Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 19th March 2018
Tuesday 8th December 2015, 8:24am
Mostly clear skies, sun
Morning from Yuzawa. It was a beautiful clear day yesterday and as per the forecast today is going to be another sunny one. There's a bit of cloud around this morning but still mostly blue sky. Temperatures dropped to around 0C overnight and it's a chilly morning, though a high of about 8C is forecast.
We're very probably going to be having very similar conditions once again tomorrow... if not a little warmer rising to just over 10C.
This run of clear and sunny weather is going to break later on Thursday and into Friday with rain expected in town - it's very likely going to not be cold enough for snow - though hopefully Kagura and other higher areas will get some fresh snowfall.
Planned opening dates for resorts in Yuzawa Town and Minamiuonuma City (by date):
Currently part open: The main Kagura course - 1500m in length, real snow (and artificial) - is open. The Mitsumata (snow-mat) area is currently being used as a connection to get to the open Kagura area. Operating lifts are Mitsumata Ropeway, Mitsumata Number 1 lift, Mitsumata Number 3 lift, Kagura Gondola and the Kagura Number 1 high speed quad. The Kagura Gondola needs to be taken to return back to the Mitsumata area.
On standby to open as soon as there is enough snow: Iwappara Joetsu Kokusai
Hello everyone and this morning there is less cloud than there has been the last few snowy days - better visibility and more views to enjoy.
There has been another 7cm of snowfall since my last report here at base and no doubt more on the mountain.
We are expecting today to be fine weather-wise. The clouds should clear somewhat, the sun might well make an appearance (perhaps an extended appearance) and wind shouldn't be an issue. A very fine morning to enjoy some riding.
Milder temperatures are forecast for the rest of this week and it would seem we are going to have to make do with the snow that we have as there's not much promise of snow on the forecast through until at least the end of the weekend.
Today more of the courses at the resorts are open. It's not easy keeping track of exactly what is open early season! I've tried to keep a track on that information below - and will be very happy when it's an 'all open' situation.
Note that the skiable connection between the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri resorts is not yet open.
Resort specific news as of 8:30am - subject to change during the day
Niseko Grand Hirafu Lifts planned to be running: - Ace Family pair - Ace Number 2 Quad Center Four - Ace Number 3 pair - Hirafu Gondola (for transport) - King Number 3 triple - Swinging Monkey Courses planned to be open: - Family Course - Kogen Course - Boyo Course - Alpen Course - Beginners access - Center Course - Shirakaba Course - Green Course - Rinkan Course (lower part) - Jumbo Course - Kokutai Course - Holiday Course - Connecting Course
Niseko HANAZONO Resort Lifts planned to be running: - Hanazono Number 1 quad (for transport) - Hanazono Number 2 quad - Hanazono Number 3 quad Courses planned to be open: - Parallel Course - Silver Dream (upper part) - Stairway to Heaven - Setsuzoku course - Legend of Shinya - Crystal Garden - Yotei Sunset (ungroomed)
Niseko Village Lifts planned to be operating: - Niseko Gondola - Community Chair - Banzai Chair
Niseko Annupuri Lifts planned to be operating: - Annupuri Gondola - Jumbo Number 1 quad - Jumbo Number 2 pair - Jumbo Number 3 pair Courses planned to be open: - Utopia - Shirakaba - Paradise - Junior - Family - Dynamic
'Nighta' should be starting on Saturday 12th December 2015. Nighta is available at Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri (none in the Niseko Hanazono area)
It was cold early on (and I see Hakuba 47 reporting a temperature of -9 degrees on upper areas), and there's really not that much to report this morning other than the fantastic blue clear skies over the valley. Just a few small white clouds here and there.
Sitting here behind a computer seems just plain wrong on a day like this.
It looks like resort operations are as they have been this morning and I wouldn't expect that to change until we get more snowfall.
Snow cover is fairly decent on the upper areas that are open, but snow is generally still thin on the ground especially in lower areas and we need another good snow storm (or the equivalent) to really get things going proper.
The weekly forecast isn't really showing much to get overly excited about unfortunately, though perhaps higher elevations will get some fresh around Friday though it will probably be rain at base.
For now today and tomorrow is all about blue skies, sunshine and mild conditions.
