Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 23rd February 2018
Saturday 7th March 2009, 8:05am
A bit better this morning as it is snowing in Yuzawa. Wet snow for sure but snow (or at least sleet) all the same and Kagura is reporting 2cm of new snow (!) - no new cm on resorts at town level but some sprinkling this morning will of course be welcome. We can't expect it to last though and by this afternoon it will be most likely just cloudy.
Right now it is just over 0 degrees with a high of around 3 degrees later on this afternoon. Fairly gusty winds just before which means that early on most of Kagura is not open - though that may well change if conditions alter - though GALA Yuzawa apparently is going to be open as normal this morning.
As the forecast stands tomorrow will start of fine and sunny and then cloud over as the day progresses... it will also be warmer than today.
Nighta tonight is at the following resorts in Yuzawa: Naeba Iwappara
In Minamiuonuma just to the north, nighta at: Ishiuchi Maruyama Centleisure Maiko Joetsu Kokusai
Just a cloudy start to the day here and while it is fairly windy early on this morning it isn't as much as yesterday and less likely to mess around with resort lift operations. It is also happily much colder today.
It's the weekend now of course so expect the courses to be fairly busy today.
The following resort plans to be open for nighta tonight: Sun Valley Maruike Ichinose Family Yakebitaiyama Kumanoyu
Wasn't in the forecast but it is snowing! Light at present and will probably only last until mid-morning but it is still snow, great for March! It now looks like there may be more on the cards for tomorrow evening. Next week is looking very "Springy" with temperatures creeping above 0 deg C for most of the week. Read more ...
Saturday 7th March 2009, 8:53am
Well the temperature and intensity of the rain increased up to just after 9pm last night and we ended up with around 15mm of rain/sleet at village level. It did remain snow high up on the mountain. Colder air then moved in overnight freezing everything solid and this morning there is heavy snow and strong winds, pretty much blizzard conditions. Looks like all higher lifts will remain closed today due to the winds and even some of the lower ones like the Hirafu Gondola may struggle to get open. With the strong winds little of the new snow will be sticking to the icy slopes and the best that can be hoped for will be a little dust on crust. Needless to say I won't be heading up there myself today.
Some snowfalls will continue tomorrow but the bulk of the precipitation will come through today. Monday is looking like it will warm up a little again ahead of the next system on Tuesday which may bring us some reasonable snowfalls through to the end of the week, hopefully laying down some soft stuff to cushion the ice underneath.
Rain yesterday... not much fun for the die-hards that did get out there, most of them only lasted a couple of runs, not bad considering the torrential downpour for most of the day.
The wind came in last night with it's persistence howl around the buildings and it's still here this morning - with a little complimentary snow to add to the equation. The main Naeba hill is hiding herself this morning also - probably in shame from yesterdays rain.
Kagura is boasting a glorious 2cm whilst the Naeba guys with their measuring sticks scowl at the 0cm mark. Even so, the strong winds are keeping the top part of Kagura closed for the time being.
A snowy start to the morning here in Nozawa this morning. After yesterdays rain, the snow which has been falling steadily on the mountain since late last night is very welcome. There is no reported increase in the base depths however. The current depths are 220cm at Yamabiko and 160cm at Uenotaira. There is a steady 30km/h Westerly blowing that will ease slightly later in the day. Visibility is poor.
There should be snow showers throughout most of the rest of the day. Winds will ease tomorrow but temperatures will be warmer over the next few days.
All courses are open except Challenge 39, Kurokura and Hachiman.
Yesterday was a total bust in the Akakura area. The rain let up and the wind died down at the lower elevations before noon, but winds blasted at up to 30 meters a second all day at the top. The gondolas were shut down all day, as were some of the lifts with hoods, and lifts ran at reduced speed when they ran at all. The staff at Ginrei threw in the towel at 1 p.m. and went home and it was the first time all season that Kumado couldn't offer night skiing. The ski area staff spent most of the day filling out forms so that package tour guests could get refunds for their prepaid lift tickets.
An instructor came back looking exhausted after a snowboard lesson and said she'd just climbed the hill seven times. She said, This girl looked pretty scrawny so I told her the lifts were stopped and asked if she really wanted to do this. She said she was fine with climbing the hill. And she was - I was panting, trying to keep up with her. I finally said, this seems pretty easy for you and she replied, I'm active in the school's mountain climbing club.
