Snow and weather reports posted on Wednesday 20th February 2019
Monday 25th January 2016, 7:34am
It is a perfect Monday with brilliant sunshine hitting the resort already at 7:30am. The day will remain clear with the chance of high cloud moving in latter and blotting out the sun.
The big factor today is the temperature. It is -19c at resort top at the moment, and a toasty -12c in the village. Wow, that is cold even for locals, so put on an extra layer, and some form of face protection would be the order of the day to fight off that cold.
The slopes have been nicely groomed overnight and are still fresh with the top up from yesterday's snowfall. Speaking of snow, there will be nothing other than the possibility of light flurries in the evening today and tomorrow, but Wednesday and Thursday look like they are promising for something more significant. Read more ...
Monday 25th January 2016, 8:06am
Yesterday saw what was surely the most full-on winter conditions we have had this season so far.
Heavy snow was falling for lots of the day and some blustery winds as well especially in the afternoon. I cleared a good 15cm off my measuring area yesterday evening and overnight there has been more snow with another 9cm added (somewhat less than we were actually expecting overnight), so I make that 24cm since my report yesterday morning.
Interestingly Kagura are reporting 10cm and Maiko report 5-15cm. With those numbers I can only think they are leaving out what fell yesterday as there has certainly been more than that since yesterday afternoon!
When I say 'lots of the day' above, there was this one curious period late morning when the clouds cleared up quite a lot - we even had blue skies - and we thought that might be the end of the snow for the day... but happily it started up again quite quickly and got heavy.
It has been snowing this morning and still is, though just as I write this report things it is lighter and it's actually quite bright. Perhaps it will be similar to yesterday and the heavy snow will be back quickly - it is on the forecast for the day.
It's fantastic to see some decent amounts of snow fall of course and fingers crossed we will get more today.
The chances of a clear and sunny day tomorrow are high - being here tomorrow should be excellent timing.
Temperatures do look like they are going to creep up somewhat higher later in the week and there's chance of some rain as well which doesn't sound very good. Hopefully we'll avoid that.
For now though, fresh snow to play in and some fine to excellent conditions to be found.
Checking around resorts early on it seems that Tashiro area of Kagura will be closed due to wind up there. Kagura via Mitsumata will be open at the beginning of the day up to Kagura Number 1 pair lift.
Resort official snow depths (Monday 25th January 2016) and any specific news at time of writing:
All resorts in the area are now open - and they are now 'mostly' open with just a few steeper courses still unavailable. All slopes have enjoyed a decent refresh of snow over the last few days.
Resorts in Yuzawa:
GALA Yuzawa 150cm The South Area is now part open and downhill Falcon course is also open
It is a cold morning in Madarao with light snow falling early on.
Madarao is reporting 5-10cm of snow since last night (there is 10cm on my car this morning) and add to that what we got yesterday and there should be a decent layer of fresh to enjoy this morning. If anything I feel the resort are under-reporting the snow.
Less people as well on this Monday morning, of course, which is good for those of us here.
Tomorrow should be excellent with clear skies and sun forecast; and maybe more of that on Wednesday as well.
For more snow the forecast says later in the week and as we enter next weekend.
Good morning from Niseko and there is just another dusting to report to you this morning. If I added the few mm from yesterday to the few mm this morning I might get close to a magnificent 1cm of snow to add to my report, but that sounds a bit like cheating.
After those fine sunny conditions yesterday I wonder what today will bring.
The day has started cloudy with light snow falling outside my window here just now. It is very cold too, it was down to minus double digits overnight and not much warmer now. It is a very cold morning here, brrrrrr. Extra layers are definitely worth putting on this morning.
We could certainly do with some fresh snow now as well with not so much falling over the last week, so when is it coming?
Snowfall is still on the forecasts daily through until the weekend, but like I have mentioned it looks to be a case of occasional light snow. Hopefully we'll be surprised and get more than that, a bit like the way we got that lovely day yesterday.
A few comments were sent in regarding the comments I made about places being crowded or not yesterday.
I think in some ways it's relative isn't it; different people will probably have different ideas based on their experiences. That friend that I mentioned in Nagano? For him and his local ski hill, crowded means there's more than 20 people on the whole hill! People who are used to Niseko 'now' (see what I did there?) with no experience of Niseko 20+ years ago may have a different take on how crowded Niseko is than people like myself who have seen it transform over that period. Or something like that.
There's no denying that a place is busy though when you have long waits for lifts and popular runs are tracked out in a morning.
I think one of the points that I was trying to make is that even at an extremely popular mountain such as Niseko, there are areas that are less busy than the main popular 'headline' runs. Let's exploring, it's part of the fun isn't it.
(Oh and just to be clear here, I am definitely not encouraging people to venture into places that they shouldn't be venturing into - let's move forward and try to make progress by keeping to the Niseko Rules rather than causing problems!)
