Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 19th January 2018
Sunday 3rd January 2010, 8:30am
Continuing moderate to heavy snow
Another night of snow, with 20+cm falling (and it's nice. light snow, too — not windpacked).
Pretty good crowds on the slopes yesterday, which is usually the first big ski day of the year (a lot of late risers on the 1st, naturally). Still, in comparison to many years ago, it's definitely not crowded — few lift line waits except for the gondolas.
And it keeps on falling today, so another good day before the first work of the year begins.... Go on, take a few more days off! It's the best snow in three years, so you deserve it.
Yesterday afternoon we saw a let up in the snowfall for the first time in a few days... evening time and there were relatively clear skies and good visibility. Overnight we have had more snow but not much in terms of new cm, and it is currently snowing this morning. I'd say up to 10cm in town and Kagura are reporting 20cm since yesterday.
It would seem the peak of this particularly storm is past and though snow is forecast for the day and possibly into tomorrow morning it won't be like over New Year - perhaps just a bit more. It's not too windy this morning and not quite as bitterly cold as it has been.
Due to the winds being calmer, resorts that were closed yesterday are today open - so everywhere operating as normal this morning.
Tomorrow looks like it might actually be a fine day - first appearance of the sun this year perhaps? - and will be a fine day to be out on all this new snow we have. After that, we have more snow clouds on the horizon in the coming week.
Excellent conditions to be had wherever you choose to ski or snowboard in the region now. I hope you can get out there and make the most of it. Read more ...
Sunday 3rd January 2010, 9:02am
Things are back to something like normal this morning. It's still cold but not as cold and it's still snowing but not as much!
It's the last day of the New Year holidays for lots of people and I'd expect there to be less people on the slopes this afternoon as people rush back. Tomorrow should see some fair weather - perhaps even the sun saying hi - and so with the less crowded slopes and all this lovely new powder to play in it should be a brilliant day to be out there.
After that we might see clouds of the snowy kind staying in the area so we can expect some regular topups.
A very good start to the year.
One thing I haven't mentioned - from this season the Asagai area is a skiers-only area... it's a bit of a departure from what we have seen before there but will be interesting to see how people take to it.
There has been about another 10cm of fresh snow in Zao this morning and once again it is low visibility on the mountain early on and about -5 degrees out.
This morning we have light snow falling in places and in others just low thick cloud making it difficult to see much in front of you. With less wind this morning it is not feeling as cold as it has been the last few days though the temperatures are still well below zero.
Many people will be heading back home from Zao today as the New Year holidays come to an end and the resort should not be as busy especially this afternoon.
More heavy snow forecast for around Tuesday/Wednesday so not much let up in the snowy cloud conditions in the coming week.
It's currently snowing heavily throughout the village and it doesn't look like stopping any time soon. This new snow combined with the 150cm that fell over the past few days has created a fantastic top to bottom base.
Nozawa village has been buzzing these past few days with lots of locals and international guests soaking up the awesome snow and atmosphere of one of Japan's most unique ski resorts.
Today marks the end of the Japanese New Year's holidays and so the crowds should start to thin out. This means plenty of powder runs for those hanging around this coming week.
The snow did continue yesterday and this morning we have perhaps another 20cm or so of fresh powder to add to the fun. It is still coming down.... the people who have been in Shiga Kogen will certainly have nothing to complain about in terms of snow, though some might be saying they haven't been able to see the mountains at all!
Poor visibility again this morning generally as the cloud covers the mountain, though only a very light breeze as the snow calmly falls from the sky. It doesn't feel as cold this morning due to both the temperature and the lack of those winds.
Early on the lifts at Terakoya are not moving as they deal with all the snow up there, though hopefully they will be later on. Apart from that all resorts seem to be operating as normal this morning.
Nighta this evening at the following resort areas:
Today is another great day, another 40cm fell last night and it is currently still snowing. This 40cm of snow adds to the 60-80cm that has fallen over the last few days. Powder can be found easily within resort, and there should be plenty to keep everyone happy.
Visibility is low as it snowing heavily and looks set to continue throughout the day, so watch out on the slopes today as they will be busy.
The wind has now dropped after the high winds of yesterday, allowing resorts to open their lifts again today. Which means the upper slopes of the mountains that were closed yesterday will now be open, allowing everyone to enjoy the powder. Expect some wind crust on exposed ridges and filled in hollows and wind lips.
The forecast is predicting the snow to continue throughout the week and the temperatures to stay low.
