Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 17th February 2019
Friday 29th January 2016, 7:27am
Another day when I need to get out and go before new snow reports are issued - but I'll write this part and hang on to the last minute and put in whatever fresh data there is in the listing below (* indicates an old report).
The good news: it's snowing again.
As we've seen so much this year, the snow is coming down pretty steadily, but not with the great big flakes that are so common when we're getting a really good snowfall. Maybe that will change through the day, as heavy snow is predicted for later today (luckily, heavy rain is also on the forecast, and we appear to have dodged that particular precipitation bullet).
Not much accumulation yet, but if it keeps snowing like it is now we will have a little extra for some snowpacks that actually went down during the week with that sun and nice weather (I told you not to get sucked in by those bluebird skies!).
It's still pretty rough for those traveling into the backcountry, as we just don't have enough snow to cover up the saplings. The snow itself became pretty stable this week, following the sluffing after the last big fall. With that sun crust in some areas, though, be careful if we do see heavy snowfall today and into the weekend, as it could form a weak layer and increase the avalanche danger. Generally, a little time and Myoko's moderate temperatures will see these kinds of layers disappear fairly quickly, but that doesn't mean we can't have some persistent problems in the backcountry. Communications is key: talk to as many people as you can, and remember a snowpit is best thought of as a confirmation of information you already have. I'll try and do the same and share local info right here in this listing.
It has been snowing for the most part today though it's not really resulting in new cm. Heavier snow is still forecast for tonight and overnight, so hopefully I will be able to report some decent fresh snow in my report tomorrow. The local 4pm Niigata forecast has this area for "up to 30cm" of snowfall before 9am tomorrow. That would be brilliant, but they have been way off quite a few times this season with the numbers, so probably best to keep the excitement in check until tomorrow morning.
I have added information about 'nighta' at resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma to the report (see below).
Original morning report
Good news this morning.
While yesterday was generally a grey cloud day over the main town area, we did avoid some of the rain that I heard places to the north of us were getting.
And this morning it is snowing. Not enough to give us any cm right now more like a dusting but fingers crossed it will continue through the day today. Would be great to get a new fresh layer of snow in time for the weekend.
If you can't wait for the lifts to start tomorrow morning there's always the 'hobo' (almost) all night at Kandatsu Kogen - they're open from 6pm tonight until 4am tomorrow morning.
Resort official snow depths (Friday 29th January 2016) and any specific news at time of writing:
All resorts in the area are either mostly or fully open.
Resorts in Yuzawa:
GALA Yuzawa 170cm The South Area is now part open and downhill Falcon course is also open
Details of the 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Open daily until 8:50pm (until 20th March). The Chuo No 1 and Chuo No 2 lifts are open daily. The Kanko No 1, Kanko No 2, Kanko No 3, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift, Hatsukaishi No 2 pair lifts are open on weekends and holidays. The basic charge is 2000 yen but various tickets are available.
Iwappara Open daily until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays (until 21st March). The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.
Joetsu Kokusai Open daily until 9pm (until 21st March). The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors. On weekdays the area in front of the main hotel is open - a larger area (including Osawa and Atema) is open on weekends.
Kandatsu Kogen Open from 6pm until 4am on Fridays, Saturdays and evenings before holidays through 26th March. Open from 4:30pm until 11pm on weekdays until 24th March. Various tickets are available starting at 2000 yen for adults, 1700 yen for seniors and 1000 yen for children.
Maiko Snow Resort Open daily with the Maiko Center quad lift operating from 4pm until 8pm. The charge is 500 yen for everyone.
Naeba Open daily until 27th March. From 4pm until 8:30pm on weekdays and Sundays (2000 yen); until 9pm every Saturday and on 20th March (3000 yen). 'All Night' opening is planned for Saturday 26th March when Naeba will be open from 10pm until 5am.
NASPA Ski Garden Extended opening until 6pm (Number 1 lift) on Saturdays until 27th February. There is no special ticket available just for the extended time.
Yuzawa Nakazato Open on Saturdays from 5pm until 8:30pm (until 12th March). Tickets are 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.
Morning. It has been snowing lightly again here this morning though as I look outside the window it seems to have stopped for the moment. It's actually quite bright looking up towards the mountain... might it even clear up a bit today?
Anyway, there's 6cm of fresh new snowfall here near base since my last report. It does feel colder out there this morning and the resorts are indeed reporting lower temperatures than yesterday and with the wind it'll probably feel very cold.
Wind unfortunately continues to affect us I'm afraid. As of 8:30am, it looks like again we are going to be starting the day with top lifts at Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri not able to open as planned, though it's just the top lifts right now with all of the Gondolas operating. Please see the info below for the situation as it is right now.
