Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 4th April 2020
Friday 17th January 2020, 6:59am
There was quite an extended period of snow flurries yesterday which added a nice layer of snow on the trails and was around 5cm on the upper mountain. Today is partly cloudy and there is a chance of a couple of hours of snow from midday onwards.
It is cloudy right now but we had snow falling yesterday the result of which is another 7cm to report this morning. The snow eased off early morning (before I got up).
Today the forecast is for cloud with the chance of some clearer skies at times. And it looks like we can expect more of the same tomorrow as well.
So there you go!
Official snow depths:
* Top: 210cm * Base: 140cm
Planned operating lift information - subject to change:
* Number 1 Gondola * Number 2 Gondola (operates on weekends and holidays only) * Number 1 pair lift * Number 2 pair lift * Quad lift
Courses & Tree Runs - subject to change:
* All of the main official courses are available * Rabbit and Summit Tree Run course open * Other tree run courses not yet available
Nighta skiing operations
* Weekends and holidays from until 24th February 2020 Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Friday 17th January 2020, 8:00am
Cloudy ft. sea of clouds
Morning from Nozawa.
A cloudy start to the day with an impressive looking sea of clouds hanging over the lower areas of the mountain. Check out the images below.
I had a good few hours yesterday morning. After that fresh snow to enjoy playing in yesterday morning, we don't have any more to add to it this morning. Cloudy conditions are expected for the day and perhaps tomorrow too.
Right now the resort is reporting -6C up top and -3C at base. Temps will probably rise to low positive numbers during the day today. The thing we want most when it doesn't snow is for the temps to keep low.
It really is turning out to be a very puzzling season. Not just in Nozawa, but it seems most (all?) of Japan. When we look back I hope the story of the season ends up including full-on snow storms that last for days on end - the kind of thing that we expect here in Nozawa and nearby regions. Right now, we just aren't getting those. Yet.
Still, all courses at Nozawa Onsen apart from the lower part of Skyline and a few courses off that are open.
And days like yesterday are - of course - a real joy!
Friday 17th January 2020
Fresh snowfall recorded by resort since yesterday morning:
All courses open apart from the following courses:
- Kandahar - Skyline (lower section closed; it is open down to the Tanuki course) - Grand Prix - Jumping - Mukobayashi - Hachiman - Karasawa - Nagasaka link - Usagi Read more ...
Friday 17th January 2020, 8:18am
Good morning from Niseko.
Well, this is a very nice surprise. It seems I might have missed the forecasts yesterday or something. But whatever, I am more than happy to have not noticed this upcoming...
I am very excited to be able to report a lot of fresh snowfall this morning.
I have measured 31cm of it! That is the biggest number of the season so far. Excellent.
And it has mostly been delivered overnight, so early morning should be great this morning.
If I were the type to at times carefully use hype-tastic cheesy marketing proclamations, today would probably be one of the days when I would feel justified in using them. But don't worry, I'll keep the cheese in my fridge as I quickly head out onto the mountain. I need to check things out for myself.
Take care and enjoy if you are up here thanking your timing!
I can't find any specific news on possible changes to operations early on this morning.
The avalanche hazard evaluation in Niseko is mainly based on observing the stability of the snowdrifts (slabs). The stabilization is delayed when strong wind (20+m/s) generates drastic development of snowdrifts, and a slight riding stimulation can easily trigger a slide. The mountain is blanketed with 30-40cm of light snow, however there are no notable developments of slabs. According to observations and data evaluations, the general avalanche risk is low, except for 40°steep slopes above 1000m elevation. Most gates are scheduled to open from the morning.
A new anemometer has been installed at the head of Mizuno no Sawa and the research cat track has been connected to Moiwa. Creeks are still open under a shallow layer of fresh snow. Carrying a shovel and a short rope is recommended. The groomers are also in epic conditions. Make sure your pocket zippers are closed. Seems like a beautiful day today.
Ski resort operation information: Friday 17th January 2020
Official snow depth (reported by resort): - Peak: 165cm - Base: 105cm
All lifts normally operating EXCEPT: - Country Road (normally rested)
Lifts scheduled for late operations: - Annupuri Village Gondola until 8:00pm - Village Express until 8:00pm - Banzai Chair until 8:00pm Read more ...
Friday 17th January 2020, 8:19am
Some sun shining through
Cloudy and cold this morning, with just the lightest dusting of new snow on the car windows (otherwise you'd barely notice it).
A very light wind from the south/southwest; a bit of sun shining through the high, fairly high clouds. Probably a bit more snow high up the mountain, as there's a band of white right across the middle of the mountain from trees with a bit more snow on their branches than is thee case at higher or lower elevations.
I think this is the first morning in a while that we still have negative temperatures here at base level, which is nice. Keep that snow cold.
It was great fun to enjoy the fresh snow yesterday and I hear conditions were really good up at Kagura. I spent a few fun hours at GALA Yuzawa and up at Maiko as well with some friends.
That snow yesterday has allowed a few more courses at some resorts to get open. As always, we are checking and updating the information below each morning.
Yesterday ended up being a bit milder than we would have liked and as you can see on the images from Ishiuchi Maruyama and Maiko Snow Resort below, town levels in Minamiuonuma are looking rather bare again after that quick whitening-up yesterday. Higher up got more snow and remained colder of course and so benefited greatly from the snow... but we still need much more.
The best chance of decent snow in the coming days is probably around Monday and Tuesday, so in the meantime let us hope that temperatures keep in low numbers. Today we expect a high of around +4C in town.
Basically, snow cover is improves the higher up you go.
Looking back on the report yesterday, I got quite excited about that snow! Genuine, of course.
But it got me thinking and I was talking with a friend about this on the lifts. Normally, 10cm in town would be almost 'just another day'.... rather than something to get particularly excited about. (30cm at Kagura is always something to be excited about, of course).
I suppose that's just where we are this season so far. The snow isn't as regular as usual, not as heavy as usual, and temperatures are generally higher than usual.
It is still the middle of January, with months left for the situation to change.
I still believe! :)
Individual ski resort information: Friday 17th January 2020 All information checked and updated manually for each report. Subject to change.
- All of the Central Area and Northern Area courses are open - All lifts are now operating apart from the Ropeway lift connecting with Yuzawa Kogen in the Southern Area - The Southern Area is part open - Batman and Eliza courses are open - Take the Gondola back down at the end of the day (Falcon downhill course not yet available) - Official snow depth: 130cm
- All areas of Kagura are open - Both the Mitsumata Ropeway and Tashiro Ropeway bases ropeways are operating - The top Number 5 lift and top gate are normally open >> but apparently temporarily closed this morning - The Dragondola connecting with Naeba is operating - Official snow depth: 110cm
- Gondola and top Okusoechi quad and pair lifts are operating - 7 courses in the top Okusoechi area are open. Take the Gondola back down to base. - The Maiko Area is not open - Official snow depth: 75cm (upper); -cm (base)
- Yuzawa Ropeway operating - All Kogen lifts now operating and Kogen Snowland is open - Base area not currently open - The Ropeway connecting Yuzawa Kogen with the Southern Area of GALA Yuzawa is not yet operating - Official snow depth: 80cm (Kogen); 10cm (base)
- Number 1 and 7 lifts operating - Official snow depth: 30cm
Photos (below) from around 8:30am on Friday 17th January 2020:
- GALA Yuzawa (2) - Yuzawa Kogen (2) - NASPA Ski Garden - Ishiuchi Maruyama (2) - Route 17/Yuzawa IC exit - Maiko Snow Resort Read more ...
Friday 17th January 2020, 9:12am
Overcast, some blue sky
Good morning all.
Some fine blue skies in the morning yesterday and mostly cloudy in the afternoon. Is an overcast kind of start to the morning today, though with the thin cloud being thinner in places there's a bit of light blue on show too. Perhaps the sun might break through. (Just a guess).
There is no fresh cm of snowfall to report this morning - either from myself or from the ski resorts.
It was cold when I got up earlier, -4C on the thermometer outside my place; today temperatures of around +1C are expected in the village.
A few bits of news for you this morning:
The Tree Riding Zone areas at Hakuba 47 will be part open from this morning; that will be for the first time this season.
Over at Hakuba Happo-one, the lower Nakiyama South and Sakka areas are both now partly available. That means that you can now ski or board back down to base in those areas. Alternatively you can take the Gondola, Kokusai Number 1, Nakiyama Number 3 or Kita-one quad lift back down to base if you prefer.
Oh yes, here is the data table for today:
The information in this table is data reported by the ski resorts
New snowfall (lower)
New snowfall (upper)
TOTAL ACCUMULATION (UPPER)
IMPORTANT: See below for an explanation of the above data
Have a good one... see you tomorrow!
Individual ski resort information This information is checked and manually adjusted each morning
Operating lifts: - All lifts apart from the lifts noted below are normally operating: - Kurobishi Number 3 pair - Nakiyama Number 2 pair - Shirakaba Number 1 pair - Shirakaba Number 2 pair - Central pair - Sakka Number 2 pair - Sakka Number 3 triple
Courses open: - Panorama - Usagidaira - Kurobishi - Skyline - Riesen Slalom - Kita-one 3 - Kita-one - Nakiyama South - Olympic Course - Sakka South - Sakka North - The base Nakiyama South and Sakka areas are now open - You can also take the Gondola or other lifts back down
Operating lifts: - All lifts apart from the lifts noted below are normally operating: - Han-no-ki Number 4 - Tsuga-no-mori Number 1 - Han-no-ki Number 3 quad - Han-no-ki Number 2 pair - Han-no-ki Number 1 quad - Champion quad - Kane-no-naru-oka Skyliner I - Kane-no-naru-oka Skyliner IV - Kane-no-naru-oka Number 11 romance
Courses open: - Most course areas are now at least part open - Lower course through the forest cloded - DBD not available yet
About the data in the above ‘snowfall as reported by ski resorts’ table * The table within the above report contains data that is published by individual ski resorts * The data shown is the amount of snowfall that the ski resorts are themselves reporting each 24 hour period on the upper areas of their mountain * The source ‘new snowfall’ data and ‘total accumulation’ data is not updated at the same time * The ‘new snowfall’ data is updated in the morning * The ‘accumulation’ data is apparently updated/refreshed at midnight * That means that there is a time lag between the two numbers being updated * We manually check and update the data just before we publish each Hakuba Now report - so the data in each Hakuba Now report table is what is available at that time * Any odd-looking numbers are due to the source data. We are not responsible for and have no control over the data. We are simply sharing the data with you * Just to be extra clear, unlike our own ‘observed snowfall’ data from base that we show at the top of each report, the data in the table is not an independent observation by SnowJapan * A more in-depth introduction and explanation can be found in this report
Fine day yesterday and some blue sky above early this morning too as you can see from the resort photo below... but more grey and cloud right now as I write this.
Perhaps a bit of snow tomorrow night? Then late Monday into Tuesday. Not sure how much we can expect, though I wouldn't be holding out for masses. Just keep on the cold side please!
Have a fun day and... see you tomorrow.
Current operations: Friday 17th January 2020
- All ski lifts apart from Number 13 lift are operating - Courses appear to be mostly open - SAWA II is open - Other tree run courses not currently available - Official snow depth: 65cm
Tangram Ski Circus: - All ski lifts are operating - Some courses not yet open - Official snow depth: 45cm Read more ...
Friday 17th January 2020, 9:23am
Overcast but bright
A fine day yesterday with that lovely fresh new snowfall.
It actually felt like a good mid-season January day. Which of course it should every day right now. ;)
No more fresh to report this morning and an overcast but quite bright start to the day and probably similar lined up for tomorrow. Cold too, but it will get milder during the day.
