Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 30th May 2020
Monday 30th December 2019, 7:27am
There has been no new snow overnight. Snow conditions on mountain will be the same as yesterday with the consistent cold temperature. On trail is pretty good, but high volumes of skiers in some places will cause branches and a few stones to become exposed. The sun is forecast to be around through until afternoon when a snow front will come through. Unfortunately the temperature will rise dramatically in the evening and rain is expected from midnight.
A very fine day of weather yesterday; in contract this morning it's all grey and cloudy.
No fresh snow to report and we are still hoping to get some (lots?) of that tomorrow. In the meantime it is due to be a fairly mild day - temps may rise to around +7C at base.
A few lower lifts are now operating including the Hikage triple and quad and Nagasaka triple lifts. The Hikage and Nagasaka lower areas are open as 'connecting' courses. You need to get one of the Gondolas back down to base.
Lifts at the resort will be opening 30 minutes earlier every day until 3rd January for the New Year period. That means that the Gondolas both get going from 8:10am, and the Shinyu pair and Yu Road both start from 8:00am.
See you tomorrow!
Monday 30th December 2019
Fresh snowfall recorded by resort since yesterday morning:
- Nagasaka Gondola - Hikage Gondola - Yamabiko Four - Yamabiko Number 2 Four - Uenotaira Four - Paradise Four - Skyline Connecting pair - Yunomine pair - Hikage triple - Hikage Four - Nagasaka triple - Shinyu pair - Yu Road
These courses plan to be open:
- Yamabiko A - Yamabiko B - Yamabiko C - Yamabiko D - Yamabiko E - Kogenashi A - Kogenashi B - Uenotaira - Bunabayashi - Yunomine A - Yunomine B - Mizunashi A - Mizunashi B - Hikage (some restrictions) - Kumataka (as a connecting course) Read more ...
Geto Kogen Now!
Monday 30th December 2019, 7:54am
Blue sky and cloud
It's another feel good morning weather-wise, though I'll feel better still when the fresh snow that is forecast tomorrow arrives. Hoping for a snowy end to 2019 and a snowy start to 2020.
For the moment the clearer and calmer conditions should continue today.
Official snow depths:
* Top: 160cm * Base: 90cm
Planned operating lifts - subject to change:
* Number 1 Gondola * Number 1 pair lift * Number 2 pair lift * Number 2 Gondola * Quad lift
Courses & Tree Runs - subject to change:
* All of the main official courses are available * All tree runs not yet open for the season
Nighta skiing operations
* Weekends and holidays from until 24th February 2020 Read more ...
Monday 30th December 2019, 7:59am
Good morning from Madarao.
After that really beautiful day yesterday, this morning it is cloudy and a bit windy. On the milder side too.
Pretty much all of Madarao is actually now open - except the top two lifts, summit area and the tree run courses. More of Tangram is also opening up, though there seems to be less snow on that side of the mountain.
They have done well!
The joint ticket for Madarao and Tangram is also now available.
OK all set. So, next up, more snow! Tomorrow.
Current operations: Monday 30th December 2019
Operating lifts & open courses at Madarao:
- Number 1 lift - Number 2 quad lift - Super quad lift - Number 5 lift - Number 11 lift - Number 12 lift - Number 15 lift - All courses apart from the summit area and tree run courses are now open
Operating lifts & open courses at Tangram Ski Circus:
- Number 1 pair lift - Number 3 quad lift - Number 5 quad lift - Number 6 lift (for connection from the pension area) - Primary Line course - Hard Line course - Zigzag Line - Green Line - Queens Downhill (lower) - Forest Line (lower) - Pantan Line Read more ...
Monday 30th December 2019, 8:16am
Morning from Zao.
It is a cloudy start this morning but might we get some snow today? Looks/feels like it might. If not today, tomorrow is seeming more likely.
The lack of heavy snowfall is... somewhat worrying. I have no doubt it will arrive. But.... soon please! (A scan through the other reports show a similar lack of impressive dumpage).
