Snow and weather reports posted on Wednesday 21st March 2018
Shiga Kogen Now!
Thursday 7th May 2009, 9:16am
Golden Week is over, as is the snow season for most parts of Shiga Kogen.
A few areas remain open though in the southern part of Shiga Kogen. Kumanoyu plans to be open until 10th May, currently with one lift servicing a few courses. Yokoteyama and Shiuboge plan to remain open as long as they can with 5 lifts moving up there. They can perhaps be open for more than a week yet so there is still more chance to get out there for that last ski or snowboard.
It's just cloudy this morning and a fairly mild 6 degrees early on with fine weather forecast for the next few days.
Well yesterday sun was forecast for today but early on we have got rain though it looks likely to clear up and leave us with just a cloudy day. Look for a high of around 21 degrees with rain tomorrow as well... hopefully that better weather will be with us for the weekend.
Official resort snow depths @ 7th May 09, AM: Kagura: 190cm
Lifts moving are as follows:
Mitsumata Ropeway Mitsumata No 1 quad Mitsumata No 3 pair Kagura Gondola Kagura No 1 quad
There's not much snow left at Mitsumata, with those Mitsumata lifts used only to get to the Kagura Gondola (and back to the Mitsumata Ropeway).
Tenjin closed its slopes yesterday so time for a quick look back over the season. Not a classic in terms of snowfall but when you have been spoilt as we have for so long, it is easy to forget that even in a below average year there is still plenty of snow around.
The tone was set early with a long range forecast of higher than average temperatures which had a few people worried. Late November snowfalls put a few nerves at rest and it looked as if it would be business as usual this Winter. December remained strangely warm and with no snow on the lower slopes many resorts had to cancel their initial opening dates for the middle of the month. A predicted cold snap that was supposed to herald the start of the Winter weather kept getting pushed back so no white Christmas this year but on Boxing Day the first big dump of the season came via a 3 day storm that put well over a metre of snow onto the resorts. A later start than we are used to but it was a great way to get the season going.
January settled back into the weather and temperature we are used to with regular top ups. The backcountry was a little slow to get going as it took longer for everything to get filled in or covered up. Towards the end of January temperatures started to become a little more changeable. Light rain at valley level was an unusual sight for mid winter. Some icy conditions took the regulars by surprise too - edges not being so important when you are used to floating through the soft snow of a normal year, but vital when you find yourself skidding across a bullet-proof piste.
February saw the arrival of the warmer than average temperatures. Some days of heavy rain up to higher altitudes showed that the precipitation was still there even if the cold temperatures were not. One of these rainfalls left people wondering what could have been if it had fallen as snow. Even the weather forecasters seemed to be having difficulty with the changing conditions.
March continued in much the same vein as February with Winter and Spring conditions both trying to get the upper hand. High temperatures seemed to announce the final arrival of Spring mid March but snow fell again on a couple of occasions.
Counting the days until Tenjin opens next season and hoping for a legendary Winter to show this year up as the blip it was.
Another cloudy day with spots of rain and more tomorrow it looks like.
So Naeba and the Tashiro parts of Kagura are now closed for the season, leaving only the main Kagura ski area now open. Skiers and snowboarders take the Mitsumata Ropeway and main Mitsumata quad to get to the Kagura Gondola. Up at Kagura, the main quad is operating for the rest of the season.
PLEASE NOTE: We will continue to make updates to this Naeba Now! page a few times a week, but from now on until the end of the season at Kagura the daily reporting from the Yuzawa area of Niigata will move over to the Yuzawa Now! report section, so remember to check out that page as well for the latest. Read more ...
Thursday 7th May 2009, 18:09pm
Well that's all folks! With the Golden Week holidays finishing yesterday so has the running of the lifts. We couldn't have asked for much better weather for the holiday period with bluebird days, mild to warm temps and nice cool nights. There's even some sakura (cherry blossom) appearing around the village. The narrow strip of snow allowing skiing to the base in Hirafu didn't quite last out till the end of the holiday and the last couple of days people had to download on the lifts. Still people seemed to really enjoy the great weather and views.
Overall not a bad season but certainly not an epic one either. Snowfall was once again below average and there were a few more rain days than what we'd normally expect but there were still a huge number of awesome powder days as those who've followed Mikepow's reports and photos in the forums would know. It's one of the great things about being at one of the snowiest ski areas on the planet, even in a below average season it's still better than most other ski resorts.
There's still quite a lot of snow up on the Annupuri Range so plenty of opportunities for some backcountry turns over the coming weeks and the risk of some serious sunburn. The leaves are finally coming back on some of the tress in the valleys and our thoughts are turning to more summer activities which are plentiful here in Niseko. There's a local saying here that we come to Niseko for the snow and skiing but we end up living here because of the summer.
Anyway I hope everyone enjoyed the reports and I'll endeavor to add a few updates now and then to highlight some of the events here through the green season. Thanks and see you all again next season! Read more ...