Official snow depth:
- 70cm (not updated this morning?)
Planned operating lifts:
- Prince Number 2 Gondola - Takenokodaira romance pair lift - Takenokoyama romance pair lift - Number 4 romance pair lift - Number 3 high speed lift - Number 5 high speed lift (open for nighta until 8:30pm) - Hiuchi Number 1 romance pair lift - Dragondola
Courses planned to be open:
- Almost all courses are now open - The Dragondola is operating to get over to the Tashiro Area of the Kagura resort Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Friday 17th January 2020, 9:28am
Overcast thin cloud, generally bright
Good morning from Shiga Kogen.
I really enjoyed a half day on the slopes yesterday. Fresh snow.... mmmmmmmm.
It has been a cold early morning and it is currently bright with thin overcast kind of cloud this morning.
When we don't get a refill of fresh snow, cold is good. So finger crossed it keeps cold until we get that next delivery of snow.
Almost all courses and connections at Shiga Kogen are now open with just a few minor exceptions.
Photos: Takamagahara and Hasuike Junction
The section of road connecting the southern area of Shiga Kogen (from Yokoteyama onwards) with Gunma Prefecture is now closed for the season. It will be closed until 24th April 2020. Approach Shiga Kogen using Route 292 from the west (Nagano/Nakano/Yamanouchi). Read more ...
Friday 17th January 2020, 9:37am
Good morning from Zao.
It has been great to be on the receiving end of some fresh snowfall, but we still need much more. As, it seems, does lots of Japan.
Good news in that the top Zangezaka course opened up from yesterday so you can now ski or board back down from that top course.
The only change I can see on the lift operations table is the addition of the Onsen Number 2 quad.
Right now it is cloudy with earlier snowfall easing off.
Look out for the chance of some decent snow around Tuesday. It does look like it should be keeping fairly cold through until then so the snow we have should keep in decent shape.
Lifts normally operating:
- Zao Paradise pair A B - Shobunuma Number 2 pair - Katakai triple - Chuo Number 1 pair AB - Chuo Number 2 pair AB - Mikaeri pair - Diamond Number 2 pair lift - Utopia Number 2 pair lift - Onsen Number 1 pair - Onsen Number 2 quad - Onsen Number 3 parallel A B - Kokutai pair - Zao Chuo Ropeway / Zao Ropeway / Sky Cable
** BELOW ARE THE PLANNED DATES - PLEASE CHECK WITH RESORT FOR UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION **
Nighta in the Uwanodai area is scheduled daily until 1st March 2020 and then 7th, 14th, 20th and 21st March 2020. 5:00pm until 9:00pm.
Nighta in the Yokokura area is scheduled for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through 7th March 2020. 5:00pm until 9:00pm.
The Zao Ropeway opens in the evenings on the below dates for 'Light Up' sightseeing purposes - to go and see the Juhyo monsters (not for skiing or boarding) on the following dates:
January 2020: 17th-19th, 24th-27th, 29th-31st February 2020: all days apart from Tuesdays
There is an extra charge for this night time Ropeway operation. Read more ...
Aizu Bandai Now!
Friday 17th January 2020, 9:55am
Lots of cloud, but some sun, variable
I am reporting to you from Grandeco this morning. The sun us shining through a small space between a big bank of clouds, and there are some bits of blue sky to see too.
Lovely morning and keeping quite cold too.
After me yesterday explaining that the Nekoma resort is scheduled to be closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, this morning I have a change of plan to tell you... they will be open every day through until the end of January; so no mid-week closing. That is good news and it does seem like a good idea... might as well open while conditions are decent and other options are limited!
Grandeco Snow Resort: - Number 1 quad lift operating - Number 2 quad lift operating - Number 3 quad lift operating - Gondola operating - 4500m of course available - Melissa - Mint A course - Mint B course - Lavender B course - Basil course - Center course - Rainbow 3500 - Connecting course - Hotel connecting course - Kids Park also open