wind. However there is still plenty of great terrain that can be skied off the operating lifts.
Temperatures were -4c at the base of the resort earlier this morning, but at base it is now 0c. Rain is forecast at village level from this afternoon due to the warm temperatures, so I really hope they are wrong on that one and we do get snow. However above base level it will definitely be snow that falls. The winds should ease by Sunday morning. Read more ...
Friday 27th January 2017, 9:35am
High, thin clouds
It's breezy today in Myoko; I never thought I'd say this, but it's nice to have the wind to help control some of the snow (there's a great big chunk of snow hanging around on my roof that just doesn't want to come down, and will be pretty scary when it does). It is also definitely milder today, too, with a high, thin cloud cover over the entire sky.
Not a lot to look forward to in the short run, with clear skies tomorrow (but a little cooler), and the possibility of rain to follow.
After that, though, hopefully we can look forward to some more snow - and we'll be ready to handle it by then!
Please note that the fresh snowfall number being reported on this report is taken from the ‘base area’ of Tenjindaira - which is just by the top station of the Ropeway at that resort. Other snowfall numbers and commentary will be mentioned within each report when available. Read more ...
Appi Kogen Now!
Friday 27th January 2017, 10:48am
Good morning from Appi,
Right now cloudy skies and a temperature of -4 outside my door. It's a little windy too so it feels a lot colder. We can expect the wind to stay around for the next couple of days and the temperature to fall overnight.
The good news is more snow again this evening, perhaps 15-20cm if we're lucky. That's about it for snowfall for the next three to four days unfortunately. We'll have a fairly brisk wind tomorrow for those coming which will give us a windchill of -20+ at the summit. Yes it's going to be cold so please dress appropriately.
All but 2 runs are open and are in great shape. Mt.Niskimori and the tree skiing will make anyone smile. Come and join us this weekend.
Currently planned operating lifts (subject to change due to weather conditions):
Gondola Central quad Central number 2 Central number 3a Central number 4 Central number 5 Central number 6 Sailer gondola Sailer quad Vista quad Nishimori
Sorry for the delayed report today. We have all just been too distracted by the fantastic conditions out there! The slopes and sky are all in fine form and the day has been excellent for skiing/snowboarding!
As I write this it has just started to snow so even though nothing has fallen throughout the day it looks good for a night of white stuff landing.
The next few days have the potential for a small amount of snow fall but mostly clear sunny. We have another snow storm rolling in early next week though so it wont be long before the skys are cloud filled again!