Heading for the hills today, so a quick report before I run! The ski resorts haven't released data yet, but it's a bit mild (right around 0°C) with some moderate to strong winds from the west. It looked at first like a sunny day ahead, but some high gray clouds above the mountains have already turned into snow. The trusty NHK forecast says there could be a lot of snow coming, so today could be an interesting and fun one. It would be nice to have some serious, genuine, so-much-snow-I-can't-see Myoko precipitation.
Operations and official snow depths (all from yesterday - will update!
0cm of fresh snow this morning. A cloudy start to the day. It's about -4 degrees here in the Hirafu village area.
There's a moderate wind as well this morning which might mean lifts are affected again today. Early on the top lifts at all four ski resorts on the mountain are on hold, as well as the Niseko Gondola at Niseko Village. If conditions improve they might get moving, though the forecast is for the wind to continue and for snow to be falling soon.
This is just my personal observation but it does seem to me that this season we have been affected by wind more than usual...
So, the snow should be falling soon and hopefully continue through into the weekend. Here's hoping for a good amount of fresh snow to report soon.
It seems that yesterday a group of people were ascending Mt Yotei and encountered an avalanche, as mentioned in the Avalance Report this morning. Details are sketchy but apparently one member of the group has a broken femur (now in hospital) and happily there were no fatalities. Yotei is of course not a ski resort area and so you are on your own. It could very probably have been much worse. Another reminder of the real risks and potential dangers.
Take care out there.
Official Resort Snow Depths
Grand Hirafu & Niseko Hanazono Top - 410cm Bottom - 180cm
Niseko Annupuri Top - 345cm Bottom - 220cm
Niseko Village Top - 360cm Bottom - 200cm
Niseko base 6am: -7C, no snowfall and calm morning. Moiwa 800m: -7C, no snowfall and no snowdrift development. Annupuri peak: S21.0m/s, -12.5C. Coastal data: SSE8m/s, 1008hPa, calm ocean.
A strong southerly wind is blowing in high altitude and the weather will come in later this morning. According to all data, the general avalanche risk is low. However gate 3 will be closed due to high winds. Other gates are yet determined, please respect the ski patrol's decisions. Although the avalanche risk is low, the mountain is tracked out, beware of tracks and carefully remain in control.
An avalanche accident has occured in Mt. Yotei's Makkari (south) face yesterday. Details not available. Skiing/riding skills will not prevent accidents; in Winter Mountains touring, the leader/guides responsibility consciousness in the decision-making process is extremely important. Avalanches will happen when the conditions allow, and becomes an accident if a person is involved in it. Cautious assessment of the existing risks is required whether in lift-access or hike-access backcountry. Don’t be overconfident of your skills and experiences.
The groomers are hard but nice and fast. Have a nice day. Read more ...
Thursday 7th February 2013, 9:04am
Clear and sunny
We got about 15cm or so of fresh snow delivered in Zao I would say yesterday before evening time. Nice. Strong winds were blowing earlier this morning but now it has calmed down and it's blue skies above Zao.
-2 degrees in the village area, so not mad cold, and clear skies. Lovely morning.
Like the forecast has been saying, snow due again later on today and into tomorrow. Saturday will likely be clearer before more snow on Sunday. Should get colder from tomorrow as well.
The sun is shining down with cold temperatures this morning. Right now it is -2C in the town and likely to warm up to around 7C this afternoon.
It was cold overnight and there will be some icy conditions this morning on the slopes so take care out there.
From tomorrow afternoon we can expect some fresh snow, another great weekend of fresh snow are expected. Read more ...
Thursday 7th February 2013, 9:13am
There is high cloud this morning and light winds around the base area, increasing with elevation. The winds are forecast to increase as the day progresses and will remain moderate to strong tomorrow. It is forecast to start snowing in the afternoon and continue for the next few days. Read more ...
Thursday 7th February 2013, 9:16am
No new snow that I can see on the ground this morning, though the resort seems to be claiming 5cm on the slopes. This morning is a fine and mostly clear on - just some wispy cloud here and there, but mostly sunny and blue skies. Not too cold either.
Snow due later on today and tomorrow along with forecast plummeting temperatures.
