Madarao Kogen plans to be open until Thursday 31st March. Tangram Ski Circus plans to be open until Sunday 3rd April. Read more ...
Wednesday 23rd March 2016, 8:32am
Cloud, blue sky, sun
Good morning from Niseko.
What's this? Snow on the ground! I measure 4cm here outside my Hirafu base which I will happily add to the ongoing total and hopefully there'll be a bit more than that up there on the upper slopes. It's not the lightest and most powdery of snow, but perhaps expecting that in the latter part of March is a bit too much. But definitely time for an early morning ride I think.
Currently hovering around zero here at base and it's cloud and blue sky above.
There's still similar kind of snow on the forecast over the next few days so perhaps we'll get some more cm here and there... surely nothing major though.
It does look like we can expect more sun at the weekend and into early next week and slightly warmer temperatures.
It's great to see (some of) the official snow depth numbers actually increasing this morning! Niseko Grand Hirafu have added 10cm, so I think I am going to go and investigate once I get this posted.
See you tomorrow!
Looks like some lifts are now 'on holiday' and relieved of duties:
The Jumbo Number 3 lift at Niseko Annupuri The King Number 1 lift at Niseko Grand Hirafu
Resort specific lift opening news at time of posting (subject to change during the day):
Similar pressure pattern as yesterday, but the westerly wind calmed down and a thin blanket of new snow covers the mountain. Shallow avalanches are to be expected in steep slopes of the Backbowl and Higashi-One as the temperature rises. The snow is little wet and heavy but not in bad shape in the trees. No more deep powder, however the weather is stable and relatively good skiing conditions continues. Stay away from the valley bottoms to avoid full depth slides. Those giant avalanches occurring from Osawa and Backbowl 1100m leeward slopes run for a very long distance and are extremely destructive, cleaning everything on its way. These slides can simply be avoided by not being in the valley bottoms. All gates are scheduled to open from the morning. Refrain from ducking ropes, one track left under the rope leads many others to do the same and unnecessarily increase the chances of accidents to happen. The purpose of the Niseko Rules is to protect the freedom of out of bounds riding; violators will be severely prosecuted.
Spring is here, have a great day.
Official resort snow depths as of Wednesday 23rd March 2016:
Some rain last night here in the village but again the resort reports some fresh snow this morning - 4-5cm of it, in fact, and a cold -5C up there. Right now it's around 2C in the village with a high of about 6C forecast for later in the day.
Tomorrow set to be a little colder with the chance of some snowfall down to the village here, so looking forward to seeing how that turns out.
It's always kind of surprising* how quickly the last of the snow melts away from slopes - as is happening on Karasawa right now. Just a few days ago it was still largely white but it is quickly retreating now revealing the ground. Hikage still has decent cover but has definitely taken a hit as well the last few with more brown bits and 'dirty snow' on show.
Still, cover up top is no problem and that's where surely everyone will be heading the for rest of the season. Less snow up there than usual of course so just how long the season can go on is anyone's guess at the moment - the original plan is, as usual, until the end of Golden Week in early May.
(* even though it happens every year!)
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 Wednesday 23rd March 2016 (subject to change):
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.
And after that beautiful - and happily rather cold - day yesterday. One of those fine feel-good days, just a few clouds turning up in the afternoon, probably to enjoy the views.
This morning there's a lot more cloud around. From where I am here in the village I can see a thick bank of cloud covering all but the lower areas of resorts. Looks like if you head higher up you might be in the middle of that lot with limited visibility. Early on this morning that is, it may well clear.
Might we see some snowfall later today/tonight, or tomorrow? Forecasts aren't agreeing on the details but it does seem there's a chance, but as I think I said before I wouldn't expect much. Would be good though.
Lots of sun is currently forecast for the coming weekend.
Resort news as of 8:40am on Wednesday 23rd 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: 175cm Base: 65cm
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: 231cm Toomi: 95cm 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: 30cm Sakka: 5cm
Hakuba Cortina: Courses that remain open: Ikenota, Mt Hieda Forest, Mt Hieda 1, Itadaira, Ipponmatsu. Nighta has now finished for the season. Official snow depth: Top: 135cm Base: 55cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All courses open except: part 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: 25cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Just the 5 line and Gondola lifts remain open. Open courses: by1, Sunny and Paradise (part), South, Gezan (part) Official snow depth: Upper: 90cm Lower: 20cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Open courses: Hakunori Family, Wakaguri Central, Rabbit and Wakaguri Rinkan. Official snow depth: 50cm
Evenings are keeping pretty chilly at the moment, though I heard some rain last night on the roof. This morning it's just cloudy and the high up Kagura resort are reporting 5cm of fresh snow which is good to hear. Maiko aren't reporting snow from Okusoeji and so it's just higher elevations that got some fluffy stuff.
Cloudy conditions are forecast for the day today with a high temperature of around 7C in town, perhaps a bit of a gusty wind later on this afternoon.
Some forecasts still say we'll get some snow perhaps down to town tomorrow...
By the way, the connection (and joint lift ticket) between Yuzawa Kogen - GALA Yuzawa - Ishiuchi has now closed for the season.
Resort official snow depths (Wednesday 23rd 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
There's a thick cloud cover at a level slightly lower than the gondola today.
Hello from Naeba today everybody.
Today's off to a colder start that we have been used to recently and in fact a small amount of snow did fall overnight although it unfortunately only accumulated in very localized areas to a bit less than a cm. Never the less the conditions on piste have benefited slightly from it.
According to the weather forecast we're supposed to have light snow at times through until Saturday. We'll see how much turns up! (Don't expect much!)
Yesterday may have been one of those beautiful blue sky days, but there's cloud this morning and... a bit of snow! Yes, winter isn't giving up just yet.
Right now it's generally cloudy but keeping bright; I wouldn't put it past snowing lightly in some areas.
The weekly forecast is looking like mid-winter as well (perhaps not the temperatures) with snow there lined up over the next few days. I'm really curious to see if we'll actually get any of it...
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).
There was more blue sky and sun earlier on, it seems to have clouded over somewhat since then. And there looks like there might be a chance of a bit of snow today or tonight or tomorrow. That would be exciting if it happened, but I imagine it wouldn't be much more than a dusting. Things feel very much into spring now...
On Friday I'll bring you detailed news on how long each of the lifts plan to be open this season.
Information as of Wednesday 23rd March 2016 (subject to change)
Lifts closed for the season:
Karamatsu Zao Kokutai pair Zao Paradise Number 3 pair
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)
It’s another blue sky day here with a temperature of -2 outside my front door but the gusty winds are making it feel much colder indeed. It should be sunny most of the day today and the winds may start dying down late this afternoon. We may even see the occasional snow flurry too. Overnight we did get some fresh snow. Although the accumulation was only 5cm I’m sure a little more than that actually fell but the winds last night and this morning made sure some of it didn’t stay around for long. At least we’ve got a decent topcoat this morning for those heading out.
Forecast wise its not that bad as there’s no rain in it right now. More clouds are heading our way tomorrow and the winds may die down somewhat. Temperatures should remain steady in the -5 bracket at least until Sunday. I didn’t have time to hit the slopes yesterday but will report on conditions up there again tomorrow from todays outing. I’m sure the wind will affect the gondola operations again today. As I type this the Main and Sailer Gondola have been stopped. We only have 5 lifts in operation right now. Lets hope the wind dies down so we can at least enjoy the snow that fell last night.
Sunscreen a must today as well as face mask and some extra layers in your backpack.
Currently operating lifts at time of writing:
- Central Number 1 quad - Number 2 lift A - T-bar lift - Number 3 lift B - Sailer Number 2
The sun is trying to shine at moments, but mostly overcast
It's actually snowing in Myoko today, after some pretty heavy rain in the middle of the night. It's not going to amount to a lot, and it's pretty wet (the roads look like it's been raining, so it's just on the edge of being snow. But better than rain. The sun also looks like it's trying to come out as well, so at least it's also not gloomy today.
Actually, it looks like the freezing line is going to be staying low for most of the week, so maybe we can continue to hang on to our remaining snowpack. It is getting pretty thin out there, though....
Akakura Kanko: -2° / 150cm; all lifts running until the 27th, then Sky Cable, No. 2 and 3 lifts
Overnight saw 2cm of fresh snow fall in the village. The sun come out early morning and the fresh snow dissapeared from around the village. The cold start soon gave way and the temperatures rose above freezing and are currently sitting around +5c.
It looks like we will keep the good weather for the remainder of the week with calm wind conditions and sunshine. Roll on spring!