Snow and weather reports posted on Wednesday 26th February 2020
Saturday 6th February 2010, 7:00am
Blizzard like conditions
Hammering down with snow since mid afternoon yesterday. Falling very heavily and a bit of wind around swirling it all around makes visibility a bit of a challenge. The walk to work was very dreamlike with shades of people up early getting a head start on the shovelling for the day. It is already to the top of your snowboots at valley level Read more ...
Saturday 6th February 2010, 9:45am
Overcast with heavy blowing snow
It is snowing heavily and the wind is blowing pretty hard in Hakuba this morning. A full on blizzard with high gusty winds and lots of snow transport should be expected on all resorts today. Approximately 15-20 cms of new snow overnight and more snow flurries are supposed to continue until tomorrow morning. It was -19 C on the top of Happo One today, so dress warm and be wary of frost bite, especially with the high winds.
Many resorts with exposed lifts on ridges or gondolas will most likely be shut periodically today due to the high winds. As well the visibility above 1500m will be more obscured and limited, might be better to play in the powder in the lower trees today.
Conditions on the resorts in Hakuba today will be powder, chopped powder and groomers (with some fresh on them). Keep warm and enjoy the cold winter storms that mother nature is throwing at us, yippee!
Due to heavy snowfall in the past few days and recent overnight winds the Hakuba mountains are growing more unstable by the hour. Temperatures are cooling and winds at ridge top are Strong to Extreme from the North West hence intense loading on lee slopes as well as cross loading occurring. Increased snow loading adding stress to weak layer at 100128 MFcr (Melt-freeze crust). Probable laminate wind slabs in HST (storm snow) resulting in surface avalanches as well as possible deep slabs sliding on the Melt-freeze crust.
100205, 1245, 1800m, NE aspect Happo; Ochikura, 35 degree slope angle, SB (snowboard) triggered Slab, size 2.5 avalanche, 80cm - 150cm Crown, 50 m propagation, 200m length, MFcr bed surface
Multiple Natural Slab avalanches, size 2 - 3, N & NE aspects in Happo Alpine and treeline area.
Travel not recommended at tree line and above due to High avalanche risk because of High winds and heavy snowfall adding rapid loading on weak buried MFcr (all aspects), creation of cornices and intense wind loading on lee slopes (S & SE aspect). Stay Below treeline on low angle slopes / simple terrain. However; Slope angles less than 30 degrees will be difficult to navigate due to deep snow and therefore travel will be slow and time exposed to possible hazards will increase. Caution is needed in these deep snow areas as if you fall you may not be able to get yourself out especially terrain trap areas like deep gullies and tree wells. Due caution on windward aspects due to creation of wind slab.
It is advisable to enjoy the great powder snow in bounds and stay out of ‘Out Of Bounds’ areas and the back country all together.
Alpine: High Tree Line: High Below Tree Line: Considerable
One word: snow. Hard to tell when you're constantly shoveling, but somewhere around a meter has fallen since yesterday afternoon. The winds that were predicted have so far not materialized, so the lifts appear to be running just fine.
Offpiste, be very careful; the slopes are loaded and sluffs are a certainty. Avoid terrain traps—or even better yet, stay on the slopes for today—there will be powder everywhere!
We have got a lot of new snow in Yuzawa this morning. Iwappara are reporting 80cm. Mitsumata are reporting 70cm (but the official snow depth hasn't changed!). NASPA Ski Garden are reporting 70cm. And I had to move I would say about the same amount of snow off the top of my car as well this morning.
So it's good news in terms of snow. Some very strong winds have come with the snow though and that is affecting resorts in the area. Actually the wind seems to be really very strong for a moment all of a sudden and then it gets calm again.
Gala Yuzawa and Yuzawa Kogen are both closed. At Kagura only the Mitsumata area is closed and only part of Naeba is running as well (gondolas not operating and a few other lifts high up not started yet).
A bit of a wild day out there. The snow and wilds will likely continue throughout today and into tomorrow with perhaps it easing off tomorrow afternoon. The local forecast has anywhere between 40 and 90cm scheduled to fall between 9am this morning and 9am tomorrow morning.
Time for an onsen? Once things calm down a bit though conditions will be back right up there again.
Fanstastic news this morning in that we have at least 50cm of new snow to report since the last report. It is a very cold morning, -10 at the moment, and just a light wind as I write this - but lots and lots of fresh snow to play in. Snow is forecast throughout today and into tomorrow. The organisers of the event tonight (see yesterdays report) might be hoping for the snow to ease off a bit so people can enjoy that to the full.
Meanwhile conditions out on the slopes will be excellent today. Enjoy!
UPDATED PM: Unfortunately due to the stong winds and weather conditions the festival that was planned for tonight has been cancelled.
Regrettably, the 20cm of snow never materialized. We got a few centimeters to be sure, which should freshen up the runs a bit, and make all the cars and roofs blend back in to one very long, white blanket, but it was not the significant snow that we had hoped for. Though there are a few flurries finding their way through the clouds right now, today promises to be mostly cloudy and cold, with little precipitation until the wee early morning hours. After this past week's consistent round of -20 low temperatures, I can hardly believe we were breaking the freezing mark only the week before. Next week should see a bit of a spike as far as warming goes. Not exactly spring-time conditions, but it will be a welcome break from mornings so cold that my car won't start.
