Snow and weather reports posted on Tuesday 12th December 2017
Sunday 29th January 2012, 7:50am
No new snowfall to report today. There was a slight dusting (maybe 1 cm), but other than that it was relatively calm last night. The backbowls of Niseko did open yesterday, despite it being very windy at the peak. The backcountry skiing should be awesome today, but with slightly poor visibility. It has been windy, so developments and snowdrifts have occured over the last few days. The real danger lies from a weak layer on the warm temp days of Jan 22. There's up to 70cm on top of it and it's hard to tell what will happen to it without digging a pit and seeing for yourself.
Yesterday there were quite a few people who got out in the early morning visibility. I witnessed one guy ski Iwanupuri and I don't think he could see at any point during his skiing. The snow was well over his head.
It's looking like the weekend will bring us clouds, cold temps, and intermittent snow. The sun isn't expected to shine through today, but you never know! I would definitely layer up as you go out. We saw a warm start to the morning yesterday and quickly plummeting temps in the afternoon as the front moved in off the ocean.
You'll definitely have to work and earn the turns today; either by searching hard at the resorts, or hiking. Get out and explore what Hokkaido has to offer. There are plenty of small resorts that are easily accessible with a quick search of the Resorts section on SnowJapan. Some of the hidden gems out there will have fresh patches for the whole day and maybe then some!
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 380cm Bottom - 210cm
Niseko Village: Top - 380cm Bottom - 230cm
Annupuri: Top - 380cm Bottom - 220cm
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 5am: -10â„ƒ, a light dusting of snow in the last 12 hours, Coastal data: WNW9m/s at Benkei cape, 1.2m waves 1015hPa at Kamui cape. Annapuri Peak NW10.3m/s temp -15.8â„ƒ Snow Transition: There has been 5cm of snow crystals following the passing of the low pressure system in the last 12 hours. At elevations above 800m there has been some snowdrift development. Snow Pit Data: The prominent layer in the snowpack at the moment is is the Jan 22 layer at 100-150cm which is easily observed. The snow below 28 Jan is rounding and stabilsing, a significant layer is expected to form in the future snowpack from 29 Jan layer. Risk Assessment: With the current snowfall trends the general avalanche risk is reducing. Caution: There is always risks travelling in the mountains, the risk of avalanches, ski and snowboard falls, falling into cracks and crashing into trees. Please remember these dangers. Do not look for fresh lines in Haru no Taki J4 and Yu no Sawa G3. Riding in these restricted areas is strictly prohibited by the Niseko Rules. Do not duck ropes, your pass will be taken. Gates: All gates are expected to open at 9.30. Please re-check the avalanche report before leaving the gates. Beware of frostbite and a sudden change in the weather.
There is some awesome snow out there at the moment. The resort has been hit pretty hard by a lot of people. It's time to bust out the skins and avalanche gear. The conditions are pretty stable and north facing aspects around Niseko are great...especially those higher in elevation. If you want to know where to go buy a local a beer and ask for some advice. I saw plenty of people getting face shots of deep powder today. The only thing stopping you from doing it is a short amount of hiking! Read more ...
Sunday 29th January 2012, 8:54am
More snow in Minakami today as this long run of snowfall continues. Another 10/15 centimeters all over the area since yesterday and those piles of snow around are getting bigger and bigger. It is cold again and there is a strong wind blowing which is going to affect some lift operations throughout the day. The snow you can get to though is going to be first rate - soft and fresh.
Forecast is for this snow to continue until Friday when we might have a break from the snow and even a possibility of a rare glimpse of the sun. Read more ...
Sunday 29th January 2012, 9:54am
Yesterday we saw fanstastic conditions on the slopes and there was enough powder for everyone. These great condition continue through today with soft packed powder all day long. In the valley we received 4cm new snow in the past 24 hours and it is currently snowing lightly. Tiny patches of blue skies are visible from time to time and we are expecting snow showers and clearings throughout the day.
The resorts are officially reporting 5-25 cm new snow adding a nice new layer to the slopes. Temperatures will range from -6 C to -12 C with a wind chill factor making is feel like -19 C at times. So, bundle up! Winds have picked up from yesterday and are a gentle breeze to 4m/s from the WNW. The freezing levels will stay low at sea level and so keeping the snow nice and dry.
