Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 4th May 2018
Monday 29th January 2018, 7:56am
The snow clouds are back
Good morning from Yuzawa.
Get to enjoy yesterday? I got to spend a few hours at Kagura where the snow was really great. Came back and saw that the snow level down by my house had reduced by over 15cm, which surprised me. It wasn't as cold as it had been but wasn't particularly warm either. Anyway... a quick look around town and the popular ski resorts seemed busy.
It was a fine day weather wise. Not deep blue skies - more like an overcast kind of sunny, with a bit more cloud at times.
And this morning the snow is back and I have 3cm to report.
Kagura and Ishiuchi Maruyama are both reporting 5cm of fresh snowfall; Naeba is reporting 5-10cm; and Maiko Snow Resort is reporting 2-5cm.
It is snowing as I write this and if the forecasts are correct we can expect snow through today and tomorrow.
Temperatures here in town should peak at around 2-3C later on today.
The weekend crowds will have dispersed and so it should be a good day to be out again I would say. Limited visibility aside perhaps.
Images today from GALA Yuzawa, NASPA Ski Garden and Yuzawa IC exit (Route 17).
Since our dump of snow over the past week we saw some more forgiving conditions yesterday with the visibility perfect and the wind easing for most of the day. Snow was falling here and there, and overnight 15cm has fallen across the resort.
Today, we’re looking at tops of -6C with about 5cm set to fall throughout the day and light to moderate winds. That wind chill is set to get down to about -17C so keep that in mind and dress for the occasion.
Pick for the day would definitely be the tree zones — at the moment all are open and ripe for the taking with the snow quality best in the trees where its been sheltered from the wind.
Though if we give it another couple of days the powder everywhere else should become more forgiving as it sets a base.
As for the next few couple of days...
Tuesday: light snow, moderate winds, tops of -8C Wednesday: light snow, light winds, tops of -4C Thursday: light snow/ partly cloudy, light winds, tops of -5C
Official snow depths:
Top: 410cm Base: 330cm
Night skiing operations are scheduled at Geto Kogen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 25th February 2018. Read more ...
Monday 29th January 2018, 8:07am
Good morning from Zao.
Another 14cm of snow to add to the report from here at base this morning with snow falling and forecast to be never far away over the next few days.
Visibility is ok down by base but limited higher up with cloud/fog covering the mountain.
Monday morning and so with the weekend folk returning things should be relatively quiet out there.
Lifts and course info:
- All lifts appear to be opening as scheduled - Note: the Karamatsu pair lift usually only operates on weekends - All areas open
It's the start of another week and we are of course not in the very last bit of January 2018. Including the 15cm I am adding today, my observed snowfall haul for January here at base so far is 234cm. With a few more reports to go, what will that number get to? O-tanoshi-mi-ni! I plan to post my monthly review by the end of the week.
OK, so there's another decent layer of snow; it's still snowing nicely as I write this report and it is another very cold morning. Visibility is looking rather limited out there on the mountain at the moment but I expect conditions will be worth being checked out.
We are now in peak season. And with that, of course, we expect peak conditions. The month of February is also 'peak', and includes the popular Chinese New Year holidays around the middle of the month. With so many people around over the next few weeks we are going to be needing that regular refresh of snow, so let's hope Nature delivers.
As the report goes up at 8:30am, the top lifts appear to be opening as scheduled this morning. Hurray!
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 5.00am: -10°, 15cm new snow, light winds. Moiwa 800m: -10.6°, W4m/s (at 10pm last night N0.7m/s, 11.00pm:W15.6m/s), major snowdrift development. Annupuri 1150m: -17°, NW10m/s, 30cm new snow, snowdrift development. Hirafu 1250m: -18°, NW10m/s, 20cm new snow. Coastal data: Benkei Cape:NW14m/s. Kamui Cape: WSW9m/s, 1016hPa, wave 1.5m.
Low pressure snowfall preceded the passing of low pressure system last night followed by a strong westerly wind which caused rapid snow drift development. From tests snow drift growth on leeward slopes above 800m is more than 100cm and unstable. There is possibility of powder avalanche fracturing about 60cm on 28th Jan or deeper layer at Kozan no sawa side wall and lower West ridge around 1100m, Osawa cornice slope at 900m and Higashi One cornice slope 1000m. This current weather pattern creates heavy slabs which fail instantaneously and travel at high speeds. The avalanche risk on leeward slopes effected by wind is high.
There is 20-30cm of good snow in the trees. All gates are expected to be open. Please listen to the patrols advice before going out the gates. Cornices collapse down the slope, don't ride carelessly near them or rest under them to get out of the wind. Have a safe day. Beware of frostbite.
Monday 29th January 2018
Resort specific information (operations subject to change):
Lifts scheduled to be operating: - All lifts apart from the Country Road Chair lift should normally be operating - 'Early Gondola' service from 7:30am until 8:30am (Niseko Gondola). On February 3rd-4th. 1,400 yen special ticket required.
