Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 18th January 2021

Niseko Now!

Saturday 10th March 2012, 6:46am
Weather conditions: Clear, blue skies
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Well it's another clear one out there. Unfortunately we didn't have any new snowfall. As I mentioned last night, yesterday we saw some warm temps and sun. Overall, it was a pretty fun day and a good one to see the Niseko area - lots of people taking photos from the peak of the mountain. Let's keep those fingers crossed for some snow.

The freeze-thaw has made the backcountry extremely variable. It will be fairly safe, but the snow conditions will not be ideal. To get out and look around is fine, but I wouldn't go expecting to find fresh waist deep powder. It's a great day to see though. The visibility looks like it will be great once again.

The forecast hasn't really changed. A couple more days of warm and partly cloudy with some possible snow on Tuesday. Keeping our eyes on that! I hope everyone has a great day.

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 410cm
Bottom - 200cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 450cm
Bottom - 190cm

Top - 480cm
Bottom - 220cm

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: No new snowfall and blue bird sky, -7C. Coastal data: SE2m/s at Benkei cape, 0.2m waves and 1020hPa, Annpuri peak: NE1.5m/s, -11.5C. Annupuri 1000m: 480cm snowdepth.
Snowfall transition: Cold air is flowing in as a high-pressure system is overlaying Hokkaido. The atmospheric pressure gradient is small and the mountain is in a calm weather. The snow condition on top of the crusty March 6th layer depends on the slope's orientation and altitude. The snow above 1000m is re-crystallized dry snow. The temperature remains low and the spring melting is delayed.
Hazard evaluation: The general avalanche risk is low. Beware of collapsing cornices and full depth avalanches in 1200m leeward slopes as the temperature raise. Snowdrifts depth has reached up to 10m depth in certain terrains. Stay away from valley bottoms where avalanches run through. New snow is non-existent, however the piste and off-piste conditions are good. Better not blindly follow other people from the peak. Goshiki onsen is completely away from the resorts and there are no buses that go there. Some slopes are completely frozen, beware of slip-drops. Avalanches from Mar 6th layer are still to be considered in steep slopes as the temperature rises during the day. Refrain from dropping in all at the same time.
Gates: Peak gates are scheduled to open at 9:30am. Ask for the ski patrol's advice before stepping out of the gates. The whole area outside the gates is not within the resorts. Everyone stepping out of the gates must be conscious of the risk they are taking. Have a nice day.   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Saturday 10th March 2012, 7:48am
Weather conditions: Snow, cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
New snow! Yey! How much you ask? Well, officially Kagura say 15cm and Naeba here are saying 10-20cm. That sounds about right, I would say there is at least 10cm on the top of cars this morning. It feels something like winter again and certainly enough to put some smiles on faces and no doubt there will be a rush for the first lifts today like we haven't seen in a few! Not crazy cold currently at -1 degrees at Naeba base and about -5 at the top of Kagura.

It's a bit early to confirm lifts today but I would expect operations to be as close to normal as possible today.

It's still snowing but should ease off later on in the afternoon.

Have fun in the new snow!

Resort Operations, 10th March (subject to change)
Official snow depths

   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Saturday 10th March 2012, 8:15am
Weather conditions: Light snow, cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
I have some snow news to bring you this morning. There is about 10cm or so in town and up to 20cm of new snow on the mountains this morning. It's great to heave that fresh new layer on top of the snow that we had around town and while we always want more it will make a fine start to the weekend. No doubt it will soon get carved up as well, so the early birds will get the goodies today.

It still isn't dipping down to really cold temperatures though - only down to about 0 degrees in town overnight and right now it is +1. Up at Kagura they are saying it was -5 degrees a little earlier on. This probably explains the heavier and wetter than usual quality of the snow. But it's snow!

While light snow is still falling, it is likely to stop during today with just cloudy forecast and then clearer skies tomorrow. Followed by more snow tomorrow night into Monday. That would be good.

Have a fun weekend everyone, wherever you are.

Official resort snow depths @ Saturday 10th March 12, PM:
Mt Naeba:
Kagura - Tashiro:
GALA Yuzawa:
Kandatsu Kogen:
NASPA Ski Garden:
Yuzawa Kogen:
Yuzawa Park:
Yuzawa Nakazato:
Ludens Yuzawa:
Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Centleisure Maiko:
Joetsu Kokusai:
210cm   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Saturday 10th March 2012, 8:30am
Weather conditions: Cloud, light snow
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Good news this morning I'm pleased to be able to report - 10-20cm or so of new snow in Madarao. It's a snow if the heavier and wetter variety than peak season, but it's still new snow and so that's good for me. It is still snowing now but the forecast is for just cloud from this afternoon and so we can expect it to ease off this morning. Taking a look at the forecasts, tomorrow looks like it will bring the sun early on but more snowfall later in the day and into Monday and starting Monday it should feel colder than it is now.

