Snow and weather reports posted on Wednesday 20th February 2019
Appi Kogen Now!
Monday 11th January 2016, 7:45am
Yesterday brought the snow we needed!
With a steady snow fall most of the day and through the night we’ve added a meaningful amount to the whole mountain. Appi is still reporting a 45cm base but I’m sure they’ll be recalculating that figure in the coming days.
Right now its cloudy with a brisk wind blowing which will intensify during the day to make for gusty and cold conditions on the mountain. We still only have 10 of 21 runs in operation today and for those braving the falling temperatures you can expect a steady -11 degrees most of the day, not including the wind-chill which should lower it considerably more to the -20 range, if not lower. No doubt the main Gondola will see sporadic operation today given the forecast windy conditions.
We are expecting another 6-8 cm of snow today and light flurries expected tomorrow and Wednesday. Temperatures for the next few days will be hovering around -10 but the wind should hopefully die down somewhat and make the on-piste conditions enjoyable for a change.
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
Welcome to our brand new independent ‘Appi Kogen Now' daily report, exclusive to SnowJapan.
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Appi Kogen resort is located in Hachimantai in the north western area of Iwate Prefecture in the Tohoku region. We are very pleased to be able to start our daily reporting from this region of Japan. More information on Appi Kogen can be found here.
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Yesterday things got a bit on the wet side in the region, but this morning there is fresh snow on the ground.
There's about 5cm here in base areas and the resort is reporting a fresh layer of 7-8cm on the upper Yamabiko and Uenotaira areas of the resort.
Poor visibility by the looks on those upper areas this morning and better lower down - but it's higher up where most people will be heading...
The snow clouds are going to weaken this morning probably leaving us with just cloudy skies for the rest of the day. Regular snowfall is actually on the forecast now over the coming week so I'll just leave it at that for now and we'll see how it pans out.
A competition is being held on the Yunomine A course until today meaning that course will be closed to the public.
Official info at time of writing on Monday 11th January 2016 (subject to change):
We may not have typical, massive snow in Myoko this year, but I think we're ahead of the pack: the parking lot at Akakura Kanko Ski Area was completely full by 9:30 yesterday, with lots of out-of-town license plates on the cars.
Today though I doubt it will be that crowded, as we're socked out in a heavy fog with a pretty heavy north wind.
Too bad, really, as there is some new snow out there to make things a little more soft and enjoyable. I will end on that positive note, because I know a lot of people are going to look out and see the gray and be less enthusiastic (but, remember, you can't ski on blue skies!).
At last, the Center 33 course is opening from today. Named after the average 33 degree slope for those looking for more of a challenge.
We have had another 8cm of fresh snowfall here at base and no doubt more higher up; and the forecast remains good for regular snowfall over the coming week, perhaps with Friday especially heavy snow currently on the forecast.
Today is the last day of the long holiday in Japan and so less people are expected on the slopes.
The roads leading up to Grandeco and around the Ura Bandai area remain covered with snow.
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 (H) Center 33
The Snow Park (Decodaira E Park) is open on Lavender B course with a 5m kicker, 5m table top and other box items.
Good morning from my secret base here in Hirafu where I have another 11cm of fresh powder to report since yesterday.
It's a very cold one today with the resorts reporting temperatures of -14C and -15C on upper areas. Brrrr. Be sure to be wrapped up well to go up there and face masks are recommended.
There don't seem to be wind issues at the start of the day with all of the four resorts open as planned. However, we are warned of the possibility of stronger winds and more storm-like conditions so keep that in mind.
The Niseko Grand Hirafu official snow depth numbers have actually taken a drop today even with the fresh snow. Perhaps it's all those naughty people making tracks and compacting the snow. ;)
Not to worry as the weekly forecast still has regular and consistent snowfall lined up for the coming week. There doesn't seem to be a let up in sight just yet.
Today is the last day of the long weekend in Japan, and the early morning services at Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri were until this morning. The Niseko Grand Hirafu early morning service will continue on until 31st January (more details in previous reports).
Apologies for not mentioning this yet, but at Niseko Grand Hirafu the King Number 2 quad lift has been moving this weekend. (There were some interesting stories about that lift last year if you want to go check some archives, and it will be interesting to see if they will keep it running or just have it for holidays).