Resort news as of 8:30am on Tuesday 8th December - subject to change
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of new snowfall. The upper area of Route 1, Route 2, Route 3, Route 4 (should be open today), Route 5, Route 6 and Route 8 are now open. Planned lifts: Gondola Line AB Line C Line E Official snow depth Upper: 95cm Base: 20cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of new snowfall. The upper Panorama Course and Grand Prix courses at Hakuba Goryu are now open. Planned lifts: Telecabin Gondola (to get to the upper area that is currently open) Alps Number 1 pair lift Alps Number 3 pair lift Official snow depth Alps: 75cm Iimori: -cm Toomi: -cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 0cm of new snowfall. The Usagidaira, Panorama and part of Kurobishi areas are now skiable. Planned lifts: Adam Gondola Alpen quad lift Kurobishi Number 2 quad lift Kokusai Number 3 lift Panorama pair lift Official snow depth Usagidaira: 90cm Nakiyama: -cm Sakka: -cm
Tsugaike Kogen: The upper part of the Han-no-ki course area is open. Planned lifts: Eve Gondola Han-no-ki high speed pair lift Official snow depth Tsuga-no-mori: 90cm Maruyama: -cm
It was very cold overnight and early morning here in Shiga Kogen. No fresh snow to report though with no clouds around to do the business. Lots of sunshine and clear blue skies.
Shiga Kogen has five resort areas that are part open at the moment but things are still very limited due to the lack of snow.
While this morning feels like a mid-winter air kind of morning, the snow on the ground is a different story as we wait for the major event to really get things kicking into action.
Having said that there are the areas open and you can definitely have some fun sliding around while we wait for the main event.
People keep on asking when will that happen? If only we knew! Everyone here is of course talking about it - no snow means no guests and no income for many people, so it's pretty important.
The forecast for the coming week is for a bit more of this sunny weather but a change due on Thursday into Friday with precipitation expected. Hopefully that will be as snow. We'll have to keep an eye on those temperatures though as they look likely to rise a bit...
Resort areas that are currently open (Tuesday 8th December) - subject to change
Ichinose Family Number 2 Pair A line lift is operating. Courses open: Ichinose Family Front course (lower part)
Kumanoyu Number 2 Pair A and B line lifts are operating. Courses open: Kumanoyu Number 2 Beginner Course Kumanoyu Number 3 Beginner Course (part) Kumanoyu Number 4 Beginner Course (part)
Takamagahara Takamagahara Number 2 triple lift is operating. Courses open: The lower course area is open.
Yakebitaiyama Number 2 and Number 3 Rapid lifts are operating. Courses open: Karamatsu Course (part - 850m) South Course (part - 960m)
Yokoteyama Yokoteyama First Sky B Line and Yokoteyama Second Sky lifts are operating. Courses open: Yokoteyama Number 1 Gelende Yokoteyama Number 2 Gelende A course (part) Yokoteyama Number 2 Gelende Yokoteyama Number 2 Gelende Rinkan (part)
Base of 105 centimetres reported, at least half a meter on the sides of the runs judging by the videos doing the rounds on social media. Love them. -5 Celsius at the top, around -1 in Kitanomine Village. No wind. Sunny. Bit fabulous.
We could have a week without snow now. Could be interesting but as long as it stays cold it'll be ok. Very few people on the mountain and its central Hokkaido dry fluff.
Photo 1 is the Kitanomine quad chair not yet running. Photo 2 is the view towards Furano with a small cloud sea. Read more ...
Tuesday 8th December 2015, 16:56pm
Clear and fine
It has been a lovely few days in Naeba and the wider region with blue skies, not many clouds and warmer conditions.
Nice, but not the kind of weather that we actually want at the moment... and it does look like we can expect more of the same tomorrow with slightly warmer temperatures maybe.
The warmth means that the snow line has moved back up the mountain over the last few days, but Naeba remain busy preparing artificial snow for a guaranteed limited opening this coming Saturday. No doubt the television cameras will be there - they always seem to be here at the opening - along with some excited skiers and boarders dressing up in costume.
Right now there's not much promise of significant snowfall on the weekly forecast - best chance of precipitation is around Friday, hopefully snow at upper elevations though it might be falling as rain at base. We want to avoid that.
There's no official updated news on the Tashiro Ropeway which also has been planning to open from Saturday.
The main course at Kagura remains open - access via the Mitsumata Ropeway.