This morning Hakuba will have a mix of sunshine and cloud, as the day warms up that cloud will dissipate. There was a light dusting of new snow last night, on the top of the mountain up to 20cm of new snow fell. Finally getting rid of the crusty conditions that the rain left us a few days ago.
You can expect powder, chopped powder and crud as well as smooth groomers out there today on the hill. On the top of Happo this morning it was a cool -6, which is a lot warmer than yesterday. Temperatures are set to stay low over the next few days, keeping the new snow that has fallen in good condition.
The forecast is predicting light snow or possibly even drizzle tomorrow afternoon and winds picking up strength as they come in from the north east.
Well, we did receive that mixed bag that was forecasted; Rain starting the evening of the 20th this rain fell on all ski areas to the top lifts from 18:00 100120 to 09:00 100121 and also to 2400 metres for a short period of this time and sleet or wet snow before the freezing level came down to the valley floor by 10:00 100121 to put rapid loading on the snow pack on all aspects at all elevations. This was followed by strong NW winds and rapidly cooling temperatures and continued snow. The rain penetrated anywhere from 20 cm to 40 cm into the snowpack depending on elevation and aspect.
There were reports of naturals from steep low elevation terrain around cornices and glide cracks as well as a reported skier triggered slab avalanche below tree line, 1100m, Happo One Ski Resort north aspect. Size 2, 100cm crown, wide slab propagation, 100 metre plus length of slide, 200cm deposit at the toe, non burial. Suspect weakness was due to rapid increased load of rain on the well bonded past Stm Snow of 100110~100115 over riding persistent buried surface hoar / facets.
The rain layer has now had time to freeze on the surface in to a very strong melt freeze crust, however, there are still some areas with remaining wet grains under the crust. These melt forms will stay wet or moist in lower elevations until temperatures remain cold enough to freeze through the whole pack.
The past 3 days have brought 30cm in the valley and more at elevation along with strong winds in the Alpine and at tree line that has deposited greater amounts of snow on the East and South East lee slopes. There are now areas of wind slab and exposed rain crust; extreme spacial variation.
Take due care in avalanche terrain as new snow accumulates and stability decreases through wind transport and the creation of slabs. Watch out for unsupported steep cross loaded slopes and leading in from shallow snow areas where the wind slab will be more reactive and easier to trigger. Be aware that Cornices are once again growing and will be tender. Stay away from cornices all together. And remember to travel with partners in the backcountry.
Alpine: Considerable TreeLine: Considerable Below Tree Line: Considerable
Just some light snow falling this morning and another 10-15cm or so of snow since last night. It looks like it might be another of those days when it snows then stops, then starts again. Just light snow fo the moment though while there was a small blue patch visible in the sky an hour or so ago. So changeable conditions today.
Oh yes, Kagura reporting 20-30cm of fresh snow this morning. Conditions should be particularly good up there with the sun out up there at Kagura as I write this.
It is currently +1 degree in Yuzawa. There is only a slight wind and all resorts open as normal this morning.
Tomorrow the current forecast is for sun and warmer temperatures again with a high of around +5 degrees.
Kagura reporting another 20-30cm of snow since last night and there is perhaps 15cm or so in the village. So it will be good up there early on. Variable weather conditions at the moment but the sun is actually shining down on the Naeba mountain at the moment from behind some clouds. The snow seems to have eased off and we are in for a cloudy/sunny day. Good day to be out on the slopes though it is still cold.
Tomorrow will likely be warmer and sun is forecast.
Those snow depth numbers below haven't been changing with the warm weather and now the new snowfall - it's not a mistake on our part, honest! They are the 'official' numbers put out by the resorts... to get an idea of snow conditions every day we post the actual snowfall at the resorts so that's the most important piece of data right now.
Those visiting Zao this weekend are enjoying a treat - good timing with the weather.
This morning the skies are blue (some cloud), the sun is out, there is only a very slight wind and the views of the mountain are great. The resort is always happy when we get days like this at the weekend as well as the people visiting. Feels fantastic to be out there.
There has just been a few cm of new snow fall overnight.
In the coming week it looks like we can expected a mixed bag of weather conditions but no real heavy snow - if we do get snow it will just be in small portions! But perhaps a fair amount of relatively good weather as well.
After a fine day yesterday we are on for more of the same today. Earlier on it was much cloudier than it is now and there are still some clouds hanging on but lots of blue sky opening up and the sun is out.