Right now the winds are relatively calm, so perhaps you won't feel the -14 chill on your face so much. Today promises the same great runs as always, but please make sure to bundle up and wear a face mask if you can get your hands on one. If you find the cold to be a bit much, there is also a japanese cultural event being held up on the top floor of the Kitanomine Terminal from 6:30 - 8:30 tonight. Fans of bamboo flutes, lion dances, and food in general should not miss out.
Loadsa snow! Thats what we want to hear. Unfortunately, the heavy snow that we have seen in the last 24 hours - starting around early afternoon - is also accompanied by some very strong winds and the day looks set to continue.
Kagura is reporting 70cm of fresh snow while I would say about the same down here in the village though the wind is blowing about a lot so at times it's hard to tell.
The winds are affecting the resorts big time today. Tashiro is closed as is the Dragondola and main Kagura area leaving only the limited Mitsumata area of Kagura resort open this morning. At Naeba the gondolas are not moving and other lifts are on standby (and probably will be for the whole day because of the winds) leaving just part of the resort open mostly the lower part of the mountain as I write this.
It is snowing still and a very cold -7 degrees. I think quite a few people have headed to the hot springs! The snow might ease off tomorrow - in the afternoon?
Once it clears up though we'll be back to top conditions.
Official snow depths haven't moved yet despite the fresh snow, but here they are anyway...
We have a fair amount of fresh powder on the menu this morning. Strong winds are preventing me giving you a definite number, but I'd say that we have had at least 40cm of new snow since last report - perhaps more.
It sure is a mid-winter morning with very cold temperatures of minus double figures (Maruike this morning reporting -14 degrees) and some blizzard like conditions out there with strong winds and the snow blowing about everywhere. Not everyone's cup of tea thats for sure, but for those brave enough to get out there there will be plenty of deep snow to play in.
Having said that because of the conditions some areas are closed today and expect lifts to be running slowly at others. Terakoya and Mammoth seem to be closed as well as Ichinose Family though they are hoping to be moving a bit later on. It also seems that Yokoteyama is not opening yet today... so it's generally limited operations out there at the moment.
The snow will likely continue into tomorrow though perhaps calmer conditions...
Nighta this evening planned at the following resort areas (may be affected by conditions):
- Sun Valley - Ichinose Family - Ichinose Diamond - Kumanoyu
Official resort snow depths as of 6th February 10:
Today is the sort of day we all dream about. Fresh powder and bluebird skies. Doesn't happen all that often in Niseko so you better be up there enjoying it (unlike myself stuck in the office working!). We did get an hour or so of moderate snow earlier this morning but it's cleared up nicely now. With over a metre of fresh snow during this last week with very cold temperatures and at times quite windy with poor visibility to have it culminate on a day like today is pretty special. The only downside is that the peak gates look like remaining closed due to avalanche danger. Still plenty of other terrain out there with fresh tracks to enjoy in the sunshine. It's still cold and quite a few people this last week have suffered from frostbite on exposed skin. Today there is still a reasonable risk of frostbite up high even with the sun out so make sure you cover up. The current sunny break won't last all day with more snow on the way. Currently it is snowing heavily just to the west of the resort and this will move back over us later. Tomorrow will become a lot milder after what has been one of the coldest weeks I've ever experienced here. Temperatures look like getting up to just under freezing at village level. Snow is still forecast though through into Monday. It then looks like a bit of break from the snowfalls mid week before another snow system next weekend.
Current Official Snow Depths:
Grand Hirafu: Top - 320 Bottom - 200
Niseko Village: Top - 370 Bottom - 230
Annupuri: Top - 315 Bottom - 210
Niseko Avalanche Info No.53
Moiwa base 6am: -15℃, 20cm of amorphous snow with crushed hail in the past 12 hours. Coastal data: WNW10m/s at Benkei cape, NE2m/s, 1.3m waves and 1002hp at Kamui cape. Annupuri peak wind: NNW11.8m/s at 6am, recorded SW30m/s during the night. The wind temporarily calmed down but is predicted to pick up later today. The snowdrift development is irregular due to intermittent wind and the low temperature makes the stabilization process slow. According to all data evaluation, possibilities of a 60cm heavy soft slab avalanches are high in 1100m knoll/cornice terrain. Potentially triggered by the irregularity in Feb 5-6th snowdrifts, or the weak lines (or “weak layers” in Japanese experts’ language) within those snowdrifts. Gate 3 (Hirafu peak) and 4 (Fujiwara) will be closed for the sake of all resort users. Gate 2 (Annupuri) and 6 (Moiwa) are scheduled to open at 10:00. However, it is strongly recommended to avoid steep knoll and cornice slopes, better stay in the trees. Peak hike from Annupuri gate will be restricted. Don’t duck rope to ski Mizuno no sawa, participate the educational program or you will have your lift pass confiscated. We strongly demand all skiers and boarders to respect the Niseko Rules.