Snow is still expected on and off over the coming week, but tomorrow might well start off with some sunshine. Again, if the forecasts are correct I wouldn't expect heavy snow (best chance of decent snow looks like Sunday night) but rather modest amounts. It should be keeping cold through as we venture into February.
Resort specific lift opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Niseko Grand Hirafu The top Ace Number 4, King Number 4 and King Number 3 lifts are not starting the day as planned due to strong winds.
Niseko HANAZONO Resort All three Hanazono lifts plan to be operating though currently the open lower lift is operating at reduced speed.
Niseko Village The top Wonderland lift is not starting the day as planned due to strong winds.
Niseko Annupuri The top Number 4 lift is not starting the day as planned due to strong winds.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6.00am: -8°C, 3cm new snow, calm. Moiwa 800m: -12°C, NNW10m/s, 15cm new snow, snowdrift development. Mikaeri 740m: -11.6°C, SW1.0m/s, 25cm new snow, snowdrift development. Annupuri 1150m: -15°C, NW20m/s, cornice and snowdrift development. Hirafu ridge line -15°C, strong wind, snowdrift development. Coastal data: Benkei Cape:NNW14m/s. Kamui Cape WNW10m/s, 1026hPa, wave 2.1m.
A strong westerly wind above 1100m from the high pressure system to the west is producing rapid cornice and snow drift development on leeward slopes. Osawa cornice slope 1000m, Kozan no sawa (backbowl) sidewall, Higashi One(east ridge) cornice slope and other steep leeward slopes the avalanche risk extremely high. Gates 2,3 will be closed. Gates 1,5,6 yet to be decided. Listen to the patrols advice. From observation leeward slopes below 800m are starting to stabilize, although cornice and knoll areas are still easily fracturing by ski stimulation. Do not enter these areas carelessly. When the atmospheric pressure gradient flattens out the wind will drop and slabs will stabilize. Don't over estimate your skills or knowledge, make prudent safe decisions.
This information is issued to aid in accident prevention. Your freedom to ride out of bounds will be protected if you follow the Niseko Rules. Be careful of frostbite. Use caution to avoid accidents.
Official resort snow depths as of Friday 29th January 2016:
There has just been a bit fresh snowfall last night - just under a few cm. This morning it is continuing to snow lightly and more snow is on the way but it's kind of wet and heavy snow rather than light and fluffy powder...
Temperatures have risen a bit and definitely not as cold as yesterday. According to the forecast, it will be between -3 to 0 degrees during the day today, so that's a fairly 'warm' winter day for us here.
The wind is not strong and not many people around at the moment.
Today, it is probably a good choice to come up to the Ura Bandai region as it's raining in the area south Mt. Bandai.
Still hoping for decent snow before the weekend starts.
It was a fine day yesterday though after the beautiful blue sky start to the day, clouds started appearing from around lunchtime.
This morning it is snowing and there has been a few cm down at base areas with resorts generally reporting about 5cm on the mountain so far. Hakuba 47 are actually describing the snow up top this morning as having a 'creamy feel', rather than powder... not quite sure what to make of that one!
So it's snowing now and it is expected to be falling through the day, and heavily at times too. In fact there's currently a heavy snow warning out for the region so we could be on for a decent amount over the next 24 hours. That sounds good to me. I will be sure to let you know about it all in my report tomorrow.
For now resorts all appear to be open as planned, there's not much of a wind and it's not actually that cold - here in the village anyway where the temperature is currently hovering around 0C.
Resort news as of 8:45am on Friday 29th January 2015 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 5cm of fresh snowfall. All courses are open. The lower part of the Tree Riding Zone is now open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba 47. Official snow depth: Upper: 180cm Base: 60cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 5cm of fresh snowfall. All courses except Snow Diving are open. The Toomi area will be open until 9:30pm tonight for 'nighta'. Official snow depth Alps: 205cm Toomi: 95cm Iimori: 95cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 5cm of fresh snowfall. All courses apart from the Kurobishi Off Piste Area are open. The lower Nakiyama area plans to be open for 'nighta' every day until 9pm. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 180cm Nakiyama: 65cm Sakka: 40cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 3-5cm of fresh snowfall. All courses except Giant are open. The Ikenota area will be open for 'nighta' until 8pm tonight. Official snow depth: Top: 170cm Base: 110cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All course areas are now open. Note that the top Tsugaike Ropeway only opens from spring. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 208cm Maruyama: 80cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 70cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Hakuba Iwatake is reporting up to 0cm of fresh snowfall. Most of the Village Side is now open but parts of the Mountain Side not yet available (Dangan, Kamo4, East, View A, View B). There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: Upper: 140cm Lower: 50cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: All courses except Snake and Expert are now open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: 90cm
Morning from Nozawa where I'm happy to report it is snowing.
