Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 7th May 2017
Thursday 4th February 2016, 7:43am
Clear and sunny
Sunshine it is this morning!
It is a beautiful start to the day in the area with mostly clear blue skies and sunshine.
It was snowing lots of yesterday, but it was that kind again that doesn't deliver in terms of fresh cm - just light lazily falling snow for most of the time. But anyway those clouds have cleared now and it should be a very fine morning. While it's quite a chilly start, temperatures are going to be rising somewhat today with a high of up to around 5C due in town - that's getting a bit too high for our liking so hopefully it will quickly drop again.
Snow may well be falling by the end of the day though and into tomorrow with a good chance of Saturday seeing moderate to possibly heavy snowfall. That's what the forecast currently tells us anyway. We shall see!
I'm going to go and enjoy the fine weather today.
Resort official snow depths (Thursday 4th February 2016) and any specific news at time of writing:
Details of the 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Open daily until 8:50pm (until 20th March). The Chuo No 1 and Chuo No 2 lifts are open daily. The Kanko No 1, Kanko No 2, Kanko No 3, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift, Hatsukaishi No 2 pair lifts are open on weekends and holidays. The basic charge is 2000 yen but various tickets are available.
Iwappara Open daily until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays (until 21st March). The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.
Joetsu Kokusai Open daily until 9pm (until 21st March). The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors. On weekdays the area in front of the main hotel is open - a larger area (including Osawa and Atema) is open on weekends.
Kandatsu Kogen Open from 6pm until 4am on Fridays, Saturdays and evenings before holidays through 26th March. Open from 4:30pm until 11pm on weekdays until 24th March. Various tickets are available starting at 2000 yen for adults, 1700 yen for seniors and 1000 yen for children.
Maiko Snow Resort Open daily with the Maiko Center quad lift operating from 4pm until 8pm. The charge is 500 yen for everyone.
Naeba Open daily until 27th March. From 4pm until 8:30pm on weekdays and Sundays (2000 yen); until 9pm every Saturday and on 20th March (3000 yen). 'All Night' opening is planned for Saturday 26th March when Naeba will be open from 10pm until 5am.
NASPA Ski Garden Extended opening until 6pm (Number 1 lift) on Saturdays until 27th February. There is no special ticket available just for the extended time.
Yuzawa Nakazato Open on Saturdays from 5pm until 8:30pm (until 12th March). Tickets are 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.
There's not much to say this morning other than there's stunning blue skies over us, the sun is out, the groomed courses are groomed, not many people around... just an excellent day to be putting on the gear and getting early morning lifts.
I think that is exactly what I will do!
We can also look forward to the snow that is forecast starting tomorrow and continuing through Saturday - the heaviest due around Saturday night.
Madarao Kogen lifts operating (planned at time of writing):
All lifts plan to be open today
Tangram Ski Circus lifts operating (planned at time of writing):
Sunshine is the word on the mountain today with not a cloud in the sky. Pistes should be relatively fresh today due to yesterday's small amount of snow that fell in the day. However not powder as it was the type of snow that doesn't really build up all that much.
Weather going on is still looking for snow every day with a larger amount of snow coming over Friday night to Sunday morning although it is no longer predicted to be a large dump.
After a very fine day yesterday, it looks like we might get another fine day today. Or morning at least...
Yesterday cloud increased during the afternoon and by the end of the day visibility was actually limited in some places on mountain, but this morning we have a bit of a reset with blue sky again... though there is more cloud early on today than we started the day yesterday with. So it's currently a mix of blue sky and cloud and another cold early morning in Hakuba.
There's no new snowfall to report, but we may get some light snow falling here later in the day. Then it's snowfall later on tomorrow and through Saturday. Heavy snow are words I like to see on the forecast and that's what it says for Saturday evening. So if the forecast pulls off (a big 'if' this season unfortunately!), Sunday should be the day of the weekend. Some local forecasts have tomorrow starting with clear sunny skies as well.
Lots of people are going to be in Hakuba to celebrate the Chinese New Year holidays making the next week or so particularly popular.
Let's hope we get some peak time quality snow conditions to help everyone celebrate!
