Snow and weather reports posted on Thursday 14th December 2017
Monday 8th December 2014, 8:04am
Clear skies and sunny
After that continued snow for most of the day yesterday, this morning it's an absolute beauty. Clear blue skies all round and the sun is out as of 8am. Everywhere looks stunning.
It almost felt like it would never stop snowing yesterday. It really did come down with well over 1m observed. Easily 20cm or more since my last report yesterday morning I would say. Whatever the 'exact number', if such a thing exists with things like this, it doesn't really matter... a lot. I will upload a few photos to the main Photos section of SnowJapan later this morning to give you an idea. For those of you who don't know, that can be found here: http://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resort-photos
(Update: uploaded to the Photos section, also to this page below)
By the time it got dark, skies were generally clear and it was actually a fine but cold and icy evening.
So with the clear skies this morning there is no new snow to report overnight. The number I add to the report this morning is what fell during the day yesterday.
A few lifts not moving today that were yesterday aside, it looks like the same Kagura parts of Kagura are open today. They have a map saying that this is what will be open from today until Friday. Presumably that is in the absence of any further heavy snow.
Joetsu Kokusai and Iwappara, while covered in a nice layer of snow, seem to have made the decision to wait for more to open up. Still they will certainly be happy with how things are looking this morning rather than waiting around with no snow like we sometimes are at this time of the year.
It will be interesting how this week goes. Traditionally, the first snowfall in town melts away before the real snow for the season comes. But with so much falling this time, I find it hard to think that it will all go from town. But you never know I suppose. There isn't much snow forecast for the week until late Friday into Saturday actually, even a bit of rain here and there in the meantime as it won't be quite as cold. A high of 5 degrees forecast for today but after today it doesn't look like it should warm up too much, so fingers crossed it will keep on the colder side.
We had a bit of sunlight shining down on part of the mountains earlier on this morning mixed in with the cloud making for some dramatic scenery but the sun has gone now and it's cloudy with some light snow falling in places. No new cm of snow on the ground but resorts reporting up to 10cm of fresh higher up since yesterday.
While it is snowing right now, there's not much significant snow action expected for the next few days with the next decent snowfall expected at the end of the week into Saturday.
After the excitement of that snowfall the other day, we find ourselves wanting more. Always want more! But seriously, need at least another decent dump to really open things up as it's still fairly limited around the resorts.
Resort news this morning includes more of Tsugaike Kogen opening up - actually they opened more since yesterday - and you can now ride down from that top Han-no-ki lift back down to the Gondola which is over 4000m of course. That's the biggest area that's open if that's what you want.
Hakuba 47 are closing their top area from today until Thursday due to a commercial being filmed. Or something. More on that in the updated details below.
Some good news that I am pleased to report about the local Oito train line. After the earthquake of last month, part of the train line was blocked and subsequently closed but as of yesterday it is now back to being fully open... including that bit between Hakuba and Minami Otari.
Happo-one Reporting 10cm of new snow at Usagidaira, none at base. The Kokusai Number 1 pair lift is not operating today through Friday, so the way up to the open area is on the Gondola. Panorama area is now flagged as 'part open', can't remember that being on there yesterday (though may be wrong). The resort is commenting that there's still places on the open courses where stones and plantlife might be sticking up through, so care needed.
Official Snow depths: Base - 20cm Usagidaira - 95cm
Open lifts: -Kokusai Number 3 -Panorama -Alpen Quad -Kurobishi Number 2 Quad -Adam Gondola open to take people up to the open area.
Open courses: -Panorama (part) -Usagidaira -Kurobishi (part) -Please note, can't ski back down to base.
Hakuba 47 The upper part of Hakuba 47 it seems will not be open from today until Thursday due to some kind of commercial being filmed. Got to say that's somewhat disappointing, but it's what the resort seems to be saying. They also say that they hope to be fully open from Friday.
Official Snow depths: Base - 35cm Upper - 90cm
Open courses: -Lower part of Route 1 -Route 5 -Route 6 -Route 7. -The Tree Riding Zone is not open yet.
Open lifts: -Gondola -Line A
Hakuba Goryu The top area of Hakuba Goryu is open.
Official Snow depths: Base - n/a Alps Daira - 95cm
Open lifts: -Alps Number 1 Pair lift -Alps Number 3 Pair lift -Gondola is open to take people up to the open area
Open courses: -Alps Daira Panorama -Alps Daira Grand Prix -Super Course
Tsugaike Kogen From yesterday, more of Tsugaike Kogen opened, now 4000m long course open from top to bottom.
