It's a cold morning here in Zao and there's a few cm of fresh snow on the ground and light snow falling as I write this report.
We're expecting snow and cloud for the day today and hopefully through tomorrow as well. Poor visibility early on - foggy up there? - but hopefully that will improve during the day.
The skies will probably be clearer by the time we roll on into the weekend and some fairly mild conditions are expected.
All lifts apart from the following appear to be operating this morning:
Paradise Number 3 pair Diamond Number 1 pair Karamatsu pair (closed now for the season)
All courses apart from Kotan should be open.
Official snow depths (as published by the resort itself): Summit - 150cm Paradise - 220cm Chuo - 220cm Utopia - 180cm Uwanodai - 130cm Yokokura - 125cm Read more ...
Thursday 9th March 2017, 8:30am
Niigata prefecture has let us down for the first time: as I've said, their snow forecast is the best, most accurate source for snowfall. Our own forecast here at Snow Japan is great for the freezing line and general conditions, but the snowfall levels are, as we all know, hard to predict. But Niigata dropped the ball yesterday, with a prediction of 30cm. We got a little dust.
That's OK, it's staying cold, and snow remains on the menu up to Sunday.
The clouds are moving in a little right now, so there's still a chance for the prefecture to score a come-from-behind win (of course, the new forecast comes up at 10am, so it's not real likely that we'll get hit that hard in that short of a time).
There's more fresh snow to report this morning, so following on from yesterday today should also be very nice out there on the mountain.
14cm on the ground and more adding to it as snow is falling at a fair rate as I write this report. It's not likely to see the day out though and tomorrow and over the weekend we can probably expect slightly milder conditions. We shall see.
A few top lifts are affected by wind at the start of the day - more on that, as always, below.
Limited visibility out there at the moment. Go out prepared and have fun!
The snowdrifts are stabilizing as they grow, however caution is required in areas, such as the Backbowl’s 1000m elevation, where the wind affected the slabs development. All gates are scheduled to open. Remember to stay away from valley bottoms.
The strictly off limits areas were set because they were necessary in order to set the new Rules. The riding of the other out of bounds areas was guaranteed in exchange to those off-limits areas. Many people deny the Rules, saying it’s just local unofficial rules, while they, consciously or unconsciously, reap benefit from those Rules. It is those kind of interpretation that made the number of people riding the Haru no Taki area rise.
We beg to all of you who go to Haru no Taki, please refrain from going there. There are good reasons for having that place restricted. Your track will lead others to follow it and eventually end up in an accident. Mizuno no Sawa is open because it is being controlled, however the next valley, Haru no Taki is not controlled. The risk out there is very high today.
4 generations of local Omichi family are participating to the Mayor’s cup ski tournament in Moiwa on the 19th. 84, 54, 30 and 6 y/o. Omichi family is leaving a remarkable track in the Japanese Ski Realm. Skiing/snowboarding is not just about powder snow. Have a nice day.
Resort specific opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Niseko Grand Hirafu The top Ace Number 4 and King Number 4 lifts are on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds.
Night skiing is planned until Monday 20th March 2017 at the Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Village resort areas. There is no nighta in the Hanazono area. Read more ...
Thursday 9th March 2017, 8:34am
Bit of cloud, blue sky, sun
Good morning from Yuzawa.
Yesterday, the snow clouds were generally tracking to the north of the Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma region, and here we actually had some sunshine and blue skies during the day. Very light snow at times in places. And in the evening it was snowing and overnight too I heard the sprinklers going - but there's not much to report in terms of cm. I would say that 3cm since my report yesterday is the number (even though that has mostly by now disappeared).
The sun is out this morning. Some cloud around but also increasingly blue sky and sunshine. Forecasts do say that it will probably be clouding over again later, so perhaps changeable conditions once again.
Forecasts still have snow there for tomorrow but like today it will probably be fairly mild so we'll just have to see what happens. Spring is coming on stronger of late and so any signs of winter are having to be stronger to win out. If that makes sense!
Should be a good morning today.
Official snow depth information as of Thursday 9th March 2017
GALA Yuzawa The upper part of $2,600,000 closed today due to avalanche danger but otherwise GALA is open as planned. Official snow depth: 370cm
Below are details of the planned 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma this season. This information is subject to change due to snow and weather conditions. *** Please note that this section will not be updated every day.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Daily until 19th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 8:50pm. The Chuo Number 1, Chuo Number 2 and Kanko Number 3 Express lifts are open daily. The Kanko Number 1 Express lift, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift and Hatsukaishi Number 2 pair lifts are also open on weekends and holidays.
