We will update this Naeba Now report before each weekend right through until the season at Kagura, and in the meantime we will be keeping the Yuzawa Now! reports going on a daily basis right through until the last ski lift stops moving.
Resort Operations, 21st April (subject to change) Naeba: Naeba re-opens on April 21st/22nd and then for Golden Week (April 28th - May 6th) Kagura: Open as normal. Official snow depths Naeba: 160cm Kagura: 320cm Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Saturday 21st April 2012, 8:43am
As forecast, the weekend has started off with some clear skies. Blue sky all around. A lighter shade of blue early on, but I think it's safe to say that it will be a fine day, though some clouds may move in late on. Tomorrow we might see some rain falling up here, so we can just hope that is kept to a minimum. It looks like there's a chance of strong winds as well that may well affect the lifts.
As we get into next week, we can expect things to really start warming up around Tuesday/Wednesday.
Some more lifts are areas open for the weekend as below.
Areas with some lifts operating on Saturday: Mammoth Ichinose Family Ichinose Diamond Ichinose Yamanokami Yakebitaiyama Okushiga Kogen Kumanoyu Yokoteyama Shibutoge
Official resort snow depths as of Saturday 21st April 2012 AM:
Higashitateyama: Open 21/22, 29th April - 6th May. (Even when courses closed access to Terakoya available)
Terakoya: Open 21/22, 29th April - 6th May.
Mammoth: Quad open until 6th May. Triple lift open 17th-19th April and 24th-26th April.
Tannenomori: Open 28th April until 6th May
Ichinose Family: Quad until 6th May. No2 pair open until 6th May except 16th, 17th and 27th April.
Ichinose Diamond: Quad open 21/22 April, 28th April - 6th May.
Yakebitaiyama: Gondola and No2 high quad lift open weekends and Golden Week.
Okushiga Kogen: Gondola open 16th April and then 21st-23rd April, 28th April until 6th May. No2 and No3 pairs until 6th May. No4 pair open 21st-22nd April, 28th April until 6th May.
Kumanoyu: Some lifts open beyond 6th May (after that date the Shiga Kogen ticket not valid)
Yokoteyama: Plans to be open until late May. Beyond 6th May, the joint Shiga Kogen ticket not valid. Read more ...
Saturday 21st April 2012, 8:58am
Good morning from Hakuba on this fine spring morning. As we expected it's a sunny and warm start to the day. A bit earlier on there was a low lying hazy-looking layer of cloud over the village but that has gone now leaving us with what will more than likely be a nice clear day. Right now it is about 10C in the village and it may well rise to around 17C later on - so it's going to be a warm one. There'll be some people out there today in t-shirts, for sure.
With conditions now quickly getting warmer, we can of course expect the snow melt to speed up. Even so, you can still ride from top to bottom at Hakuba Goryu, Hakuba 47 and Tsugaike Kogen. The lower slopes of Goryu are basically open just to get you back down to the Gondola with most people choosing to stay up top. At Tsugaike it's one big long snaking course down the resort from top to bottom that is open - all 5km+ of it according to the resort.
Over at Happo-one, the lower Riesen Slalom course at Happo-one is now closed and so it's not possible to ski down from top to bottom any more... you need to get the Gondola back down. What remains open is basically the top bit - Riesen Grat course, Usagidaira course, Kurobishi course, Skyline course and Panorama course areas.
Tomorrow will be more cloudy, still with a chance of rain later on in the day.
Official snow depths and operations @ Saturday 21st 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 - 200cm; Toomi - 70cm
Hakuba 47: Top to bottom skiable. All lifts apart from Line D operating. Official snow depth: Upper - 173cm Lower - 100m
Happo-one: Top areas open - you need to get the Gondola back down to base. 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 - 160cm; 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 - 270cm Lower - 100cm
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 ...
Saturday 21st April 2012, 9:15am
It is another warm morning in Niseko and set to warm up a bit more as the sun is out and we have lovely clear skies once again. There's just slightly more of a wind up on the mountain than yesterday. Other than that, another fine day.
The forecast still has some rain due late in the day tomorrow and perhaps Monday, followed by some really warm days next week which will surely see a speeding up of the snow melt. It is getting on for late April, so we certainly can't complain! The resorts are still reporting over 3m up there.
