Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 20th January 2018
Monday 28th December 2015, 8:24am
Good morning from Niseko.
My report is going to be a bit on the shorter side this morning as I need to get myself to Sapporo.
I have another 24cm of fresh snowfall to report to you as the plenty refills continue with easily more than 30cm higher up. And it keeps on snowing and is due to for most of the coming week. Brilliant!
There might be wind issues today again up there, it looks like early morning the situation is quite similar to how things were yesterday.
It should be a very excellent day on the slopes and I hope you can enjoy it.
See just how quickly things can change? ;)
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am: -8℃, 30cm of crushed crystal snow, ne snowdrift development. Moiwa peak: NW15m/s, -10℃, large development of snowdrifts and cornices delaying grooming operations. Annupuri 1000m: NW25m/s, snowdrifts growing and poor visibility. Coastal data: Benkei cape WNW20m/s, Kamui cape W16m/s, 1013hPa, 3.0m waves.
The isobars on the pressure distribution chart are still tight and the storm is persisting above 600m. Some cornices’ overhangs have grown up to 5m in Moiwa 800m area, snowdrifts up to 2m in some knoll terrain. Both extremely unstable and easily collapsing. According to observations and snowfall transition, the avalanche hazard is very high and surface slab slides of up to 1m thickness are likely to occur in 800m leeside knolls, open steep slopes and areas with large cornices development. Avalanches are natural phenomena that only become an accident if human beings are in the way. Know where/what/when needs to be avoided. Slopes conditions are ever-changing, a slope that was good yesterday may be in critical condition today. Always be prudent and humble in the mountains. The snow in the trees is deep and little heavy due to the wind. Gates will start to open once the storm calms down and the snowpack stabilizes. Please respect the Niseko Rules.
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: - All lifts planned to be operating Courses planned to be open: - Champion - Utopia - Shirakaba - Paradise - Junior - Family - Dynamic - Silver
Official resort snow depths as of Monday 28th December 2015:
Yesterday was the first really proper winter-like day of the season. Good snowfall, cold temperatures, something of a wind. It felt good shovelling the snow!
There has been no new snowfall overnight here in town which is a bit of a surprise, but during the day yesterday since my morning report there was nearly 30cm of snow fall. And nice and light snow too. Expect more than that amount up on the mountains of course.
This morning we are being treated to lots of blue skies and sunshine over the Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma areas. There is lots of cloud to the north, but our valleys are having a beautiful morning. It is cold too with lots of frosty and icy conditions outside. Again, that makes it all feel like proper winter which is great. It shouldn't warm up too much during the day today and then later on clouds are again expected to bring more snow. Snow is forecast for the day tomorrow as well, so let's hope we can build on the base that we now have.
Most of the resorts in the area are going to be open from today. There's still a few that we can't confirm at the time of writing but generally it's a case of resorts being mostly at least part open. Some more than others. Details for each resort have been updated below.
If we get more snow tonight and into tomorrow, hopefully it won't be long before everywhere is just "OPEN". Won't that be good?!
In the meantime it should be a very fine morning out there. Nice weather and fresh snow.
Remember, the snow is by no means particularly deep yet, so take care... there's probably going to be things sticking up out of the snow in places.
Resort operations (Monday 28th December 2015) - subject to change:
Kagura Almost all of the courses and lifts at Kagura are now open. The only areas not open yet are the top pair lift and the Mitsumata downhill course back to base. The top pair lift (Kagura Number 5 Romance lift) plans to be open this season from 1st January. The Dragondola connecting Tashiro with Naeba is not yet open.
Naeba More of Naeba is now open. The Number 2, 3, 4 and 5 Courses as well as the Number 4 high speed course, Takenokodaira, Daishamen and Downhill Courses are open. From today the Number 3 high speed lift and Prince Number 1 Gondola will also be operating.
GALA Yuzawa 8 courses are now open at GALA Yuzawa. The Chuo area is open and part of the North Area of the resort.
Ipponsugi Ipponsugi plans to be open from this morning.
Snow continued yesterday though eased off somewhat since the morning and no new snowfall overnight.
And the sun is out this morning. It's cold and frosty early on and should be keeping cold even with the sun out. That's the kind of sunny weather we like!
Still, the Yamabiko area is now reporting 70cm and it was great to be out in the fresh snow yesterday morning. Quite a lot of people agreed, there were a fair few people around!
From 2pm yesterday the resort opened the Rinkan course to connect the Paradise course with the Nagasaka Gondola. For now it is just to use as means to get back to base. The resort also seems to have the Yunomine pair and Mizunashi lifts and associated courses now operating/open.
Snow clouds are due back over the region later today so not sure how long the sunny conditions will last, with snow forecast overnight and through the day tomorrow.
A decent snowfall again should allow more to open up...
