If you look at the bottom of this page and on the Snowfall Analysis page, you'll notice that we are actually doing rather well this season in terms of snowfall - way better than last year and holding well compared to other recent years too. I think the one big point about this season other than the snowfall has been how it has tended to warm up (and a bit too much rain) between the snow...
Anyway, let's see how March goes. In recent years we have reported between about 40cm and almost 2m of snowfall in the month of March. What kind of March will it be this year?
Back to yesterday, and it was lovely clear skies for most of the day, a bit of cloud appearing in the afternoon. But a fine day weather wise and rather mild. I noticed the temperature by the side of the road in Ishiuchi yesterday afternoon saying +8C.
This morning has also started off with clear sunny skies again with a bit of a generally hazy feel, especially looking towards the sun. Some nice blue contrast going on in some directions.
A high of around +6C forecast for town this afternoon, and they often seem to under-estimate that, so another mild day.
Look for some rain tomorrow, hopefully turning into snow Friday.
It is the 65th Echigo Yuzawa Onsen 'Yuki Matsuri' (Snow Festival) this coming Saturday (3rd March). The festivities start at 6pm on the onsen road of Yuzawa (West Exit of the station) along with a torchlit skiing display and fireworks at 8:40pm.
Would be nice if there's some fresh snow on the ground for that!
Official snow depth information as of Wednesday 1st March 2017
GALA Yuzawa Upper part of $2,600,000 closed today due to avalanche danger. Otherwise open as planned. Official snow depth: 360cm
Below are details of the planned 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma this season. This information is subject to change due to snow and weather conditions. *** Please note that this section will not be updated every day.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Daily until 19th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 8:50pm. The Chuo Number 1, Chuo Number 2 and Kanko Number 3 Express lifts are open daily. The Kanko Number 1 Express lift, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift and Hatsukaishi Number 2 pair lifts are also open on weekends and holidays.
Iwappara Daily until 20th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays. The Main course, Grand course and West courses are open during nighta.
Joetsu Kokusai Daily until 20th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm. The area in front of the main base hotel is open for nighta.
Kandatsu Kogen 'Hobo All Night' ('Almost All Night') is on Fridays, Saturdays and nights before holidays until 1st April 2017. The nighta opening times on those days is from 6pm until 4am the following morning.
Maiko Snow Resort Daily until 19th March 2017. Nighta is from 4pm until 8pm. The Maiko center quad lift on the Maiko Side of the resort operates for nighta.
Naeba Daily until 26th March 2017. Nighta is from 4pm until 8:30pm.
NASPA Ski Garden 'Thanks' (extended) opening on Saturdays in January and February. On those days the Number 1 lift is open until 6pm.
Yuzawa Nakazato Every Saturday until 11th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 8:30pm. The Number 2 pair lift operates during nighta.
After the lovely day that we enjoyed yesterday there's no new snowfall to report this morning of course.
Things are feeling noticeably milder this morning and perhaps we can expect temperatures to rise to around 4C today -- and a bit warmer still tomorrow.
There's a lot more cloud and fog up there today and that's pretty much what is forecast for the day. Looks like some wind up top, along with the foggy conditions and poor visibility, is preventing top lifts from starting up.
Fresh snow is still due to be falling around Friday. I'd love to say it looks like a major dump. But, it doesn't. Still there looks like snow showers lined up after that and into next week too, so let's see.
I plan to write my summary of February and updated season report today so hopefully that will appear in my report tomorrow.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base: -2℃, no snowfall, overcast. Moiwa800m: -3.4℃, SE2.9m/s, no snowfall, foggy. Annupuri1000m: -6℃, S10m/s, no snowfall, 220cm snowpack. Hirafu1250m: -7℃, light breeze, no snowfall, thick fog. Sea of Japan Kamui cape lighthouse: S16m/s, 1018hPa, 1.0m waves.
