Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 24th January 2020
Thursday 3rd May 2012, 7:42am
Rain (on Thursday)
Your late mid-week report from Myoko (as your reporter is also heading to the Northern Alps for the next few days). The wind and rain of the last few days has really cut down the snowpack; suddenly there are big patches below the Akakura Kanko Hotel, and across the Ikenotaira slopes. Looks like the season will end just as the snow does, too! Pretty clever timing...
Akakan: Sky Cable Gondola and No 3 lift will stay open through Golden Week Ikenotaira: Open through May (no closing day released yet) Seki Onsen: Open through Golden Week
Pretty steady rain falling in Minakami at the moment and it is supposed to stay like this for the rest of the day. Not the weather you would order for a national holiday but at least it is warm and only a light breeze blowing. Pretty think silver lining. Very soft, wet snow up at the top - two chair lifts open to those intrepid enough to head up.
The forecast for the next week doesn't look too encouraging either. Rain showers appear on pretty much every day but Monday with the odd clear spell sprinkled in for good measure. Today supposed to be some of the worst of it though.
The weather still isn't being very friendly this morning. We seemed to miss the rain for most of yesterday though some later in the day and in the evening. It is falling this morning though, and heavy at times.
Kagura, Gala Yuzawa and Kandatsu all seem to be open somewhat as planned, though Naeba is on standby due to wind (there's a decent chance that the wind will ease off later).
I'm not sure how many people will want to be out there getting rained on though - it might be worth waiting until the weekend if you have a choice. Rain looks set in until and perhaps including tomorrow with clearer conditions likely on Saturday and Sunday.
Official resort snow depths @ Wednesday 3rd May 12, AM: Kagura - Mitsumata: 280cm Kagura - Tashiro: 250cm GALA Yuzawa: 100cm (upper)
Planned resort operations
Open until 6th May: Kandatsu Kogen Naeba GALA Yuzawa [Central Area, North Area] Kagura (Tashiro)
Open until 27th May: Kagura (Mitsumata)
All other ski resorts in Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma are now closed for the season. Read more ...
Thursday 3rd May 2012, 9:51am
The weather is messing things up a bit on this first day of the second half of Golden Week. Strong winds, cloudy - and with rain forecast for later on and into tomorrow.
Because of the weather conditions, Niseko Village is closed today while the lifts at the other two resort areas are not running as normal at the time of writing.
Grand Hirafu have the Ace No3 lift moving this morning as well as the No2 quad lift. The other lifts including the Gondola are on standby as the resort waits for the winds to possibly calm down. The lack of snow on the lower areas of the resort now also mean that you can't ski or board right down to the base any more... you need to get the No2 quad or Gondola (when it's operating) back down.
Over at Annupuri the Jumbo No4 lift is on standby.
Current lift operations (3rd May 2012 @ 9am):
Grand Hirafu: Ace Quad Lift No2 Ace No3 King Hooded Triple Lift #3 [STANDBY] King Lift #4 [STANDBY] Hirafu Gondola [STANDBY]
More rain this morning I'm afraid and the forecast tells us to expect rain for pretty much all of today and tomorrow as well. Having said that, where I am it has actually eased off in the last 30 minutes or so and the clouds seem to have moved up higher as well - just a lull perhaps. At least the winds aren't crazy strong as they are in some parts of Japan today.
It's a bit cooler again with the rain and cloud cover and about 14C at the moment - so similar to yesterday.
The good news is that this rain and hopefully the clouds too should clear up by the weekend, and so the last part of the second part of Golden Week (!) should be good. It would be really nice to be able to end the season with good weather conditions.
At Goryu, the snow on the lower slopes has now melted away enough for them to not allow you to ski down to the base area any more - you now have to get the Gondola back down at the end of the day. Which is the case at all four resorts that remain open actually.
4 days to go!
Official snow depths and operations @ Thursday 3rd May 2012 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: Gondola and Alps daira No 1-4 lifts are all operating. You need to get the Gondola back down. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 135cm
Hakuba 47: Top areas open - you need to get the Gondola back down to base - lower Route 1 and Route 7 now closed. Official snow depth: Upper - 65cm Lower - 10m
Happo-one: Top areas open (lower slopes now all closed) - you need to get the Gondola back down to base. Lifts normally operating daily until 6th May are: Gondola Grat quad Alpen quad Panorama pair Skyline No2 pair Kurobishi No2 quad Kokusai No3 pair Usagidaira pair Kurobishi No3 Official snow depth: Usagidaira - 110cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Planned lifts operating are Ropeway, Gondola, Tsuga No2 pair lift and the Hannoki pair. Official snow depth: Upper slopes - 160cm
Hakuba Goryu, Hakuba 47, Happo-one and Tsugaike Kogen all plan to remain open until Sunday 6th May.
The Hakuba Cortina, Norikura, Iwatake, Sanosaka and Minekata resorts are all now closed for the season. Read more ...
Thursday 3rd May 2012, 10:47am
Heavy rain, strong winds
Well we are into the second half of Golden Week now and it's a pretty awful morning to be honest. Heavy rain and strong winds. It's not really the kind of weather that most people would want to be out skiing in. Good job really, as there's not much open. According to the website, only the Chuo No1 pair is moving this morning with all other lifts closed due to the weather conditions. (Yesterday was not open as normal either due to the conditions).
Heavy rain and winds are forecast for all of today and it will very possibly be raining tomorrow as well. And a chance of rain on Sunday too. So not very good conditions for most of Golden Week - perhaps Saturday will be the best bet. With all this rain though, the planned lifts and runs may not be able to remain open. We're getting rather thin on the ground now...
I'll update this report tomorrow with the latest for the weekend.
Official snow depths (3rd May 12) Utopia - 50cm Chuo - 55cm Paradise - 55cm Uwanodai - 0cm
Current planned lift operations at Zao until 6th May:
Uwanodai Area Sky Cable (open all year, but closed from 7th May for maintenance)
Chuo and Paradise Area Zao Chuo Ropeway (open all year) Chuo No1 pair lift (until 6th May) Chuo No2 pair lift (until 6th May) Katakai triple lift (open from 3rd-6th May) Paradise No1 pair lift (until 6th May)
Yokokura and Utopia area Zao Ropeway (open all year, closed for maintenance 7th-18th May) Utopia No2 pair lift (open until 6th May)
Today is the start of that second part of Golden Week - so tomorrow and Friday are holidays here giving us a 4 day long weekend.
The weather isn't co-operating much though. It has been raining, though actually just from a short time ago it looks like it might even be clearing up a bit with some blue sky and an easing off the rain at base and in the village. The forecast is for rain all day though - and in fact for all of tomorrow as well. Up top looks like visibility is really poor with cloud/fog(?) and not much to see at all.
The best bet for weather is Saturday when we might see the sun. As the forecast stands now, we might see more rain on Sunday unfortunately. After that, the season is over!
I'll update this report on Saturday morning.
Current Official Snow Depths Numbers:
Normal spring lift operations (scheduled): Nagasaka Gondola Yamabiko Four Yamabiko Four No2 Skyline Link Uenotaira Four Paradise Four
Normal courses open (scheduled): Yamabiko A Yamabiko B Yamabiko C Yamabiko D Yamabiko E Uenotaira Paradise Utopia A course Challenge Rinkan