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Bucketing down wet snow in the village at the moment. Not a bad thing as the heavier snow will help to weigh down the last of the sasa. The dry, light stuff is on it's way though clap

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Today is seeing some of the heaviest falls of this system so far. There's been moderate to heavy falls all day. Truly epic conditions on the mountain at the moment. It's snorkel time up there folks!! banner

 

I hope Mike got out there today with his camera!

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Thursday 25 December 2008

Grand Hirafu, Niseko Resort Area

 

2cm in the past 24hrs at MQ

 

But much more on the hill. Thanks Santa.

 

 

Friday 26 December 2008

Grand Hirafu, Niseko Resort Area

 

15cm in the past 24hrs at MQ

 

Just getting better and better

 

 

 

Saturday 27 December 2008

Grand Hirafu, Niseko Resort Area

 

29cm in the past 24hrs at MQ

 

Niseko is shaping up to be all time. Hokkaido snow at its best.

 

Met up with local Powder Guide and Powderlife poster child Adrian Camp for some pm turns in Miharashi. Untracked all the way.

 

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Sunday 28 December 2008

Grand Hirafu, Niseko Resort Area

 

30cm in the past 24hrs at MQ

 

No pics today sorry GN.

 

But just look at yesterday's and think deeper.

 

Busier today but you could still ski untracked quite easily. Like beside the 'groomed' runs easily smile

 

123cm already in this storm and it doesn't look like letting up. At least another 30cm through the day today.

 

Will get some pics tomorrow.

 

 

 

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MikePow

 

I notice the sasa grass is still poking out of the snow.

 

At what base does it disapear?

 

At around 2m I didn't expect to see it.

 

I mostly go to Niseko in Feb, but will be their this year in early Jan.

 

Hado

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Hado most of the sasa is now covered on the upper mountain but is still showing on parts of the lower mountain. The sasa in places is very tall. In summer you can walk trails cut through the sasa and it is well over my head (I'm just over 6ft). Don't worry most of the off-piste areas are now very skiable with the small amount of sasa still showing posing no real problems.

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Nice one Mike. Great pics and valuable info once again. I'm starting to get an idea of just how much difference 100km makes in Hokkaido, and what a micro-climate Niseko has. We often seem to get snow at completely different times here in Sapporo.

 

In my home town (Perth, West Australia) 100km would usually mean nothing more than a difference of one or two degrees and five millimetres of rain when a cold front passes.

 

Interesting stuff, this Hokkaido weather.

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Greenroome Sapporo averages around 5m of snowfall each winter whereas Kutchan averages around 12m. Up on the mountain itself it's considerably more. That 100km certainly makes a huge difference!

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Forbes Traveller magazine did a survey to decide the top 20 snowiest ski resorts and, based on at least ten years of data, confirmed that Niseko averages 595 inches per season which slightly more than 15m.

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Hado there's actually no accurate data collection on the actual mountain. 15m does seem to be a reasonable figure but I have no idea how they verified it.

The thing about that list is that it did not include any of the other resorts in Japan that receive similar amounts and more than NIseko does. If they did that then besides Mt Baker there'd hardly be any other resorts on there other than Japanese ones.

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GoN

 

The article cliams the following:

 

"This story highlights the top 20 snowiest resorts on the planet, as tracked by Bestsnow, which pulls meteorological records from weather stations, data from avalanche-forecasting centers and monthly snowfall amounts from ski resorts. Bestsnow's numbers—which are used by publications like Skiing magazine and Powder magazine to rank resorts—differ from average snowfall numbers touted by some resorts. This is because, among other factors, Bestsnow looks at monthly averages spread over time periods of up to 40 years."

 

However when you look at the Bestsnow site it only has data for North American resorts - which might explain why the Forbes list has only one Japanese resort.

 

How Niseko slipped in to the list I don't know maybe it is the best known Japanese resort.

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For those who didn't like the lack of a mention of other Japanese resorts, who I assume have an interest in the resorts, they could send bestsnow their data.

 

If we had all the data in one place it might help.

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Monday 29 December 2008

Grand Hirafu, Niseko Resort Area

 

33cm in the past 24hrs at MQ

 

I've been skiing with the Hill-Smith family from Brisbane (and England) since the 20th.

 

Which was when this storm started smile

 

Cracking morning skiing Konayuki and the old gondola line.

 

 

Scout in Konayuki

 

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Scout in the old gondola line

 

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Matthew in Konayuki

 

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Jag hitting the jumps in Rinkan

 

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Tuesday 30 December 2008

Grand Hirafu, Niseko Resort Area

 

4cm in the past 24hrs at MQ

 

Not much in the past 24 back at base, well not much compared to the amounts we've been getting the past week.

 

Went straight over to Hanazono with Helen and Jag. There was around 10cm on the groomers, and the trees off Silver Dream corner were primo.

 

160cm over the past 11 days.

 

 

Jag hitting the jumps in Onsenzawa

 

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Jag getting deep in Onsenzawa

 

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It is absolutely puking out there at the moment. Flakes the size of silver dollars smile

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Cheers

 

 

Wednesday 31 December 2008

Grand Hirafu, Niseko Resort Area

 

43cm in the past 24hrs at MQ

 

New Year's Eve and what a way to see out 2008.

 

Wind has picked up in the past 30 minutes that will hopefully prove non-problematic in the lift running dept.

 

The sky is threatening to go bluebird.

 

More at 11.

 

Well maybe around 4pm wink

 

If you're out there today have a great one.

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