Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 23rd February 2019
Wednesday 2nd March 2016, 7:46am
A very fine day yesterday.
Snow wasn't falling as hard but there was a lot of fresh snow to play in.
Snow clouds still nearby this morning, with light snow currently falling, but it is expected to clear up later in the day. And the day is starting cold so it should be another very good day to be out skiing and boarding.
From tomorrow, expect sunshine. And for temperatures to start rising, unfortunately and somewhat annoyingly. It looks like come the weekend it's going to be rather warm again. But we can't do anything about that can we... enjoy the now, and hope something happens to the forecasts.
Madarao Kogen lifts operating (planned at time of writing):
All lifts plan to be open today
Tangram Ski Circus lifts operating (planned at time of writing):
Good morning from Niseko and happily it's somewhat calmer this morning.
It might be calmer, but snow is really coming down at some speed right now. We're still in mid-winter here folks which is of course fantastic.
So that mad windy storm has passed us by, and we can hopefully soon get back to something like a normal day, even though as I did update yesterday a few lower lifts did actually manage to get moving yesterday. As always, lift status at 8:30am this morning added below. Looks like some top lifts are going to be at least late in opening as they pick up the pieces from the storm (and perhaps re-assemble some lift parts!)
There's 22cm of fresh snow on the ground this morning here at my base after some heavy snowing from last night and continuing now - I have added 2cm since I started putting this report together.
There will be more than that on the mountain, and of course with the upper lifts being closed for a few days there's going to be a lot more fresh untouched snow up there to play in. And with all of the wind over the last few days and limited visibility this morning, extra (extra) care is advised - there's going to be lots of wind blown areas where there's much more (or less) snow.
Right now it is continuing to snow pretty hard and visibility is limited even down at base here. Even so, at 8am, there's quite a lot of people already lined up waiting for the Ace Number 2 quad to get going at 8:30am. The lure of all that fresh snow is just too much!
The forecasts say we should expect the snowfall to ease off later in morning or this afternoon.
So basically, there'll surely be huge amounts of deep fun to be found this morning but do be careful out there.
The official snow depth on the upper areas of Niseko Grand Hirafu is back up to 400cm today.
Interestingly, I just noticed that it was 400cm on 1st March last year and 395cm on this day last year... so those measurements are pretty much exactly the same as last year. (The corresponding base numbers are actually higher than last year).
Resort specific lift opening news at time of posting (subject to change during the day):
Niseko Grand Hirafu The top Ace Number 4, King Number 4, Ace Number 3, King Number 3 and Swinging Monkey lifts are on hold at the start of the day. Hopefully will just be a delayed opening.
The storm has passed and cold air is flowing in, bringing a heavy snowfall notably in the west side of the mountain. The wind stayed calm overnight and snowdrift development is minimal. The general avalanche risk is low, however the wind-affected Mar 1st storm layer just under the surface remains unstable especially in high-elevation north facing aspects. The gates’ opening will depend on the lift operations, please follow the ski patrol’s instructions. The snow in the trees is deep, better have snowshoes or skins ready with you for out of bounds riding. Snow remains good as we’re getting into March, but please be alarmed at all times, the mountain conditions are ever-changing. Better be flexible with your plans. Beware of cracks, as they’re not visible from above, remain in controllable speed. Beware also of creeks, ice-cold water flowing in there and would lead to hypothermia.
Official resort snow depths as of Wednesday 2nd March 2016:
Right now we’ve got some light snow showers, steady winds and a temperature of -6 at the base. We should see steady snowfall most of the day with the winds dying down and temperatures increasing slightly.
Yesterday was not pleasant at all. Gale force winds and cold temperatures meant only the most intrepid skiers and boarders were out on the hill. The winds did die down overnight though meaning the snow that fell late yesterday afternoon and through the night is still here with us. The official base has also been increased to 135cm which is definitely a good sign. If you’re out early enough this morning it should be a lot of fun, especially with the light midweek crowds.
The next few days will see the snowfall decreasing to zero with temperatures still threatening to rise to near +6 this weekend. Lets try and forget about that for now and enjoy what we currently have. See you all out there.
Currently planned operating lifts:
- Appi Gondola - Central Number 1 quad - Number 2 lift A - Number 3 lift A - Number 3 lift C - Number 4 lift - Sailer Gondola - Sailer Quad - Vista quad
Today was a chilly start to the day with snow having fallen lightly through the night. Unfortunately the snow that fell from around midday onward yesterday didn't really amass to much more than a cm.
Conditions today should be excellent for riding with the top of the mountain not having opened yesterday. All the fresh snow should still be there for you all to play in. The lower half of the mountain is nice and soft today too with some well groomed runs to get your carve on.
The weather forecast going on is predicting light snow through the week with potentially rain arriving from Saturday night onward.
Yesterday it was great to see a return to a proper winter-like day and that good-to-great new layer of snow on the ground which really gave the resorts a good refresh.
It snowed for lots of yesterday, though wasn't particularly heavy for the most part and this morning there's another 7cm to add to what I observed yesterday morning.
Light snow is falling at the moment and that's what we have forecast for this morning until sometime later on this afternoon or this evening. It should keep quite cold as well, so today should also be a great day to be out on the skis or board.
As so often been the case this season though, annoyingly it looks like things are going to warm up from tomorrow. More worrying than there not being any snow on the weekly forecast are the warm temperatures due over the weekend... double digit temperatures are likely at town level, so it's very probably going to be another spring-like weekend. We can just hope that temperatures keep on the lower side of things to help protect the snow that we have...
If you can get out onto the snow today or tomorrow even, rather than the weekend, it should be really good. And you'll have less people to share the snow with as well. Bonus!
Resort official snow depths (Wednesday 2nd March 2016) and any specific news at time of writing:
Details of the 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma. Subject to change due to snow conditions.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Open daily until 8:50pm (until 20th March). The Chuo No 1 and Chuo No 2 lifts are open daily. The Kanko No 1, Kanko No 2, Kanko No 3, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift, Hatsukaishi No 2 pair lifts are open on weekends and holidays. The basic charge is 2000 yen but various tickets are available.
Iwappara Open daily until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays (until 21st March). The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.
Joetsu Kokusai Open daily until 9pm (until 21st March). The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors. On weekdays the area in front of the main hotel is open - a larger area (including Osawa and Atema) is open on weekends.
Kandatsu Kogen Open from 6pm until 4am on Fridays, Saturdays and evenings before holidays through 26th March. Open from 4:30pm until 11pm on weekdays until 24th March. Various tickets are available starting at 2000 yen for adults, 1700 yen for seniors and 1000 yen for children.
Maiko Snow Resort Open daily with the Maiko Center quad lift operating from 4pm until 8pm. The charge is 500 yen for everyone.
Naeba Open daily until 27th March. From 4pm until 8:30pm on weekdays and Sundays (2000 yen); until 9pm every Saturday and on 20th March (3000 yen). 'All Night' opening is planned for Saturday 26th March when Naeba will be open from 10pm until 5am.
Yuzawa Nakazato Open on Saturdays from 5pm until 8:30pm (until 12th March). Tickets are 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.
Lots of happy people around yesterday enjoying all of the fresh snow on the slopes. I myself had a great time over at 47/Goryu, though wind did cause issues with some lifts.
Lots of the clouds cleared during the day leaving us with blue sky and some sunshine as well.
It's a cold morning again with light snow falling early on but we are expecting clearer conditions and maybe more sun and blue sky later on. Fingers crossed it'll keep cold for the duration of the day leaving us with really nice conditions again today.
Taking a quick look at the 6-day forecast... hmmm, really no snow on there after today by the looks. In fact, it looks more likely some rain around Sunday along with warming temperatures again. Hopefully they might dip again next week. March can be unpredictable and bring us some very nice surprises (like yesterday), so let us hope that we might get to see some more of that before the snowfall for the season is done.
Try to get out and enjoy things right now before it starts to warm up!
