Snow and weather reports posted on Thursday 14th December 2017
Geto Kogen Now!
Saturday 2nd December 2017, 7:11am
Fresh snowfall measured at base: 29cm
The snow clouds moved into the region yesterday and it started snowing... and it’s still snowing now with a bit of a moderate wind blowing (though the sun is expected to make an appearance later today).
It’s good and cold, and importantly the snow quality is excellent too - nearly 30cm of it down by base.
Official snow depth
Top: 110cm Base: 40cm
Welcome to our new Geto Kogen Now daily reports section
Geto Kogen is a ski and snowboard resort in Iwate Prefecture in the northern Tohoku region of Honshu, the main island of Japan. It’s known for heavy snowfalls, quality snow and tree run courses. Hopefully we will be able to bring you some good snowy reports through this season.
For more information on Geto Kogen please check out these pages on SnowJapan:
As with all our daily ‘Now’ reports, the bottom line is that they are independent and honest – they are published by us, not by the resort. The new snowfall number is being measured at the base area of the resort.
This is a brand new section involves people new to the process and so it may take a short while for us all to get used to it all. So please bear with us as we get into the gear! Read more ...
Saturday 2nd December 2017, 7:30am
Looks like a good day outside with light overcast skies but the light of the sun visible behind. There is a bit of a breeze but nothing significant and a few light flakes of snow coming down. The temperature is certainly cold at -9c and will gradually increase to around -5c today. Yesterday the top chair on the Furano Zone started so Technical and Panorama course are now accessible. Overnight snow is a very nice 8cm. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Saturday 2nd December 2017, 7:52am
Overnight light snow clearing up
Good morning from Nozawa.
There is a light dusting of snowfall on the ground this morning down to base areas and I'm feeling on the generous side this morning and clocking up 1cm on the report. The resort is reporting another 5cm up on the top Yamabiko area.
The resort has also opened the Uenotaira slopes as well now, so that adds another 2km or so of beginner/intermediate terrain available.
Cloud cover over the mountain early on but things will probably get clearer later on and we are forecast sunshine through the day tomorrow with a high of around 7-8C at base.
Saturday 2nd December 2017
- Nagasaka Gondola (8:40am until 3:30pm) - Yamabiko four lift (9:00am until 3:30pm) - Yamabiko Number 2 lift (8:55am until 3:40pm) - Uenotaira four lift (9:00am until 3:40pm) - * Need to get the gondola back down to base
Planned open courses:
- Yamabiko A - 1,300m - Yamabiko B - 800m - Yamabiko C - 850m - Yamabiko D - 1,250m - Yamabiko E - 1,000m - Yunomine B - Bunabayashi course - 2,500 - Uenotaira - 2000m
And since my report yesterday, nature has been very kind and served us another 12cm of lovely fresh snowfall at base. I am keen to find out how much more there has been on the mountain.
Light snow is falling at the moment. It's cold too.
With all this snow early in the season, we're seeing more terrain open up from today. From today, all four of the main resort areas of Niseko United at are (at least part) - largely? - open, and hopefully we'll be able to ski from one to the other. There's a bunch more lifts doing their thing from this morning and more terrain opening up. It's not entirely clear right now just how much but I'm going out myself and hopefully I'll be able to make the situation clearer tomorrow. Definitely enough to have a fantastic day if you are lucky enough to be here at the moment! See below for an updated list of the planned lift operations.
I believe nearby Niseko Moiwa is also open from today.
Night skiing 'nighta' is scheduled to start for the season from next Saturday at Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri. (Note that there is no nighta at the Hanazono area).
I will post my 'November recap' in my report on Monday. Now that all of the resort areas are open, I'll also do a bit of re-organising with the report.
Oh yes... Forecast: regular snowfall over the coming days. :)
Happy days! I hope that you have a very good Saturday, wherever you are.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am -8℃, 15cm snowfall, Moiwa800m WNW10m/s, -12℃, 30cm snowfall, gradual development of snowdrifts and cornices, light storm, poor visibility. Annupuri1000m W15m/s, 40cm snowfall, developing snowdrifts and cornices. Coastal data Benkei cape NW15m/s, Kamui cape WSW11m/s, 1020hPa, 2.0m waves.
The isobars are spread out and the weather is relatively calm, however snowfall and wind persists above 800m. Snowdrifts and cornices are still slowly developing. No notable fractures in the snowpack were observed during the pressure test in the morning. The snow is generally stable. Many of the avalanche accidents occur during and just after storms. Leeward steep slopes and knoll terrain have slabs of wind-affected unstable snow. These types of slopes are dangerous at all time and can slide with the slightest stimulation.
