Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 16th December 2017
Wednesday 4th January 2017, 7:40am
Could be either blue skies or thick cloud.
Good morning everybody.
Today is expected to be a little warmer than the last few days with potentially some rain in the morning turning to snow in the afternoon. The weather looks as though it could go either way at the moment with half the sky being brilliant blue and the other half being heavy cloud.
Conditions on piste are fresh and firm today. Great for some carving!
Looking on the weather forecast is still predicting snow until Friday morning and then heavy snow on Sunday! Everyone please keep your fingers and toes crossed! Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Wednesday 4th January 2017, 8:05am
Cloud, some blue sky, bit of sun
Well this morning has started with a mix of cloud and a bit of blue sky. The sun is showing through right now too.
The forecasts do seem to say 'snow' though during today and through tomorrow as well so we're all hoping. It's going to get up to around 4C during today though according to the same forecasts, so a bit concerned about that. Temperatures just don't seem to want to keep down of late.
Though having said that, tomorrow is set to be colder and so perhaps we can expect some decent proper snowfall. We could really do with it still of course. Upper slopes are where the best conditions are but snow is thin on the ground in lower areas.
It's back to work for lots of people today after the New Year period so the slopes should be less busy.
Wednesday 4th January 2017
Lifts that are planned to be operating: All lifts appear to be operating except for: - Challenge pair - Utopia pair - Kandahar pair
Most courses at Nozawa Onsen are now open. Courses not yet open are: - Kurokura - Grandprix - Jumping - Hachiman - Mukobayashi - Kandahar East - Kandahar West - Usagi
Fresh snow reported by resort since yesterday morning: - Yamabiko: 5cm - Uenotaira: 0cm - Hikage: 0cm - Nagasaka: 0cm - Karasawa: 0cm Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Wednesday 4th January 2017, 8:10am
Partly cloudy, sun
Morning from Shiga Kogen and it's a fine and a fairly calm start to the day (though perhaps some gusty winds on mountain I hear), with snow forecast to be falling later on today - and through tomorrow too.
Sunday/Monday is currently looking quite exciting according to the forecast. I like it a lot when it says 'heavy snow'.
Anyway, back to today. A chilly start to the day and just a bit more snow to report, which is basically left overs from the snow that fell yesterday after I posted my report (no fresh snowfall overnight).
Here's to those incoming snow clouds.
4th January. Yesterday was probably the last day of the New Year holidays for a lot of folk and so today we are back to something like 'normal'.
Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:
Most of ski lifts and courses in Shiga Kogen are now open.
After a day of mild temperatures and light snowfall through the day (maybe adding 2cm or so to the total), it's colder and windier today - maybe cold because of the wind.
Still waiting for that heavy snow, but every bit helps. Word from people heading up the hill was that there was more snowfall up high, perhaps 30-40cm. Keep hoping for more weight to push down all the small trees in the backcountry, and some good touring can begin.
Clearer skies this morning though there is some cloud up there - a mix of white and grey. It feels calm outside my place here now, but my patrol friend tells me that there's a southerly wind this morning. Here's to that quickly changing to northerly on that front...
And the other thing that we are most looking forward to is the return of snow clouds... due sometime this afternoon with snow also forecast for tomorrow.
So it looks like we can look forward to a top-up over the next few days (and looking ahead a bit further it's looking like it'll be snowing Sunday into Monday as well). Regular snowfall. That sounds good to me.
Today should be less busy than it has been the last few days as many people will be returning to work after the new year break.
The groomed slopes look very inviting this morning. Perhaps see you out there.
Operating status for the day at Madarao Kogen (at time of report):
- Number 1 lift - Number 2 quad lift - Number 3A lift - Super quad lift - Number 11 lift - Number 12 lift - Number 13 lift - Number 15 lift - Moving walkway - Kids Park - Snow Mobile Land - Free ride Park
- Nighta at Madarao Kogen is every Saturday until 25th March (and also 8th January and 19th March)
Official snow depth:
Lifts currently operating at Tangram Ski Circus:
- Number 1 - Number 2 - Number 3 - Number 5 - Number 6 Read more ...
