Excellent news to report this morning with a very nice delivery of fresh snow from top to bottom.
The resort is reporting 40cm at base areas (I'm measuring slightly more) and an impressive 50cm up on Uenotaira and Yamabiko. Such a decent amount will have done wonders for the resort... just what we wanted. (Though we want more, of course!)
Other big news this morning is that the popular Skyline course is open. We're getting closer to the resort being 'fully open'.
It's going to be pretty cold up there and visibility is limited as it continues to snow; but the snow conditions this morning should make up for all of that.
This snowfall may not last much into this afternoon and clearer skies are likely by tomorrow morning with maybe more snow tomorrow night (hopefully it will keep cold enough). As we approach mid week too there's more snow on the horizon. I love it when there's snow on the horizon.
Today should be great. I don't know about you but I'm raring to go!
* Lifts opening 30 minutes early today, tomorrow and on Monday.
Friday 30th December 2016
Lifts that are planned to be operating: All lifts appear to be operating except for: - Kandahar pair - Karasawa pair
Courses that are planned to be open: - Yamabiko A course - Yamabiko B course - Yamabiko C course - Yamabiko D course - Yamabiko E course - Kokenashi course - Skyline - Uenotaira course - Paradise course - Paradise link - Mizunashi A - Mizunashi B - Bunabayashi course - Yunomine A course - Yunomine B course - Rinkan course - Utopia - Challenge course - Challenge 39 - Hikage - Ushikubi - Kitsune - Nagasawa link
Fresh snow reported by resort since yesterday morning: - Yamabiko: 50cm - Uenotaira: 50cm - Hikage: 40cm - Nagasaka: 40cm - Karasawa: 40cm Read more ...
Friday 30th December 2016, 8:31am
Good morning from Niseko on this next to last day of the year.
I have 14cm of fresh snow to report this morning here by my base in Hirafu. Nice and light and dry too, quality stuff. I am being told there's a good 20-25cm up top early on too. This morning should be very nice indeed.
It is a cold morning - currently -6C here at base - so I'm going to be sure to get wrapped up good before heading out. Light snow has been falling this morning but as I am about to post this report the snowfall has eased off and it is just generally cloudy but likely still snowing higher up.
The forecast seems to show that after today, things are going to be somewhat clearer and calm. We can perhaps expect some sunny skies tomorrow and conditions are probably not going to be quite as cold.
Wind isn't an issue this morning and resorts appear to be opening as planned, along with the Moiwa gate 6. The Avalanche Report (below) notes that the snowpack is 1m lower than average years and that the Annupuri and Hirafu gates will follow as soon as they're ready.
I'm off out there on my new skis! But just before that...
Let's take another quick glance at my observed snowfall numbers for the month and season so far, up until and including today:
December 2016: 176cm (up until 30th December) December 2015: 244cm (the full month) December 2014: 519cm (the full month) December 2013: 275cm (the full month)
Season total up until 30th December 2016: 288cm Season total up until end of December 2015: 308cm Season total up until end of December 2014: 549cm Season total up until end of December 2013: 398cm
I'll let you compare with previous seasons.
For what they are worth, my own quick thoughts are - November was pretty good (and better than the previous two seasons), while December has been lagging a bit (rather a lot when you compare with 2014 and 2012). I'll take another look at some numbers once again once we get into January.
Big numbers are great of course. But the most important thing is surely regular, consistent and quality snowfall. And what's best is to have all of that lot! Here's to a bumper January when hopefully we'll 'catch up' on previous seasons.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am: -8℃, 5cm snowfall in 12 hours. Moiwa 850m: -10, 20cm snowfall with 50cm snowdrifts. Annupuri 1150: -16℃, W12m/s, snowing with average 20cm snowdrifts. Hirafu 1200m: -13℃, WNW10m/s, light snowfall. Coastal data: Kamui cape WNW7m/s, 1016hPa, 1.8m waves.
50cm thick layers would break but won’t propagate to wider areas during 800m Mikaeri ridge impact test. The slabs are stable and the general avalanche risk is low.
The Moiwa gate 6 will open today, Annupuri and Hirafu gates will follow as soon as they’re ready, however the snowpack is 1m lower than average years. Beware of bamboo grass.
