Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 18th May 2019
Wednesday 18th April 2012, 8:54am
Cloudy in places, clear skies in others
A quick look at the Kagura webcam shows some nice blue skies above that resort, but it's a duller and cloudier story in town at the moment - similar to how yesterday ended up actually in the afternoon as that clear start to the day didn't last that long in the end. We even got a few spots of rain and fog last night for a while.
The forecast for the day is actually clear and sunny again and so perhaps this early morning cloud will move on quickly. At the moment it is about 9 degrees in town, with a high of around 12C forecast.
More generally sunny and cloudy conditions right through until early next week and the weekend should be quite warm as well as temperatures gradually rise.
This morning Kagura and Gala Yuzawa seem to be open as planned.
Official resort snow depths @ Tuesday 17th April 12, AM: Kagura - Mitsumata: 340cm Kagura - Tashiro: 310cm GALA Yuzawa: 280cm
Open only on 21st/22nd April: Naeba
Open only 21st/22nd April and then 28th April until 6th May: Kandatsu Kogen
Open daily until 6th May: GALA Yuzawa [South Area now closed] Kagura (Tashiro)
Open daily until 27th May: Kagura (Mitsumata)
All other ski resorts in Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma are now closed for the season. Read more ...
Wednesday 18th April 2012, 9:11am
Generally clear, blue skies
There was another blanket of low lying cloud over the valley earlier this morning again but as of 9am that has mostly moved on leaving us with what looks like it will be a mostly fine and clear day in Hakuba. There's just a some wispy clouds left up hanging around but behind that are blue skies. It's going to be another fine spring day here with the temperature rising to perhaps around 12-13C again. Over the next four or five days it's probably going to gradually get warmer as well.
There's not much else to report really. The resorts that remain open are generally very quiet now on weekdays. We are of course still full-on spring mode now both in terms of the temperature and snow conditions out there. Snow is getting somewhat thinner on the ground now on lower slopes but it's still top to bottom and a lot of snow higher up.
Official snow depths and operations @ Wednesday 18th April 2012 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: Gondola and Alps daira No1 and No3 lifts operating. The Toomi lifts are now closed but you can still ski down the courses. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 220cm; Toomi - 85cm
Hakuba 47: Top to bottom skiable. All lifts apart from Line D operating. Official snow depth: Upper - 197cm Lower - 110m
Happo-one: Top to bottom skiable (via Riesen course to Gondola base station). Lifts normally operating daily for spring are: Gondola Grat quad Alpen quad Panorama pair Skyline No2 pair Kurobishi No2 quad Other lifts: Usagidaira pair plans to be open from 28th April until 6th May. Kurobishi No3 pair lift plans to be open on 21st and 22nd April and also from 28th April until 6th May. Official snow depth: Usagidaira - 170cm; Sakka - 40cm; Nakiyama - 40cm.
Tsugaike Kogen: Top to bottom skiable. Planned lifts operating are Ropeway, Gondola, Tsuga No2 pair lift and the Hannoki pair. Official snow depth: Upper slopes - 280cm Lower - 110cm
Planned ski resort closings in Hakuba and Otari, all subject to change:
Hakuba Goryu: Upper area plans to be open until 6th May.
Hakuba 47: 47 plans to be open until 6th May.
Happo-one: Upper slopes plan to be open until 6th May.
Tsugaike Kogen: Plans to be open until Golden Week
The Hakuba Cortina, Norikura, Iwatake, Sanosaka and Minekata resorts are all now closed for the season. Read more ...
Wednesday 18th April 2012, 9:24am
I can see some small patches of blue sky up there at times, but it is generally a cloudy morning here in Niseko. Visibility is considerably better than yesterday though when it really was poor up on the mountain.
In addition to the normal planned lift operations, today at Grand Hirafu the Ace Family lift is also operating from 9am until 2pm - I believe that this is due to student trips at the moment, but anyone with a lift ticket for the resort can use the lift today.
From tomorrow onwards through the weekend we can expect settled conditions. Some cloud, some sun - the forecast for the weekend in particular is clear and sunny with temperatures rising into double digits. After that, it might get slightly colder again from Monday bringing with it some rain and wind.
