Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 22nd February 2019
Sunday 10th January 2016, 8:00am
Mostly sunny, with scattered clouds
Not all the reports are in yet, but it will be the same story; no new snow overnight, and a sunny day today.
That's OK, I guess, but it's kind of sad that the heavy snow originally predicted first for Saturday, then for Sunday then Monday, petered out into snow showers. Which, read carefully, means 'just a bit'.
Things are better at the ski areas, though, but we will want some fresh to soften things up. It got a bit icy yesterday, with fairly wet snow being compacted down. Snow is likely ahead; today is a day to play in the sun but wish for more snow ahead.
There's no new cm of fresh snow to report this morning.
I suppose we were expecting a break in the snow but with it again yesterday ending up that bit too mild I think people are getting increasing impatient now... not that we can do anything about what nature provides of course.
We are actually starting the day with lots of blue sky and sunshine with the grey looking clouds are mostly staying to the north of us.
The forecast still promises snow later today and through the day tomorrow and hopefully into Tuesday as well. There's more snow action for later in the week.
Forecasts haven't always been reliable so far this season so far, but if it comes through, it should be a good week.
A competition is being held on the Yunomine A course from today through Monday meaning that course will be closed to the public during that period.
Official info at time of writing on Sunday 10th January 2016 (subject to change):
I have a very nice 10cm of quality fresh snow this morning to report from Grandeco. Early birds this morning will have been rewarded!
Beginner courses getting a good grooming and all is looking good.
We are in the middle of the three day long weekend and so the resort is busy this weekend - there may be varying waiting needed for some of the lifts today. Tomorrow is a holiday too and so I recommend and early start.
The roads up the resort are covered in snow and so snow tyres are a must.
The forecast remains positive for snow over the next few days and perhaps some quite heavy snow tonight. That would be good - we'll have some of that please!
Gondola Number 1 quad Number 2 quad Number 3 quad
(A-a) Rainbow 3500 (A-b) Rainbow 3500 (A-c) Rainbow 3500 (B-a) Mint (B-c) Mint (C) Center (D-b) Lavender (E) Melissa (F) Basil
The Snow Park (Decodaira E Park) is open on Lavender B course with a 5m kicker, 5m table top and other box items.
Morning from Hakuba on this middle day of the long weekend.
Things generally cleared up as the day went on yesterday with some nice blue sky in the afternoon. A good day to enjoy that fresh snow that we had and there were more than a few other people thinking exactly the same thing.
This morning there is no new fresh snow to report in village with just a bit on upper areas of resorts. It's a mix of cloud, blue sky and sunshine at the moment and currently around -1C here in the village.
Unfortunately, it's apparently rather windy in places up on the mountains which is affecting a few resorts. As I write this, the Happo-one resort is closed and it also looks like the Gondola and top lifts at Tsugaike Kogen are affected by the wind conditions as well. Keep an eye on their official information if you are wanting to be there, let's hope they can open.
Other resorts seem to be open as planned for now.
We are expecting more fresh snowfall today which should continue through tomorrow as well. The potential for later in the week is looking pretty tasty as well, but let's not wish away all these days. There's still a lot to enjoy in the here-and-now as we look forward to more (and more) snowfall... perhaps we'll appreciate it all the more when it comes. Sounds like a plan!
Resort news as of 8:35am on Sunday 10th January 2015 (all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 1cm of fresh snowfall. All courses apart from Route 7 officially open. Tree Riding Zone not yet open for the season. Official snow depth Upper: 125cm Base: 20cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0-3cm of fresh snowfall. Panorama, Grand Prix, Super Course, Champion Dynamic and Woody Courses in upper area; the main Toomi course and the Soft Cream course in the Iimori area are planned to be open today. Planned lifts: Telecabin Gondola Alps Number 1 pair lift Alps Number 2/4 pair lift Alps Number 3 pair lift Toomi Sky Four lift Toomi Number 1 pair lift Toomi Number 2 pair lift Milky Four lift Official snow depth Alps: 145cm Toomi: 45cm Iimori: 40cm
Hakuba Happo-one: ** The resort is closed at the time of writing due to strong winds - check during the day for any changes. ** Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 5cm of new snowfall on upper areas. The Grat quad is planned to be operating along with the Riesen Grat course. Usagidaira, Kurobishi, Panorama, Skyline, Kita One and Riesen Slalom areas are planned to be open, lower course areas still closed. Take one of the Gondola, Kokusai Number 1 pair, Sakka Kita-one quad or Nakiyama Number 3 triple lifts to get back down to base. Planned lifts: Adam Gondola Grat quad lift Alpen quad lift Usagidaira pair lift Happo Riesen quad Nakiyama Number 3 triple Kurobishi Number 2 quad lift Kurobishi Number 3 pair lift Skyline Number 2 pair lift Kokusai Number 1 lift Kokusai Number 3 lift Panorama pair lift Kita One quad lift Kita One Number 3 pair lift Official snow depth Usagidaira: 90cm Nakiyama: 30cm Sakka: 15cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina reporting 0cm of fresh snow and have their Number 1, 5 and 6 lifts moving once again. More courses at Cortina are now open. Courses that remain closed are: Mt Hieda Ridge, Mt Hieda 2 and 3, Itadaria Ridge and Giant. Planned lifts: All lifts apart from Number 7 pair lift now operating Official snow depth Top: 120cm Base: 40cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Most areas of Tsugaike Kogen are now at least part open. Planned lifts: Most lifts at Tsugaike Kogen are now operating. Official snow depth Tsuga-no-mori: 125cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 30cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Very limited area of the Mountain Side (North and East courses) is currently open. Planned lifts: Noah Gondola 3Sen Line North 4Sen Line East Line Lift Official snow depth Upper: 60cm Lower: 10cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Official snow depth 40cm 3 lifts are operating and 3 courses are now open at Hakuba Norikura Onsen.
