Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 7th May 2017
Friday 5th February 2016, 7:27am
Slightly brighter to the south and east, quite dark over the mountains and toward to ocean
An early-morning departure this morning, and only Akakura Onsen has made its report for the day, but it feels like the calm before the storm today.
Or at least we hope!
The skies are dark, light snow is falling, and it just has that feel that a good snowfall is on the way. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but I've decided to be more positive (a few days off skiing can improve your spirits!).
Again, only Akakura Onsen is new today; other temperatures should be more in line with -1° it is reporting.
We enjoyed very fine weather yesterday especially in the morning. Lots of the time there were no clouds to be seen and then at times some clouds appearing and covering the sun for a short time, but it didn't last long... generally clear and sunny. Beautiful. Mild too, with a high of around 5C in town.
I spent a very fun half day over at the Iwappara resort.
Snow cover generally good though it's a bit thin on the ground on a few of the steeper runs and we could do with a dump of fresh to liven it up - basically what has been mentioned before. The length of the ski season into spring is definitely going to be an issue if we don't get lots of snow this month...
Anyway, later in the day more clouds did appear on the scene and overnight the sprinklers were going so I can only presume it was snowing. Outside this morning no new snow on the ground that I can tell anyway and unfortunately it's actually raining lightly and a bit wet. Not what I wanted to be reporting.
Kagura are reporting 2-3cm of fresh snow and Maiko resort are reporting 2-5cm this morning, and so it sounds like there will be modest fresh on the slopes this morning and hopefully it might be snowing higher up.
OK so let's look at the all-important forecast before the weekend. The 'precipitation' (of whatever variety) should be easing off as the day goes on today with a high of about 3C expected in town. Tomorrow might start with some clearer skies, soon to be covered in cloud and hopefully snow. The forecast is still confident of some decent snowfall overnight into Sunday so fingers crossed it's right. After that, there's more snow lined up on the forecast for Tuesday/Wednesday.
Resort official snow depths (Friday 5th 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.
Yesterday brought more snow and it actually stayed even though the winds overnight were a little stronger than expected. The official base has crept up to 110cm.
It's still snowing as I type this report. We can expect cloudy skies most of the day with some snow showers. The temperatures have increased slightly and should remain at -6 at the base. The weekend forecast doesn't inspire too much with limited snowfall expected and temperatures creeping back down to the -10 range.
Nothing new to report in the open run department either. The upper level runs still need more snow but overall they're ok as you're not dodging too much vegetation on the way down anymore.
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 ...
Friday 5th February 2016, 8:27am
Good morning folks.
I have some good news and bad news to report this morning. The bad news is the wind is much stronger than forecast, and while Kiroro is usually protected from Westerly winds, todays wind has swung more South and is gusting to 79km/h at the peak. This means that Asari #2, Nagamine #2 and the Gondola are currently on hold until the wind drops.
Now with the bad news out of the way; In the last 24 hours, Kiroro had 12cm of snow at the base. The wind will be loading the snow into sheltered easterly aspects (for example powder zone) making them even deeper. The snowfall has picked up in the last 10 minutes and will be filling in tracks all day. Read more ...
Friday 5th February 2016, 8:35am
Cloud, some blue sky
Good morning to you all.
There's another 10cm more fresh on the ground this morning, thank you very much!
That makes my observed total 62cm in the 5 reports so far this month so the great start to the month continues.
There is a lot of cloud around at the moment but good visibility and areas of blue sky also appearing.
There's also more of a wind around this morning and strong westerly winds blowing around higher up according to the resorts (Annupuri reporting a blowy 22m/s) - unfortunately top lifts don't look like they are going to be starting the day as planned. Latest info at time of writing added below, let's hope it calms down.
Some more snowfall is due overnight once again and at times tomorrow too; oh yes, and on Sunday too. If you are looking for some sunshine, Monday is still looking like it will be the main day for you.
Hope you all have a very fine day.
