5cm of snow being reported by the resort this morning on the top Yamabiko area -- and as you can see from the images below, there has been a slight dusting down close to the lower Hikage area, less so at Nagasaka.
Early morning visibility is limited up top but we are expecting some clearer skies later on with some sunshine due too.
And then, perhaps a bit more snow once again overnight tonight into early morning tomorrow.
Sunday 5th April 2020
Fresh snowfall recorded by resort since yesterday:
- Yamabiko (1615m): 5cm - Uenotaira (1406m): 0cm - Lower areas are not reporting any more
Official snow depth numbers (reported by resort):
- Yamabiko (1615m): 180cm - Uenotaira (1406m): 90cm - Lower areas are not reporting any more
The following lifts are operating:
- Nagasaka gondola [8:10am until 3:00pm; last one down 3:40pm] - Yamabiko quad [8:30am until 3:20pm] - Yamabiko Number 2 quad [8:25am until 3:30pm] - Uenotaira quad [8:30am until 3:30pm] - Paradise quad [8:30am until 3:20pm]
The following courses remain open:
- Yamabiko A - Yamabiko B - Yamabiko C - Yamabiko D - Yamabiko E - Kogenashi A - Kogenashi B - Uenotaira - Paradise - Bunabayashi (to mid point)
- Ride the Gondola back down to base
About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:
- The Gondola, Barouche, Phaeton, Coach, Victoria and Tilbury lifts are operating - All courses in the Central Area are open - The Broadway, Super Broadway, Swan and Roman Holiday A courses and Snow Park are open in the Northern Area - The Southern Area and downhill course are closed - Official snow depth: 90cm - Planned closing date: 6th May
But this morning it feels more like winter again --- and I even have a few cm of snow to report.
Today is the last day of the season for Minowa.
From tomorrow Grandeco will be closed but will re-open on 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th April when they plan to have their Gondola and Number 3 quad lift operating.
That means that tomorrow only Nekoma plans to be open.
Grandeco Snow Resort: - 4 (of 5) lifts operating - 10 (of 13) courses open - Official snow depth: 150cm - After today, only open on 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th April - Closed on other days
Hoshino Resort Urabandai Nekoma: - 5 (of 6) lifts operating - 13 (of 15) courses open - The walk course connecting Nekoma with the top of Alts Bandai is open today - Official snow depth: 120cm (top) - Plans to be open until 6th May
MinowaMinowa: - C lift operating - Official snow depth: 70cm - Today is the last day of the season for Minowa
- Grandeco - Minowa - Nekoma
About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:
There is a lot of cloud around this morning, with some blue sky on show looking out towards Mt Yotei.
I wonder if we might get a sprinkling (or more) of snow into tomorrow morning, as some forecasts show.
Niseko Grand Hirafu are particularly good at updating their 'available course' information each day. So I have added a note to the Hirafu info below noting which courses are closed/open. I will check that information and update as necessary each morning.
Niseko Annupuri have a few of the lower course closed - Marchen, Challenge and Fukayuki Rinkan - but you can still ski back down to base over there.
As for Niseko Village - I really cannot find much specific information, which I do find rather curious). And I have not been over there for a while myself. But anyway, it seems like their top Wonderland quad is operating and that you need to get the Gondola back down from up there.
Planned ski resort operation information: Sunday 5th April 2020 Subject to change and weather conditions
Cloudy but quite bright feels like it is going to clear
Good morning from Hakuba.
I bring you news of fresh snow this morning.
This morning both Hakuba Goryu and Hakuba Happo-one are reporting 5cm of snow on their upper areas.
Hakuba 47 are also actually mentioning 3-5cm of fresh snow on their upper area, but for whatever reason that number has not appeared on the official data - and so that is why it is not in my table below:
The information in this table is data reported by the ski resorts
New snowfall (lower)
New snowfall (upper)
TOTAL ACCUMULATION (UPPER)
Hakuba Cortina [CLOSED]
573cm [at closing]
IMPORTANT: See below for an explanation of the above data
Lower trees on some mountain sides have a bit of a frosted snow dusted look this morning but there's no cm of snow to report from base.
We can perhaps expect some sunshine today - and then maybe a bit more snow overnight.
Today is the last day of the season for the lower Toomi area of Hakuba Goryu and also for the Kashimayari ski area.
Individual ski resort information The below information is checked from official sources and manually adjusted each morning.