And this morning I have another full 20cm of light fresh snow to report. That's since my last report up until the time I took my measurement at 8am this morning.
Oh yes. I like 20cm and above. It's enough to fill in the tracks very nicely. And there's lots of tracks to fill in here in Niseko of course.
Since I started putting this report together it has been snowing lightly and then eased off. And there's actually a hint of sun coming through the clouds at the moment in some places but that probably won't last long with continued snowfall forecast for the day.
Yesterday we did see some wind higher up that was threatening to affect everyone's fun again, but today I hope there won't be much of that. It seems fairly calm this morning actually here in Hirafu, though I note that Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri have clocked up some stronger wind numbers this morning (up to 14m/s westerly). To start the day though all four resort areas are opening as planned.
What can I say other than it should be another excellent day out on the slopes today. People here in Niseko at the moment are getting to experience it at it's best.
Wrap up well, have fun and... take care out there.
With the consistent snowfall we have enjoyed here over the last few weeks - and seemingly that is still set to continue - it's hard to believe how lots of areas on the main island of Honshu are suffering this season; it just doesn't seem to want to snow properly yet in some places.
Like I mentioned before I do not see it as a competition - something you get by not being in the 'selling' business! - so I'd be very happy for everyone and everywhere to have at least a normal season in terms of snowfall. But I have heard a few people up here almost enjoying reading the news from other places which seems somewhat... nasty. That's not cool. We had a pretty poor start as well this season, if you remember. Happily, nature turned on the snow taps for us. It can happen to us all so let's not get carried away and just hope for a very snowy Japan winter everywhere. That's what I think anyway.
Resort specific news/notes at time of writing - subject to change during the day:
Niseko base 6am: -5℃, 20cm new snowfall, no snowdrift development. Moiwa 800m: -9℃, W10m/s with snowdrift developments. Annupuri 1150m: -10℃, W10m/s, snowdrifts above 1100m. Hirafu 1000m: -6℃, 20cm snowfall, light development of snowdrifts. Benkei cape: NNW13m/s, Kamui cape W8m/s, 1012hPa, 1.9m waves.
A passing small low-pressure system dropped 20cm of fresh snow in areas above 800m Looking at observations, the snowdrifts’ growth is relatively slow and seems stable, however it is strongly recommended to stay away from cornices, refrain from dropping into a slope at once and to stay away from valley bottoms. The snow condition is very different in areas above 1100m. If the westerly wind picks up during the day, the avalanche hazard will rise drastically in areas above 1000m.
Most of the accidents occur in snowdrifts loaded slopes during stormy weather. Be flexible with your touring routes. The snow in the trees is in excellent condition. Beware of collision and falling into cracks, which are difficult to notice from above. Most gates are scheduled to open, please follow the patrol’s instructions, be aware and be prepared of the risks you’re taking. Have a nice day.
Niseko Grand Hirafu 'Early Morning' Dates: Until Sunday 31st January 2016 Time: 8:00am until 8:20am Cost: 500 yen Details: Ace Number 2 Quad lift with the Super, Furiko, Green, Alpen and Sen-no-ki courses open
Niseko Annupuri 'First Run' Dates: Monday 11th January 2016 Time: 7:20am until 8:20am Cost: 1,000 yen Details: Gondola operation
Niseko Village 'Early Morning Gondola' Dates: Monday 11th January 2016 Time: 7:30am until 8:30am Cost: 1,300 yen Details: Gondola operation
It's important to note that these early morning lift operations require special tickets, which basically means that you have to pay extra for them. Season tickets and normal day passes cannot be used. In the case of bad weather conditions they may be cancelled.
