Snow and weather reports posted on Thursday 14th December 2017
Tuesday 3rd January 2012, 7:36am
Clear but becoming cloudy
There was certainly a lot of wind drifts last night. Driving down the road, you could see about half of it due to snow spillover from the larger fields. It was largely a NE wind, so look for SW slopes today to be a bit better than normal. Keep an eye out for any cornices as they may develop significantly.
There is currently a bit of a low pressure system over Japan. Depending on how things go, we could see a decent snowfall over the next two days, but it is not expected to precipitate heavily. Hopefully January can be as good of a month as December was!
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 280cm Bottom - 140cm
Niseko Village: Top - 260cm Bottom - 170cm
Annupuri: Top - 265cm Bottom - 170cm
Niseko Avalanche Report Reads:
Niseko base 6am: -5℃ & 5cm of crystal snowfall since predawn. Coastal data: NNW9m/s at Benkei cape, 2.3m waves and 1011hPa at Kamui cape. Annupuri peak wind: NNW13.5m/s. Yesterday’s strong NE wind (22.7m/s at the peak at 6pm) made snowdrifts (80cm) and wind-crusts (10cm) to develop substantially. The general avalanche risk is high today. It is strongly discouraged to ride potentially hazardous areas, namely the Backbowl’s sidewalls, O-sawa’s cornice slopes at 800-1100m altitude (coordinate E6’s NE & F4’s NNW), Higashi-One (all area east of gate 7) and upper Fujiwara no Sawa. Avalanches occurring are not only subject to the amount of snowfall but to combinations of various weather/terrain/snow factors. The snow in the trees under 700m is nicely recovered and in good shape. Be careful to remain in controllable speed and beware of hitting trees. The total snow accumulation in Yu no Sawa (coordinate G3) reached 280cm and the snowpack is mostly rounding and stable, however significant layers (12/28, 12/30 and 1/1) can be observed. Most avalanche related accidents happen during of just after storms. Gate’s opening will be postponed today, please respect the ski patrol’s instructions. Ducking any ropes is strictly prohibited. Have a nice day. Read more ...
Tuesday 3rd January 2012, 9:48am
Sunny with some cloud
It is sunny with some clouds this morning in Hakuba. We had about up to 10cm of fluffy snow fall yesterday in the village but it had stopped falling by the evening. It is very cold and clear outside this morning but the wind is generally light at lower levels. Looks like today is going to be everyone best 'hatsu suberi', the first day of fresh powder snow riding of the year 2012. The weather report says that tomorrow shoul be bringing with it heavy snow, which is great news. After that it looks like later in the week and into the weekend will bring more sunny clear conditions so would be certainly be good to get some decent snowfall in before then.
I mentioned the winds but up on the mountains this morning stronger winds are affecting lift operations in a few places. Hakuba 47 have just a short while ago got the gondola moving, but at reduced speed, and the top lifts at Goryu have been closed as well this morning. The top areas of Happo are also closed at the moment. For more details see below in 30 minutes as we update the information. Expect them to re-open as soon as they can...
Conditions on the hill are mostly groomed and packed powder, still some icy big moguls on the steeper runs and crud on the ungroomed terrain, but with more new snow covering the hills yesterday most of the brush and rocks are under the snow now. There are still some rocks and shrubs poking through on lower slopes so be careful there.
We could really do with a nice big decent snowdump to get all those numbers looking better... and perhaps it is soon on it's way.
Official snow depths and operations @ Tuesday 3rd January 2012 10AM:
Hakuba Goryu: Goryu reported 5cm of new snow since yesterday on the upper slopes. Top Alps daira lifts affected by wind this morning. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 200cm; Toomi - 90cm; Iimori - 90cm.
Hakuba 47: Limited lifts at 47 early on due to winds but the Gondola is moving from 10am. Official snow depth: Upper - 186cm Lower - 50cm
Happo-one: Ski lifts/courses: Grad, Alpen quad, Kurobishi pair, Kurobishi quad, Usagidaira pair and Skyline 2 lifts affected by wind and closed early on. The rest of Happo is open. Official snow depth: Usagidaira/Kurobishi - 120cm; Sakka - 50cm; Nakiyama - 60cm.
This morning Kagura are reporting 30cm of new snow. Less than that down on the slopes around town but a new covering all the same - perhaps 15cm or so - which is of course very welcome, keeping conditions good.
As I write this report the snow has eased off and it is just cloudy conditions really. The updated local forecast is for cloud and light snow during the day but a quick look over to Naeba and I can see blue skies and the sun shining down on the lower slopes, so perhaps the weather is going to do it's own thing and clear up. We are due for the snow clouds to keep hanging on for the next few days though so it is most likely to just be changeable conditions I'd say.
Winds seem to be affecting the operation of the Dragondola between Naeba and Tashiro this morning but apart from that it looks like everywhere is open as usual. We can expect that to be moving as well once the winds calm a bit. Here in town actually there isn't much of a wind at all.
Right now it is 0 degrees.
For those lucky enough to have a long-ish break over New Year, today is the last day for lots of them and from tomorrow we can expect things to be back to something like normal for a weekday.
The cold temperatures are back and there is light snow falling after a bit of a dusting over night. This looks like it will be the prevailing weather for the next few days which will bring regular top ups to the already generous snow base. Fantastic conditions across all resorts and over the whole mountain today so get out and enjoy. The only minor hiccup being that there is a reasonably strong wind blowing today. Read more ...
Tuesday 3rd January 2012, 10:15am
Blue sky, cloud
A lovely morning in Zao. Very cold at about -8 degrees this morning, but lots of blue sky with some fast-moving cloud making things look all the more dramatic with shadows casting down on the slopes. So good visibility and only a slight wind this morning. There is just a few cm of fresh snow to report.
Temperatures are set to keep very low pretty much for the rest of the week according to the forecast with snow likely every day. Perhaps not huge amounts but regular top-ups to our base.
The lower slopes are noticably less busy this morning as many people have either left or making preparations to leave after their new year break in Zao. Hopefully they took some great memories back with them.
Official snow depths (3rd January 12) Utopia - 135cm Chuo - 110cm Paradise - 125cm Uwanodai - 90cm
Operating lifts (3rd Dec '11) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) and all lifts operating. All the runs at Zao are now open/accessible. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Tuesday 3rd January 2012, 10:27am
Sun, cloud, blue sky
You're all wondering how that snow turned out yesterday hey? Well, we got a nice new layer of light snow which is always welcome. Not the huge dumping we might have dreamed of, but after a short few runs this morning I can say that conditons remain pretty good out there. And what a lovely morning it is. Lots of blue skies, a fair bit of clouds as well but calm and a really good day to be out on the mountain.
But there's more... we should see snow clouds roll back on into the area overnight and tomorrow looks set to be a day of snow. I'm not going to tempt fate by guessing how much, let's just keep our fingers crossed for a good snowfall. Snow clouds should be with us on Thursday too with things due to clear up again for clearer conditions over the weekend.
New Year crowds seem to have gone for the most part and lift lines moving quickly and smoothly as I observed driving around just a little earlier on.
Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort areas:
- Ichinose Family - Ichinose Diamond - Yakebitaiyama
Official resort snow depths as of 3rd January 2012 AM:
New snowfall to report this morning to the tune of 20-30cm and the official snow depth rising to 185cm. In a constrast to yesterday though, this morning is much calmer and clearer. Earlier on the top of the mountain was covered in cloud but right now we can see the whole of the mountain. It's a mix of wispy white thin clouds and blue sky at the moment over Madarao.
What more can I say. Some fine snow conditions, good weather, less people due to the new year holidays (almost) being over for most and... let's get out there. I'll tell you how it was tomorrow. ;)
Lifts currently operating: All of Madarao is open, apart from Free Ride Park. Connection with Tangram Ski Circus open.
20cm at Naeba and 30cm of Kagura is what I can report this morning. New snow that is. Whoo-hoo, nice conditions out there. And a good day to be out too as we have blue skies and the sun shining down on the slopes this morning. Still some cloud around but it should be a fine day I would say. The only thing is that the Dragondola is still not operating yet to day due to winds apparently. But we will hopefully see that srart doing it's thing a bit later on. Otherwise apart from the Daishamen pair lift at Naeba, everywhere seems to be open as normal.
Even with the fine weather it is keeping cold and under zero. And later on today we are told to expect snow and snowy conditions tomorrow and so the very fine conditions seem set to continue.
Resort Operations, 3rd January (subject to change) Naeba: Normal apart from the Dragondola and Daishamen pair lift. All courses accessible. Kagura: Normal
There was 5cm of new snow yesterday and a further 2cm this morning. It is really cold out there today and with a light wind things are feeling rather chilly. The wind hasn't been strong enough to interfere with the operation of lifts. Visibility is perfect and skies are clear. The snow conditions are currently a firm packed powder base with the dusting of new snow sitting on top. The piste has been well groomed and with the firm conditions is skiing fast. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Tuesday 3rd January 2012, 14:26pm
Sunny start to the day now snow clouds rolling in
Snowed fairly consistently yesterday getting heavy at times. Then, as forecast was a beautiful start to the day today with sunshine and good powder coverage on the slopes.
A few of the guys got on the Gondola first thing this morning and hit up some of the steeper ungroomed runs early for first tracks. They said was waist deep in spots and beautiful conditions.
A bit if a news worthy event last night in Nozawa, when 3 snowboarders went missing. They were not found until 8am this morning by a helicopter over the back on the way to Maguse Onsen. Looks like they found a bit of shelter on the side of the mountain and are in decent shape but must have been a long cold night up there.
Just a warning to be careful if venturing off the beaten track. If you stand up the top of Mount Kenashi there is a vast amount of wilderness out there and same as anywhere in the world it can be beautiful but dangerous too.
Good news is the Ski School will be running Back Country tours again this season. Mainly on the weekends, starting late January when the snow pack is a bit more settled. Local skier Take Ueno a Japan champion Telemark skier will be one of the guides so should be some amazing tours.
It has just started snowing here now lightly and from the forecast quite a bit more to come over the next 2 days.