Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 1st May 2017
Saturday 6th May 2017, 8:35am
Cloudy, some blue skies
Good morning from Grandeco.
It's another fine morning but more cloud around.
Many tourists have been coming to Urabandai to enjoy trekking around the 'five colors' lakes. But two ski hills in the area - here at Grandeco and Nekoma - are still moving the lifts for skiers and snowboarders until tomorrow.
It is okay to get on the Grandeco's gondola for sightseeing (not for skiing) - in that case, please buy return ticket. You can see three of one of the '100 famous Japanese mountains' from the Gondola - Mt. Nishiazuma, Mt. Bandai and Mt. Adatara.
Last day tomorrow!
- Gondola - Number 3 quad lift
60% courses now open.
Official snow depth: Top: 130cm Base: 30cm
Road Condition to Grandeco: No snow. Summer tires ok. Read more ...
Saturday 6th May 2017, 8:48am
Good morning everyone.
Another fine Golden Week-like day weather wise yesterday with sunshine and warmth; more cloud moving in during the afternoon.
It's a mostly cloudy morning and rain is forecast this morning but it doesn't seem to be falling yet - not here in town where I am anyway. We should expect it though. Hopefully it won't last too long. Bit of a wind too.
Tomorrow should see a return to sunshine and clearer skies.
Tomorrow is of course the last day of the season for GALA Yuzawa, Naeba, Kandatsu Kogen and the Tashiro Area of Kagura.
Resort information as of Saturday 6th May 2017
Subject to change depending on snow and weather conditions.
GALA Yuzawa GALA Yuzawa plans to be open until Sunday 7th May. All of the Central Area courses and part of the North Area currently remains open and snow cover is very good. The sledding area is also open. The Falcon downhill course is closed - use the Gondola to get back down to base. Official snow depth: 100cm
Kagura The Tashiro Area of Kagura plans to be open until Sunday 7th May. The Kagura Area (via Mitsumata Ropeway) plans to be open until Sunday 28th May. Almost all Kagura courses remain open and snow cover is excellent. Closed courses according to official website are the Gondola East Course (at Tashiro) and the downhill course (back to Mitsumata car park). Official snow depth: Kagura - 250cm; Mitsumata - 160cm; Tashiro - 200cm
Kandatsu Kogen Kandatsu Kogen plans to be open until Sunday 7th May. Most courses at Kandatsu Kogen remain open though snow is getting thin on the ground in places. Official snow depth: 60cm
Naeba Naeba plans to be open until Sunday 7th May. Naeba has re-opened for the Golden Week period. The Number 2 Gondola and Takenokodaira Romance lift are operating. The open course back to base is now very narrow, with much more snow cover higher up. Note that the Dragondola is operating from 9am until 1pm but for sightseeing, not skiing and boarding. Official snow depth: 80cm
All other ski and snowboard resorts in the Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma region are now closed for the season. Read more ...
Saturday 6th May 2017, 8:54am
Gray, some sun
I'm going to log in for the last two days of season 2017-2018, as we just barely sneak through with enough snow on the hill. We dropped 10cm in one day at Akakan, 30cm at Seki Onsen, so the end is coming - but not just yet.
Not a great day out there, though, with some light rain falling from time to time.
But there is some sun shining through occasionally as well, especially off to the east.
Good morning on this last Saturday of the ski season here in Niseko.
It's cloudy with a few spots of rain this morning. There's some fog up top too as well as windy conditions.
A bit of resort news:
The top Jumbo Number 4 pair lift at Niseko Annupuri won't be operating today and tomorrow, so it's just the Gondola and Number 3 lift over there with the Utopia course available.
At Niseko Grand Hirafu, the top King Number 4 lift is on hold at the start of the day and the King Number 3 lift is moving at reduced speed - this is due to windy conditions (and apparently limited visibility up top).
All rather limited and not many people about. The season ending tomorrow feels right.
I will be posting my last report of the season tomorrow - please note that it may appear be a bit later than usual.
Clearer skies and maybe sunshine should be back for the morning but if you are planning on being out and about do keep an eye on the wind and official resort info. Would be good if we could have a complete last day with good weather.
Individual resort information: Saturday 6th May 2017:
Planned resort operations - subject to change.
Niseko Grand Hirafu Niseko Grand Hirafu plans to be open daily until Sunday 7th May. You need to get the Ace Number 2 Center Four quad lift or Gondola back down to base.