Grand Hirafu have opened what they are calling 'Spring Park' and plan to have it open until the Golden Week. It's over on the upper part of the Shirakaba course (get to it using the King No3 lift). They plan to change the contents but right now seem to have a table top, box and rail amongst other things, so if that's your thing it might be worth checking out.
Of course, the Grand Hirafu gondola is also operating today and tomorrow for the weekend.
Current lift operations (21st April 2012):
Grand Hirafu: 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.
Welcome to the weekend - the sun is out and it's a warm start to the day in Nozawa. A very fine day for some spring sliding. We can expect it to warm up to around 15C this afternoon out there. And watch out as next week it's going to climb higher still. Wednesday is still looking like a real jump to the 20's. Before that though tomorrow will be less warm and we'll probably be rained on later in the day.
The official snow depth numbers dip below 3m shock! Remember, it is past mid-April and so it's pretty amazing that we have so much snow left I think. There are some patches of ground on show on some of the lower areas, but high up there is still a large amount of snow - it will be interesting to see just when it all melts away up there this year.
The Uenotaira and Paradise quad lifts are moving for the weekend. After this weekend the resort plans to open them up again for the Golden Week period (28th April until 6th May).
As I think I mentioned before, lift tickets for this last stage of the season are 3500 yen for adults, 1500 yen for children and 2500 yen for over 60's.
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 Uenotaira Four (open 21st/22nd and then 28th April until 6th May) Paradise Four (open 21st/22nd and then 28th April until 6th May)
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
The Uenotaira Snow Park will be open 21st and 22nd April and then from 28th April until 6th May
Yesterday ended up being a nice and sunny day for the most part, and today is going to be more of the same. A bright and cheerful Saturday morning in Yuzawa. It wasn't cold overnight with a low of around 5C and today it's going to warm up to around 16C.
Naeba and Kandatsu Kogen have opened up again for today and tomorrow (and will do so again for Golden Week between 28th April and 6th May) - so there's more choice for the weekend. With the sun out today I think we can only expect places to be busy - especially Kagura and Gala Yuzawa. It's a real feelgood day though so hope that people out there can enjoy what might be one of the last slides of the season.
Tomorrow should start off clear, but rain is forecast for the afternoon/evening. There's a chance of strong winds tomorrow as well by the looks of things.
Once that clears, Tuesday and Wednesday look like they should be taking us into some 'hot' weather conditions.
Official resort snow depths @ Saturday 21st April 12, AM: Kagura - Mitsumata: 320cm Kagura - Tashiro: 280cm GALA Yuzawa: 250cm
Open only 21st/22nd April and then 28th April until 6th May: Kandatsu Kogen Naeba
Open daily until 6th May: GALA Yuzawa [Central Area, North Area, Downhill course] 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 ...
Saturday 21st April 2012, 9:41am
It started off fine first thing this morning in Minakami and felt pretty warm but the clouds are overhead now and without the sun it is feeling a little chillier. Still nice spring weather though and Tenjin is skiing pretty well for this time of year. Plenty of snow still around though of the soft, spring variety. Two weeks left for their season so time running out for those final turns.
Looks like the clouds are here to stay for a few days with the possibility of rain Sunday/Monday. Fine and hot for Tuesday and Wednesday and probably more rain towards the end of the week. Read more ...
Saturday 21st April 2012, 17:40pm
It's been nothing but beautiful all day long, as temperatures rose from a low of zero degrees celsius to a nice and spring-like 15 degrees. The sun was out in force, warming up all that snow and making for some of the softest spring-skiing conditions around. There's still 130cm of snow out there, which is plenty to enjoy a solid day of winter weather sporting. Next week promises to be even warmer with some rain in the forecast, but the base should hold all the way through Golden Week and the proposed resort closing date of May 6th.
Tomorrow should be more of the same, with a cool, crisp morning and plenty of beautiful blue skies and warm sunshine for the afternoon. Resort activity should pick up considerably with the string of holidays starting next weekend, so if you're after a quiet run down the slopes, tomorrow may very well be your best bet! Read more ...