Resort news as of 8:00am on Thursday 4th February 2016 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. All courses are open. Part of the Tree Riding Zone are open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba 47. Official snow depth: Upper: 190cm Base: 70cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. All courses except Snow Diving are open. The top Alps 2 and 4 lifts are rested on weekdays. The Toomi area will be open until 8:30pm tonight for 'nighta'. Official snow depth Alps: 220cm Toomi: 105cm Iimori: 105cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Happo-one is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. All open (apart from the Kurobishi Off Piste Area). Happo Banks Snow Park is now open. The lower Nakiyama area is open for 'nighta' every day until 9pm. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 180cm Nakiyama: 80cm Sakka: 55cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is again reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. All courses are open except Giant. The Ikenota area will be open for 'nighta' until 8pm tonight. Official snow depth: Top: 185cm Base: 120cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All course areas open. Nighta at Kane-no-naru-oka on Saturday 6th, 13th February; at Karamatsu/Shirakaba on 13th/20th February and 5th/12th/19th March. Note that the top Tsugaike Ropeway only opens from spring. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 214cm Maruyama: 90cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 70cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: All of Village Side is now open but parts of the Mountain Side not yet available (Sonezawa, View A, View B, North). There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: Upper: 140cm Lower: 70cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: All courses except Snake are now open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: 90cm
There's a fog down here this morning. But I can see that up higher on the mountain it's clearer and I can see a mix of cloud and blue sky at the moment.
The early morning fog lower down will probably quickly disappear leaving us with a fine morning.
Yesterday at 3pm the resort was reporting 1-5cm of snowfall during the day bottom-top and this morning just another small dusting higher up. That's where the numbers below are coming from just in case you were wondering.
I'm liking the look of the forecast for Saturday. 'Heavy snow'. We'll have some (lots) of that please. We have of course seen that before but it hasn't quite happened in as dramatic a way as we would like so let's be cautiously optimistic! It should actually be snowing from tomorrow through into Sunday.
Here's to a snowy late week and weekend. For today though, enjoy some sunshine.
Official info at time of writing on Thursday 4th February 2016 (subject to change):
After an excellent day on the slopes yesterday, do I have news of our 'daily refresh'? Yes I do!
This morning I measure 9cm of fresh snowfall and it's still snowing. I have just wiped the area to reset it and start recording new snow for my report tomorrow. And there's going to be some to report as well - the snow clouds are going to remain over Niseko (or at least be very close by) through until the end of the weekend. Forecasts seem to show a break in the snow on Monday and some sunshine (Happy Chinese New Year!) but then more snow after that from Tuesday.
We are certainly enjoying conditions at the moment, that's for sure.
I have heard a few conversations over the last week or so from people who have decided at the last minute to come up to Hokkaido (and specifically Niseko or Furano) after originally booking places down in some popular resort areas on Honshu. It seems that they didn't like hearing about the relative lack of snow down there and at the same time hearing about the regular snowfall up here, and it's hard to argue with that.
I must admit though it does seem a pretty stark contrast this season. As I have said before in these reports - and as the statistics show - such a big contrast isn't 'the norm' and I'm sure that lots of SnowJapan readers are interested in the bigger picture rather than just snapshots. It is interesting to read through the reports from, say, last season and look at some of the statistics here. I find it really interesting anyway.
Whatever, it is certainly going to be interesting to see how the rest of the season shapes up, both up here in Niseko and in other regions.
Resort specific lift opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Niseko base 6am: -5℃, 10cm snowfall. Moiwa800m: -8℃, mild wind, 10cm snow. Mikaeri 740m: -7.3℃, calm, 15cm crystal snow. Annupuri 1150m: -9℃, W5m/s, 15cm snowfall, excellent groomer conditions. Hirafu 1150m: W10m/s, 15cm snowfall, no notable development of snowdrifts. Sea of Japan Benkei cape:W11m/s at 5am, Kamui cape: SW11m/s, 1016hPa, 1.1m waves.
A small low-pressure system is present in western Sea of Japan, however the pressure gradient is small and the mountain is in a calm condition this morning. Light snowfall overnight without notable development of snowdrifts. The general avalanche risk is low. All gates are scheduled to open from the morning. Get information from the ski patrol and be well prepared before going out of the gates. Always be ready for sudden weather changes, especially in higher elevation. The snow condition is ever changing. Paying attention to the weather transition is key to evaluate the hazards. Accidents mostly occur during stormy weather. Stay humble, hone your senses and always be prudent. The Niseko community respects the freedom to ride, but is also deeply concerned about all user’s safety. The snow is in good condition. Be careful not to hit trees and not to fall in cracks.