Avalanche Conditions: Alpine: Extreme Tree Line: High Below Tree Line: High
Heavy snow fall and winds at all elevations have put rapid load on the already weak upper snowpack. Watch for large sluffs in steep and complex terrain. Take caution on wind loaded lee slopes and around cornices. The prevailing winds have been Moderate to Strong from the North West and have left South and East facing aspects loaded. This new storm snow is over riding the faceted sun crust of last week. Take care as wind slabs develop in cross loaded aspects (North and North East). Slab avalanches in the Alpine will come with great size and consequence.
A slight warming trend has brought temperatures to within a few degrees of the freezing mark, and the sun, long hidden by dark snow clouds, has finally broken through, bringing with it the gentle dripping sounds of icicles forming as the deep snow pack slowly begins to melt off the colored tin roofs. After all the powder that fell last week, today promises an absolutely gorgeous afternoon to be out on the slopes; not too cold, the wind is minimal, and the visibility is excellent, leaving the view from the top of the mountain bare and unbroken all the way across the valley to the Daisetsu Mountain Range on the opposite side. Conditions should remain as excellent until tomorrow morning, when a brief series of snow showers are expected to hit and bathe all the cars in white again.
There have been a lot of new visitors in town especially from Australia, just in time to partake in the pristine conditions. Hokkaido Powder Guide will be running a tour based out of Furano here for the next 10 days, and i wish them the freshest runs and the best conditions. Read more ...
Sunday 3rd January 2010, 14:47pm
Yesterday remained windy for most of the day with heavy snow and blizzard conditions keeping most lifts closed. Late in the evening though the winds eased and the Ace quad and Gondola in Hirafu opened for some late nighta turns. Conditions eased further overnight and actually cleared up allowing the temperature to drop back to about -8 this morning. Somewhat amazingly after all the crazy weather over the last few days this morning had a bluebird start and almost no wind. The snow isn't quite as deep as I was expecting as most of the powder is wind packed but conditions were still very nice up there. Most gates will be opened today including, for the first time, the peak gates. Avalanche danger has subsided but be careful around cornices and convex slopes. Official snowdepths of 2m+ on the upper mountain don't really give the real story. Many areas have received massive drifting during the storm and most areas accessed through the gates will have depths well in excess of 3m. This afternoon it has become cloudy again and light snow is currently falling. Not too much snow forecast over the coming week though, so make sure you get out there before everything gets tracked out.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu: Top - 215cm Bottom - 110cm
Niseko Village: Top - 220cm Bottom - 140cm
Annupuri: Top - 200cm Bottom - 140cm
Niseko Avalanche Info No.19
Moiwa base 6am: -6℃, slight overnight snowfall and clear sky. Coastal wind has calmed down but surf remains high 3m. Forecasted Annupuri peak wind at noon: 15m/s northerly. The snowdrift development has calmed down as the storm passed. Maximum cornice development has reached up to 4m in the past 48hours and are still unstable and easily collapsible. Snowdrifts in leeward slopes just below ridge line have grown up to 3m and are starting to stabilize. Avalanche hazard remains relatively high in S-SE facing slopes of Osawa, Backbowl, Mizuno no sawa, Haru no taki and Yu no sawa. Potential weak layer (Dec 31st) existing underneath the last storm’s snowdrifts. Peak gates are scheduled to open today, however lift starting time is undecided due to heavy snowfall. Gate 1 (L-ji), 4 (Fujiwara), 6 (Moiwa) and 7 (Ee-sawa) are scheduled to open in the morning. One step outside the gate and you’re in the backcountry, out of the resort area. Acknowledge the dangers and the risks involved in riding those unmanaged terrain. One track left under the rope could lead many ignorant people find themselves in danger, ending up in a serious accident. Respect the Rules for your and everyone’s safety. Snow conditions are wonderful today. Read more ...
Sunday 3rd January 2010, 14:50pm
Blue skies this morning but cloudy now with snow flurries
Finally a break from the snow this morning as blue sky and the sun made their first appearance for a while. Blue skies and fresh snow are the ideal combination and there are plenty out there making the most of it. Resorts have finally been able to open all the runs so there were some great first lines to be had.
The snow on piste is in perfect condition and it is still soft with some good spots off trail, though the more popular runs are choppy with some surprisingly deep craters lying in wait for the unsuspecting.
The cloud is starting to come in again now with a few light snow flurries starting. As soon as the sun went in it felt decidedly colder and had a noticeable effect on the number of people on the slopes. Read more ...