The dump last week really made these last few days a solid ending to March with great Powder on the resort Friday & Saturday and excellent BC conditions since then with yesterday being a pearler. The runouts weren't the best but that was made up for by sugar turns up top and everyone really made the most of it.
The snow forecast for tomorrow has been getting downgraded steadily to the point rain is in the mix tomorrow morning but snow is still forecast for tomorrow night through to Thursday...wouldn't it be nice to get what we had last week!
Today being the last day of March means it's the last day for a lot of places including Sanosaka, Kashimayari, Aokiko, & Iwatake resorts and also Subway (!) inside the Goryu Escal Plaza building.
Schedules for the other resorts are as follows:
Iimori closes today (March 31st)
Toomi Skifield (the bottom area of Goryu) - April 5th.
Alps Daira Skifield (the top of Goryu) - May 10th.
Discount tickets 3800 yen for adults; 2000 for children
Running all lifts as snow permits until May 10th
Lower lifts are running where possible until April 4th, Top two pair lifts will run until May 6th.
The Dai-2 Quad and Dai-4 Pair lifts are running until April 5th.
So a lot of it is sadly coming to an end... even with the general lack of snow this year compared to normal, 47 will no doubt have decent runs till the last and Tsugaike snowshoes are always good in Spring. So there's still plenty of fun to be had.
Otsukare for another year and we plan to update this Hakuba Now report a few times per week through April until the season closes for good.
SNOW STABILITY REPORT (as at Sun 29th)
The low traces of new snow in the valley amounted to 35cm of fresh snow at 2300m.a.s.l‚ North Face of Happo One. Some of this was atributed to the night time strong West North West winds that deposited a bit more snow on East facing slopes. Snow depth of the last 4 days of storm snow in the same location was 170 cm down to the crust and the Kosa (sand) snow layer. The bonding at this interface is good as the snow was warm when it fell on the old melt freeze crust and slowly cooled to dry snow that consecutively fell and kept falling for 3 days. Mostly there was little wind associated with the storm which has allowed for fairly similar depths of snow across the slopes. There are shallow areas on North facing ridges and solar radiated slopes have been faster to settle but increased radiation on solar aspects will continue to create loose slides due to instability in the warming surface snow.
Beware that South slopes are harboring a buried sun crust and could sheer from this layer with warming temperatures and intense solar radiation.
Avoid steep complex terrain and intensly radiated solar aspects around rocks of any size as well as trees and steep convex rolls under cornices. There is a chance of triggering slab avalanches as well as loose slides from the new snow / past snow interface in convex and unsupported slopes‚ as well as sparsely spaced trees‚ solar radiated slopes and cornices. Keep travel to supported slopes and be careful of run outs from above especially under solar exposed route. Use proper spacing in more complex terrain and solar radiated slopes.
Avalanche Hazard Rating:
Below Tree Line: Moderate (Increased danger with increse in temperatures and solar radiation).
Tree Line: Moderate trending to considerable with increased and prolonged wind.
Rapid settlement of surface snow causing load on buried weak layers
Extreme radiation and warming of southern exposures
Warming of surface snow causing instability in surface and near surface layers
Increase load on underlying weak layers due to rapid settlement of surface snow
Solar radiated cornices becoming weak with direct solar radiation.
Use caution if crossing solar radiated slopes.
Increased caution advised around rocky outcroppings‚ cliffs and well spaced trees in start zones.
Due caution in steep and convex terrain Danger Level Updated at 2009 03/29 (Sun) 11:00
Danger level 2 : Moderate
Natural avalanches unlikely. Human triggered avalanches possible.
Danger level ratings are set for conditions at tree line and may varry from below tree line and High Alpine areas.
Use this information as a guideline only.
Official resort snow depths on 31st Mar 09:
230cm (Alps daira)
Sun Alpina Sanosaka: