Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 26th May 2019
Monday 12th January 2015, 8:34am
Light snow falling outside now and there's another 20cm of snow outside. The Avalanche Report below says 30cm in Hirafu at 1000m. So another fine delivery of snow.
It doesn't feel too windy to me here, but then again I'm right down in the village. Higher up obviously there's some wind action going on and it's affecting our fun potential this morning again unfortunately...
Yes, weather conditions this morning are preventing the top lifts at all of the four resort areas from opening, so if you want to get between places this morning it's shuttle bus time folks. Probably best just to stick to one area.
Snow and wind are expected pretty much for the day today but it should ease off by opening tomorrow. A break from the snow and some sunshine is a real possibility tomorrow and particularly Wednesday with temperatures getting a little milder as well. Might just be me but it doesn't feel quite as cold this morning - my thermometer says -2 now.
When I started putting this report together a bit earlier it was just snowing lightly. It's coming down a bit heavier just now.
I was talking with a friend yesterday about how long the season is here in Niseko, until early May. So there's just 112 or so more daily morning reports left to put together this season... that thought kept me awake a bit last night! I hope you'll all stay with me through until the end. Though please be warned that we don't get 20cm of fresh snow every day in April. Spring skiing does have it's appeal though, just a different kind.
For those interested in previous seasons, you can check out the Niseko Now archives going back quite a few years. Find them at the bottom of this (and every Niseko Now) page.
Resort specific news at time of writing - subject to change during the day
Niseko Grand Hirafu: King Number 3, King Number 4, Ace Number 4 lifts not moving due to weather conditions. 'Early Morning' lift available daily until 1st February (for 500 yen, Ace Quad Number 2 lift from 8am until 8:20am).
Niseko Hanazono: Top Hanazono Number 3 lift not moving due to weather conditions.
Niseko Village: Niseko Gondola and top Wonderland Chair lift not moving due to weather conditions. 'Early Morning Gondola' available Saturdays and Sundays until February 8th (for 1300 yen, Gondola open from 7:30am until 8:30am).
Niseko Annupuri: Annupuri Gondola running at slower speed right now and the top Jumbo Number 4 lift temporarily suspended.
Niseko Avalanche Report
Niseko base 6am: -3C, 20cm snowfall in 12 hours, no development of snowdrifts. Moiwa 800m: -5C, N15m/s, 20cm fresh snow and 50cm of snowdrifts. Annupuri 1150m: -6C, N13m/s, large development of snowdrifts. Hirafu 1000m: -5C, NE15m/s, 30cm snowfall with development of snowdrifts. Coastal data: Benkei cape ENE7m/s, Kamui cape SE3m/s, 1012hPa, 3.4m waves.
A small low-pressure system is passing and warm air is flowing in. The new snow is humid and snowdrifts have developed in various areas. A northerly wind is forecasted to pick up before noon and the avalanche risk will rise accordingly. Looking at the snowfall transition and other observations, potential trigger layer will be the low-pressure snowfall layer of Jan 11th. Gates 2 & 3 will be kept closed. 40cm surface slab avalanches are likely to occur in Osawa cornice slopes, Higashi-One area in the afternoon. Better not venture too far away from the resort today. It is strictly restricted to duck the ropes to access the out of bounds areas. One track under the rope will lead many others to do the same and raise the odds for accidents to happen. Please respect the Niseko Rules. Great snow can be found in the treeruns. The visibility will turn bad during the day, please beware of hitting trees. Have a safe day.
Official snow depth numbers and any notes at time of writing:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 360cm Base - 150cm
Niseko Village: Top - 250cm Base - 160cm
Niseko Annupuri: Top - 230cm Base - 180cm
Lifts open for night skiing (planned):
Niseko Grand Hirafu Ace Family Pair lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift (There is no night skiing at the Hanazono area)
Niseko Village Community Chair and Banzai Chair
Niseko Annupuri Jumbo Number 1 Quad
You can win a professional Full Day Private Tour for up to 3 people on SnowJapan in a special Prize Draw: Full details here
An impressive refresh this morning with 30-45cm of new snowfall being reported by the resort across the mountain.
Snow falling and poor visibility isn't affecting the lifts on this last day of the long weekend though so for those wanting to seek out that fresh and brave the elements it's all there available for you. Just know where you're going, and remember not to do anything daft. Things can very easily go horribly wrong in this kind of condition.
They can also go fantastically right as well, and snow conditions (weather aside!) should be great this morning.
Back to a normal weekday tomorrow.
Of course, we are fast approaching the big event of the year here in Nozawa Onsen... yes, the Dosojin Fire Festival which will climax on Thursday evening. And as the forecast is now we're expecting some fine clear conditions on Thursday.
From tomorrow onwards actually. The snow clouds should pack up and leave by early tomorrow morning, leaving us to a few days of clearer and milder weather conditions.
