Planned nighta operations - be sure to check with resorts for latest:
Hakuba Goryu: Planned to be open daily from 6pm until 9:30pm
Tsugaike Kogen: Planned at the Kane-no-naru-oka area on February 4th, 11th (6pm until 8:50pm) Planned at the Katamatsu-Shirakaba area February 11th, 18th; March 4th, 11th, 18th, 19th (6pm until 9pm)
Hakuba Cortina: Planned to be open daily from 5pm until 8pm (until 9pm on Saturdays)
Hakuba Happo-one: Planned to be open daily until 9pm on the Nakiyama area.
Kashimayari: Planned to be open daily.
There is no night skiing at the other resorts in the area. Read more ...
Saturday 4th February 2017, 8:21am
Good morning from Niseko.
I had a very good day yesterday and during 'lift time' on my 4 hours worth of adventure I spoke to people from China, US, UK, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Thailand which was fun. I even shared one lift with a Japanese person! Who lived in Australia. ;)
It didn't really clear up properly yesterday and the light snow since my report yesterday morning amounted to 3cm of fresh for my report.
This morning it is noticeably warmer outside and a generally overcast kind of start to the day. Cloudy conditions seem to be what is on the forecast for the day, but again there is a chance we might get to see some clearer conditions. There was a actually a bit of blue sky earlier on this morning, but the clouds have covered that back over for the moment.
Tomorrow looks like a much more sure bet of sun with clearer skies forecast from the start of the day and the milder conditions continuing.
The next snow we can expect is probably late Monday into Tuesday.
In the meantime it is going to a busy and bustling weekend here in Niseko. As you might expect!
Have a fun and safe Saturday, and see you tomorrow.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am: -5℃, no snowfall. Moiwa 800m: -8.5℃, light NE breeze, no snowfall, 20cm snowdrifts. Annupuri 1150m: -9℃, light wind, 5cm snowfall. Hirafu 1250m: -11℃, W10m/s, light dusts. Kamui cape lighthouse: N6m/s, 1014hPa, 1.5m waves.
The isobars are spreading out and the weather is calm. Snowdrifts have slowly developed above 800m elevation over the last 24hours snowfall. Looking at observations, the general avalanche hazard is low. The visibility is also good and the gates are expected to open from the morning. Ask the ski patrol some advice before stepping out of the gates. Too many flagrant tracks under the rope are left between Gate 1 and 2. We’d like to remind that many cases of avalanche accidents, including fatal ones, occurred around the slopes under the cornices of O-sawa (Annuri bowl). Accidents due to poor visibility have also occurred many times.
Every single resort user is subject to obey the Rules of out of bounds riding. One track left under the rope would lead many others to do the same and eventually end up in an accident. Respect the Rules. Guides and tour leaders have the responsibility to tell their guests to do the same, as well as ski resorts and their patrollers have the responsibility to appropriately enforce these Rules.
Have a great day.
Resort specific opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Night skiing is planned until Monday 20th March 2017 at the Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Village resort areas. There is no nighta in the Hanazono area. Read more ...
Saturday 4th February 2017, 8:22am
Blue skies in some places. Cloud in others.
Good morning from Naeba everybody.
Today looks set to be a relatively nice groomer day. There's a reasonable amount of cloud in the sky as well as some nice blue skies. Nothing looks to ominous though so I expect that the weather will hold.
Since yesterday morning we have received a reasonable 10 cm of new snow although most of this has been compacted down by the groomers. Therefore today is definitely a day to get out and lay some hard carves down.
The temperature is relatively warm and will potentially rise above freezing around midday.
After today, however, according to the forecast, we are back to snow every day!
And it is a lovely start to the day. Bright blue skies all around and the sun out. Sunscreen recommended today.
Yesterday it did continue snowing for most of the day but it didn't really amount to much in terms of new cm (3cm). The clouds obviously cleared up overnight leaving us with this beautiful morning.
It's a chilly start but going to fairly quickly warm up somewhat today, perhaps to 4C (and possibly more) later on. Not too much please.
Tomorrow should be a bit colder but it might well rain a bit later in the day before turning into snow. Snow is forecast for Monday through Tuesday though so we will be getting our top-up at that time.
Today is almost certainly going to be a busy weekend at the popular resorts. Some of the smaller places are still quite quiet on a busy weekend though... worth checking out all of the resort info for all of the resorts in region, if only to learn about new places.
A fantastic day to be out on the slopes.
See you tomorrow.
From today the top Number 5 lift at Kagura will close at 2pm, rather than 12 noon. (That 12 noon closing time was always curious!)
Also, the South Area of GALA Yuzawa is open as normal today.
We're all excited. After spending a period of time thinking and planning, specs have been finalised and development work on "new stuff" (improvements) for SnowJapan has now started. You'll see the results of that work sometime later this year.
We just love the cycle of improving SnowJapan every year. :)
Official snow depth information as of Saturday 4th February 2017
Below are details of the planned 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma this season. This information is subject to change due to snow and weather conditions. *** Please note that this section will not be updated every day.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Daily until 19th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 8:50pm. The Chuo Number 1, Chuo Number 2 and Kanko Number 3 Express lifts are open daily. The Kanko Number 1 Express lift, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift and Hatsukaishi Number 2 pair lifts are also open on weekends and holidays.
Iwappara Daily until 20th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays. The Main course, Grand course and West courses are open during nighta.
Joetsu Kokusai Daily until 20th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm. The area in front of the main base hotel is open for nighta.
Kandatsu Kogen 'Hobo All Night' ('Almost All Night') is on Fridays, Saturdays and nights before holidays until 1st April 2017. The nighta opening times on those days is from 6pm until 4am the following morning.