Official resort snow depths as of Sunday 10th January 2016:
The forecast I mentioned yesterday seems to have been fairly accurate. The snow eased off around lunchtime yesterday - though it was very light snow anyway for most of the time since my report (so new cm of fresh) - and we ended the afternoon with mostly clear skies above Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma. It was another lovely afternoon, though most of us probably would have preferred a snowstorm and banked the clear skies for when everywhere is fully open!
This morning it's more blue skies over Yuzawa though there does seem to be more cloud now than there was just an hour ago. The forecast does have cloud for the day and snowfall as well, so let's hope that those snow clouds are on their way. I must add that some forecasts tell us to expect a bit of rain again before it turns into snow with a high of 4 degrees expected this afternoon.
We are still looking at snowfall tonight and tomorrow and maybe some light snow mid week, and some decent snowfall at the end of the week. Are we going to get some typical Yuzawa dumpage? Unclear.
But I will continue to let you know how things progress.
Resort official snow depths (Sunday 10th January 2016) and any specific news:
All resorts in the area are now generally open for the season, though please note that some areas and courses are not yet open. Generally steeper slopes that need more snow are still closed.
Yesterday was a very busy day on the mountain and the limited runs that were open made for a tight squeeze on some of them.
Last night brought us another 4cm of much needed snow and hopefully today will bring a significant amount throughout the day and into the early hours of the morning. The forecast calls for a lot more snow over the next 3-4 days so lets see if the forecasters are going to surprise us and be right for a change.
This morning brings partly sunny skies with a very light snow falling. This afternoon the winds will no doubt pick up again a little but shouldn’t impact the main gondola operation in any significant way. The open runs are being taken care of quite nicely and just like yesterday the -12 degree overnight temperatures should bring a little icy coating that will be skied off by early morning.
Have a great Sunday.
Currently planned operating lifts:
- Appi Gondola - Central Number 1 quad - Number 2 lift A - Number 2 lift B - Number 3 lift B - Number 4 lift - Sailer quad
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There's 5cm of fresh snow to report from base here, most of which has fallen in the last couple of hours. It is currently snowing moderately so there should be some more decent accumulation during the day today. The forecast sees continued snowfall every day through towards the end of the week.
It's really interesting comparing this season with last season - you can read through how last season went in the archives below. Furano is certainly being very consistent this time round!
The photo is from the 'All Night' last night - no doubt there's probably a few blurry-eyed people around this morning. A good soak in an onsen should cure that.
The Dynamic Course and part of the Training Course areas are hosting some pole training today and so won't be available to the general public but other than that the resort is fully open. Read more ...
Sunday 10th January 2016, 9:19am
Mostly clear blue skies
Morning from Madarao.
Enjoy the fireworks last night?
It was a clear night and it's a mostly clear morning as well. Beautiful sunrise earlier on.
It probably won't last though with snowfall expected later on, as early maybe as this afternoon. And then hopefully that will be continuing through the day tomorrow though I don't think we can expect it to be a dump.
Snow clouds should be over the region most days now in the coming week with the end of the week looking like it has more potential for a decent layer of fresh.
Anyway, I'll keep you posted.
Madarao and Tangram open. Just waiting for more snow for those Tree Run courses to get started.
Clearer skies we got (yesterday) and we are starting the day with blue skies and sunshine as well.
As you might expect, no new snowfall overnight.
I enjoyed the conditions yesterday though, there was some decent snow to be found out there. It was a little busy, but you can expect that on a long weekend.
The blue skies probably won't last the day with snowfall forecast for later today and snowy conditions tomorrow as well. After a break from the snow later Tuesday and the start of Wednesday, snow is due back later on Wednesday. That is what the forecast is saying anyway and it sounds pretty good.
Enjoy your Sunday.
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Sunday 10th January 2016):
Warmish weather today at 5 degrees in town, 3 degrees at the base of Tenjindaira and hovering around zero up on the mountain. These temps from midday. The morning started out clear but clouds have moved in and looks like we get snow tonight.
The forecast ahead looks promising too with daily snow from Wednesday though after the slow start to the year on Honshu I'll count those chickens when they hatch.
Still calling a base of 100cm at Tenjin though was up there yesterday and it was clearly above 110cm in the afternoon.