Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 24th February 2018
Friday 17th March 2017, 7:59am
Lots of cloud but clear to the north and sunny
Morning from Yuzawa.
Yesterday that light snow didn't amount to much though at times and in higher areas it did continue to come down from the sky lightly. No new cm to add to the report though from the day yesterday...
...but there's actually a bit of fresh snow on the ground this morning.
And I see that Kagura are reporting 5-10cm of fresh snowfall and Maiko Snow Resort are reporting 5cm on their upper areas, so again - head high for the fresh!
This morning there's a fair bit of cloud over Yuzawa, but quite a lot of blue sky just to the north where the sun is out. Definitely feels like it might clear up today and the local forecast says that a high of around 4-5C is likely. (Must add that often they seem to "under-estimate" on that score).
Monday is a national holiday in Japan so tomorrow is the first day of a long weekend. Traditionally it's quite busy with quite a lot of folk going to ski 'one last time' before they start thinking about sakura and spring things.
Official snow depth information as of Friday 17th March 2017
Kandatsu Kogen 'Hobo All Night' ('Almost All Night' from 6pm-4am) is on Fridays, Saturdays and nights before holidays until 1st April 2017. Spring nighta (6pm-10pm) on Saturdays and nighta before holidays from 7th April until 22nd April
A curious mix of weather conditions early this morning. Clear. Gas/fog. Light snow.
Which will it be?! I reckon it's going to fairly quickly clear up and the fine weather will prevail.
Not much snow potential on the forecast now over the coming week - rather predominantly clearer skies. If we're not getting snowed on, we might as well have clear skies to enjoy. Just over two weeks left!
Madarao Kogen plans to be open until Sunday 2nd April.
Operating status for the day at Madarao Kogen (at time of report):
- Number 1 lift - Number 2 quad lift - Number 3A lift - Super quad lift - Number 11 lift - Number 12 lift - Number 13 lift - Number 15 lift - Moving walkway - Kids Park - Free Ride Park
- Powder Wave I - Powder Wave II - River Line - Powder Theater - Adventure Aisle - Crystal Bowl - Ninja - Sawa - Rabbit - Kamoshika - Bear
- Nighta at Madarao Kogen on Saturday 18th, Sunday 19th and Saturday 25th March.
And how are you on this lovely Friday morning. All Friday mornings are lovely, aren't they?
As you may well know, Monday is 'Vernal Equinox Day' or spring equinox - and a national holiday. That makes this coming weekend a three day long weekend. I'm sure that won't make much difference with overseas visitors, but there'll probably/maybe be more of the local crowd out on the slopes. Things often get just that bit quieter after this holiday also.
Anyway, so what's happening this morning? Well, there's a dusting of snow on the ground here at base - very much a thin dusting, so no new cm. The Avalanche Report is also reporting just track snow from it's measuring points.
The sun is out and there's lots of blue sky with some cloud. So yes, a lovely Friday morning.
The forecast isn't showing much sign of snowfall so perhaps we should expect none and just be pleasantly surprised if and when we do get some.
As things stand we are expecting generally fine conditions over the weekend.
Oh yes, I just noticed, nighta finishes on Monday. So 4 more days of nighta. (That sounds kind of odd!)
Thanks to everyone reading the reports by the way. I know that most of you have probably already been and gone for the season - or are not even visiting Niseko at all this season - but I am told there are still literally thousands of people reading my reports every day.
Perhaps you are just wondering how I can fill them in each day if there's not much happening! I must admit I have the same thoughts on some mornings, but there almost always seems to be something to talk about!
Whatever, I will continue posting reports every day right through until Sunday 7th May.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Mountain base : -2°, trace new snow. Moiwa 800m: -4.2°, NW3.3m/s, trace no new snow. Annupuri 1150m: -6°, NNW7m/s, trace new snow. Hirafu 1250m, -7°, light winds, no new snow. Coastal data: Kamui Cape: light winds, 1017hPa, wave 1.1m.
With no new snow for the last 5 days snow conditions on the mountain can be described as hard. From observation general avalanche risk is low. All gates are expected to be open. Snow conditions will get softer as temperature rises during the day and riding will get better. With the temperature rising the avalanche risk also increases. Cornices collapsing can start block avalanches, in steeper cliff areas where the snowpack is tending to creep and crack, full depth avalanches are also a possibility. Do not wait in valley bottoms or at the bottom of steep slopes. Do not enter south facing strictly off limits areas. Always follow Niseko Rules to ensure your continued freedom to ride out of bounds.