Resort news as of 8:40am on Wednesday 2nd March 2016 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All areas and Tree Riding Zone open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba 47. Official snow depth: Upper: 230cm Base: 130cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall on lower areas and 2cm on upper areas this morning. The Hakuba Goryu Gondola remains closed as they deal with an incident in the station. Closed courses - Champion Dynamic, Champion Expert, Woody, Snow Diving and Adventure. The Toomi area will be open until 8:30pm tonight for 'nighta'. Official snow depth Alps: 265cm Toomi: 130cm Iimori: 110cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning. The top Grat quad, Alpen quad and Kurobishi pair lifts are on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds. The lower Nakiyama area is open for 'nighta' every day until 9pm. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 225cm Nakiyama: 80cm Sakka: 60cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning! Upper courses currently being checked for safety at time of writing. The Ikenota area will be open for 'nighta' until 8pm tonight (9pm on Saturdays). Official snow depth: Top: 245cm Base: 140cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All courses and areas are generally open. Nighta at Karamatsu/Shirakaba on 5th/12th/19th March. Note that the top Tsugaike Ropeway only opens from spring. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 268cm Maruyama: 80cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 100cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Parts of the Mountain Side not open (Sonezawa, Dangan, Kamo 4, Five Side, View A, View B). An event is currently being held on areas of the Village Side. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: Upper: 150cm Lower: 60cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: All courses are open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: 140cm
Morning from Nozawa where there has been more snow since yesterday - not as much as the previous day but enough to top up tracks and keep things in good condition.
Light snow still falling this morning but it's forecast to stop this morning.
Tomorrow and Friday expect sunshine and also temperatures that gradually rise. It's happened quite a few times this season but we have some decent snowfall and then it decides to warm up too much - same story this weekend by the looks of things with temperatures probably rising to 10C or above at base level on Saturday and Sunday. And maybe some rain on Sunday too. Oh dear. Stop it, please!!
I was just reading a few of the other reports and I agree. If you are able to, be here today and tomorrow rather than the weekend. I know, it's not often possible.
Fingers crossed for a cooler than expected weekend.
There will be a few course closures (to the general public) in the coming days due to some ski races being held, as below:
Today until Friday 4th March: the Yamabiko A course will be closed. Saturday 5th March until Tuesday 8th March: the Mizunashi A course will be closed.
Official info at time of writing on Wednesday 2nd March 2016 (subject to change):
Yesterday the snow clouds cleared up somewhat and we were left with a fine afternoon.
This morning we have enjoyed one of those 'it's fine but snowing at the same time' kind of situation. Light snow is falling but there's quite a lot of blue sky up there and visibility is good. Keeping cold.
It's a good morning to be out on the slopes.
Let's take a look at the forecast. I'm afraid there's not much on there that shows potential for any significant snowfall, or indeed much at all. Over the next few days it's going to be more a case of sunshine and clearer skies if the forecasts are right. And also warmer conditions over the weekend. Down in the valleys it's really going to warm up but up here we should avoid the worst of that, but it'll still be mild. Hopefully not warming up too much.
Today and tomorrow should be good though. Hope you can enjoy it.
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Wednesday 2nd March 2016):
Sun Valley 70cm Nighta on Saturdays until 19th March (7pm-9pm)
Takamagahara Mammoth 130cm
Tannenomori Okojo 130cm
Ichinose Family 130cm Nighta daily until 27th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Ichinose Diamond 130cm Nighta on Saturdays until 26th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Ichinose Yamanokami 130cm
Yakebitaiyama 150cm Nighta on Saturdays until 12th March (6pm-8pm)
Okushiga Kogen 125cm
Kumanoyu 120cm Nighta on Saturdays until 26th March (6:30pm-9pm) Also on 20th March
Mostly sunny, with high thin clouds and some cumulus here and there
The sun is out, mostly, this morning with a few flakes drifting down from time to time. Nice snow up higher yesterday, although it was pretty heavy lower (but good skiing onpiste). It's staying cold today; that rise in the freezing line is going to start on Friday, so get out before then (also Saturday, before Sunday's rain, could be a nice spring day).
Speaking of spring, I have some local knowledge to share. My newspaper guy/snowthrower repairman/hotel owner came by to change the fan belt on the snowthrower and gave the common knowledge on potential snowfall for the rest of the month/season. The first early fall of March can be a big one, but we probably can't expect much more. The exceptions, says folk knowledge, is White Day (March 14) and one more day that I thought he said was Newspaper Day, but that could only be Sports Newspaper Day (March 6 - not likely). That actually links up pretty well with other predictions that the snow is going to be disappearing early this year.
So I says, go out and get it while you can. It's nice out today, with snowy trees and nice white cover everywhere. With rain and wind, the snow figures could go down fast.