Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 18th February 2019
Sunday 6th March 2016, 7:32am
The wind has arrived and it is moderately gusty at village level and will certainly be stronger at the tops. It is snowing lightly and a small accumulation of 1cm has built up. The light snow is still predicted to turn into rain in the afternoon, and approximately 2cm of rain is forecast during today at mid mountain elevation. Temperatures at base are currently -2c. Not a fantastic day if the rain comes through but I will be hedging my bets and heading out early for a few runs.
The wind will be with us for a few days and should reduce by Thursday morning. There is some light snow on the radar for Tuesday and Wednesday. Read more ...
Sunday 6th March 2016, 8:02am
Clear and sunny
Quite strong winds higher up this morning. GALA Yuzawa resort is closed today due to the wind but it looks like all other resorts are opening as planned.
Good morning from Yuzawa.
After a mild overnight it's a lovely spring morning here with clear blue skies and lots of birdsong early on!
Yesterday some cloud turned up but it remained a fine, sunny day.
Hearing various accounts from people out at different resorts yesterday ranging from 'snow keeping pretty decent high up' to 'late April conditions' from other people.
There's some ground starting to show through in some lower areas and a few courses here and there closed off - mostly steeper areas that need more snow to get proper cover.
But there was definitely snow melt going on yesterday and more of the same is expected today. Temperatures rose to around 13C in Yuzawa during the day yesterday and today a high of 15C is forecast with a light (to maybe moderate at times) southerly wind.
One good thing that I'm happy to report is that we seem to be avoiding the rain that was originally on the forecast. Let's hope it stays that way.
More good news is that tomorrow should be getting cooler and come mid-week it might enjoy some late-winter like cold and even some fresh snow on the ground! So there is hope even if it may just feel too warm this weekend.
Have a good spring Sunday.
Resort official snow depths (Sunday 6th 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.
It was a beautiful day yesterday and even though there wasn't a fresh layer of snow to play in I think a lot of fun was had.
I find that come March it always helps to click the mind-set into 'spring' mode (or at least 'late season' mode), and just be particularly happy when we do get fresh snow and think of it as a bonus when it arrives.
This morning a system has moved in from the south and it's very noticeably milder. It looks like foggy conditions up top as well as strong winds and so early morning lifts are affected (as noted below).
The forecast warned us about rain and warm conditions today, and it looks like it is going to happen... let's just hope that it is limited. Damage limitation!
We can probably expect some sunshine tomorrow but mild conditions will likely continue.
Once we get past Monday though things are going to improve with a return to colder conditions and fresh snow due to be falling from Tuesday onwards.
So, far from ideal conditions today. But, looking forward to the prospect of fresh snow in a few days time.
Resort specific lift opening news at time of posting (subject to change during the day):
Niseko Grand Hirafu The top Ace Number 4 and King Number 4, as well as the Ace Number 3, King Number 3 and Swinging Monkey lifts are on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds and fog.
Niseko Village The Niseko Gondola and top Wonderland Chair lift are on hold at the start of the day due to poor weather conditions.
Niseko Annupuri The top Jumbo Number 4 lift is on hold at the start of the day due to poor weather conditions.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am: 0℃, no snowfall, frozen surface. Moiwa 800m: -3℃, S5m/s, thick fog, no snowfall and slight snowdrifts. Annupuri 1000m snowpack 295cm. Hirafu peak ridge: -6℃, strong southerly wind, thick fog and light snowfall. Benkei cape: S18m/s. kamui cape: ENE5m/s, 1020hPa, 0.5m waves.
This is information is being written according to weather, snowfall and oceanic data, as well as observations from 5am snowcat rounds, reports from all resorts ski patrols and snowcat operators. Snowpit observations are done at Moiwa and Mikaeri Cat track, using snowcats’ blade in order to analyze general tendencies of the risk for the day. Many hazards are lurking in the winter mountains. Staying prudent and making wise decisions, not placing too much trust on skills/equipment and not blindly believing in paperwork knowledge, is key to avoid any accidents. The same thing can be said for all outdoor sports in natural environments. Never underestimate the power of mother nature. Always stay humble and make conservative decisions.
The snow will get better again soon. Peak gates will be closed today. Please respect the Niseko Rules.
Official resort snow depths as of Sunday 6th March 2016:
(Hakuba 47 seem to have been reporting a scarily high temperature of +13C at 1450m as of 3pm yesterday. Yikes.)
As you might expect with this warmth, it's spring snow conditions all round.
This morning there's something of a wind higher up but it doesn't seem to be affecting any of the top lifts at resorts at the start of the day.
