Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 24th February 2018
Sunday 31st March 2013, 8:04am
A cloudy early start to the day this morning with a slight drizzle in places. Holding off just at the moment as I write this. The forecast does say mainly cloud with a chance of rain in lower areas and snow in higher elevations later on this afternoon.
Right now it is +1C at Naeba base.
Looks like in the coming week a warming trend, as you might imagine with us getting into April.
April! Can you believe it. 1 more week left at Naeba. Lots more weeks left at Kagura!
Official resort snow depth: Naeba - 180cm Kagura - 370cm
Planned closing dates: Naeba - April 7th Kagura (Tashiro Ropeway) - May 6th Kagura (Mitsumata Ropeway) - May 26th Read more ...
Sunday 31st March 2013, 8:04am
Just after the lifts closed for the evening yesterday, the heavens opened up and just dumped about 10-15cm of the finest fresh powder we've seen in two weeks. Light, dry and infinitely skiable, all that snow is out there on the slopes today for your skiing enjoyment! Those that make it out in time for the first runs of the day will be treated to a lovely blanket of snow.
Last night was cloudy and unseasonably cold, with lows bottoming out at -11 down in the village. The clouds have cleared out now, and a beautiful blue sky is in store for all who make it outside this morning. As we head into April, this may very well be the last time we see temperatures in the minus double digits. For now, the cold temperatures and snowfall over the last few days have done an excellent job of preserving the ski slopes this late into the season. The bottom of the mountain gets a little spring-like during the day, but the upper half of the mountain is still remarkably pristine for this late into the season.
All this winter weather may not last for too much longer, as Spring moves in to takes its hold. For those of you thinking about getting in a few more winter-like runs, today is your day! Read more ...
Sunday 31st March 2013, 8:09am
Welcome to the last day of the 12/13 season at Madarao Kogen.
And unfortunately... it's still foggy! Visibility is slightly better than yesterday but still can't see much of anything out there, early on at least. A dusting of snow since yesterday as well. Hopefully at least the fog might lift.
I'll post another last report tomorrow just to wrap things up. Read more ...
Sunday 31st March 2013, 8:24am
We had a dusting of snow last night in Niseko though it didn't amount to much just a trace really here. I see that the report below is reporting 3cm. It might be the last day of Match, but it's still snowing.
Conditions were clearer earlier on this morning. The sun was out and it looked like we might be on for a clear fine day, but as I type this report it has clouded over and snow is falling from the skies. I doubt it will last long though and the local forecast is for a generally cloudy day. So rather changeable conditions at the moment.
It is currently -2 degrees here in the Hirafu village area. There's a moderate wind blowing but it looks like resorts plan to have lifts open as planned this morning.
As noted below, today's Avalanche Report is the last one of the current season and as always many thanks to the Niseko Avalanche Institute.
We will continue to keep these Niseko Now reports updated though until the end of the season in May.
Official Resort Snow Depths
Grand Hirafu & Niseko Hanazono Top - 500cm Bottom - 220cm
Niseko Annupuri Top - 400cm Bottom - 240cm
Niseko Village Top - 430cm Bottom - 200cm
Niseko base 6am: -6C, 3cm new snow crystals, calm and sunny. No peak data. Coastal data: wind SW6m/s, 1.0m waves, pressure 1019hPa. Annupuri peak predicted windspeed at noon: W10m/s. Snow depth at 1000m: 400cm.
Light winds and small amount of snow drift development with current high pressure system. General avalanche risk is low. However if temperature rises shallow surface avalanches will easily occur. Caution on open steep slopes. Peak gates are expected to open at 9.30am. Whether cracks are present or not, on cornice slopes around 1100m the probability of full depth avalanche is getting higher. These will wipe out everything in their path. Dont ride the valley bottoms.