One rather angry person sent an email yesterday to the SnowJapan folk asking why 'the Niseko reporter is doing his best to get people to go to other areas'. Apparently, that's what he - for it was a he - took from my report yesterday morning.
No, I'm not 'doing my best to get people to go to other areas'. I'm also actually not 'doing my best to get people to come to Niseko' either.*
I'm simply reporting honest conditions from here in Niseko and at times adding a bit of commentary (for want of a better word). I think lots of people will be interested in how the season is going not only here in Niseko but in Japan in general; and how this season may be different from other seasons... that kind of thing. I give the readers of these reports more credit than just being exclusively interested in Niseko and nothing else.
I do want to perhaps add that I hope that my love of Niseko - and indeed Japan in general - also does come through in these reports. (But that's not me trying to sell anything to anyone).
The person who sent that was probably the same type of person who would prefer that I don't talk about rain if it is raining**, and would prefer if I didn't talk about rubbish snow when the snow is rubbish***.
* BOOK NOW!
** It never rains in Niseko in winter.
*** Snow is never rubbish in Niseko. (Not even when it's rubbish).
Resort specific lift opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Niseko Grand Hirafu The top Ace Number 4 and King Number 4 lifts are on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds.
Niseko Village The top Wonderland lift are on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds.
Niseko Annupuri The Gondola and top Jumbo 4 lift are on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am: -5℃, 10cm snowfall, no snowdrift development. Moiwa 800m: -8℃, NW5m/s, 15cm snow with might snowdrift development. Mikaeri 740m: -8.3℃, SW3m/s. Annupuri 1150m: -13℃, W15m/s. Hirafu peak ridge 1250m: -11℃, 10cm snow and light development of snowdrift. Benkei cape: NW15m/s, Kamui cape: W14m/s, 1011hPa, 1.3m waves.
A NW wind has picked up as the small Low passed, generating snowdrifts on top of Feb 4th pre-low pressure snowfall layer above 900m elevation, making the layer under Feb 4th transform into a hoar layer due to the temperature changes. Thin surface slab slides are to be expected in the Bckbowl sidewalls, below Osawa cornices, Mikaeri bowl and other leeside steep slopes. Peak gates are scheduled to open, please follow the patrol’s instructions. Be careful digging easy pits, they could trigger a slid. Remember to always belay yourself when pit-checking in knolls or steep slopes. The leeside aspects are pretty much reset but the snow is a bit heavy. Have you turned your beacon on?? Have nice day.
Official resort snow depths as of Friday 5th February 2016:
Cloud, fog, gas but probably going to clear quickly
Yesterday there was a bit of a wind blowing in places but nothing to cause any problems with lifts as far as I can tell; light snowing was falling but it didn't amount to much - that kind of snowfall.
More light snow has been lazily falling this morning but there's no new cm of snow to report, apart from light dustings up on the mountains.
Where are you heavy snow? Did we do something wrong? Show your face! It looks like there's going to be some heavy snow appearances tomorrow night and also early in the week around Tuesday. Let us cross our fingers and not say any bad things about the snow gods, ok?
The forecast for today is fine weather with temperatures rising here in the village to around 3C, we'd prefer the temps to remain under zero...
Tomorrow doesn't look like it should be especially cold either, but snow should be falling and getting heavier later on in the day as the temperatures drop.
For today though we start the day with lots of gas and cloud covering up what looks like clearer skies that we might get to see fairly soon. As I write this visibility in some places on the slopes across the valley looks very limited, but we expect these conditions to fairly quickly clear up. It should be a fine day.
Resort news as of 8:30am on Friday 5th 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 at base and 2cm high up. 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 1cm of fresh snowfall on mountain. 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 1cm of fresh snowfall. All courses are open except Giant. The Ikenota area will be open for 'nighta' until 8pm tonight. Official snow depth: Top: 184cm Base: 118cm
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: 215cm Maruyama: 85cm 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: 80cm
Morning from Nozawa and the snowfall I have to report this morning is similar to yesterday ranging from a dusting on lower slopes to 5cm on upper slopes.
