Hakuba Now daily snow and weather - Monday 2nd February 2009

Hakuba Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Hakuba & Otari region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 9:54am on Monday 2nd February 2009
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall AT BASE
weather condition
Patchy Cloud
Base temp:

Top temp:
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
wind condition
Moderate NW Winds
This report
Monday 2nd February 2009, 9:54am
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Archive report: Posted at 9:54am on Monday 2nd February 2009
The latest Hakuba Now report can be found here

After a busy weekend and the holiday period coming to an end you can expect to practically have the mountain to yourself today. The slopes are freshly groomed and will be a little icy to begin with, so do be extra careful this morning. However, by mid morning the sun will have warmed that top crust and conditions should be good on the mountain today.

After light snowfall yesterday we are back to fairly clear skies today, with patchy cloud. There will be quite strong wind gusts today and therefore certain lifts towards the top of the mountain might me closed at different points throughout the day.

Snow Stability Information

The heavy rains of Saturday have created a very saturated snowpack that has frozen into a solid ice crust on windward aspects and at higher elevations but is still quite warm in temperature at lower elevations and on leeward aspects.

The rain turned to snow in the late afternoon on Saturday. This snow fell all through the night and all through Sunday and has left the Hakuba area with very variable depths of new snow. Windward areas have been scoured right down to the Febuary 1st rain crust and slopes on the leeward aspects in some locations have collected upwards of 40 cm of new and wind transported snow. This new snow is very low density and much cooler than the rain soaked snow or crust below it and this has created faceting right at the new snow and rain layer interface. These faceting crystals are not allowing for good bonding between the differing snow types and is definite the weak layer in the upper snowpack. Tests at Hakuba Cortina at 1400 meters on Southern and Eastern aspects found easy results in compresion tests‚ hand shear tests and shovel tilt tests as well as a clean and fast Reuch Block 3. All of these tests were done on 35-40 degree lee slopes in open forested start zones. However ski cuts in the same location pruduced only sluffing in the top 10 cm of surface snow. This might have been due to the very soft and moist nature of the rain soaked snow below that seemed to grip the new snow as it was compacted into it. These results would have been very different again had it been solid crust below the new snow and would most likely have slid easier from the ice layer.

Todays fine weather and solar radiation will add load to the low density / rain crust interface and it is probable that natural and human triggered avalanches will occur on loaded leeward aspects as temperatures rise. Wind was steadily blowing from the north west through the night and will have added even greater load to the lee slopes.

Travel Advisory:

Travel in Alpine avalanche terrain especially solar radiated lee slopes is strongly unadvised. Stay to scoured ridges or areas of low snow accumulation or low angled simple terrain away from run out zones. Travel in off piste areas below tree line may also produce avalanches in certain terrain‚ such as; steep convex slopes‚ Solar radiated lee slops especially around rocks and well spaced trees.

Official resort snow depths on 2nd Feb 09:
55cm (Shirakaba)
60cm (Sakka/Kitaone)
205cm (Kurobishi/Usagidaira)
Hakuba Goryu:
95cm (Iimori)
95cm (Toomi)
215cm (Alps daira)
Hakuba 47:
Tsugaike Kogen:
120cm (Kanenonaruoka)
130cm (Maruyama)
215cm (Tsuganomori)
Hakuba Iwatake:
70cm (Shomen)
140cm (Sancho)
Sun Alpina Sanosaka:
Hakuba Minekata:
Hakuba Highland:

Nighta tonight is scheduled at:

Hakuba Goryu (Toomi);
Happo-one (Nakiyama);
Hakuba Cortina Kokusai (Ikenoda)

Archive report: Posted at 9:54am on Monday 2nd February 2009
The latest Hakuba Now report can be found here

Hakuba Now ski lift operation notes:

All resorts are open...check with resorts for details.

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