Resort specific opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Night skiing is planned until Monday 20th March 2017 at the Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Village resort areas. There is no nighta in the Hanazono area.
Planned closing dates Niseko Grand Hirafu plans to be open daily until Sunday 7th May. Niseko Hanazono plans to be open daily until Sunday 2nd April. Niseko Village plans to be open daily until Sunday 2nd April (and then from 28th April until 7th May). Niseko Annupuri plans to be open daily until Sunday 7th May. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Friday 17th March 2017, 8:32am
A few cm of fresh snow on the ground this morning and some pretty impressively large flakes are coming down outside just at the moment here in the Maruike area of Shiga Kogen.
It's actually snowing quite heavily. Looks like mid winter! Cold too. A bit of a surprise really and forecasts don't seem to indicate that it will last long...
Clearer weather for the weekend? Looks likely but let's see.
Monday is a national holiday in Japan, so a long weekend upcoming.
Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:
Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish.
Ichinose Family: Every day until 25th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Ichinose Diamond: Every Saturday until 25th March and 19th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Kumanoyu: Every Saturday until 25th March, and 19th March (6:30pm-9pm) Read more ...
Friday 17th March 2017, 8:38am
The pow is back, there isn't a great deal of it but its been 3 days at least of snow and its starting to build up nicely with very little sun to ruin the party. Overnight they recorded 15cm on mountain.
There is still a rain crust down there underneath but its quite soft and the riding yesterday was really good for mid-March.
Sun is out at my place this morning but looking up towards Tenjin it's still shrouded in cloud and the forecast has light snow and no sun on the horizon...
For the Tokyo desk jockeys, might be worth unpacking the pow sticks and saddling up this weekend!
15cm Tenjin 0cm Hodaigi 0cm Okutone
Temps at 8am
Official snow depth:
405cm Tenjin 250cm Hodaigi 210cm Okutone
Resorts in Minakami (forecasts available from each page):
Please note that the fresh snowfall number being reported on this report is taken from the ‘base area’ of Tenjindaira - which is just by the top station of the Ropeway at that resort. Other snowfall numbers and commentary will be mentioned within each report when available. Read more ...
Friday 17th March 2017, 8:42am
Lots of cloud, some blue sky and sunshine
Hello from Hakuba.
No fresh snow to report this morning but it's a chilly start and it looks like we should be enjoying some fine weather conditions today. At the moment it's a mix of grret and white cloud and blue sky.
And indeed generally calm and fine weather expected through Monday (maybe with a bit of snow here and there on mountain). Let's hope it keeps fairly cold.
Monday is a national holiday in Japan - expect popular places to be busy... early start recommended!
Some lifts may be open until early May (more on that soon), but the days are flying by - we need to enjoy it while we can.
Resort news as of 8:40am on Friday 17th March 2017:
All information as available and subject to change during the day due to weather and snow conditions.
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth Upper: 325cm Base: 165cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth Alps: 300cm Toomi: 150cm Iimori: 105cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall (Riesen quad top). The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 255cm Kurobishi: 320cm Lower: 120cm
Tsugaike Kogen: The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. The Tsugaike Ropeway is now operating for the spring season. (Climbing notices need to be filled in, ropeway charge also applies) Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 355cm Han-no-ki: 350cm Maruyama: 150cm Oya-no-hara: 125cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 130cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth: Top: 360cm Base: 220cm
Planned nighta operations - be sure to check with resorts for latest:
Hakuba Goryu: Planned to be open daily from 6pm until 9:30pm
Tsugaike Kogen: Planned at the Katamatsu-Shirakaba area on March 18th, 19th (6pm until 9pm)
Hakuba Cortina: Planned to be open daily from 5pm until 8pm (until 9pm on Saturdays)
Hakuba Happo-one: Planned to be open daily until 9pm on the Nakiyama area. Read more ...
Friday 17th March 2017, 8:45am
Cloudy some blue skies
Good morning Grandeco and it is a beautiful morning in the area.
2cm of fresh snow covered the courses.
There's some blue skies above and the courses are in good condition - it should be a good day for skiing or boarding.
To enjoy the fresh ungroomed snow, take the Number 4 lift and try the Lavender A course. Hiking up to Mt. Nishidaiten will be also nice today. Don't forget to take GPS, maps, food, water and extra warm clothing (even on a fine day like today).
From tomorrow, we enter the three-day weekend. It will probably get rather busy so an early start is highly recommended if possible. The weather should be cloudy with clearer skies at times.
