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Snow to village (Niseko) - in absentia 09/10

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Well today was ONE of those days...don't know if the snow was incredible as it seemed or the fact that there very few people up there to enjoy it ...maybe both


Bottomless, very cold and fast.


After a long season it was a mission to even stop and pull out the camera...these pics don't really do the morning justice but whatever.


A lot of dazed happy people wandering around the village today - BAM

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Well the epic conditions continued yesterday and "The Peak" was the buzz word.

While waiting for the single chair to start running we ducked into Hana 3 for a look expecting it to be tracked out from the previous day as we didn't get that much over night and woe and behold - no tracks and bottomless again.



Headed up the peak afterwards and waited for a while for the weather to clear while we pondered which way to go ...eventually decided to try the backbowl...not the best decision was a bit icy up top but pretty sweet after 100 meters or so. I spent most of the run riding icy ridges getting into position to shoot a fall line shot which in the end didn't work out. Oh well gave it a go....my friends said the run down Higashi onne off to the Hanazono side was all time !

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Another killer day here in Hirafu.

Lots of goodness still to be found in many places.

This was taken on Higashi One.


We traversed around from the gate above hana 3 and it was

deep out there.


Warmed up a bit in the afternoon but it is snowing again right now...

no wind and big old fat flakes falling straight down woop woop

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Taking measurements from Niseko Now, as of 26 March 2010 Hirafu has hit 15m of snowfall at village level so far this season.


2m has fallen in March, with more forecast.


Do I hear 16m? smile

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  • 1 month later...

Niseko Now's season summary


Sunday was the last day of lift operation in Niseko and although very cool it was a mostly fine day to see out the season. The run out to the base was just maintained by a thin ribbon of snow pushed up by the groomers but the skiing up top was still on an excellent cover.


09/10 was a great season for Niseko. After 3 years of well below average snowfalls we finally had a season with very close to average falls. From November to the end of April, which is 181 days, snow was reported on the mountain 121 days. So over the 6 months it snowed 2 out of every 3 days. I counted 42 of those days receiving 20cm or more snow, some of them receiving far more. The season was a little slow to get going with below average cover up until mid December but from then up until the third week of Feb it barely stopped snowing. The end of Feb saw some unseasonably warm temps with some rain but March saw winter return with great regular falls. In fact we had more snow in March than in Feb. A cool April saw the cover remain in reasonable condition for most of the month with some fairly regular snowfalls on the upper mountian maintaining a deep cover. Overall it was a great season with very few rain events and plenty of regular snowfalls keeping even the most avid powderhounds extremely happy.


Total snowfall accumulation from our reports here on the upper mountain exceeded 18m. There's been a lot of debate over the years about just how much snow Niseko receives especially as the only accurate snowfall records are only kept in Kutchan and not on the mountain itself. Kutchan is situated at only 176m though and is out on the plains receiving little of the orographic precipitation we get on the mountain. My best estimate over my years of observations is that up around 1000m on the mountain we receive at least 1.5 times the amount of snow recorded down in Kutchan. Kutchan averages around 12m of snowfall annually so I estimate that up high on the mountain the average snowfall is at least 18m and would easily exceed 20m in the bigger years. Whatever the exact figure is one thing we all know is that Niseko gets a hell of a lot of snow and it is right up there with some of the best quality snow found at any ski resort on the planet. Truly an awesome place!


Thanks for following these reports throughout the season and I for one am already looking forward to the next one. See you back here then.


Current Official Snow Depths:


Snow depth reporting has finished for the season. Still up around 2m on the upper mountain and only patchy at village level.


Many thanks.


Taking new snowfall data (using the least amount if there was a range) from Niseko Now I had it as 15.8m at village level.

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