Apologies, I neglected to update the lifts operating information yesterday - Shobunuma and Katakai lifts now operating and added there.
Please check with the resort regarding nighta operations on the Yokokura area and the night operations of the Ropeway... for nighta they are delaying until at least 2nd Jan, for the ropeway it appears to be on a daily decision basis.
- Shobunuma Number 2 pair - Katakai triple - Chuo Number 1 pair AB - Chuo Number 2 pair AB - Mikaeri pair - Diamond Number 2 pair lift - Utopia Number 2 pair lift - Onsen Number 1 pair - Zao Chuo Ropeway / Zao Ropeway / Sky Cable
PLEASE CHECK IN THIS EARLY SEASON AS PLANS MAY CHANGE DUE TO SNOWFALL
Nighta in the Uwanodai area is scheduled daily until 1st March 2020 and then 7th, 14th, 20th and 21st March 2020. 5:00pm until 9:00pm.
Nighta in the Yokokura area is scheduled for New Year; and also on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 10th January and 7th March 2020. 5:00pm until 9:00pm.
The Zao Ropeway opens in the evenings on the below dates for 'Light Up' sightseeing purposes - to go and see the Juhyo monsters (not for skiing or boarding) on the following dates:
December 2019: 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st <<<< CHECK TO SEE IF OPERATING! January 2020: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 10th-12th, 17th-19th, 24th-27th, 29h-31st February 2020: all days apart from Tuesdays
There is an extra charge for this night time Ropeway operation. Read more ...
Monday 30th December 2019, 8:26am
Overcast with valley fog down to around 700m
A cold, clear night was followed by light snow this morning which fell down in the town as well.
It's a little wetter than we're used to but the target is still tomorrow night when it looks like we have a decent amount coming. More snow on Wednesday night and then again on Saturday the 4th. Right now it's overcast and feels a little humid with temps hovering just above freezing.
Looks set to get much colder from tomorrow onward which is most welcome!
I wasn't able to go out and enjoy it myself but it looks like it was a fine day yesterday.
This morning there's no fresh snowfall to report. It is feeling a bit mild too and unfortunately it looks like we might get rained on tonight but that should be turning into snow - hopefully quickly - which should be intensifying by New Years Day and beyond. That is looking very promising. So a good start to January is lined up.
In the meantime it looks like there's not going to be any/much snow added to my reports for the year with my last one coming tomorrow morning. I'll do one of my usual 'recaps' in the first few days of January, so look out for that.
There will be various things going on in the area for New Year of course. For example, the Grand Hirafu taimatsu torchlight skiing and fireworks event will start from 11:30 by the King Number 1 pair lift.
For those without a hangover, from 1st to 3rd January (and also 11th to 13th January), Niseko Annupuri will be doing their 'first run' thingy. Basically the Annupuri Gondola operates early from 7:20am until 8:20am. If you want to ride that early gondola, it's yours for 1,500 yen.
Thanks for the people who sent a mail to SnowJapan advising me to have some toast to recover from my cold. That made me smile. And I think it is doing the trick too as I am feeling much better this morning. Back to full power tomorrow I hope. The power of toast.
Niseko Avalanche Report
Moiwa Mountain Base 6.00am: -6°, no new snow in the last 12hrs. Moiwa 800m: -5.5°, ESE3.46m/s, no new snow, good visibility. Hirafu 1000m: -7.8°, S7.5m/s. Hanazono 720m: -5.0°, WSW9.60m/s. Coastal data: Benkei Cape:SSE11m/s. Kamui Cape SSW6m/s, 1024hPa, wave 0.6m.
A low pressure system over the Sea of Japan is causing strong winds in the mountains, above 1000m snow drifts are developing rapidly on eastern slopes and expect the temperature to rise during the day due to an influx of warm air. In the morning the mountain base will be calm however higher up the weather will deteriorate quickly. Best not to go hiking today.
