Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 22nd February 2019
Friday 4th March 2016, 7:25am
Clear and sunny
Good morning from Yuzawa.
Yesterday started off very fine but by mid morning cloud had started to gather and it was generally cloudy by around lunchtime. I was up at GALA Yuzawa meeting a few colleagues and the snow conditions were pretty good actually, we had a good few hours up there.
Unfortunately we couldn't avoid some rain at times in the afternoon and evening (sometimes rather heavy as well), though it didn't get to be as warm as we were expecting which is a good thing. (More of that over the weekend please).
This morning we are dry and clear skies above once again, with some dramatic low valley fog over in the Minamiuonuma valley early on.
It should be a fine day today - sunny skies are forecast for the day with a high temperature of around 9C expected later on. Currently the forecast is for more of the same tomorrow, just slightly higher temperatures later in the day.
Come Sunday and the threat of rain is with us once again, along with some alarmingly warm forecast temperatures, so if you are choosing one day over the weekend the best bet would seem to be Saturday.
Resort official snow depths (Friday 4th 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.
Good morning from Nozawa and an early report today.
The sun is out and there's blue skies up above - it's another fine morning.
Currently it's around 0 degrees here in the village and we are expecting temps to rise to about 6C or slightly more later on in the day.
More cloud is forecast for tomorrow but the sun should be with us again and warmer conditions; and warmer still on Sunday along with the good chance of rain as well. Not the best forecast for the weekend for sure, but Saturday definitely looks the better choice at the moment.
With the warmth forecast there's inevitably going to be snow melt going on this weekend especially lower down. Come on forecasts, be wrong!
(But be right about the chance of some fresh snow on the mountain come Wednesday next week!)
There are a few course closures (to the general public) in the coming days due to some ski races being held, as below:
Until today: 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 Friday 4th March 2016 (subject to change):
Pesky strong winds yesterday forced Happo-one to shorten the course and change the race start point for their Reisen Slalom race, but the race went ahead and congratulations to everyone taking part and the winners.
Other resorts were affected by winds and from what I hear Hakuba 47 didn't even get to open at all during the day.
I'm happy to report that it is a much calmer start to the day today. And good news from over at Hakuba Goryu - their gondola will be moving once again from today after the incident that they had earlier this week. All good!
Anyway, it's a fine morning. Some very thin cloud around, but generally it's bright and sunny and it is going to be a lovely day. It's going to warm up too much for our liking and there's a real spring feel in the air, but at least it's a 'feel good' morning. I'm trying to extract the good out of it all, can you see? ;)
The next few days are going to be... warm. Double digit and a bit above kind of warm. And around Sunday rain is still there on the forecast too.
Let me finish the report today by spying some potential snowfall on the forecast for the mountains around Tuesday night/Wednesday next week. So it will be cooling down again after the coming warm weekend, there is hope!
In the meantime, snow conditions may not be perfect but it should be a fine early spring day to be sliding.
Resort news as of 8:00am on Friday 4th 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 courses set to open this morning. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba 47. Official snow depth: Upper: 215cm Base: 115cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning. The Hakuba Goryu Gondola re-opens today - hurray! All courses open apart from Snow Diving and Adventure. The Toomi area will be open until 8:30pm tonight for 'nighta'. Official snow depth Alps: 265cm Toomi: 130cm Iimori: 90cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All courses appear to be open apart from the Kurobishi Off Piste Area. The lower Nakiyama area is open for 'nighta' every day until 9pm. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 225cm Nakiyama: 80cm Sakka: 50cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All courses set to open. The Ikenota area will be open for 'nighta' until 8pm tonight (9pm on Saturdays). Official snow depth: Top: 218cm Base: 135cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All courses and areas are generally open but top lifts on hold at the start of the day today due to winds. 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: 260cm Maruyama: 80cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 100cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Parts of the Village Side not open - Kamoshika Pocket, Big Bahn, Two Top, Kamoshika Racing. Parts of the Mountain Side not open - Sonezawa, View A, Five Side. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: Upper: 140cm Lower: 50cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: All courses are open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: 140cm
Just 1cm of snowfall from yesterday to add to the snowfall numbers this morning.
It's a lovely sunny and calm morning and keeping cold too.
There are blue skies all around with just a few clouds here and there, including a rather fetching 'hat' being worn by Mt Yotei. And why not.
It might be a cold start to the day but we are expecting something of a warm up over the next few days and temperatures are expected to venture into positive numbers tomorrow (more sunshine) and Sunday in particular. Let's hope they don't venture too far. Sunday might be a day to have marked down for 'other plans' because as well as the warmth there's also a very good chance that it will be raining. Yuck.
But once we get to Monday it should start getting colder once again and there's more snow on the forecast for Tuesday.