We might have got that new snow but it's only about -1 degree out there this morning.

I'm going to get my kit on now and go enjoy that fresh snow, hope you can too.

Lifts currently operating:
All lifts and runs due to be open today
Official snow depth:
250cm   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Saturday 10th March 2012, 8:48am
Weather conditions: Snow, cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
I'm glad to be able to bring you the good news we were hoping for. Around 20cm or so of new snowfall. The roads are now nice and white and completely covered and everywhere has that bright white cover of fresh snow. Nice. While it's temperature is not mid-winter (right now about minus three here in Maruike), it certainly feels more wintery than it has done for a while.

Forecast? Easing off later perhaps and a clear patch tomorrow but more snow is due from the later part of tomorrow as well, and it also looks like from tomorrow night we will see a return to really cold conditions. Sounds good to me.

Funny, lots of days the official snow depth numbers don't change. We get 20cm of snow and some of them go down! Go figure that one out! :)

Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort area:

- Ichinose Family
- Ichinose Diamond
- Yakebitaiyama
- Kumanoyu

Official resort snow depths as of Saturday 10th March 2012 AM:

Sun Valley:
Ichinose Family:
Ichinose Diamond:
Okushiga Kogen:
220cm   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Saturday 10th March 2012, 8:55am
Weather conditions: Snowing
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Yesterday's optimism was justified: snow is falling and getting stronger as I write! We probably have about 10cm since last night, with the flakes now getting bigger and the fall heavier. It's a bit wet, but we in Myoko appreciate a full-bodied powder (the skiing of champions). Anybody can ski champagne powder; we provide the Shiraz of the snow world (nod to our Australian guests).

No official reports in yet, but I have to get out to play in this stuff for a few hours. Let's say +10cm and growing, although this probably won't figure into the total snowpack that much.

Current Official Snow Depths

Akakura Onsen:

Akakan (Akakura Kanko):


Myoko Suginohara:

Seki Onsen:

Myoko Ski Park:



250cm   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Saturday 10th March 2012, 9:03am
Weather conditions: Snow, cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Good morning. 15-20cm of fresh snow is the good news to bring this morning. It is a colder morning this morning - but still not mid-winter cold, about -3C, but that new snow piled up outside is a joy to see and hopefully there might even be a bit more higher up on the mountain. Good to hear the snow moving machines all out doing their thing as well - always good to get woken up by that kind of noise. This new snowfall should make for some refreshed nice conditions out there this morning.

The snow is still falling and there's not much of a wind, but visibility on most of the mountain isn't so good.

Tomorrow might see clearer skies in the morning but moderate to heavy snow is forecast for tomorrow night and snow on Monday too. Let's hope we get another nice new layer of snow then. Monday and Tuesday should be good.

Oh one thing I meant to mention. During the month of March (only), Zao is offering a new '2 hour afternoon' lift ticket for 2500 yen - valid for 2 hours after 12:30pm.

Official snow depths (10th March 12)
Utopia - 245cm
Chuo - 210cm
Paradise - 245cm
Uwanodai - 160cm

Operating lifts (10th March 12)
All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating.
All the runs at Zao are open.   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Saturday 10th March 2012, 9:25am
Weather conditions: Cloud, snow
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
New snowfall in Hakuba, so a very good morning!

The snow that started yesterday continued overnight and this morning we are greeted to a fresh new coat of winter goodness.

It's a good start to the weekend with some snowfall in the village and more importantly up on the slopes. Resorts around the village are reporting up to 25cm of snow on upper slopes this morning, with 47 top claiming the biggest haul. I'm sure there has been an early rush to get on up out there this morning and enjoy the new snow.

It's just above zero at the moment with a high of about +2 on the forecast, as the snowfall is likely to ease off. It does look that visibility up on the hills has improved over the last hour or so and over the village the clouds seem to be slowly rising to reveal more of the lower slopes, so that is probably starting to happen now.

The forecasts seem to be saying that tomorrow will start off sunny and end up snowy with more decent snowfall lined up for Sunday into Monday. Conditions early in the week should be really nice, if you can make it up to Hakuba then.


Yesterdays snow as it began to fall was of a high density and combined with mild air temperatures and warm melt grains at the surface of snow at low elevation this new storm interface will tend to bond and freeze together. The snow over night was of lower density and of a cooler temperature than the warm dense snow of yesterday and will not be bonding well to the snow below it. This light snow is known as Kami Yuki and snow fall in the Hakuba area may be deeper in the southern mountains than the Otari Mountains in the North. This will change later today as winds and snow change to the general Winter Pattern of snow fall and will begin to fall at greater intensity from the North West. The temperatures will also no doubt rise during the day and cause a Density Sandwich with the light low density Kami Yuki between the layers of higher density snow above and below this light snow.

