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ratherb@thesnow we average 14m+ of snow each winter, whereas Aus resorts are lucky to exceed 3m. So the frequency of snow bearing systems is certainly greater and we get a lot more with each system. We don't always need cold fronts continually moving through though, if the winds are out of the N to W then they pick up moisture crossing the northern part of the Sea of Japan and it just continually snows. I've been here in some years where some snow has fallen on nearly every day of a month. In Jan/Feb we would normally get snow falling on average about 24 days in each month.

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Mike (or anyone else of course) I have a request wink

 

Can you take some photos of the courses at the resort. While the photos of the people in this deep snow are brilliant, I would like to get an idea of the courses there. Could you do that, just for me. kiss

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Tuesday 20 January 2009

Grand Hirafu, Niseko Resort Area

 

12cm in the past 24 hrs at MQ

 

A healthy fall of snow at MQ this morning. And on the hill?

 

Well it covered up the crunch from yesterday's rain and warming rather nicely.

 

Found some fast, light pow up to boot top in depth in the Waterfall area and the trees in Hanazono with the Banks family from the Sunshine Coast.

 

 

Dougie getting airborne in Hanazono

 

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Louis getting airborne in Hanazono

 

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Louis getting airborne in Hanazono

 

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Tim getting airborne in Hanazono

 

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Jackie getting into the pow in the Waterfall area

 

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Claudia getting into the pow in the Waterfall area

 

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Claudia getting into the pow in the Waterfall area

 

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Jackie enjoying the pow in the Waterfall area

 

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Tim getting into the pow in the Waterfall area

 

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Much better day than expected, and even had a clear sunset at MQ

 

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Cheers

 

 

Wednesday 21 January 2009

Grand Hirafu, Niseko Resort Area

 

9cm in the past 24 hrs at MQ

 

Great morning in Hanazono with Makkari's own Ian Mackenzie.

 

Felt a whole lot more than 9cm off Hanazono 1 & 2 chairs.

 

 

Ian M barrelling down the Waterfall area.

 

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Sun broke through in the late afternoon for some excellent turns in the Ace and King areas of Hirafu.

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Thursday 22 January 2009

Grand Hirafu, Niseko Resort Area

 

3cm in the past 24 hrs at MQ

 

Just a skiff of new on the ground, and Hanazono delivered again. Powder was on the menu and we feasted.

 

 

Louis breaking on through

 

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Tim

 

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Claudia

 

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And last but certainly not least, Dougie

 

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Cold, clear end to the day with Yotei making an appearance.

 

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708cm (249") of snow measured at MQ so far this season.

 

11mm of rain forecast for tonight through to mid-day tomorrow. Fingers, legs, eyes and wires crossed that we dodge this bullet.

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Friday 23 January 2009

Grand Hirafu, Niseko Resort Area

 

0cm in the past 24 hrs at MQ

 

But a whole load of rain angry

 

Rain started in around 1am and with minor breaks has pretty much continued. The snowpack around MQ has diminished rapidly with the rain and warmer temps. But I can actually see out of my windows now. Every cloud has a silver lining.

 

Roads are like a skating rink.

 

And presumably so too the lower mountain. No interest in venturing up there to find out for myself.

 

The rain has been accompanied by strong, gusting winds and at 10:50am only the lower lifts are open.

 

But the cavalry is on its way.

 

The rain is forecast to turn to snow this afternoon and continue through to Monday afternoon. Snowforecast is calling for 35cm of snow accompanied by cold temps. Down to -20 C in the village on Monday night.

 

Having endured too many rain events already this winter I'm confident that this one will be forgotten about by Monday.

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Thank you again for the report. Heres hoping for some good snowfalls.

 

Here on the Gold Coast we have also had ALOT of rain and it is very HOT & HUMID Perfect for Australia Day.

 

Think I will have to owe MP a beer for his reports thumbsup

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Saturday 24 January 2009

Grand Hirafu, Niseko Resort Area

 

11cm in the past 24 hrs at MQ

 

The rain finally stopped and light snow started falling around 7pm last night in the village.

 

This morning brought superlight powder at MQ courtesy of the frigid overnight temps. But lurking below the fluff was the boilerplate layer of frozen rain and ice.

 

Compadres on the hill this morning report dust on crust, boilerplate, and dense drifts up to 50cm.

 

Snowing heavily as I write (10am) and it looks like the harder layer in-bounds will be covered up pretty quickly.

 

The Niseko Avalanche Information web site is reporting the avalanche risk as HIGH.

 

http://niseko.nadare.info/

 

I'm heading over to Rusutsu for the week and will send dispatches from there.

 

In the meantime check the Niseko Avalanche Information web site for daily conditions in the Niseko Resort Area.

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