Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 7th May 2017
Sunday 6th December 2015, 7:54am
Even with the Gondola closed all day due to strong winds, yesterday was a good day with the lower mountain holding some good snow. The crust from Thursdays rain was still lurking but you could only hit it on the deepest of turns.
During the day and overnight Kiroro received another 18cm of snow, with 23cm falling at the peak to add to the untouched 25cm yesterday. The winds have dropped and the Gondola will be open. I'll let you do the maths on how much snow will be waiting up there! The snowpack is starting to fill in now, with 155cm at the peak, however the tide is still too low for those planning on heading into the backcountry.
After a short break it is snowing again this morning and the snow is forecast to stick around all day. Temperatures have dropped to between -7°C and -10°C with the northerly wind adding a bit more bite. Read more ...
Sunday 6th December 2015, 9:10am
Good morning to you from the Niseko area where I have another 18cm of snow to report since yesterday morning. Snow was falling for pretty much the whole day yesterday and has continuing overnight. It's cold and the snow looks and feels very nice... and I have no doubt it feels pretty good if you're sliding down a slope on it too this morning.
A friend just gave me a call from the mountain and he's getting very excited about '30cm of fresh powder' up there. That sounds good to me.
So more snow expected today before probably easing off tomorrow. After that, we're due for a run of days of clearer skies according to the forecast so hopefully it just won't warm up so conditions keep us through that.
This morning the Niseko Gondola at the Niseko Village resort is moving and there is more of Niseko Grand Hirafu open as well. I have updated the resort-specific information below so do take a look at that. (Once every area is open I won't be listing them all - rather noting any exceptions to what is open).
Note that there is not yet a skiable connection between Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri - use the shuttle bus to get between them if needed.
Until tomorrow morning!
Resort specific news as of 8:30am - subject to change during the day
Niseko Grand Hirafu Niseko HANAZONO Resort Lifts planned to be running: - Ace Family Pair - Ace Number 2 Quad Center Four - Ace Number 3 - Hirafu Gondola (for transport) - King Number 3 triple - Swinging Monkey - Hanazono Number 1 quad (for transport) - Hanazono Number 2 quad - Hanazono Number 3 quad Courses planned to be open: - Family Course - Alpen Course - Beginners access - Center Course - Shirakaba Course - Green Course - Jumbo Course - Kokutai Course - Parallel Course - Silver Dream (upper part) - Yotei Sunset (ungroomed)
Niseko Village Lifts planned to be operating: - Niseko Gondola - Community Chair - Banzai Chair Courses planned to be open: - Dabesa Course - Junkyard - Banzai Course - Next Stage - Final Fling - Shaky Knees
Niseko Annupuri Lifts planned to be operating: - Annupuri Gondola - Jumbo Number 1 quad - Jumbo Number 2 pair - Jumbo Number 3 pair Courses planned to be open: - Utopia - Shirakaba - Paradise - Junior - Family
'Nighta' should be starting on Saturday 12th December 2015
Yesterday was an interesting one. By mid morning things were looking nice and settled with breaks in the cloud and some blue sky... and even some sun. I left for a day trip to Nagaoka City to the north but soon headed into some very dark grey clouds and some heavy rain as well. The weather was nasty up there. Returning back to Yuzawa last night and it was raining heavily here too so obviously a few changes to conditions yesterday.
This morning there is lots of cloud about over Yuzawa - a few breaks in the cloud over Minamiuonuma just to the north - and it is not raining at the moment. The Snowline on the mountains around town is looking similar to how it was yesterday morning I'd say and higher up the open Kagura resort area is reporting 5-10cm of fresh snow, so obviously it was snowing at higher elevations.
The main run at Kagura remains open as it was yesterday and apparently there were quite a few people up there enjoying it yesterday.
Currently it is about 5 degrees here in town and probably won't rise much above that.
Tomorrow through until around Wednesday the forecast tells us to expected slightly warmer and calm conditions with a good dose of sunshine. We probably can't expect any snowfall even at Kagura until at least towards the end of the week.
Planned opening dates for resorts in Yuzawa Town and Minamiuonuma City (by date):
Currently part open: The main Kagura course - 1500m in length, real snow (and artificial) - is open. The Mitsumata (snow-mat) area is currently being used as a connection to get to the open Kagura area. Operating lifts are Mitsumata Ropeway, Mitsumata Number 1 lift, Mitsumata Number 3 lift, Kagura Gondola, Kagura Number 1 romance pair lift and the Kagura Number 1 high speed quad. The Kagura Gondola needs to be taken to return back to the Mitsumata area.
On standby to open as soon as there is enough snow: Iwappara Joetsu Kokusai
There's lots of cloud this morning covering upper areas of the mountains but a bit of sun shining through down in the village at times as well. There's just a light northerly wind. Things have calmed down since yesterday.
Looking back to yesterday, it continued snowing during the daytime on mountain with around 5cm more fresh; there were some nice conditions to enjoy higher up especially, with a bit heavier going on lower areas that are open. Decent snow cover generally on the areas open though of course we still don't have a huge amount of snow yet and care is still needed. I'm waiting to take my new skis out - though I'm perhaps always a bit over-protective of brand new gear!
There's new snowfall to report from base this morning and a temperature of about +1C just before 10am.
Over the new few days we are told by the forecasts to expect clearer weather conditions and perhaps lots of sun. We're going to have to make do with the snow we have at the moment until maybe the end of the week which looks like it currently holds promise. So expect warmer conditions and sunshine if you plan to be here in the first half of the coming week.
