Planned closing dates of lifts at Zao Onsen (subject to change due to snow conditions)
Open daily until Thursday 5th May: Chuo Number 1 pair lift AB Chuo Number 2 pair lift AB (* Sat/Sun and holidays only) Katakai triple lift (* Sat/Sun and holidays only) Paradise pair AB lift (* Sat/Sun and holidays only) Utopia Number 2 pair lift
Also open only on Saturdays and holidays until Thursday 5th May: Chuo Number 2 pair lift AB Katakai triple lift Paradise pair AB lift
The Zao Ropeway, Sky Cable gondola and Chuo Ropeway are all open throughout the year (apart from specific maintenance periods)
Lifts not mentioned in the above list have closed for the season. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Tuesday 12th April 2016, 8:05am
Hello and good morning from Shiga Kogen.
I was hoping to post a report yesterday but circumstance prevented it... anyway I can this morning tell you that we had just under 10cm of fresh snow yesterday here in Shiga Kogen. What a lovely mid-April surprise and of course most welcome.
It is another cold morning here but will be warming up more as things return to 'spring like' over the coming days.
We're still over three and a half weeks away from the remaining resorts due closing date. Ichinose Diamond were planning on continuing but their season is now over. Let's see how the coming weeks go... there's some rain expected by Thursday and with the freezing point way above our peaks we can't really expect it to be snow here unfortunately.
Planned late season dates for Shiga Kogen resort areas:
Please note that the below dates are all subject to change and of course dependant on snow conditions (and there's less snow than usual this season). We'll try to keep this up-to-date with every new report.
Takamagahara Mammoth The quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only until 28th April).
Ichinose Family The Ichinose quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Ichinose Number 2 pair B lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May.
Terakoya The Terakoya lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only until 28th April).
Okushiga Kogen The Okushiga Kogen Number 6 pair lift plans to be operating until Sunday 24th April. The Okushiga Kogen Number 2 and 3 pair lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Okushiga Kogen Number 4 pair lift plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only until 28th April). The Okushiga Kogen Gondola lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May.
Kumanoyu The Kumanoyu Number 2 pair A and B lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Kumanoyu Number 3 quad lift plans to be operating on 16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th April and from 29th April until 8th May.
Yokoteyama & Shibutoge The Yokoteyama Number 1 Sky A and B lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Yokoteyama Number 2 and 3 Sky lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May (and perhaps beyond depending on snow conditions). The Yokoteyama Number 4 pair lift plans to be operating until Thursday 5th May. The Shibutoge lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May (and perhaps beyond depending on snow conditions).
All other areas of Shiga Kogen not mentioned above are now closed.
Morning from Niseko and following on from yesterday there's another 2cm of snow to report this morning.
Yesterday was fun with 10cm of so it must have been in places. It felt great to have that new soft layer under the skis.
And what's more, this morning the sun is out and it is going to be a fine day. There's not much wind and so all should be open and... well, yes, it's a fine spring morning with a bit of fresh underground early on. We couldn't ask for much more at this stage. Well, not without being too greedy of course!
Unfortunately, it looks like we are going to be getting some rain sometime tomorrow, even higher up, which is a bit rubbish. But all the more reason to head out again this morning.
Resort specific lift opening news at time of posting:
Resort operations - subject to change due to snow and weather conditions
Niseko Grand Hirafu resort area lift operations: Ace Family Pair - until 17th April Ace Number 2 Center Four Quad Ace Number 3 Pair Ace Number 4 Pair Holiday Number 1 Pair - until 10th April
The resort is going to be 'upgrading' the King Number 3 triple lift in time for next season - as part of this work the Hirafu Gondola, King Number 3 and 4 lifts have all now closed for the season. Niseko Grand Hirafu plans to remain open until Thursday 5th May.
Niseko Annupuri plans to be open until Thursday 5th May with the Gondola, Jumbo 1 and Jumbo 4 lifts operating.
Niseko Village is currently closed but plans to be open again for Golden Week from Friday 29th April until Thursday 5th May.
