Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 23rd February 2019
Monday 21st March 2016, 7:50am
Foggy, but hopefully it will clear
Things are a bit nicer today than yesterday; there is still some fog (which looks to be clearing), and a light dusting of new snow, instead of the rain. It's still snowing very lightly, and there's the chance that it might clear later in the day. Not such a bad way to end a three-day weekend.
The reports are barely in, but I need to get out this morning! Snowshoeing, not skiing, but I'll be out in the woods, and that's always a good thing (especially with a lot of birds now back from their winter break).
And I have a bit more snow to report this morning. 3cm of it according to my measuring stick, all of it coming down apparently early morning so it's as fresh as can be. It was still snowing earlier on but has been clearing up and there's now an increasing amount of blue skies to be seen and the sun is shining down. It feels like it is going to be a fine day, even if the forecast doesn't promise much in the way of sun.
Keeping quite cold as well which is good, currently just under zero.
It's the last nighta of the season this evening. Always a bit sad to talk about things closing, but then again the lifts during the day are scheduled to continue until early May so there's still a lot of the season left.
I think I am right in saying that many (most) Japanese don't know what Easter is, and they certainly don't have it as a holiday here. Having said that there will be more overseas guests here over the coming week (I think) for that particular holiday.
Hope that the weather and snow co-operates for you all! Hopefully we'll get a bit of light snowfall at times during the week.
Resort specific lift opening news at time of posting (subject to change during the day):
Niseko base 6am: -4℃, 3cm snowfall, calm. Moiwa 800m: -7℃, 5cm snowfall, light wind and no snowdrift development. Annupuri 1000m snowpack 310cm. Hirafu peak ridge: -10℃, light snowfall. Coastal data Benkei cape: N9m/s, Kamui cape: N4m/s, 1016hPa, 1.1m waves.
A weak winter pressure pattern has brought 3-10cm of new snow this morning. Wind stayed calm and snowdrift development is minimal. Shallow surface slab slides are to be expected in steep slopes of all elevation, please be careful. Even smallest of avalanches are powerful enough and should not be underestimated. Do not rest on top of cornices as they could collapse far beyond expectations.
The cracks are getting larger and new ones are forming on a daily basis. Always keep in mind of them before dropping in a slope. Stay away from valley bottoms as in order to avoid giant spring slides. Full depth avalanches are extremely destructive and run through a very long distance. Listen to the ski patrol’s instructions before stepping out of the gates. Peak gates are scheduled to open today. Just a thin blanket of new snow on top of bumpy hard snow, take it easy and have a nice day.
Official resort snow depths as of Monday 21st March 2016:
A little bit more snow since last night - there's just over 1cm on the top of my car outside this morning. Not enough to make conditions 'deep' of course, but good to see all the same and hopefully maybe a little more on the mountain.
It's a cold morning as well which is most welcome. From where I am there's a big thick bank of cloud covering the top half of the mountain, but we might even get to see a bit of sunshine later on in the day.
Last day of the long weekend today, so it'll be busier than a normal late season Monday out there.
Sun is expected tomorrow and then look for the chance of some fresh snow again in the later part of the week.
Lots of cloud remained above the region yesterday, and there was a bit of sleet and/or snow higher up on in places, and it kept quite cold actually. Lots of fog/gas and generally poor visibility in some places... all depends on where in the valley you were.
It's not exactly much 'clearer' weather at the start of the day today. Generally cloudy and again lots of cloud covering most of the mountains. Webcams show limited visibility at most resort areas at the time of writing this report.
I see that a few of the resorts are reporting a cm or two of snow on the slopes.
It is another chilly morning as well which is good but we can probably expect temps of around 5C later on and maybe a bit of sun too.
Sun is forecast for tomorrow and for things to be a little warmer as well, fingers crossed not too much.
Later on Wednesday and into Thursday reliable forecasts are still reporting some snow potential, so keep your eye on that.