Fresh snow to report this morning since yesterday:
It's a very good morning from here in Hakuba, with a good 35-40cm or so piled up outside my place this morning.
Resorts around the valley are reporting nice deep fresh layers of snow as well. I've added the numbers where available by the notes for each resort below. Special mention to that 60cm recorded by Hakuba Cortina. No doubt there's more than a few exicted folk experiencing that powder right now as I sit here typing this. I'd prefer to be sat here, of course! ;)
Happo-one clocking in 50cm at Usagidaira. Kashiyamari reporting 50cm. 40cm at Goryu.
They're all good numbers this morning. Must admit, I wasn't expecting them but I'm certainly not complaining as we should be back to full on conditions this morning. Poor visibility in places as well.
Unfortunately stronger winds on mountain are affecting some lifts and I've also added that to the notes below. It goes without saying, that situation may (hopefully) change of course during the day.
Today is the last day of this long 3 day weekend in Japan course, with things settling back to normal once again from tomorrow.
There's a good chance of sunshine as well tomorrow with the clearer weather and milder temperatures forecast to continue through until the end of the week.
Official snow depth numbers and operations at time of writing on Monday 12th January 2015. Subject to change during the day:
Hakuba Goryu: Reporting 40cm of new snowfall at Alps Daira and Toomi. Alps Daira Number 1 lift affected by wind. All courses open except Panorama Course and Adventure Course.
Hakuba 47: Reporting 15cm of snow yesterday on mountain, 20-30cm of fresh snowfall at base this morning, rumoured over 50cm on R4. Looks like resort is all open. Tree Riding Zone is open.
- Upper - 290cm - Lower - 170cm
Happo-one: Reporting 50cm of fresh snowfall at Usagidaira, 30cm at Riesen. Top lifts affected by conditions this morning - Grat Quad, Alpen Quad, Kuroboshi Number 3 Pair, Usagidaira, Kurobishi Number 2 Quad, Skyline Number 2 Pair.
Kashimayari: Reporting 50cm of fresh snowfall. All areas now open. Night skiing every day until 15th March.
Night skiing at resorts in the Hakuba area:
Hakuba Goryu: Toomi area every day until 31st March. 6pm until 9:30pm. Hakuba Happo-one: Nakiyama area every day until mid March. 5pm until 9pm. Hakuba Cortina: Every day until 31st March. 5pm until 8pm. Tsugaike Kogen: Kane-no-naru-oka on Saturdays in January (and 11th); February 7th, 14th. 6pm until 8:50pm. Karamatsu-Shirakaba on Saturdays in January 10th (and 11th); February 7th, 14th, 28th; Saturdays in March. 6pm until 9pm. Kashimayari: Every day until 15th March. 4:30pm until 9:30pm. Read more ...
Monday 12th January 2015, 9:38am
A later report this morning... snow clearing was necessary.
It was snowing for most of the day yesterday, though weaker at times, but we were back to heavier snowfall in the evening and this morning there is another 30cm of fresh snow to report.
Some resorts were really very busy yesterday. I tried to get to Maiko late morning but couldn't get there, the car park was full! There were actually cars waiting in line for people to leave before they could enter. Smaller resorts were getting some people due to that overflow.
Totally personal opninion here, but snow conditions were not quite as good as I was expecting - heavier than I was hoping for. Looks like lighter snow overnight though so I would imagine that conditions are very good this morning. I have no doubt that higher places are totally coming up with the goods though just now.
Well, when they'll open. Unfortunately Tashiro is closed today due to strong winds and it looks like early morning via Mitsumata it's open up until the Kagura Number 1 Romance pair lift. They seem to be saying that the quad may open depending on conditions.
Yesterday I said that the rest of this week we should see lots of sunshine. Current forecasts are disagreeing a bit on that front with some saying more a mix of cloud and even a bit of rain. No, please just no!
I think most people now would like a bit of a break from the snow and a few days of fine and clear skies with some sunshine.
One of the photos posted below today is of the snow just outside our office. That fine looking measuring stick is 3m long and that area is usually totally flat. So as you can see a solid 3m wall of snow.
Nighta 'night skiing' - where some slopes are floodlit for skiing and snowboarding in the evening, is available at the following resorts in the area.
Ishiuchi Maruyama: Every day until 21st March (until 8:50pm) Iwappara: Every day until 22nd March (until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays, 9pm on Saturdays) Joetsu Kokusai: Every day until 22nd March (until 9pm) Kandatsu Kogen: From 23rd January, 'all night' on holidays (6pm or 10pm until 4am the next morning) Maiko Snow Resort: Every day until 14th March (until 8pm) Naeba: Every day until 29th March (until 9pm) NASPA Ski Garden (skiers only): Saturdays until 29th February (until 7pm) Yuzawa Nakazato: Saturdays from 10th January until 14th March (until 8:30pm)
Chateaux Shiozawa also have nighta but only on certain days - no fixed schedule available. Resorts not mentioned above do not operate 'nighta' (or do not plan to have more this season). Some resorts offer tickets that include nighta, others need a special lift ticket.