Monday night the precipitation levels will increase as our next system moves in and Tuesday night is projected for the heaviest accumulation. Enjoy this little clearing patch before we get our next storm.
Again, with all this new snowfall avalanche conditions have been set at considerable below the treeline and high above the tree line. Do please remember to ride with care for yourself and others and also respect the resort rules and regulations.
AVALANCHE INVOLVEMENT: Sadly one person dead due to being buried in a very large slab avalanche on an open south face just off the side of one of the Hakuba resorts. The man was wearing a beacon but his friends and other by-standers could not locate him in the immense amount of debris. His body was finally found by Search and Rescue workers at 17:00. It is suspected that avalanche sheared at the January 22nd sun crust and storm snow interface.
Use your head to make well informed decisions and be sure to carry all the proper safety and rescue gear if you are heading into off piste and backcountry areas. Stay to well supported and simple terrain away from steep and convex terrain to reduce hazard and injury.
Official snow depths and operations @ Sunday 29th January 2012 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: Goryu reported 5cm of new snow on upper slopes and 1cm on lower areas this morning. All lifts plan to be operating though winds may affect upper lifts. Iimori Cosmo River course being used for races and so limitations there. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 275cm; Toomi - 125cm; Iimori - 115cm.
Hakuba 47: 47 reporting 2cm of new snowfall this morning. All courses and lifts open/operating. Official snow depth: Upper - 247cm Lower - 135cm
Happo-one: Ski lifts/courses: All lifts apart from Happo No1 pair and Kurobishi No3 pair operating - and the Grad quad is closed this morning due to strong winds. Official snow depth: Usagidaira - 210cm; Sakka - 120cm; Nakiyama - 120cm.
After the snow of yesterday... more snow today, it is still coming down.
Kagura not being fully open disappointed a fair few people yesterday. Some electrical problem was causing the problems and while they have found out what needs to be done, that fixing work will begin this morning. There doesn't seem to be any kind of time frame for when they will be able to get it done, I'm afraid but we will keep an eye out for that and keep this report updated on that situation. As for Kagura operations today, it's going to be the same as yesterday. The good news is that Kagura is reporting another 30cm overnight since yesterday and so those conditions when people get to them will be deep and delicious.
Today brings it's own set of things to report at Naeba. Stronger winds are meaning that lifts are affected. All of the Gondolas are not moving at the moment though the resort is stating that the No2 Gondola and No2 quad lifts should get going around 10:20am. No word on the No1 Gondola and Dragondola. This means that some upper slopes also not accessible today.
So it's more limited than we would like today, I'm afraid.
The snow doesn't seem to want to quit, and should be with us through until the end of the week. Look out for around Tuesday/Wednesday to bring us significant snowfall again.
Resort Operations, 28th January (subject to change) Naeba:All areas open apart from Mens Riesen Slalom and Mens Slalom, courses. Most lifts operating including all Gondolas. Kagura: Limited due to conditions - see above report.
Yesterday was a day of deep conditions for most people who ventured out onto the slopes. I heard a few stories of people getting lost and almost buried in snow but happily no situations that have caused too much concern.
There was another 10-15cm or so of fresh snow on the top of the car this morning as the snow continues to fall from the skies. It is lighter snow this morning and visibility around town is better than it has been the last few days but still pretty poor on most of the slopes around town I would imagine. It has even been easing off as well on and off over the last hour, but the just-released local forecast tell us to expect another 5-10cm by this evening.
Stronger winds on the mountains today causing a some lifts to slow down or stop at Naeba and that electric problem at Kagura is limiting the opening of that resort. Please see the Naeba Now report for more on those things.
Check out the snow depth info below. Impressive numbers and interesting to see Centleisure Maiko with the most at 370cm. The snowfall in that Ishiuchi area on the border of Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma certainly has been impressive with some big 'snow walls' piling up on the side of Route 17... in some places they are close to 4m in height!
We're not done yet though as snow is still on the forecast for each day through until the end of the week, and Tuesday and Wednesday are still looking like they are going to bring another decent dump of snow.
