Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 15th December 2017
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Thursday 2nd February 2017, 8:33am
After the sun and blue skies of yesterday, it's all change again this morning.
It's cold out there! And wind is probably making it feel colder than it actually is too. It was really windy overnight but less so as the resort opens and from what I can tell all lifts should be starting the day as planned.
Oh, did I mention a nice new layer of snow too? I am measuring 21cm and the resort is reporting 15-30cm of fresh snowfall bottom-top this morning.
It is definitely a morning for those who like the cold, the powder and can cope with limited visibility. They will be rewarded.
Tomorrow and Saturday perhaps kinder conditions before more snow moving into the region later Sunday.
Lifts operations: All lifts plan to be operating apart from: - Yunomine pair - Mizunashi triple - Challenge pair - Utopia pair
Most courses at Nozawa Onsen are open. Courses not open are: - Grand Prix Read more ...
Thursday 2nd February 2017, 8:37am
Snow and loads of it over here. Clear the stuff away and its piled up 10cm by the time I get back to it. Going to take a wild stab in the dark and assume Tenjin is shut due to strong wind. There are blizzard-like, sustained gusts of wind wailing through my car park regularly.
Spoke to Hodaigi on the phone and its windy up top there too so whether they can open their top lifts remains to be seen though they have been champs this season and things are usually in full swing by 10:30am-11am. Their reported 30cm at the base will mean 70-80cm at the top of their hooded quad. Okutone getting this too with 4m/s winds so not for the faint hearted out there this morning.
The forecast is for more of the same over the next 24 hours.
70cm Tenjin 30cm Hodaigi 20cm Okutone
Official snow depth:
305cm Tenjin 190cm Hodaigi 180cm Okutone
Resorts in Minakami (forecasts available from each page):
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 ...
Thursday 2nd February 2017, 8:39am
And it was a great morning yesterday. A few clouds popped up at times in the morning but for the most part clear blue skies and lots of sunshine.
During the afternoon the clouds did start to properly cover the sky and after a short bit of rain it quickly turned into snow in the evening.
And this morning I have 28cm of snow to report from ground... and if it carries on snowing like it is now, there will be a fair bit more during the day today. It is a cold morning too, which is a fair contrast to yesterday morning too.
Here is what resorts are reporting:
Kagura: 30cm Maiko Snow Resort: 30cm
Sounds like about 30cm then!
It was very windy overnight - woke me up sometime around 3am - and this morning wind may affect some resorts. At the time of writing, the Tashiro area of Kagura and the Kagura Number 4 and 5 lifts are on hold due to the wind. Mitsumata to Kagura Number 1 lift is open. Subject to change with the weather conditions of course.
GALA Yuzawa and all other resorts currently appear to be opening as planned.
The forecast is for snow to continue through the day; heavy at times and stronger winds at times. And into tomorrow too, so I should be reporting a decent amount of fresh snow again in my next report.
Let's full reset!
Official snow depth information as of Thursday 2nd February 2017
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 ...
Thursday 2nd February 2017, 8:41am
Good morning from a very snowy Grandeco.
Heavy snow is falling as I write this report at 8:30am.
18cm of fresh snowfall on the ground and it is forecast to be snowing for the day.
According to the forecast, the peak of snowfall will be this evening to overnight.
Pay attention to the road condition / highway / rail information.
Wind is not strong at this moment with the gondola start moving on time. Other lifts should follow on from that.
It is great day to enjoy fresh soft powder snow but keep an eye on the weather information too.
The snow park will close if/when visibility is very poor.
As you can see the numbers are somewhat varied this morning, probably due in part to the windy conditions that have been blowing it about. We are measuring 5-7cm in the usual three different measuring points.
Strong winds on mountain seem to be affecting some lift operations at Happo-one, Goryu and 47 at the start of the day. Be sure to check if you are going to be out today just to make sure before making the trip.
The snow is expected to continue falling through the day today and overnight, leaving us with clearer conditions tomorrow morning and on Saturday.
Back to snow on Sunday.
Snow, clear, snow, clear. That sounds like a very good pattern to me! Talking of which...
Can you believe we are already into February? Why do the winter months seem to zoom by so fast… it’s not fair!