The Niseko Rules admits anyone to the out of bounds area, no matter their experience or skillsets, however it is everybody responsibility to be aware of the hazards involved. Out of bounds area is out of the resort, safety is not guaranteed.
The ski patrols are getting their headlamps ready for night search and rescue operations. Please take the ski patrol’s advices seriously and step out from the designated gates.
Duck ropes and lift passes will be confiscated. Beware of sudden weather changes.
Resort specific opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
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 ...
Friday 30th December 2016, 8:36am
Cloud, some blue sky
Morning from Hakuba and more snow to report.
As noted in the details below resorts are reporting generally around 20cm of snow on upper slopes, with Cortina coming in and reporting an impressive 40-50cm up there. (Less here at base levels, as is often the case of course, so keep an eye on all of these numbers).
At the moment it is mostly cloudy but there's a bit of blue sky to be seen in places too. Local forecasts do say we can expect clearer skies this afternoon so perhaps it's going to gradually clear up.
There's a bit of a wind causing issues over at Hakuba Goryu and 47 early on by the looks of things - at the time of writing top lifts were on standby waiting for the wind to ease off.
Good to see Hakuba Sanosaka opening up as well, at last.
Enjoy the day.
Resort news as of 8:40am on Friday 30th December 2016:
All information as available and subject to change during the day due to weather and snow conditions.
Hakuba 47: The resort is reporting 10-20cm of fresh snowfall. The upper course connection with Goryu is open. Operating lifts and course info: - All lifts operating - All courses now open apart from Route 7. - The Tree Riding Zones are not yet open. Official snow depth Line C Upper: 110cm Base: 20cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is currently part open. The resort is reporting 1cm (?, Toomi), 5cm (Iimori) and 25cm (top) of fresh snowfall. The upper course connection with Hakuba 47 is open. Operating lifts and course info: - Gondola - Alps Number 1 - Alps Number 3 - Alps Number 2/4 - Toomi Sky Four - Toomi Number 1 pair - Toomi Number 2 pair - Milky Four The following courses are open: - Grand Prix - Panorama - Super - Toomi - Soft Cream Official snow depth Alps: 125cm Toomi: 35cm Iimori: 20cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is currently part open but more opening up now. You can now ski or board back down to base via the Riesen Slalom and Nakiyama courses. Downloading via Gondola or lift required in the other areas. The resort is reporting 20cm of fresh snowfall. Operating lifts and course info: - Gondola - Grat quad (for climbing) - Alpen quad - Riesen quad - Usagidaira pair - Nakiyama 3 triple - Panorama pair - Kokusai Number 1 - Kokusai Number 3 - Kurobishi Number 2 quad - Kurobishi Number 3 pair - Skyline Number 2 pair - Sakka Kita-one quad The following courses are open: - Kurobishi - Usagidaira - Skyline - Riesen (part) - Panorama - Nakiyama South (part) - Kita-one 3 Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 90cm Kurobishi: 110cm Lower: 25cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Tsugaike Kogen is currently part open. Operating lifts and course info: - Eve Gondola - Han-no-ki pair - Tsuga Number 1 pair - Tsuga Number 2 pair - Shirakaba quad - Maruyama Number 1 quad - Tsugaike Number 1 pair - Tsugaike central triple - Kane-no-naru-oka Skyliner II - Kane-no-naru-oka Skyliner III The following courses are open: - Upper Han-no-ki - Lower Han-no-ki - Tsuga-no-mori - Forest course (part) - Shirakaba - Champion (part) - Maruyama - Kane-no-naru-oka - Oya-no-hara (part) Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 125cm Han-no-ki: 105cm Oya-no-hara: 40cm Maruyama: 40cm Kane-no-naru-oka: -cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is currently part open. The resort is reporting up to 30cm of fresh snowfall on lower areas and 40-50cm on upper areas. (Note to self: worth investigating!) Operating lifts and course info: - Number 1 pair - Number 2 quad - Number 3 quad - Number 4 pair - Number 5 pair The following courses are at least part open: - Ikenota - Hieda Rinkan - Mt Hieda 1 - Itadaira - Ipponmatsu - Rabbit - Snake - Kamoshika - Itadaira Rinkan Official snow depth: Top: 140cm Base: 100cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field is currently part open. Operating lifts and course info: - Gondola - View 2 - 3-sen North lift - 4-sen East lift The following courses are at least part open: - View C (part) - East - North - Paradise (part) Official snow depth: Top: 55cm Base: -cm
Kashimayari: Kashimayari is currently part open. Operating lifts: - Number 1 quad - Number 2 pair - Number 3 quad - Number 6 quad - Number 7 pair Official snow depth: Top: 35cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Hakuba Norikura Onsen is currently part open with 4 courses available. Lift info: - Alps Number 1 - Alps Number 4 - Alps Number 5 - Alps Number 6 Official snow depth: Top: 70cm
Hakuba Sanosaka: Hakuba Sanosaka is opening at last from today! Official snow depth: Top: 25cm
Please note that Yanaba ski hill will not be opening for the 2016-2017 season Read more ...
