In the early hours of the morning I woke up and felt pretty cold compared to usual. Never mind, a re-arrangement of the bed covers worked out. Waking up this morning and going outside to check the temperatures revealed why...-18c in the village. Thats right almost -20c in the village! Now even for locals that feels cold, and is certainly going to send a few people with marginal gloves to their friendly glove retailer today.
As often with very cold Furano days the rest of the weather info is good. Today follows that pattern with a perfect day. There is deep blue sky all over the mountain and strong early morning sunshine is making the snow sparkle. Add no wind into he mix and it gets even better.
There is only a dusting of fresh snow to report, but who is going to complain with all the fresh snow from the last two days. Well I am off to look for a couple of heat packs to slip into my gloves before heading out. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Saturday 30th January 2016, 8:07am
Cloud, fog/gas higher up early on
Morning form Nozawa and there's a good 20cm of fresh on mountain this morning.
In fact the resort is reporting 25cm on the lower Nagasaka area with 20cm up top. Both sound good to me and it's great to see that Nozawa-like kind of number*.
It was still snowing a bit earlier but has stopped now (perhaps still snowing higher up where visibility seems limited) and that is basically what the forecast and cloud maps have been showing.
The forecast also shows some more snowfall due tonight and maybe through tomorrow as well.
For the moment though weekend visitors should be happy with the new snow to play in.
(* We want more, more, more!!)
Official info at time of writing on Saturday 30th January 2016 (subject to change):
Morning from Grandeco where we have another fresh 20+cm of snowfall this morning.
Temperatures remained relatively mild this morning, as yesterday, but the new snow should be fun to play in.
There is no wind at the moment which is good so it should be a fine day to be out skiing and boarding.
Snow remains on the forecast for today, though not heavy, and snow clouds will probably be over us or close by through until the middle of the week so hopefully we'll get daily refills.
The Snow Park (Decodaira E Park) is open on Lavender B course - items include (I am told!)... Four Waves, 6m Straight Wide Box, 6m Arch Box, Drum Can placed Vertical, 8m Straight Rail, 6m Straight Box, Hip, 3m Kicker, 3m Kicker, 5m Kiccker + 10m Kiccker + 6m Upper BOX and Wall. I'm afraid that doesn't mean that much to me - hopefully it might to some of you reading this!
Mostly clear blue skies and sunny; few thin clouds here and there
It is a lovely morning here in Niseko.
I think I said there was a chance of a sunny start to the day in the report yesterday. And so it is, big time!
It is really very cold as well this morning, down into minus double digits here at base. But that won't stop people from wanting to get up out there as early as possible.
With little wind to mess things about today (hurray!), all of the resorts are be planning on having all of the lifts moving as normal as normal - though just at the moment the Ace Number 2 Center Quad at Niseko Grand Hirafu seems to have a few early morning issues and is being delayed much to the dismay of the people lining up for it, who are currently being re-directed to the nearby Ace Number 1 lift. Let's hope they get that fixed quickly.
Just 1cm of snow since yesterday so no deep fresh out there this morning but the weather should make up for that.
The groomed runs all look very neat and tidy ready to be messed up!
The clear blue skies might not last the day and it's forecast to be cloudy but we probably can't expect much snow before the end of tomorrow, so maybe that's our lot for January.
It's going to be a busy one today. Take care and have fun.
Resort specific lift opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Niseko base 6.00am: -12°C, no new snow, calm. Moiwa 800m: -15°C, light winds, minor snowdrift development. Mikaeri 740m: -13.4°C, W0.2m/s, Annupuri 1150m: -13°C, light winds, trace new snow. Hirafu 1000m -15°C, light winds, minor snowdrift development. Coastal data: Benkei Cape:S3m/s. Kamui Cape NE3m/s, 1023hPa, wave 1.1m.
Under the influence of high pressure area, both the sea and mountains are calm. Following inspection of Higashi One area, peak gates 2,3 will be opened. Kozan no sawa (backbowl) sidewall, Osawa cornice 1100m, snowdrift stabilization is delayed and from observation surface slab fractures 40cm depth are likely to occur. Today there will be many mountain users, don't downplay the dangers on the mountain. Carelessly starting an avalanche could take out many people below you in the valleys. Snow in the forest is good, although take care with your route finding. Don't traverse cornice slopes or knolls just to get where you want to go.
