It is a cloudy/overcast start to the day here today and temperatures again due to rise to around 9 degrees later on. We may be treated to some sun later according to the forecast but for now it's rather dull and grey.
Maybe some rain later on today and tomorrow as well, with a chance of some snow higher up. I wouldn't be expecting much though, if any. Once that clears up we are forecast to see clearer skies again from Sunday.
Not many people around now, with lots of folk who have been working over the winter now having a bit of time to be able to get out and enjoy some sliding.
Resort specific lift opening news at time of posting:
Resort operations - subject to change due to snow and weather conditions
Niseko Grand Hirafu resort area lift operations: Ace Family Pair - until 10th April Ace Number 2 Center Four Quad Ace Number 3 Pair Ace Number 4 Pair Holiday Number 1 Pair - until 10th April
The resort is going to be 'upgrading' the King Number 3 triple lift in time for next season - as part of this work the Hirafu Gondola, King Number 3 and 4 lifts have all now closed for the season. Niseko Grand Hirafu plans to remain open until Thursday 5th May.
Niseko Annupuri plans to be open until Thursday 5th May with the Gondola, Jumbo 1 and Jumbo 4 lifts operating.
Niseko Village is currently closed but plans to be open again for Golden Week from Friday 29th April until Thursday 5th May.
Resort news as of 8:50am on Thursday 7th April 2016 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Most courses at Hakuba 47 remain open. The lower part of R1 course has now closed - but the resort is still open top to bottom. Beginners are recommended to use the Gondola to get back to base. The Tree Riding Zone is now closed for the season. Official snow depth: Upper: 135cm Base: 35cm
Hakuba Goryu: The top area of Goryu - Panorama, Grand Prix and Super courses - remain open. The lower main Toomi and Iimori areas are now closed - get the Gondola back down to base. Official snow depth Alps: 190cm Toomi: -cm Iimori: -cm
Hakuba Happo-one: The lower areas of the resort - apart from Nakiyama South - are now closed. Upper mountain courses remain open. To get back down from the upper areas either ski down to Nakiyama South (not suitable for beginners) or get the Gondola back to base. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 115cm Nakiyama: 20cm
Tsugaike Kogen: The top Tsuga-no-mori, Upper Han-no-ki and part of Lower Han-no-ki remain open. All lower courses now closed. The top Tsugaike Ropeway is also now open for spring season (note: extra charge required). Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 180cm Maruyama: -cm Kane-no-naru-oka: -cm
Resorts that remain open in the region are Grandeco, Nekoma and Minowa. Nekoma will be closed between 19th-21st and 26th-28 April but these resorts all plan to be open until 5th May ---- whether they can do that or not will totally depend on the snow levels of course, which are less than usual and less than expected. Read more ...
Thursday 7th April 2016, 9:40am
Morning from Yuzawa, and it's not the nicest of mornings.
Rain and wind making it one perhaps best suited to taking a soak in an onsen.
Some strong winds this morning that are affecting operations at Kagura and GALA Yuzawa.
GALA Yuzawa has made the decision to close for the day due to the conditions.
And at the time of writing, the Tashiro area of Kagura is closed for the day as well as the Number 4 and 5 lifts at Kagura.
Kagura is part open though via the Mitsumata Ropeway - just to the Mitsumata Number 3 romance lift. The Kagura Gondola is closed but they will open that up if the winds calm down at all.
Conditions should improve for tomorrow and over the weekend with a return to clearer skies and sunshine.
Resorts that remain open in Yuzawa on Thursday 7th April 2016):
GALA Yuzawa ** CLOSED TODAY due to wind. GALA Yuzawa resort plans to be open until Sunday 8th May. Four of the six courses in the Central Area and one course in the Northern Area currently remain open. The downhill Falcon course back to the Cowabunga base is now closed. Official snow depth: 90cm
Kagura ** nPART CLOSED today due to wind. The Tashiro Ropeway plans to be open until 8th May. The Kagura area via Mitsumata Ropeway plans to be open until 29th May. All areas currently remain open apart from the Gondola east course and the downhill course back to Mitsumata car park which is now closed. Official snow depth: Kagura area - 220cm Tashiro area - 190cm Mitsumata area - 160cm
Resorts that are not listed below are now closed for the season.