Current weather conditions:
Lots of cloud, some blue sky, some sun
Temperature (mountain top):
Good morning from Niseko and I have about 10cm of fresh outside my door this morning here in the Hirafu village area. It has been a run of days affected by wind of course here, and we are all hoping that today will be calmer.
This morning there is some blue sky visible amongst the remaining clouds and right now the sun is shining through my window. Snow clouds should not be far away though and more snow is due overnight.
Temps overnight were around -5C and that's what we are at now at 8:30am.
Less wind over here at Hirafu, but it does seem that there are some early issues with a few lifts over at Annupuri and Niseko Village - the Annupuri Gondola is on hold as is the Wonderland Chair at Village at the time of writing.
There's also a few lifts not moving due to 'avalanche risk' - the Jumbo 4 at Annupuri; the King 4 and Ace 4 top lifts at Niseko Grand Hirafu. From what I gather they are planned to be closed for the day.
Peak lifts closed aside, it should be a very fine day out on the snow.
Niseko Avalanche Report
Niseko base 6am: -7C, 20cm of broken crystal snow in the 12 hours. Moiwa 800m: W15m/s, poor visibility, -11C, snowdrift development up to 200cm in Mikaeri area. Annupuri 1150m: W18m/s, large development of snowdrifts, -12C. Hirafu 1000m: -10C, 35cm of fresh with development of snowdrifts. Peak 1308m: W10.8m/s, -14.1C. Coastal data: cape Benkei NW15m/s, cape Kamui W9m/s, 2.7m waves, 1009hPa.
The isobars are spacing out and the storm is calming down, however strong wind is still persisting above 800m. Peak gates will be kept closed and all top lifts operation will be suspended. A large avalanche occurred in Mizuno no sawa knoll yesterday; it skimmed close to the gondola posts and reached the bottom of the valley. 2 other large avalanches occurred in Higashi-One, which knocked down trees on its way and ran past the CAT-track. Avalanche risk is still extreme in Niseko area and the surroundings. Stay away from cornice slopes and open steep faces. Stabilization of snowdrifts is delayed and chances of 150cm deep slides are still to be highly considered. The snow in the trees is good, but cracks are forming everywhere. Ride carefully.
Official snow depth numbers and lift news at time of writing:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 420cm Base - 210cm
Niseko Village: Top - 390cm Base - 220cm
Annupuri: Top - 395cm Base - 210cm
Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:
All resorts open - see report for more specifics
Observed snowfall in the last 14 days
Observed snowfall in this season
Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu:
86cm snowfall in the last 7 days
86cm snowfall in March 2014
1123cm snowfall since the beginning of the season