About the data in the above ‘snowfall as reported by ski resorts’ table * The table within the above report contains data that is published by individual ski resorts * The data shown is the amount of snowfall that the ski resorts are themselves reporting each 24 hour period on the upper areas of their mountain * The source ‘new snowfall’ data and ‘total accumulation’ data is not updated at the same time * The ‘new snowfall’ data is updated in the morning * The ‘accumulation’ data is apparently updated/refreshed at midnight * That means that there is a time lag between the two numbers being updated * We manually check and update the data just before we publish each Hakuba Now report - so the data in each Hakuba Now report table is what is available at that time * Any odd-looking numbers are due to the source data. We are not responsible for and have no control over the data. We are simply sharing the data with you * Just to be extra clear, unlike our own ‘observed snowfall’ data from base that we show at the top of each report, the data in the table is not an independent observation by SnowJapan * A more in-depth introduction and explanation can be found in this reportRead more ...
Sunday 5th April 2020, 9:01am
Cloud, but expected to clear up
General message from SnowJapan (added 20th April 2020):
So here we are. It is Sunday 5th April 2020 and the last day of the 2019-2020 season at Naeba.
We are ending the season with the Prince Number 2 Gondola and upper Takenokodaira pair lift operating this morning. You can still slide back down to base on a narrow course back, or choose to get the gondola back down.
What a season is has been. No-one could claim that it has been a classic, but it certainly has been memorable/eventful/challenging. Naeba has done well dealing with less snow than usual and then with the troubling coronavirus situation. There was also the World Cup event in the middle of it all - the first day happened but they had to cancel the second day due to weather conditions.
So a big thank you to all of the staff and everyone involved in keeping things going through it all. They all deserve a period of rest and recharge.
We might not have enjoyed the amount of snow that we usually expect, but that doesn't mean there hasn't been some great days. There has. And I personally am going to try and remember those.
If you came to Naeba I hope that you were able to come when conditions were good and enjoyed your time here.
Let us hope that for the 2020-2021 season we can get back to something more like 'normal'.
Thank you for reading. Take care. And bai-bai.
PS: The Dragondola plans to be operating for the spring sightseeing season from 25th April until 31st May.
SnowJapan will add a further general message to this report sometime in the coming weeks. Read more ...
Sunday 5th April 2020, 9:17am
Snow is falling in Myoko. A fittingly odd end to a really perplexing season.
I'm calling this the last day of the 2019-2020, super-low-snow then hit us with a pandemic season. Lotte Arai says it's staying open until May 6, Seki Onsen in unclear about current conditions and plans from now on (but nothing new there), but everyone else is closing today.
The worst snow in anyone's memory. This is how this year will be remembered. We all hope it's a fluke, but lots of locals also privately worry if this is the trend of things to come. Not to be negative, dear readers, but we do think about it. Probably should, too! We might have a crazy heavy year next season; they say that can be one of the results of climate change, too. We hope for more, of course!
Myoko is a place defined by the snow. It's still a great place in the non-snow times, but.... just seems sad without the huge snow walls and the daily struggle to clear out the massive falls just so we can get out of the driveway.
It wasn't terrible on the resorts. There was good snow on many days. There were a lot of "interesting" terrain features that normally would be buried under deeper snow, but can't complain about that.
The backcountry was pretty bad, with the brush, trees and vines never really covered over enough to allow for good turns. In fact, it was better mid-mountain (where there are more buna, or beech trees, than up high where it's more open. It was nice that we had almost no avalanche risk through the whole season. There simply wasn't enough snow most of the time, and very small cornices above so less risk of them coming down in spring. As long as we don't get complacent. Saying that, too, there are still WAY too many people heading offpiste with no gear whatsoever. It doesn't matter if the avalanche is 10 meters off the runs or a kilometer away: if you don't have the gear or don't know how to use it, you or your friends are in serious trouble. And it has happened.
Myoko really became an "international" resort this year, and I choose that word carefully. I know there are changes that lots of longtime visitors aren't happy about, and I think we'll see a few years of things being in flux as people see yen signs in their eyes, but not the difficulty of running a business here (either because of the heavy snow, or the lack of it this year - who knows how that will affect next year?).
But the mountain is still beautiful, and the local folks still surprise with their kindness and humor, even after close to 30 years here...
And, of course, now we're all hunkered down, masked up, staying two meters apart, not drinking nearly enough saké (and the corona virus hates alcohol, right? We have a duty to disinfect here).
So let's hope for a whole new season next year!
And hope you'll be back here, too, reading these daily rantings and reportings on the Myoko snow. See you somewhere around November 2020 (and I'll add any notes on the remaining resorts, if info does get out).
Akakura Kanko: 110cm, -2° Sky Cable gondola and Hotel No. 3 lift. Last day today.
Akakura Onsen: 100cm, -1° Ginrei area closed; Yodel 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 lifts; Kumado No. 4. Last day today.