Snow and weather reports posted on Tuesday 20th February 2018
Thursday 8th February 2018, 7:01am
Good morning from Zao.
Some more snow on the ground this morning with light snow easing off.
As with what looks like most of Japan, temperatures are set to rise a little around Saturday but that shouldn't be lasting long with a quick dip back down due along with fresh snow... we should be starting the new week with snow on the ground;.
Lifts and course info:
- All lifts appear to be opening as scheduled - Note: the Karamatsu pair lift usually only operates on weekends - All areas open
Winter marches on and yesterday on mountain was pleasantly surprising with chopped up pistes during the morning that somehow stayed very soft and shreddable. Cold temps and wind transported snow got the job done, even more so in the afternoon when backcountry boot packs were half filled in after each 35 minute lap. We also saw light snow during the afternoon in spite of the generally clear weather.
Last night's snow fall was small at the base but I am guessing we will get a partial reset up top.
More sunny weather here right now and the forecast is for the next decent snowfall to commence Saturday evening.
I heard Hodaigi was great yesterday with untracked pow on piste.
Please note that the snowfall numbers posted in this report will be observed from close to the base Tenjindaira Ropeway station - which is often much more than in the central town area of Minakami. Read more ...
Geto Kogen Now!
Thursday 8th February 2018, 7:24am
We started out with some sun yesterday morning but before mid-morning it quickly changed, giving us some light snow for an hour or two and a couple of cm’s. Today, we’ve recorded 2cm overnight, and though that isn’t much to report, the powder across the resort is still light and dry thanks to the low temps. The calm winds is also playing.a factor, with the surface of the snow staying forgiving.
Light snow is expected throughout the day, perhaps 5cm across the whole day, with the wind to start light and gradually become stronger into the afternoon, but only by a little bit. Tops of -5C. Currently, the 2nd Gondola is only open on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. This shouldn’t affect your day though, as the terrain is still fully accessible and midweek we aren’t seeing big crowds.
Temps are set to warm up for the next two days, with Saturday showing some above-zero temps. No precipitation forecast though, so we should be safe. Then, more snow expected from Sunday into early next week.
Friday: light snow, tops of -2C, light winds Saturday: light snow, tops of 2C, winds increasing Sunday: light/mod snow, tops of -4C, moderate winds
Official snow depths:
Top: 440cm Base: 300cm
Night skiing operations are scheduled at Geto Kogen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 25th February 2018 Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Thursday 8th February 2018, 7:37am
Blue skies above mountain, some low cloud
Good morning from Nozawa.
Them there snow clouds did indeed visit us yesterday after that fine start and by 3pm the resort was reporting 4-7cm of snow on the upper areas of the resort with a few cm lower down and this morning the total snowfall reported by Nozawa is headlined by the 27cm at top Yamabiko and just over 10cm at base. So a nice new layer this morning.
Some low cloud aside, the clouds have dispersed again and blue skies are above the mountain. It is looking likely that today and tomorrow will be all about sun and while it's cold this morning over the next few days temperatures are going to be rising towards a high on Saturday. The next snowfall is due Saturday night but before that there looks to be a chance of rain - particular at lower elevations. Fingers crossed we can miss that and it just gets colder and starts snowing.
In the meantime, a very fine few days ahead. Let's Nozawa!
Thursday 9th February 2018
Fresh snowfall since yesterday (as reported by the resort):
The wind got itself under control yesterday and snow was falling on mountain by later in the afternoon. This morning the ski resorts are reporting just a thin layer of snow on the mountain (generally 1-2cm), though I suspect there was more than that up there.... but, hey, them be the numbers being reported.
There's cloud around this morning, but there's some blue sky too. A different feel/look depending on which direction you look in. I'd expect sunshine today and tomorrow though.
Looks like temps are going to warm up come Saturday and there's even the chance of rain but what comes after that looks pretty tasty - lots of snow.
It should be a good few days; but keep your eye on the forecasts for Saturday.
Ski resort information on Thursday 8th February 2018 (at time of writing):
Night time skiing (nighta) at resorts in the region - weather & conditions permitting The below 'nighta' information will not be updated every day - please check with resorts if you plan to go!