This information is issued to protect the freedom and minimum safety for all mountain users. The mountain is never completely safe. With care most accidents can be avoided. Ducking ropes, then other people following your tracks increases the probability of accidents. Don't over estimate your skills, experience or equipment. Listen to patrols advice. When the gates are closed it is for good reason.
This is the last of 108 avalanche reports this season. It does not mean the mountain is safe now though, dangers still exist. Be safe out there. Read more ...
Sunday 31st March 2013, 9:07am
Yesterday was an altogether colder day in Hakuba and temperatures didn't rise more than to 5 degrees during the day and remained around or below freezing on the mountain. Some blue skies did open up above the village in the afternoon but mostly remained a cloudy and overcast day with foggy conditions persisting at some higher areas of resorts.
We start the day today with lots of cloud again and thick fog in places on the mountains. Looks like visibility up higher on Happo is fairly poor once again, though better than 20 minutes ago.
It is warmer this morning and already around 5 degrees. There is a light drizzle at the moment down at base, but is that snow I see falling higher up on the webcams? Unfortunately I'm not going to be able to find out myself first hand today.
More of the lower areas of Happo-one are closing now as the snow disappears from those areas. From yesterday the Kokusai Number 1 course closed and today the Central course is also closed. It seems that the Happo Banks snow park is closed from 1st-5th April but they do plan to be open on 6th-7th April.
Tomorrow should be clearer and then a very high probability of rain on Tuesday.
Today is the last day of the season for the Hakuba Sanosaka resort area.
Official snow depths and operations @ Sunday 31st March 2013 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: No new snowfall reported by Hakuba Goryu. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 225cm; Toomi - 60cm; Iimori - 40cm
Hakuba 47: 0cm of new snowfall reported by Hakuba 47 since yesterday. Official snow depth: Upper - 140cm Lower - 55cm
It has been a rather cloudy beginning to the day today, though in the last hour or so has become brighter and the sun is even shining through at the moment. Perhaps it will turn out fine, though local forecasts have rain penciled in for this afternoon at town level, though hopefully that might be snow at higher elevations.
It's has been a fairly chilly morning and a high of around 6 degrees is forecast, and similar for tomorrow.
After that Tuesday will probably see rain and then clearer conditions for the rest of the week.
Today is the last day of the season for Ludens Yuzawa and the Nunoba are of Yuzawa Kogen in Yuzawa. That's what we have confirmed anyway, with a few resorts seemingly keeping their closing plans secret even at this stage! To the north in Minamiuonuma, today is the last day for Mt Granview, Chateaux Shiozawa, daily operations at Maiko Snow Resort (though they will be opening for the following two weekends), Muikamachi Ski Resort and Muikamachi Hakkaisan.
Planned closing dates for resorts in Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma
Resorts in Yuzawa:
Ludens Yuzawa - until 31st March Nunoba - until 31st March Iwappara - until 7th April Naeba - until 7th April NASPA Ski Garden - until 7th April Kandatsu Kogen - until 14th April (and then weekends until Golden Week in early May) GALA Yuzawa - until 6th May Kagura (Tashiro) - until 6th May Kagura (Mitsumata) - until 26th May
Resorts in Minamiuonuma:
Mt Granview - until 31st March Chateaux Shiozawa - until 31st March Maiko Snow Resort - until 31st March (and then 6/7th April and 13/14th April) Muikamachi Hakkaisan - until 31st March Muikamachi Ski Resort - until 31st March Ishiuchi Maruyama - until 7th April Joetsu Kokusai - until 7th April
Of course, all are subject to snow conditions and may change.
Official resort snow depths @ Sunday 31st March 2013, AM:
It's a bit warmer this morning in Nozawa and another cloudy morning but somewhat brighter than yesterday was. There's morning foggy conditions up at Yamabiko as well again this morning - less than yesterday and it looks like visibility has been improving in the last hour or so up there.
Warmer I said but still keeping fairly chilly and certainly not warming up like it was the other week. Not for the moment anyway. We will probably see warmer conditions once again from Tuesday.