Official info at time of writing on Monday 28th December 2015 (subject to change):
- Nagasaka Gondola (from 8:40am) - Hikage Gondola (from 8:40am) - Skyline link lift - Yamabiko Four lift - Yamabiko Number 2 lift - Paradise Four lift - Uenotaira Four lift - Yunomine Pair lift - Mizunashi Triple lift - Yu Road (from 8:30am)
Courses planned to be open:
- Yamabiko A course - Yamabiko B course - Yamabiko C course - Yamabiko D course - Yamabiko E course - Paradise - Kokenashi - Uenotaira - Bunabayashi - Mizunashi A - Mizunashi B - Yunomine A - Yunomine B
It's snowing everywhere top through base this morning with another 20+cm of fresh snow to report from base areas of Grandeco.
It is also keeping cold, keeping excellent light powder snow conditions. Nice.
The temperature is very low this morning and these cold conditions mean that the snow conditions are an excellent light powder snow.
Snow should continue to fall in the region through today (maybe on and off) and into tomorrow as well.
70% of the courses at Grandeco are now open with the advanced courses 'Melissa' and 'Mint A' available.
'Deco land' - the separated area at the base which is for beginners with two snow escalators - also opens from today.
The roads around Ura Bandai are covered in snow. Some of the ski and snowboard resorts located around the south area of Mt.Bandai are now also opening due to the recent snowfall. I might be biased but I reckon this Ura Bandai area to the north of Mt Bandai gets the best powder!
Gondola Number 1 quad Number 2 quad Number 3 quad
(A-a) Rainbow 3500 (A-b) Rainbow 3500 (A-c) Rainbow 3500 (B-a) Mint (B-c) Mint (C) Center (D-b) Lavender (E) Melissa (F) Basil
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 ...
Monday 28th December 2015, 8:48am
Blue sky, sun, some cloud
What's this... blue skies and sunshine?
Light snow on mountain yesterday with perhaps a few-5cm of snow falling higher up. It was very busy as well around the open resorts yesterday, with lots of folk around and soon to be joined by more people arriving for the New Year as well. Not all of the courses at resorts being open certainly does not help in that respect of course. Expect to have to wait at some lifts, and in some cases for quite a bit.
So yes there's blue skies and the sun out this morning. Still some cloud around in places but generally nice weather... apart from some strong winds that are keeping lifts on hold at some areas.
Check for the latest but at the time of writing the lifts at Hakuba 47 were on hold as well as the upper lifts at Hakuba Goryu. It looks like Happo-one is also being affected by strong wind conditions this morning.
We are expecting some more snowfall tonight and into early tomorrow morning and then maybe next up on New Years Eve.
It is cold this morning and should remain cold through the day so snow conditions should be keeping good.
Resort news as of 8:45am on Monday 28th December (all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of new snowfall at base and up to 5cm on mountain since yesterday morning. All lifts on hold at time of writing due to strong winds. Planned lifts: Gondola Line AB Line C Line E Official snow depth Upper: 120cm Base: 15cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 3cm of new snowfall on upper areas. Top lifts on hold due to windy conditions at time of writing. The lower Toomi and Milky Four lifts are operating. Planned lifts: Telecabin Gondola Alps Number 1 pair lift Alps Number 2/4 pair lift Alps Number 3 pair lift Toomi Sky Four lift Milky Four lift Official snow depth Alps: 100cm Iimori: 20cm Toomi: 35cm
Hakuba Happo-one: The Usagidaira, Panorama, Kurobishi and Skyline areas are open but wind affecting operations early on (Skyline on hold) Planned lifts: Adam Gondola Alpen quad lift Usagidaira pair lift Kurobishi Number 2 quad lift Kokusai Number 1 lift Kita One quad lift Kokusai Number 3 lift Panorama pair lift Official snow depth Usagidaira: 50cm Nakiyama: -cm Sakka: -cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina reporting 10cm of fresh snow. Courses open - Ikenota, Mt Hieda Forest, Mt Hieda 1 (lower), Ipponmatsu. Planned lifts: Number 1 pair lift Number 2 quad lift Number 4 pair lift Official snow depth Top: 60cm Base: 30cm
Tsugaike Kogen: The upper Tsuga-no-mori area and upper part of the Han-no-ki course areas are open as well as part of the lower Kane-no-naru-oka and Oya-no-hara areas. Planned lifts: Eve Gondola Tsuga Number 1 pair lift Tsuga Number 2 pair lift Han-no-ki high speed pair lift Tsugaike Chuo triple lift Karamatsu high speed pair lift Kane-no-naru-oka Skyliner I lift Kane-no-naru-oka Skyliner II lift Kane-no-naru-oka Romance lift Official snow depth Tsuga-no-mori: 127cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 35cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: The View C, North and East runs are open. Planned lifts: Noah Gondola 3Sen North 4Sen Line East Line Lift Official snow depth Upper: 50cm Lower: 10cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Part open from this morning with the Alps Number 1 pair lift, Alps Number 4 lift and Alps Number 6 high speed pair lifts planned to be operating.