Got to say that this year we haven't been getting those consistent deep refreshes of snow like we saw last season, and more of this kind of milder day mid season. There's certainly enough so nothing to complain about really but here's too more of the former in the second part of the season! We like those full on crazy conditions.
Lifts planned to be operating: Number 1 Number 2 Number 3 Super quad Number 5 Number 11 Number 12 Number 15 Kids Park --- FreeRide Park Powder Wave I Powder Wave II Usagi Riverline Powder Theater Adventure Read more ...
Thursday 7th February 2013, 9:29am
Blue sky, some cloud
The snow yesterday didn't really amount to much more than a dusting at town level and the resorts aren't reporting any fresh this morning. This morning the sun has been out. Some thin wispy cloud up there but generally blue skies. Out in the Miniuonuma valley and looking north there does seem to be more cloud and indeed the local forecast is for the skies to cloud over later on today and hopefully by tonight it will be snowing.
It's about +1 degrees in Yuzawa at the moment with a light wind. Good visibility and quiet slopes.
Snow likely tomorrow and on and off through until Monday really.
Well we were hoping for a nice new layer yesterday and indeed we did get some more snow but it's pretty minimal. A few cm would probably cover it, maybe 5cm or so on the slopes around Shiga Kogen.
It's a beautiful morning here. About -3c in this Maruike area here and the Kumanoyu area reporting a low of -7. Lots of blue sky. Quite a bit of white cloud here and there too. Nice and bright and the sun shining down.
Colder conditions due tomorrow along with more snow. Clearer conditions on Saturday and then back to snow on Sunday. It's one of those periods when conditions are likely to change every day...
Sometimes I'm amazed at how quite some of the slopes are mid week. Some are popular with school trips and well known for it, but you can be in places and hardly see anyone as well.
Nighta operations planned for tonight at the following resort areas: Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of Thursday 7th February 2013 AM:
Snow yesterday and I'd say 15cm or so at village level by the evening time. Not the lightest powdery kind of snow, somewhat heavy. Resorts around the village will have got that and a bit more and I hear reports of up to 30cm in the resorts of Otari, perhaps slight less in Hakuba. Curiously the resorts seem to be almost coy about this new snow on their official reports this morning in a classic case of under-reporting.
Anyway as for today, overnight snow showers continued and at the moment again somewhat wet snow falling in village - hopefully lighter consistency snow on the mountain. Add a few more cm to the tally this morning so far.
As of 9:40am it is -1C at village level and around -4C up at 1400m on Usagidaira over in Happo, and a slight southerly wind. Generally poor visibility out on the slopes this morning with cloud cover and the snow.
This new 30cm or so is of course on top of the rain affected slopes that we had in the days previous, creating increased surface instability. It is recommended to stay inbounds at the moment and enjoy the conditions on the resort runs with the increased risks.
Snow forecast to continue on and off through tomorrow and according to some of the local forecasts we might have a clear and calm Saturday. Then back to snow for Sunday.
Official snow depths and operations @ Thursday 7th February 2013 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: No numbers yet from Hakuba Goryu Official snow depths: Alps daira - 270cm; Toomi - 135cm; Iimori - 110cm
Hakuba 47: 1-2cm of new snowfall reported by Hakuba 47 since last night. Official snow depth: Upper - 225cm Lower - 170cm
We have a classic clear winters day here in Nozawa Onsen. Cold temperatures across the resort, plentiful powder, high winds aloft and perfectly groomed corduroy. Today will be a very good day for skiing and boarding.
There is still plenty of light dry powder on offer after yesterday. Although it hasn't snowed overnight, strong winds in the higher reaches of the resort have blown fresh snow to cover most tracks, especially in the gullies. There are also a few windblown natural features up high to slash or jump.
Yesterday was an very good day on the mountain. Light snow intensified and by mid morning it was dumping classic Japanese style thick flakes. The riding was good early but improved even further thanks to the persistent flakes. By about 3pm a clearing trend set in and snowfalls gradually eased off becoming clear by the evening. Like today, crowds on the mountain were very small.
We expect clear weather for most of the morning before some high cloud marches across the sky during the afternoon. Snow showers are a looking likely overnight and tomorrow we should see snow and strong winds continue. On Saturday there should still be a few snow showers about, but also the possibility on some sun.
Heavy snowfalls are a distinct possibility on Sunday evening and Monday at this stage.