Wednesday 4th January 2017, 8:42am
Morning from Zao and it is snowing. Decent snow too right now. And according to the forecast it is set to snow for the day and hopefully into tomorrow.
So, let's see what I can report to you tomorrow morning...! Come on, let's have it.
In the meantime visibility will be limited out there if it continues anything like now.
The following lifts are not operating: Kurohime Number 1 quad Zao Kokutai pair Ryuzan pair Karamatsu pair Nakamori Number 1 triple Nakamori Number 2 pair Zao Paradise Number 3 pair Omori quad
Official snow depths: Chuo - 65cm Utopia - 35cm Uwanodai - 30cm Paradise - 55cm
Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time Zao Ropeway operations
January 2017: 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 27th-31st February 2017: 1st-28th March 2017: 1st-5th
Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm. Ropeway return charges are 2,600 yen for adults and 1,300 yen for children. In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled. Read more ...
Wednesday 4th January 2017, 8:49am
Morning from Hakuba.
Locals in the village saying that it almost feels like 'haru-ichiban' (first spring storm?) kind of wind conditions this morning. Just really weird weather, damn.
Wind is affecting lifts this morning with Hakuba 47 and Hakuba Happo-one both totally closed at the time of writing; top lifts at Hakuba Goryu and Tsugaike Kogen are affected but part open.
If you are wanting to head out this morning I strongly recommend checking for the latest with resorts as things may well change - and probably will.
There was a bit of blue sky to see earlier on but it looks like more clouds are quickly gathering and something might fall. Please be snow, not rain.
Personally I'm going to sit it out and wait for the snow that is hopefully going to be falling tomorrow. It should definitely be colder and feel more like early January.
Resort news as of 8:45am on Wednesday 4th January 2017:
All information as available and subject to change during the day due to weather and snow conditions.
Hakuba 47: The resort is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. Closed at the time of writing due to wind conditions - will hopefully be able to open later. Official snow depth Upper: 110cm Base: 20cm
Hakuba Goryu: The resort is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. Top lifts not operating this morning due to strong winds. Operating lifts and course info: The following courses are open: - Toomi - Soft Cream - Powder Snow Official snow depth Alps: 125cm Toomi: 30cm Iimori: 20cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Closed at the time of writing due to the wind conditions. The resort is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 90cm Kurobishi: 120cm Lower: 25cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Tsugaike Kogen is part open. Operating lifts and course info: - Top lifts and courses are affected by wind this morning. Some lower areas are apparently open. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 113cm Han-no-ki: 100cm Oya-no-hara: 25cm Maruyama: 30cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 25cm
Hakuba Cortina: The resort is reporting up to 0cm of fresh snowfall. Operating lifts and course info: - Hakuba Cortina appears to be open - Snake course closed. Official snow depth: Top: 130cm Base: 77cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field is currently part open. Operating lifts and course info: - Gondola - Paradise triple - 3-sen North lift - 4-sen East lift The following courses are at least part open: - View C (part) - East - North - Paradise (part) - by1 Official snow depth: Top: 55cm Base: 30cm
Kashimayari: Kashimayari is currently part open. Operating lifts: - Number 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 lifts. Official snow depth: Top: 30cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Hakuba Norikura Onsen is currently mostly open. Lift info: - All but one lift are now operating with most courses planned to be open today. Official snow depth: Top: 90cm
Hakuba Sanosaka: Hakuba Sanosaka is now part open. Official snow depth: Top: 25cm
Please note that Yanaba ski hill will not be opening for the 2016-2017 season Read more ...
Wednesday 4th January 2017, 9:02am
Good morning to you all from Niseko.
No new cm of snowfall to report this morning. But, I very much hope to be bringing news of fresh powder on the ground tomorrow morning. I always hope for that of course but it looks like it is going to be happening. A bit of snow has started falling on and off in places this morning and there's a dusting of snow on the top of my car now, so hopefully that is the start of it with snow forecast into tomorrow along with colder conditions.
I've got to say the forecast beyond that isn't looking particularly snowy from Friday into at least early next week, which is a bit concerning.
Anyhow, got to play with what we got and of course there's lots of fun to be had out there. In fact, I am going to go out myself once I post this.