Friday 30th December 2016, 8:38am
Really excellent news this morning with a hefty chunk of new snow to report.
I say 'chunk', but it's all nice and soft and light... what I mean is, there's lots of it.
How much? The best part of 50cm, and that is what the resort is reporting this morning too. Can't ask for more than that. Well, not without sounding too greedy anyway.
More tree run courses open as well this morning.
There's really not much more to say on a morning like this. Conditions should be up there this morning. And I would be silly not to get out there and play in it.
I hope that you can too.
Nighta every evening through until 3rd January.
(Quick note: keep an eye on the forecast page - clearer skies due tomorrow and over new year before a return to snow around Tuesday).
Operating status for the day at Madarao Kogen (at time of report):
- Number 1 lift - Number 2 quad lift - Number 3A lift - Number 5 - Super quad lift - Number 11 lift - Number 12 lift - Number 13 lift - Number 15 lift - Moving walkway - Kids Park - Free ride Park
- Powder Wave II - River Line - Powder Theater - Adventure Aisle - Crystal Bowl - Ninja - Sawa - Rabbit - Bear
Official snow depth:
Lifts currently operating at Tangram Ski Circus:
- Number 1 - Number 2 - Number 3 - Number 5 - Number 6 Read more ...
Friday 30th December 2016, 9:01am
It's a very good morning to you all from Yuzawa.
We have received a decent amount of snow overnight. Here's what the resorts are reporting this morning:
We are measuring 26cm in our spot and that is about the same in the neighbouring Ishiuchi area.
Yesterday was a calm and fine day as forecast and indeed it did get cloudy later on in the day before snow started falling. And overnight of course it continued with the snow we have on the ground this morning being the result.
This snow will have suddenly breathed fresh life into lower ski resort areas that were struggling and we can only hope for lots more of this kind of snowfall. Thank you! It is great to see resorts finally getting closer to being 'fully open'.
After all, we really need to remember that 20-30cm is more like the norm in this particular region, rather than something special. We expect this kind of snow (and more) often and consistently.
Anyway it is still snowing now so we should get some more cm today before it eases off. It's probably going to be milder tomorrow and according to some forecasts (but not others), a good chance of sunshine. For the next snowfall after today look towards Tuesday. Come on!!!
At the start of the day wind is affecting top lifts at Naeba, the Dragondola and parts of Kagura. See below for more. GALA Yuzawa is open as planned.
