We ended up with another fine day yesterday - not quite as blue, with the skies ending up a more silvery bright later in the afternoon - but the sun out for most of the day.
Resorts around town all looked suitably busy.
This morning it's an overcast start but we are once again expecting the skies to clear up to some degree and welcome sunshine.
It didn't get that cold overnight - only just managing to dip into minus numbers - and the forecast tells us to expect a warm day today... the warmest of the year so far if the forecast of a high of around +8 degrees is correct.
Snow should be back tomorrnw night, with rain beforehand at lower elevations, and a return to colder temperatures come Wednesday.
Nighta 'night skiing' - where some slopes are floodlit for skiing and snowboarding in the evening - is available at the following resorts in the area.
Ishiuchi Maruyama: Every day until 21st March (until 8:50pm) Iwappara: Every day until 22nd March (until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays, 9pm on Saturdays) Joetsu Kokusai: Every day until 22nd March (until 9pm) Kandatsu Kogen: From 23rd January, 'all night' on holidays (6pm or 10pm until 4am the next morning) Maiko Snow Resort: Every day until 14th March (until 8pm) Naeba: Every day until 29th March (until 9pm) All night on 17th January; 14th February and 14th March (10pm until 6am) NASPA Ski Garden (skiers only): Saturdays until 29th February (until 7pm) Yuzawa Nakazato: Saturdays until 14th March (until 8:30pm)
Chateaux Shiozawa also have nighta but only on certain days - no fixed schedule available. Resorts not mentioned above do not operate 'nighta' (or do not plan to have more this season). Some resorts offer tickets that include nighta, others need a special lift ticket.
After that weekend of sun and frolicks on the snow, it's back to a Monday morning and a relatively mild one too as we expected.
Quite a lot of cloud around and a temperature of +1 degree as of 7:30am; expecting clearer skies later in the day, maybe some sun, and slightly warmer temperatures still.... lets hope it doesn't warm up too much.
Should be seeing a return to the cold and more mid-wintery like conditions sometime tomorrow - snow! - though we might have to grin and bear some of that rain stuff first.
Looking good for later in the week as well though with some potentially decent snow lined up going into next weekend.
Lifts planned to be open:
Number 1 lift Number 2 quad lift Number 3A Number 5 Super quad lift Number 11 lift Number 12 lift Number 13 lift Number 15 lift Moving Walkway Kids Park Freeride Park Tree Run Courses should be open today.
Night skiing at Madarao is every Saturday until 21st March 2015.
No fresh snowfall to report this morning I'm afraid... but not to fear as it's just ahead of us now and I'm hoping that we'll be seeing fresh tomorrow.
Generally cloudy skies this morning with fog on mountain. A light wind at the moment - stronger winds are forecast for later in the day.
Relatively mild conditions at the moment and unfortunately there's a chance that we will get rained on before we can get back to snowfall tomorrow. Stay higher up on the mountain and you might avoid that. ;)
Once the snow gets going again though and temperatures set to take a drop later Tuesday, we should have a return to something like the cold conditions we expect and a few days of snowy conditions.
Going into the weekend is looking quite promising for snow as well.
Oh yes, just on the chance that there might be one or two Australians in Niseko at the moment... a very happy Australian Day to you fine folk!
Niseko base 6am: -3C, light wind, no snowfall. Moiwa 800m: light wind, no snowfall, foggy. Annupuri 1150m: SW10m/s, -7C, no snowfall and no development of snowdrifts. Hirafu peak ridge: SW10m/s, -8C, thick fog with light dusts and snowdrifts. Coastal data: Benkei cape SSE5m/s, Kamui cape SSW9m/s, 1023hPa, 0.6m waves.
A thick fog is present above 1000m due to air-mass displacement. Peak gates are scheduled to open, please follow the ski patrol’s instructions. The snowpack is stable at the moment and the general avalanche risk is low, however a notable Jan 26th layer will form due to this warm air inflow and the weather is forecasted to deteriorate from this afternoon. Better end the day early today. The area outside the gate is not within the resort, it is uncontrolled and unmanaged backcountry area. Various hazards reside in the mountains and caution is required at all times. Better not carelessly follow other people to the peak, you may find yourself astray if you don’t know the way down. More than 2000 people stepped out of the gates again yesterday. No serious accidents have been reported, but the situation is worrying. Please do not cross boundary ropes and stay away from strictly off-limits areas. Have a nice day.
Official resort snow depths:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 350cm Base - 140cm
Niseko Village: Top - 270cm Base - 180cm
Niseko Annupuri: Top - 255cm Base - 180cm
Lifts open for night skiing (planned):
Niseko Grand Hirafu Ace Family Pair lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift
Niseko Hanazono Resort No night skiing at the Hanazono area
It was a mix of cloud and sun through the day yesterday in the region with hardly any wind at all and relatively mild conditions. Most of the places I saw yesterday seemed busy with people out there enjoying themselves.
Temperatures dropped overnight but we are set for another day of mild, almost warm, conditions today with them whizzing back up again and due to be helped on with the sun if it decides to have a starring role today. Lots of cloud early on.
I'd expect the snow conditions on the lower slopes today to get a bit wet and heavy.
Forecasts disagree on what we're on for over the next 24 hours or so - will it rain before fresh snow falls tomorrow?
I'll have at least an update on that for you in my report tomorrow morning.
Official snow depth numbers and operations at time of writing on Monday 26th January 2015. Subject to change during the day:
Hakuba Goryu: Reporting 0cm of new snowfall. All courses open (except Adventure Course).
Hakuba Goryu: Toomi area every day until 31st March. 6pm until 9:30pm. Hakuba Happo-one: Nakiyama area every day until mid March. 5pm until 9pm. Hakuba Cortina: Every day until 31st March. 5pm until 8pm. Tsugaike Kogen: Kane-no-naru-oka on Saturdays in January; February 7th, 14th. 6pm until 8:50pm. Karamatsu-Shirakaba on Saturdays in January; February 7th, 14th, 28th; Saturdays in March. 6pm until 9pm. Kashimayari: Every day until 15th March. 4:30pm until 9:30pm. Read more ...
Monday 26th January 2015, 9:14am
There's not a whole lot to report this Monday morning.
Cloudy, no wind and a mild +1C as of 9am and it doesn't look like it's cold on the mountain either.
Hoping we can avoid some spots of rain before the snow that is due to be with us by the end of tomorrow. Temps should drop back down sometime tomorrow as well.
It's the Zao Juhyo Festival coming up on Saturday 31st January. 7:15pm until 8:30pm at the stage area by the Base Center at Uwanodai - be there for some traditional snow and fire themed festival fun. Below I have posted a rather scary looking photo from the festival last year!
Light snow is refreshing the pistes at elevation at the moment. The weather is cloudy with some cloud rolling down from the tops onto the resort, but visibility is still good. Temperatures are chilly this morning but will warm up a little during the day but are expected to remain in the negatives. Winds will increase from tonight through until tomorrow midday and warmish temperatures are expected during this time. Read more ...
Monday 26th January 2015, 10:18am
Sunnier earlier, now increasingly cloudy
I'm happy to say that it is not raining in Myoko today; not so happy about the temperature, which was 1°C at 8 am at the base.
It is sunny, which is nicer than rain as well, although we can clearly see the snow going down since yesterday (nice for clearing out the driveway of the heavy accumulations, not so nice on the hill).
The winds have moved steadily toward the south, and some dark clouds are moving in from that direction (the blue skies to the north kind of tricked us). And that barometer keeps on falling—get ready for something to fall, and with these temperatures, it might not be white.
Don't believe the resorts' temperature reports today! It's warmer than most are saying (OK, I know some do get up early for these—but think positive at the base of most resorts).