Today's overcast skies are producing some flat light conditions on the resort, but we are hoping these will improve during the morning. There hasn't been much in the way of snow with around 2cm of accumulation on the slopes, and nothing significant on the forecast for the next few days. It looks like we are in for some good weather from tomorrow through until Friday with some sunshine and only light winds. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Monday 12th January 2015, 10:01am
Cloud, fog, poor visibility
A good layer of new snow overnight and it's really coming down now. Heavy snow, a bit of a wind, poor visibility. Full on winter here this morning.
The people still here for the last day of their long weekend may not be so happy at braving blizzard conditions, but a lot will keep us good for a while.
After today it's all change again with lots of clear fine weather conditions on the forecast.
Resort areas status with official snow depths:
Okushiga Kogen: 180cm Open (note: skiers only resort area)
Yakebitaiyama: 180cm Open
Ichinose Family 140cm Open
Ichinose Yamanokami: 140cm Open
Ichinose Diamond: 140cm Open
Takamagahara Mammoth: 140cm Open
Terakoya: 150cm Open
Higashitateyama: 100cm Open
Giant: 140cm Open
Nishitateyama: 140cm Most open
Happo Bundaraia: 140cm Open
Sun Valley: 110cm Open
Maruike: 110cm Open
Hasuike: 110cm Open
Kumanoyu: 155cm Open (note: skiers only resort area)
Yokoteyama & Shibutoge: 175cm Open except for Jumbo Course.
Planned night floodlit skiing at Shiga Kogen resort areas this season:
Sun Valley: January 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd to March 21st
Maruike: January 10th, 11th
Ichinose Family: Every day until March 29th
Ichinose Diamond: January 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd until March 28th
Yakebitaiyama: January 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd until February 21st
Light snow easing off this morning and fairly decent visibility now. Is that the sun I can just about make out behind some clouds there? And even a bit of blue sky? I think it might be!
We're heading into a break from snow and a spell of more settled and clearer weather conditions from tomorrow and that will likely stretch to the end of the week.
Personally I'm looking forward to hopefully a few days of sun. Just as long as it doesn't warm up too much - and forecasts tell us it shouldn't - conditions should keep and it should be a great week to be in Zao.
Zao Onsen is fully open (though note that the Karamatsu pair lift is closed on weekdays). Weather conditions may affect lifts.
Night skiing operations at Zao this season
Uwanodai area: Daily until 22nd March
Yokokura area: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from until 15th March
Open times from 5pm until 9pm.
Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time ropeway operations
January 2015: 17th-18th, 24th-31st February 2015: Every day 1st-28th
Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm. In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled. Read more ...
Monday 12th January 2015, 10:26am
Cloudy, signs of clearing up a bit
Here I am with a later report this morning. 40cm of fresh snowfall does that. For those of us 'living' here, it needs to be moved, shovelled and all sorts of other things. We need to do that before we can ride it. Hard up aren't we? ;)
So yes. Loads of snow overnight.
Conditions should be excellent on the slopes this morning and it might even be clearing a bit.
Whatever eventually happens today, clearer skies are forecast for tomorrow and generally for the rest of the week as well. Won't be as cold, but shouldn't warm up too much either.
Sounds good to me!
On Saturday 17th, it's time for the Powder Wave Session at Madarao Kogen where you can see some top riders (what the resort says and I have no reason to doubt it!) perform for our entertainment. Powder Wave course will be closed from Tuesday 13th so that they can prepare for the event.
Number 1 lift Number 2 quad lift Number 3A Number 5 Super quad lift Number 11 lift Number 12 lift Number 13 lift Number 15 lift Moving Walkway Kids Park Freeride Park Tree Run Courses should be open today
Night skiing at Madarao is every Saturday until 21st March 2015. ---
A little brighter from time to time, but no sun (and then it gets dark and snowy which we actually prefer)
Sorry, readers, I had a report up - I thought - earlier this morning, but I may have slipped on the submission button. Ah, technology! Never fails to... well, you know.
There is a lot more snow here than there was yesterday. It's hard to tell how much is the real total lately, with a little bit of wind and great big snow walls to kind of confuse things, but at time of snowthrowing early today it was about 60cm. Nice, snow, too, after some heavier/wetter fall over the past few days.
Other than that, things are just going smoothly along in Myoko, my hometown: the snow is falling steadily, the lifts are running smoothly; the mighty snowthrower, a regular part of these reports (and also a regular delayer of them) is just growling along; and all the lifts have been going like clockwork. Not much else to report today!