Hakuba Happo-one Daily from 5pm until 9pm in the Nakiyama 2 area Adults - 2,000 yen; children - 1,200 yen
Hakuba Goryu Daily from 6pm until 9:30pm in the Toomi area until 31st March The Sky Four quad operates daily; the Number 2 pair mostly on Saturdays and holidays Adults - 1,900 yen; children - 850 yen
Hakuba Cortina Daily from 5pm until 8pm (until 9pm on Saturdays) Adults - 1,500 yen; children - 1,000 yen
Tsugaike Kogen Kane-no-naru-oka area from 6pm until 8:50pm on 3rd, 10th, 11th February Karamatsu Shirakaba area from 6pm until 9pm on 10th, 11th, 17th February; 3rd, 10th March Adults - 2,200 yen; children - 1,700 yen
There are no other nighta operations at other ski resorts in the region Read more ...
Thursday 8th February 2018, 8:05am
Clear and sunny
Good morning from Yuzawa.
Those lovely blue skies lasted until around lunchtime yesterday, when clouds quite quickly moved in from the north and it started snowing.
This morning there's 10cm of fresh on the ground. (Kagura is reporting 15cm; Maiko Snow Resort is reporting 10cm).
...and, once again, beautiful clear skies over Yuzawa.
Clouds, once again, are starting the day off to the north of us.
It's a chilly start to the morning but we are expecting temperatures to be somewhat higher over the next few days, especially on Saturday (rising to around +7 or 8C) when it might rain before the next snow starts falling, which is due late Saturday or into Sunday.
This time the forecasts all seem to agree that tomorrow should see sunshine during the day.
Images today from GALA Yuzawa, NASPA Ski Garden and Ishiuchi Maruyama (looking north).
Updated: Thursday 8th February 2018
Ski resorts in Yuzawa:
Checked and updated every morning. Note that some ski resorts may not have updated their own info at the time this report is published.
Another sunny day, after some nice, if not particularly heavy snowfall through late afternoon and into the night. It is cold again, too; still -10° while the morning snow throwing was going on. The resorts are all over the place, though: some have it warmer, some lower than yesterday.
More sunshine and blue skies (with a bit of think cloud) this morning over our mountain. We did get some fresh snow with the clouds moving in and delivery yesterday. This morning the resort is reporting 5cm and I am actually measuring 12cm.
Sun is probably going to be the main feature of the weather over the next few days. Saturday is due to be mild but it be getting cold by night time with fresh snow due before my report on Sunday... and we could be on for a decent amount too as we enter next week.
A mix of sunshine and regular fresh snow with a snow storm fairly regularly - sounds like a good pattern that. Let's hope it keeps on going right through the next few months.
Should be another really fun morning.
Official snow depth: 240cm
Number 1 lift Number 2 quad lift Number 3A lift Super quad lift Number 11 lift Number 12 lift Number 13 lift Number 15 lift
Powder Wave I Powder Wave II River Line Free Ride Park Powder Theater Adventure Aisle Crystal Bowl Ninja Sawa Rabbit Kamoshika Bear
Planned nighta operations this season:
Every Saturday until 24th March 2018 11th February 2018 Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Thursday 8th February 2018, 8:28am
Sunny, blue skies
That pattern of snow overnight and sun in the morning is continuing. It's a good pattern, especially if there's up to 30cm of fresh snow coming during the night! This morning the Kumanoyu area is reporting 20-30cm of fresh; I am measuring 18cm.
And it's cold and sunny now.
Sun is expected tomorrow too.
Things seem set to change at the weekend. Up here in Shiga Kogen snow should start falling by the end of the day and at least a few days of snow - heavy at times - is forecast. (Lower down in the valleys, rain is still there on the forecast as temperatures are going to be a big higher).
Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:
Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish and we check and update them each morning.
This morning I have 7cm of fresh snow to add to my reports and I notice 15cm being reported from Moiwa (below). So a modest refresh which should be nice to ride on.
As I write the report this morning snow is falling, but it's quite bright and there is also blue sky in places so a somewhat confusing - and very pretty - mix of conditions. Perhaps some more light snow today, or perhaps clearing skies?
Resorts are opening as planned this morning.
Maybe no snow tomorrow and then slightly milder conditions on Saturday.
Beyond that, the forecast is looking pretty good over the coming week and with the Chinese New Year holidays fast approaching, we can hopefully look forward to a fresh delivery of snow daily to fill in tracks (please). Perhaps with some sunshine during the day for the views. Onegai shimasu!
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am: -6℃,10cm snowfall, calm. Moiwa800m: -9℃, WNW3.6m/s, 15cm snowfall, snowdrifts developed at night until dawn. Annupuri1150m: -9℃, W7m/s, 10cm snowfall, 330cm snowpack at 1000m. Hirafu1250m: -11℃, northerly wind & snow before dawn with 5cm snowfall. Coastal data: Benkei cape NW13m/s, Kamui cape WSW13m/s, 1011hPa, 1.2m waves.