It's almost starting to get a bit silly isn't it? There is another 40cm of new snowfall on the slopes of Madarao Kogen this morning. The resort is even saying 40-60cm!
As yesterday the resort are checking the four tree-run courses and will open then if and when. It looks like at the moment all but River Line are going to be able to open today, but the Free Ride Park doesn't look like it will make it.
The forecast remains as snow for at least the next 4-5 days.
I'm finding it quite hard to know exactly what to write at the moment with these consistently large amounts of snow falling and not much else. We're at that stage where some people want it to stop snowing and for the sun to come out and make an appearance!
Lifts currently operating: Lift No13 not open today and some runs closed. Connection with Tangram Ski Circus open.
Just a few cm of snow to report this morning in the village and just like the last few days the mountain is covered in cloud and light snow is falling this morning. It has been a very cold one as well. Up top earlier on it was -16 degrees and even in the village it was down to -14 degrees when I got up. Very cold. Just a light wind but overnight I think there were stronger winds blowing about as there seems to be piles of snow where there weren't yesterday.
We might - just might - see conditions clear up a bit tomorrow, but from Tuesday into Wednesday we will more than likely be back to moderate to heavy snowfalls and it is going to keep very cold until at least the end of the coming week.
Official snow depths (29th January 12) Utopia - 200cm Chuo - 185cm Paradise - 195cm Uwanodai - 150cm
Operating lifts (29th January 12) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating. All the runs at Zao are open. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Sunday 29th January 2012, 10:43am
Status remains the same, Snowing fairly Heavy still!
Yet another 30cm of snow overnight has fallen and we now have a 420cm base in place with no end in sight. It is still snowing heavily this morning. I believe that gives us one of the biggest bases in Japan at the moment, certainly at a major resort. You can check snow depths from around Japan on the Snow Depth Charts in the Daily Reports section of SnowJapan.
We had a few pauses in the snow last night but they were very short lived. The battle between man and snow continues and unfortunately it is a losing one. Even if we clear the snow there is limited space to put it so most have resorted to putting it in dump trucks and dumping it down in the river.
Yesterday on the mountain there was plenty of snow and also plenty of people. This meant that some areas were getting tracked out and moguls at a fairly quick rate. Still, some amazing powder around and the sides of the runs was the safest place to explore.
Yuta and the team at Compass house are holding a demo day for Armada Skis up the top at Yamabiko today. Perfect timing and can guarantee the Fat Powder skis will be popular. It is free to demo so drop in and have a try.
With all this snow the risk of avalanches is prevalent so please observe the signs and warnings from the ski resort. It is pretty chilly up there too so stay safe and rug up.
Outlook is for light snow over the next two days apparently then a big dump on Tuesday night! I think it has already started...
The goods continue to be delivered. The snow hasn't really stopped since my last report and resorts around the area are reporting 30cm or so of new snowfall since yesterday. Winds blowing things about a bit overnight mean that in places it is more and others less, but there was definitely more than 25cm on the top of the car this morning. It is still snowing now and there is more wind than there was out there yesterday so it feels colder as well.
There might be some slight clearings in the snowfall tomorrow but generally we can expect snow clouds to be over the region right through until next weekend with mid week looking good for moderate-heavy snowfall.
It's mid-winter folks - come prepared!
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort areas:
- Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of 29th January 2012 AM:
Yes the snow has continued, although not quite as heavy as it is has been and visibility around town at least has improved today. We are still shrouded in cloud though and snow continues to fall. There has been more of a wind today though on the mountain. Temperatures remain cold and will keep cold through this next week with the snow clouds forecast to remain over Myoko right through the week.
Local forecast tells us to expect possible around 10cm or so more snow overnight. Back to heavy snow around Tuesday/Wednesday this coming week.
There wasn't too much new snow on the piste today, but that didn't stop everyone from having a great day of winter sporting. It was relatively warm today, and the sun kept peaking its head out to say hello in between snow flurries. With a high of -6, it felt more like -2 without all that sun. The slopes were in excellent condition, and the slopes were busy all day long with plenty of people taking advantage of the excellent weather.
Winds are almost negligible, and the overnight low is forecast at -18. Hopefully the sun will be out tomorrow as well. Nothing like skiing and snowboarding under a blue sky. Read more ...