Official Snow depths: Base - n/a Upper - 133cm
Open lifts: -Han-no-ki High Speed Pair -Gondola is open to take people up to the open area
Open course areas: -Upper Han-no-ki -Lower Han-no-ki -Part of Maruyama -Part of Oya-no-hara
Other planned opening dates:
Hakuba Sanosaka - mid December Hakuba Norikura Onsen - mid December Kashimayari Sports Village - Saturday 13th December Hakuba Cortina - Saturday 13th December Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field - Friday 19th December Read more ...
Monday 8th December 2014, 9:16am
Less than 5cm of fresh snow to report this morning and light snow falling but it has been easing now and again. Is that the sun I just saw through the clouds there just before? Maybe, but gone again now and snow falling again.
(Light?) snow showers forecast through the week but the most promising is looking likely to be as we get into the weekend.
More of the mountain is gradually opening up now, but we're still probably one dump away from being fully open.
Niseko Grand Hirafu have got their Gondola open now as well as the King Number 3 Triple and Swinging Monkey lifts, bringing with them more accessible terrain.
This now means that Grand Hirafu and Hanazono are now connected at the top.
(Hirafu, Village and Annupuri are not yet connected on the mountain and a shuttle bus is needed if you want to go between them).
Niseko Village also now have their Gondola moving and have opened up more courses.
I have added those new details to the listings below.
Here's what's open this morning:
Niseko Grand Hirafu Courses: Family Course, Alpen, Detour for Beginners, Green, Center, Kokutai, Kogen, Number 2 Wall, Jumbo, Parallel, Setsuzoku. Lifts: Ace Family Lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Ace Number 3 lift, Hirafu Gondola, King Number 3 Triple lift, Swinging Monkey.
Niseko Hanazono Courses: Stairway to Heaven, Silver Dream, Legend of Shinya, Yotei Sunset, Crystal Garden Lifts: All 3 quad lifts operating
Niseko Village Courses: Final Fling, Shaky Knees, Next Stage, Banzai, Cruiser, Don't Blink, beginners course from Gondola, Junkyard, Namara (part ungroomed), Jagaimo (ungroomed), Misoshiru (ungroomed) Lifts: Gondola, Community Chair, Banzai Chair
It's a fantastic morning here with just a bit of cloud and a lot of blue sky and sun.
Ichinose Family has the quad moving but other than that and a few lifts that were only open for the weekend, it looks like things are much the same. We basically need another snow storm or two to kick things into action proper.
For the moment though, limited terrain open but a great day to be outside and enjoying it. Maybe a bit more snow tomorrow, and then maybe that next storm at the weekend.
Remember, it's only 8th December!
Takamagahara The lower run is open, with the Number 2 triple lift moving.
Ichinose Family The Ichinose Quad and Number 2 Pair A line are moving.
Kumanoyu Number 2 Pair A and B lifts operating.
Yakebitaiyama Number 2 Gondola is operating. South course and part of Panorama Course open.
Yokoteyama Yokoteyama First Sky B Line and Yokoteyama Second Sky lifts open. Yokoteyama First Gelende and part of Yokoteyama Second Gelende open. Read more ...
Monday 8th December 2014, 10:03am
Partly cloudy, blue sky
Some blue sky this morning!
Still some cloud around but increasingly blue sky making for some fine scenery around Zao.
No new snow to report overnight.
Things have calmed down now since that snow storm!
One more storm to get full open I reckon. This coming weekend?
Onsen Number 1 pair lift Mikaeri pair lift Chuo pair lift Paradise pair lift Yokokura Number 1 pair lift Utopia Number 2 pair lift All Ropeways/gondolas Read more ...
Monday 8th December 2014, 10:59am
Clear blue skies & sunny
Furano Ski Area opened yesteday. Current operations are limited with only the Prince Romace double chair operating and the Prince Romance Course giving about 900m of skiing. Snow cover is still thin so the odd stone can be expected but snow conditions are beautifully light and dry from the snow making machines that are working around the clock. It sure was great to get out there and put in the first turns of the season.
Over the weekend the village recieved around 5cm of snow and the cold temperatures mean that this has remained on the ground and transformed the look of the village and town into a white winter wonderland. Later in the week things are looking up with continuous snow forecast from Thursday evening throught to Saturday. Hopefully this front will bring some substantial snow to allow more of the mountain to be opened.