Yesterday ended up being a very hazy and sunny/bright day in the region and temperatures rose to around 8-9C degrees here in town.
While it felt rather chilly outside just before, it's forecast to very quickly warm up today and it might get up to around 12C by mid afternoon. Tomorrow is set to get even warmer, perhaps close to 15C. I'm sure I don't need to point out that snow will be melting in those temperatures!
On the subject of rain, it is looking likely that we might avoid it tomorrow, but it still due around Monday.
The good news looking ahead is that starting Tuesday it should start getting colder once again and there's even a hint of snow on the forecast mid week. So hopefully, there is hope for us to see some more fresh snow. We usually do in March.
Otherwise, expect spring snow conditions this weekend with the better snow to be found in higher resort areas where it is keeping colder.
It's the 64th Echigo Yuzawa Onsen Yuki Matsuri (Snow Festival) tonight in central Yuzawa with some events going on and fireworks scheduled for 8:40pm. It starts at 6pm with the main event held at the Nunoba ski hill area close by to Yuzawa Kogen Ropeway (about 10 minutes walk from the West Exit of Echigo Yuzawa Station).
Resort official snow depths (Saturday 5th 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.
Morning from here in Niseko and the sun is out and there's clear blue skies all around - Mt Yotei has decided not to wear a hat this morning.
There's no new cm of snowfall to report I'm afraid, so we'll have to make do with what we had yesterday.
Happily it was cold overnight and the day is starting off pretty cold too, though things are due to warm up this weekend. Perhaps not too much today but tomorrow will be warm with a good chance of rain falling as well.
Come Tuesday next week colder conditions should be back and there's some snowfall lined up on the forecast there I see. We'll have some of that please!
Anyway pick of the weekend will have to be today and you might want to plan something else for tomorrow (unless you like those conditions of course - and of course the forecasts could be wrong).
I hope you have a good Saturday. Until tomorrow...
Resort specific lift opening news at time of posting (subject to change during the day):
Niseko base 6am: -10℃, no snowfall, bluebird. Moiwa peak: -12℃, no snowfall, clear sky. Annupuri 1000m snowpack 295cm. Hirafu peak ridge: -11℃, no snowfall and sunny. Benkei cape: S3m/s, Kamui cape: S3m/s, 1035hPa, 0.7m waves.
Fair weather at the ocean and the mountains under a high-pressure system. The general avalanche risk is low. There is a crust layer under soft surface snow in south facing aspects under 500m elevation, this layer catches the skis and are tricky to manage, be careful. Beware also of newly formed cracks, they are deep and sometimes cannot be climbed by yourself. Better avoid being alone in the mountains. There are numerous traverse tracks everywhere, which are a waste of beautiful slopes and also triggers unwanted slides. Ride the fall-line, not across it. Although Spring is approaching, powder season seems to continue. Have a nice day. Gates will open from the morning.
Official resort snow depths as of Saturday 5th March 2016:
There was no wind yesterday, it was just clear skies, warmth... and a distinct spring feel going on.
Interesting to see some people hooded up in full winter gear and the next person wearing just a t-shirt!
As expected it's going to be warm again today rising to around 10C here in the village. There's more cloud around this morning but some sunshine and blue sky as well, though the forecast is generally for cloudy conditions during the day.
Snow conditions may be a bit hard at first but will soon loosen up and get heavier... good thigh exercise.
What about the rain that has been threatening? Well, different forecasts are painting different pictures but it would seem that we should see some rain tomorrow (less than feared?) and then more on Monday. Tomorrow will probably be the warmest day so far this year as well, rising a further few more degrees than today even.
You want more exciting snowy news right? It will be getting colder early in the week once again and there's a chance of snow around Tuesday/Wednesday, particularly higher up. Fingers crossed.
Wherever you are, I hope you have a good Saturday.
Resort news as of 8:35am on Saturday 5th 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: 205cm Base: 110cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning. The Hakuba Goryu Gondola has re-opened and is operating as normal. All courses open apart from Snow Diving and Adventure. The Toomi area will be open until 9:30pm 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: 220cm Nakiyama: 60cm Sakka: 40cm
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 9pm tonight (8pm on weekdays). Official snow depth: Top: 200cm Base: 120cm
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 (no fixed date yet). Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 243cm Maruyama: 80cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 100cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Parts of the Village Side not open - by4. Parts of the Mountain Side not open - View A, View B, Sonezawa, 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: 120cm
Feels more like April than March this morning but the sun is out and it's a fine day and so some fun spring skiing to be had. Just wish it felt more like mid winter of course. Can't do anything about that though can we.