A light storm under 15m/s has persisted over the Sea of Japan, however the isobars are spreading out and the wind is starting to calm down in lower elevations. A northerly wind has picked up overnight and made cornices and snowdrifts develop. Surface slab avalanches are to be expected during the morning at knolls and around cornices above 800m elevation. Potential sliding layer is Feb 5-7th’ low pressure snowfall. The new snowdrifts are yet to form notable slabs, however are dangerous enough. All gates are expected to open. Please seek the patrol’s advice and be well prepared before stepping out of the gate.
The snow in the trees is fairly good, probably a little better than yesterday’s. Avoid cornices and knolls. Cracks in the Mikaeri bowl area are growing. Glide cracks are forming due to heavy amount of snow, predominantly in south facing aspects. These cracks are forming as the slope is releasing its own tension. They most probably won’t slide right away, however chances of glide avalanches are to be expected. Stay away from slopes without wrinkles under cracks. Do not stay put at the bottom of the valleys. Avalanches strike from above.
There is no 100% safety in the mountains, however most risks can be avoided by making conservative decisions. Beware of sudden weather change and falling in cracks, they are difficult to notice from above. Have a nice day.
Thursday 8th February 2018
Resort specific information (operations subject to change):
Lifts scheduled to be operating: - All lifts (apart from the Country Road Chair lift) should be operating
Official snow depth: - Top: 360cm - Base: 230cm
Floodlit 'nighta' skiing:
Night skiing is planned for every evening at the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri areas. There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO area. Ski lifts that are scheduled to be operating for nighta are noted below (subject to change):
* Niseko Grand Hirafu - Ace Family quad, Ace Number 2 quad, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 pair * Niseko Annupuri - Jumbo Number 1 quad lift * Niseko Village - Village Express, Upper Village Gondola, Community Chair Read more ...
Thursday 8th February 2018, 8:33am
Good morning from Naeba! It's another cool, crisp and clear morning in the Mikuni valley today. The pistes are in fantastic condition and were topped up nicely with 6cm of fresh snow yesterday afternoon. Quite the squall came through yesterday between 3 - 5pm, snowing heavily for this period but subsequently blowing itself back out of the valley in the evening. For the remainder of today, we can expect the air temperature to remain well below 0°C, dropping to as low as -13°C overnight tonight. There could be some cloud and even light snow falling later into this afternoon. The wind will gradually pick up as the day goes on, but this is unlikely to have too much of an impact.
Looking forwards, we can expect another clear day tomorrow, with air temperatures creeping up far closer to 0°C than they have for a good few days. Following this, on Saturday, things will warm up significantly, indicating the imminent arrival of the next storm system into the Mikuni valley. The snowfall is currently predicted to begin overnight on Saturday with heavy precipitation. Snow will continue until at least Tuesday, as currently predicted. As this storm system settles in, the air temperatures will drop significantly again, back to being similar to the recent highs we have been experiencing of around -5°C. The wind is predicted to strengthen somewhat during this period, however current suggestions indicate that it shouldn't be a significant problem.
What started off as a bluebird day changed in about 20 minutes and now we’re looking at cloudy skies with some very light snowfall. The sun keeps trying to peek through but is fighting a losing battle. The winds may pick up late afternoon making it a little chilly at the summit. As far as snow goes we could get another 15cm today with much more still forecast at the weekend starting late Saturday.
We may see a warming spell here as temperatures at the base rise to around -3 tomorrow. Cloudy skies are also in the forecast for the next week or so with relatively stable winds around 10-15m/s.
The mountain is in great shape although I wish they would have left a little more ungroomed after the deluge of snow we received a few days ago. They have a penchant for grooming almost everything here when it would be so much more fun at least for the first few hours of the day. That being said all the groomed runs are in excellent shape.
Planned lift operations (subject to change):
- APPI Gondola - Central quad - Central number 2 lift - Central number 3 lift A - Central number 5 lift - Central number 6 lift - Sailer quad - Nishimori lift
Note: The Sailer Gondola, Central Number 4 lift and Vista quad are usually rested on normal weekdays
It was cold to start off at around -10c. Since then it has warmed up to -2c at base, and with strong sunshine it felt pretty warm with no jacket needed for a short walk in the village. The skies have gone from blue to mostly grey now but it is still a very nice day. There was only the slightest of dustings overnight so the slopes are pretty much unchanged from yesterday. More snow to freshen things up would be most welcome. There is a possibility Saturday could bring some rain to lower elevations. Read more ...