Resort-specific info as of Friday 30th December 2016
GALA Yuzawa 9 courses in the Central and North areas are open. Official snow depth: 100cm
Ishiuchi Maruyama Lifts from all three base areas are now operating. All but two lifts operating and all courses are now available. Nighta operations have also started. Official snow depth: 100cm
Iwappara Iwappara is part open. 7 lifts and 14 courses are open, mostly mid to upper area. Nighta is now available. Official snow depth: 60cm
Joetsu Kokusai More of Joetsu Kokusai is now open with 10 lifts operating and 11 courses up there open. Official snow depth: 60cm
Kagura All areas of Kagura are generally open but wind is affecting the resort this morning. Mitsumata Ropeway to Kagura Number 1 Romance lift and Tashiro Ropeway to Tashiro Number 6 romance lift areas open at the start of the day. Official snow depth: Kagura - 170cm Mitsumata - 150cm Tashiro - 130cm
Kandatsu Kogen Kandatsu Kogen is now mostly open with 5 lifts planned to be operating. Nighta from 6pm until 4am tomorrow morning. Official snow depth: 80cm
Naeba Most lifts operating but Dragondola, Number 1 Gondola and upper lift on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds. Official snow depth: 80cm
Maiko Snow Resort Looks like Maiko is going to be opening the Nagamine area today which means that all three of the main areas will be open. Not fully open yet but 8 lifts and 16 courses should be available. Official snow depth: Upper - 110cm Base - 40cm
Muikamachi Hakkaisan The Ropeway, Number 1 and Number 3 romance pair lifts are operating. Official snow depth: 80cm
NASPA Ski Garden NASPA Ski Garden is open. All lifts are operating and all courses except A Course (and moguls course area) are open. Official snow depth: 90cm
Yuzawa Kogen Yuzawa Kogen is mostly open including the lower Nunoba area. All lifts operating. Official snow depth: Top - 100cm Base - 40cm
Yuzawa Park Yuzawa Park is part open with the Number 1 and Number 7 lifts operating. Official snow depth: 55cm
Yuzawa Nakazato Yuzawa Nakazato is part open with 6 lifts operating. Official snow depth: 50cm
'Nighta' (floodlit night operations)
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 between 29th December 2016 and 1st April 2017. The nighta opening times on those days is from 6pm until 4am the following morning.
Maiko Snow Resort Daily from 28th December 2016 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. Part of the lower area of the resort is usually open for nighta.
NASPA Ski Garden 'Thanks' (extended) opening on Saturdays in December, January and February and also on 23rd December and from 30th December until 8th January 2017. On those days the Number 1 lift is open until 6pm.
Yuzawa Nakazato Every Saturday from 7th January until 11th March 2017, 29th December until 3rd January, 8th January 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 8:30pm. The Number 2 pair lift operates during nighta. Read more ...
Friday 30th December 2016, 9:17am
It is a nice morning here in Furano with blue sky over the resort and town, but beyond those boundaries it is cloud cover. I would expect that the clouds will come over the resort later in the day.
Not long after the report was posted yesterday it started to snow and continued through out the day, and that event has added 8cm of new snow at village level with substantially more on the resort itself. More light snow is expected to fall today and there should be some tomorrow as well.
Tomorrow looks like it will be another pleasant day with clear skies and patches of cloud, calm conditions and slightly warmer than today. Read more ...
Friday 30th December 2016, 9:17am
Hello from Zao.
I was looking at some of the other early morning reports just before and noticed some pretty impressive snowfalls in Nagano and Niigata.
I must admit I am a bit jealous really, but there you go... just 3cm to report here in Zao! It's cold so the snow is keeping decent but we do need more of it.
It's going to be a busy weekend - be prepared. And I recommend getting up for first lifts too (more so than usual!)
Doesn't look like there's going to be the major snowfall even we would like over new year but let's keep an eye on that forecast.
Further to my frustrations at finding information from official resources. I've got to say that the new official website for the resort to me anyway is a real 'level down' rather than an improvement. It might look nicer than before, but it is just so hard to find good information... info that is important to us skiers and snowboarders. You'd think that a ski resort would be pretty clued in as to the information that is important - how much snow is falling, conditions, exactly what is open etc - so it's difficult to understand why this kind of thing can apparently be overlooked. This is my personal opinion of course (you may disagree; or I may just be looking in the wrong place). Just for the record I am also referring to the official Japanese website, and I can read and speak Japanese pretty decently.
>b>The following lifts are not operating: Kurohime Number 1 quad Onsen Number 4 quad Zao Paradise Number 3 pair Zao Kokutai pair Ryuzan pair Karamatsu pair Sunrise pair AB Nakamori Number 1 triple Nakamori Number 2 pair Zao Paradise Number 3 pair Astraea Number 1 pair Omori quad
Official snow depths: Chuo - 60cm Utopia - 35cm Uwanodai - 25cm Paradise - 50cm
Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time Zao Ropeway operations
December 2016: 29th-31st January 2017: 1st-3rd, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 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 30th December 2016, 9:26am
Quite a lot of low level cloud today.