Remember that at higher elevation the wet melt grains will have frozen into a crust pre the recent storm snow and will also have a week bond at this melt crust / storm snow interface.

Expect stability to decrease during the storm. Expect loose avalanches to run easily fast and far. Take due care in steep terrain and in open areas above creeks tight trees and cliffs. In general avoid areas above terrain traps.

The new snow should begin to settle and bond over the next couple of days but will be very unstable while the snow continues to fall.


Take due caution in the Alpine and stay to supported terrain and watch for hollow sounds / wumpfing and cracking from your skis that indicate wind slab and instability. The storm snow may be over riding past wind slab and thus avalanches in the alpine can be expected to be of greater size and destructive force.


Official snow depths and operations @ Saturday 10th March 2012 AM:

Hakuba Goryu:
15cm of snowfall on upper slopes and 5cm on lower slopes at Goryu this morning. All lifts should be operating (bit of a delay on the gondola and tops lifts early on).
The Hakuba Goryu Snow Festival on Saturday 10th March, including free nighta in Toomi, a talk show, fireworks and other fun stuff.
Official snow depths:
Alps daira - 255cm;
Toomi - 135cm;
Iimori - 95cm

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 is reporting 20-25cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All courses open.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 238cm
Lower - 135cm

Ski lifts/courses:
All lifts apart (apart from Kita One No3 pair) operating today. Central Pair and Happo No1 pair lifts will be operating until Sunday 11th March and after that closed for the season. Most other lifts going through until April and then the gondola and upper lifts until 6th May - all being well with snow.
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira - 180cm;
Sakka - 80cm;
Nakiyama - 70cm.

Tsugaike Kogen:
Official snow depth:
Upper slopes - 250cm
Champion - 190cm

Hakuba Cortina:
Cortina is reporting 10-15cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All lifts moving - a few courses closed early on but hopefully will open later.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 325cm
Lower - 200cm

Hakuba Norikura:
Official snow depth:

Hakuba Iwatake:
Official snow depth:
Upper - 180cm
Lower - 70cm

Hakuba Sanosaka:

Hakuba Minekata:
60cm   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Saturday 10th March 2012, 10:33am
Weather conditions: Sunny/Party Cloudy
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
After a clear and seasonably cold night that took us down to -12, things are starting to warm in the March sun. It's currently -6, but things should warm up to just under the freezing mark by the afternoon. Plenty of sunshine coming through those clouds, so expect things to be a little on the warm side for the day. Winds are light and we shouldn't see much in the way of appreciable snowfall, although an occasional snow shower here and there is never out of the question. Those out on the piste earlier today were saying the quality of snow is excellent, and with weather like this, there's no reason not be out on the mountain.

During March there are race competitions being held on Furano Resort. The following courses are closed for the competitions:

Panorama Course, closed March 5-9
Technical Course, closed March 5-9
Spies Course, closed March 5-11 & 25
Ropeway Course, closed March 5-11
   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Saturday 10th March 2012, 13:23pm
Weather conditions: Snowing Lightly
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
All those late nights dancing and sacrificing brain cells has paid off and after quite a break we have been blessed with 20cm of fresh snow in Nozawa Onsen this morning.

It started yesterday but was pretty much sleet most of the day and just started to settle after dark. My car had about 15cm on top this morning. It was pretty wet down here but should be nice up top. The official report is showing -2 degrees and powder. No one has returned yet so should be pretty sweet.

Race day tomorrow and a few of us are having a run. The Hato Guruma Cup as is known is the fastest person top to bottom. Looking like a sunny start to the day so should be good conditions for all.

More snow coming in behind that too until Tuesday so it looks like we are seeing some March magic creeping into Nozawa.

Current Official Snow Depths Numbers:




Current Lift operations:
All open

Current courses open:
All open
   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Saturday 10th March 2012, 13:41pm
Weather conditions: Overcast / Light Snow
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Bit of wet snow today in Minakami. Overcast in most places with some snow falling higher up or occasional rain down in the valley. A bit of a top up over the last couple of days has refreshed the groomers which are in good condition but a little soft in places.

The forecast for the next few days is still for light snow with the chance of a bit of snow on Sunday and Wednesday.
   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Appi Kogen Now
18th Jan, 10:43
Zao Now
18th Jan, 10:30
Hakuba Now
18th Jan, 10:10
Furano Now
18th Jan, 9:43
Kiroro Now
18th Jan, 9:31
Myoko Now
18th Jan, 9:29am
Madarao Now
18th Jan, 9:28am
Shiga Kogen Now
18th Jan, 9:05
Yuzawa Now
18th Jan, 8:59am
Niseko Now
18th Jan, 8:33
Nozawa Onsen Now
18th Jan, 7:54
Geto Kogen Now
18th Jan, 7:44
Minakami Now
13th Jan, 10:10am
Naeba Now
27th Nov, 11:21am
Aizu Bandai Now
26th Nov, 11:22