Snow started falling very soon after I posted my report yesterday morning.
And it continued through the day - and it was coming down hard as well for quite a lot of the time. Result? Another 18cm of fresh snow outside my place. (I actually thought it would be more than that).
Kagura reported 30cm of fresh snowfall during the day on their blog, and this morning just going with 5-10cm since last night (meaning that if you didn't read the blog bit, you'd think it was just 5-10cm rather than 35-40cm! I know if I had a ski-jo, I'd be shouting out about these numbers especially in a season like this!)
This morning Maiko Snow Resort are reporting 15-20cm of fresh snow.
But anyway, excellent. These snowfalls are what feels like 'normal' for us!
The snow eased off late last night and the skies cleared, leaving us with a beautiful clear blue sky early morning. It's going to be a very fine day with sun forecast and temperatures to rise to perhaps 6-7 degrees.
That means that early tracks this morning should be fantastic pretty much wherever you choose to go - perhaps just more fantastic in higher places.
Depending on just how much it does warm up this afternoon, conditions may change later on. So, get out there early and make the most of it!
Tomorrow should also be generally good clear weather as well by the way.
(I'll deal with the weekend weather in the report tomorrow - in the meantime do take a look at the forecast below for that).
Resort official snow depths (Wednesday 17th February 2016) and any specific news at time of writing:
Not updated today as it's too early - this data will be updated again tomorrow.
Details of the 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Open daily until 8:50pm (until 20th March). The Chuo No 1 and Chuo No 2 lifts are open daily. The Kanko No 1, Kanko No 2, Kanko No 3, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift, Hatsukaishi No 2 pair lifts are open on weekends and holidays. The basic charge is 2000 yen but various tickets are available.
Iwappara Open daily until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays (until 21st March). The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.
Joetsu Kokusai Open daily until 9pm (until 21st March). The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors. On weekdays the area in front of the main hotel is open - a larger area (including Osawa and Atema) is open on weekends.
Kandatsu Kogen Open from 6pm until 4am on Fridays, Saturdays and evenings before holidays through 26th March. Open from 4:30pm until 11pm on weekdays until 24th March. Various tickets are available starting at 2000 yen for adults, 1700 yen for seniors and 1000 yen for children.
Maiko Snow Resort Open daily with the Maiko Center quad lift operating from 4pm until 8pm. The charge is 500 yen for everyone.
Naeba Open daily until 27th March. From 4pm until 8:30pm on weekdays and Sundays (2000 yen); until 9pm every Saturday and on 20th March (3000 yen). 'All Night' opening is planned for Saturday 26th March when Naeba will be open from 10pm until 5am.
NASPA Ski Garden Extended opening until 6pm (Number 1 lift) on Saturdays until 27th February. There is no special ticket available just for the extended time.
Yuzawa Nakazato Open on Saturdays from 5pm until 8:30pm (until 12th March). Tickets are 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.
The report this morning is appearing late (sorry) but we have time stamped it as the time it was originally submitted this morning.
An excellent day for enjoying the snow conditions yesterday even though there were a few lift disruptions due to wind by mid-day.
There's another 8cm of snow to report to you this morning from here at Hirafu base.
Happily things seem somewhat calmer this morning as well. There's less wind and it's not quite as cold.
Regular but generally light snow is forecast over the next few days - looks like it's going to get slightly warm tomorrow and there's a chance that we might have to endure a bit of rain; but hopefully even if that happens it will be short-lived.
More snowfall - and perhaps heavier snowfall - is expected around Saturday. And more snow into next week, so it looks like we should be able to enjoy regular fresh each morning.
Resort specific lift opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
The winds dropped around midnight and the rapid snowdrift development from yesterday has slowed. From observation and data avalanche risk around 800m is dropping, however at 1000m leeward cornice, knoll, open 30deg slopes high avalanche risk continues. Avalanche risk from rider stimulation or careless traverses is still high. The scale of predicted avalanches is over 60cm. Please take special care today.
All peak gates are expected to be open. Please listen to the patrol and make proper preparations before entering out of bounds areas. These areas are not managed and can deliver a serious lesson very quickly. There is many people riding out of bounds, carelessly triggering an avalanche could take out many people below. Dont stop and wait in the gullies, this is the avalanche path. Snow is a little slow but good. The temperature is rising and snow will become heavy by lunchtime. Take care to not hit obstacles.