The resort reports 5cm on upper slopes and since the snow started we have had a dusting and down below and happily avoided the rain that some forecasts were saying might happen. Let's hope that continues, though it is remaining relatively mild and temperature here at base is creeping up to just above zero.
I was just reading the Myoko Now report and have the same feelings... this season it just somehow doesn't seem to want to really relentlessly pound down on us like we are used to here in Nozawa. I want some of that! I want lots of that, in fact - can we get some of it today please?
Snow does feature for most days on the 6-day forecast right now so we remain hopeful for regular and decent snowfall.
Official info at time of writing on Friday 29th January 2016 (subject to change):
Well it’s official... the Sailer Gondola is open today along with some more Sailer and Second runs! Wonderful news for those that are here or coming this weekend.
As I write this the sun is shining, temperature at the base of -6 and very light winds. Today should remain relatively calm as far as winds go with the sun out most of the day and no snow anticipated. Yesterday was on and off snow fall most of the day but the windy conditions in the afternoon and evening hours didn’t make it much fun out there at all. The main gondola was sporadic in operation most of the afternoon too but if you were fortunate to make it to the Second runs you literally had the mountain to yourself. The runs were in great shape and should remain so today.
The clouds may roll in tonight without bringing and snow with them and the temperatures over the weekend should gradually sink to the -10 degree range with the winds increasing somewhat bringing the wind-chill down to -20.
Have a great sunscreen day.
Currently planned operating lifts:
- Appi Gondola - Sailer 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 ...
Friday 29th January 2016, 9:15am
Good morning from Madarao.
After the fine weather yesterday this morning the cloud is back and right now there's a clean line of cloud coming down to about half way down the mountain - decent visibility below, cloud above.
Just a bit of snow this morning with the resort reporting 5cm.
It's remaining relatively mild though snow is forecast for the day today with perhaps a return to some clearer conditions tomorrow along with colder temperatures.
Let's see how much we can get building up today...
In a change from the clearer skies, this morning it is cloudy and light snow is falling at the start of the day.
It's milder than we hope for though with the temperatures rising just above zero.
The forecast for today is snow all the way through and getting heavier later on so we might be able to report some decent cm tomorrow morning. There's not a whole lot forecast over the coming week once we clear this particular bunch of snow clouds and so fingers crossed.
Morning from Zao where there's just another 2cm or so of snow on the ground but it is snowing now and forecast to be for the day and tonight - heavy snow due tonight? Hopefully I'll have a decent number to report to you for the beginning of the weekend.
Lots of cloud around and fog covering the mountain this morning so I expect visibility to be limited to poor up there today.
As yesterday it's not particularly cold (for Zao in late January) and should be getting colder again over the weekend.
Things are pretty quiet here at the moment weekdays. Not quite sure why, though I would expect things to be busy for the coming weekend. As always an early start is recommended.
Information as of Friday 29th January 2016 (subject to change)
All planned lifts are operating this morning. The Karamatsu pair lift does not operate on weekdays.
Yesterday was a very fine day with blue skies to enjoy and nice cold conditions.
It's warmer this morning with some resorts even reporting temperatures in low positive numbers.
Snow is falling this morning, but it's coming from the south and with the milder temperature is on the heavier and wet side, so not top grade Shiga Kogen quality really. Still, I'll take 4cm of this kind of snow than none (or rain, heaven forbid!). The forecast still tells us to expect heavy snow tonight with it easing off tomorrow morning...
There's a generally foggy kind of feel to things here in Maruike just at the moment and visibility is poor.
This season really is proving to be an odd one by all accounts - in most regions of Japan too, not just this part of northern Nagano. Generally difficult to read and know what's going to happen next.
It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season goes. Obviously we still have less snow than usual so unless that builds up significantly in February, resorts are going to be struggling to remain open as long as they want to this year. Let's hope that February comes out and brings us the goods.
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Friday 29th January 2016):
With the dump we had yesterday powder seekers were well catered for all over the mountain. The winds did eventually come through but have long passed leaving us with calm weather for now. Wind speeds are 3km/h at base and 5km/h on the upper mountain, which equates to nothing in the way of wind today.
The village has received yet more snow, and while only 3cm was measured in the village I would expect 7-10cm on the upper mountain...very nice on top of what we had yesterday. The skies are broken cloud with blue visible. There is some low cloud stuck on the peaks at both sides, but not low enough to interfere with the ski runs.
There is further light snow forecast for today. Saturday looks to be fantastic with sun, calm weather, but not much in the way of fresh snow. Read more ...
Friday 29th January 2016, 14:01pm
Warm weather persisting for now with light snow falling at the base of Tenjindaira and slightly more falling up top.
Tonight the forecast is calling heavy snow which is just what the doctor ordered coming into the weekend. Let's hope it happens...
All snow resorts in Minakami now all (at least part) open: