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): 27th December until 3rd January; 11th January; Saturdays until 29th February (until 7pm) Yuzawa Nakazato: 27th December until 3rd January; 11th January; 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'. Some resorts offer tickets that include nighta, others need a seperate lift ticket.
Ho Ho Ho! Oh, sorry wrong holiday.... Merry New Year!
And yes it's surely a merry one. Even those nursing some heavy heads this morning will look out of the window and love the sight of all the fresh snow that has fallen since last night.
Sadly the resort had to cancel some of the events it had planned last night including the fireworks due to the weather conditions. Wind, almost no visibility and heavy snow aren't the best conditions for a firework display!
That aside, it's obviously great that we have started the year with this snowfall.
It's cold out there this morning so an extra layer or two needed compared with the last few days. Get wrapped up though and it should be deep conditions on the slopes.
That's what we like.
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 from 27th December until 3rd January; 11th January; every Saturday until 21st March 2015
Happy New Year We welcomed the new year without any snow fall and it will be a bit chilly out there today. Sun might make an appearance through the clouds and we can't expect there to be too much snow to come for the rest of the day. Best way to clear that hangover head is to get the top and do some runs. Read more ...
Thursday 1st January 2015, 8:50am
Partly cloudy, blue sky, sun
Akemashite omedeto gozaimasu! And a Happy New Year to all Niseko Now and SnowJapan readers. Here's to a powder filled, fun and safe 2015.
We may be into January already but there's over 4 months left of the Niseko season which of course stretches into May, so plenty to enjoy.
Back to today.
It is a cold New Years morning but calm and... the sun is out and there's quite a bit of blue sky above the area. Lovely morning.
15cm of fresh snow here outside my place, 20-25cm on mountain.
As is so often the case, even with the fine early morning conditions, snow clouds shouldn't be too far away over the next few days. Forecast clearer conditions for the late weekend and into Monday.
It might just be me but it seems that it's quieter than usual for just before 9am. I wonder why that might be! There were lots of parties and celebrations going on last night of course, I think that some people might be taking things a bit slow first thing!
For those who like getting up early and tracks before anyone else, Annupuri First Run from today - more on that below.
Resort specific news at time of writing - subject to change during the day
Niseko Annupuri: Looks set to be open as planned. 'Annupuri First Run' is available from today until Sunday and then also on the 11th and 12th January. For 1000 yen, you can get to ride the Gondola from 7:20-8:20am.
Niseko Avalanche Report
Niseko base 6am: -6C, 20cm snowfall in 12 hours, calm. Moiwa 800m: NW8m/s, 25cm of fresh snow with development of snowdrifts. Annupuri 1150m: NW10m/s, -10C with snowdrifts development. Hirafu 1000m: mild wind, -10C, 20cm snowfall. Coastal data: Benkei cape SSE4m/s, Kamui cape ENE4m/s, 997hPa and 0.7m waves.
The isobars are spread out and the weather is calm. Snowdrifts are developing slowly above 800m and the general avalanche risk is relatively low, except around 1100m cornice and knoll terrains where stabilization of the newly formed snowdrifts is being delayed. Hazards of surface slab slides up to 80cm thickness and 50m long is still to be highly considered.
The snow in the trees is in good shape. All gates except for gate 2 & 3 will open from the morning. Beware of sudden weather changes. Have you switched your avalanche transceiver on? Peak gates 2 & 3 should open after the 3rd.
Have a great New Year 2015.
Official snow depth numbers and any notes at time of writing:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 290cm Base - 160cm
Niseko Village: Top - 210cm Base - 150cm
Niseko Annupuri: Top - 200cm Base - 150cm
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)
Ah yes this is a good way to start a year --- 50cm of fresh snow on the ground and across the mountain. Loads of snow. And it's piling up quickly as well right now with snow really coming down from the skies. It's like it's making some kind of statement!
If your body can accept any more sake after the celebrations of last night, or if you just want to say Happy New Year with other folk at Nozawa, head up to near the Uenotaira Resthouse Yunomine for 11am.
If you can find it of course... visibility is definitely limited for the moment! It's clearly much colder as well this morning. There's a heavy snow warning out for the region at the moment and snow is expected to continue falling for the day and into tomorrow.
Brave the conditions though to be rewarded with copious amounts of powder.
Lift operations for the New Year. On the following days, lifts are scheduled to open 30 minutes earlier than usual with the lower lifts starting at 8am and the Gondolas starting up at 8:10am:
Friday 2nd December Saturday 3rd December
Fresh snow to report this morning since yesterday afternoon:
A lot of wind as well; less than last night, but it's blowing pretty hard at times. Hard to tell how much snow fell overnight, as things were drifting a lot, but probably 50+ cm, and possibly more.
It's still snowing steadily out there, with a few fresh centimeters per hour coming down. Some chance of the gondolas slowing down/stopping if the wind does pick up again, but otherwise a good, moderately cold, snowy day to start 2105.
2015 has started off with a lot of snowfall to report. About 30cm outside my base here in the village area, so I expect more in places on the mountain. Seems nice and light too and so conditions should be very good on the runs this morning with lots of deep to find. Poor visibility on the mountain as well with an early morning (?) fog as well as the cloud covering the mountain.
Snow and moderate winds expected to continue through tomorrow as well as very low temperatures.
By the end of the weekend another milder spell with calmer conditions is forecast.
Yokokura area: From Friday 26th December until 4th January; Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Friday 9th January until 15th March
Open times from 5pm until 9pm.
Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time ropeway operations
December 2014: 27th-31st January 2015: 1st-4th, 10th-12th, 17th-18th, 24th-31st February 2015: 1st-28th
Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm. Ropeway return charges are 2600 yen for adults and 1300 yen for children. In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled. Read more ...
Thursday 1st January 2015, 9:30am
A very happy new year to everyone reading this.
We're enjoying continued fresh snow conditions here at the moment and it's expected to continue more at least for the rest of today and perhaps easing off tomorrow.
Some lifts at Hakuba Cortina closed early due to avalanche danger. A reminder that while deep snow conditions are obviously very exciting for us, we need to keep that safety first thinking at the front of our minds as well. Do take care.
For those looking forward to seeing the mountains and sunshine, the weekend should bring calmer and clearer conditions to enjoy. With all the new snow it should be an excellent weekend.
After the fun of last night I think I'm going to take it easy for the day today and take an relaxing onsen.
Official snow depth numbers and operations as of 1st January 2015. Subject to change during the day:
Hakuba Goryu: Reporting 30cm of new snowfall at Alps Daira, 10cm at Toomi and 5cm at Iimori. All lifts operating. All courses open except Adventure Course. Night skiing at Toomi every day until 31st March. Early morning skiing from 6:30am until 4th January (and then on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays).
Hakuba Cortina: Reporting 60cm of new snowfall since yesterday. (Later report saying 30-40cm... situation unclear. But lots.) Number 4 and 5 lifts closed along with some courses due to avalanche danger. Night skiing every day until 31st March.
- Upper - 310cm - Lower - 210cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Next night skiing through 1st January in both Kane-no-naru-oka and Karamatsu-Shirakaba areas; after that mostly Saturdays.