I so miss being able to often report 30cm of fresh dumpage in the village, and I still optimistically hope we'll get to some of that this season - though some locals are more of the 'this is how the season will be' kind of thinking now.
So I'm getting excited about what is on the forecast. After some light snow today/tonight perhaps, it's heavy snow forecast tomorrow night (well on some forecasts anyway). Monday is scheduled currently to be clearer and sunny and that to be followed by a return to snowy conditions and the chance of another decent dump.
Fingers crossed everyone.
Just now there's a lot of fog up top (possibly light snow? - the resort was reporting light snow up there as of 7:30am), making visibility limited in some places. Better in others and maybe it'll clear up this morning.
It's going to be a busy weekend. Let's hope there's lots of fresh snow to play in come Sunday morning.
Official info at time of writing on Friday 5th February 2016 (subject to change):
After those clear blue skies yesterday morning, this morning is a much different set of colours with grey clouds hanging over the top part of the resort. There's a chance of snowfall during the day today - but just now, no snow is falling.
Tomorrow is what we are all looking forward to and the 'heavy snowfall' that might be on the menu for tomorrows evening meal. That probably won't be prolonged with clearing conditions on Sunday and then clear sunny skies forecast for Monday. But there's more snow lined up on the forecast for Tuesday as well so we're hoping for some good refil/reset snowfall.
It's keeping chilly this morning but will get colder for the weekend so come prepared for snowy and cold conditions!
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):
Low level cloud on the upper half of the mountain today.
Good morning from Naeba everyone.
Once again we've received a small amount of snow overnight (just over 3cm) meaning that piste conditions will be fresh today although not too powdery.
Weather conditions today are low level cloud just above the base area meaning that you'll be inside the cloud if you head up the gondola.
There's a small amount of snow still falling although unfortunately it's looking like it could stop fairly soon.
The weather forecast is still predicting snow every day with larger amounts of snow supposed to fall on Saturday afternoon/night and then again on Tuesday. Whether any of this comes off with the unpredictable weather this season, we'll just have to see.
Good news this morning from a very snowy Grandeco area - up to 25cm of fine powder snow has delivered to base of resort here with more higher up on the mountain.
Snow fell through much of last night until this morning and not only in the Ura Bandai area but also to the south in Inawashiro area of Fukushima (though the snow quality is a bit wetter to the south of Mt. Bandai).
Temperatures are a little higher this morning, but snow condition here this morning should be very good.
The wind is not strong now, so it's a nice morning with all of that fresh snow to enjoy.
According to the forecast, snow will continue falling through Sunday so it should be a very good weekend.
Lovely morning yesterday and today is starting with some sunshine as well. Lots of white cloud around but blue sky and sunshine too.
Are we still going to get the snowfall the forecast promised us soon? Yes, it looks like it's going to be tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night for the main event which will hopefully mean lots of snow falling over Shiga Kogen. There's some decent snowfall showing on the forecast for around Tuesday as well, so fresh to look forward to.
Let's hope the forecasts are right.
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Friday 5th 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
Windy but plenty on nice snow sums up the report today.
The winds have arrived as forecast and have increased from light to moderate this morning in the village. I expect the situation to be gusty up on the mountain, particularly in the exposed areas. Tomorrow the winds will reduce a little before increasing again on Sunday to strong levels, and then reducing by Monday morning.
We have been blessed by snow again overnight and I have recoreded another 6cm in the village, so there will be some pretty decent depths on the ski area itself. It is currently snowing moderately and we expect the snow fall to continue through the day.
Temperatures are pretty mild with -4c recorded at base level this morning, but it has already warmed up a couple of degrees since then. So not a particularly cold day, but the wind will definitely have an effect and a face mask would be a handy item to have in your pocket.
There are ski competitions on Kitanomine at the moment and the following courses are closed: