Hakuba Now daily snow and weather - Thursday 24th January 2008

Hakuba Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Hakuba & Otari region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 8:32am on Thursday 24th January 2008
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Observed fresh snowfall AT BASE
weather condition
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Top temp:
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
wind condition
Light North-Westerly winds.
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Thursday 24th January 2008, 8:32am
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Archive report: Posted at 8:32am on Thursday 24th January 2008
The latest Hakuba Now report can be found here

Snow started yesterday morning and dumped through the day. Powder all afternoon and tracks were getting filled up while riding the lifts. Fresh tracks every run, can't beat that. About 20 cms of beautiful dry powder on the car in Echoland this morning and about 30 on the van in Wadano this morning...if you're in Hakuba or anywhere near it and reading this slap yourself a couple of times and get out there.

Snow depth will be updated later in the day after reports from ski-fields come in. Snow forecast through today and tomorrow...the next big dump we were waiting for is here.

Backcountry Travel Advisory (same as at January 20th):

Recent low temperatures have not been helping to increase bonding at the interface between the January 12th rain crust and January 14th wind slab. New slab avalanches that have been observed on South and South East aspects in the alpine over the past few days are testament to the poor bonding. Winds at ridge top have been moderate North westerlies and strong enough to continue adding load to those wind slabbed lee slopes. Solar radiation on these Southern slopes is also a concern as snow around rocks, trees and steeper slopes warms up and possibly looses cohesion. Northern aspects will have less accumulated new snow on top of the January 12th rain crust and will be less likely to produce avalanches than southern slopes, but be aware that this will change rapidly with new snow fall also be aware that it will be easier to loose an edge and go for a long uncontrolled slide on top of the exposed rain crust. Clear skies, cool temperatures and calm winds over night will result in surface hoar frost to develop and possibly produce a weak layer under any new snow that may fall over the days coming.

Be very cautious in areas of wind slab, especially in larger terrain features at or above tree line. Constraining your routes to ridges and well supported slopes is the best course of action if traveling in the backcountry. If you have to travel in suspect areas use proper spacing between party members and regroup in safe areas. Be alert for tell tale signs of weak interfaces under the wind slab; Whoomphing, Shooting cracks and hollow sounds from under the hard wind slab while traveling.

Avalanche Hazard:

Alpine: Considerable
Tree Line: Considerable
Below Tree line: Moderate


Late morning:

Today has turned crazy. Huge winds came in, white-outs on the mountain and roads, lifts stopping, gondolas swinging like monkeys in trees. Huge amounts of new snow with waist-deep powder up on Goryu Alps Daira this morning. The new snow isn't bonding well and is slipping everywhere with snow slides down on to cat tracks witnessed on Happo and at Goryu. Early morning was great but a lot of people have called it a day now and gone back to coffee, onsens and DVD's. Be careful if riding of strong winds, getting stuck on stopped lifts, and terrible visibility. Stay safely on-piste; snow is sliding on faces, under trees, everywhere. Goryu gondola is stopped probably for the day.

Temperature is -5 in the valley now but taking wind into account in the low minus tens on top. Snow Base data is from Goryu Patrol as of this morning but doesn't seem at all to represent the amount of snow thats fallen which was probably more in the range of 30 cms at the base and 60 cms plus up top. Happo patrol again today just said heaps of snow strong winds its hard work. As yet unsure how much of that powder will stay on the pistes due to the wind. Expect more exact base data tomorrow morning and again when the storm settles down...for now we're leaving the patrol to worry about people on the mountain. Expect limited lift/gondola operation.

Archive report: Posted at 8:32am on Thursday 24th 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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