Snow and weather reports posted on Tuesday 19th March 2019
Friday 15th January 2010, 8:45am
It is presently snowing lightly here in Hakuba with an overnight accumulation of approximately 5-7 cms of fresh. It has stayed cold and crisp over the past few days and thus the powder is remaining light and dry! The way we like it!
Conditions on the resorts are some of the best we have seen in recent years. Exceptional coverage, hardly any icy patches and lots of snow to push around. Powder hounds need only drop on the side of the runs or pop into the trees to find epic turns and face-shots galore!
Visibility and high winds were an issue yesterday so stick to the bottom runs or near the trees to see where you are going. Light snow is forecasted throughout the day today and with these little "top ups" daily even skied out areas get filled in again, so nice!
Very few people on the resorts this week and lift lines were virtually non-existent...does it get any better?
After another heavy fall of snow Nozawa Onsen has just tipped the 300cm mark for the first time this season. And it doesn't look like stopping any time soon. We've had 60cm of fresh snow since the last update making conditions perfect for those seeking powder runs.
Cloudy conditions will create poor visibility up on the mountain, however if you get in the trees you'll find conditions better.
Today marks one of the most important days in the Village's calendar - The Dosojin Matsuri (Fire Festival). For more information please check out the Feature on SnowJapan. It's a lively event and definitely one of the highlights of the season. Just to give you a taste....
"This festival is one of the three most famous fire festivals in Japan. It is held on January 15th every year to pray for a plentiful harvest, health and good fortune in the coming year. The festival dates back to 1863 and though the location has changed, the festivities remain the same. During this festival the twenty-five and forty-two year old men from the village play a very important role. An old belief in Japan dictates that, for men, these years are unlucky ages. The twenty-five and the forty-two year old men in their unlucky ages construct the shaden (shrine) from beech wood that reaches a height of 18 meters. Every year it takes 100 villagers to build the shrine. The trees are cut down in October and brought down from the mountain, through the village, on January 13th. After the shaden has been constructed, the priest from Kosuge shrine performs a ceremony to endow it with a God. Along with the shaden there are an average of five tôrô (dedicatory lantern poles) erected every year. These poles are made by a family in the village to celebrate the birth of the first son. The tôrô are offered to the Gods in a prayer for health and good fortune. The festivities begin with the lighting of the fire by the twenty-five and fourty-two year old men. A small group of men carry a torch, which is lit by striking two stones together, from the Kôno residence to the festival grounds. The torch is used to start a bonfire from which the handmade torches, used to attack the shrine, are lit. The festival centers around the shaden, where the fourty-two year olds sit on top and the twenty-five year olds stand guard at the base. Those who are 41 and 43 years old stand around the perimeter to protect the spectators. Torch bearing villagers of all ages attempt to break through the guards and light the shaden on fire. A dangerous and lively battle ensues. The defenders try to put out the fire by striking it with pine branches. The attack lasts for about one hour, after which the 42 year olds call an end to the ceremony and the shaden together with the tôrô are set on fire in an offering to the Gods. The entire festival can take up to four hours from the beginning to the end, but the main attraction is the battle between the guards and the torch bearing villagers."
Good morning from a still snowy Yuzawa. At least another 20cm or so since last nights report and it is still coming down and it should continue all day and likely all tomorrowe as well. And maybe even Sunday as well. What can I say?! The local forecast seems to be hinting that tomorrow it might ease off a bit, but it has been fairly unpredictable so far this season so who knows... we'll just have to report what we see.
Visibility better than yesterday and it is a cold -4 degrees at the moment.
Anyway, I will give this page an update later on this evening with the latest.
There have been times today when it has just been cloudy and the snow taken a break and when it has been snowing it has generally just been light snow.
It is snowing lightly now in Yuzawa and a temperature of about -2 degrees.
So how about the forecast for the weekend? The official local forecast is for another 25cm or so of snow (possibly up to 50cm!) between now and 9am tomorrow morning, so we're not done with the freshies quite yet. It looks like it will keep cold and be snowing pretty much throughout the day again tomorrow as well.
Whichever resort in this area you plan to go to this weekend, you're pretty much assured of some excellent snow conditions. Hope you have a good one! Read more ...
Friday 15th January 2010, 9:12am
More snow this morning after a wild snowy day yesterday - there must have been at least 60cm of fresh snow fall from the skies yesterday. Thank you very much! It is still coming down though and doesn't look like it's considering stopping.
There's a 5-10m/s north westerly wind and fair visibility.
We might have to wait until early in the week to see some clearer weather as over the weekend we also have snow/cloud on the forecast. So wrap up well, remember the goggles and if you come you will be in for a real powdery treat in the best conditions for quite a while.
