Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 6th May 2019
Saturday 3rd January 2015, 8:05am
Cloudy, a few moments of sun earlier, but the snow has started up again at reporting time.
More snow today! And we're seeing some sun at the moment, making it that much more fun to enjoy the powder.
Sorry not to get a report out yesterday; after a crazy end to the first day of the year—trains stopped locally, expressway shut down, roads in a pretty bad state—follow up was pretty hard on the 2nd.
Today, though, we're back in order, ready to report, and with good news for snow hounds. Namely, I think we've had 80 cm or so over these two days - hard to tell with some winds along with the heavy snow, but lots of fresh.
The sun isn't staying out yet, but there's no wind at the moment, either.
Akakura Kanko: 310cm, -8°
Akakura Onsen: 267cm, -2° (love the precise depths this year!)
Yes, once again we have another thick layer of fresh snow this morning to add to what was already out there.
After the lovely weather conditions we had for lots of the day yesterday, it's almost a surprise but of course another good one.
As I write this report the snow is still coming down and it looks like it will be poor visibility out on the runs this morning.
The snowfall is expected to ease today and still for conditions to get milder from tomorrow, maybe the sun featuring on Monday. Then back to snow around Tuesday.
We may well have been disappointed at times last season, but this is the kind of masses of snow that we expect in Nozawa. To think that it's only New Year as well. Hopefully it isn't doing most of it's snowing up front and we'll get regular topups through the season.
Today is the last day for the lifts opening 30 minutes earlier than normal for the New Year holidays, so back to normal times tomorrow morning.
Fresh snow to report this morning since yesterday (overnight):
Another large delivery of snow has arrived in Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma.
Here's the observations and reports coming in:
My car - 30cm Maiko Snow Resort - 20+cm Kagura - 50cm Naeba - 30-50cm
Going back to yesterday, by the afternoon many clouds cleared up somewhat especially leaving us the sun shining down on some of the slopes. Some lovely late afternoon scenes in the region. It was back to snow in the evening though and this morning there's just over 30cm on the car outside.
Round the back of my house area, the snow that is piled up naturally (ie on a large piece of flat land) is now way higher than me - I'd say closer to 3m than 2m.
Apparently there's quite a strong wind at higher elevations and I can see that early on the Tashiro area and the Kagura Number 1 Quad and Number 4 and 5 lifts are not moving. That may well change with the change in weather conditions.
Talking of which, conflicting forecasts on what to expect today. More snow or a clearing of the skies? What they seem to be able to agree on is that from tomorrow it shouldn't be quite as cold as it has been and there's a good chance of fine and sunny conditions on Monday. That shouldn't last long though with a return of snow clouds from Tuesday.
It may not be open early this morning due to the wind but it's worth another mention that Kagura have opened the Kagura Number 5 top pair lift from January 1st this season.
Nighta 'night skiing' - where some slopes are floodlit for skiing and snowboarding in the evening, is available at the following resorts in the area.
Ishiuchi Maruyama: Every day until 21st March (until 8:50pm) Iwappara: Every day until 22nd March (until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays, 9pm on Saturdays) Joetsu Kokusai: Every day until 22nd March (until 9pm) Kandatsu Kogen: From 23rd January, 'all night' on holidays (6pm or 10pm until 4am the next morning) Maiko Snow Resort: Every day until 14th March (until 8pm) Naeba: Every day until 29th March (until 9pm) NASPA Ski Garden (skiers only): 27th December until 3rd January; 11th January; Saturdays until 29th February (until 7pm) Yuzawa Nakazato: 27th December until 3rd January; 11th January; Saturdays from 10th January until 14th March (until 8:30pm)
Chateaux Shiozawa also have nighta but only on certain days - no fixed schedule available. Resorts not mentioned above do not operate 'nighta'. Some resorts offer tickets that include nighta, others need a seperate lift ticket.
The cold from yesterday is still in the bones today but again a nice day out there is expected. Not a great deal of new snow overnight but some good coverage late yesterday was a bit of a top up. Today should flurry throughout the day but won't add up to more then about 4 cm. Read more ...
Saturday 3rd January 2015, 9:01am
It was a great day out yesterday with the sun doing it's thing along with the fine snow conditions to enjoy.
This morning I have another 10cm of fresh snowfall to report and it is still snowing now. Not a huge amount expected today, more the chance of it getting less during the day with just cloud expected tomorrow and then sunshine on Monday.
Currently -4 degrees but still much colder higher up. From tomorrow we are still told to expect somewhat warmer (or should I say not as cold) temperatures.
It looks fairly calm out there from what I can see, but the top King lift at Hirafu that is being affected by windy conditions - but all other areas seem to be open as planned.
There's a curious bit of news from the Niseko Grand Hirafu area.
Some of you may have noticed that the following lifts haven't been joining in the party yet this season:
- King Number 1 pair lift - King Number 2 quad lift - Ace Number 4 pair lift
The reason being stated seems to be along the lines there not being enough staff to operate the lifts safetly. Which seems odd. But anyway there's no date given for when they might get moving, if indeed they will. This doesn't mean of course that any courses are closed, but it would be good to have the lift capacity.
Resort specific news at time of writing - subject to change during the day
Niseko Annupuri: Looks set to be open as planned. 'Annupuri First Run' is available until Sunday and then also on the 11th and 12th January. For 1000 yen, you can get to ride the Gondola from 7:20-8:20am.
Niseko Avalanche Report
Niseko base: -8C, 15cm of broken crystal snow in 12 hours. Moiwa 800m: NW15m/s, -12C, 25cm snowfall with snowdrifts development. Annupuri 1150m: -12C, 25cm snowfall with snowdrifts development. Hirafu 1000m: -12C, 25cm snowfall with snowdrifts development. Coastal data: Benkei cape NNW17m/s, Kamui cape W12m/s, 1005hPa, 1.4m waves.
The isobars are momentarily narrowing and intermittent stormy condition is continuing. Strong northerly wind with heavy snowfall persists above 1200m, generating heavy and unstable development of snowdrifts. Peak gates 2 & 3 opening is yet to be decided. Please follow the ski patrol’s instructions. Adjust your touring plans according to the weather conditions. Entering Osawa (Annupuri bowl) by crossing the rope below gate 2 is strictly prohibited. Better not risk your lift pass. The freedom of out of bounds riding in Niseko is barely protected by having everyone respecting the Rules. The snow in the trees has been reset, but is wind affected and a bit heavy. It is strongly advised not to stimulate knolls, cornice slopes and steep gully side-slopes below 800m. Thin surface slab avalanches are highly likely to occur. Most of avalanche related accidents happens in leeward snowdrift-loaded slopes during bad weather. Be prudent and have a nice day.
Official snow depth numbers and any notes at time of writing:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 300cm Base - 160cm
Niseko Village: Top - 220cm Base - 150cm
Niseko Annupuri: Top - 220cm Base - 150cm
Lifts open for night skiing (planned):
Niseko Grand Hirafu Ace Family Pair lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift (There is no night skiing at the Hanazono area)
Cold day yesterday with spells of sunshine but lots of cloud remaining over the region.
It's a cold start to today as well, 5cm on the ground outside my place and more snow reported from resorts around the valley. (Well done Cortina on up to 40cm once again!)
It's windy out there this morning which is affecting some of the lifts at resorts. I have tried to add the latest as of 9:30am to the various resort info areas below.
Changing conditions are expected today as the snow eases off and perhaps the skies clear somewhat. Hopefully the wind will ease as well. Visibility still limited higher up but in lower areas and back from the mountains there's already some blue sky to see.
Sun likely tomorrow and Monday and it should not be as cold.
Someone sent in a mail to SnowJapan asking about when the reports are posted. The answer to that is that they are posted as early as possible each day. Or should I say, as early as possible given the circumstances. Those circumstances being:
a) it takes quite a bit of time each morning to gather and check all of the information required b) some of the required information is not posted early by the resorts themselves and c) I am human!
No doubt many who are actually in Hakuba and wanting an early start will be eagerly looking out of the window at 7am and be out on the lifts before the report is posted, which is fine. Better being on the mountain than in front of a computer! I don't know the full details but I believe that the considerable readership of the daily Now reports on SnowJapan come from all over the world. Think of them more as an ongoing commentary of the season than an early morning pre-ski report. I hope that explains it a bit, gambarimasu.
Actually writing that bit has delayed the report this morning... sorry!
Official snow depth numbers and operations as of 3rd January 2015. Subject to change during the day:
Hakuba Goryu: Reporting 10cm of new snowfall at Alps Daira. Strong winds preventing top Alps Daira pair lifts from moving early on. All courses open except Panorama Course and Adventure Course. Night skiing at Toomi every day until 31st March. Early morning skiing from 6:30am until 4th January (and then on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays).