Resort news as of 8:40am on Monday 21st March 2016 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: All courses at Hakuba 47 remain open. The Tree Riding Zone is closed. Official snow depth: Upper: 180cm Base: 70cm
Hakuba Goryu: All courses open apart from Snow Diving, Adventure, Cosmo River, Sunny Way and Straight Whisky. The Toomi area will be open until 9:30pm tonight for 'nighta'. Official snow depth Alps: 237cm Toomi: 105cm Iimori: 40cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Cortina is reporting 1cm of fresh snow this morning. Happo Banks is open this morning. The lower Kokusai, Shirakaba North and Central Course areas are closed; other sections of the lower areas are only part available due to insufficient snow. Upper mountain remains all open. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 150cm Nakiyama: 35cm Sakka: 5cm
Hakuba Cortina: Cortina is reporting 1cm of fresh snow this morning. Courses closed: Mt Hieda Ridge, Mt Hieda 2, Mt Hieda 3, Itadaira Ridge, Itadaira Forest, Giant, Snake and Kamoshika. The Ikenota area will be open for 'nighta' until 8pm tonight. Official snow depth: Top: 135cm Base: 62cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All courses are generally open. The top Tsugaike Ropeway is now open for spring season (extra charge required). Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 210cm Maruyama: 45cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 30cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Insufficient snow means that only limited areas of Village Side remain open - by1, Valley and Paradise remain part open. Parts of the Mountain Side that are closed - View A, View B, Kamo 4, Dangan, Sonezawa, Five Side. Official snow depth: Upper: 90cm Lower: 20cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Closed courses are Kamoshika, Highway, Snake, Expert, Skyview and lower part of Satomi Ridge. Official snow depth: 60cm
Especially come spring (and early season) there are days when it has been snowing up top but it's either been doing nothing (or raining) down below here at base. This morning the resort is reporting 6cm of fresh snow up on the top Yamabiko and Uenotaira runs - and there's none here at base - so you know where to head!
I was away for most of yesterday so I missed the day and what it brought, but it's good to hear this morning that it has snowed on the mountain.
Lots of cloud this morning and limited visibility on upper areas of the resort, but forecasts point to some sunshine being with us today so it might quickly change.
After todays national holiday things should be back to normal come tomorrow once again. The forecast tells me sunny skies tomorrow, to be followed by the chance of some snow later in the week (though some forecasts do not agree with the snow bit).
From today until Friday 25th March, the Yamabiko B Course will be closed to the general public as it is going to be used for a competition event.
Official info at time of writing on Monday 21st March 2016 (subject to change):
And I was woken up by some rain this morning though I see that Maiko Snow Resort are reporting 3cm of snowfall and Kagura are also reporting about the same amount and so it seems it was snowing higher up.
Head for higher places, as they say during the spring season... while lower level places are generally still doing their best to remain open, snow cover higher up remains very good and so it's the time of the year when you expect places like Kagura and GALA Yuzawa to get busier, especially on holidays. And of course once lower resorts close, the higher resorts become the only option.
Back to the weather - it's mainly just cloudy now but some blue sky has started appearing so perhaps we'll get a fine day. Temps expected to rise to around 6C later on in the day.
A bit of snowfall is still there on the forecast for later in the week. I wonder how that will turn out.
Nighta (night floodlit operations) finished up for the season at Ishiuchi Maruyama last night and tonight is the last time for nighta at both Iwappara and Joetsu Kokusai.
Today is the last day of the season for the Muikamachi Hakkaisan resort. Interestingly, they always seem to close on or around this date whatever the snow conditions. And in terms of snow cover they could probably continue on this season as well if they wanted to!
Resort official snow depths (Monday 21st March 2016) and any specific news at time of writing:
There are now lots of patches of ground on view showing on lower slopes around town. Some more than others. The snow situation means that some courses/areas at resorts are now closed. If you are planning on visiting, I recommended that you check with the individual resorts for their up-to-date details. You can find their websites from the links below.
Note that snow cover is not a problem higher up. There's still a lot of skiing and boarding left.
