Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 22nd February 2020

Niseko Now!

Tuesday 21st February 2012, 7:51am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
We didn't get much more than a dusting overnight unfortunately and a cloudy start to the day. The good thing is that it stayed decently cold up high so the snow should be preserved. Areas like Annupuri backbowls, Mizu no sawa, Jackson's, and all other backbowls will still have pretty good snow conditions to enjoy.

Today would be a decent one to get into the backcountry a bit. Stick to routes you know and have done before because visibility may drop and you will want to be in or near the trees. The avalanche danger is fairly low, but there are still some possibilities of loaded weak layers from our weird freeze/thaw pattern over the past few days.

It comes with great hardship to write about more avalanche deaths in North America. 3 skiers were carried almost 1,000 meters when a 10m wide 1m deep slab broke off. One of the skiers was Jim Jack, who had been a major proponent for freeskiing as a legitimized sport. He will be missed by the ski community.

It's looking like a tossup for weather over the next couple days. It should be a variety of weather ranging from mostly clear to pretty heavy snow. Stay ready for volatile conditions as everyone should know that's how Niseko is.

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 430cm
Bottom - 230cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 460cm
Bottom - 250cm

Top - 460cm
Bottom - 240cm

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko 6am: -6C, 10cm of new snow in the past 12 hours.
Coastal data: NW16m/s at Benkei cape, 2.4m waves and 1014hPa at Kamui cape.
Anupuri peak: NW16.4m/s and -17.4C.
Snowfall transition: Slight snowfall due to a passing Low-pressure system. A strong NW wind is making new snowdrifts to develop in leeward slopes above 800m. The wind & snow is forecasted to pick up today, which will induce greater development of snowdrifts.
Hazard evaluation: Highly wind-affected snowdrifts are heavy, unstable and collapse with a slight stimulation. Avalanche risk is high and will rise as the snowdrifts development continues. Slopes under cornices and leeward knolls are very unstable; better stay away from those features.
Gates: Peak gates will be closed. Other gates are yet determined. Please respect the ski patrol’s decision.
Caution: The winter weather pattern will come stronger as the Low moves east. The wind and snowfall is forecasted pick up. Better not push it too far today. Most avalanche related accidents occur during or just after storms. Do not enter strictly off-limits areas to seek fresh lines.
Have a nice day.   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Tuesday 21st February 2012, 8:39am
Weather conditions: Clear
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Blue sky and a bit of sun around this morning in Minakami. There are a few clouds around today and the forecast says that there is the possibility of some light snow so these may start to gather a bit as the day goes on. It's crisp today and the groomed slopes are where the best action is to be found this morning.

Slightly warmer temperatures are expected over the next few days with a possibility of rain on Thursday but this should be turning to snow for Friday and into the weekend.

   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Tuesday 21st February 2012, 8:39am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
The forecast late last night said we might just get a bit of snow overnight, but it was not to be -- no new snow in town or high up at the highest point of Kagura. We awake to a cloudy morning in Yuzawa after another cold night, though not quite as cold as the night before felt. Right now it is about -3 degrees but that should rise to perhaps around +2 later on in the early afternoon. The forecast insists that we might see some sleet/snow later on during the day.

Tomorrow looks set to be clear and sunny with a high of around 6 degrees and then keeping warm for Thursday and a chance of rain hitting the region. So Thursday might be a good day to plan to do something else! Looks like we will have to wait until the weekend for temperatures to drop back down to something like normal.

Official resort snow depths @ Tuesday 21st February 12, AM:
Mt Naeba:
Kagura - Tashiro:
GALA Yuzawa:
Kandatsu Kogen:
NASPA Ski Garden:
Yuzawa Kogen:
Yuzawa Park:
Yuzawa Nakazato:
Ludens Yuzawa:
Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Centleisure Maiko:
Joetsu Kokusai:
280cm   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Tuesday 21st February 2012, 8:44am
Weather conditions: Sun, blue sky, some cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Yesterday was a very fine day to be out enjoying the slopes of Madarao with a good combination of snow conditions and weather. Some clouds did form later on in the day but generally a very fine day. Overnight was cold once again and this morning it is about -4 degrees out there with no new snow to report but more blue skies above Madarao. There's clouds in the sky too but generally they are just adding some character to the blue sky though a local forecast does tell us that we might just see a sprinkling of snow before the day has finished. That will be later on then if it happens. Tomorrow should be sun and more sun followed unfortunately by the chance of rainfall in the region on Thursday. We could do without that of course but I don't suppose we can complain with the season we have had so far. There's not a huge dump of snow seemingly lined up soon after that though, so we'll just have to keep those fingers tightly crossed that we get more fresh snow sooner than later.