I'm very happy for my friend in Nagano by the way as it seems that they have been enjoying lots of snow in the last week after the late and lean start to their season. Lots of snow for everyone, please!
Including us here.
Resort specific lift opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Niseko base 6.00am: -10°C, trace broken crystal snow. Moiwa 800m: -10°C, NW10m/s, some snowdrift development. Mikaeri 740m: -10.9°C, NW8.3m/s, trace of new snow, minor snowdrift development. Annupuri 1150m: -16°C, NW15m/s. Hirafu 1000m: -10°C, peak ridge line -18°C. Coastal data: Benkei Cape:ENE5m/s. Kamui Cape ENE4m/s, 1006hPa, wave 1.6m.
Weak winter weather pattern with light snowfall, wind dropped around midnight and the snowdrifts are stable. Take care, although new cornice development is small they will fracture easily. Some areas have formed hard slabs which will also fracture easily. Be careful on steep slopes, upper level temperatures are low but there has been no new snowfall yet. Be patient. Above 1000m NW wind is dropping. Out of bounds is hard and tracked out, with snow drifts, making conditions difficult. Groomed runs are also hard, be careful loosing control and crashing into something.
There are people who are aware and know Niseko Rules illegally entering Haru no Taki and Yu no Sawa. If this continues others will follow their tracks increasing chances of an accident. For your own freedom respect Niseko Rules.
All peak gates are expected to be open. Please listen to the patrols advice before leaving the ski areas. Be aware of a sudden change in the weather and frostbite. Switch your beacon on. Have a good day.
Official resort snow depths as of Sunday 24th January 2016:
Good morning from Hakuba where there's another 5cm on the ground and more (quite a lot more) on the mountain.
Yesterday Hakuba 47 were reporting 20cm of fresh snow up by Line C in the afternoon and this morning they're reporting 10-15cm at base so that probably gives a good general picture.
I think perhaps there was less snowfall overnight than we were expecting and hoping for - resorts reporting up to 5-15cm at base and up to 20cm higher up - but still, it's a decent new layer and conditions continue to improve as the base gradually gets bigger.
It was really cold yesterday and it's a cold start to the day today too.
Unfortunately there are fairly strong winds again which are affecting the top lifts at Goryu/47, Happo-one and Tsugaike Kogen.
We're expecting the snow fall to ease this morning and perhaps the skies clear up by tonight. Another cold night is set to be followed by a good chance of clear and sunny skies tomorrow. With the fresh snow and clear weather, tomorrow should be a very fine day to be out on the mountain.
Things are expected to be somewhat milder mid week before more snow - heavy snow? - due around the weekend.
Resort news as of 8:55am on Monday 25th January 2015 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 10cm of fresh snowfall across the mountain. All courses are now open. Line E lift on hold due to wind. The R4 Snow Park is closed for today and tomorrow as they do a 'full remake'. The lower part of the Tree Riding Zone is now open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba 47. Official snow depth: Upper: 200cm Base: 70cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is again reporting 5cm of fresh snowfall at base and 20cm up top. All courses now officially open except Snow Diving - but, early on the top Alps lifts and Panorama and Grand Prix courses are closed due to wind conditions. The Toomi area will be open until 9:30pm tonight for 'nighta'. Lift info: All lifts apart from the top Alps pair lifts are operating as planned this morning. Official snow depth Alps: 215cm Toomi: 95cm Iimori: 95cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 10cm of fresh snowfall. The top lifts are on hold again this morning due to the weather conditions - Grat quad, Alpen quad, Usagidaira pair, Kurobishi Number 3 and Skyline Number 2 pair. All lower areas of Happo-one are now open. Once the wind dies down it should be an 'all open' situation! The lower Nakiyama area plans to be open for 'nighta' every day until 9pm. Lift info: All planned lifts are now operating. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 190cm Nakiyama: 75cm Sakka: 50cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 5-8cm of fresh snowfall. All courses are now open! The Ikenota area will be open for 'nighta' until 8pm tonight. Lift info: All lifts (apart from Number 7 pair) plan to be operating. Official snow depth: Top: 190cm Base: 135cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All course areas are now generally open except Uma-no-se, weather permitting. 'Nighta' is planned for Kane-no-naru-oka area until 8:50pm, and at the Karamatsu and Shirakaba areas until 9pm. Lift info: All lifts apart from the top part of the Gondola, the top Tsuga Number 1 pair lift and lower Kane-no-naru-oka Skyliner I are operating. Those lifts on hold due to wind. Note that the top Tsugaike Ropeway only opens from spring. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 248cm Maruyama: 90cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 70cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Reporting up to 0cm of fresh snowfall. Most of the Village Side is now open. The Sonezawa area and View A and B areas are still closed on the Mountain Side. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Lift info: All lifts on the Village Side are now operating and all lifts on Mountain Side except View 1 and Hikage are operating. Official snow depth: Upper: 140cm Lower: 50cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: All lifts apart from Number 8 lift and all courses except Snake and and Expert are open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: 90cm
Hakuba Sanosaka: All 5 lifts are operating though some of the courses are not yet open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: 55cm Read more ...