So until tomorrow!
Be sure to check out the Avalanche Report this morning below.
"They're doing it, so why can't we".
Now imagine a very young child mid-tantrum saying that.
Legit and professionally run guiding companies should know much better.
(And by the way, I have no idea who the report is talking about).
Last chances to enter the Giveaway on SnowJapan and win a Niseko tour for up to 4 people:
Niseko Avalanche Report: Niseko base 6am: -6℃, no snowfall. Moiwa 800m: -8℃, calm wind, no snowfall no snowdrifts. Annupuri 1150m: -9℃m mild wind and some sprinkles. Hirafu 1200m:-6℃, mild wind, no snowfall. Kamui cape lighthouse: E2m/s, 1012hPa, 0.8m waves.
Calm wind, no snowfall and no snowdrift development. The general avalanche risk is low. The groomers are hard and fast. Beware of overspeeding, loss of control and collisions. Some snow should start coming this morning.
Crossing boundary ropes is strictly prohibited. Here’s one excuse we had from a guiding company that got their lift passes confiscated: "It is silly that only us are not allowed to duck ropes, when so many are already doing it. That is why we ducked ropes and made our customers do the same."
Surely, all Niseko resorts accept the freedom to ride the out of bounds area, however only given the fact that everybody respects the Rules. This area has learnt from bitter experiences in the past, made some Rules in order to officially allow out of bounds riding then set the access gates. Letting people duck ropes at will can and will lead to serious accidents. Making selfish interpretation and neglecting the Rules is as choking your own self. The very basic premises for running a business in Niseko is to respect the area’s official Rules.
Resort specific opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Night skiing is planned until Monday 20th March 2017 at the Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Village resort areas. There is no nighta in the Hanazono area. Read more ...
Wednesday 4th January 2017, 9:07am
Good morning from Grandeco.
Good news this morning.
The forecast told us to expect a bit of snow last night but I'm happy to report that 12cm of fresh snow has fallen by early morning and it is still falling at the moment (9am).
The upper course around the gondola peak station is covered with some nice fresh snow.
Due to the current snowfall, visibility is limited. Take care out there skiing and boarding.
The course maintenance team is now preparing to open the remaining courses from tomorrow, please wait for more on that in the report tomorrow.
Snow park information: 5m straight rail, 4m straight rail, 4m down box, 4 formed cask, drum can, 6m straight box, 8m straight rail, 6m down box and 6m wide box.
- Gondola - Number 1 quad lift - Number 2 quad lift
[A-a] Rainbow 3500 [A-b] Rainbow 3500 [B-c] Mint C [C] Center [D-b] Lavender B
Official snow depth: 80cm
Road condition to Grandeco: Inawashiro through Goshikinuma: snow Goshikinuma through Grandeco: snow Snow tires are necessary. Read more ...
Wednesday 4th January 2017, 9:11am
Although we havent have any significant amounts of fresh snow for a few days the course conditions are great for this time of year. Looking up at the Kitanomine side of the mountain yesterday, it certainly looked pretty quiet, signifiying that many of the domestic vistiors that were here for the New Year period have departed.
Last evening we had a brief snow event that didnt last long, but blanketed the uppper village with a nice dusting of snow. These dustings at village level may not seem significant, but they will be a few centimetres on the resort itself and help keep the snow conditions fresh.
Right now it is high overcast with no sun breaking through, but some sunlight may come through later in the morning. Visibility is very good, and all lifts and courses are expected to be operating. Read more ...
Wednesday 4th January 2017, 9:21am
Hello from Yuzawa and what just feels like another odd kind of morning weather wise.
First of all, news of snow. The top of Kagura is reporting 5cm but no other snow being reported.
It was a cloudy and overcast start to the day with some blue skies at times but getting cloudier again now. Snow is on the forecast, but again the same forecasts have temperatures rising to around 5C at town level. There's every chance that it will be raining - like yesterday - before snowing; particularly in town.
Look out for perhaps some stronger winds as well this afternoon. Perhaps they can blow in some colder conditions.
Tomorrow should definitely be colder and much more winter-like and it looks like we can really expect some decent snow falling from the skies. Please let it be!