The snow in the trees is in good shape, however bushes are still thick and out of bounds access from the resort is still restricted. Please be patient and refrain from ducking ropes. The light is weak and bumps are hard to notice, always be cautious, make conservative judgment and come back safe.
A mistake was found in yesterday’s information. Sincere apologies to Doctor Oshiro for misspelling her name.
Have a nice day.
Saturday 2nd December 2017
What's planned to be open today in Niseko (subject to change):
Lifts operating: - Ace Number 3 Pair lift (8:40am until 3:30pm) - Ace Number 2 Center Four quad lift (8:30am until 3:10pm) - Ace Family quad lift (8:30am until 3:30pm) - King Number 3 quad lift (8:40am until 3:30pm) - Hirafu Gondola (8:30am until 3:10pm) - Holiday Number 1 pair lift (8:30am until 3:30pm) - Swinging Monkey (8:40am until 3:00pm)
Lifts operating: - Annupuri Gondola (8:30am until 3:15pm) - Jumbo Number 1 quad lift (8:30am until 4:00pm) - Jumbo Number 2 pair lift (9:00am until 3:15pm) - Dream Number 1 quad lift (9:00am until 4:00pm)
Floodlit 'nighta' skiing schedule: Saturday 9th December 2017 until Sunday 18th March 2018 Read more ...
Saturday 2nd December 2017, 8:42am
Good morning from Hakuba everyone.
Snow started falling in the afternoon yesterday and this morning I am measuring 9cm of fresh snowfall.
Once again in my reports this season, I will be telling you how much that I measure near (Happo-one) base, backed up with other numbers and observations I hear from colleagues. I will also report to you the snowfall numbers that the ski resorts themselves report. I'll make the numbers as clear as I possibly can. Do keep in mind of course that there will be more or less snow in every area. If you are by Hakuba Goryu base, you might well experience different numbers than I measure here at Happo-one; and different still if you are up at Hakuba Cortina. What I can promise you is consistency in what I am reporting.
And of course, I have no control over what the resorts report! And when they report it. (Etc!)
Anyway, enough of the disclaimers! Here's the fresh snowfall reported by the resorts this morning:
- Hakuba 47: 15cm
No other numbers I can find just at the moment but it looks like there should be a nice new layer of snow to play in on upper slopes.
The currently cloudy skies are due to clear as the day goes on, and tomorrow we are expecting sunshine from early on. It should be a very fine day.
And we can look forward to potentially decent snowfall in the first part of the coming week.
Ski resort opening status on Saturday 2nd December 2017:
Click on the 'Forecast' tab at the top of the page for the latest snow and weather forecast for Hakuba Happo-one. Forecasts for individual resorts are available on the respective resort pages within SnowJapan. Read more ...
Saturday 2nd December 2017, 8:54am
Good morning from Grandeco.
There was no snowfall last night but a little snow fall in this morning - unfortunately I can't record any cm of new snow for the report which is a bit disappointing.
The temperature is keeping low though, so that is good for keeping the snow in good condition.
The Number 1 lift will open again this morning so now the gondola and two lifts are operating at Grandeco.
Nekoma opened today with all 6 lifts and 13 courses able to open.
- Gondola - Number 1 lift - Number 2 lift
- Center - Basil - Rainbow 3500 - Lavender B - Connecting route
Minowa and Nekoma are part open. Ura Bandai will open from 15th December. Read more ...
Saturday 2nd December 2017, 9:10am
Cloudy adn snowy
We're in December, the ski area opening official ceremony was held yesterday, and snow is falling. Everything seems to be in order for the month of opening the mountain.
Locals were saying (as the folks from the local shrine whisked us with paper streamers and saké was flowing) that this is the first time in 30+ years that there was snow on the ground for the opening party, I put that partly down to the saké - I remember there was an early opening in November less than 20 years ago - but it's true that snow tends to be iffy right up until Christmas.
So, even if we don't see huge accumulations for a while, don't worry because when it comes, it comes.
It's just after 9am and it looks like the clouds of the early morning might be starting to clear a little. There's even a bit of sunshine starting to break through in places. Just a short while ago though there was some very (very) light snow falling. So, kind of changeable conditions this morning. There is a light dusting of snow in places down in town areas, and there's a fresh thin coating of snow on the lower slopes around town.
This morning Kagura is reporting 3cm of fresh snowfall in the Mitsumata area and 5cm at the Kagura area. From the webcam it looks rather cloudy/foggy still up there though.
