Another 10cm or so of fresh snowfall here in the Hirafu area since the report yesterday with some nice snow coming down in the afternoon yesterday making for poor visibility on the mountain. But some very nice snow conditions to be found out there.
It looks like it's going to be a milder day today, overnight and into tomorrow - we may even see some rain fall into tomorrow unfortunately.
For now, it's just a cloudy morning with no snow falling.
Temperatures are set to drop considerably in the second part of the week though and hopefully that will bring with it lots of fresh powder.
As the snow continues to gradually build up, we are seeing more of the mountain open up. More of Niseko Grand Hirafu terrain is officially opening from today and it looks like the King area access, lower part of the Kokutai course, Kogen Course, Holiday Course and connecting course are opening up. For the record, Hirafu are now reporting 145cm at peak - which is a fair bit more than the other areas.
Lift operations (at time of writing):
Grand Hirafu: Ace Family Pair Ace Number 3 Pair Ace Number 2 Quad Center Four King Number 3 Triple Swinging Monkey Hirafu Gondola
Hanazono: Hanazono Number 1 lift Hanazono Number 2 lift Hanazono Number 3 lift
Niseko Village: Gondola Community Chair Banzai Chair
It's a beautiful morning here in Nozawa with the sun out. It was cold overnight but there's no new snowfall to report. A high temp of around 8 degrees is forecast for today so it's going to warm up a fair bit, and tomorrow is looking to be mild as well. Less sun and more of a chance of rain tomorrow though.
Once we get past tomorrow (and perhaps Wednesday) though, we are looking at much colder temperatures especially higher up and a run of snowy days. We're all hoping that by the weekend, more of the resort will be able to open up of course.
Monday 9th December 2013:
Official snow depth: Yamabiko - 65cm Base areas - few cm
Lifts Nagasaka Gondola - 8:40am until 3:30pm Yamabiko Four lift - 9am until 3:30pm Yamabiko Number 2 Four lift - 8:55am until 3:40pm
Courses Yamabiko A course - 1300m Yamabiko C course - 850m Yamabiko D course - 1250m Yamabiko E course - 10000m Read more ...
Monday 9th December 2013, 9:12am
Clear and sunny
Blue skies above Hakuba this morning, more silvery blue than deep blue for the moment. But it is another fine day here. No new snow to report.
It was very cold overnight and I see temperatures dropped down to around -4 degrees in the village. They're going to zoom up to around +7 degrees later on today though and tonight should be much milder.
Tomorrow might start off with rain here at base but things are still looking very encouraging mid-week onwards with lots of snow due to be falling on them there hills. I am looking forward to reporting that info to you all!
Hakuba Cortina still planning on opening 14th December, with Hakuba Iwatake planning on 20th December.
Official snow depth numbers and operations (as of 9th December 2013):
Hakuba Goryu Reporting 0cm of fresh snow this morning. Upper - 80cm Iimori - -cm Toomi - -cm Lifts operating: Gondola, Alps Number 1, Alps Number 3. Upper slope area open.
Hakuba 47: Reporting 0cm of fresh snow this morning. Upper - 100cm Lower - 2cm Lifts operating: Gondola, Line A, Line C, Line E. Upper and mid slope area open.
Happo-one: Reporting 0cm of fresh snow this morning Usagidaira - 100cm Nakiyama - -cm Sakka - -cm Lifts operating: Adam Gondola, Alpen Quad, Kurobishi Number 2 quad, Hakuba Kokusai Number 3 pair, Panorama pair. The Gondola is just for getting to and from the open slopes. Upper slopes (excluding top quad lift) area open.
Other resorts planned opening dates: Hakuba Norikura - mid December Cortina - 14th December Hakuba Iwatake - 20th December Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Monday 9th December 2013, 9:25am
About 10cm of snow yesterday morning (which I will note in the new snow this morning for the record), but no new snowfall to report this morning. The roads still have that white icy cover though at the moment.
It was very cold overnight and even this morning resort areas are reporting temps close to -10C.
We're still sitting waiting for that real snowfall to get more of Shiga Kogen open up. This week we will hopefully see that happen with snowmen lined up on all of the local weather forecasts basically from tomorrow through into the weekend.
Resorts that are currently part open (as of Monday 9th December 2013):
Takamagahara: Reporting 30cm snow depth; -2C at 8:30am Takamagahara Number 2 triple lift
Ichinose Family: Reporting 30cm snow depth; -4.3C at 8am Ichinose Number 2 pair lift A/B
Kumanoyu (skiers only): Reporting 30cm snow depth; -9.5C at 8:30am Kumanoyu Number 2 pair lift A/B
Yakebitaiyama: Reporting 40cm snow depth; -8C at 8:30am Yakebitaiyama Number 2 Yakebitaiyama Number 4
Yokoteyama: Reporting 20cm snow depth; -5C at 9am Yokoteyama Number 1 Sky B Yokoteyama Number 2 Sky
Other resort areas remain closed as we wait for snow. Read more ...
Monday 9th December 2013, 9:40am
A bright and sunny morning here in Zao with some lovely blue skies above the mountain. -1C, no wind, all is calm.
That's great, but we want and need snow, so when's it coming Snow Gods? If the forecast is to be believed, perhaps our calls and prayers will be answered in the second half of this week with consistent snowfall forecast. Cold, snowy, windy. That's what we need. (Well, maybe not the wind bit!)
In the meantime, there may not be much snow yet but it's a beautiful day to be out on the mountain.
Official snow depths (9th December 13) Utopia: 45cm Chuo: 50cm Paradise: 40cm Uwanodai: 10cm
Operating lifts (8th December 13) All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating. Chuo Number 1 Pair Zao Paradise Pair lift Utopia Number 1 Pair lift Read more ...
Monday 9th December 2013, 9:48am
Good news from Furano.
Sailer Course is now completely open from top of the roeway, down to the base. The lower course still has a few thin patches but overall the condition is not bad for this time of year and being able to carve turns for a continuous 3.4km is a great feeling.
There was a total of 8cm fresh snow over the weekend.