Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Saturday 11th February 2012

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 7:58am on Saturday 11th February 2012
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall AT BASE
weather condition
Base temp:

Top temp:
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
wind condition
15 m/ps
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Saturday 11th February 2012, 7:58am
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Archive report: Posted at 7:58am on Saturday 11th February 2012
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Some more snow overnight (15-20cm) put another nice layer over the snow we already got. We're looking at a lot of fresh snow here! Yesterday the lifts had been suspended quite a bit due to wind. Since the lifts weren't operating much, there will be more fresh tracks today. It looks like it is supposed to snow pretty heavily today with some intermittent periods of rest and the occasional hole in the clouds sunshine. However, Monday and Tuesday look like the visibility should be pretty good. That will surely open a gateway into some awesome backcountry conditions.

There are definitely some safety concerns in the backcountry with the amount of wind we got. Some areas may be heavily loaded. The wind will often times load slopes with a more "Slabby" layer. This means that the snow doesn't bond right away and wants to slide off any steeper slope with the given contact of some unlucky human being (or furry woodland creature).

The next few days should be cold enough that the snow will stay good. I would do some resort skiing for now until it settles a bit. If you do want to go out to the backcountry, stick with slopes that are somewhat mellow and still fresh! Glide cracks are everywhere this season compared to past. Skiing over-the-head deep powder and falling 3 meters into a crack is never fun for you or your body. With those things in mind you should probably be heading out the door by now to get the fresh snow that's everywhere out there.

Current Official Snow Depths:

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 395cm
Bottom - 220cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 410cm
Bottom - 240cm

Top - 440cm
Bottom - 230cm

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Mountain base 6am: -9C, 15cm of broken snow crystals in the last 12 hours. 40cm in the last 24 hours.
Benkei Cape NW 14m/s, Kamui Cape wave 2.2m, pressure 1015 hpa, Mountain Peak NW15.4m/s, temp -18.5C
Snowfall: Since yesterday afternoon driving snow has persisted and will continue throughout the day. At 800m elevation snowdrift development is 150cm and unstable.
Hazard Evaluation: Coordinates C4-D5(Moiwa Bowl, Mikaeri Bowl),E6(Back Bowl Sidewall), F5(O-Sawa SE face) and H8(Higashi One) the avalanche risk continues to be HIGH. If an avalanche occurs from the 22 Jan or 4 Feb layer it will be large and devastating. The slab is not stable and a fracture will easily propagate from a weak layer.
Caution: Many accidents occur on leeward slopes when there is wind driven snow. Sometimes its better to wait for conditions on the mountain to improve rather than getting out there and having an accident. The snow in the trees is better today. Above 1100m elevation strong wind and snow will persist today. Keep an eye out for frostbite on you and your partners.
Gates: Peak gates are expected to closed today. Please respect the ski patrols decision. Dont duck the ropes.
Have a safe day.


Late update:

Today was rather windy. It's looking like it may be windy as well tomorrow and mixed weather. The peak gates haven't been opened for a bit and it looks like the trend will continue tomorrow as wind holds steady. We saw the gondola in Niseko Village close for a bit several times today and run on slowed conditions.

Hopefully the wind will die down and temps settle so we can enjoy all the snow that fell. Once it settles, the backcountry will be safer. As of right now there are a lot of conditions making it difficult to travel safely. Visibility, wind loading, buried unstable layers, and general cold temps are all things to consider. Tonight would be a good one to practice your "kampai" and get a little extra sleep in the morning. Hopefully I'll see some of you out and about!

Archive report: Posted at 7:58am on Saturday 11th February 2012
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:

Lifts may be under wind delays today.

Friday 10th February 2012
This report
Saturday 11th February 2012
Sunday 12th February 2012
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