I thought I would take a quick look at the season so far and how we are comparing with previous seasons.
In terms of snowfall December 2016 wasn’t great and the season was taking it’s time to really get going properly. January proved to be a real improvement on the previous season though with me observing considerably more snowfall here at base with things really kicking off from the second week of the month.
For more of this data, please click on the tab at the top of this page called Snowfall Analysis. Have a play around with it all, it's very interesting.
What we want now is regular snowfall along with temperatures remaining cold. Some nice blue skies from time to time would also be ideal. Fingers crossed that February and beyond can deliver.
Resort news as of 8:45am on Thursday 2nd February 2017:
All information as available and subject to change during the day due to weather and snow conditions.
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 20-25cm of fresh snowfall. Tree Riding Zones should be open today. Official snow depth Upper: 285cm Base: 145cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 5-10cm of fresh snowfall. Strong winds affecting top pair lifts at the start of the day. Official snow depth Alps: 305cm Toomi: 145cm Iimori: 130cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 10cm of fresh snowfall. Gondola and a number of lifts affected by wind this morning. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 195cm Kurobishi: 195cm Lower: 145cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All courses are open. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 305cm Han-no-ki: 290cm Maruyama: 175cm Oya-no-hara: 150cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 140cm
Hakuba Cortina: The resort is reporting 30cm of fresh snowfall. Official snow depth: Top: 325cm Base: 223cm
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 February 4th, 11th (6pm until 8:50pm) Planned at the Katamatsu-Shirakaba area 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 ...
Thursday 2nd February 2017, 8:52am
Snow clouds remain over the area
Good morning from here near my secret Hirafu base.
And there's more snow to report this morning. This is what I like to see. 15cm measured by myself just a short while ago and it is a very cold morning out there. Doesn't feel windy but wind is actually affecting some lifts (see below) so keep an eye on that.
Yesterday the sun didn't really appear other than when I was posting the report, and this fresh snow all came overnight.
And there will be more than what I measure up on the mountain of course, so conditions should be great this morning.
Let's keep this going and get some more in before it clears us... which seems likely during the day today sometime.
After today we can probably expect a few days of clearer and calmer conditions and then hopefully back to snow early week.
Have a fun day!
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am: -13℃, 25cm new snow. Moiwa 800m: -13℃, NW12m/s, 30cm new snow with snowdrifts. Annupuri 1150m: -19℃, W18m/s, 40cm snowfall with snowdrifts. Hirafu 1250m: -18℃, N15m/s, 30-40cm new snow with snowdrifts. Kamui cape lighthouse: NNW13m/s, 1006hPa, 3.1m waves.
Wind & snow picked up on the ocean and mountains from late night and started to calm down since dawn, however wind/snow of about 15m/s is persisting above 800m elevation. A 30+cm soft-slab is blanketing the mountains and the avalanche risk is high in 1000m leeward slopes during the morning. Extra caution is required in Kozan-no-Sawa (Backbowl), O-sawa (Annupuri bowl) and higashi-One. Gates opening is undecided; please respect the ski patrol’s decision.
The snow this is in very good shape. The new soft slabs are a bit dense and fun to ride, however avalanche risk is high in higher elevation where snowdrifts developed rapidly with 18+m/s winds. Better let the snow stabilize for a while. The hazard level depends on how strong the wind blew in that particular spot. The stronger the wind, the more drastically the snowdrifts develop, and are more likely to slide. Wind above 18m/s is a red flag to keep in mind. A weak layer within yesterday’s snowfall is present and can potentially be the trigger layer of a surface slab slide. The snow condition is ever-changing, plan accordingly and make conservative decisions, prudency is key to avoid accidents. Avalanches run through valley bottoms, stay away from it. Beware of frostbites.
Resort specific opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Niseko Grand Hirafu The top Ace Number 4 and King Number 4 lifts are on stand-by at the start of the day due to strong winds.
Niseko HANAZONO Resort The top Hanazono Number 3 lift is currently running at reduced speed. The other two lifts operating as normal.
Niseko Village The top Wonderland Chair lift is on stand-by at the start of the day due to strong winds.
