Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 22nd February 2020
Tuesday 16th December 2014, 8:25am
Cloudy and overcast
The snowfall continued yesterday through into the afternoon though it wasn't as determined as it was on Sunday, and by evening the skies were much clearer and people could catch a breath! A quick ride round the area yesterday and things were looking suitably mid-winter. People on the roofs of buildings that look like they are about to get squashed shovelling snow onto the road, snow 'walls' at the side of roads which are 2m high in places.
It sure didn't feel like middle of December.
Few pics below and more on the Photos section of the website here.
Having driven through Uonuma and Minamiuonuma as well as Yuzawa, I would probably say that there's more snow to the north in the Uonuma/Minamiuonuma areas. But lots everywhere and when there's so much it doesn't really matter.
Anyway, this morning it's a cloudy somewhat overcast feel, grey skies all round. No new snow overnight (so what I log today is from the daytime yesterday). Temperatures to rise to around 3 degrees today, with quite strong winds and rain likely later on.
We are still on for the stormy conditions tomorrow and maybe into Thursday when we expect more potentially heavy snowfall and strong winds. It might not be nice out there for a while.
Resorts that are open seem to be open on the same scale again today, so I'm guessing this is what we have until the weekend. Once the weekend arrives I would think they'll open up fully and the resorts that plan to open from Saturday should also get off to a great start.
Resorts currently open:
Kagura - pretty much fully open Naeba - part open Iwappara - part open, 2 central area lifts operating Joetsu Kokusai - part open, 5 lifts operating Maiko Snow Resort - part open, top Okusoeji area, Gondola and 2 Okusoeji lifts operating
After a very fine day yesterday with lovely weather conditions - that sun in the morning in particular was a treat - there's just a dusting this morning so no new cm of snow to report.
Cloud around this morning with sky on show in places too, but no snow falling. It is expected to before the day is out though and that storm that we have been eyeing up is right near us now. For now though it's not quite as cold as it has been. Might even get some rain/sleet later today before the main event arrives. Let's hope not.
Tomorrow and Thursday will very likely be snowy and windy. If the forecast is right, I'd expect the wind to affect lifts on the mountain, but let's see how it turns out.
At the time of writing this report, it looks like the King Number 3 Triple lift and top Hanazono Number 3 Quad are waiting for the moderate winds they are reporting higher up to ease before hopefully being able to get moving. Otherwise, resorts are open as they have been. Gates are ready to go, but waiting for the approaching storm to come and go.
Niseko Avalanche Report
Moiwa base: -10C, no snowfall and calm morning. Moiwa 600m: mild wind, -12C,no snowfall. Coastal data: S8m/s, calm sea at Benkei cape. Annupuri 1000m: 120cm snowpack and 250cm at leeward snowdrift area around 800m.
No snow-clouds, weak atmospheric pressure gradient; the mountain is calm. Warm air will flow in as the next low-pressure system approaches. Wet snow will sit on top of the present surface hoar and will form a notable weak layer (Dec 16th) in the future snowpack. Carefully follow the snowfall transition. Many accidents happen during bad weather. Do not duck ropes to seek fresh lines. Gates are scheduled to open after this storm as soon as they’re ready. We strongly demand all resort users to respect the Niseko Rules. The groomers conditions are great this morning.
Here's what is planned to be open today (subject to change):
Niseko Grand Hirafu Courses: Super Course and Furiko Courses now open Lifts: Ace Family Lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Ace Number 3 lift, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift, Hirafu Gondola, King Number 3 Triple lift, Swinging Monkey. Night skiing lifts: Ace Family Pair lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift
Niseko Hanazono Courses: Stairway to Heaven, Silver Dream, Legend of Shinya, Yotei Sunset, Crystal Garden Lifts: All 3 quad lifts operating Night skiing lifts: No night skiing at Hanazono
Niseko Village Lifts operating: Niseko Gondola, Community Chair, Banzai Chair, Morino Chair Night skiing lifts: Community Chair and Banzai Chair
Niseko Annupuri Lifts operating: Annupuri Gondola, Jumbo Number 1 Quad, Jumbo Number 2 Pair, Jumbo Number 3 Pair Night skiing lift: Jumbo Number 1 Quad
Official snow depth numbers at the time of writing:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 175cm Base - 110cm
Niseko Village: Top - 140cm Base - 100cm
Annupuri: Top - 130cm Base - 110cm
Niseko lift tickets can be won in the SnowJapan Prize Draw, details here:
After all the dizzy excitement of the last few days, things are somewhat calmer this morning. I don't think we could do with that every day!
OK so no new snowfall this morning to report and just cloudy over Nozawa. Wind is affecting things though early on, and it looks like we only have the bottom Nagasaka quad operating as of 9am. The resort seems to be saying that such is the plan for the day. So the Gondola and top runs aren't going to be open today by the sounds of things.
Doesn't feel that windy down here at all, but there you go... there's a lot of difference between top and bottom of Nozawa, one of the features of this place.
It may just be cloudy here now, but tomorrow is still forecast to be back to wilder conditions. Snow. Probably lots of it. Wind. Depending on conditions of course, operations may be affected tomorrow as well.
It's a bit milder this morning and rain might start up later on before it turns into snow overnight but hopefully that'll be kept to a minimum.
Let's see what I can report tomorrow morning.
Courses generally open - but not all open today due to weather (see above):
Yamabiko A Yamabiko B Yamabiko C Yamabiko D Yamabiko E Kokenashi Uenotaira Mizunashi A Mizunashi B Bunabayashi Yunomine B Ushikubi Nagasaka Nagasaka connect
It has started snowing (lightly) now but this is very probably the start of a lot that is due to fall over the next few days. Oh yes. In fact it quickly seems to be getting heavier just over the last 10 minutes. Bring it on, as they say. And so do I.
