And the snow contines to fall this morning with yet another what must be 40cm or so of new snow since last night on the top of the car. There must have been 70-80cm or so of snow fall since Saturday evening here. That is how much there is piled up on cars that have not moved over the weekend. There's mountains of snow everywhere you look this morning and some roads are stuggling to be clear enough - the snow moving machines and locals are all hard at work trying to keep Yuzawa open!
It is snowing now but right now I am able to just about see most of Yuzawa Kogen through the snow and while we do have snow forecast for the day we might have seen the heaviest behind us this time and things clear up late on in the day. Or maybe not, the forecasts seem to have had a habit of under-estimating the snow this month.
Milder and clearer skies are still forecast for Wednesday onwards.
It goes without saying that snow conditions on the slopes are just fantastic right now - it really doesn't get much better than this - but please do keep in mind to take care out there. There's more than enough deep powder conditions on or next to the slopes pretty much everywhere so venturing elsewhere is going to be dangerous.
It looks like the downhill course at GALA Yuzawa is closed early this morning, as is the downhill course at Yuzawa Kogen. The top run at Iwappara looks like it might take a bit of time to open, but these courses will likely open up later on if there are no problems preventing them from doing so. But other than that it seems that all resorts are open as normal for a weekday.
Another 15cm or more of snow to report this morning and while it is still snowing we can perhaps expect to see it ease off later on today. Actually in some places there is som sun trying to shine through the clouds and bright patches on the slopes - at the same time as the snow coming down.
There's not much of a wind this morning but it is (and feels) very cold out there. Just before the thermometer at Maruike was reading -14 and I think that may well be one of the coldest of the winter so far.
We may see light snow tomorrow as well though from Wednesday there's a good chance of one or two bluebird days along with milder temperatures. Though when I say milder, it will still keep under zero and be cold, just not the biting cold that we have today.
Top snow conditions out there. Take care and have fun.
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort area:
- Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of 31st January 2011 AM:
Once again today the upper part of the mountain is covered in cloud and visibility is poor on the upper slopes of Zao. Not much snow to report this morning, just a cm or two and it is snowing lightly at the moment on the mountain.
It is a cold morning and -9 degrees just a bit earlier when I checked and I don't think we can expect it to warm up much after that. Warmer conditons are on their way though and while there may still be a chance of snow into tomorrow, after that we are hoping that the local forecast of clearer conditions comes true. A run of a few clear days with blue skies would be good for a change - well, I think so anyway! It might mean less of the shoveling and moving snow around! Read more ...
Monday 31st January 2011, 9:19am
Little new snow, but good powder to be found this morning.
After the great dumping of snow yesterday, all the new snow and more untouched powder have got settled making it easier to ride this morning.
The temperature is staying nice and cold since last night, and it's just going to get colder and colder towards tonight and into tomorrow. The forecast says the lowest temperature will be around -15c on Tuesday night. Brrrrr.
Seems like visibility is pretty flat and low today. Here at the base it is okay but starting around 900m level, it's gets worse all of sudden. However, the wind is pretty calm, NNE 1m/s to N 1m/s, and mellow to the top, so it won't be that bad.
The Weather forecast tells us that its going to snow lightly all day today, while some others are calling for today to just be overcast - so not sure which way it's going to go. Fingers crossed for more powder and freshies.
Looking a bit further ahead, get your cameras out for the views from Wednesday onwards as there is a good possibility of clear sunny skies accompanied by milder temperatures - perhaps even rising above zero.
Official snow depths and operations @ Monday 31st January AM:
Hakuba Goryu: The Iimori Snow Park is also now open. Night time operations from 6pm until 9:30pm. Alps daira - 345cm; Toomi - 170cm; Iimori - 150cm.
Hakuba 47: Normal operations today. Snow depth (upper) - 225cm.
The weekend treated us very well to two beautiful blue sky days devoid of wind and topped of with realatively mild temperatures. I would have to say that Saturday and Sunday were two of the most enjoyable days I have had in a long time. Earlier in the day tends to be better than later due to the trails of school kids following each other down the mountain and turning in exactly the same place - this creates little mounds that can be annoying. Earlier in the day simply means the mounds haven't had a chance to form.
Today looks like another day of good weather. It is currently high broken cloud with the sun poking through. Expect more sun to appear during the day, which os good as it is very cold out there at the moment. There has been 5cm of fresh snow in the village and it is likely to be alot more than that on the upper half of the mountain. This nice little top up, while not as satisfying as a large dump of snow, will help keep the slopes in tip top condition.
