Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 26th May 2019
Friday 8th April 2016, 6:47am
Probably the last report of the season with Tenjindaira set to close on Monday, April 11th. Unprecedented early finish and there is still plenty of snow up top but the writing is certainly on the wall up here in the mountains after a lean snow year.
Rode the Minakami Vibes bowl on Wednesday and it is still in excellent shape and should remain so throughout the weekend.
Very windy here this morning after lots of rain yesterday.
Weather for the weekend looking good and regarding those forecasts, apparently we can expect La Nina this Winter which is supposedly colder than usual... that sounds good to me!
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.
After the nasty rain we had to endure yesterday, it's happily dry this morning. Cloud around early on but hopefully it'll get less cloudy with a chance of sun later in the day. Early on there's poor visibility up on the upper slopes by the looks of things, that should also improve during the morning.
The heavy rain did not dot help with the maintenance of the snow conditions of course which is a shame, and for example 47 are closing the park today to try and regroup and remake it all.
Onwards we go though, it's definitely been a season where all kinds of 'special effort' have been needed!
The weather over the coming weekend will hopefully be settled with a good chance of sun and temperatures hitting around 15 degrees at village base.
Resort news as of 8:40am on Friday 8th April 2016 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Most courses at Hakuba 47 remain open. Route 4 closed today as they remake the snow park. 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: 110cm Base: 30cm
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: 187cm 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: 105cm 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 open for spring season (note: extra charge required) -- but closed today due to poor weather conditions. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 180cm Maruyama: -cm Kane-no-naru-oka: -cm
Rain yesterday didn't make for a very nice day but thankfully it's just cloudy today and forecast to perhaps clear up more later on this afternoon and into this evening. Sunny skies are expected for tomorrow and for Sunday as well, with high temperatures at base of around 15C forecast and up top around 5C and perhaps a little higher during the day.
Just look how quickly the snow has almost completely disappeared from the Hikage area (photo below). Mad. Still, snow cover still good up top though getting thin in some areas.
Official info at time of writing on Friday 8th April 2016 (subject to change):
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 ...
Friday 8th April 2016, 9:21am
Good morning from Zao.
There's a bit of a wind blowing the trees around here outside my place this morning. It's otherwise a generally cloudy morning and early on already about 6C.
Tomorrow should be sunny but there's a chance of rain on Sunday, so if the forecast is right then Saturday is the pick of the weekend. It looks like it'll remain windy too.
Zao is now 'upper areas only' for skiing and snowboarding as the snow continues to melt and the snow line retreat back up the mountain. Just since my last report it's incredible how quickly lower slopes have seen the snow (in some places almost completely) disappear.
Information as of Friday 8th April 2016 (subject to change)
Planned closing dates of lifts at Zao Onsen (subject to change due to snow conditions)
Open until Sunday 10th April: Mikaeri pair lift (* unconfirmed, weekend only?)
Open until Thursday 5th May (*some not daily): Chuo Number 1 pair lift AB Chuo Number 2 pair lift AB (* Sat/Sun and holidays only) Katakai triple lift (* Sat/Sun and holidays only) Paradise pair AB lift (* Sat/Sun and holidays only) Utopia Number 2 pair lift
The Zao Ropeway, Sky Cable gondola and Chuo Ropeway are all open throughout the year (apart from specific maintenance periods)
Lifts not mentioned in the above list have closed for the season. Read more ...
Friday 8th April 2016, 10:00am
Cloud, some fog
Good morning from Yuzawa.
And it's definitely better than yesterday with dry conditions to start the day but lots of cloud. Whether the sun will appear later on or not we'll just have to wait and see.
Both GALA Yuzawa and Kagura open as planned this morning.
What else is there? Looking to the weekend we can probably expect sunshine and quite warm conditions on both Saturday and Sunday.
Resorts that remain open in Yuzawa on Friday 8th April 2016):
GALA Yuzawa 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 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.
Yesterday we saw a bit of snow try to fall but unfortunately it turned into rain and that has not been kind to the snow on the ground here. It hasn't washed us out, but it certainly has not helped either. I don't have any specific updates on resort news at the moment, with the plans remaining as below.
It's actually pretty cold this morning, and just generally cloudy with fog in places. It might clear later on.
Perhaps we might enjoy some clearer skies and sun for the weekend.
Have a good one wherever you may be.
Planned late season dates for Shiga Kogen resort areas:
Please note that the below dates are all subject to change and of course dependant on snow conditions (and there's less snow than usual this season). We'll try to keep this up-to-date with every new report.
Takamagahara Mammoth The quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only until 28th April).
Tannenomori Okojo The quad lift is closed this week but plans to be operating again on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th April.
Ichinose Family The Ichinose quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Ichinose Number 2 pair B lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May.
Terakoya The Terakoya lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only until 28th April).
Ichinose Diamond The Ichinose Diamond quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only until 28th April).
Okushiga Kogen The Okushiga Kogen Number 6 pair lift plans to be operating until Sunday 24th April. The Okushiga Kogen Number 2 and 3 pair lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Okushiga Kogen Number 4 pair lift plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only until 28th April). The Okushiga Kogen Gondola lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May.
Kumanoyu The Kumanoyu Number 2 pair A and B lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Kumanoyu Number 3 quad lift plans to be operating on 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th April and from 29th April until 8th May.
Yokoteyama & Shibutoge The Yokoteyama Number 1 Sky A and B lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Yokoteyama Number 2 and 3 Sky lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May (and perhaps beyond depending on snow conditions). The Yokoteyama Number 4 pair lift plans to be operating until Thursday 5th May. The Shibutoge lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May (and perhaps beyond depending on snow conditions).
All other areas of Shiga Kogen not mentioned above are now closed.