Official resort snow depths as of Thursday 4th February 2016:
No snow accumulation yesterday but the official snow depth has finally made it past the meter mark and is now 105cm.
It's partly cloudy outside right now but you can expect the clouds to roll in this afternoon and bring a little more snow. Temperatures today at the base averaging -6 and fairly light easterly winds should provide an nice day on the slopes.
The next few days are similar in outlook with the occasional snow shower but the temperatures should fall somewhat into the weekend. Let's just wait and see as usual.
No new open runs to report but the ones that are currently open are in good shape.
Enjoy your Thursday on the mountain.
Currently planned operating lifts:
- Appi Gondola - Sailer Gondola - Central Number 1 quad - Number 2 lift A - Number 3 lift B - Number 3 lift C - Number 4 lift - Sailer quad - Vista quad - Nishimori lift Read more ...
Thursday 4th February 2016, 8:37am
After some early blue skies, the snow has come back to Kiroro. There was 5cm at the start of the day, and the current snowfall will keep topping that up. Temperatures remain consistent, with a low of -10°C. The wind is coming more from the south, so will have a little less bite than the northerly Siberian winds we usually get.
The operating hours on most Kiroro lifts have been extended by 15 minutes, which is good news for those people who like to squeeze as much skiing in as possible. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Thursday 4th February 2016, 8:40am
Clear blue skies and sunshine
It is a very cold morning here in Shiga Kogen.
A beauty of a morning too with clear blue skies and sunshine.
The sun will probably warm things up at least a little during the day but then some forecasts are telling us to expect some snow later on. Snow later tomorrow as well and for the day on Saturday - possibly quite heavy at times - so I should have some new cm to report to you over the next few days.
More sun is currently forecast for Sunday.
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Thursday 4th February 2016):
Sun Valley 60cm Nighta on Saturdays until 19th March (7pm-9pm)
Takamagahara Mammoth 95cm
Tannenomori Okojo 95cm
Ichinose Family 95cm Nighta daily until 27th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Ichinose Diamond 95cm Nighta on Saturdays until 26th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Ichinose Yamanokami 95cm
Yakebitaiyama 100cm Nighta on Saturdays until 12th March (6pm-8pm)
Okushiga Kogen 90cm
Kumanoyu 85cm Nighta on Saturdays until 26th March (6:30pm-9pm) Also on 12th February and 20th March
Morning from Myoko where the sun is out and it looks like it's going to be a fine - and milder - day. Quite a lot of (thin) cloud around but the morning particularly should be fine.
It might be a cold start but temperatures today may rise to around +4 degrees in the town area which is getting a little too high so we'll look forward to that dropping quickly again.
The forecast is still good for snow tomorrow and more so on Saturday with heavy snow still promised. If what the forecast says will happen actually does happen, expect heavy snow on Saturday afternoon and night before perhaps clearing up Sunday morning - leaving us with an excellent Sunday.
It is a milder day with -8c recorded in the village earlier this morning, but it has already warmed up substatially and I have just had a look at my outside thermometer which is reading -2c. The snow just seems to keep coming on a daily basis and this morning there is another 7cm to report. There is no snow falling at the moment but we can expect some light snow again from the afternoon.
Temperatures should be back to colder norms from tomorrow, and tomorrow morning looks like some moderate winds will hit the resort, reducing a little on Saturday, and then Sunday could be quite gusty.
There are ski competitions on Kitanomine at the moment and the following courses are closed:
A cold morning again but no snowfall to report. Lots of cloud around but also some blue sky and maybe some sun from time to time today.
There's a chance that snow will fall overnight tonight and light snow over the next few days as well, but it does not look like we can expect anything major in terms of fresh snow. Temperatures should remain below zero though even if a little higher than normal today - back to lower temperatures over the weekend.
Someone has been asking about the ice monsters this season as I have not been mentioning them - apologies for that.
As you might expect with the 'less snow than usual' season we have been having, they are... smaller-thinner than usual. They still look pretty impressive - just not how they should be looking peak season, with lots of them still clearly being trees covered with lots of snow, rather than 'monsters'! I suppose little children won't be as scared of them! ;)
Information as of Thursday 4th February 2016 (subject to change)
All planned lifts are operating this morning. The Karamatsu lift is rested on weekdays.