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Whilst everyone would agree that this has been a somewhat different and disappointing start to the season in the Niseko Resort Area it's worth taking a moment to consider what the criteria for measurement are:


A poor start to the season with limited snowfall and more than expected rain events in comparison with:


1. previous winters in the Niseko Resort Area?

2. other ski areas in Japan?

3. other ski areas around the world?


All measurements taken at village level (friends living in Hirafu and the lower reported snowfall from the Niseko Now reports) up to and including 11 January 2011


Oct 2010 12cm

Nov 2010 49cm

Dec 2010 241 cm

Jan 2011 210 cm


Total 512 cm


Some will interpret this as the Niseko Propaganda Machine whirring away, but over 5m of snowfall before mid-January with plenty more to come doesn't make for a bad winter in my eyes. Hundreds of resorts around the world would love to get 5m in a season.


It's just different.


Vive l'difference and enjoy your turns.

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I don't compare the snow here in Niigata to anywhere other than here in Niigata. Apart from the fact that I haven't skied anywhere else, there's no point.


The last week our season at last started, conditions are good now but not as much as we usually would have this time of year as we are playing catch-up. Hopefully will get lots of regular good snowfalls this season from now on. friend

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But, since only stupid people book before January... doh

And the sasa that was poking out in places this week must be on steroids, never saw it grow 5 meters tall before! rolleyes

Oops, Mammoth Mt this season 823cm, Whistler 740cm Alta 686cm, Jackson Hole 660cm & Grand Targhee 615cm...


nisekohakuba in case anyone thinks I don't. I was there yesterday, and I'm flying back up tomorrow (and I don't work for, at or in any connection with Niseko, Hokkaido or the ski industry). I'll tell anyone who asks that it's a great place for reliable, high-quality powder skiing in January & February.

But the hype machine is indeed alive and well. worship worship worship

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Just in the interests of keeping it real the sasa that is remaining is very limited and poses little if any difficulties to ski through. It's hardly unusual for there to still be a little sasa poking through in early Jan. And of course 5m of snowfall does not translate into 5m snowdepth. At village level it translates into a depth currently around 1.6m and Mikes post has nothing to do with over-the-top hype...

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Conditions ranged from very good on monday to excellent on tuesday to exceptionally cold but still very good on wednesday.

As GN says, the few blades of sasa are merely decorative and not an obstacle, and I'm glad we all agree that there isn't a 5-meter base (because most of the lifts would be inoperable!)

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