Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 7th May 2017
Monday 5th January 2015, 8:02am
Morning from Yuzawa. I was kind of hoping to be waking to clearer skies and sun this morning but it's more cloud and overcast for the most part.
Yesterday it got quite bright late morning before snow started to fall on the mountains from clouds that were clearly moving in from the north west. Unfortunately it ended up raining, and quite heavily at times late night. We'd much prefer the rain keep away, thank you very much.
There's actually a break in the clouds over the Ishiuchi area just now, so maybe it will clear up.
A high of 4C and then warmer still with temperatures perhaps rising as high as 7C degrees tomorrow.
We should be back to snowfall going into Wednesday though.
After the New Year holidays we are now back to a 'normal Monday'. Even yesterday didn't seem that busy out on the slopes, but it should be quite quiet out today.
Kagura have announced revised opening times for the top Romance Number 5 lift and here they are: 9am until noon on weekends and holidays; 9:30am until noon on weekdays. They're also stressing that you need to give a 'tozan todoke' (basically your plan to go backcountry) if you intend to do that. Perhaps due to the incident over the new year with some people missing. Talking of which...
Happy news about the three people who were missing as of this time yesterday. They have been found alive, with no life-threatening injuries. Seems they had gone backcountry without letting people know and nature got the best of them. Anyway it is good to hear that they have been found. They did an interview on the news last night and were obviously quite overwhelmed acknowledging the real dangers of winter mountains. Message: be safe.
Nighta 'night skiing' - where some slopes are floodlit for skiing and snowboarding in the evening, is available at the following resorts in the area.
Ishiuchi Maruyama: Every day until 21st March (until 8:50pm) Iwappara: Every day until 22nd March (until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays, 9pm on Saturdays) Joetsu Kokusai: Every day until 22nd March (until 9pm) Kandatsu Kogen: From 23rd January, 'all night' on holidays (6pm or 10pm until 4am the next morning) Maiko Snow Resort: Every day until 14th March (until 8pm) Naeba: Every day until 29th March (until 9pm) NASPA Ski Garden (skiers only): 11th January; Saturdays until 29th February (until 7pm) Yuzawa Nakazato: 11th January; Saturdays from 10th January until 14th March (until 8:30pm)
Chateaux Shiozawa also have nighta but only on certain days - no fixed schedule available. Resorts not mentioned above do not operate 'nighta' (or do not plan to have more this season). Some resorts offer tickets that include nighta, others need a special lift ticket.
Ah, Monday morning. But... where's that sun we were expecting?
Well, it's not here yet as clouds remain over the area. At least they aren't raining (yikes) which is unfortunately what we got some of since I last typed. Luckily higher slopes got a few cm of snow. Looks rather foggy up on the mountain as well now but forecast still insist that things might clear up this afternoon. Temperatures likely to just about get into positive numbers as well and then even more so tomorrow (high of 5C tomorrow?) along with... oh no, rain.
The good news on that front though is that it shouldn't last long and snow should once again be falling over Nozawa from Tuesday for a few days with a return back to more suitably conditions.
Fresh snow to report this morning since yesterday:
Resort reporting 5-10cm of fresh snow on the slopes of the mountain this morning, just a few cm where I am here.
Lots of cloud around this morning (fog too over the upper mountain areas?) and it's a cold start to the day. Kind of not what we were told to expect for this morning as per report yesterday, but there you go. Maybe we are going to see those clearer sunny conditions later on today.
It should be getting warmer too, today and tomorrow, before dipping again around Wednesday along with fresh snow clouds moving in around that time.
Not as many people around now as we return to normal after the new year. Next weekend is a long weekend though with Monday as a holiday - and another peak of the season.
Number 1 lift Number 2 quad lift Number 3A Number 5 Super quad lift Number 11 lift Number 12 lift Number 13 lift Number 15 lift Moving Walkway Kids Park Freeride Park Tree Run Courses should be open today
Night skiing at Madarao is every Saturday until 21st March 2015... and next Sunday, January 11th (the day after is a holiday).