Hakuba 47: Reporting 15-20cm of fresh snowfall overnight. Line C quad lift and Line E on hold due to windy conditions. Gondola is moving but may need to be stopped due to wind conditions. All courses open. Tree Riding Zone open.
- Upper - 285cm - Lower - 160cm
Happo-one: Reporting 10cm of fresh snowfall. Lower lifts opening was delayed but now open - upper parts of the mountain not open due to strong wind conditions. Night skiing at Nakiyama every day until mid March. Happo Banks The Snow Park yet to open.
Trying to avoid obviously hype-like adjectives but really what more could we want than yet another 40+cm of snowfall.
The resort this morning is clocking in another 40-50cm and once again yes that's pretty much how much I need to be clearing off once again this morning. Not complaining!
It's keeping suitably cold.
What more can I say. Top conditions for those lucky enough to be here. Lots of cloud but even a small break in them just before with some sun - clouded over again now. The forecast though is for clearing rather than continued snow and I think we'll get more sun than snow over the next few days and it shouldn't be as cold either.
Quite busy as you might expect, though I would guess that tomorrow will be less so with people heading back to reality after their new year hols.
Tonight is the last nighta of the New Year holidays... after today it's Saturdays until 21st March as well as 11th January.
Number 1 lift Number 2 quad lift Number 3A Number 5 Super quad lift Number 11 lift Number 12 lift Number 13 lift Number 15 lift Moving Walkway Kids Park Freeride Park Tree Run Courses should be open today
Night skiing at Madarao tonight - after that on 11th January and every Saturday until 21st March 2015
Varied conditions ranging from cloud and snow easing off to sun
Nice weather yesterday, snow overnight and it seems the clouds are clearing again this morning with some blue sky opening up in places and the sun shining through. Still cloudy and poorer visibility in some places, but maybe it's going to start clearing in all of the areas. That is what the forecast tells us is set to happen anyway, followed by sun tomorrow and Monday.
There's a fairly strong northerly wind though this morning.
The wind has been affecting parts of Yokoteyama and Yakebitaiyama (Number 2 Gondola) - the Moving Sidewalk at Ichinose Diamond is not moving as well by the looks.
It's another very cold morning in Shiga Kogen.
Resort areas status with official snow depths:
Okushiga Kogen: 130cm Open (note: skiers only resort area)
Yakebitaiyama: 150cm Open apart from Expert Course
Ichinose Family 140cm Open apart from Perfecter Course
Ichinose Yamanokami: 140cm Open
Ichinose Diamond: 140cm Open
Takamagahara Mammoth: 140cm Open
Terakoya: 150cm Open
Higashitateyama: 100cm Open
Giant: 140cm Open
Nishitateyama: 140cm Most open
Happo Bundaraia: 140cm Open
Sun Valley: 110cm Open
Maruike: 110cm Open
Hasuike: 110cm Open
Kumanoyu: 145cm Open (note: skiers only resort area)
Yokoteyama & Shibutoge: 150cm Open except for Jumbo Course.
Planned night floodlit skiing at Shiga Kogen resort areas this season:
Sun Valley: January 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd to March 21st
Maruike: January 1st-3rd, 10th, 11th
Takamagahara Mammoth: January 1st-3rd
Ichinose Family: Every day until March 29th
Ichinose Diamond: January 1st-3rd, 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd until March 28th
Yakebitaiyama: January 1st-3rd, 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd until February 21st
Kumanoyu: January 1st-3rd; Every Saturday from January 3rd until March 28th Read more ...
Saturday 3rd January 2015, 10:12am
It sure is staying cold at the moment!
Foggy conditions as well with continued poor visibility and moderate winds on the mountain.
I think quite a lot of people are hoping that it will clear up today and there does seem to be a chance of that, and a better still chance of that tomorrow and Monday. The grip of the bitter cold should ease as well with slightly warmer (I use that word loosely!) temps due for a few days.
Yokokura area: From Friday 26th December until 4th January; Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Friday 9th January until 15th March
Open times from 5pm until 9pm.
Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time ropeway operations
January 2015: 1st-4th, 10th-12th, 17th-18th, 24th-31st February 2015: 1st-28th
Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm. Ropeway return charges are 2600 yen for adults and 1300 yen for children. In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled.
The snow continues in Minakami with an extra 40cm of new snow on the ground from the last 24 hours. The wind has been gusting throughout the night transporting a lot of the new snow to sheltered areas so depths vary considerably.
It is supposed to clear up this afternoon with the next storm forecast to start from Jan 7th. There may be a rain event on Tuesday but this will likely be limited to the valley level.