Resorts that are currently at least part open - subject to change
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of new snowfall this morning; 5cm falling on upper slopes during the day yesterday. The upper area of Route 1, Route 2, Route 3, Route 4, Route 5, Route 6 and Route 8 are now open. Planned lifts: Gondola, Line AB, Line C, Line E Official snow depth Upper: 95cm Base: 20cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of new snowfall at base; 5cm of new snowfall on upper slopes. The upper Panorama Course and Grand Prix courses at Hakuba Goryu are now open. Planned lifts: Telecabin Gondola (to get to the upper area that is currently open) Alps Number 1 pair lift Alps Number 3 pair lift Official snow depth Alps: 75cm Iimori: -cm Toomi: -cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 0cm of new snowfall. The Usagidaira, Panorama and part of Kurobishi areas are now skiable. Planned lifts: Adam Gondola Alpen quad lift Kurobishi Number 2 quad lift Kokusai Number 3 lift Panorama pair lift Official snow depth Usagidaira: 90cm Nakiyama: -cm Sakka: -cm
Tsugaike Kogen: The upper part of the Han-no-ki course area is open. Planned lifts: Eve Gondola Han-no-ki high speed pair lift Official snow depth Tsuga-no-mori: 90cm Maruyama: -cm
So yesterday we saw a number of resort areas open up courses and get lifts moving, and below I have added all of the information available for you for each of the areas open, which are: Ichinose Family, Kumanoyu, Takamagahara Mammoth, Yakebitaiyama and Yokoteyama.
This morning lots of cloud about and even a bit of sun as well - the dusting of snow overnight is probably the last that will fall for a number of days now. The general trend this week is for clearer conditions and as we head into the early week expecting sunshine and slightly warmer temperatures. Hopefully it will remain cold enough for the snow that is here to keep.
The end of the coming week is looking good for more snow. I'll keep you updated on that as we get closer...
Resort areas that are currently open (Sunday 6th December) - subject to change
Ichinose Family Number 2 Pair A line lift is operating. Courses open: Ichinose Family Front course (lower part)
Kumanoyu Number 2 Pair A and B line lifts are operating. Courses open: Kumanoyu Number 2 Beginner Course Kumanoyu Number 3 Beginner Course (part) Kumanoyu Number 4 Beginner Course (part)
Takamagahara Takamagahara Number 2 triple lift is operating. Courses open: The lower course area is open.
Yakebitaiyama Number 2 and Number 3 Rapid lifts are operating. Courses open: Karamatsu Course (part - 850m) South Course (part - 960m)
Yokoteyama Yokoteyama First Sky B Line and Yokoteyama Second Sky lifts are operating. Courses open: Yokoteyama First Gelende Yokoteyama Second Gelende A course (part) Yokoteyama Second Gelende Yokoteyama Second Gelende Rinkan (part) Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Sunday 6th December 2015, 10:39am
Mostly cloudy, some blue sky
Morning from Nozawa.
The weather turned yesterday and we had rain (and perhaps some sleet overnight), but the result is that the snow from the base area has disappeared again though it does look like there might have been some more snow higher up on the mountain. Are those some cheeky ski trails I can see on the snow on the upper Yamabiko courses (webcam image as shown on the PC version of this report)? I think they are!
Generally cloudy conditions this morning with some breaks here and there and some blue sky to be seen. Forecast is for cloud and a high of about 5C degrees here in the village. It should be colder tonight than it was last night with sun and clearer skies expected tomorrow and more of that to continue until around Thursday.
We very likely can't expect the resort to be able to open next weekend, unless we see a considerable change in the forecast. Hopefully the snow gods will see that as a challenge and rise up to it!
Yesterday the official opening ceremony of the resort took place over at Uwanodai in the snow. The resort is reporting a fresh 5cm of snow but not that much down here in the village since my last report.
It's a cold morning and light snow falling still but we are now expecting conditions to clear and generally weather conditions to be calmer at least for the first part of the week. Decent snowfall perhaps making a new appearance at the end of the week.
Lifts that are currently operating:
- Ropeways - Onsen Number 1 pair lift - Chuo Number 1 pair AB - Utopia Number 2 pair
Cloudy and snowing with bursts of sunshine just to keep us smiling.
I thought snowfall and sunshine would make a sparkly rainbow...
But it didn't.
Still very pretty today, though, with an extra 20 centimetres of snow falling overnight. Clearing snow at least once a day, twice is better, is a never-ending challenge now. But it's also a bit zen and enjoyable. So far... ask me in February.
Some industrious person had cleared the stairs up to one of the Kitanomine gondola carparks today, so I went up for a look.
Very deep snow (duh) and signs that a groomer has come right down the the Kitanomine gondola station, not quite under the quad chair but along the side it. Nice to see.
As I stood there, I heard a magnificent hum and thrum of snow grooming machines (which I am sure have a more technical name). I hope, sincerely, they do not wake the bears.
All this was about 8am (it's my day off today so I'm running a bit later) but then at about 9.30am there was glorious sunshine. That's when I ran outside, a grown adult, thinking I might see a sparkling rainbow.
At 8am it was below zero celsius at Kitanomine Village. I just crossed the Sorachi River into town and it was zero. There is no breeze to speak of.
The resort has opened the 'Furano Zone' right down to the bottom, which means the 100 person gondola and the top chair (2 person) are open but now you can ski the full 900 plus metres down. Yay!
Photo 1 is my view from the Kitanomine gondola carpark to its south. Photo 2 is the view back towards Furano-shi (town)