The temperature is rising as a southerly wind is picking up with the next low-pressure system approaching. The avalanche risk is low this morning. A thick fog is present above 800m and visibility is poor. Gates opening is undecided. As the temperature rises, block avalanches (large surface slab avalanche) risk will rise in south facing steep slopes. Stay away from south facing strictly off-limits areas. Cracks are starting to form in various places and small scale full-depth avalanches may start to occur. Beware of falling in cracks, as they’re hard to see form above.
Resort specific opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Niseko Grand Hirafu The top Ace Number 4 and King Number 4 lifts are on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds and poor visibility.
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. Read more ...
Wednesday 1st March 2017, 8:36am
Sunny, blue sky, some thin cloud
The last day of February was a beauty weather-wise with clear blue skies right through the day.
This morning the sun is out and there's lots of blue sky once again though some thin cloud around as well. Forecast to be another sunny day and for temperatures down at base to rise to around +6C later on so another mild one too (after a cold overnight and chilly early morning).
I would expect some icy conditions early on before the sun gets to work and softening things up.
How about some fresh snow for early March though? Fingers crossed by the end of tomorrow though it might not be cold enough for it to be snow at base (good chance of rain according to some forecasts) but hopefully it'll be snowing top to base on Friday as temperatures drop again.
Resort news as of 8:35am on Wednesday 1st 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: 270cm Base: 130cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth Alps: 320cm Toomi: 170cm Iimori: 115cm
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: 245cm Kurobishi: 305cm Lower: 140cm
Tsugaike Kogen: The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Uma-no-se course is closed. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 370cm Han-no-ki: 360cm Maruyama: 160cm Oya-no-hara: 140cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 140cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. The resort appears to be opening as planned this morning. Official snow depth: Top: 350cm Base: 225cm
Lifts operations: - All lifts operating except: - Yunomine pair (usually closed on weekdays) - Mizunashi triple (usually closed on weekdays) - Challenge pair (usually closed on weekdays) - Utopia pair (usually closed on weekdays)
Courses not open today are: - Grand Prix - Kandahar West Read more ...
Wednesday 1st March 2017, 8:43am
Clear blue sunny skies
March starts off with sunny blue skies, just as February ended really.
It's starting off a bit milder and I think today I'll only be putting one layer under my ski jacket.
Beautiful morning. Sunscreen definitely needed - I saw a few rather red faces yesterday evening.
While I often really enjoy March, it's a difficult one to pin down and know what we're going to get. I hold out for some decent snow deliveries and look forward to snow on Friday - and hoping we can avoid too much rain damage in the lead up to that (from later tomorrow).
Hope you can be here to enjoy things today!
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
Tree runs should be open
- Powder Wave I - Powder Wave II - River Line - Powder Theater - Adventure Aisle - Crystal Bowl - Ninja - Sawa - Rabbit - Kamoshika - Bear
- Nighta at Madarao Kogen is every Saturday until 25th March (and also on 19th March)
Ichinose Family: Every day until 25th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Ichinose Diamond: Every Saturday until 25th March and 19th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Yakebitaiyama: Every Saturday until 4th March (6pm-8pm)
Kumanoyu: Every Saturday until 25th March and 19th March (6:30pm-9pm) Read more ...
Wednesday 1st March 2017, 8:49am
Clear blue skies
Good morning from a chilly Grandeco.
There was no fresh snowfall last night.
It was a sunny day yesterday and the surface of the snow has melted and frozen again overnight, should be a bit icy this morning.
Course conditions will be a little core in the morning and change into wet snow in the afternoon because of the strong sunshine.
It is best to ski on the upper courses beside No.3 and 4 lift in these conditions.
The wind direction has changed from north to south - some forecast say that it will be rain tomorrow but we are hoping for it to be snow.
Snow Park Information:
[Dekodaira E park] 9m kicker and 9m kicker.