Rain is probably this afternoon, perhaps borderline snow on the top slopes? Would be nice.
As mentioned before today is the last day of the season for the lower parts of the mountain. From tomorrow you can get the Nagasaka Gondola up to the snow.
Courses open will be as follows:
Yamabiko A Yamabiko B Yamabiko C Yamabiko D Yamabiko E Uenotaira Bunabayashi (to the Nagasaka Gondola mid station) Paradise Utopia A Utopia B Rinkan (until the Hikage area)
From tomorrow the resort will be 'working with snow' between the Nagasaka area and Hikage areas. Here's how you'll be able to get back to the Nagasaka Gondola from Rinkan:
On 1st April - use the Hikage triple lift On 2nd April - shuttle bus from Hikage From 3rd April onwards - use shuttle bus from Isemiya course
Mention of the Skyline course has disappeared now, and so it would seem that the Skyline connecting lift and course itself will not be open from tomorrow. Last chance!
Lift prices from tomorrow are 3500 yen (adults), 1500 yen (children), 2500 yen (seniors) for a day ticket and 2500 yen (adults), 1000 yen (children), 2000 yen (seniors) for a half day.
Lifts operating: All lifts operating except Hikage Number 2 Pair B line
Courses open: All courses open except: Grand Prix Hachiman Challenge 39
Official snow depths Yamabiko 260cm
Nozawa Onsen opening dates from 1st April to the end of season:
From 1st April until 6th May: Nagasaka Gondola Yamabiko Number 2 Four lift Yamabiko Four lift
From 1st April until 7th April 12th April until 14th April 20th-21st April 27th April until 6th May Uenotaira Four lift Snow Park
6th-7th April 13th-14th April 20th-21st April 27th April until 6th May Paradise Four lift Read more ...
Sunday 31st March 2013, 9:43am
Last day of the season for a number of lifts - 11, actually... as noted below. Then we are on a more limited basis but still quite a large area of the upper mountain.
It's a cold morning and light snow has been falling too... though it's not bringing us new cm real. Maybe if it continues. No wind, it's calm.
Tomorrow should see clearer conditions over Zao and then it looks set to warm up for the rest of the week.
Current lift operations:
The following lifts will run through until 31st March:
Onsen Number 4 Quad Sunrise Pair AB Nakamori Number 1 Triple Nakamori Number 2 Pair Diamond Number 1 Pair Diamond Number 2 Pair Oomori quad Yokokura Number 2 Pair Astraea Number 1 Pair Astraea Number 2 Pair Astraea Number 3 Pair
The following lifts plan to be open through until 6th May:
All the Ropeways Chuo Number 1 Pair AB (every day) Chuo Number 2 Pair AB (every day until 14th April, then 20th/21st April and 27th April until 6th May) Katakai Triple (every day until 14th April, then 20th/21st April, 27th-29th April, 3rd-6th May) Paradise Pair AB (every day until 14th April, then 20th/21st April and 27th April until 6th May)
The Yokokura Number 1 Pair AB will remain open as long as there's enough snow.
A chilly morning though not as much as yesterday. It was a foggy start again earlier on but has cleared up since then leaving us with a more cloudy and overcast morning - grey skies all round. Quite bright though and I see the sun shining through in places.
It should be sunny tomorrow and perhaps rain on Tuesday.
There's some private reserved stuff going on over at Yakebitaiyama today meaning that the Middle Course and Middle Connecting Course are not available (unless you're one of the group of course!)
Nighta operations planned for tonight at the following resort area: Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of Sunday 31st March 2013 AM:
Here are the latest lift operation plans for the resorts around Shiga Kogen, as of Saturday 30th March. Please note that they are of course subject to change and in particular snow conditions.
Sun Valley: Number 1 quad open until April 4th, then April 6th and 7th. Number 3 lift open until March 31st March, morning of April 2nd, April 3rd, and morning of April 4th.
