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
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.
And so, rain it was last night and indeed at times rather heavily.
But the good news is that this morning the rain has eased off, there's not much of a wind to talk about and things are clear and crisp.
There has been a very pretty sea of clouds hanging over the village early on, though that will probably quite quickly disappear. It's pretty warm too, 10C as of 8:30am - and it's probably going to warm up to around 18C or perhaps even higher (which seems to have been a pattern this season).
Should be a good morning though, full on spring conditions taken into account and we might get some sunshine as well.
Still, Hakuba Happo-one are reporting 230cm of snow depth up by the Grat quad lift at 1831m, and Hakuba Goryu have an official snow depth of 169cm. Still a fair bit of snow higher up though warm conditions and rain mean that it is inevitably getting less.
Resort news as of 8:50am on Thursday 14th 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: 90cm 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: 169cm 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: 95cm 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: 150cm Maruyama: -cm Kane-no-naru-oka: -cm
Some heavy rain during last night but now it is clear with blue skies above the resort.
According to the forecast, there will be some more rain tonight and tomorrow unfortunately. (Sadly the snow that was forecast for tomorrow has now changed to rain...)
The temperature is quite high today with better conditions most likely in the morning.
The snow depth of the courses is getting lower every day now, but there are still several courses open to enjoy skiing at Grandeco.
There are only two ski resorts in this Bandai area which opens their ski ground, Grandeco and Nekoma. Two ski resorts are trying to keep the snow to continue the ski season until golden week (early May). Nekoma officially said the snow depth is about 75cm, open three courses and operating two lifts. Also Nekoma will close during 19-21th and 26-28th April to try and keep conditions decent. Grandeco is scheduled to be open every day until closing. Please keep your eyes on these two resorts as they have the longest ski season in the region.
Gondola Number 1 quad Number 2 quad
Courses that remain open:
[A-a] Rainbow 3500 [A-b] Rainbow 3500 (approx. 1km long and connecting to the Center course) [C] Center (approx. 2km) [D-b] Lavendar B (snow park available on the lower part of this course)
Early morning cloud and fog this morning after some of that rain overnight. It looks like most of today should remain dry though with perhaps more rain later on. It doesn't look like there is much chance of it being snow even higher up, so we can just hope there's not much of it.
Highs of close on 20 degrees forecast for later on today at town level.
Some stronger winds forecast for tomorrow, worth keeping an eye on those.
A bit of news from Kagura:
They are going to close the Kagura Number 5 romance lift on Sunday 24th April. That will also be the last day for the mountain gate as well so they'll be asking people not to enter.
Over at Mitsumata with the snow melting away, part of the open area is now 'snow brush' rather than 'natural snow'.
Resorts that remain open in Yuzawa on Thursday 14th 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: 70cm
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 - 190cm Tashiro area - 160cm Mitsumata area - 110cm
Resorts that are not listed below are now closed for the season.