These mid-winter conditions are continuing this morning. It is another very cold one with snow falling from the sky. Relatively light snow at the moment and at least 10cm or so since yesterday. That cold weather is giving us some fantastic snow and the conditions out there really are hard to beat at the moment. Deep pockets of powder to be found.... almost everywhere!
Snow clouds may continue to be with us over the weekend, though certainly we won't be on for the same kind of conditions of the last few days and there is even a chance that we might get a glimpse of the sun according to the local forecast. It does look like from early week we will be headed into a milder period with cloudy/sunny weather.
Nighta this evening planned at the following resort areas:
- Ichinose Family
Official resort snow depths as of 15th January 10:
Yesterday conditions did change after my report and it ended up being a bit of a wild day with wind and poor visibility. Not a huge amount of new snow to report, though it was probably just all blown about by the winds.
This morning things have calmed down and it is right now cloudy with a bit of light snow falling and a temperature of -7 degrees in the village area. Snow is forecast for the day but visibility is much better today. It's very quiet out there with continued excellent snow conditions for those lucky enough to be able to enjoy it.
Yesterday didn't get quite as windy as expected and all lifts were able to remain open allowing people to access all the amazing powder out there. Snowfalls continued through much of the day and became quite heavy again early this morning adding another 40-50cm of perfect powder. All yesterdays tracks have been covered so it's freshies right across the mountain once again and it's getting very deep out there with faceshots near every turn off-piste. This morning the official depth at 1000m in Hirafu is 260cm and over the last 13 seasons on 15 Jan the average snowdepth has been 250cm, so we're slightly above average with plenty more snow forecast over the next few days. Looks like we'll have a little break from the snow later next week with temperatures getting a little above freezing at village level but another big system looks set to follow right after that should bring plenty more of the white stuff.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu: Top - 260 Bottom - 150
Niseko Village: Top - 280 Bottom - 160
Annupuri: Top - 250cm Bottom - 170
Niseko Avalanche Info No.31
Moiwa base 6am: -8℃, 35cm of uniform crystal snowfall in the past 12hours. Coastal data: 14m/s W at Benkei cape, 12m/s WSW, 2.5m waves and 1012hp at Kamui cape. Annupuri peak wind: 12m/s W to SWS. Upper Mizuno no sawa: 15m/s W with 40cm snow accumulation. On and off moderate winds has stagnated above 800m, making the cornices and snowdrifts to develop and stabilize at the same time. Avalanche risk will rise in Haru no taki due to slabs forming under sun effect. Predicted trigger layer is 13th Jan, 90cm thick, 80m wide and running for 500m. Keep off the strictly off limits areas. According to data analysis, observations and transitions, the avalanche hazard in slopes below timberline (1000m) is low. Peak gates will open at 9:30am. Deep conditions today. The gulley in the west of Moiwa (Ambetsu creek) ends in a waterfall, better not ride too far ahead, try to come back to the course early enough. Seek for the ski patrol’s advice before stepping out the gates. Beware of frostbites and enjoy your day.
Sorry for the lack of report yesterday - circumstance prevented one from going up!
It's hammering down with snow. It kicked off around lunch time yesterday and hasn't let up since with 70cm falling at village level by this morning.
Just as everyone got on top of the snow clearing the heavens opened again and are hitting us with the biggest fall of the season so far.
The snow was so heavy yesterday that it was having a good shot at covering up tracks from one run to the next. It's deep again today at the resorts both on and off piste, so if you are heading out, grab the fattest thing you own and enjoy! Read more ...
Friday 15th January 2010, 10:35am
The cold is holding on with both the official report (and the infamous and now less trusted car display) showing -5° this morning. A nice overnight fall of about 20cm of light powder; the sun was shining faintly earlier in the morning, but good, steady snowfall now continues.
Very nice, deep snow offpiste yesterday; a little bit of body but we aren't afraid of full-flavored powder in Myoko (aka, "anyone can ski that champagne stuff"). We did find a light icy layer down around 50cm, with progressively lighter snow on top. The forecast is for warming conditions, so be extra careful on south-facing slopes, valleys and other sketchy terrain as solar energy increases the possibility of avalanches if the layer isn't well consolidated with the new snow.
Early morning started out with sun, good visibility and some fresh snow on the upper part of the mountain. Mid morning the clouds rolled in, snow started falling and the light went flat. It has been snowing constantly since and there is good accumulation on the ground. The kitanomine side is quite busy again today with the race competition on the Giant course and school groups out in numbers. Night skiing tonight would have to be pick of the day. There will be plenty of freshly fallen snow and the night lights should provide good ground definition. Read more ...