It is a nice cold and chilly morning again this morning, but there's no further snow to report. Blue skies and sunshine at the moment.
Yesterday was enjoyed by many I think though, with that nice surprise of some fresh snow on the mountain. It is set to warm up though during the day and local forecasts tell us that it might get as warm as around 14 degrees here in the village later on. Tomorrow it's a mix of sun and cloud on the forecast with some rain looming beyond that, perhaps even later on in the day tomorrow.
In the meantime, it should be another fine morning to get out there on the slopes.
Resort news as of 8:45am on Tuesday 12th April 2016 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Most courses at Hakuba 47 remain open. The lower part of R1 course is closed - but all courses are still available top to bottom. Beginners are recommended to use the Gondola to get back to base. The Tree Riding Zone is now closed for the season. Official snow depth: Upper: 95cm Base: 30cm
Hakuba Goryu: The top area of Goryu - Panorama, Grand Prix and Super courses - remain open. The lower main Toomi and Iimori areas are now closed. Get the Gondola back down to base. Official snow depth Alps: 175cm Toomi: -cm Iimori: -cm
Hakuba Happo-one: The lower areas of the resort - apart from part of Nakiyama South - are now closed. Riesen Slalom Course and the lower Nakiyama South courses are now closed, there is no longer any courses open back down to base. Upper Riesen Grat Course, Usagidaira, Kurobishi, Skyline and Panorama course areas remain open. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 100cm Nakiyama: -cm
Tsugaike Kogen: The top Tsuga-no-mori and Upper Han-no-ki areas remain open. All other courses are now closed. The top Tsugaike Ropeway is open for spring season (note: extra charge required). Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 155cm Maruyama: -cm Kane-no-naru-oka: -cm
Here is a list of the resorts that remain open in the region:
Grandeco and Nekoma remain open. Nekoma will be closed between the 19th-21st and 26th-28 April, but both Grandeco and Nekoma plan to remain open until 5th May. All dependent on the snow levels of course! All other resorts now closed. Read more ...
Tuesday 12th April 2016, 9:01am
Fine and sunny
It was a nice surprise yesterday with that fresh snow and I am hearing of some very satisfied riders who went out to enjoy the fresh snow on the upper areas that remain open. Kagura was reporting up to 10cm of fresh up on it's upper slopes...
This morning the sun is out and it's a fine start to the day. The cherry blossoms are blooming as well and other flowers coming into life... all looking very pretty and the contrast with that snow is very pretty.
A cold start but the sun will warm things up and temperatures are forecast to rise to around 14 degrees in town this afternoon.
More sun and more warmth is forecast for tomorrow but there's some rain on the forecast as well, perhaps starting as we get into Thursday.
Resorts that remain open in Yuzawa on Tuesday 12th April 2016):
GALA Yuzawa GALA Yuzawa resort plans to be open until Sunday 8th May. Three of the six courses in the Central Area (as well as the 'playing in the snow area') and one course in the Northern Area currently remain open. The downhill Falcon course back to the Cowabunga base is now closed. Official snow depth: 80cm
Kagura The Tashiro Ropeway plans to be open until 8th May. The Kagura area via Mitsumata Ropeway plans to be open until 29th May. Most courses remain open apart from the Gondola east course The downhill course to Mitsumata car park is now closed. Official snow depth: Kagura area - 200cm Tashiro area - 170cm Mitsumata area - 140cm
Resorts that are not listed below are now closed for the season.
I was away for a few days and I missed the light snow that was falling in the village while I was gone, and apparently a 10cm layer of fresh snow up top as well according to the resort. Nice. Can't expect much at this stage of the season and so it's always welcome. People who got to ride on that will have felt lucky.
It may very well also be the last of the season.
The frosted trees makes for a very fine contrast with the cherry blossoms down in the village area. Ah, sakura!
Back to skiing and snowboarding and the resort is now very much 'top area only'. You get the Nagasaka Gondola up there and back down at the end of the day.
Official info at time of writing on Tuesday 12th April 2016 (subject to change):