Maruike: Number 1 triple lift open until April 2nd. Number 2 pair lift open until March 31st.
Hasuike: Triple lift open until April 1st. Ropetow open until March 31st.
Giant: Open until April 5th.
Happo Bunadaira: Open until March 31st.
Higashitateyama: Open daily until March 31st and then open on April 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st and April 27th until May 6th.
Nishitateyama: Number 1 'hoodie', quad open until March 31st. Number 2 triple open until March 31st and then mornings of April 27th until May 6th.
Terakoya: Open daily until March 31st and then open on April 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st and April 27th until May 6th.
Mammoth: Quad open until May 6th. Number 2 triple lift open until April 7th and then April 25th-27th. Number 3 pair lift open until March 31st.
Tanne no mori okujo: Open until April 2nd and then open on April 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th and April 26th until May 6th.
Ichinose Family: Quad open until May 6th. Number 3 quad open until March 31st. Number 2 Pair A line open until March 31st and then open April 10th-15th, April 17th-22nd, April 24th-25th. Number 2 Pair B line open until April 9th and then open April 13th, 14th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 23rd and then April 26t until May 6th.
Ichinose Diamond: Quad lift open until April 7th and then on April 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st and then April 27th until May 6th. Triple lift open until March 31st. Moving walkway open until March 31st.
Ichinose Yamanokami: Open until April 7th and then April 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st and then April 27th until May 6th.
Yakebitaiyama: Number 1 Gondola open until April 7th. Number 2 Gondola open until April 7th and then April 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st and then April 27th until 6th May. Number 2 high speed lift open until April 7th and then April 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st and then April 27th until 6th May. Number 3 high speed lift open until March 31st and then April 5th-7th. Number 4 romance lift open when the Number 2 Gondola is not running.
Okushiga Kogen: Gondola until May 6th. Number 2 and 3 pair lifts until 6th May. Number 1 pair until April 7th. Number 4 pair lift until April 7th and then April 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st and April 27th until May 6th. Number 6 pair lift until 31st March.
Kumanoyu: Number 1 pair lift open until May 6th. Number 2 pair lift open until May 12th. Number 3 quad lift open until March 31st and then April 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st and then April 27th until May 6th.
Yokoteyama & Shibutoge: Yokoteyama Number 1 Sky lift open until 6th May. Yokoteyama Number 2, 3 Sky, Shibutoge romance lifts open until late May (basically as long as they can open).
From 7th May onwards, special individual lift tickets are required at Kumanoyu and Yokoteyama - season tickets and all Shiga Kogen tickets not valid. At Kumanoyu they are 3000 yen (children 1500 yen) for a full day and 2000 yen (children 1000 yen) for half day. At Yokoteyama and Shibutoge they are 3000 yen (children free) for a full day and 2000 yen (children free) for half day. Read more ...
Sunday 31st March 2013, 14:07pm
Fog, gray, grim
Sorry to be late on this last regular day of the season - but there's nothing much to write about. It's rainy and gray, matching the mood at the end of the season (OK, there still is more skiing to do, but I thought that was appropriately poetic).
It's been an interesting season. Some really good snow in January and early February, but an early-arriving spring in March without any last big powder fall (as we have had for many years). Well, it sometimes happens in April, so I shouldn't close the door on that just yet. The ski areas report at least steady business, if no major growth, but we did see a lot more international visitors in Myoko. I'm happy to say that a lot of them reported that they're here not just for the snow, but for the unique Myoko-ness of the place. That's something I hope we can always keep, even as things change.
Not my last report, though; I'll keep things updated for the areas that are still open.
Some season-end news:
Akakura Onsen: last day today Suginohara: last regular day today; will re-open on April 6 & 7 Ikenotaira: last day 4/7 Madarao: last day today Kyukamura: last day 4/7 Myoko Ski Park: last day 4/4