Official snow depth: Top - 160cm Base - 0cm
Courses that remain open: Detour for beginners Shirakaba (Spring Park) Center Large Rinkan Dynamic
Planned operating lifts: King Number 3 (8:40am until 4:30pm) King Number 4 (8:50am until 4:30pm) Ace Number 2 Center Four (8:30am until 4:00pm) * to get up to and back down from open courses * Gondola (8:30am until 4:00pm) * to get up to and back down from open courses *
Niseko Annupuri Niseko Annupuri plans to be open daily until Sunday 7th May. You need to get the Gondola back down to base.
Official snow depth: Top - 130cm Base - 0cm
Courses that remain open Utopia
Planned operating lifts: Annupuri Gondola (8:30am until 4:30pm) Jumbo Number 3 (8:45am until 4:15pm)
Niseko Village are operating their Niseko Gondola over the Golden Week period. The Gondola is operating but the ski courses at Niseko Village are not available - you can take the Gondola up and then walk over to the top area of Niseko Grand Hirafu and ski/board in that area.
And it's not a particularly nice one unfortunately... it's raining.
A contrast to the lovely weather conditions that we enjoyed yesterday, and hopefully to what we will be able to enjoy tomorrow too.
That lower Toomi course at Hakuba Goryu was really doing well to keep open as long as it did, but alas, it couldn't make it to the end of the season... it's now closed as there's just not enough snow left. So you need to use the Gondola to get back down from the open upper slopes at the end of your day.
Tomorrow is the last day of the official ski season here in Hakuba. I'm happy to report that sunny fine weather conditions are lined up there on the forecast so it should be a good end to the season.
Day by day you can see how the snow is melting away. Always find it fascinating to see how that progresses by looking at the webcams in late spring. Kind of sad, but it has been a long season.
It will be my last report tomorrow, perhaps later in the day than usual.
Enjoy the weekend.
Resort information as of 9:00am on Saturday 6th May 2017:
Hakuba 47: Almost all of the courses at Hakuba 47 remain open. The lower part of Route 7 is closed, but you can still ride down to the base area using Route 1. Official snow depth: Upper: 80cm Base: 35cm --- Hakuba 47 plans to be open until tomorrow.
Hakuba Goryu: The upper areas remain open. All lower areas are now closed. Take the Gondola to and from upper open courses. Official snow depth: Alps: 145cm Toomi: -cm --- Hakuba Goryu plans to be open until tomorrow.
Hakuba Happo-one: The upper areas that remain open are Riesen Grat, Usagidaira, Kurobishi, Panorama and Skyline. All of the base areas are now closed - use the Gondola or Sakka Kita-one lifts to get up to the open areas and back down to base. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 70cm Kurobishi: 80cm Nakiyama: -cm --- Hakuba Happo-one plans to be open until tomorrow.
Tsugaike Kogen: The upper Tsuga-no-mori and Upper Han-no-ki areas remain open. The Lower Han-no-ki and Maruyama areas are part open. All other areas are now closed. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 175cm Han-no-ki: 160cm Shirakaba: 130cm Base areas: 0cm --- Tsugaike Kogen plans to be open until tomorrow.
All other ski and snowboard resorts in the area are now closed for the season. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Saturday 6th May 2017, 9:07am
Hello from Nozawa.
Last weekend of the season!
In contrast to the clearer and sunny skies over the last few days, this morning there is a lot of grey and moody looking cloudy up there. Some spots of rain as well but hopefully that will stop by lunchtime.
The forecast for tomorrow - last day of the ski season at Nozawa - is good. Sunny skies are forecast.
I'll be here one last time tomorrow with my wrap up for the season.
Nozawa Onsen will be open until tomorrow.
The lower slopes are now bare with no snow, but upper slopes still have very good snow cover... though it's quickly getting less and looking increasingly 'dirty' in places!
Saturday 6th May 2017
Official snow depths: - Yamabiko: 165cm - Uenotaira: 70cm - Base areas: 0cm
Planned operations - see above report for any disruptions to the plans!
Planned lift operations today: - Nagasaka Gondola - Yamabiko Four - Yamabiko Number 2 Four - Uenotaira Four - Paradise Four - Skyline connecting pair
Planned open courses today: - Yamabiko A - Yamabiko B - Yamabiko C - Yamabiko D - Yamabiko E - Kokenashi - Uenotaira - Paradise Read more ...
Saturday 6th May 2017, 9:13am
It is 19c right now and that will be the maximum for the day, which is not quite a warm as yesterdays 25c. The big difference is that there is plenty of wind around right now. It was calm an hour ago but the wind has arrived fairly suddenly and is now blowing moderately at base, so some kind of wind shell will be required for skiing even if the temperature is warm. Today is the second to last day of the season and there is good skiing on the two 800m runs that are open on the upper mountain. Please note, that although the ropeway is operating it is for uploading and downloading only, as the trails to the bottom of the mountain are now closed due to a lack of snow. Read more ...