Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Friday 20th January 2012

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 7:32am on Friday 20th January 2012
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Friday 20th January 2012, 7:32am
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Archive report: Posted at 7:32am on Friday 20th January 2012
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

There was some bad news today in the ski world. Sarah Burke, who has been in a coma after a serious crash in Park City, Utah, has passed away. She suffered a ruptured vertebral artery, one of the four major arteries supplying blood to the brain. The rupture of this artery led to a severe intracranial hemorrhage, which caused Sarah to go into cardiac arrest on the scene. She was an icon for many and will stay an important figure in the movement of skiing towards the future.

With that said, we are looking at sunshine today and a bit of snow tomorrow here in Niseko. It doesn't look like there will be a lot of snow, but it will be something and a new cover.

After that, Monday and Tuesday will probably be the days that should give us some significant snowfall. For the next few days it might be best to take the chance and save up your energy and check out what Japan has to offer culturally. It's also a good day to get up high on some of the mountains and take a look at the island, which normally is not this clear in January. There are some spectacular sites that don't show themselves for most of the winter.

Current Official Snow Depths:

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 340cm
Bottom - 175cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 330cm
Bottom - 200cm

Top - 335cm
Bottom - 200cm

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -10C;.
Coastal data: SE3m/s at Benkei cape, 0.7m waves and 1029hPa at Kamui cape.
Annupuri peak: NE6.5m/s, -13.5C;.
Snowfall transition: No new snowfall in the past 12 hours, no development of snowdrifts. Surface hoar can be observed due to radiation cooling. Jan 17th to 20th layer will become a notable hoar layer in the future snowpack. The surface has been affected to the NE wind in wind exposed slopes above 800m. Crusts are forming in ridgelines around 1000m.
Hazard evaluation: General avalanche risk is low. However watch out for collapsing crust layer in 1100m Backbowl sidewall area (coordinate E6), it may induce a shallow slab avalanche. Be prudent.
Gates opening: peak gates are scheduled to open at 9:30am.
Caution: Beware of hitting trees. The snow is shallow but good. The groomers condition is excellent.


Evening update:

Today was one of those days where you can really be humbled and happy to be alive. The sun was shining on a beautiful Hokkaido and all the peaks basked in the sunlight. On the Niseko Now photo page you will find a picture I took of Yotei that is one of the better descriptors of how today was.

Some of the lower snow and most S facing snow will have got pretty heavy and sun baked today. After it freezes tonight, it will be rather crusty. We expect tomorrow to be cloudy with a little snow perhaps in the evening, with more snow and dropping temperatures due early in the week on Monday and Tuesday. It does look like the weekend will stay relatively mild.

Taking the day off tomorrow and rest up for Monday and Tuesday might be an idea - if you have that luxury of course! They should both be pretty good out there.

Archive report: Posted at 7:32am on Friday 20th 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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