I thought I would this morning also mention the Free Ride Park that they have going on over there at Niseko Grand Hirafu. I'm not really into park myself, but for those who are here's what they have: 4m table top, 5m table top, 7m table top, 5m wide box, 5m narrow box, 5m down rail, 8m double down rail, 5m cylinder rail, 5m U-rail. I hope I have written them all correctly. Sounds interesting actually, perhaps I should go and give it a whirl. It's open from 10am until 4pm.
Niseko base 6am: -11℃, 20cm snowfall, no snowdrifts development. Moiwa 750m: -13℃, WSW10m/s, 20cm snow, cornices/snowdrifts are developing. Mikaeri turnoff: -13℃, W2.0m/s, 30cm snowfall with snowdrifts. Anupuri 1150m: -15℃, W8m/s, scarce snowfall on the course, developing snowdrifts. Hirafu 1200m: -15℃, stormy weather with poor visibility. Benkei cape: NNW14m/s. Kamui cape: NNW10m/s, 1015hPa, 2.4m waves.
The winter pressure distribution is generating intermittent strong wind and snow in areas above 1000m as the isobars spacing shifts. The stabilization of the snowdrifts in slopes with cornice/knoll features is delayed and are highly likely to collapse. The overall avalanche hazard level is moderate to high, highest in leeside steep slopes above 1200m elevation.
The peak gates’ opening will be delayed and hinge upon lifts operation. Please follow the ski patrol’s instructions. Stay away from hazardous aspects. Coldest temperature of the season so far, beware of frostbites and hypothermia. Wind-affected soft snow has blanketed the tree runs. Cracks are opening and are hard to notice from above, be careful not to fall in one.
Official resort snow depths as of Monday 11th January 2016:
Resorts are this morning reporting up to 10-15cm of fresh snowfall, with 4cm on the ground here.
Yesterday was another fine day, with clouds staying just to the north of our region for most of the day until the evening... when it started raining. It was cold though and it turned into snow overnight so let's quickly move on. (I've had enough of the r word!)
It is snowing very lightly as I write the report and the local forecast is for the snow to stop sometime this morning leaving us with cloudy conditions for the rest of the day.
Unfortunately there seems to be less snow now on the weekly forecast than there was just yesterday. Not sure what is going on there but if it's right it'll just be a continuation of what we have been having so far (but hopefully less of the rain). Snow is there on the forecast, just generally light rather than the Yuzawa-like heavy snow that I have been mentioning we are used to.
But, forecasts can change quickly so let's not put too much in it for now.
Generally there will be better and fresher snow conditions higher up.
Today is a national holiday in Japan and so the last day of the long weekend. It will be less busy than yesterday and Saturday though with people starting to return home. We'll be back to a normal weekday today.
Resort official snow depths (Monday 11th 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.
For most of yesterday there was a constant snowfall coming down on the resort, and the village, which meant there was a never ending fresh supply of soft powder on top of the runs. The day started off cloudy but that soon lifted around mid morning to give great views across the valley.
Last night some moderate winds passed thorugh the village, but they have long gone and it is calm around the base area with some wind still around the tops. This morning it is particularly cold with temperatures into the minus teens, and for the next few days this level of coldness will stay with us.
Snow should continue to fall through today, and tomorrow, getting lighter each day through until Friday, on which it seems we are due for a break from the snow. There has been another mpressive 9cm of fresh snow at base over night.
Happy powder riding to those who can get out there today. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Monday 11th January 2016, 9:23am
A happy Monday morning to you from Shiga Kogen where there has been a modest 4cm of snowfall overnight.
Light snow has been falling early this morning, though at the moment it is just cloudy and perhaps light snow still falling in some higher areas.
Maybe some more snow today though I doubt it will be anything significant. This year so many places are struggling to clock up what you might term 'heavy snowfall', which is not like Japan. Shiga Kogen is not known for record amounts of snowfall even in a good winter - it's more the quality of snow up here that people love.
Anyway I see the forecast still tells us nice stories of regular snowfall over the coming week. Hopefully not fairy tales!
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Monday 11th January 2016):
10-15cm of fresh snow is being reported by Madarao this morning and the day has started with light snow continuing to fall though that isn't expected to continue for long. Clearing up is the more likely.