Niseko Annupuri The Annupuri Gondola and top Jumbo Number 4 lift are on stand-by at the start of the day due to strong winds.
Official resort snow depths as of Thursday 2nd February 2017:
Night skiing is planned until Monday 20th March 2017 at the Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Village resort areas. There is no nighta in the Hanazono area. Read more ...
Thursday 2nd February 2017, 9:06am
***Kitanomine Gondola operation ON HOLD*** ***Furano Downhill Romance #3 chair ON HOLD****
The weather is a bit rough today with moderate winds and snow coming down at a moderate rate. Visibility is limited due to the heavy snow that is falling and also the snow being whipped up by the wind.
I am pleased to be able to report 14cm of new snow in the village and the ski area has measured 30cm of new snow at the top of the resort. The snow is comparatively heavy compared to the usual snowfalls we get, so this will go a long way to filling in the tracked out slopes in ungroomed areas. Despite the wind and visibility it will be a great morning to get in some powder turns.
Kitanomine Gondola and Furano Downhill Romance #3 chair are on hold at the moment due to the wind. Moderate snowfall will continue through today and tomorrow should be light snowfall. Read more ...
Appi Kogen Now!
Thursday 2nd February 2017, 9:17am
Good morning from Appi,
It’s a winter wonderland here at Appi Kogen. Yesterday and overnight we saw a LOT of snow. Around 40cm in total. While it looks like a great sight from my dining room window rest assured it won’t be too pleasant of a day out there on the mountain. The winds have been blowing since late afternoon yesterday and are still blowing right now. Wind chill at the summit will be a frosty -34 or maybe colder.
As far as the rest of the day goes it’s cloudy skies with more snow falling and tomorrow more of the same. The temperatures today are going to be cold no matter where you are on the mountain. Expect an average of -8 to -10. If you are coming please bring a lot of layers to wear.
Temperatures should increase tomorrow which should help somewhat but as of now the lifts that are operating are limited due to the heavy snowfall and winds. It’s going to take a bit of work to clear it up but as soon as the mountain opens expect a fantastic time.
Operating lifts at time of report (subject to change due to weather conditions):
Central quad Central number 1 Central number 2 Central number 3a Sailer connecting Sailer number 2
It was a beautiful morning yesterday but conditions were quite different by the end of the day.
Snow, wind, cold... proper mid winter conditions overnight and snow still falling this morning.
There's another good new layer of fresh snow. A friend of mine seemingly getting carried away with himself said 70cm, but I can't 'replicate' that number. There's lots of wind-blown snow around - and it's light - so it's one of those mornings where a number is difficult to pin down but going with my usual measuring points (and talking with a few other people) I think that 30cm is the number to go with. (Executive decision made!)
As I said it is still snowing and we are expecting more during the day today but it should have stopped by tomorrow morning. Saturday is forecast clear skies too with another bank of snow clouds coming in before Monday morning.
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.
Morning from a snowy Madarao. As it should be. A big contrast to how yesterday started.
Curious one this morning with the reports of fresh snow from the resort itself. They are reporting 20cm of fresh snow since yesterday on their daily Japanese report; their Facebook page however is saying 40cm since last night. Perhaps being measured in different places; and the blowing winds factoring into that? I myself am measuring 28cm so I think we can safely say that there is at least 20+cm of fresh snow out there and considerably more in places.
What's definite is that it is a very cold morning (wind-chill, it's seems pretty windy out there) and the snow looks great quality, and if you don't mind braving the conditions it should be an excellent morning to be floating on the powder.
Things are forecast to ease up by tomorrow and then sun is due around Saturday so it should be a great weekend to be here.
And guess what --- more snow due by the end of the weekend.
Operating status for the day at Madarao Kogen (at time of report):
- Number 1 lift - Number 2 quad lift - Number 3A - 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)
Hard to tell how much actually fell with the big drifts, but it seems to be about 41cm when I found a sort of quiet spot.
Still windy high up, it seems, so be careful going into the backcountry (and there may be significant windloading of lee slopes, another thing to be very aware of). One more warm weather hiccup coming up, too, as the freezing line brings a chance of rain Sunday. And maybe a nice sunny day tomorrow.