Snow and weather reports posted on Thursday 14th November 2019
Friday 23rd November 2012, 8:56am
The day has arrived!
Two lifts are moving at Niseko Grand Hirafu this morning and the season in Niseko has officially started. Hirafu are saying that they have 90cm of snow on the upper slopes and 45cm on lower slopes. The Ace No2 Quad (Center 4) and Ace No3 Pair lifts are the ones taking people with wide smiles up the mountain as I write this.
As I mentioned yesterday, Annupuri are not opening today as they wait for more snow to get things going.
No new cm of snowfall to report since yesterday but it's keeping cold and still under zero. It was quite a clear morning earlier on but there are more clouds around now as the lifts open and probably even some more flakes of snow are due to fall, but likely nothing major.
It was fun to see the resort prepare for opening yesterday and last night - having the lights on last night only added to the excitement. The village is certainly suddenly seeming busier but that is mostly with people involved in the local businesses making final preparations for the season. For those clever ones that have already got their preparation in place, I'm sure they will be making up some of the numbers of people out on the slopes in this early season phase.
There's a rather familiar look to the weekly forecast as it stands at the moment... the chance of snowfall on most days. I'm good with that. Looks like it is going to get very cold indeed tonight before perhaps warming up slightly at the end of the weekend and into Monday - though warm is perhaps not the best choice of words!
Yes, the season has started on time and looking quite good actually. We can never expect the whole place to be open but for Kagura to have 1500m of the main run open on first day is pretty good I would say. Well done chaps, and thank you nature. (But we want more, more, more please... and quickly!)
Can you tell I'm excited? I'd probably actually be much more excited if I were one of those people I can see skiing down Kagura on the webcam image but hopefully I will get up there myself soon as well.
A bit of light rain is spoiling the situation just a bit but it probably won't bother most people on a day like today.
Just to recap, the Mitsumata Ropeway is operating. From the top Ropeway station people get on a shuttle bus that takes them over to the base of the Kagura Gondola, which then takes them up to the open area.
Hopefully we can expect a bit of snowfall tomorrow but I wouldn't expect too much. The best thing we can hope for I think is that rain holds off. Sunday looks like it should be cold, clear and sunny.
Official resort snow depth: Kagura - 50cm
Planned opening dates: Kagura (Tashiro) on December 8th Naeba on December 8th Read more ...
Friday 23rd November 2012, 9:43am
No rain early on which was good but it has started to rain lightly as temperatures rise somewhat. The forecast for Hakuba still has us down for rain in village and snow at higher elevations.
As I mentioned last night, we have the top areas of the Hakuba Goryu and 47 (access via Goryu) and Happo-one resorts open this morning.
Tsugaike Kogen are also opening up a 840m long run up top today.
It is a somewhat grey and cloudy morning with the upper parts of the mountain covered in cloud.
The forecast for the coming days is mixed. Tomorrow looks set to be a cold one followed by cleared weather on Sunday and warmer temperatures on Monday, along with rain even on the mountains. That will hopefully turn into snow as we move into Tuesday.
It couldn't be more perfect weather for opening day. The sun is shining against a background of blue skies, and the keen early season skiers are already out there putting down the first tracks of the season.
There is a fantastic early season base of 60cm on the upper mountain and snow conditions are firm. Furano Ropeway is open 8:30-14:40 for access to the upper mountain and the skiable lift is Furano Romance lift #2 open 8:45-15:00. At the moment the skiing is restricted to the upper mountain and to return to base it is necessary to use Furano Ropeway.