No snow overnight but a few cm since the report I posted yesterday, so I'll dutifully log those cm in!
It's a cloudy-overcast kind of morning here in Niseko with some forecasts giving us a chance of seeing the sun and clearer skies later in the day.
While it's a fairly cold start to the day it should be warming up slightly today and tomorrow before temperatures going back down again later Tuesday. Snowfall is due back over Niseko later on tomorrow as well and we should be seeing daily refreshes through until the end of the week at least.
Now that the New Year holidays are over for most people we can maybe get into a more normal routine --- not that it makes that much of a difference here with all of the peak months very popular and busy.
Final snowfall in Kutchan statistic for last month to compare with the last few seasons:
December 2014 - 387cm December 2013 - 258cm December 2012 - 306cm December 2011 - 349cm December 2010 - 201cm
Last season January saw 317cm of snowfall in Kutchan, so there's the target!
Resort specific news at time of writing - subject to change during the day
Niseko Grand Hirafu: Looks set to be open as planned. 'Early Morning' lift available from 10th January to 1st February (for 500 yen, you can ride Ace Quad Number 2 lift from 8am until 8:20am).
Niseko Hanazono: Looks set to be open as planned. Sorry in my report yesterday I put the Hirafu lift news in this bit under Hanazono by mistake.
Niseko Annupuri: Looks set to be open as planned. 'Annupuri First Run' available on 11th and 12th January (for 1000 yen, you can ride the Gondola from 7:20-8:20am).
Niseko Avalanche Report
Niseko base: -4C, no snowfall. Moiwa 800m: NW10m/s, no snowfall. Annupuri 1150m: NW5m/s, -9C, light snowfall with small development of snowdrifts. Hirafu 1000m: -9C, no snowfall. Coastal data: Benkei cape NW10m/s, Kamui cape NW4m/s, 1015hPa, 0.4m waves.
A high-pressure system is flowing in and the ocean and the mountains are in a calm condition. A moderate wind is still blowing at the peak, however the general avalanche risk is relatively low. Peak gates will open as soon as they’re ready. Seek some advice from the ski patrol before stepping out of the gates. Many people went out of bounds yesterday, and 2 cases of accidents have been reported. One fractured leg and one lost his way. Better not overestimate your skill and knowledge; always think safety first and enjoy within your limits. Following unknown people’s tracks will not necessarily take you safely back on track. You may end up astray in the middle of nowhere. There are no buses coming back from Goshiki Onsen.
We make this information in hope to avoid people from encountering accidents. Having everybody respect the Rules is the only way to protect the freedom of out of bounds riding in Niseko. Strictly off-limits areas are restricted for good reasons, do not duck ropes to seek fresh tracks in there. The groomers are in a fantastic conditions today. Beware of crashes.
Official snow depth numbers and any notes at time of writing:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 310cm Base - 165cm
Niseko Village: Top - 220cm Base - 150cm
Niseko Annupuri: Top - 220cm Base - 160cm
Lifts open for night skiing (planned):
Niseko Grand Hirafu Ace Family Pair lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift (There is no night skiing at the Hanazono area)
Around 10cm of fresh snow being reported from around the resorts this morning in Hakuba. Just a slight wind and mixed conditions early on with a lots of cloud. There's blue skiy behind them there clouds though and there are glimpses of those to be seen at times. Depends on where you are.
Forecast gives us sun today and so we might magically see lots of this cloud clear up this morning and this afternoon leaving us with a very fine day. It really does feel magical when that happens.
It's set to be milder later as well and tomorrow. Snow is back on the way later tomorrow but before then there's a chance of some rain, here at base anyway - hopefully (and probably) that will be straight into snow at higher elevations.
I've moved the night skiing info to be bottom of the report.
Official snow depth numbers and operations at time of writing on Monday 5th January 2015. Subject to change during the day:
Hakuba Goryu: Reporting 20cm of new snowfall at Alps Daira and 5-8cm on lower slopes. All courses open except Adventure Course.