Early yesterday a full depth avalanche occurred at 800m in Mizo no Sawa. Air temperature is not the only cause of these deep avalanches. Cracks give an indication of the instabilities, however in this instance the crack and collapse happened at the same time. This is not uncommon in Niseko area. Take care. Have a good day.
Official resort snow depths as of Thursday 18th February 2016:
The heavy snow that was on the forecast has arrived and the village area has received a whopping 17cm overnight. Neeedless to say we are looking at a serious powder morning on the mountain, and with 17cm in the village the depth on the resort itself is going to be much much more. It is still snowing heavily but the precipatition rate will lighten up as the day progresses.
There is low cloud on the resort, and combined with the snow falling , means that visibility is not perfect, but still pretty good. There is no detectable breeze in the village right at the moment.
Tomorrow, temperatures are going to be warmer and around the base may even just break into the positives during the day. It looks like the sun will be out during the first part of the day. On Saturday night there is another significant fall of snow predicted. Read more ...
Thursday 18th February 2016, 9:10am
Not even a hint of a cloud in the sky.
Good morning from Naeba everybody! In all honesty this is probably the best day for riding we've had so far this season.
Get excited because it's both a perfect blue bird and a powder day today! We had around 15cm of snow fall since 16:00 yesterday and this has led to perfectly fresh groomed runs with plenty of powder pockets off the side to go and have some extreme fun in.
You'll definitely want to sun cream up today as well unless you fancy the perma-beard goggle tan look (which I know most of you do).
The weather forecast for tomorrow is looking like it should be another brilliant day for riding although the snow will not be so fresh. Then another big dump of snow is predicted for the weekend. However you look at it things are exciting!
Some very respectable snow numbers since the report yesterday morning with some really heavy snow falling for quite a lot of the day.
Proper Nozawa style!
The resort made a few updates during the day all adding up to around 50cm of fresh snow in places and not that much less than that down at base either.
It was a good day and this morning should be excellent - helped along by some very fine clear skies and sunshine.
Going to warm up a little this afternoon, hopefully not too much. Tomorrow is also going to probably be sunny and a bit warmer than today too, with a high of around 6-7 degrees expected at base.
Then we come to Saturday which promises snow later in the day and the chance of some rain (please..no) earlier on before the snow - though it'll probably start off as snow on upper parts of the mountain.
The roller-coaster like and odd weather of the season continues! (Let's have some more days like yesterday!)
Official info at time of writing on Thursday 18th February 2016 (subject to change):
Lots of snow falling mountain side and some very good snow conditions to enjoy. What we like.
Hakuba Cortina were reporting an impressive 40cm of fresh snowfall during the day yesterday with Hakuba 47 also reporting a good 20cm and over.
It always seems rather odd to me that the resorts don't seem to keep an ongoing clear record of all of this - not counting some social media posts which are sometimes a bit all over the place. I know that if I had a ski resort and 20cm of fresh snow had fallen since the previous morning, I'd want to be letting everyone know about it... but for example, up there on the 47 website they have "New snow: 0cm" this morning.
/End personal observation!
Anyway, it was certainly falling on the mountain for lots of the day yesterday - big smiling faces - though not a huge amount down in the village with about 10cm to add to the total for down here.
This morning as expected it's all change again with clear blue skies and sunshine. One of those stunningly beautiful Hakuba mornings.
It has started off cold but it's going to be a fine day and probably going to feel warm as well especially down in the village - perhaps rising to about 5 degrees.
Tomorrow looks likely to be more of the same, and perhaps a little bit warmer still (but we hope not).
The next snow will probably over the weekend.
It's the 46th Fire Festival at Happo-one on Saturday. Lots of festival-type events going on including a torchlit skiing display, performances and fireworks. It's usually fun to see and mingle with the crowds. Anyway, that starts at 7:30pm over at Nakiyama (Happo-one) - on Saturday 20th.