Closing date information (as we have it) - all of course subject to change due to snow conditions!
Ishiuchi Maruyama - daily until Sunday 3rd April Maiko Snow Resort - daily until Sunday 3rd April and then 9th/10th April Ishiuchi Hanaoka - until Sunday 27th March (Saturday, Sunday only) Mt Granview - until Sunday 27th March (Saturday, Sunday only) Joetsu Kokusai - daily until Sunday 3rd April Chateau Shiozawa - until Thursday 31st March Muikamachi Ski Resort - daily until Sunday 3rd April Muikamachi Hakkaisan - daily until Monday 21st March
Good morning from Grandeco and it's beautiful blue skies this morning.
Yesterday turned out to be a very busy day at the resort and at times there was quite a wait to get onto the Gondola. With less snow this year especially to the south of Mt Bandai I think many people have been deciding to come up to this area where there's more snow and better conditions.
The official snow depth here has this morning dipped to under 2 meters. It is difficult to expect snowfall with the super blue skies we have this morning.
Of course there was no snowfall last night, but there was some light snow falling yesterday afternoon for a while but could not cover all courses and didn't amount to much.
It is cold this morning, keeping under zero. The courses are a bit hard but it will change later on due to the effects of the sunshine. Waxing is needed for today.
Today is Japanese national holiday, Vernal Equinox Day, but we are still hoping for a decent snowfall around Wednesday-Thursday...
Ski resorts around Mt. Bandai are announcing their planned closing dates:
Listel Ski Fantasia - already closed (on 12 March).
Numajiri / Inawashiro resort / Inawashiro and Minero ski resorts - until 21st March
Alts Bandai / Urabandai ski resorts - until 27th March.
After 27th, resorts that remain open in the region will be Grandeco, Nekoma and Minowa.
Nekoma will be closed between 19th-21th and 26th-28 Apr but these resorts all plan to be open until 5th May ---- but whether they can do that or not will totally depend on the snow levels of course, which are less than usual and less than expected. We'll just have to see how things develop over the coming weeks. Read more ...
Monday 21st March 2016, 9:13am
Temperatures are cold this morning with a chiily -7c recorded at the resort base. There are snowflakes floating around in the air but there is no measureable new snow on the ground to report. The village is calm wind wise and the upper part of the mountain has fog hovering over it which may lift to reveal sunshine later in the day.
Today is the last day of the season for the Kitanomine Zone. The Gondola will close at 4pm and the last lift operating will be the Kitanomine Swift Lift through until 4:30pm. Just a reminder that the Furano Zone will continue operation with a target closing date of May 5, subject to snow conditions. So there is still plenty of chances to get some good spring skiing in. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Monday 21st March 2016, 9:16am
Cloudy, hints of clearer skies at times
Morning from Shiga Kogen and there's 1cm of snow to report and light snow was still falling earlier on, but has eased off now. Leaving us with just mainly cloud for the moment and hints of blue sky in places.
Sunny skies are forecast for tomorrow and perhaps temperatures might hover around zero during the day, but the forecast still teases us with the prospect of some potentially decent snowfall come Wednesday night and through into the weekend. Let's hope it is more than just a tease!
Today is the last day of the long 3-day weekend here in Japan, so there's more people around than usual... but it should start getting quieter by this afternoon.
Spring season dates for Shiga Kogen resort areas (subject to change):
Sun Valley Both Sun Valley lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 3rd April.
Maruike The Number 1 triple lift plans to be operating until Sunday 3rd April. The Number 2 pair lift plans to be operating until Sunday 27th March.
Hasuike The triple lift and ropetow plan to be operating until Sunday 27th March.
Giant The pair lift plans to be operating until Sunday 3rd April.
Higashitateyama The Gondola plans to be operating until Sunday 3rd April.
Bunadaira The Hoppo quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 3rd April. The Bunadaira quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 27th March (* closed on 22nd and 23rd March).