Hakuba 47: Reporting 10cm of fresh snowfall. All courses open and lifts operating as normal. Tree Riding Zone open. On January 6th and 7th, R4 Snow Park will be closed as they give it a 'full remake'. Sounds exciting!
- Upper - 270cm - Lower - 160cm
Happo-one: 15cm of fresh snowfall at Usagidaira, 10cm at base.
Kashimayari: All areas now open. Night skiing every day until 15th March.
Night skiing at resorts in the Hakuba area:
Hakuba Goryu: Toomi area every day until 31st March. 6pm until 9:30pm. Hakuba Happo-one: Nakiyama area every day until mid March. 5pm until 9pm. Hakuba Cortina: Every day until 31st March. 5pm until 8pm. Tsugaike Kogen: Kane-no-naru-oka on Saturdays in January (and 11th); February 7th, 14th. 6pm until 8:50pm. Karamatsu-Shirakaba on Saturdays in January 10th (and 11th); February 7th, 14th, 28th; Saturdays in March. 6pm until 9pm. Kashimayari: Every day until 15th March. 4:30pm until 9:30pm. Read more ...
Monday 5th January 2015, 9:20am
Mostly cloudy, some blue sky, decent visibility
Not as cold this morning in Zao and I can actually see the mountain, the lower parts anyway.
Cloudy start to this Monday morning but more sky appearing over the last hour or so - perhaps we'll still get to see more of that and the sun later on.
Tomorrow also should be on the milder side but come Wednesday we're due a return to very cold though the forecast doesn't give us much in terms of snowfall in the coming week.
Zao Onsen is fully open (though note that the Karamatsu pair lift is closed on weekdays).
Night skiing operations at Zao this season
Uwanodai area: Daily until 22nd March
Yokokura area: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Friday 9th January until 15th March
Open times from 5pm until 9pm.
Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time ropeway operations
January 2015: 10th-12th, 17th-18th, 24th-31st February 2015: Every day 1st-28th
Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm. In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled. Read more ...
Monday 5th January 2015, 9:21am
It is a glorious morning with the sun hitting the slopes and blue sky surrounding. Dont be fooled by the presence on the sun though as the temperatures are very cold, so be sure to wrap up warm and put some coins in the the pocket for a hot coffee which will be needed after a few runs. There has been a dusting of snow overnight and the mountain has been extensively groomed and good powder conditions prevail. Kitanomine Gondola will be operating from 10am, and for the first time this season Ladies Downhill will be open from the top of the gondola. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Monday 5th January 2015, 9:30am
It's not as cold this morning, though still way under zero of course. Have to be careful when I say it's not cold as people coming from places where cold is less than +10C have a different view on these things!
Cloudy really this morning. Sky and sun later maybe? That's what the forecast tells us.
From around Wednesday we expect temperatures to drop once again back down to 'extremely cold' levels though it does not seem to be that we can expect heavy snow. More like just a bit here and there. Regular topups are what we (always) want.
Resort areas status with official snow depths:
Okushiga Kogen: 140cm Open (note: skiers only resort area)
Yakebitaiyama: 180cm Open
Ichinose Family 140cm Open
Ichinose Yamanokami: 140cm Open
Ichinose Diamond: 140cm Open
Takamagahara Mammoth: 140cm Open
Terakoya: 150cm Open
Higashitateyama: 100cm Open
Giant: 140cm Open
Nishitateyama: 140cm Most open
Happo Bundaraia: 140cm Open
Sun Valley: 110cm Open
Maruike: 110cm Open
Hasuike: 110cm Open
Kumanoyu: 145cm Open (note: skiers only resort area)
Yokoteyama & Shibutoge: 165cm Open except for Jumbo Course.
Planned night floodlit skiing at Shiga Kogen resort areas this season:
Sun Valley: January 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd to March 21st
Maruike: January 10th, 11th
Ichinose Family: Every day until March 29th
Ichinose Diamond: January 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd until March 28th
Yakebitaiyama: January 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd until February 21st