It looks like we are on for a run of days this week with generally fine weather with a fair amount of sun and just the occasional snow shower. Happily right now the forecast is saying that it will stay cold during this period so lets hope that is the case.
Nighta this evening planned at the following resort areas:
- Ichinose Diamond
Official resort snow depths as of 24th January 10:
Another snowy day throughout yesterday which mostly cleared overnight. Today has seen snowfalls return again this morning but only lightly at this stage. The wind has abated and currently all lifts are running and all gates will be open. Temperatures aren't too cold and it should be a great day for riding the mountain. Tomorrow we can expect temperatures to rise further as a warm front passes through ahead of an approaching low pressure system. All precipitation should remain as snow but it will likely be a little wet at first at village level. As the low passes through we can expect strong winds to develop again and the temps to drop with plenty more snow. A much bigger system is expected later in the week and looks like it'll bring cold temperatures and a lot of snow to see out the month and take us into Feb. A few people were caught in an avalanche whilst heading out through gate 5 a couple of days ago and sustained reasonably serious injuries. This is a timely reminder for those heading out through the gates that you are entering areas that can and do slide and it's wise to have gear, knowledge and experience before doing so.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu: Top - 270 Bottom - 170
Niseko Village: Top - 310 Bottom - 170
Annupuri: Top - 285 Bottom - 190
Niseko Avalanche Info No.40
Moiwa base 6am: -6℃, slight overnight snowfall. Coastal data: WNW12m/s at Benkei cape, WSW10m/s, 2m waves and 1013hp at Kamui cape. Annupuri peak wind: WSW6.7m/s at 6am. There are no notable developments of snowdrifts in the past 12hours. Hirafu patrol peak report: SW10m/s, -12℃. The Jan 21st layer that triggered avalanches in Yu no sawa and Higashi-One is now stable and the new snow on top of this layer is rounding and stabilizing. Avalanche hazard is low in areas below 1100m and the snow is in good condition. Peak gates and gate 5 (Hanazono) will open at 10:30, depending on lift operations. Refrain from stopping in gully bottoms or in the middle of the slope. Ride one by one. Keep in mind that it’s Sunday and many people are expected to enter the mountain. Always seek ski patrol’s advice at the gates. Seeing traverse lines all the way across a lovely slope is just tragic. Follow the fall line and trace beautiful lines. Never duck any ropes!
Another 10cms lying on the ground at valley level today. Again the weather was pretty varied yesterday with snow falling all morning and then clearing up for a few hours over lunch and early afternoon. Slightly higher temperatures stayed around just long enough to clear the roads and then the snow started again into the evening.
It's been gradually clearing up all morning and looks as if it could be a great afternoon.
Plenty of people taking advantage of the great conditions this morning so consequently the road up to Houdaigi was pretty busy and the car parks were filling up earlier than usual. They even had the digger out clearing some of the lower car parks so they must have been expecting a busy one.
The variable weather looks set to continue next week.
Another beautiful day in Myoko, with a nice fall of light snow overnight and sun mixed with snow showers again today. The area around Myoko is covered white white, fluffy clouds—usually it's Myoko that's in clouds while it's clear to the east—so it really is a spectacular day.
It's a little warmer today as well, and it looks as though this kind of weather will be continuing over the next week.
The majority of the gritty chunks of ice littering the lower half of the slopes were covered over by the snow that fell last night into the early afternoon hours today, making the runs that much more enjoyable. The ungroomed sections of the resort were the real highlight of the day; nothing like sinking up to your knees in the fluffy white stuff. The only problem is when you fall down, getting back out. The sun came out afterwards, raising the temperature to a balmy -2 by noon, so you hardly even needed a neckerchief to keep your face warm. It should stay relatively mild throughout the evening, only getting down to about -6 or so by daybreak, and then we are forecasted to receive more than our fair share of snow for tomorrow. The official snow depth level has been hovering 155cm for a solid week. It will be nice to see that change.
I had the privilege of boarding along with the two great Aussies today, who decided to take advantage of Furano's Ski Host Program. There were also a lot of skiers enjoying the lovely conditions who made it out for last night's Saturday Night Live Cultural Performance, complete with japanese traditional music, dance, and a giant Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament, held on the Kitanomine side of the resort yesterday. Read more ...