Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 19th January 2018
Monday 13th November 2017, 9:04am
Good morning from my base here in Hirafu.
I actually have some snow to add to my report today, but I'll lead up to that with a bit of a look back at what has happened over the last few months...
The first little bits of sprinkly-like snow (?) was seen on the top of Mt Yotei at the end of September. That seems early to me, though I must confess to not being the kind to go overboard with pre-season snow dustings. I have a very long season ahead of me, so I like to keep my excitement for just before the season and then all the way through it!
We have gone through some snaps of wild weather this autumn season. After that typhoon that came through around October 22nd, I had some sleetly-like slush outside my door. It was more snow like a little higher up.
After that the first non-slushy proper snowflakes arrived down here 5th November. Less than 1cm.
As always, the contrast of late autumn colours and the frosting of snow has been just lovely.
Then this last Saturday we had some more wild, windy and rainy weather conditions. Overnight that rain turned into snow. And yesterday morning there was a nice layer of snow on the ground. I measured just under 8cm of snowfall here at base. With the previous slush and dusting, I'm going to add 9cm to the report this morning.
I wonder how much there will have been higher up?
As you can see from the webcam images this morning, there's not much to see lower down now other than some drops of rain with a green background, but there's a layer of snow higher up.
Yesterday was a really beautiful day. Lovely.
It's normal to get excited about the news of snow (of course), but I wouldn't get overly excited into think that ski lifts will suddenly start moving. Best way to think - if the resorts can open on their planned opening dates, that will be a very good thing. Fingers crossed.
And here are those planned opening dates:
Niseko Grand Hirafu: Thursday 23rd November 2017 until Sunday 6th May 2018
Niseko Annupuri: Saturday 25th November 2017 until Sunday 6th May 2018
Niseko Village: Friday 1st December 2017 until Sunday 8th April 2018
Niseko Hanazono: Saturday 2nd December 2017 until Sunday 8th April 2018
Floodlit 'nighta' skiing schedule: Saturday 9th December 2017 until Sunday 18th March 2018
I'll be posting more regular reports from now, and then they'll click into 'daily' once the lifts start moving. Read more ...
Monday 13th November 2017, 10:25am
Fine, just a few clouds
And how was your 'green season'?
I spent my time all over the place, but I'm happy to now be back in Madarao for the upcoming 2017-2018 season and getting ready to get back into the routine of bring you daily reports during the upcoming season.
The autumn months have been beautiful - as always, of course. We have seen a bit of light snow fall. If I am remembering correctly, the first very light snow I had falling here at base was on 30th October, though it didn't end up in any cover at all. Higher mountains in the region have had some snowfall, creating that lovely late autumn-early winter moody look. As you can see from the image below, there's a bit of cover up on the top of Madarao too.
It's a beautiful morning this morning.
So let's look at the planned opening dates for Madarao Kogen and the connecting Tangram Ski Circus.
So we have over a month left before the ski lifts start moving. Some ski hills usually try to open as quickly as possible and often miss their opening dates. These two seem to plan for a (perhaps) more realistic opening date and usually hit it. Hopefully by the time they open, there'll be decent snow cover and things can get off to a great start.
I'll post more updates over the coming weeks with snow news. Once the ski lifts start operating, this report will be updated daily.
Here's to a fantastic 2017-2018 winter season. Hope you spend it with me! Read more ...