Official snow depth: - Top: 310cm - Base: 200cm
Floodlit 'nighta' skiing:
Night skiing is planned for every evening at the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri areas. There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO area. Ski lifts that are scheduled to be operating for nighta are noted below (subject to change):
* Niseko Grand Hirafu - Ace Family quad, Ace Number 2 quad, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 pair * Niseko Annupuri - Jumbo Number 1 quad lift * Niseko Village - Village Express, Upper Village Gondola, Community Chair, Banzai Chair Read more ...
Monday 29th January 2018, 8:32am
Snow and Cloud
Good morning from Naeba! "Storm Finn" has most certainly moved on from Mikuni valley, however the next bout of snow has already arrived! After a sunny afternoon yesterday, the clouds rolled in again overnight, starting off with just 1cm of snow before 8am. It's still snowing lightly but consistently, so we should expect some additional new snow accumulation today. The air temperature is predicted to be a little below 0°C, and with the light winds expected to drop off this afternoon there will be little effect of the wind on what the temperature feels like.
Looking forwards, tomorrow is looking to be a chilly start, with daytime air temperatures expecting to max out at about -5°C. Light snow will continue to fall until Wednesday morning, when the skies will clear and gift us another sunny day to break up the winter storms. Later in the week, we should expect a mix of snow and cloud, however there are no significant snow accumulations predicted as it stands. In addition to this, there is nothing of note regarding the wind until at least Saturday. Air temperatures are expected to remain closer to 0°C than recently, which will feel warm compared to what we have experienced this last week.
After a break in the snow falling yesterday and some sunshine breaking through, this morning the snow is back and a thin layer on the ground - and the resort reporting between 1cm and 7cm of fresh snow, base to top. Actually as I write this report and look outside my window it isn't snowing, but it's due on and off during the day today and looks like it is snowing on the upper areas of the resort.
The snow clouds should be remaining over the region today and tomorrow with the chance of some sun shining down on us around Wednesday.
From today - until 1st April - the resort will be opening during the daytime until 5pm, rather than 4:30pm. Interesting that for the first time yesterday I did actually notice how it was keeping lighter for longer. Are we already somewhere near 'mid-season'?! The days whizz by too quickly. But I feel better when I remember that Nozawa Onsen will be open until early May. And then I remember that I have lots and lots of daily reports still to write!
Have a good one.
Monday 29th January 2018
Fresh snowfall since yesterday (as reported by the resort):
Night time skiing (nighta) at resorts in the region - weather & conditions permitting The below 'nighta' information will not be updated every day - please check with resorts if you plan to go!
Hakuba Happo-one Daily from 5pm until 9pm in the Nakiyama 2 area Adults - 2,000 yen; children - 1,200 yen
Hakuba Goryu Daily from 6pm until 9:30pm in the Toomi area until 31st March The Sky Four quad operates daily; the Number 2 pair mostly on Saturdays and holidays Adults - 1,900 yen; children - 850 yen
Hakuba Cortina Daily from 5pm until 8pm (until 9pm on Saturdays) Adults - 1,500 yen; children - 1,000 yen
Tsugaike Kogen Kane-no-naru-oka area from 6pm until 8:50pm on 3rd, 10th, 11th February Karamatsu Shirakaba area from 6pm until 9pm on 27th January; 10th, 11th, 17th February; 3rd, 10th March Adults - 2,200 yen; children - 1,700 yen
There are no other nighta operations at other ski resorts in the region Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Monday 29th January 2018, 8:53am
Morning from Shiga Kogen.
A little dusting of snow to report with a cloudy morning. Earlier snow easing off - it is not snowing now as I look outside my place.
Still, light snow is forecast occasionally during the day today and perhaps tomorrow too. Wednesday is currently looking like it might bring some clearer skies for mid-week skiers and boarders.
Keeping cold so hopefully conditions should remain good.
Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:
Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish and we check and update them each morning.
Light dusting of snow overnight with 5cm reported at the top of Tenjin and an insignificant amount on my car park. It was lightly snowing this morning but is cleared down the valley in Minakami town and is overcast up around Tenjin and Mt Tanigawa.
Snow quality yesterday was excellent and the mountain was pretty tracked by day end so last night's refresher will make a world of difference in the backcountry gullies. The mountain forecast is for snow showers all week, low temps and appears we might see some clear weather at some point Wednesday.
Please note that the snowfall numbers posted in this report will be observed from close to the base Tenjindaira Ropeway station - which is often much more than in the central town area of Minakami. Read more ...
Monday 29th January 2018, 10:21am
It feels really cold with temperatures into the double negatives and a slight breeze. Around 7am winds were blowing strongly but dropped off very soon after. There has been 10cm of new snow overnight but it is wind affected and quite firm. On slope is a good mix of groomed skiing and powder runs that have been left alone. All in all it is a good day... just a bit chilly. Read more ...
Monday 29th January 2018, 12:21pm
Cloudy and snowing
Needle-like snow falling earlier today, but turning to more Myoko-like big flakes.
Great skiing lately with cold temperatures.
A little warmer today, and a little more light snow.