Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 18th January 2021

Niseko Now!

Friday 16th March 2012, 6:20am
Weather conditions: Clear
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Good morning, and it's a beautiful one here in Niseko. It's cold with crystal clear skies up to the peak. Local weather is saying a high of 4 today and a high of 6 tomorrow. Six degrees would definitely not be good, but it looks like a strong storm is coming up for the 3 days after that.

Yesterday we saw a bit of snow throughout the day and some clear skies with more snow in the evening. It warmed up in the afternoon and quickly got cold in the early afternoon. It was also very, very windy at the resort in places for the first part of the day as the front moved in.

Please, please keep in mind that none of the new snow we get is going to stick right away. This means that any of the new snow we get (especially on south facing slopes) will immediately slide once weight is put on it. The freeze-thaw layer is now very distinguished since it has had nearly two weeks without proper snow to bond. Other than that the backcountry travel should be good for today and tomorrow. Visibility looks good from here.

If the forecast is right we could see some major snowfall Monday-Wednesday. This would help bring our currently lacking snowfall more to an acceptable one. March has been slow so far. There's still a lot to do and the mountain has people on it, but definitely isn't what you would call crowded.

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 410cm
Bottom - 205cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 450cm
Bottom - 190cm

Top - 480cm
Bottom - 200cm

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -8C, no snowfall and clear sky. Coastal data: NW6m/s at Benkei cape 1.4m waves and 1022hPa at Kamui cape.
Snowfall transition: After the low-pressure system passed a northwesterly wind and snowfall picked up and left snowdrifts to develop in south facing leeward slopes above 700m. Snowdrifts reached up to 50cm thickness in some areas above 1000m. The snowfall calmed down after 9pm yesterday and the newly formed slabs are stabilizing.
Hazard evaluation: Possibilities of 40cm slab avalanche (from Mar 14-15 layer) is present in E6 Backbowl sidewalls, F5 Osawa cornice area, east of G7-9 Higashione area. Although the snowpack is stabilizing caution is required when dropping into avalanche terrain. Spring climax avalanche danger is also rising in the above mentioned areas and E6-7 West ridge-Goshiki area. Do not remain in valley bottoms in order to avoid accidents.
Gates: Peak gates will open at 9:30am. Pay attention to the information at the gates and seek for the ski patrol’s advice.
Caution: Outside the gates is not the resort no more. This info is released in hope to minimize the possibilities of accidents in the out of bounds areas. Anyone using the gates must keep in mind that the mountain will never be 100% safe at anytime. Good overall snow condition, have a nice day.
   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Friday 16th March 2012, 7:38am
Weather conditions: Clear skies
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It is a beautiful early morning here in Yuzawa. Not a cloud to be seen and clear skies - light blue at the moment but the forecast is for a fine and sunny day right through with a high temperature of around +6 degrees later this afternoon.

Only a very slight breeze at the moment and around 0 degrees but later on stronger winds are forecast. Unfortunately it still looks like we are going to get rained on tomorrow but can still look forward to the chance of snow later Sunday into Monday and colder temperatures then.

For now though, should be a very fine day out on the slopes.

Official resort snow depths @ Friday 16th March 12, AM:
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:
220cm   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Friday 16th March 2012, 7:44am
Weather conditions: Sun
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
The sun has most definitely got his/her hat on this morning as bright rays shine down on Naeba. Yesterday snow did kind of continue but it wasn't the kind that brings many cm along with it and there's nothing to show this morning. A cold start but it's going to just be a really fine, clear and sunny day today by the look. Operations at both Naeba and Kagura will surely be as 'normal'.

I almost don't want to mention it but it will probably be raining tomorrow as temperatures rise. We can just hope that it does less, rather than more. After that it should start getting colder again come later Sunday and into next week.

Race you to first tracks!

Resort Operations, 16th March (subject to change)
All courses open apart from Splash Bowl, Takenokoyama No2 course and Mens Slalom course.
Should be open as normal
Official snow depths

   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Friday 16th March 2012, 8:02am
Weather conditions: Sunny and clear
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
And after the snowy start to the day yesterday, conditions cleared up and this morning all of the clouds have disappeared from the region and it's one of those glorious, clear and sunny mornings again. It's kept cold overnight which is good but will probably be a fairly mild day today with the sun.

Less good is the forecast for tomorrow. It looks like many regions are in for rainfall but hopefully up here in Shiga Kogen we can avoid that and what comes down will be snow... but if the forecasts are correct then it is going to be borderline. Looking better for Sunday though or late on Sunday with snow possible into Monday along with colder temperatures.

Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort area:

- Ichinose Family

Official resort snow depths as of Friday 16th March 2012 AM:

Sun Valley:
Ichinose Family:
Ichinose Diamond:
Okushiga Kogen:
240cm   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Friday 16th March 2012, 8:11am
Weather conditions: Clear skies
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Yesterday was a fine day and today also looks set to be a clear and sunny day - less clouds early on than yesterday... in fact I'm not sure that I can see a cloud out there. It's just sunny, blue skies and very bright. Today you do not want to be forgetting your sunglasses and applying that sunscreen!

I was just reading over some of the other Now reports on here and it looks like a similar kind of pattern. Tomorrow is going to get warmer and there's a chance of rain as well as stronger winds. Perhaps snow higher up if we are lucky.

Late Sunday into early Monday though it should be getting colder again and we will probably see some snowfall as well.

For now though, a beautiful good-conditions-spring-like day in Zao.

Official snow depths (16th March 12)
Utopia - 265cm
Chuo - 230cm
Paradise - 265cm
Uwanodai - 180cm

Operating lifts (16th March 12)
All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating.
All the runs at Zao due to be open.   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Friday 16th March 2012, 10:10am
Weather conditions: Perfect
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
After the report was posted yesterday morning the rate of snowfall increased and we were left with 5cm of new snow at village level. There will be significantly more on the ski field as the ground at village level was warm to start with. The mountains are looking beautiful this morning sitting against a deep blue backdrop. There is no wind at base. Overnight the groomers have been busy and it will be a case of perfect corduroy matched by perfect weather today.

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

Spies Course, closed March 25
   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Friday 16th March 2012, 10:41am
Weather conditions: Clear skies
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It's a lovely clear morning in Hakuba. Nice blue skies, a bit hazy looking in some directions and hardly any wind at all with a cold start to the day. Temperatures dipped to about -5 overnight, but it is warming up and it is venturing above zero already mid morning... a high of around 6 degrees is forecast for today. A fine day to be out on the mountains though.

Still looking likely that we'll get rain tomorrow, perhaps even up high though the high temperature may well be similar to what we will see today. Warmer overnight though.

Sunday should be colder with a chance of snow overnight into Monday when temperatures are still looking like they will drop considerably.


Avalanche Danger is Considerable at all elevations.

Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern. Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas.

Take due precaution on steep convex terrain around rocky outcrops and below ridges and cornices.

Take care on southern aspects today as solar radiated slopes will decrease in stability as temperatures rise through the day. Be cautious of pockets of newly wind transported snow around rocks and in steep unsupported gullies on these solar aspects as the rocks will warm quickly.

The snow on the northern aspects is faceted above the rain crust with a soft slab on top that has been slowly stabilising but remains tender in some areas of side loading and areas with large variations in depth of new snow over the crust.

We are still seeing new slab avalanches everyday in the backcountry some of which have been big. Remember that the bigger the slope the bigger potential for large slab avalanches to propagate.
It is still wise to stay to supported slopes and ride one at a time.


Official snow depths and operations @ Friday 16th March 2012 AM:

Hakuba Goryu:
No new snowfall this morning at Goryu. All lifts and runs scheduled to be open today.
Official snow depths:
Alps daira - 270cm;
Toomi - 150cm;
Iimori - 115cm

Hakuba 47:
No new snowfall this morning. All courses open, all lifts except Line D operating.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 242cm
Lower - 158cm

Ski lifts/courses:
All lifts apart from Usagidaira pair, Happo No1 pair, Central pair and Shirakaba No1 pair moving today.
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira - 220cm;
Sakka - 70cm;
Nakiyama - 80cm.

Tsugaike Kogen:
Official snow depth:
Upper slopes - 275cm
Champion - 200cm

Hakuba Cortina:
No new snowfall this morning. All lifts apart from No7 pair moving and all courses open.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 345cm
Lower - 220cm

Hakuba Norikura:
Official snow depth:

Hakuba Iwatake:
Village Side (lower slopes) plan to be open until 1st April (upper slopes open well beyond that date).
Official snow depth:
Upper - 200cm
Lower - 85cm

Hakuba Sanosaka:

Hakuba Minekata:
Now closed for the season   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Friday 16th March 2012, 13:27pm
Weather conditions: Sunny
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Almost need to pinch ourselves at the moment with another great day in Nozawa. Sun is shining through and with the snow we got yesterday we are having a fine day on the slopes.

No wind and no crowds so the lucky few up there are going to be styling. Hope they have their sunglasses and sunscreen!

We are past mid-March now and still have almost a 4-meter base up top and 2.5 meter down the bottom of the resort. Still have great top to bottom skiing over the whole resort.

Looks like that warm spike is still coming for tomorrow and some rain on our party. Just one day then should drop down and more snow expected from Sunday night.

On the events calendar we have the Family Festival tomorrow night on Oyu Dori from 7-9pm with Free Sake and Soup, kids playing the flute and a ski history display.

Then make sure you check out the concert on Tuesday Night the 20th with a cool band from Okinawa a great traditional night at the Nakao Community Hall.

Ma Chan and the band come every year and it is a pretty special night.

Current Official Snow Depths Numbers:




Current Lift operations:
All open

Current courses open:
All open
   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Friday 16th March 2012, 13:48pm
Weather conditions: Clear
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It was back to the spring sunshine in Minakami this morning. With some fresh snow from yesterday night on the ground it was a perfect morning. The cloud is starting to come in now and it isn't feeling quite as warm but still great conditions out there.

It is supposed to be a warmer weekend though there is the possibility of rain tomorrow. The temperatures are due to drop early next week for some light snow on Monday and Tuesday but the sun could be back after that.   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Friday 16th March 2012, 17:31pm
Weather conditions: Clear with some high thin clouds
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
A little bit of a late report today; had to get out and enjoy on this sunny day before the rain comes tomorrow (and it looks like there could be pretty heavy rainfall, too). Good snow on the slopes; some spring stickiness lower down, but not bad at all considering the time of year.

It's time to be careful about cracks, too--lots of eastern slopes have cracked and are sliding. Throw a little fresh snow on top, and it's easy to fall in (and word is that at least one international guest did in fact go up to his shoulders). As things get warm and rain starts to fall, it can be dangerous as well. Cracks and gliding can develop into full-on slides to the ground. Time to think about where you're skiing when you're not skiing on the groomed....

Current Official Snow Depths

Akakura Onsen:

Akakan (Akakura Kanko):


Myoko Suginohara:

Seki Onsen:

Myoko Ski Park:



270cm   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