Another morning waking up with snow on the car and nice -4 temperatures in the valley. Yesterday was fantastic out there with great powder for the hounds and nice groomed runs in fantastic condition for the rest, and last nights snow only adds to that. Only about 5 cms in the valley and up to 20 cms up top but every bit helps and every flake of snow is another piece of powder to be smashed.
Visibility isn't the greatest today due to the snow which is forecast to continue through the day. Changeable winds from the West and a max. temperature of 1 over lunch time pushing back down to -5 degrees as the day progresses. Cold temperatures forecast for the rest of the week along with snow flurries. Still a fair bit of precipitation looking to be coming our way...
Updates on the news yesterday about the slide at Tsugaike. A group of female snow-boarders, part of some kind of university/technical college group were led by their guide under a rope into closed terrain in an effort to get down from the mountain on time to meet their deadline. They were struck by a size 2.5 slide on the cat track. All people were found however 2 of the victims were taken off the mountain yesterday in comas and the news stated yesterday one of these woman died.
The lesson to be learned here is that signs posting avalanche danger mean it! Stay out of these areas as it is not just yourselves that you are putting at risk it is others on slopes below as well. And don't listen to your friends who duck the ropes and say it's sweet...
It was a bluebird day yesterday but no new snow had fallen overnight. The sunny faces of the mountain baked in the sun and the snow quality was quite mushy down low. Higher up the mountain the snow was like sugar but nice to ski on, nonetheless. The peak above Hirafu was visibly tracked out from the day before which suggested that virtually no snow had fallen up high either. It has snowed a little overnight but it will take at least another 30-40cm to repair the loss of cover. The higher slopes will be the best riding today, possibly some waist deep areas behind the peak.
Yesterday's weather was dominated by a large continental high that had pushed the lows away to the east. The next few days look better as the lows move back in and take revenge. Today will likely bring intermittent moderate snowfalls and Wednesday looks like the high might stave off any heavier falls, but Thursday and Friday are looking good with a long band of low pressure cells sitting on the pacific side of Hokkaido grinding up against a persistent high pressure cell over the Sea of Japan, which should also coincide with an ample amount of precipitation on Friday. Read more ...
Tuesday 5th February 2008, 8:46am
Cloud, sun > maybe snow later
Well it is not sunny early on this morning. The day begins cloudy, but it is fairly bright and currently around -2 degrees. No new snow other than the sprinkling last night in the town but Kagura once again reporting some fresh snow (10-15cm) and it looks like the sun might be out up in that region of Yuzawa.
In fact, in the last minute the sun has appeared here as well. It's more grey/silver than blue today though.
However, the snow clouds may well be back with us later this afternoon and into this evening possibly bringing more snowfall. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Tuesday 5th February 2008, 9:04am
Yesterday we got a new (thin) cover of snow in Shiga Kogen, giving the slopes another topup.
Earlier this morning when I got up there was decent weather in the region - some blue sky and the sun doing it's thing. But, since then it has clouded over somewhat and there is some snow falling at the moment even though there are still patches of blue sky here and there. The snow falling right now though is only light and there is just a slight breeze and so nothing that is affecting visibility out there too much.
Temperatures around what they were yesterday, with the thermometer outside saying -7 at the moment.
Night operations planned at the following resort areas of Shiga Kogen today:
Not much fell yesterday, but this morning the heavy stuff is starting to fall as I type. The present rate is 3cm an hour at Akakura. Good viz around Suginohara/Kurohime, but it`ll probably white out around early afternoon there as well. Hard heavy stuff to prep you for the sunny weekend (according to the weatherman).
The pick of the day is Suginohara, but don`t get stuck up at the top in the afternoon if the winds start up. For all around conditions (viz, snow, wind), Togakushi is probably the most comfortable, though.
We have had a little bit of new snow in Nozawa yesterday and this morning. It is still snowing now, but nothing too significant. The temperature got up quite high yesterday, and it was rather choppy and slushy in the afternoon. We are expecting a bit of snow on Wednesday and Saturday nights.
Yesterday the snow patrol did some serious patrolling of under the lifts and trees on Yamabiko, everyones favourite place for a bit of splash even when the rest of the resort is tracked out. Even though this is technically off piste, normally no one minds if you go in there. This is the first time I have heard of people being warned this season - the start of a crack-down perhaps? Read more ...
Tuesday 5th February 2008, 12:57pm
Cloud, light snow
Earlier on this morning the clouds looked like they might be clearing up and even some sunshine in parts but it has clouded over a fair bit since then and light snow is falling at the moment.
It was a chilly start to the morning, down into minus double figures, but isn't quite as cold now. The top half of the mountain is covered in snow clouds as the moment, but visibility is fair down on the lower half.
The forecast is for snow through tonight, but tomorrow might be fine until those snow clouds move in once again later in the day. Read more ...
Tuesday 5th February 2008, 13:18pm
The sun was shining for most of yesterday with a midday temperature of 3 deg C at the valley level. A cool night last night has created a crust layer on the surface which has once again melted in the sun today.
The snow is forecast to hit Minakami from mid afternoon today and continue to the early hours of tomorrow morning. There is more sun forecast for tomorrow but it should give way to cloud as a new front approaches.
Backcountry The sun of last Monday has created a thick melt crust at 50cm in the snow pack on North slopes that has the wind packed fresh snow from the past 6 days sitting on top of it. Facets were starting to form in the interface between the crust and new snow creating a weak layer (CTM(11) @ 50cm). It would be advisable to pick your routes very wisely at present, especially avoiding steeper terrain.
Avalanche Hazard: Alpine: Considerable Tree Line: Considerable Below Tree line: Moderate Read more ...