- Gondola - Number 1 quad lift - Number 2 quad lift - Number 3 quad lift - Number 4 quad lift
All courses now open
Official snow depth: 300cm
Road Condition to Grandeco: Inawashiro through Goshikinuma: icy in parts Goshukinuma through Grandeco: icy in parts Read more ...
Friday 17th March 2017, 8:45am
Morning from Naeba and again the resort is reporting 5-10cm of fresh snow this morning. Hearing that there's some pretty nice conditions out there too on higher elevations. I need to head up there this morning for a first-hand check.
Clearer skies are forecast for the weekend and there's not much in terms of snow potential over the coming week. Perhaps we might get a surprise or two.
Long weekend ahead as Monday is a holiday.
Here's how the rest of the season is planned for Naeba:
- open daily until Sunday 2nd April; - open on weekends and holidays between Saturday 8th April until Sunday 23rd April; - open daily from Saturday 29th April until Sunday 7th May
Nighta will continue daily until Sunday 26th March. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Friday 17th March 2017, 8:49am
Good morning from Nozawa.
Lots of cloud around this morning with earlier light snow now easing off.
Clearer skies are forecast though; if not this morning then later on and over the coming weekend.
Talking about the coming weekend, it's a long one as Monday is a holiday here in Japan.
Probably going to be popular as well with fine weather forecast so expect a lot of people to be here enjoying the mountain.
A bit of snow this morning to report but it's calm and fine now with a mix of cloud and blue skies and the sun casting shadows as the clouds move quickly. Feels like it s going to be a fine day though the chance of some light snow at times remains.
Clearer skies are forecast for the weekend.
It will probably be a busy weekend, it being a 3 day long one - Monday is a national holiday.
Closed for the season: - Paradise Number 3 pair - Diamond Number 1 pair - Karamatsu pair
Course info: Closed for the season: - Kotan
Official snow depths (as published by the resort itself): Summit - 150cm Paradise - 240cm Chuo - 240cm Utopia - 190cm Uwanodai - 130cm Yokokura - 140cm Read more ...
Friday 17th March 2017, 9:54am
Cloudy around the peaks; clear surroundings
Very light snow is falling, and the sun is intermittently shining. Nice way to end the work week (wait a minute, isn't every day a weekend in Myoko?). It looks like snow could be falling a little more heavily high up, while there's still a lot of blue sky showing all around the peaks.
A couple of things end this weekend at Suginohara: Myoko Snowmobile Land, which is a number of trails around the base of the mountain, closes on the 20th, which I have heard (and will need to confirm; can't find it on the website but a friend did) that the Suginohara No. 3 lift will also close on the 20th.
Tiny rant: I can't understand why ski areas close the high lifts early! The snow will hang on longer up there, and there's more interesting terrain up top. It also limits access to the backcountry (or, makes for a much longer hike up to the peaks), which I sometimes wonder could be the real reason. I know some areas are more active than others in discouraging backcountry access, which always seems counterproductive. Real backcountry skiers/boarders aren't the ones getting lost; people going off the lifts are. OK, rant over.
Smile, get out there, enjoy a nice day on the hill!
There was some new snow on the ground this morning. Earlier on clouds were close to the top of the resort, but they have moved higher and have broken up, and it is now mostly clear sky with sunshine. There is a light breeze coming and going. Warm temperatures mean the mountain is spring snow conditions from top to bottom. At the moment the snow is just slightly soft and not slushy, so the skiing is very good. Read more ...
Appi Kogen Now!
Friday 17th March 2017, 11:04am
Clouded over (updated)
Hello from Appi,
A beautiful sunny day here at Appi with clear skies, light and variable winds and a temperature of -2. No snowfall to report over the last few days but at least the snow isn’t melting yet. The next few days should be identical with perhaps a few flakes arriving on Saturday and Sunday. Temperatures stable around -4 on the mountain with winds picking up on Sunday and into Monday.
Overall the resort is in great shape with all runs open. There’s a little morning ice on most of the runs but it relaxes slightly as soon as the sun’s out. It should be a good weekend here with mostly sunny skies.
Since the above report was written earlier this morning, clouds have rolled in and light snow is falling.
Planned operating lifts at time of report (subject to change due to weather conditions):
Appi Gondola Central quad Central number 2 Central number 3b Central number 4 Central number 5 Central number 6 Sailer Gondola Sailer quad Vista quad Nishimori
Official snow depth:
Appi plans to be opening until Sunday 7th May this season Read more ...