Lifts currently operating:
All lifts and courses due to be open today.
Official snow depth:
310cm   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Tuesday 21st February 2012, 9:20am
Weather conditions: Fine > clouding over
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Yesterday was a fine day - nice snow conditions in the morning especially, perhaps a bit crusty down below later on. The slopes seemed to be asking for another nice new layer of snow.. something that has been forthcoming regularly this season of course. It doesn't seem likely we will see that though until at least the weekend and possibly beyond. Through until the weekend the best we can hope for is for things to stay as cold as possible but it's going to be getting close to positive territory especially tomorrow and Thursday. Might even see rain lower down though hopefully that would be snow higher up.

This morning it's actually a fine start to the day but clouds seem destined to be with us sooner than later and I have just heard that it has actually started snowing very lightly down in the valley of Minamiuonuma. Perhaps we will see snow fall later on, but I doubt it will be much more than the slow falling light variety.

Normal weekday operations it would seem. At Naeba just Splash Bowl and Mens Slalom course closed, with all other areas planned to be open.

Official snow depths
380cm   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Tuesday 21st February 2012, 9:26am
Weather conditions: Light snow
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
The snow that was forecast on yesterdays report arrived and has left a nice layer of 10cm of light dry powder at village level. Winds are quite strong at the moment especially near the top and this has meant that operation of the gondola and ropeway has been suspended until conditions improve. It is currently snowing lightly and this will continue throughout the day. Visibility is okay but will be restricted at times with gusts of wind blown snow.   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Tuesday 21st February 2012, 9:42am
Weather conditions: Blue skies, just a bit of cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Carring on from yesterday, it's another fine start to the day in Shiga Kogen. Perhaps not as cold this morning as yesterday but it is going to warm up again with the sun out and lots of blue sky. Just some clouds up there. Stay under 0 please!

Tomorrow we will be getting more of the same, nice and sunny weather on the forecast. Perhaps some snow overnight into Thursday, when areas lower down in the valley will be getting rained on - we can hope that up here it will be snow if anything is falling. It might be 'girigiri' as they say, a chance of rain even up here, let's just hope we can avoid that.

Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort areas:

- Ichinose Family

Official resort snow depths as of Tuesday 21st February 2012 AM:

Sun Valley:
Ichinose Family:
Ichinose Diamond:
Okushiga Kogen:
260cm   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Tuesday 21st February 2012, 9:42am
Weather conditions: Sunny, some scattered clouds
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Another day of sun and blue skies; a really nice day in Myoko. Again.

A few clouds creeping over the peaks right now, hinting a bit at the light snow we're predicted to get tomorrow. It might get warmer after that (the dreaded rain mark does appear on Wednesday, but just for that evening and into Thursday). So enjoy a few good days, be ready to maybe do something different on Thursday, but then the temperatures go back down into the weekend (and maybe more snow).

The official word from the patrol: fast, fun snow today, Get out there and enjoy!

I have to give a note of thanks to Mr. A of Nagano who gave a call today to check on the snow conditions, after I noted some avalanche indications all around us over the past few days. One of the best tools for the backcountry is information, and we're trying to talk with each other and share what we see and hear (because you can't ski or see the whole mountain). I'll share what I find, and what others have discovered out there, and hopefully we'll stay as safe as possible!

Current Official Snow Depths

Akakura Onsen:

Akakan (Akakura Kanko):


Myoko Suginohara:

Seki Onsen:

Myoko Ski Park:



300cm   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Tuesday 21st February 2012, 9:51am
Weather conditions: Cloud, light snow higher up
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Just a slight sprinkling of snowfall this morning in Zao. While temperatures remain below freezing, it is definitely milder this morning. A cloudy start really with, I hear, light snow falling on the upper part of the mountain. At the moment the top is not visible but up until that top third visibility is generally ok out there. There's a moderate wind as well this morning but nothing that will be affecting any of the lifts.

The sun is still forecast to be with us tomorrow and after that a mix of conditions - but importantly not a whole lot of snow likely until at least early next week.

Official snow depths (21st February 12)
Utopia - 275cm
Chuo - 240cm
Paradise - 260cm
Uwanodai - 185cm

Operating lifts (21st February 12)
All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating.
All the runs at Zao are open.   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Tuesday 21st February 2012, 11:25am
Weather conditions: Sun, blue skies, some cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
This morning we are experiencing partly cloudy skies but with a good dose of sunshine. Not as clear as yesterday but still fine conditions. More cloud cover will make it's way in later in the day with a possibility of mild snow showers. Yesterdays weather consisting of beautiful blue skies and lots of sunshine has definitely solar affected the directly exposed slopes. Be prepared for variable snow conditions out there today.

Down near the valley we are expecting to have a range of 1 C to -3 C while up top on the resorts it will range from -6 C to -9 C and a windchill of -15 C. The freezing level will rise to 850m which is slightly above valley bottom while maintaining good visibility. Winds are light and coming from the West.

Wednesday should see fine clear skies again with a warm afternoon before the new weather system comes in on Thursday. While it will hopefully be snow up top, the village may well be on the receiving end of rain. After that, there is not a whole lot of snow on the weeks forecast at the moment.


Official snow depths and operations @ Tuesday 21st February 2012 AM:

Hakuba Goryu:
No new snowfall early this morning. All lifts operating.
Official snow depths:
Alps daira - 325cm;
Toomi - 185cm;
Iimori - 145cm

Hakuba 47:
No new snowfall this morning. All courses open (Line D lift not operating weekdays).
Official snow depth:
Upper - 238cm
Lower - 140cm

Ski lifts/courses:
All lifts apart from Usagidaira pair, Happo No1 pair and Central pair lifts operating. Currently the Kurobishi No3 and No2 lifts not moving due to wind (apparently) - not sure about that one, as it is not a particularly windy day.
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira - 210cm;
Sakka - 120cm;
Nakiyama - 90cm.

Tsugaike Kogen:
Official snow depth:
Upper slopes - 270cm
Champion - 200cm

Hakuba Cortina:
No new snow overnight in Cortina. All courses open (No 7 pair lift closed weekdays).
Official snow depth:
Upper - 370cm
Lower - 240cm

Hakuba Norikura:
Official snow depth:

Hakuba Iwatake:
Official snow depth:
Upper - 180cm
Lower - 110cm

Hakuba Sanosaka:

Hakuba Minekata:
110cm   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Tuesday 21st February 2012, 15:01pm
Weather conditions: Sunny start but clouds shrouding the resort now
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
The day started off like yesterday with sun and some scattered cloud. With no wind it was a beautiful morning. Around lunchtime some darkish storm clouds engulfed the resort and even a little bit of very light snow is falling down low.

Can't see what is going on up top with the cloud cover but reports were it was really nice on the groomers early and still some powder stashes around the place.

Yesterday was magic all day and with the fine weather skiers were in their element. More sun is expected for tomorrow too and it is very quiet on the slopes - lift lines are non existent.

A bit of precipitation building for Thursday now so lets hope it is the good kind!

Current Official Snow Depths Numbers:




Current Lift operations:
All open

Current courses open:
All open
   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Nozawa Onsen Now
22nd Feb, 15:09pm
Aizu Bandai Now
22nd Feb, 11:27am
Minakami Now
22nd Feb, 10:48
Zao Now
22nd Feb, 10:10
Shiga Kogen Now
22nd Feb, 10:02
Naeba Now
22nd Feb, 9:55
Myoko Now
22nd Feb, 9:54am
Hakuba Now
22nd Feb, 9:53am
Appi Kogen Now
22nd Feb, 9:30
Yuzawa Now
22nd Feb, 9:15am
Madarao Now
22nd Feb, 8:53
Niseko Now
22nd Feb, 8:31
Geto Kogen Now
22nd Feb, 8:01
Furano Now
22nd Feb, 7:56
Grandeco Now
06th Dec, 14:16am