Resort details - as always - updated below. I long for the day when all of the resorts are fully open and all I need to report on is the weather!
Resort-specific info as of Wednesday 4th January 2017
GALA Yuzawa 11 courses in the Central and North areas are open as well as the sledding area. Official snow depth: 140cm
Ishiuchi Maruyama Lifts from all three base areas are now operating and most course areas are available. Official snow depth: 80cm
Iwappara Iwappara is part open. 5 lifts and 14 courses are open - mostly mid to upper areas. The resort has stopped nighta for the moment. Official snow depth: 35cm
Joetsu Kokusai 13 lifts are operating and 11 courses are open in front of the hotel and in the Panorama and Atema areas. The resort has stopped nighta for the moment. Official snow depth: 40cm
Kagura All areas of Kagura are open. The top Kagura Number 5 lift is now open (from 9am until noon on holidays and weekends and from 9:30am on weekdays). Official snow depth: Kagura - 170cm Mitsumata - 150cm Tashiro - 130cm
Kandatsu Kogen Kandatsu Kogen is now mostly open and five lifts operating. Official snow depth: 90cm
Maiko Snow Resort The upper Okusoeji area and a part of the Maiko area are open. The resort has stopped nighta for the moment. 8 lifts and 12 courses are available. Official snow depth: Upper - 110cm Base - 20cm
Muikamachi Hakkaisan The Ropeway, Number 1 and 3 romance pair lifts are operating. Official snow depth: 70cm
Naeba Most lifts operating. Please see Naeba Now report for more specific details. Official snow depth: 90cm
NASPA Ski Garden NASPA Ski Garden is open. All lifts are operating and all courses (apart from the mogul course) are open. Official snow depth: 75cm
Yuzawa Kogen Yuzawa Kogen is mostly open including the lower Nunoba area. All lifts operating. Official snow depth: Top - 110cm Base - 40cm
Yuzawa Park Yuzawa Park is part open with the Number 1, 3 and 7 lifts operating. Official snow depth: 30cm
Yuzawa Nakazato Yuzawa Nakazato is open with all lifts operating. Official snow depth: 45cm
'Nighta' (floodlit night operations)
Below are details of the planned 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma this season. This information is subject to change due to snow and weather conditions. *** Please note that this section will not be updated every day.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Daily until 19th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 8:50pm. The Chuo Number 1, Chuo Number 2 and Kanko Number 3 Express lifts are open daily. The Kanko Number 1 Express lift, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift and Hatsukaishi Number 2 pair lifts are also open on weekends and holidays.
Iwappara Daily until 20th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays. The Main course, Grand course and West courses are open during nighta.
Joetsu Kokusai Daily until 20th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm. The area in front of the main base hotel is open for nighta.
Kandatsu Kogen 'Hobo All Night' ('Almost All Night') is on Fridays, Saturdays and nights before holidays between 29th December 2016 and 1st April 2017. The nighta opening times on those days is from 6pm until 4am the following morning.
Maiko Snow Resort Daily until 19th March 2017. Nighta is from 4pm until 8pm. The Maiko center quad lift on the Maiko Side of the resort operates for nighta.
Naeba Daily until 26th March 2017. Nighta is from 4pm until 8:30pm. Part of the lower area of the resort is usually open for nighta.
NASPA Ski Garden 'Thanks' (extended) opening on Saturdays in January and February and also from 30th December until 8th January 2017. On those days the Number 1 lift is open until 6pm.
Yuzawa Nakazato Every Saturday from 7th January until 11th March 2017, 8th January 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 8:30pm. The Number 2 pair lift operates during nighta. Read more ...
Appi Kogen Now!
Wednesday 4th January 2017, 9:40am
Good morning from Appi,
Well we've had more snow and it's certainly helping conditions on the slopes but we only have 4 lifts and the gondola in operation still.
Relatively stable weather over the next few days should bring some more snowfall and stable temperatures. Winds variable somewhat out of the North West.
The slopes that are open are groomed and in good condition but the Upper Sailer run is still proving to be a little harsh by mid day.
Currently planned operating lifts:
Gondola Central quad Central number 3a Central number 2 Central number 5