Iwappara Daily until 20th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays. The Main course, Grand course and West courses are open during nighta.
Joetsu Kokusai Daily until 20th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm. The area in front of the main base hotel is open for nighta.
Kandatsu Kogen 'Hobo All Night' ('Almost All Night') is on Fridays, Saturdays and nights before holidays until 1st April 2017. The nighta opening times on those days is from 6pm until 4am the following morning.
Maiko Snow Resort Daily until 19th March 2017. Nighta is from 4pm until 8pm. The Maiko center quad lift on the Maiko Side of the resort operates for nighta.
Naeba Daily until 26th March 2017. Nighta is from 4pm until 8:30pm.
Yuzawa Nakazato Every Saturday until 11th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 8:30pm. The Number 2 pair lift operates during nighta. Read more ...
Appi Kogen Now!
Thursday 9th March 2017, 8:40am
Cloud with light snow
Good morning from Appi,
Currently cloudy with some light snow falling and a temperature of -3 outside my door. It's been a good week so far with another 15cm falling last night on top of the 20cm the day before! We can expect another 15+cm today too.
Fairly light winds for most of the week and into the weekend should make on piste conditions wonderful. Stable temperatures most of the week too with the sun maybe trying to show its face on Saturday.
All the runs are open and are in great shape. Take advantage of the fresh overnight powder and get out there early.
*** PLEASE NOTE: Todays snowfall includes 20cm that was missed yesterday ***
Planned operating lifts at time of report (subject to change due to weather conditions):
Appi Gondola Central quad Central number 2 Central number 3a Central number 4 Central number 5 Central number 6 Sailer Gondola Sailer quad Vista quad Nishimori
Always good to be able to report fresh snow. And we're doing all right at the moment!
Another 14cm to report since my report yesterday, and it is snowing still this morning and still forecast to be on and off for the day today and tomorrow too.
Resorts are reporting up to 20cm on upper slopes this morning - individual details, where available, are shown below.
After that, we can probably expect some generally clearer and milder conditions come the weekend.
In the meantime, it should be another good day.
Don't go yet winter... stay with us!
Resort news as of 8:35am on Thursday 9th March 2017:
All information as available and subject to change during the day due to weather and snow conditions.
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 20cm of fresh snowfall since yesterday evening. And 5cm in the day yesterday. The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth Upper: 300cm Base: 150cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting up to 20cm of fresh snowfall. The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth Alps: 320cm Toomi: 170cm Iimori: 110cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 10cm of fresh snowfall (Riesen quad top). And groomers are reporting 15cm. The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 265cm Kurobishi: 350cm Lower: 150cm
Tsugaike Kogen: The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 380cm Han-no-ki: 370cm Maruyama: 155cm Oya-no-hara: 140cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 140cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 5cm of fresh snowfall. The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth: Top: 375cm Base: 245cm
Planned nighta operations - be sure to check with resorts for latest:
Hakuba Goryu: Planned to be open daily from 6pm until 9:30pm
Tsugaike Kogen: Planned at the Katamatsu-Shirakaba area on March 4th, 11th, 18th, 19th (6pm until 9pm)
Hakuba Cortina: Planned to be open daily from 5pm until 8pm (until 9pm on Saturdays)
Hakuba Happo-one: Planned to be open daily until 9pm on the Nakiyama area.
Kashimayari: Planned to be open daily.
There is no night skiing at the other resorts in the area. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Thursday 9th March 2017, 9:01am
Lots of sunshine and blue sky, some cloud
This winter snap hasn't quite turned out as we thought it might. The snow clouds gave us more of a miss than we were hoping for yesterday and this morning the sun is out again. Still looking like snow tomorrow but more sun again after that. Might spring be taking a proper hold on proceedings come next week? Maybe, maybe not. March can always throw up some surprises.
For the moment anyway, it will be a good morning to be outside and sliding down the slopes.
Oops! I forgot to post the report this morning. I'll keep it brief...7cm new snow this morning and a nice sunny day. Spring is definitely creeping in with daytime sun getting stronger and all roads are now tar seal, rather than 10cm of ice and the footpaths are also breaking through. Read more ...