Dry, pellet-like snow fell overnight and is still falling this morning, so the slopes are dusted with powder and conditions are much improved compared to yesterday. It's not snowing that heavily, but if it keeps up the roads will get sloppy. It's raining down off the mountain so traffic is moving fairly smoothly on Route 18. The temperature will hover around zero all day. Visibility is fairly poor right now and there's not much wind, but the forecast is that the snow will let up later in the day and that it will clear up overnight, so look forward to sunshine tomorrow morning, accompanied by a slightly higher temperature. The longer range forecast is still calling for snow Tuesday and Wednesday.
At this point in the season people often call to ask, I'll be skiing on (fill in the blank future date) - will there be snow? The ski area staff are trained hospitality industry professionals, so they answer, Hmm, it's hard to say, but we usually still have snow at that time of the season. And resist the urge to reply, If I could predict the future I probably wouldn't be in an office answering foolish phone calls.
Welcome to March! Spring Skiing is now in session.
And the downside to spring skiing is unwanted temperature variations. True to the forecast, the temps warmed up to about +5 C around midnight for a few hours. Unfortunately, this was after about 10 cm of snow had already fallen. Naturally, the snowfall turned to rain, then temps went below freezing and everything hardened up to a nice shiny crust, with rain-soaked snow underneath.
It's not good today. Hard, crusty, wet and other negative adjectives.
Still, the weather is better than Niseko right now, with a bit of sun shining through, and relatively light winds. Good chance to work on your ski-in-all-conditions skills.
Fairly cold at altitude due to some strong gusts from the North-West but out of the wind the sun has warmed up the resort so depending where you are there's a mix of slushy soft stuff and icy rain-wash...and plenty of people out this weekend making the most of it.
There was a little bit of snow overnight but nothing noticeable...but with blue skies this weekend could be a lot worse. Clear tomorrow morning clouding over in the PM...
SNOW STABILITY INFORMATION
The powder has come and gone and now we are left with rain soaked past storm snow over the February 26th crust. This rain along with below zero temperatures and strong winds at Friday midnight will no doubt create another very strong rain crust. That is forecasted to to have new snow overtop come midday Saturday.
The past melt freeze crusts should not be forgotten too soon as all this new snow and rain could provide just enough weight to produce avalanches from the old crust / faceted interfaces. There is the possibility for step downs to older layers If slides in the new snow cause extra pressure on the weak faceted interfaces around the crusts. This new snow will be putting extra weight on the multiple faceted rain crusts and with the addition of wind loaded snow combined with possible mid day solar radiation there is still the chance that slabs down to past melt freeze crusts may propagate from shallow points neer ridges and around rocks and trees on solar aspects.
Avoid solar radiated start zones especially around rocks in steep avalanche terrain.
Avoid steep convex‚ rocky and sparsely treed slopes especially on lee aspects. Expect to trigger avalanches in lee loaded avalanche terrain and from cornices.
Avalanche Hazard Rating:
Below Tree Line: Moderate Tree Line: Considerable Alpine: Considerable
Increased snowfall adding load to buried weak layer Rapid settlement of surface snow causing load on buried weak layers Solar radiated cornices becoming weak with direct solar radiation. Use caution if crossing solar radiated slopes. Increased caution advised around rocky outcroppings‚ cliffs and well spaced trees in start zones. Development of cornices in lee slopes Lee side loading Due caution on cross loaded slopes Poor bonding at or around buried crust Facet layer around buried crust Wide propagation due to wind slab Stay away from steep and convex terrain
Danger level 3 : Considerable
Natural avalanches possible. Human triggered avalanches probable.
Danger level ratings are set for conditions at tree line and may vary from below tree line and High Alpine areas. Use this information as a guideline only.
Official resort snow depths on 7th Mar 09: Happo-one: 40cm (Shirakaba) 55cm (Sakka/Kitaone) 180cm (Kurobishi/Usagidaira) Hakuba Goryu: 105cm (Iimori) 105cm (Toomi) 220cm (Alps daira) Hakuba 47: 155cm Tsugaike Kogen: 120cm (Kanenonaruoka) 120cm (Maruyama) 265cm (Tsuganomori) Hakuba Iwatake: 70cm (Shomen) 160cm (Sancho) Sun Alpina Sanosaka: 85cm Hakuba Minekata: 50cm Hakuba Highland: closed for the season Read more ...