One more week to go before the opening of Naeba, the Tashiro area of Kagura. Iwappara and Joetsu Kokusai will also be on stand-by next Saturday... very little snow in those areas at the moment, let's see how things develop over the next week. Keep an eye on the forecasts (top tab and links on the right hand side of this page).
Tomorrow looks set to be mild, clear and sunny.
Have a fun Saturday.
Currently planned opening at Kagura (subject to change):
- Kagura Ropeway - Mitsumata Number 1 quad - Mitsumata Number 3 romance lift - Kagura Gondola - Kagura Number 1 quad - Kagura Number 4 romance lift - Kagura Number 1 romance lift (* operating only on weekends) - Kagura Number 3 romance lift (* operating at busy times)
- Almost all of the runs at Kagura and Mitsumata are open; park items by the Kagura Number 1 romance lift.
Some fresh snow to enjoy yesterday - I'm hearing up to nearly 10cm on the slopes in places - and there's a bit more to report this morning. I am measuring 5cm on the ground and currently it is snowing lightly. Not as much as we thought we might get, but still... all good. Decent visibility this morning too and not much of a wind, so it should be a good morning.
The forecast seems to be pointing to clearer skies in the afternoon. And sunshine tomorrow.
This morning it's the opening ceremony thing going on over at Kumanoyu from 10am. Apparently, some members of AKB48 will be there. I'm not an expert but I don't think they are the 'main' 'leader' members - Team 8, I hear whatever that means - but still fascinatingly exciting stuff. I never thought I would be typing AKB48 in my Shiga Kogen reports!
OK so these areas of Shiga Kogen that are now currently part open:
They're all part open and none of them are 'linked up' as such yes, so it's a case of choose your location and ski. Or indeed, snowboard. Yakebitaiyama have their Number 2 Gondola moving this morning so you can ride down from the top to base.
Snow is still relatively thin on the ground, but there's choice if you want it.
Planned opening dates of other areas of Shiga Kogen
Saturday 9th December 2017: Okushiga Kogen
Early December 2017: Hasuike Ichinose Family Shibutoge Sun Valley Terakoya
It is snowing lightly at the moment and 2cm of fresh snow on the ground. We're not expecting it to last the day with things likely to clear up to some degree and be followed by clearer skies tomorrow as well as sunshine. Should be a very nice Sunday.
With those expectations rising though, we all want more snow and lots of it to get things kicking off proper. Looks like snow is on the forecast for the first part of next week, so let's see how that develops.
You can keep up to date with the forecast using that big blue tab at the top of this page.
Operating lifts: - Chuo Number 1 pair lift - Chuo Number 2 pair lift - Zao Ropeway - Zao Chuo Ropeway - Sky Cable
Floodlit night skiing for the 2017-2018 season is planned as follows:
In the Uwanodai area: Daily from Saturday 23rd December 2017 until Sunday 4th March 2018 Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 9th March until Sunday 18th March 2018.
In the Yokokura area: Daily from Saturday 23rd December 2017 until Monday 8th January 2018 Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 12th January until Sunday 18th February 2018. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 2nd March until Sunday 11th March 2018.
Night time 'light up' sightseeing ropeway is planned for the following dates:
December 2017: 23rd-24th, 29th-31st January 2018: 1st-7th, 13th-14th, 20th-21st, 27th-31st February 2018: every day March 2018: 1st-4th Read more ...
Appi Kogen Now!
Saturday 2nd December 2017, 9:47am
Clouds clearing up during morning
PLEASE NOTE: We are currently - and unavoidably - unable to post our regular reports at the moment. In the meantime we will be doing our best to cover and bring you news from Appi Kogen. Hopefully we will be able to get back to normal reporting back soon. Thank you for your understanding.
Good morning from Appi.
More snow to report from Appi - just under 10cm yesterday and another 15cm this morning, so 24cm being added to the report this morning. Really nice quality snow too.
Today is the first proper day of the season here and they have 6 lifts planned to be operating, though it looks like the Gondola and top lifts are on hold at the moment due to wind conditions. Hopefully they will be able to get moving.
Once they are all moving, there'll be a decent amount of terrain opening up. And great to see that happening so early in the season.
What's more, the forecast is looking really good. Check it out from the link at the top of the page.
Planned lift operations for 2nd December 2017 (subject to change):
- APPI Gondola - Central quad - Central number 1 lift - Central number 2 lift - Central number 3 lift (A) - Central number 4 lift