Current lift operations (18th April 2012):
Grand Hirafu & Hanazono: Ace Quad Lift No2 King Hooded Triple Lift #3 King Lift #4 The Hirafu Gondola will operate on 21st, 22nd, 28th, 29th, 30th April, and also from 3rd May until 6th May.
Grand Hirafu and Annupuri both plan to be open until 6th May. The Hanazono and Niseko Village areas are now closed. Niseko Village plans to re-open for the Golden Week holiday period from Sunday 29th April until Sunday 6th May.
Well, we aren't back to those sunny skies yet - it's a cloudy and grey start to the day in Zao. Fairly warm though and about 6C degrees in the village at 9am, though temps are still dipping into the negative up top early some mornings. It should be a warmish day today though, especially if we do get to see the sun.
Calm conditions forecast until Monday really with a mix of cloud and sun lined up. Looks like it should be particularly warm for the weekend, before cooling down once again as we enter the new week.
Official snow depths (18th April 12) Utopia - 180cm Chuo - 180cm Paradise - 180cm Uwanodai - 80cm
Operating lifts (18th April 12) Limited lifts now open - see below.
Current planned lift operations at Zao, as of 17th April - subject to change:
Uwanodai Area Sky Cable (open all year, but closed from 7th May for maintenance)
Chuo and Paradise Area Zao Chuo Ropeway (closed for maintenance 9th-25th April except Saturdays and Sundays) Chuo No1 pair lift (only 21st and 22nd April, 28th April until 6th May) Chuo No2 pair lift (until 6th May) Katakai triple lift (only 21st and 22nd April, 28th April until 6th May) Paradise No1 pair lift (only 21st and 22nd April, 28th April until 6th May)
Yokokura and Utopia area Zao Ropeway (open all year, closed for maintenance 7th-18th May) Utopia No2 pair lift (dependent on snow but latest until 6th May)
Omori and Kurohime Area Kurohime No1 quad (no fixed closing date, dependent on snow) Read more ...
Wednesday 18th April 2012, 11:29am
A decent spring day today in Minakami. Big white clouds in a mainly blue sky and plenty of sun. Soft spring snow and great views of Tanigawadake. The melt is getting very noticeable around the valley with this succession of warm days but still plenty of snow on the slopes of Tenjin if you don't mind a touch of slush.
The forecast looks a little bit grim with the chance of rain most days over the next week. Temperatures should remain warm though. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Wednesday 18th April 2012, 11:47am
Cloud, blue sky
It is a mix of blue sky and cloud up there this morning in Nozawa. It's mild and getting on for about 10C this lunchtime, but still not perhaps getting as warm as we might usually expect for after mid-April!
Bit of course news - just the upper part of the Skyline course remains open now. So how do we get down, I hear you ask! Well, from the mid-way point of the Skyline course, you turn onto the Kamoshika course and then to base via the Karasawa course. A shuttle bus will then take you back to the Gondola so you can go back up the mountain again.
Yamabiko courses still officially boasting over 3m of snow up there. Last year we were doing pretty well for snow as well, but taking a look back at the same date in 2011 shows that the same number was 265cm. So a full 45cm more when comparing the numbers. As you might expect, there are places higher up where there is considerably less, but it's still a really impressive number.
Current Official Snow Depths Numbers:
* Readings by the resort from lower slopes now seem to have finished - though there's still generally plenty.
Current Lift operations (scheduled): Nagasaka Gondola Yamabiko Four Yamabiko Four No2 Skyline Link
Main courses open (scheduled): Yamabiko A Yamabiko C Yamabiko D Yamabiko E Skyline (upper half) - go to base via Kamoshika and Karasawa Uenotaira Paradise Schneider Utopia courses Yunomine A, B Challenge Bunabayashi Rinkan
Another mild day today as we head towards the end of the season. Very early on early morning cloud was down to base level, but as we approached 9am the cloud had receded to the very top. Good skiing on groomed pistes with spring snow. Read more ...