Niseko mountain management and the Avalanche Institute spend a lot of energy balancing providing a minimum level of safety and the freedom to ride out of bounds for all mountain users. If you are riding out of bounds there is a strong expectation on you to have consideration for the safety of other mountain users. Please listen to the patrols advice before exiting the gates. Have a great day.
Official resort snow depths as of Saturday 30th January 2016:
Morning from Yuzawa, and after the snow falling yesterday and last night, there has been an additional 12cm of fresh on the ground according to my measurements.
Here's how much fresh snowfall is being reported by various resorts this morning:
Kagura is reporting 15-20cm. Naeba (seems to be) reporting 10+cm. Maiko Snow Resort is reporting 10-15cm. Muikamachi Hakkai-san, to the north of Yuzawa, is reporting 20cm.
And I am reporting 12cm of snow down in town.
Again it is not as much as we were hoping for (and the local reports as of last night told us to expect), but still it's a decent new layer for the start of the weekend.
Snow was falling when I got up this morning but it has stopped now and we are left with just cloudy skies.
Forecasts have snow clouds due to be with us for most of the coming week, but not the kind that will deliver significant amounts of snow - more like light snow from time to time. Here's to the temperatures remaining low and keeping the snow in decent condition.
Have a fun Saturday.
Yesterday afternoon I added night skiing information to the report and I'll keep that in each day for the moment as hopefully it will be of use to some of you reading these reports. You can find it lower down this page.
Resort official snow depths (Saturday 30th January 2016) and any specific news at time of writing:
All resorts in the area are either mostly or fully 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.
With resorts around the valley this morning reporting 20-30cm on upper slope areas and a good 10cm reported from base areas, it should be great conditions out there early on.
Though the snow has stopped falling now, there's still a lot of cloud around and what looks like poor visibility on the webcams in some places - perhaps it's still snowing up there, or just that just gas/cloud? I will have to get up there myself to investigate!
The Happo-one image looks especially good right now with the lift rising above the sea of clouds hanging over the village (see photo below). On the subject of Happo-one, their 'Happo Banks' snow park is opening up from this morning with event-style things going on from 9:30am. It can be found over on the Kita One Number 3 area.
The forecast has cloud for the day today with the chance of more snow tomorrow night. Wind isn't an issue today and so resorts should be all open as normal, though actually I just noticed that a few courses at Tsugaike Kogen are closed due to 'adverse weather' - I'm presuming that is a visibility issue though not sure.
From Monday there isn't much snow on the forecast through until at least the later part of the week so we might have to make do. If temperatures remain low we should be good though.
Lots of people around this morning it will probably be busy out there.
Resort news as of 9:10am on Saturday 30th January 2015 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 20-25cm 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: 205cm Base: 80cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 10cm of fresh snowfall on lower areas and 20cm up top. All courses except Snow Diving are open. The Toomi area will be open until 9:30pm tonight for 'nighta'. Official snow depth Alps: 215cm Toomi: 100cm Iimori: 100cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Happo Banks Snow Park opening from today. All open apart from the Kurobishi Off Piste Area. The lower Nakiyama area plans to be open for 'nighta' every day until 9pm. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 190cm Nakiyama: 80cm Sakka: 60cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 10cm of fresh snowfall in lower areas and 20-30cm in upper areas. All courses are open. The Ikenota area will be open for 'nighta' until 9pm tonight. Official snow depth: Top: 190cm Base: 120cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All course areas except Uma-no-se and Rinkan forest course are now open (they are apparently closed due to 'adverse weather'). Note that the top Tsugaike Ropeway only opens from spring. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 230cm Maruyama: 90cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 70cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Hakuba Iwatake is reporting 10cm 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: 60cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: All courses except Snake and Expert are now open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: 85cm
Well it’s the weekend here at Appi and no real news to report.