So, heavy snow is expected today and tomorrow. It might get very windy too. And it will definitely be getting colder.
All of the courses at the connecting Hakuba Goryu and Hakuba 47 resorts are now open. I totally expect more of Happo-one to be open from the weekend but no confirmation of solid news on that just at the moment. With the snow due before the weekend, I would actually expect pretty much all areas of Hakuba to be open come the weekend.
The Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field plans to open from Friday, with Hakuba Sanosaka joining in the fun from Saturday.
Happo-one Reporting 10cm fresh snow at Usagidaira this morning.
Official Snow depths: Base - 60cm Usagidaira - 150cm
Open lifts: -Kokusai Number 3 -Panorama -Alpen Quad -Kurobishi Number 2 Quad -Skyline Number 2 pair -Adam Gondola
Open courses: -Panorama -Usagidaira -Kurobishi -Skyline -Riesen (part) -Shirakaba (part)
Hakuba 47 3cm at base and on the mountain fresh this morning. All runs now open.
Official Snow depths: Base - 80cm Upper - 180cm
Open courses: -Route 1 Upper -Route 1 Lower -Route 2 -Route 3 -Route 5 -Route 6 -Route 7 -Route 8 -The Tree Riding Zone is not open yet.
Open lifts: -Gondola -Line A.B -Line C -Line E
Hakuba Goryu Reporting 0cm at base and 5cm of snowfall higher up this morning. All courses at Hakuba Goryu are now open. Official Snow depths: Iimori - 100cm Toomi - 120cm Alps Daira - 160cm
Open lifts: -Alps Number 1 Pair lift -Alps Number 3 Pair lift -Gondola -Toomi Sky Four lift -Mikly Four lift -Cosmo Four lift -Iimori Number 6 Pair lift -Iimori Number 1 Pair lift
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field - Friday 19th December Hakuba Sanosaka - Saturday 20th December
SnowJapan is running a lift ticket prize draw with 400+ lift tickets to send out to site members - 50 of those are for resorts in the Hakuba area, so lots to win. For details on the prize draw, check out this page:
The snow received over the weeked has helped things along greatly and the upper mountain has provided some great skiing over the last few days. A little more terrain has been opened along with arrival of the new snow. Courses open include upper Spies & Sailer Course (down to the base of Downhill Romance #2 chair), Shirakaba Course and Prince Course. It is still not possible to ski from the top of the ropeway to the base of the mountain. Night skiing is open until 8pm on the Prince Romance lift. The day is overcast with some clear sky making itself visible. Temperatures are into the chilly negatives and there is some wind as well.
It was just cloudy earlier but it's snowing now and this is probably the start of what we can expect in the next 48 hours... which is heavy snow and very strong winds. It's going to be stormy out there if the forecasts are right. Enough to probably mess around with ski lifts, but probably enough for most people to not want to be venturing out into it anyway.
Relatively mild for here this morning but due to get colder and colder as the day moves on.
At the bottom of the report I have added all of the night skiing plans for each of the resort areas in Shiga Kogen for this season. I'll keep that on the report each day for reference.
Resort areas status with official snow depths:
Okushiga Kogen: 30cm Part open
Yakebitaiyama: 50cm Part open
Ichinose Family 60cm Part open
Ichinose Yamanokami: 60cm Part open
Ichinose Diamond: 60cm Part open
Takamagahara Mammoth: 60cm Part open
Terakoya: Part open
Higashitateyama: Plans to open on 20th December
Giant: Plans to open on 20th December
Nishitateyama: Plans to open on 20th December
Bundaraia: Plans to open on 20th December
Sun Valley: Plans to open to public on 14th December
Maruike: Plans to open on 20th December
Hasuike: Plans to open on 20th December
Kumanoyu: 60cm Almost all open (note: skiers only resort area)
Yokoteyama: 65cm Lower areas open
Planned night floodlit skiing at Shiga Kogen resort areas this season:
Sun Valley: December 20th, 29th-30th; January 1st-2nd, 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd to March 21st
Maruike: December 29th-31st; January 1st-3rd, 10th, 11th
Takamagahara Mammoth: December 20th-22nd, 27th-31st; January 1st-3rd
Ichinose Family: Every day from December 20th until March 29th
Ichinose Diamond: December 27th-31st; January 1st-3rd, 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd until March 28th
Yakebitaiyama: December 27th-31st; January 1st-3rd, 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd until February 21st
Kumanoyu: December 20th-23rd, 27th-31st; January 1st-3rd; Every Saturday from January 3rd until March 28th Read more ...
Tuesday 16th December 2014, 11:21am
Check out the photos taken yesterday below... nice!
As you can see we got lots of blue sky along with a bit of fluffy white cloud during the day.
It's not snowing yet, but it's windy and the wind is stopping some lifts. SOme lifts are operating but the Ropeways and Gondola are not moving this morning, so it's limited today.
Looking like the wind will only get stronger into tomorrow and remain with us into Thursday as well. Along with snowfall.
So it's perhaps a few days better used soaking in the onsen and waiting for the conditions to improve. Sun on Friday maybe... should be fantastic if so.
If you want to win a free lift ticket for Zao Onsen, please check the Prize Draw currently running on SnowJapan
Planned operating lifts today (subject to change):
Onsen Number 1 pair lift Onsen Number 2 quad Mikaeri pair lift Chuo Number 1 pair lift Chuo Number 2 pair lift Paradise pair lift Yokokura Number 1 pair lift Utopia Number 2 pair lift Shobunuma Number 1 triple Shobunuma Number 2 pair Kuroboshi Number 1 Quattro quad lift Katakai triple lift All Ropeways/gondolas