So up to 35cm of fresh snow on the upper slopes this morning, with Uenotaira area yet to report. (I suspect they may well report more).
I haven't been hearing of any reports of lift or course closings early this morning, but care will be needed with these quickly changing conditions.
It is suitably cold (minus 7 degrees here at base and a very cold indeed minus 14 degrees up top),but has also been very windy overnight. The wind has calmed down a lot though now and actually (and unfortunately) the snow has been easing off - down here anyway - and even some clouds breaking up showing a bit of sky in places.
I'm looking at a few forecasts here now and they are saying different things... cloud for the day, snow showers for the day. Looks like overnight was the peak of what we are getting this time anyway.
Saturday onwards into next week is looking to be rather snowy as well, so things are looking up. Hopefully that mild dry spell is behind us!
The drifts are high, the snow is light. It's hard to tell just how much snow fell overnight around the house, with the high winds last night creating great big snow drifts right in front of the door (of course) and around the car.
But it's nice, light snow today, so that digging out process went pretty painlessly. Much nicer that the heavy slop of just a few days ago (which is now gray ice under the light white).
The forecast was for even higher winds today, so we're staying off the peaks - as tempting as all that fresh is. Some pretty strong gusts earlier, although it's pretty calm at the moment. Looks like the winds might have moved further north.
Yesterday was a great day. Beautiful blue skies, just a few clouds, calm. Lots of goods on offer as well due to the wind of the previous few days keeping lifts closed. Nice.
Just a few cm of new snowfall to report this morning in Hirafu and a cold -11 degrees.
After the clearness of yesterday, we are back to snow and limited visibility this morning and it is snowing again. It was actually much clearer just earlier on this morning, so it just shows how quickly conditions can and do change.
Snowfall forecast for the next few days and it will remain cold. Wrap up well!
Niseko Avalanche Report
Niseko base 6am: -11C, Trace new snow crystals in last 12 hrs. Moiwa 800m: -13C, calm, no significant snowdrift development. Annupuri 1150m: -16C, wind N10m/s. Hirafu 1000m: -16C, some snowdrift development, Northerly wind and snow. Annupuri peak 1308m: -17.4C, wind NNW11.1m/s. Cape Benkei: NNE10m/s, Cape Kamui: wind N7m/s, wave 0.8m, pressure 1008hPa.
From this mornings observations shallow snowdrifts around 1000m East Ridge (HigashiOne) are likely to slide. There has been little snow in the last 12hrs and the surface is not reset, but snow is good. The avalanche risk will increase though the afternoon with the expected increase in wind and snow. 1-2nd Feb frost layer will become notable in snowpack, note the future snowfall transition. Avalanches often occur in windy and snowy conditions. Snow conditions change everyday, snowdrifts develop rapidly on leeward slopes in strong winds and can easily collapse high above you on the mountain. A slope that was good yesterday isn’t necessarily good today. Gate openings yet to be decided. Please follow the patrols advice. Enter the mountains with caution, a few small mistakes and overconfidence is the cause of many accidents. Have a good day, beware frostbite.
Official snow depth numbers and lift news at time of writing:
Good news and not as good news. Which do you want first?
Let's go with the good news. A return to winter! It's a very cold morning in Hakuba. -8C at the moment and not looking likely to get much warmer during the day. We also have new snowfall to report. Not much down here in the village - up to 5cm or so in places - but Goryu is reporting up to 20cm which Hakuba Cortina has the most reported with 40cm of fresh. Nice.
The less good news is that it's also some strong winds this morning, and that is affecting some lift operations at resorts around the valley . At the time of writing here is the lifts I can see as being affected (and not moving), but of course this is subject to change depending on the conditions:
The Gondola at Hakuba 47. Skyline Number 2 pair at Happo-one. Cortina are saying that due to avalanche danger, the Number 4 and 5 pair lifts are closed.
Best to check before getting a ticket as the NNE winds are due to continue for the day.
OK so the snow doesn't look like it is going to continue today leaving us with mostly just cloudy weather. Cloud and cold is what is forecast tomorrow as well but importantly it is going to keep colder which is good to hear.
Later on Friday and through the weekend we are expecting snow to be falling. Hopefully lots of it. We want/need more.
Strong wind is are causing more problems with the top part of Happo and the top of Goryu/47 now closed.
Official snow depth numbers and operations (as of 5th February 2014):
Hakuba Goryu: Reporting 3cm of new snowfall on Toomi and Iimori, 20cm up top. Upper - 280cm Toomi - 155cm Iimori - 125cm
Hakuba 47: Reporting 5cm of new snowfall at base and 10cm up top. Upper - 250cm Lower - 85cm
Happo-one: Reporting 5cm at village area, 8cm of new snowfall at Riesen area. Usagidaira - 205cm Nakiyama - 66cm Sakka - 75cm
This is the kind of report I like writing, especially after all that warm stuff going on over the last week.
Yes, it has been snowing and we got a decent amount too. Strong winds overnight mean it's difficult to put a number on it, but there was over 30cm on my car outside and in places it looks more than that.
Resorts that report numbers are reporting the following as their haul of fresh overnight:
Some of the resorts are adding big chunks of cm to their official snow depths this morning, in the 40cm range. (Though curiously Kagura have got 60cm of fresh but not added any to the official snow depth!)
But you can get the idea.
What's even better is that it is continuing to snow now.
The strong wind is still around and affecting some lifts - particularly up at Kagura it's only open from Mitsumata Ropeway to the Kagura Gondola so with Tashiro completely closed it's only a very limited area open up there. I can't find any other major issues with lifts, though you might expect some to be moving a bit smaller if the wind continues.
Snow forecast to continue through the day and into tomorrow. Perhaps a break from the snow on Friday, but back to snow for the weekend.
It's great to see winter return. If we get a fair bit today as well the slopes should have all got a good refresh.
Might well be. -11 degrees outside my place and I am hearing that up on the top of the resort it has been closing in on -20 degrees!
A few cm of light snowfall to report but it is snowing now and we expect more today and tomorrow. Heavy snow likely over the weekend too as well.
Strong winds as well though at the time of writing it doesn't seem to be closing lifts as far as I can tell.
Official snow depths (5th February 14): Utopia: 245cm Chuo: 195cm Paradise: 225cm Uwanodai: 140cm Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Wednesday 5th February 2014, 10:04am
It's full on winter here this morning. While that might not make for the best of conditions for those here wanting to ski or board, the refresh we are currently getting is most welcome.
Nice light snow is falling heavily (if that makes sense!) at the moment, and a strong wind is blowing it all around as well. Visibility is poor. It's all a bit wild out there. It's as if the Snow Gods are apologising for the lack of snow the last few...!
Some lifts are affected by the wind now and not moving.
Once it calms down, conditions should again be good. But more snow while we're here ok? (Though the forecast says it should ease off fairly quickly, to be back for the weekend).
Official snow depth data, as of Wednesday 5th February 2014, 9am):
Wow...if you thought yesterday was cold then today would have been a shocker with -25c at resort base.
The good news is that the sun was out and it turned into an absolute stunner of a morning with great skiing on packed powder runs. The forecast is looking promising with snow arriving tonight and continuing through until Friday evening.
If you have just arrived in town don't forget that night skiing is on both sides of the mountain until 8pm daily.