Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Monday 16th January 2012

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 8:10am on Monday 16th January 2012
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall AT BASE
weather condition
Cloudy and snowing lightly
Base temp:
0°C

Top temp:
0°C
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
-
wind condition
8 m/s
poor
PLEASE READ THIS
This report
Monday 16th January 2012, 8:10am
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Archive report: Posted at 8:10am on Monday 16th January 2012
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

The snow is great out there right now. It has perhaps been a bit heavier than the traditional Japanese powder we think of. It's a great day to explore outside Niseko, including Moiwa, and find some fresh snow. It looks like the peak gate at Hirafu will not be opening, even though the tests we ran yesterday showed a great improvement in stability.

Yesterday we saw large amounts of settling. This means that the snowpack is becoming much more stable. Yesterday, backcountry touring at one of the steeper pitches in the region, we saw absolutely no slab activity. The snowpack was stable and snow was very nice. We skied the North facing aspect, which is the more "dangerous" of the directions, because of wind slabbing. This is not indicative of all North facing aspects. Some may be more windloaded than others.

It's a shame the Hirafu gate will not be open today, but there are plenty of areas to explore. Travel in groups and heed caution, but remember to have fun and enjoy the amazing season we have been having!

Current Official Snow Depths:

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 350cm
Bottom - 185cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 330cm
Bottom - 210cm

Annupuri:
Top - 320cm
Bottom - 200cm

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -10℃, 10cm of crystal snow in the past 12 hours.
Coastal data: NW13m/s at Benkei cape, 2m waves and 1015hPa at Kamui cape.
Annupuri peak anemometer: NW10.8m/s, -16.8℃.
12 hours snowfall transition: The development of snowdrifts is moderate and the snowpack is rounding and stabilizing. 10cm layer of rimed new snow will form Jan 15th in the future snowpack.
Hazard evaluation: The general avalanche hazard above 800m in lowering. Good condition.
Gates opening: Gate 2 (Annupuri peak) is scheduled to open after lift operation. Gate 3 (Hirafu peak) will be closed. Please respect the ski patrol’s instructions.

The gates’ opening decision could be less conservative only if all resort users can step out of bounds without under-evaluating the pointed out dangers. Looking at the current situation, where chaotic traverse tracks across potentially highly hazardous terrains is a common sight; namely Backbowl’s sidewalls (NE of coordinate E6), O-sawa’s cornice slopes (coordinate F5) and around Higashi-One no.3 gully (coordinate H8), there is no choice but being cautious in making the gate’s opening decisions in order to prevent major accidents to happen. Minor accidents are occurring frequently; be conscious, be safe and enjoy your day.

Archive report: Posted at 8:10am on Monday 16th January 2012
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:

Lifts will be open and operating normally.

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