Today it'll warm up to around 10 degrees and tomorrow it is going to be warmer still. Rain is due either tomorrow or Monday (forecasts don't agree with each other). Whatever, today will definitely be the better of the two weekend days.
Looking ahead a bit further and there's some snowfall on the forecasts for around the middle of next week along with a return to cold conditions. So we can hopefully look forward to some fresh next week.
In the meantime, have a good Saturday. I'm seeing a few people outside in t-shirts...
It's festival time tonight in Nozawa over on the Hikage area - events start at 7:35pm with fireworks due for lift off from 8:50pm. There's be a number of things going on as well as some free sweet sake so maybe worth taking a look. Weather looks like it is going to co-operate as well.
There are a few course closures (to the general public) in the coming days due to some ski races being held, as below:
Today until Tuesday 8th March: the Mizunashi A course will be closed.
Official info at time of writing on Saturday 5th March 2016 (subject to change):
Good morning from a clear and blue sky Bandai area.
Last night was a starry night and no snow fall.
Excellent blue skies this morning, and the courses are perfectly groomed for the start of the day.
Snow condition is a little mixed but still have some good snow on the upper courses. It also feels rather mild this morning and it's set to get slightly warmer today.
Happily the rain that was on the forecast has seemingly disappeared from the forecast for tomorrow and it looks like it will just be a cloudy day tomorrow. Fingers crossed on that score, we want to avoid rain at all costs.
Unfortunately, it is going to be mild/warm over the coming days and it doesn't look like we can expect any fresh snowfall until Wednesday.
Today is Saturday so it's starting to get very busy this morning. The Gondola is crowded at the moment so try to get to the upper lifts as soon as you can.
There are many hikers going up Mt. Nishidaiten this morning. The resort doesn't tell people not hike up but it's important that you don't go without bringing GPS, map, foods and warm clothes - and don't forget to sign the mountain climbing report sheet as well. It is also highly recommended that you hike with people who know the mountain if at all possible.
Once again, it's blue skies above Mt Madarao this morning.
It was a warm day yesterday and it's going to be another warm day today. And tomorrow too when it might rise above 10 degrees! Yikes. There looks like a chance of rain still tomorrow as well but it looks like the forecast on that score is better than it was looking yesterday. Would be great if we could avoid rain.
Anyway, back to cold before the middle of next week and happily there's some snowfall on the forecast for mid week. So we can enjoy some spring conditions today with the prospect of some fresh snow next week.
Have a good one!
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):
Beautiful day here for the Tenjin Banked Slalom event and the mountain is busy. Not a breath of wind, blue skies, Japanese and International snowboarding royalty all over the place and a carnival vibe.
Tomorrow, the forecast is still for light rain in the afternoon so hopefully that doesn't come to pass.
This time of year, the worry is always that Spring is here permanently but it looks like from Tuesday night next week through the end of the forecast window, we have a return to Winter and some snow on the way.
Blue skies most of the day today with very light winds and temperatures at the base of -7. It should stay this way most of the day with temperatures rising steadily all day reaching +4 degrees by early evening. Yesterday was another bluebird day with winds a little gusty in the afternoon but that certainly didn’t spoil skiing. With relatively few people on the mountain it was a pleasure to explore all the runs again. They were in good shape overall with just a few patches of ice every now and again to keep you on your toes.
Unfortunately things are going to change for the worse overnight and we’re expecting another rainy day tomorrow with gusty winds, temperatures reaching +7 and heavy rain showers starting tomorrow afternoon. If you want a good day on the slopes you better pack your gear and come out today as we may be looking at one of the last decent days this year.
Spf50 is a must with the sun. See you 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
It is another great day in Furano. The morning started off with blue skies and cold wintery temperatures. The blue skies are still with us, but the sun is out in full force and the temperatures have warmed up with the current temperature sitting on +3c at base. The snow is really nice on piste today and the ungroomed areas are skiing well with the top up of snow overnight.
Tomorrow is forecast to be well above 0c all day. It will be best to get out and enjoy the snow in the morning as moderate rain is forecast from PM onwards. Read more ...