Resort news as of 8:40am on Thursday 18th February 2016 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. There was on the mountain during the day yesterday. All courses are open. The Osaru (lower) area of the Tree Riding Zone open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba 47. Official snow depth: Upper: 215cm Base: 120cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0-2cm of fresh snowfall on lower areas and 10cm on upper area. There was more on the mountain during the day yesterday. All courses except Snow Diving and Adventure are open. The Toomi area will be open until 8:30pm tonight for 'nighta'. Official snow depth Alps: 250cm Toomi: 125cm Iimori: 125cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Happo-one is reporting 5cm of fresh snowfall on mountain. There was more on the mountain during the day yesterday. All open - including Kurobishi Off Piste Area! Happo Banks Snow Park is also now open. The lower Nakiyama area is open for 'nighta' every day until 9pm. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 220cm Nakiyama: 90cm Sakka: 60cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 40cm of fresh snowfall during the day yesterday. All courses scheduled to be open apart from Itadaira Ridge. Currently being checked at time of writing. The Ikenota area will be open for 'nighta' until 8pm tonight (9pm on Saturdays). Official snow depth: Top: 210cm Base: 135cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All course areas are open apart from Uma-no-se and part of Rinkan course. Nighta at Karamatsu/Shirakaba on 20th February and 5th/12th/19th March. Note that the top Tsugaike Ropeway only opens from spring. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 228cm Maruyama: 100cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 80cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Reporting 0-10cm of fresh snowfall this morning since last night. There was more on the mountain during the day yesterday. All of the Village Side is open but parts of the Mountain Side not open (Sonezawa, Dangan, Kamo 4, Five Side, View A, View B). There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: Upper: 130cm Lower: 50cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: All courses apart from Expert Course are open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: 150cm
And the snow that we got yesterday, all 18cm or so of it. Wind was blowing it around and so it's going to be more or less than that in places but that's my best number based on a few nearby observations.
More sunshine is forecast for tomorrow as well and getting a little warmer for Saturday, but we should be seeing more snowfall later on in the day on Saturday as well.
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Thursday 18th February 2016):
Sun Valley 70cm Nighta on Saturdays until 19th March (7pm-9pm)
Takamagahara Mammoth 120cm
Tannenomori Okojo 120cm
Ichinose Family 120cm Nighta daily until 27th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Ichinose Diamond 120cm Nighta on Saturdays until 26th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Ichinose Yamanokami 120cm
Yakebitaiyama 150cm Nighta on Saturdays until 12th March (6pm-8pm)
Okushiga Kogen 100cm
Kumanoyu 100cm Nighta on Saturdays until 26th March (6:30pm-9pm) Also on 12th February and 20th March
A good day of snow, followed by a cloudless sky... Like to see more continuous days of snow, but we got a pretty good addition to the snowpack. Looks like a meter around the house, but that's more due to the drifts caused by high winds blowing the snow in from the north. If we average it out, we're looking at about 50cm of fresh, which is not bad and certainly welcome. And it is really blue, cloudless and probably going to get warmer through the day.
The winds do raise the possibility of wind loading higher up; there's still way too many small trees and brush out there, which might help anchor things, but where we do have open steep lee slopes there's always some concern that things could slide. That's especially true as we get some energy into the snowpack from the sun. Just be a bit careful until things settle down. But it's a nice day to ski some powder, so get out there!
Below report was written at 8:30am. Apologies for the delay in it appearing online (due to maintenance issues).
Good morning from Appi,
Yesterday was a good snow day here with an unofficial 18cm dropping outside my house. The official Appi base layer has also increased to 120cm because of the 2 days of snow. Right now I’m looking at cloudy skies, a temperature of -8 and some very light snow falling. The snowfall should continue throughout the day increasing in intensity late evening when we should see a fair amount fall overnight.
Winds should increase somewhat tomorrow but we’ll see a steadily increasing temperature until Sunday when it dips to the -10 range again. Overall the next few days look good for heading on to the mountain.
The Main and Sailer Gondola should be in operation today along with most Second and Sailer runs. Those of you who are first lift people you’re going to have a few hours of nice powder and empty runs.
Currently planned operating lifts:
- Appi Gondola - Central Number 1 quad - Number 2 lift A - Number 2 lift B - Number 3 lift B - Number 3 lift C - Number 4 lift - Sailer Gondola - Sailer quad - Sailer Number 2 - Vista quad