Kashimayari: Planned lifts: Number 2 pair lift Number 3 quad lift Number 5 pair lift Number 7 pair lift Number 6 quad lift
Just a bit of snowfall since my report yesterday as it eased off and no snowfall overnight. And this morning we have blue skies above Madarao with just a bit of cloud hanging on here and there.
More of the mountain is open with more lifts operating (see below) both at Madarao and Tangram. Still not fully open, but on the way. That should be helped along by some more fresh snowfall due tonight and hopefully into tomorrow morning with the next snow after that on New Years Eve. (Are we nearly there already?!)
The Madarao Kogen <> Tangram Ski Circus mountain connection and pass starts from today.
Nighta at Madarao due to start from tomorrow night.
It is a very cold start to the day today... coldest of the season so far? Very probably.
Too cold for snow? Maybe. Just 1cm this morning to report which is somewhat disappointing of course.
More of the resort opening up gradually with parts of Yokokura now joining the other areas that are open. Zao Onsen is a big place, and while there's a fair choice now we are far from fully open and 'connected' so far. It's all a bit disconnected.
Nighta from tonight over on the Uwanodai area, but please do note that they will only have the Onsen Number 1 lift operating.
So we wait for more snow to fall. Maybe and hopefully tonight and early tomorrow morning.
After that it's looking more likely that we will have clearer skies and not quite as cold conditions rather than lots of snow into the New Year.
Information as of Monday 28th 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 - Onsen Number 2 quad - Onsen Number 3 Parallel AB - Mikaeri pair - Chuo Number 1 pair AB - Chuo Number 1 pair AB - Katakai triple - Diamond Number 1 pair - Diamond Number 2 - Zao Paradise pair AB - Shobunuma Number 1 triple - Shobunuma Number 2 pair - Yokokura Number 1 pair AB - Utopia Number 2 pair
Completely clear to start the day, a few clouds drifting in now
It's a beautiful day in Myoko today (although, of course, we'd rather see more pounding snow!). Looks like more snow after this bluebird morning.
I waited a bit today so we could get a real, official report up, as the lifts just keep on opening and the news doesn't get out very early. Looking good, though, with more and more choices of where to go.
Still way too low for offpiste explorations, though; streams aren't filled in, and there's a lot of vines and small trees out there to tie up your skis or boards.
Yesterday we said that today might start with clearer skies. And so it is.
It's one of those beautiful clear and very cold mornings after a storm.
16 of the 19 areas of Shiga Kogen are now at least part open. Terakoya is now part open; they have their pair lift operating this morning. Some areas are now almost fully open, like for example Kumanoyu.
There is still not enough snow around though for all of the interconnections to be open and so all feels somewhat disconnected still. We need another decent snowfall or two to really take things up into the next gear.
The clouds are due to move back over the area and snow is expected to be falling tonight, so fingers crossed. Even if it is not snowing now on a day, the biggest hope is that it keeps cold with snow conditions being preserved.
Anyway, there is lots of fun to be had out there as we wait for more. Lovely day out there!
Resort operations (Monday 28th December) - subject to change
The following resort areas of Shiga Kogen are at least part open:
Bunadaira Maruike Giant Ichinose Diamond Ichinose Family Ichinose Yamanokami Kumanoyu Nishitatyama (Mammoth side) Okushiga Kogen Sun Valley Takamagahara Mammoth Yakebitaiyama Yokoteyama Shibutoge Terakoya
Other ski areas of Shiga Kogen currently remain closed.
I just asked some boarders who came in for an early lunch how it was on the hill at Furano today, and they said, 'well it's midday and there is still waist deep powder'.
So OK then. I do love understatement. Apparently some sidecountry runs are chest deep, too. Heh, heh, heh.
Bit breezy but not windy, snow falling-falling-falling, a good metre of fresh up top in places. Yesterday was my day off and I cleared my driveway in Kitanomine twice, 25cm at about 9am and another 20ish at around 4pm. I like clearing snow. The resort is reporting 10-15cm of snow which seems very conservative indeed.
It was -7C when I crossed the Sorachi river just now to come and tell you it is snowing and there is a lot of snow. That's really all there is to say now. It's very nice. It's very snowy.
I am sorry if you went to night ski last night on my advice. I got the kids rugged up and hyped up at 6pm for this purpose only to discover it wasn't on in Kitanomine Zone like I thought it was. I checked this morning and they did run it but just for safety checks. So that is closed. Not open. But tonight it is open. Hope you found somewhere to sled yesterday evening - that's what we did.
Photo 1 is a map of what is open now at Furano resort, which is everything. If you like snorkel deep powder and are not a beginner, you MUST go to the top of the Kitanomine Gondola.
Photo 2 is folks having fun at Kitanomine just now. Read more ...
Monday 28th December 2015, 14:02pm
Generally clear and fine
Moderate snow all yesterday tailed off last night and the skies are blue today.
Tenjin now has a 1m base and the big lift opened this morning so two running at this point.
More snow due tonight and tomorrow and looks like it might be significant.