Hakuba Now daily snow and weather - Saturday 19th January 2008

Hakuba Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Hakuba & Otari region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 8:15am on Saturday 19th January 2008
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall AT BASE
weather condition
Blue sky with a few clouds over the alps
Base temp:
0°C

Top temp:
0°C
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
-
wind condition
Light Northerlies
Excellent.
PLEASE READ THIS
This report
Saturday 19th January 2008, 8:15am
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Thursday 17th January 2008, 8:24am ---
Wednesday 16th January 2008, 10:09am ---
Tuesday 15th January 2008, 8:51am ---
Monday 14th January 2008, 8:28am ---
Sunday 13th January 2008, 9:07am ---
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Archive report: Posted at 8:15am on Saturday 19th January 2008
The latest Hakuba Now report can be found here

Yesterday saw cold temperatures all day with cloud cover in the morning turning into blue skies around lunchtime then snow coming in (very lightly) for a while in the afternoon. More of the white stuff forecast through next week but thats not stopping the Happo snow makers who've been working all night every night for the last week. And no they're not making another nighter-lit half-pipe.

This morning finds us with a blue sky with a few clouds hovering around 2000m and cold temperatures. A dusting of snow in the valley with 5 cms or so up top but not enough to affect today's base level. Nice day for getting some groomers.

Backcountry Travel Advisory as per January 15th:

There has been a lot happening in the mountains lately. We had rain to 2400 meters through the night on January 11th that turned to snow on the morning of January 12th. That snow fell hard in the AM and tappered off in the afternoon. Cool temperatures through the night of the 12th made everything crisp and turned the rain layer into a hard ice crust. The morning of the 13th brought strong cold winds and more snowfall out of the North West that scoured the Northern slopes and deposited large amounts of wind affected snow on the Soutern slopes. This wind deposited snow rested over the rain crust of the day previous and although bonding faily well at low elevation below tree line the wind deposited snow has not been as quick to bond at tree line and in the Alpine areas of the Hakuba Mountains.

Use extreme caution when moving on or under South and South East aspects at tree line and in the alpine as unstable wind slab is present on these slopes. Be aware of solar radiation on these slopes today and temperature increases.

The wind slabs that were created on the 13th remain unstable and are not bonding to the ice crust below them. One large Size 3 avalanche from the peak of Hakuba Norikura Dake was observed and investigated by students on a recent Advanced Avalanche Awareness Course. The crown fracture was an average of 70 cms over a width of 200 meters and ran close to a kilometer to it's run out on the flats of the Tsugaike shizen. There were massive blocks of high density wind slab and debris that was piled 5 meters deep in places. The avalanche is presumed to have happened in the early hours of January 14th.

Field Tests:

Snow profiles showed that the wind slab found on the South Eastern aspects of the Tsugaike area are over-riding a lower density layer of new snow composed of needles and decomposing snow that has started to facet right above the ice crust of Jan. 12th. Moderate; sudden colapse, compression test results were found as well as a Reusch Block 4 on the same Ice crust / new snow interface that reconfirmed the instability of the newly created wind slab.

Clear skies and cool temperatures overnight will have only continued to decrease stability with increased faceting at the ice crust new snow interface.

Forecast:

Be increasingly careful as new snow that is forcasted this week acumulates on north facing wind scoured slopes, that may have a layer of surface hoar on the crust after last nights clear skies, will not be stable and should not be ventured on to with out reasing there stability.

Wind-slabbed south slopes with increased weight of new snow may produce large destructive avalanches and large alpine bowls and non-supported slopes should be avoided.

Avalanche Hazard:

Alpine: Considerable

Tree Line: Moderate

Below Tree Line: Low

Above ratings will decrease with new snow.

Archive report: Posted at 8:15am on Saturday 19th January 2008
The latest Hakuba Now report can be found here

Hakuba Now ski lift operation notes:

Goryu Toomi, Hakuba 47 the Gondola, Happo-One, Tsugaike Kogen, Iwatake, Cortina, Sanosaka, Sun Alpina, open.

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