It's keeping quite cold this morning so the conditions out there should be pretty good this morning.
And there will be less people around now that we are on the last day of the long weekend. Especially by this afternoon expect things to be something more like a normal weekday, and then of course we'll be back into the normal weekday routine from tomorrow.
Can't help but feel looking at the forecast that it has been somewhat 'downgraded' in terms of likely snowfall in the next week. Hmmm.
[Apologies for this report appearing a little later today - it was actually posted at 8:45am but a few technical issues prevented it from appearing until now]
Good morning from Hakuba.
After the gusty early conditions yesterday, Happo-one managed to get open from around noon which was good to hear.
Clouds moved in around the mountains and it started snowing up there.
And this morning there is some fresh snow on the ground. Just a bit here at village/base (2cm) but resorts are reporting 10-20cm of fresh - check the individual resort details below for news from each of the ski-jo.
Let's take a look at the forecasts. Still looking promising with a bit more snow today into early tomorrow and then around Thursday and Friday. It should be keeping fairly cold as well which is good; if it keeps cold conditions should keep well.
And it should be pretty decent up there this morning. I'm going to go and check!
Just a reminder to some of you who may not know. You can access this report and all of the other Now reports (as well as other information) on the new mobile version of SnowJapan. Just go here...
Resort news as of 8:30am on Monday 11th January 2015 (all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 5cm of fresh snowfall at base and 20cm up top. All courses apart from Route 7 officially open. Tree Riding Zone not yet open for the season. Official snow depth Upper: 145cm Base: 25cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 2-3cm of fresh snowfall at base and 15cm on upper areas. 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: 150cm Toomi: 45cm Iimori: 40cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 20cm of new snowfall on upper areas. Grat (part), 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: 100cm Nakiyama: 30cm Sakka: 15cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina reporting 10-15cm of fresh snow. The courses at Cortina that remain closed are: Mt Hieda Ridge, Mt Hieda 2 and 3, Itadaria Ridge and Giant. All other courses are now open. Planned lifts: All lifts apart from Number 7 pair lift now operating Official snow depth Top: 125cm Base: 65cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Most areas of Tsugaike Kogen are now at least part open. Planned lifts: Almost all of the lifts at Tsugaike Kogen are now operating. Official snow depth Tsuga-no-mori: 130cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 30cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Only a 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: 15cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Official snow depth 40cm 7 lifts are operating and 7 courses are open at Hakuba Norikura Onsen.
Another 11cm of fresh this morning so the snow is slowly but surely coming. As have the people this weekend, with lots of them around. So we do actually need 'refils' as well as 'base'!
Yesterday the Omori lift started its season and that area of the resort part opened. That means that all of the areas of Zao Onsen are now at least part open, though with some courses not open just yet. I am very much looking forward to the day when I can actually say that 'Zao Onsen is fully open'. It is evidently a gradual process this year though; hopefully it won't be long.
Forecast has quite regular snowfall lined up for our mountain here. Looks towards later on Thursday in particular for potentially heavy snowfall. You know how quickly forecasts can change though...
Back to this morning though and it is cold. Wrap up well and some decent snow to be found.
It is interesting to note that on the official website where they usually mention snow conditions in the different areas of Zao from 'S' (powder snow) through to 'E' ('inferior' snow), they don't seem to have been updating that at all yet this season...
Information as of Monday 11th January 2016 (subject to change)
All of the lifts at Zao Onsen are operating. All areas of Zao Onsen are now at least part open. Note that there is still less snow than usual and it is thin on the ground especially on lower course areas of the resort.
Light snow overnight but it built up to 15-20cm cm at the base. Up top that usually means 30cm but will be up there momentarily to see for sure.
Winds remain light.
The snow, which fell from around 9pm through 7am, is fine, light, dry powder - just much less volume than a normal year's levels. Once that base is in these are actually the sort of snow falls that allow the best access up on the mountain.
Looking quite crowded today (last day of the long weekend) but it should be quiet mid-week.
Potentially clear weather through Wed night when small snow is expected on the forecast.
All snow resorts in Minakami were at least part open, but with the recent weather some are now closed waiting for more snowfall: