Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 23rd February 2019
Tuesday 22nd March 2016, 8:10am
Clear blue spring skies
Morning from Yuzawa.
I was up at Maiko yesterday morning and while the lower slopes are closing today due to the lack of snow down there, snow cover was ok up there (conditions were very much spring) and it was actually snowing for a short while. It was surprisingly cold as well. Some blue sky and sun appeared though and it ended up being a generally fine day.
This morning there's no clouds and we have blue skies over Yuzawa. Lots of sunshine. And a high temperature of around 10 degrees expected later on.
It should be getting colder from tomorrow though. Will it rain or snow? Looks like it might be borderline in town, with a good chance of snow at higher elevations.
I expect varying resort news over the next few days and week. From this morning with little snow left on the lower areas, only the Okusoeji area of Maiko will remain open and it looks like from Thursday (24th) access to the upper slopes of Ishiuchi Maruyama will be only via the Chuo base lift. I'll post any more significant news when I have it.
Resort official snow depths (Tuesday 22nd 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 - now closed
No new snow to report this morning and at the moment up there it's a mix of (mostly) cloud and (some) blue sky. If anything though it feels like it will be clearing up leaving us with a fine day, with the sun starting to shine through my windows here. Forecast highs of around +4C here at base level; currently it's just under zero. It was pretty cold overnight though...
Tomorrow may well get slightly colder with that chance of light snow still on the forecast. As I said before, I wouldn't expect much from it. And then we can be pleasantly surprised if we get much from it. Come on Easter Bunny!
A quick recap:
I have observed 99cm of snowfall here at Hirafu base during the month of March so far. Last year I observed 139cm for the whole of March 2015. This seasons observed snowfall total (so far up until today) is standing at 976cm. Would be nice if we could hit the 10m mark! Last seasons observed snowfall total (for the entire season) was 1144cm.
Resort specific lift opening news at time of posting (subject to change during the day):
Niseko base 6am: -5℃, no snowfall, icy surface. Moiwa 838m: -5.5℃, NNW0.4m/s. Annupuri 1000m snowpack 310cm. Hirafu ridge line: -9, n snowfall and icy. Benkei cape: WSW4m/s, Kamui cape: SW13m/s, 1009hPa, 0.9m waves.
A moderate westerly wind is blowing however the airmass up high is not quite cold enough to generate snowfall. The mountain is icy but the temperature is forecasted to rise during the day and fast forward thaw below 600m elevation. The snow in the trees would soften up after 10am and will be better riding conditions. All gates are scheduled to open, listen to the patrol’s instruction before stepping out of the gates. The hazards vary depending on the season. Surface slab slides during high season are relatively easy to predict, however full depth slides and cornice falls in Spring are unpredictable. It is recommended to stay away from valley bottoms and cornices to minimize the risks. The Mikaeri cat track, which has been groomed to ease rescue operation, will be ungroomed from today in order to avoid the risk of full depth avalanches. The Niseko Rules only exist to preserve the freedom and safety of out of bounds skiing in Niseko. We demand all to respect it and to stay humble towards the mountain environment.
Official resort snow depths as of Tuesday 22nd March 2016:
The clouds of early morning yesterday gradually went during the day - some fine cloud scenery going on at times though! - and leaving us with some very fine blue skies and sunshine by mid-afternoon.
It was cold last night and this morning we are enjoying clear blue skies all around - it's a beauty. It may be a chilly start to the day but we're expecting a bit of a warm up in the sunshine with temps perhaps rising to perhaps 10C.
Tomorrow should be colder and we are expecting some snowfall (at least) on the mountains at higher elevations. Just what might happen down to base village level, I'll let you know... forecasts seem to say rain<>wet snow.
There's still some snow forecast at times through until the weekend so let's see if nature will be kind and give us a last taste of fresh this season.
I'll try to keep track on what is open and what is not open each morning. Updates as always for individual resorts below.
Resort news as of 8:30am on Tuesday 22nd 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: 234cm Toomi: 100cm Iimori: 40cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Happo Banks and Kurobishi Off Piste Area closed 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: Courses that remain open: Ikenota, Ikenota Forest, Mt Hieda Forest, Mt Hieda 1, Itadaira, Ipponmatsu. Nighta has now finished for the season. Official snow depth: Top: 140cm Base: 62cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All courses open except: part of Uma-no-se and Champion area. The top Tsugaike Ropeway is now open for spring season (extra charge required). Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 208cm Maruyama: 45cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 30cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Just the 5 line and Gondola lifts remain open. Open courses: by1, Sunny Valley (part), Paradise (part), View C, View D, North, East, Sawa, Hilltop, South, Gezan Official snow depth: Upper: 90cm Lower: 20cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Closed courses: Kamoshika, Highway, Snake, Expert, Skyview and lower part of Satomi Ridge. Official snow depth: 55cm
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)
Good morning from Nozawa, and what a fine morning it is too.