Another 10cm of snow has appeared overnight at Naeba. The weather forecast is similar to yesterday, it currently being overcast but predicted to start snowing soon and continue throughout the day. There will be a break in snowing overnight, before it continuing tomorrow.
Again, the wind is weak today, however visibility is good as I can see almost all the way up the mountain. The temperature is a bit chilly, expecting to hit a top of -7 with a windchill of -16 degrees. Again, the evening session is going to favour the cold blooded types, with a temperature top of -13 coupled with a windchill of -26.
At Kagura, the snowfall has eased slightly but still the resort has received 20-30cm having fallen overnight. The forecast is for it to snow itermittently during the day.
Looking to the forecast we can expect some sunny weather later on in the week with clearer clouds lined up Wednesday to Friday along with milder temperatures.
At Naeba, the Men's Slalom course is closed because of ice cracks.
At Kagura, courses are open as per normal for weekdays.
The snow continued throughout yesterday and in the evening it got really heavy with up near 10cm per hour falling at times. Since last report there's been up to another 50cm of fresh, dry powder. It is deep out there at the moment. The winds caused huge amounts of drifting up high and the avi report is stating drifts of up around 2.5m have been deposited on lee slopes in the last 48 hours. Of course this translates into very high avalanche danger and I wouldn't expect the peak gates to open today. The wind though has abated and most lifts should be able to run today. So far this month Kutchan has received 386cm of snowfall making it the snowiest Jan since 2005 which recived 448cm. If it snows enough today we might just break the 4m mark in Kutchan. Of course up on the mountain there's been much more. Generally the mountain receives around 1.5 times that recorded down in Kutchan.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu: Top - 430 Bottom - 225
Niseko Village: Top - 380 Bottom - 220
Annupuri: Top - 290 Bottom - 250
The storm is starting to settle down, however the avalanche risk remains still very high. Extremely hazardous conditions in Annupuri Osawa, Kozan no Sawa, Fujiwara no sawa and Higashi-One. This storm has developed 250cm of snowdrifts in some leeward slopes above 850m in the past 48hours. Possibility of a thick slide from Jan 29th or 28th layer is to be highly considered today. Extreme caution is required especially in slopes with heavy/thick/consistent/uniform slabs which would transfer stimulation throughout the entire slab in a split second and trigger a large surface slab avalanche. Knolls and slopes around/under cornices are all time dangerous. Gates opening is yet to be decided, please respect the ski patrol’s decisions. Most avalanche accidents occur during or just after storms. Coastal data: W11m/s 1.6m waves. Annupuri peak 6am: WSW8m/s, -16.5℃. 45cm of overnight snowfall at the base.
The snow fell all day yesterday leaving 40cm of fresh snow at the valley level. The snow continues to fall this morning and looks like it will keep coming down until late tonight.
Tomorrow will see more snow but from Wednesday onwards the sun will show itself for at least 4 days with temperatures rising to above 0 deg C for multiple days the first time in 2 weeks. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Monday 31st January 2011, 10:51am
Dumping at the moment a break expected
It has been an intense time for snow fall in Nozawa. In the last 2 days we have had around 1 meter of fresh snow fall with another massive 50cm overnight!
The base is now over 350cm up on the Yamabiko upper slopes of the resort.
For the powder hounds it is paradise, for the locals the battle with Mother Nature continues.
It is still snowing heavily outside at the moment, so people are thinking that we are ready for a break. The roads were treacherous yesterday with ice pot holes and very low visibility.
Yesterday on the mountain was awesome if you could find the steeps. On the slopes that had been groomed there was a continuous layer of fresh snow. People were getting buried if the ventured too far off on the sides.
We have seen these levels before but not for a few years now. It is epic.
All except the following Kandahar Hachiman Uenotaira Half Pipe Karasawa Wave Park
Another day of excitement and snow-related mayhem in Myoko today. First, we woke up to no electricity; everything from Itoigawa to Joetsu to here was in the dark early in the morning—lots of people woke up cold in local hotels. I hear 170,000 houses were in the dark during those crucial get-ready-for work/school/ski hours.
But after that, we finally got to see the mountains (seems like it's been weeks....maybe it has!). A lot of visitors never did see Mt. Myoko in January (it's very nice, we promise). It was nice to see the sun, too, and it never got too hot, either, which kept the snow conditions good.
And the snow is good. Very good. A bit heavy off the courses; you need some steepness unless you have really big skis.