Good morning from Naeba everybody!
Well I think the technical term for the snow we are getting right now is "puking it down".
The snow began to fall around 3pm yesterday and since then over 27cm has fallen! As things look right now there is no end in sight as well, for the day anyway.
Conditions are fun and powdery out there today however I would still advise caution as it is probably still possible to hit bottom in certain places.
As of 9am the Dragondola, Number 2 gondola and Takenokodaira lift are on standby due to stronger winds higher up.
Looking on snow is predicted for every day this coming week! Despite a slow start the winter season seems to have finally woken up. Read more ...
Friday 30th December 2016, 9:40am
Mostly cloudy conditions
There's good news and less-good news this morning.
The good news is that the snowy conditions are likely to continue through into the new year with gradually improving conditions.
The less-good news is that Mint-A course may close early, depending on the conditions.
2cm of fresh overnight at base isn't much to report (more higher up), but the snow is very light and good quality --- lots more of it please. Hopefully over the run of the next few days I'll have more to report.
- Gondola - Number 1 quad lift - Number 2 quad lift - Number 3 quad lift
[A-a] Rainbow 3500 [A-b] Rainbow 3500 [B-a] Mint A [B-c] Mint C [C] Center [D-b] Lavender B
Official snow depth: 65cm
Road condition to Grandeco: Inawashiro through Goshikinuma: snow Goshikinuma through Grandeco: snow Snow tires are necessary from Sukagawa (Tohoku expressway) and Iwaki (Banetsu expressway) Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Friday 30th December 2016, 9:59am
Generally cloudy skies
Another happy report for you this morning from Shiga Kogen where we have another solid (at least) 25cm of snow since yesterday. I have spoken to a few people from around different areas, with one (the overly-positive one!) saying 45cm. Bottom line - another decent amount of fresh on the ground.
I can't quite believe that a few areas have their official snow depth still stuck on 40cm - Hasuike on 20cm! - but there you go. I suppose it's good that they don't 'over-report', just wish they wouldn't 'under-report' either! I'll try not to go on about that too often, promise. ;)
I'm in a good mood and looking forward to some fine skiing today. It's cold out there, extra layers recommended.
It's getting busy now for New Year. Conditions should be very good so it will be a happy bunch of people who are here. The forecast predicts calmer, clearer and not as cold conditions for over the New Year, and some good looking snowfall around Tuesday.
Areas of Shiga Kogen currently open and official snow depths:
The majority of ski lifts and courses in Shiga Kogen are now open.
What a great feeling to wake up to 40+cm of new snow. Yesterday was a day to remember here and we got tons of snow to help us out. Snowing most of the day quite moderately and well into the night. It should be an excellent New Years weekend up here.
Still only 5 runs open now but tomorrow the main gondola is scheduled to open and at least one of the Sailer runs will be open with perhaps more of the lower runs too.... exciting times here at Appi!
Weather wise it's cloudy skies for the next few days, temperatures in the -5 range and sometimes gusty winds up to 20m/s.
Plenty of snow right down to the valley here in Minakami with 50cm at the base of Tenjin this morning, and another 15cm accumulated since I cleared snow this morning.
Fresh, light, dry pow too so just in time for the New Year crush. Forecast is for the snow to stop sometime this afternoon but its 2pm as I write and its still coming in strong.
40cm Tenjin 35cm Hodaigi 30cm Okutone
The forecast over the coming week is for it to alternate between clear and snow showers at Tenjin, hoping this means it snows the whole time. The base was up to 1.3m this morning and will be more by the time the day is out.
Usually the backcountry, for which we are famous, starts to be accessible from 2 - 2.5m.
Tenjin opened this morning at 7am and plans to do so tomorrow, along with the 2nd and 3rd. On Jan 1st they will open at their usual time of 8:30am.
Hodaigi will be looking very healthy after this dump and they have virtually everything open with the base up to 80cm.
Okutone is back open with lifts pumping. They still have a few courses closed but the base is up to 45cm.
Official snow depths:
130cm Tenjin 80cm Hodaigi 45cm Okutone
Resorts in Minakami (forecasts available from each page):