Yesterday was fun with a bit of fresh snow to play in up top.
Clear blue skies all around and the sun out and looking pretty genki too.
It was actually pretty cold last night (well it felt it to me) and this morning at 7:15am the resort is reporting a temperature of -8C on the top Yamabiko area. Down here at village currently it's around 0C though it should be warming up a bit today in the sun (high of +10C forecast for village).
Tomorrow will be colder than today and we have rain/sleet forecast for base but hopefully it'll be snowing up top - and there's snow on the forecast through Friday. It'll be interesting to see what we can get out of it. There's every chance that this will be the last snowfall of the season.
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 Tuesday 22nd March 2016 (subject to change):
It was cold last night though and while we are set to see a warmer day today it has been a cold start.
I'm still intrigued by the forecast that we have for tomorrow through Friday. Just how much snow might we get falling up here? It's not often I have wanted the forecasts to be right this season, but I want it this time!
For now though it's a beautiful morning to be outside. And that's where I am heading!
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).
Good morning from Naeba everyone. Well today looks like it's going to be a hot one with a temperature of +2 being recorded in the base area as of 0900.
Conditions have unfortunately started to become highly end of season like with more and more patches of grass beginning to show through. Conditions are still ride-able however as long as caution is attached.
The weather for the coming week is supposedly snow starting as from tonight and then turning to rain tomorrow morning. After that though we're supposed to get light snow every day until Sunday.
A bit more of a dusting yesterday but this morning the skies are clear and we have blue skies all around.
The mountain is looking beautiful and the groomers inviting.
While it was cold overnight and a chilly early morning it's going to warm up during today, perhaps as high as around 7C, before dropping again for tomorrow when the forecast shows colder conditions and... snow!
Ski resorts around Mt. Bandai are announcing their planned closing dates:
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.
A pleasant day abounds in Furano with some nice blue sky and sunshine. Temperatures are pretty cold this morning and there is a light breeze which should keep you from overheating on the slopes. There has been 2cm of fresh snow overnight.
Kitanomine Zone is now closed for the season and night skiing has also finished. From today onwards it is just the Furano Zone operating.
Possibly one of the finest Spring days we'll see here this morning with not a breath of wind or cloud in the sky and still a 120cm base up at Tenjin after a long weekend of volatile weather.
The rain predicted never really eventuated but there were plenty of snow and graupel flurries and it was generally windy and cold.
While the village really warmed up yesterday the mountain was clouded over until late afternoon. The pack is holding up well and just needs to get us through the Minakami vibes event scheduled for April 2nd and 3rd. A photo of the planned bowl has just been released and it looks rad to say the least.
Another really sunny day today, and warm as well - not as high as last week, but spring is here.
It was pretty nice yesterday, with that little bit of fresh snow sticking to the trees and making the hills beautifully white. But today the snow is continuing its fast retreat; there's a lot of bare spots out there, if not yet too bad on the mountain.
But, looking at those snow depth figures, things are going to be marginal pretty soon here. We're already seeing some closed courses; Suginohara has only two lifts running, and some runs are out.
I also see at the Japan Meteorological Agency website that there's a dry air advisory for most of Niigata, which is definitely not something we want to see! Just watch that water vapor getting pulled out of the snow....
Well it’s another iffy day here. I woke to gusty winds, rain and snow falling. Not a great combination but it’s here nonetheless. Todays forecast calls for much of the same but hopefully the winds may die down late this evening and provide us with a decent amount of snow. Lets hope it stays around for a few days if it comes at all.
The next few days are all over the map again with the forecast changing on an hourly basis. My guess would be more clouds, wind and maybe a little snow. I know it’s not much to go with but honesty is the best policy. At least we’ll be in the minus zone as far as the temperature goes meaning not too much slush to contend with.
As far as the gondola, lift and open runs go that’s not good news either. Currently the Main Gondola, Sailer and Second Gondola are suspended. I would assume it’s due to the high winds but we did have some rock fall on a few of the runs due to the unstable conditions which hve affected some of the runs too. There’s no real way to get to the summit as of now but at least the T bar is operating on the North side and the Sailer Quad if you were lucky enough to get stuck over there. I really hope conditions improve especially for the kids who are coming to take part in the 10th National School Kids Alpine event which starts tomorrow and goes till Friday.