More snow to report this morning - about 15cm on the top of the car that had to be cleared off and it is still coming down with the temperature currently around -2 degrees. It looks like it will stay around that level and maybe even get colder as snow is lined up throughout today and into tomorrow. The winds are back though, meaning that Gala Yuzawa is unfortunately closed for the day and only the Mitsumata area of Kagura will be open today.
We'll update this page later this evening with the latest... Read more ...
Wednesday 27th February 2008, 8:59am
The wind has blown the snow bearing clouds away from the Hakuba valley today. The temperature is cool this morning but will rise slightly during the day with morning sun. The clouds will return after noon and bring with them more snow. There will be snow flurries all day at higher elevations. Winds will also be moderate to strong from the North through the day.
The runs on the north and south faces will have the softest snow on them due to winds out of the south west yesterday. Expect very nicely groomed courses today with a little bit of fresh on top and great powder up high on runs that were not groomed.
Expect more snow overnight and fresh tracks again for tomorrow morning. Enjoy!
Backcountry Travel Advisory as at Feb 26th:
Strong winds from the south west have loaded lee slopes and cross loaded east and north west ridges. Cornices have grown enormous on some ridges and are soft and very layered and easy to collapse. During the course of the day yesterday there were multiple weak layers created by the wind and multiple changes in snow crystal size and structure. Temperatures warmed during the day and has caused a top heavy snow pack (denser snow over lighter density snow). Be very careful on solar exposed slopes this morning. Be also very cautious of loaded gullies and on steeply convexing lee slopes.
Always assess the slope that you wish to ride with observations of avalanche activity, weather conditions and snow pack tests like the compression or reuch block test.
Yesterday, once again, the top lifts were shut due to wind, fog and unstable snow. It has been a difficult few days for skiing and boarding since the big storm which ravaged the snow all over the mountain. There has not been enough snow to cover the poor conditions left by the storm.
Mountain conditions are much the same today. It has been snowing continually but not enough to change things. On the top, wind and fog continues to hamper off piste skiing. The Ace 4 and King 4 are shut at this point in time. There has been 20cm of snow in protected areas but the wind blown snow on top of the hard packed layer from the storm continues to make off piste skiing dangerous. The Patrol has not decided if they will open the off piste gates.
The three day forcast is for much of the same. We can only hope that heavy snow will arrive with less wind.
After an overcast and slightly warmer day yesterday the high winds hit Minakami late last night and are still blowing strong this morning. The wind is expected to last until early tomorrow morning. This has caused many of the lifts at higher ski areas to close for the day; Tenjindaira, Houdaigi, Minakami Kogen, Kawaba.
The snow also hit late last night with 30cm of fresh at the valley level this morning. It continues to fall today and is expected to last until tomorrow morning, bringing an expected 60cm of fresh in total.
Backcountry Advisory Warmer temperatures yesterday aided in settling of the snow pack, with packed powder conditions around Minakami and no evidence of any avalanche activity. The snow and high winds over the next 2 days are likely to load lee slopes once again and produce sluffs on steeper terrain.
Avalanche Hazard: Alpine: Considerable Tree Line: Moderate Below Tree line: Moderate Read more ...
Wednesday 27th February 2008, 9:35am
-7 over here in Asagai this morning, and whilst crossing the road I realised I needed goggles - the wind whipped up and I couldn't see a thing! which is not really the best of circumstances whilst trying to step out of a knee height snow drift on to the busy route 17. By-the-way, Route 17 was the original Niigata North to South road joining Tokyo bay area to the north coast, traveled by many a samurai and Ronin in the day and so even though now there is a cracking tunnel that rips through the Niigata-Gunma border this part of the road still gets busy from cost cutting road freight companies who send there drivers up over the mountain pass rather than through the expensive Japanese expressway system.
Anyway, we have blizzard conditions this morning which means most is closed. Certainly no gondolas are swinging people up the hill, the mountain can not be seen from the village and I am certainly not going out in that! Read more ...
Wednesday 27th February 2008, 10:07am
The rain predicted for yesterday was, in fact, snow:) The 10 or so centimeters of powder on top of the snows have brought the record levels back to some resorts today.
Watch for gusts and high winds at the tops of places such as Seki and/or Suginohara. Lifts have been closing and opening sporadically as gusts pick up and die down.
The pick of the day is Akakura Kanko as levels pick up 20cm in comparison to the 10 on average today. Great off-piste boarding there, but flattens out a bit at the bottom. Take the right side runs down near the bottom and things will slide fast.
Your Myoko area levels for today: 425cm (Akakura Kanko Resort); 420cm (Akakura Onsen); 300cm (Ikenotaira); 455cm on top, 265cm on the bottom (Suginohara); 405cm (Kyukamura); 250cm (Pine Valley); 600cm (Seki Onsen)!!!; 250cm (Madarao Tangram Ski Circus); 240cm (Madarao Sympathique); 265cm (Madarao Kogen); 410cm (Myoko Ski Park); 200cm (Togakushi); 260cm (Kurohime); 170cm (Iizuna); 190cm (Iizuna Kogen)
Sorry for the late report folks. It is dumping hard in Nozawa, we have seen massive accumulation in the last three hours. Yesterday the gondolas and top lifts closed early due to strong winds and it rained quite heavily until late at night. The snow that fell overnight was a little disappointing, but it kicked in again before midday and is still very very heavy now.
Heavy snow is forecast for tonight and Friday night, the trend of great snow for the weekend crowds looks like it is going to continue. Read more ...