[Deokoboko park] 6m straight wide box, 6m down box, 6m straight rail, box, 6m straight box, box, 6m carve box, 6m arch box, deco-barrel,3m table top and 5m table top.
- Gondola - Number 1 quad lift - Number 2 quad lift - Number 3 quad lift - Number 4 quad lift
All courses now open
Official snow depth: 280cm
Road Condition to Grandeco: Inawashiro through Goshikinuma: dry Goshukinuma through Grandeco: dry, icy in parts Read more ...
Wednesday 1st March 2017, 8:56am
Weather looks remarkably similar to yesterday with clear blue skies and a blazing sun in the sky. The forecast however looks pretty good; snow showers this evening, moderate snow at Tenjin tomorrow night and Friday throughout the day before turning blue for the weekend.
Temps at 1500m to stay below zero from tomorrow night so lets hope the JMA are on the money!
0cm Tenjin 0cm Hodaigi 0cm Okutone
Temps at 8am
Official snow depth:
390cm Tenjin 260cm Hodaigi 260cm 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 ...
Wednesday 1st March 2017, 9:07am
The early morning temperatures that were recorded by the resort are wintery, and what would be expected at this time of year, but the day has warmed up significantly already and we are heading towards temperatures that will be well into positive territory today.
There is a thin layer of high cloud above the resort which is letting the sun penetrate and I think this cloud layer will lift later in the morning. There is now new snow to report.
Looking back at Feburary we had snow on 17 out of 28 days, and a total snow fall of 132cm for the month. For Feburary the year before (Feb 2016), it was a big year for snow and there was snow on 26 out of 29 days!
More lovely weather is starting the month of March off here in Zao.
Blue skies, sunny, calm. A cold start but going to warm up during the day again.
The forecast is still showing a return to snow later tomorrow and into Friday though temperatures aren't going to be too cold and there might be a chance of rain at base village level. Hopefully we'll avoid that. Snow showers dotted along the forecast over the weekend too, but nothing major.
Anyway time to get up there and say hi to the monsters. They won't be with us much longer!
All lifts apart from the following appear to be operating today:
Paradise Number 3 pair Karamatsu pair
All courses apart from Kotan should be open.
Official snow depths (as published by the resort itself): Summit - 145cm Paradise - 220cm Chuo - 220cm Utopia - 170cm Uwanodai - 130cm Yokokura - 145cm
Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time Zao Ropeway operations
Every day until 5th March 2017. Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm. Ropeway return charges are 2,600 yen for adults and 1,300 yen for children. In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled. Read more ...
Appi Kogen Now!
Wednesday 1st March 2017, 11:10am
Mostly blue skies
Hello from Appi,
Another wonderful sunny morning here at Appi with little if any wind. Temperatures are around -2 right now outside. Most of the day should remain like this with the clouds rolling in perhaps late in the afternoon. Tomorrow we will get a slight rise in temperature and it may make it up to 2 or 3 degrees but fortunately no rain is in the forecast so at least we can be thankful for that.
Friday and Saturday will see another dip into the minus zones with a few cm of snow heading our way.
Sunscreen on and get out there.
Planned operating lifts at time of report (subject to change due to weather conditions):
Appi Gondola Central quad Central number 2 Central number 3a Central number 4 Central number 5 Central number 6 Sailer Gondola Sailer quad Vista quad Nishimori
I see that I hit the button and I didn't get it out.... OK, try again (and it was not a very exciting day out there, as we move into another cycle).
Sunny and pretty warm during the day; we started out with pure blue skies, but with increasing clouds through the day. Looks like we might see some rain soon before we finally get a little fresh snow. Hopefully a lot! Rain is possible, both today and tomorrow afternoon, but that sudden appearance of the possibility of heavy snow on Friday has us more excited.
We need it in the backcountry; there was some good powder on north faces yesteday, even down low, but things got pretty sunburned and crusty by the end of the day and into today.
People are starting to talk about spring, but I think winter still has a bit more to show us. Come on, March powder!