Monday 25th January 2016, 9:01am
Excellent news this morning from a very snowy Grandeco area.
32cm of fine powder snow has very kindly been delivered to base of resort here, surely more higher up, and more on the way during the day today with the clouds starting to clear sometime tonight according to the forecast.
The wind is not strong now, so it's a lovely calm morning with all that fresh snow to enjoy.
The Ura Bandai resort (north area of Mt. Bandai) is also now fully open and resorts in the Inawashiro and Bandai area to the south of Mt Bandai are now also able to open most of their courses.
Roads are fully covered with snow - be careful!
The forecast is looking good for the coming week too with more snow mid-week and over the weekend.
There's a chance we might see a bit of sunshine tomorrow...
Good morning from Nozawa and it's keeping really cold at the moment.
I have some decent snowfall to report this morning as well with the resort officially reporting 18-22cm of fresh snow across the mountain since yesterday morning; I have had to move around that amount from down here at base too.
The only difference I can make out in resort operations for this morning is that the Jumping Course is now open. Untouched fresh snow and a decent steep, I like it.
Snow is forecast for most of the day today and the skies are supposed to be clearing up by tonight.
Tomorrow will probably bring clear skies and sunshine but hopefully it will keep cold.
Mid-week it might get slightly milder but there's more snowfall on the way by the weekend.
Official info at time of writing on Monday 25th January 2016 (subject to change):
Well the new week begins here and another 6cm of snowfall overnight and Appi actually adding some of it to the official base here. It’s not as much as we expected but it’s something. As I type this the sun is out and the winds are very light and we have a very light snow fall. We’re forecast for another 8 cm of snow today but with mostly sunny skies in the works for this afternoon I’ve no idea where it’s coming from. Temperatures should be a chilly —13 at the top of the mountain today with the winds taking the wind-chill to -20.
Still only 17 of 21 runs are open here. The Sailer runs seem to be operating in sporadic fashion with the Sailer gondola still closed. I was over on that side of the mountain this weekend and I’ve no idea why some of those runs are closed as we’ve had plenty of snow. Perhaps my eyesight isn’t as keen as it used to be or Appi is saving those runs for a special occasion. Either way it’s a little disappointing.
The next few days should bring more snow, hopefully. With nearly 20cm forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday coupled with light winds and rising temperatures it should give us a good addition to our meagre base. In typical Appi style expect a morning ice crud on the slopes until mid morning then decent conditions for the rest of the day.
Have a wonderful week.
Currently planned operating lifts:
- Appi Gondola - Central Number 1 quad - Number 2 lift A - Number 3 lift B - Number 3 lift C - Number 4 lift - Sailer quad - Vista quad Read more ...
Monday 25th January 2016, 9:40am
Morning from Zao where we have more snow - 12cm of it at base by my measurements - so I would expect up to 20cm or so in higher areas.
This morning snow is still falling. It's cold and there's a moderate wind but the resort is open as planned - all lifts moving except the weekend-only Karamatsu lift.
The Jukkii Snow Park has been opened by the Omori car park from Saturday. Jukkii-kun is the loveable 'juhyo' character, and he (?) and his (?) friends were to be seen over their being friendly and cute. Kawaii! The Snow Park is free to use.
Information as of Monday 25th January 2016 (subject to change)
The snow keeps coming down, even if we haven't seen the big increases that we keep getting promised.
Yesterday was a morning of good snowfall, the real Myoko kind (and it was a little colder than I had reported, actually, around -6° even at 10 am). But it didn't want to keep going, and we saw some sun before the snow came back in the afternoon as well. That, too, looked pretty promising, but by the later afternoon the snow had changed to partly sunny skies and some very cold strong winds (made for some especially unpleasant snowthrowing, with cold wind on the nose enhanced with snow flying everywhere).
Light snow continues to fall this morning, though, which is always welcome, even if it probably won't build up to the potential 40cm the weather reports were talking about this morning. We're still doing OK compared to a lot of places, but the snow just doesn't want to keep on falling for extended periods of time as it normally would. It's cold, too, with the car thermometer reading -9° at around 8 this morning.
The backcountry remains very bushy; we could still use a couple of meters of good heavy snow to finally push all that stuff down and get it under the surface. A sort of test team is out there right now, so I can give some more on-the-scene reporting tomorrow. It is getting better, but nobody's going to be doing massive powder turns for a while, unless this light snow decides to keep falling for many days, which looks unlikely. The freezing line will be heading up the mountain again toward the end of the week, with heavy rain even a possibility on Saturday. If that would just change to a heavy fall of physically heavy snow, maybe we could get rid of that bush and tree problem even faster!