Although there is now snowfall the snow depth on the East and West ridge is 150cm in places. The ridgeline is getting icy and the cornices are growing. The avalanche risk on the Backbowl sidewall around 1000m will become high breaking from Dec 29 layer. Be careful climbing up from Goshiki side. Be very cautious in bad weather. Avalanches occur when the conditions are right, regardless of the amount of snow. Only if people are involved it becomes an accident.
Do not duck ropes to leave the ski area boundary. Ducking ropes is strictly prohibited in Niseko. Have a good day.
Ski resort operation information: Monday 30th December 2019 The below information is manually checked each morning and believed to be correct at time of report. Subject to change.
Official snow depth (reported by resort): - Peak: 185cm - Base: 70cm
Ski lifts operating: - Ace Family quad (until 8:30pm) - Ace Number 1 pair - Ace Number 2 Center quad (until 8:20pm) - Ace Number 3 pair - Hirafu Gondola (until 8:10pm) - Holiday Number 1 pair (until 8:30pm) - King Number 1 pair - King Number 2 quad - King Number 3 quad - Swinging Monkey
All courses now open EXCEPT the following: - Onsenzawa - Large - Konayuki - Miharashi - Dynamic
Official snow depth (reported by resort): - Peak: 105cm - Base: 70cm
Ski lifts operating: - Niseko Gondola - Upper Village Gondola (until 8:00pm) - Village Express (until 8:00pm) - Community Chair - Banzai Chair (until 8:00pm) - Morino Chair - Country Road
Night time operations are normally available in the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri resort areas. Subject to weather conditions. (There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO resort area). Read more ...
Monday 30th December 2019, 8:37am
Updated at 9:45am
Good morning from Yuzawa.
Yesterday the sun was out and it was a beautiful day with just a bit of cloud appearing later on.
There is no fresh snowfall overnight and today is starting with mostly cloudy overcast skies. (As of 9:15am it had started snowing up at Naeba and higher elevations).
Alas, a southerly wind is the bad guy today causing Yuzawa Kogen and GALA Yuzawa to both be closed for the day. No word from Kagura yet (though yesterday they were saying that that all areas were now open).
Maiko appear to be open as planned but the gondola may be operating at reduced speed.
Head is spinning with so much information to check and update every morning at the moment. We are trying to put out as much information as possible. It would be an easier task if it was a case of bringing you news of tons of snow!
We will again be checking and updating the resort specific data below as necessary over the next hour or two. There may be changes. (Update: there have been!)
A good day or two of heavy snowfall would fix all this up really quickly. The forecasts over the coming week are looking promising. Please, please, please!
- Mostly open - Both the Mitsumata Ropeway and Tashiro Ropeway bases ropeways are operating - The lift/course connection between Tashiro Area and Kagura Area is available - The Dragondola from Naeba is operating
I am happy to report that it has started snowing this morning as you can see on the Minowa photo below. No cm to add to the reports this morning yet though and we probably can't expect any. We can expect some tomorrow though as temperatures take a dip and hopefully we will get a proper good blast of winter for a few days. Watch out for potential windy conditions.
There are still some ski resorts that are not yet able to open for the season which is really disappointing; it has certainly been a late start to the season. And it looks like it is a Japan-wide thing too, not just this region.
Things can change quickly. Hopefully that will be the case soon...
Grandeco Snow Resort: - Part open - Number 1 quad lift operating - Number 2 quad lift operating - Gondola operating - 3000m of course available - Lavender B course - Center course - Rainbow 3500 (upper area) - Connecting course - Hotel connecting course - Kids Park also open
After that beauty of a day yesterday, the clouds are back this morning and it is actually snowing --- no cm on the ground to report though at the moment and we aren't really expecting much from it today.
From today you can ski to the Dragondola base as the resort opens up the Hiuchi pair lift and from 10am the Number 1 Gondola will also be operating so there's more of the mountain opening. See the image below.
More snow will mean further openings so fingers crossed that tomorrow will deliver as we have been told to expect.
Official snow depth:
Planned operating lifts:
- Prince Number 1 Gondola - Prince Number 2 Gondola - Takenokodaira pair lift - Number 4 romance pair lift - Number 5 high speed lift - Number 3 high speed lift - Number 4 high speed lift - Hiuchi Number 1 romance pair lift - Dragondola
Courses planned to be open:
- Many base areas are now open - The upper Takenokodaira course is open - You can now ski or snowboard back down to base from the top of the Number 1 Gondola - Sledding area open in base area - Other courses will open up as soon as there is enough snow - The Dragondola is now operating to get over to the Tashiro Area of Kagura Read more ...
Monday 30th December 2019, 9:10am
Morning from Hakuba.
It was a very fine day yesterday with lots of sunshine and blue skies.
It was just cloudy a little earlier this morning but as I put this report together snow has started to fall down to base areas and it is snowing at higher elevations which is the good news.
Feels fairly mild though this morning and with temps due to rise a little during the day I can't see it lasting but go on prove me wrong nature!
Unfortunately, Hakuba Cortina have decided to close today due to the snow conditions. :(
Snowfall news from the resorts:
The information in this table is data reported by the ski resorts
New snowfall (base)
New snowfall (upper)
TOTAL ACCUMULATION (UPPER)
IMPORTANT: See below for an explanation of the above data
That's about it from me this morning. I'll see you tomorrow when hopefully it will be snowing so we can end the year with some better news!
Operating lifts: - Gondola (need to take the gondola back to base from the open upper area) - Alps Number 1 pair - Alps Number 3 pair - Alps Number 2/4 pair - Toomi Sky Four quad - Toomi Number 1 pair - Milky Four quad
Courses open: - Panorama - Grand Prix - Technical - Super - Toomi (part) - Soft Cream
About the data in the above ‘snowfall as reported by ski resorts’ table * The table within the above report contains data that is published by individual ski resorts * The data shown is the amount of snowfall that the ski resorts are themselves reporting each 24 hour period on the upper areas of their mountain * The source ‘new snowfall’ data and ‘total accumulation’ data is not updated at the same time * The ‘new snowfall’ data is updated in the morning * The ‘accumulation’ data is apparently updated/refreshed at midnight * That means that there is a time lag between the two numbers being updated * We manually check and update the data just before we publish each Hakuba Now report - so the data in each Hakuba Now report table is what is available at that time * Any odd-looking numbers are due to the source data. We are not responsible for and have no control over the data. We are simply sharing the data with you * Just to be extra clear, unlike our own ‘observed snowfall’ data from base that we show at the top of each report, the data in the table is not an independent observation by SnowJapan * A more in-depth introduction and explanation can be found in this reportRead more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Monday 30th December 2019, 9:17am
Morning from Shiga Kogen.
The sun was out and blue skies and relative warmth yesterday.
Clouds are back above us this morning and it is snowing lightly.
It looks like Shibutoge and Terakoya are now (at least) part open.
Most of the individual areas of Shiga Kogen are now at least part open, but we're not fully connected yet and snow is still thin on the ground.
Once again we enter the least-pleasant phase of these snow/sun/rain/snow cycles that seem to be the early-season norm.
It is raining lightly right now, with a pretty strong southwest wind. It's the wind that worries me most with such a low snow base; it can really eat up the snow (the rain can actually make things nice and slid-y).
The temperature is supposed to drop really fast over the next day, as the freezing (0°C) line moves from almost the top of Mt. Myoko to sea level. Hopefully that comes with snow (which is on the forecast), or we could enjoy some nice icy conditions. Blech.
Also, take some of the area snow depth reporting with a heavy does of salt. It is thin out there - it can be very nice in places, but you will discover grass and other non-snow items on your on-ski travels.