Maiko Snow Resort Daily until 19th March 2017. Nighta is from 4pm until 8pm. The Maiko center quad lift on the Maiko Side of the resort operates for nighta.
Naeba Daily until 26th March 2017. Nighta is from 4pm until 8:30pm.
NASPA Ski Garden 'Thanks' (extended) opening on Saturdays in January and February. On those days the Number 1 lift is open until 6pm.
Yuzawa Nakazato Every Saturday until 11th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 8:30pm. The Number 2 pair lift operates during nighta. Read more ...
Saturday 4th February 2017, 8:48am
Cloud, some blue sky
Good morning from Grandeco.
Some cloud but mostly blue skies this morning. Oh yes, and 10cm of fresh snow overnight. Nice.
The courses are perfectly groomed after the snowfall last night and looking in great shape.
According to the forecast, there is a chance of rain tomorrow night but hope to be snow - or at least quickly change into snow.
Peak powder season at the moment. Don't miss them if at all possible!
Snow Park Information:
[E-Park] Waves, bank, 7m kicker, 8m kicker
[Decoboco-Park] 6m straight wide box, 6m straight box, wave, volcano, drum can, 6m straight box, 8m straight rail, 6m arch box, 3m table top, 5m table top and bank
- Gondola - Number 1 quad lift - Number 2 quad lift - Number 3 quad lift - Number 4 quad lift
All courses now open
Official snow depth: 250cm
Road Condition to Grandeco: Inawashiro through Goshikinuma: icy Goshukinuma through Grandeco: snow Read more ...
Saturday 4th February 2017, 8:56am
Clear and sunny
It's a beautiful morning here in Madarao.
Fine conditions, great weather... not much more to add to that this morning. It should be a great day.
Next snow due as we go into Monday though it looks like we might get a bit of rain before it turns into snow sometime later tomorrow. Check the forecast page for the latest on that.
In the meantime, hope you can make it here today.
Operating status for the day at Madarao Kogen (at time of report):
- Number 1 lift - Number 2 quad lift - Number 3A lift - Number 5 lift - Super quad lift - Number 11 lift - Number 12 lift - Number 13 lift - Number 15 lift - Moving walkway - Kids Park - Free Ride Park - Snow Mobile Land
- Powder Wave I - Powder Wave II - River Line - Powder Theater - Adventure Aisle - Crystal Bowl - Ninja - Sawa - Rabbit - Kamoshika - Bear
- Nighta at Madarao Kogen is every Saturday until 25th March (and also 8th January and 19th March)
I was just reading the Madarao report and basically it's the same here... sunny, blue skies above the region.
Crisp start to the day but the sun is going to warm things up a bit. Hopefully by not too much.
There's snow on the forecast from Monday onwards; tomorrow looks like it might be borderline rain/sleet in the afternoon before turning into snow, at least at base. Up top it will likely be straight into the snow.
Today should be the pick of the weekend though and lots of people seem to be thinking the same - looks like it's going to be busy today.
Woke up to cloudy skies , some very light snowfall and a temperature of -4. It should brighten up in the afternoon with the sun hopefully peeking out occasionally. Temperatures and winds fairly stable in the -4 to 6 zone at the base. Obviously the summit will be a little colder due to the wind chill factor. Expect it to feel like-17.
Yesterday was a bit of a let down as the winds shut down the main gondola and the biggest upset was no access to Mt. Nishimori, especially after the 4 days of constant snowfall here. Rest assured its now OPEN so get you powder skis out and get up there. Lets just hope the wind won’t dampen the experience.
As for the next few days we can expect temperatures to slightly increase and late Sunday and into tomorrow more snow….Maybe 30cm which we all like to see.
It’s going to be a busy day!
Planned operating lifts at time of report (subject to change due to weather conditions):
Appi Gondola Central quad Central number 2 Central number 3a Central number 4 Central number 5 Central number 6 Sailer Gondola Sailer quad Vista quad Nishimori
Furano's snowfall continues to tick over and we have had a further 5cm this morning. I have just been to check the mountain out and at the top of the resort there is closer to 10cm of fresh. In the village it is relatively calm but there is a light breeze on the mountain. It is snowing lightly and looks like it will continue to do so all day. Until 9:00am there was flat light all over the mountain making ground definition challenging, but the thin cloud cover has started to break and let light through, improving visibility considerably. Read more ...
Saturday 4th February 2017, 10:36am
A nice warm sun today; slippery roads making for traffic jams (there was a huge lineup waiting for a slipping front-wheel-drive sedan....or two...at Suginohara). To quote one of my favorite old ski movies, "Get some chains, you cupcake!"
Anyway, it's a very nice day out there, and a good day to get out before the possibility if rain tomorrow. But fear not, snow ahead after that, and yet another odd cycle of our freezing line moving up and down aggressively.
I have a feeling this is the way things will be in our warmer world... I could definitely go off on a political rant here, but this is the snow report, and there still is good snow out there (do all you can to save it!).
Apologies: our reporter still has to be away from Zao temporarily due to personal reasons.
The Zao Now reports will be back to normal as soon as possible.
All lifts apart from the following appear to be operating today:
Paradise Number 3 pair Karamatsu pair
All courses apart from Kotan are open.
Official snow depths (as published by the resort itself): Summit - 120cm Paradise - 210cm Chuo - 210cm Utopia - 160cm Uwanodai - 120cm Yokokura - 130cm
Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time Zao Ropeway operations
Every day until 5th March 2017. Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm. Ropeway return charges are 2,600 yen for adults and 1,300 yen for children. In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled. Read more ...