It was indeed a mild day yesterday in the region, warm enough for us to actually get a bit of rain. Happily, that didn't last long and it's colder again this morning and I have a few more cm of snow to report. As in the report below, up to 15cm being reported around the mountains.
Still a wind this morning but less and it's not affecting lifts by the looks, though a few including the Hirafu Gondola may be slightly late starting up - reasons being maintenance checks and moving snow and ice.
Snow is falling at the moment and we should keep cold and see regular snowfall through the week right up to the weekend.
Niseko Avalanche Report
Niseko base 6am: -6C, 15cm of low pressure snowfall in last 12 hrs. Moiwa 800m: -8C, wind NW 12m/s, 10cm. Annupuri 1150m: -12C, wind W18m/s, 10cm new snow, no significant snowdrift development. Hirafu 1000m: -11C, 15cm new snow, strong wind. Annupuri peak 1308m: -11.1℃, wind WSW5.7m/s. Cape Benkei: NW16m/s, Cape Kamui: wind W13m/s, wave 2.4, pressure 1003hPa.
Warm wet snowfall above Feb 2nd layer has recrystallised overnight from drop in temperature, around 1000m elev shallow surface avalanches are likely to occur on steep slopes. Below 800m the forest is reset and the snow is good. The overall avalanche risk is low but always aware. The is always the danger of avalanches from deep within the snowpack. Today there is a strong wind above 1100m, Patrol yet to decided gate openings. In Niseko it is becoming increasingly hard to find powder and many are following tracks under the ropes looking for it. Dont forget Niseko Rules exist to protect your freedom to ski outside the ropes. Always use the gates, never duck ropes. Be aware of a sudden change in weather. Note cracks are difficult to see from above. Groomers are good. Have a safe day.
Official snow depth numbers and lift news at time of writing:
The rain never really came - the one good thing - but it was really spring out there.
Between the wind and warm weather, the snow really dropped, and today looks to be warm again. At least there isn't as much wind (good for my firewood, not so great for skiers).
The word is that winter will return tomorrow, with cold and snow, but there is a worry with that - as fresh snow falls on top of the warm, melted snow. The avalanche danger is going to go way up, so really be careful.
That weak layer could linger for a long time, get worse if it gets warmer.... we just can't know, so if you're not prepared and knowledgeable, think twice (four times?) before just jumping in.
It was as expected a mild day yesterday but happily we avoided the rain situation we were expecting and it ended up being a generally fine day. Mild overnight staying above freezing down here in the village area, and this morning the sun is out again. Clouds/overcast over in the distance and cloud is forecast to be over Nozawa today and temperatures to dip later on this afternoon.
We may get some rain/sleet this evening but even if we do it should quickly turn into snow and I am hoping that I'll be reporting new snowfall in my report tomorrow along with snow still falling and due to continue through Wednesday as well. It will be a welcome return to conditions more befitting of early February.
We're back to weekday operations (a number of lifts taking a rest) and less people around.
Courses All courses open except: Kandahar East Kandahar West Read more ...
Monday 3rd February 2014, 8:44am
It's a sunny but somewhat overcast morning in Hakuba as the almost spring like weather conditions continue. Up to around 10 degrees today (!)
Let's go back to yesterday first though - by mid afternoon lots of the clouds had cleared and we were left with blue sky and the sun shining down on us.
As I said this morning it's bright but overcast and cloud is forecast today.
Some conflicting forecasts this morning for what's up next. I much prefer the one that says we can expect snow tonight and tomorrow. Snow or not we should be returning to colder conditions from tomorrow.
Official snow depth numbers and operations (as of 3rd February 2014):
Hakuba Goryu: Reporting 0cm of new snowfall. Upper - 270cm Toomi - 155cm Iimori - 125cm
Hakuba 47: Reporting 0cm of new snowfall. Upper - 245cm Lower - 80cm
Happo-one: Reporting 0cm of new snowfall. Usagidaira - 210cm Nakiyama - 60cm Sakka - 60cm
I'm glad to be able to report this morning that we did actually avoid rain yesterday, after it looking so likely.
But it was too warm and spring like out there and overnight the temperature at town level only dropped down to +3C. It is 6 degrees as of 9am this morning and a high of +10 degrees is forecast.
The sun is out and clear skies but more overcast than deep blue skies.
You want the good news, I can tell. The good news is that this warm spell is hopefully soon to be finished with snow due tonight and tomorrow. There's a chance that it might be wet before the snow arrives later on today but tomorrow morning there should fingers crossed be a fresh layer of snow to report.
Another (very) warm morning in Zao here, but late today should see winter come back after leaving us without even a note.
Hopefully it will make up for it with some decent snowfall. I've put in an order for 30cm every day for the next 5 days, so let's see if Winter delivers! ;)
Actually it doesn't look like we can expect huge amounts, but at least a return to cold and snowfall.
The snow depth numbers for the resort are unchanged but believe me, there is less snow than there was. The sun and warmth does that!
A few photos from the weekend event posted below.
Official snow depths (3rd February 14): Utopia: 250cm Chuo: 195cm Paradise: 225cm Uwanodai: 140cm Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Monday 3rd February 2014, 9:23am
Clear and sunny
Spring like weather and unfortunately conditions ruling at the moment in Shiga Kogen (and surrounding regions too), as it remains warm and the sun is out again this morning.
The forecast is for cold to return soon though, and we are hoping that tomorrow morning will be both cold and snowy. It does not look like a sustained full on snow storm that will last a week though, perhaps just tomorrow into Wednesday. Even so, should be keeping colder.
Official snow depth data, as of Monday 3rd February 2014, 9am):
The morning started with some firm conditions on the lower mountain but as the morning has progressed the snow base has softened and is skiing really well right now.
It will firm up again as temperatures fall after lunch and the solar effect disppears. The fresh snow on the upper mountain is a little heavier than usual. There was some light snow come through this morning, but didn't accumulate to much. It is expected there will be a little more snow fall this afternoon.