The much anticipated opening of the Sailer Gondola yesterday did take place but mechanical issues forced it to close after only 30 minutes. It was closed for the rest of the day. Lets hope they’ve fixed what needs to be fixed and it’s in full operation today.
Right now it’s partly cloudy with little to no wind blowing with a base temperature currently -6. it should remain the same throughout the day here with the wind perhaps picking up slightly late in the afternoon. The forecast calls for partly cloudy skies till Tuesday with a slight increase in the winds and dropping temperatures. We may see a little light snow over the next few days but nothing to get too excited about.
After a thorough review of the runs yesterday most are in good overall shape but some of the upper Sailer and second runs still have various vegetation type obstacles to avoid when traversing the slope. I think this has been a common problem with most resorts this year especially with so little snowfall. They are doing a good job here of making sure it doesn’t affect the runs too much and I lift my hat to the fellows out there with the weed wacker most days cutting it back.
Have a great weekend.
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 - Sailer Number 1 - Vista quad Read more ...
Saturday 30th January 2016, 9:42am
Morning from Naeba.
I think it's safe to say that we didn't get as much snow as we were expecting (and hoping for), with the forecasts once again over-shooting on their numbers. But it's good to get 10cm or so on the mountain and connecting Kagura are reporting 10-15cm as well this morning.
The snow has stopped and it's generally a cloudy morning here.
The Number 3 course area is closed to the general public from today until Monday due to a competition being held there.
The Alpine Skiing World Cup is now fast approaching - just over two weeks away. Let's all hope that we can get some decent snowfall in over the next few weeks both to help with preparations for the event and of course the event itself. The skiing world will be looking in on Naeba and Yuzawa, so we want people to have a good impression!
There will be a firework display to enjoy after 'nighta' this evening.
Mostly cloudy, a few patches of blue sky currently
More snow! It was good to see the forecast right with some heavy snow last night and close to 18cm of fresh falling here at base and certainly more than that up on the mountain. It wasn't the lightest of snow, bit heavy, but I'm sure it'll feel good under those skis and boards this morning.
It has been snowing still this morning but just at the moment has eased and I can see a few patches of blue sky up there as well. Maybe it might even clear up a bit? Earlier on visibility was limited on the mountain but I expect that to be improved by now.
Tomorrow the forecast tell us to expect a mix of cloud, sun and perhaps light snow in the evening. After that there's more snowfall due around Tuesday when strong winds may also be a factor.
Back to today and it should be a fine morning.
Information as of Saturday 30th January 2016 (subject to change)
Just to keep the 'odd season' theme going, yesterday we got some... rain/sleet... falling here in Shiga Kogen. Oh dear. Luckily by evening it was snow once again and this morning there's a nice new layer of it to help us quickly forget and be happy. It's on the heavier side once again but a decent new layer is a decent new layer and adds to that base - all important stuff.
It's colder this morning I'm happy to report too and temperatures should be continuing to drop back to where they should be over the next few days. Good.
Next snow? Perhaps tomorrow night into Monday. Should be colder too, so perhaps the snow will be of the lighter and fluffier variety.
Anyway, I'm off out to enjoy myself. Hope you can too. Until tomorrow.
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Saturday 30th January 2016):
Slight clearing earlier in the day, but overcast now
We had a pretty nice snowfall over night in Myoko, with about 35 cm of fresh to be snowthrown this morning (I'm actually getting a little use out of my trusty monster machine).
The ski areas aren't reporting much additional depth to the snowpack reports, but it did fall. Not really a heavy snow, but of course welcome. Looks like we'll continue to get some light snow later today and on through the weekend, although it's not snowing at the moment.
It's kind of a slow news time, to be honest.... the Myoko Police did issue a warning following some injuries and theft on the slopes (including one fatality involving a foreign national hitting a Japanese person), but still not much by general standards.
Backcountry hasn't been much of an issue, because there isn't that much snow, and there's not open space to get into much trouble. Still lots of small trees to get hung up in, though. So I'm looking out the window toward some gray, cloud-obscured peaks, wondering what it's going to do next. Kind of an "unh" day, I'd say.