Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 21st April 2018
Wednesday 4th April 2018, 5:54am
Lots of cloud, some blue sky
Good morning from Yuzawa.
Yesterday it warmed up to over 21 degrees in Yuzawa. It was over 25 degrees in Joetsu city, just to the north of Myoko here in Niigata Prefecture. They are temperatures more suited to later in May than early April!
Today is going to be warm too and there is a good chance of rain falling this afternoon. This report is going up very early and at the moment there is a lot of cloud around.
Come Saturday it is set to cool down somewhat with a good chance of some persistent rain over the weekend... not the ideal way for some resorts to finish up their ski season.
As noted below, Sunday will be the last day of the season for a handful of ski resorts, and from next week we will be left with just Kagura, GALA Yuzawa, Kandatsu Kogen and Naeba (on weekends) remaining open.
Updated: Wednesday 4th April 2018
At least part open until Sunday 8th April
Iwappara - Official snow depth: 65cm - The central area remains open with two lifts operating
Ishiuchi Maruyama - Official snow depth: 120cm - Top areas remain open via Chuo Entrance with four lifts operating
Joetsu Kokusai - Official snow depth: 80cm - The North and East areas remain at least part open
Maiko Snow Resort - Official snow depth: Top - 95cm, Base - 20cm - The Gondola, Nagamine Number 2 quad and Okusoeji quad lift are operating
At least part open until Sunday 22nd April
Kandatsu Kogen - Official snow depth: 140cm - Most of Kandatsu remains open with four lifts operating
At least part open until Sunday 6th May
GALA Yuzawa - Official snow depth: 170cm - The Central Area and North Area remain open - The South Area and Falcon course back to base are now closed for the season
Kagura - Official snow depth: Kagura area - 250cm; Mitsumata area - 150cm; Tashiro area - 200cm - Tashiro Ropeway plans to be at least part open until Sunday 6th May - Mitsumata Ropeway and the main Kagura area plan to be at least part open until Sunday 27th May - The Dragondola connecting Tashiro with Naeba is now closed for the season
Naeba - Official snow depth: 140cm (base) - Naeba plans to be at least part open until Sunday 6th May (** only on weekends from 9th-27th April; closed weekdays **) - The Dragondola connecting Naeba with Tashiro is now closed for the season Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Wednesday 4th April 2018, 7:01am
Morning from Nozawa.
After the warmth of yesterday, perhaps today will be slightly cooler and while we are starting the morning with the sun shining down on us once again, rain is forecast for later in the day. Doesn't look like it will last too long though and it's back to sun tomorrow.
I think I'm going to get out and enjoy some first tracks this morning.
Taking a quick look at the forecast, Friday seems to be particularly warm again before temperatures drop back down to single digit numbers and there's still that mix of rain (base) and snow (mountain) forecast over the weekend.
Wednesday 4th April 2018
Fresh snowfall since yesterday (as reported by the resort):
- Nagasaka Gondola - Yamabiko Four - Yamabiko Number 2 Four - Uenotaira Four - Paradise Four
The following courses remain open:
- Yamabiko area - Kokenashi course - Uenotaira - Paradise - Rinkan (use this course to get back down to base)
General resort operations information until Sunday 6th May:
The Gondola will be open from 8:10am daily; The Number 1 car park will be free daily; There will be no village shuttle bus between 2nd April and 27th April; A resort shuttle bus may operate between Hikage and Nagasaka (Number 1 car park) depending on snow conditions; Nozawa Onsen plans to remain open until Sunday 6th May. Read more ...
Wednesday 4th April 2018, 7:10am
The season is winding down here and no real snow for the whole of March has taken its toll. Highly unusual, but the season kicked off earlier than normal and it was fun while it lasted.
Okutone is still running up the top though I imagine it's rather scrappy. They claim 70cm and last day will be April 8th.
Hodaigi has their lower runs open including the 1km beginner run. They also have their number 9 lift to the top still running though I've not been over there in quite a while.
Tenjin appears to have closed their cat track to the bottom on Monday. Kind of a bummer as there is still snow all over it. Up the top they are digging out underneath the Toge lift and moving that snow in for the Minakami Vibes bowl. That also started on Monday and the event will be held the weekend of April 14th. The base up top is still at 170cm so they are a chance to run through to their usual closing time around May 7th or the end of Golden Week but we shall see. I think they should last through the end of April at the least. The snow, is super soft and slushy, not too bad and with temps so high, it softens up by 8-9am.
Toured up to the peak of Tanigawa on Monday evening, stayed up top and traversed the top ridge at dawn the next morning before dropping into the gentle, North facing, Shibakurasawa and out the bottom. The peaks up top are patchy in places and it was hard going though still plenty of snow in that particular valley if you don't mind picking your way around avi debris in the bottom part of the valley. Probably one of few safe touring options in the area right now and probably the last time I'll turn on a beacon here at Tanigawa.
Photo below from yesterday morning at Tanjgawadake
Please note that the snowfall numbers posted in this report will be observed from close to the base Tenjindaira Ropeway station - which is often much more than in the central town area of Minakami. Read more ...
Wednesday 4th April 2018, 8:02am
Blue sky, partly cloudy
Good morning from Hakuba.
Yesterday was another fine spring day. It ended up not quite as hazy as it started but really warmed up -- and so too today. I feel like I have been talking about warmth quite a lot over the last month or so!
Less of a hazy start this morning with lots of blue sky and a bit of cloud. It is another fine morning. Rain is due later today though and that should cool things down later on and overnight.
That forecast still shows the chance of some snowfall over the weekend, especially in higher areas. There's a fair bit of rain on the forecasts too down at village level. I'm holding out for the chance of riding on some fresh snow once again. Come on Nature, you know you want to have one last spurt of winter-like conditions!
Ski resort information on Wednesday 4th April 2018 (at time of writing):
Lotte Arai Resort: 337cm, 11.7°; All lifts running; Mamushigaeshi, Exciter, Legendary and Discovery courses closed; Ohkenashi Bowl, FK, North Bowl, Funaishi-zawa, Happy Place and Benzaku-zawa in the avalanche-controlled areas open; closing May 6
It was raining last night but I am happy to report that the rain has stopped by this morning.
The gondola peak station is surrounded by fog at the moment with limited visibility.
Some more rain possible over the coming days and perhaps even some snow over the weekend. That would be nice. Keep your eye on the forecasts.
The Number 4 lift has finished up for this season now but the Number 3 will be open on the weekend. People who want to climb up to Mt. Nishidaiten, the Number 3 and 4 lifts are not open anymore during weekdays.
Nekoma ski resort is operating 5 of the 6 lifts and all of the courses remain open today. They have 170cm of (official) snow depth and the condition is a little wet but not bad.