I'll off out for a few hours skiing. Might see you out there!
Resort specific lift opening news at time of posting (subject to change during the day):
Niseko base 6am: -8℃, 5cm snowfall. Moiwa 800m: -9℃, 5cm snowfall with overnight snowdrift development. Mikaeri 740m: 15cm snowfall and large snowdrift development. Annupuri 1150m: -11℃, good groomers condition and no notable development of snowdrifts. Snowpack depth 295cm at 1000m. Hirafu peak ridge: -9℃, mild wind, no notable snowdrift development. Coastal data Benkei cape: NNE3m/s, Kamui cape N2m/s, 1030hPa, 0.7m waves.
Calm ocean and mountains under the high-pressure system. Some light snow fell over night and the westerly wind that blew yesterday evening made the snow move and develop cornices and hard slabs snowdrifts in some ridges above 800m. The cornices could collapse with the slightest stimulation. There are 2 notable layers in the upper snowpack, but mostly stable, the hazard for large avalanche is low. The snow is in good shape, peak gates will open from the morning. Listen to the ski patrol’s instructions, be prepared before you step out of the gates. 100% safety is not possible in the out of bounds, you evaluate the risks and consequences. Better not underestimate the dangers, as well as not overestimate your experience, skills or equipment. Most accidents can be avoided by being prudent. Have a nice day.
Official resort snow depths as of Friday 4th March 2016:
Morning from Zao and there's quite a lot of cloud around at the start of the day, but looking at the forecast perhaps they'll move on and the sun will win out. Tomorrow should also be clear and sunny.
Temperatures are going to be rising over the next few days with what will surely be the warmest day of the year so far on Sunday - and rain too with the freezing line shooting up way above the top of the mountain.
It should be getting colder again on the other side of Sunday and we can hopefully also look forward to some fresh snowfall sometime around Wednesday. Wouldn't expect any before then though.
So it really feels rather "spring" right now. But we can hold onto the hope of a few more winter-like conditions to return.
Usually Zao remains part open for skiing and snowboarding until early May - just how that will all pan out this season remains to be seen...
Information as of Friday 4th March 2016 (subject to change)
The Karamatsu pair lift is generally closed on weekdays. The evening light up ropeway service has now finished for the season.
This morning we have yet bluebird on our hands. Conditions today on piste are slightly crunchy after yesterdays thaw during the day time and freeze overnight.
The temperature is currently -2 Celsius outside although this is expected to rise above the 0 mark relatively soon.
Looking on the weather is supposed to remain clear from today with clouds coming in tomorrow. Unfortunately the next few days look like their could be small amounts of rain on most days. However the snow is expected to make a comeback as of Tuesday and Wednesday so we've got that to look forwards to.
The sun is shining today at Grandeco and it looks like it is going to stay that way all day and into tomorrow as well.
Unfortunately the forecast is still saying rain for Sunday and possibly into Monday as well which we would of course prefer to avoid. It's going to get warm though this coming weekend especially on Sunday and so Saturday is probably the best pick of the two.
The surfaces are powder and packed powder across the mountain with places to get good turns in all over.
All lifts and trails are open today, and the Nishidaiten backcountry area should be great if you have the equipment and a bit of experience.
The Snow Park's new Double Wave feature is a good place to work on your boarding and ski park skills. Super fun!
Currently sunny, light winds and excellent visibility will make for a great day out there. Expect sunny skies and light winds most of the day today with no snowfall.
Yesterday was great for those who ventured out with a fair amount of fresh powder to keep people happy. Unfortunately due to the closure of the Main and Sailer gondolas all day we were somewhat limited to the runs open. The high winds forced what few people were out there running for cover early in the afternoon.
Looking into the crystal ball for the weekend does not look good at all. Saturday we’ll see rising temperatures, rain on Saturday night and moderate rain on Sunday. Temperatures will creep up in the plus range and may hit 6 or 7 degrees. Certainly not ideal skiing or boarding weather.
Get your spf50 on and head out for what looks like one of the few remaining decent days this year.
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
Right now it is the perfect morning. There is not even a single cloud over the resort, rather deep blue sky and sunshine. It is cold though, with the resort base hitting -17c this morning, so best to put on an extra layer to keep that cold at bay. There is good news in relation to the snow as well with 9cm of fresh recorded since yesterday morning.
The snow is in great condition with groomed powder conditions on all the main runs. This afternoon there could be a light dusting of snow but the clear conditions should stay with us for the day. Tomorrow is forecast to be another great day with clear skies. Sunday is the day that is going to be the wild card with positive temperatures and moderate rain predicted. I certainly have my fingers crossed that the weather pattern changes into something more positive, such as moderate snow instead of the moderate rain.