Takamagahara Mammoth The quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only from 11th April until 28th April). The triple lift plans to be operating until Thursday 31st March. The pair lift plans to be operating until Thursday 31st March (* Saturdays, Sundays and holidays only in March).
Nishitateyama The Nishitateyama lifts plan to be operating until Thursday 31st March.
Tannenomori Okojo The quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May.
Ichinose Family The Ichinose quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Ichinose Number 2 pair A lift plans to be operating until Thursday 31st March. The Ichinose Number 2 pair B lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Ichinose Number 3 quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 27th March (* closed Tuesdays).
Terakoya The Terakoya lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only from 4th April until 28th April).
Ichinose Diamond The Ichinose Diamond quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only from 4th April until 28th April). The Ichinose Diamond triple lift plans to be operating until Sunday 27th March (* Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays).
Ichinose Yamanokami The Ichinose Yamanokami plans to be open until late March, depending on snow conditions.
Yakebitaiyama Currently details are unconfirmed.
Okushiga Kogen The Okushiga Kogen Number 1 pair lift plans to be operating until Sunday 3rd April. The Okushiga Kogen Number 2, 3 and 4 pair lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Okushiga Kogen Number 6 pair lift plans to be operating until Sunday 24th April. The Okushiga Kogen Gondola lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May.
Kumanoyu The Kumanoyu Number 1 pair lift plans to be operating until Sunday 3rd April. The Kumanoyu Number 2 pair A and B lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Kumanoyu Number 3 quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 3rd April; and then on 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th April and from 29th April until 8th May.
Yokoteyama & Shibutoge The Yokoteyama Number 1 Sky A and B lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Yokoteyama Number 2 and 3 Sky lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May (and perhaps beyond depending on snow conditions). The Yokoteyama Number 4 pair lift plans to be operating until Thursday 5th May. The Shibutoge lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May (and perhaps beyond depending on snow conditions).
Conditions out there are fairly thick cloud cover about halfway up the mountain. If you head up the gondolas today you'll be inside the cloud.
Good morning from Naeba everybody.
Good news this morning as yesterday's snain did turn into mainly snow for most of the day yesterday. As of this morning at 09:00 a cm of snow had built up. Whilst the snow is still currently falling it's not falling at any incredible rate and will take a while to accumulate to anything significant.
Th weather forecast looking on is for snow showers today and then rain on Wednesday which will then hopefully turn back to snow for the rest of the week.
Conditions on the hill are currently definitely still ride-able despite the low snow, however caution should be exercised as there are some grassy patches beginning to appear in places.
From today, 'spring season' lift tickets will be available:
4 hours - 3500 yen (500 yen cheaper than main season) 5 hours - 3700 yen (800 yen cheaper than main season) 1 day adult - 4100 yen (900 yen cheaper than main season) 1 day senior - 3800 yen (600 yen cheaper than main season)
Another nice day here at Appi with temperatures now solidly in the minus zone. Partly cloudy skies as I write this report with winds that seem to be getting stronger by the hour. The rest of the day should remain the same but the winds may pick up just a little late this afternoon.
Tomorrow is threatening to bring 15cm of snow. Please let this become a reality so we can have at least a few more good days before the melting continues. Temperatures near zero again tomorrow but dropping tomorrow night again with cloudy skies and light winds till Saturday at least. I do see snowfall in my crystal ball and maybe it will arrive in spectacular style.
As far as the runs go you’ve got until the 27th to use the Sailer and second runs so make good use of these freezing temperatures while you can, especially if we get a good heap of snow tomorrow. Irrespective if the icy top sheet it’s worth a few last days on the mountain before you clean your gear off and start shopping for this years gear that will be on sale.
Gear up and get out. You’ll be thankful you did as the mountain is nearly deserted.
Currently planned operating lifts:
- Appi Gondola - Central Number 1 quad - Number 2 lift A - T Bar - Number 3 lift B - Number 3 lift C - Number 4 lift - Sailer Gondola - Sailer Quad - Vista quad