So yes, today it's starting off warm again and things are going to be warming up to April-like temperatures.
The good news is that signs of rain have either been downgraded or disappeared from the forecasts so fingers crossed we can avoid that. Warm temperatures are one thing but we can definitely do without rain as well!
Better news still is that there are cold temperatures ahead and come mid-week snow is forecast down to village level as well. So hopefully there's more snow left in the season yet.
It is a lovely morning, so I'm going to get out there and make the most of it!
Resort news as of 8:45am on Sunday 6th 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: 200cm Base: 105cm
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: 260cm Toomi: 125cm Iimori: 80cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All courses appear to be open. The lower Nakiyama area is open for 'nighta' every day until 9pm. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 200cm Nakiyama: 55cm Sakka: 35cm
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: 190cm Base: 114cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All courses and areas are generally open. Nighta at Karamatsu/Shirakaba on 12th/19th March. Note that the top Tsugaike Ropeway only opens from spring (no fixed date yet). Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 240cm Maruyama: 70cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 100cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Parts of the Mountain Side not open - View A, View B, Sonezawa, Five Side. Part of the Village Side not open - by4. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: Upper: 130cm Lower: 50cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: All courses are open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: 120cm
More fine weather today as expected and warming up once again.
Quite strong (southerly) winds on the mountain mean that the following lifts are on hold at the time of me writing this report:
- Nagasaka Gondola - Skyline connecting - Hikage Nunber 2 pair A line
Hopefully they'll get moving soon.
So yes, it's warm again and feels very much like a spring morning. Today we are expecting temperatures in the village to rise to around 14C.
There's less mention of rain on the forecasts now which is good and it's also good that come Wednesday we can expect a chill in the air once again. Colder conditions should be on their way back and we are told to expect snowfall as well from Wednesday.
It's always worrying when it gets to this stage of the season if 'winter' will come back. The signs are good for a blast of it, let's hope there's more snow to come.
Today, though... let's spring skiing and boarding!
Official info at time of writing on Sunday 6th March 2016 (subject to change):
It’s the last day of the weekend and it brings cloudy skies, warm temperatures and rain late this evening. It should be a decent day for those venturing out, although icy in patches due to the overnight freeze. If you do head out there today please stop by the “ski only” runs where they’re having a disabled slalom competition. It’s truly inspiring to see these guys and girls hurtle down the course and doing something that was deemed impossible only a decade or so ago. Good luck to all the competitors.
Now reality sets in and so does the bad weather unfortunately. Tonight is not going to be nice and tomorrow may be even worse. It should start raining late this evening and tomorrow it will continue for most of the day. Temperatures will be steadily rising into the +8 range and the winds will increase tomorrow making conditions fairly miserable. The temperatures and rain should clear up by midweek and into Thursday and we may well see some snowfall by the end of the week. What it’s going to be like on the slopes is anyone's guess after 3 days of rain and warm temperatures. If you’re heading onto the slopes tomorrow or Tuesday I can guarantee you’ll be on your own.
Good luck again to all the competitors today and enjoy the cold temperatures while they last.
Currently planned operating lifts:
- Appi Gondola - Central Number 1 quad - Number 2 lift A - T Bar - Number 3 lift B - Number 3 lift C - Number 4 lift - Sailer Gondola - Sailer Quad - Vista quad
More sunshine to report and a bit of a southerly wind which means warmer temperatures (and the chance of some lifts being affected by it as well). For the moment we seem to be open as normal though but keep an eye on the wind if you're out there today.
No sign of rain at the moment and we are hoping to avoid any of that completely.
Winter-like temperatures and forecast snowfall still on the forecast from late Tuesday through until the end of the week. Looking very promising.
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Sunday 6th March 2016):
Sun Valley 60cm Nighta on Saturdays until 19th March (7pm-9pm)
Takamagahara Mammoth 130cm
Tannenomori Okojo 130cm
Ichinose Family 130cm Nighta daily until 27th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Ichinose Diamond 130cm Nighta on Saturdays until 26th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Ichinose Yamanokami 130cm
Yakebitaiyama 150cm Nighta on Saturdays until 12th March (6pm-8pm)
Okushiga Kogen 125cm
Kumanoyu 120cm Nighta on Saturdays until 26th March (6:30pm-9pm) Also on 20th March
Well, rain has been expected today but it's not looking likely just now and for the day and tomorrow also.... the day has started once again with sunny blue skies.
Good news on the rain front though it is today once again going to be warming up considerably and feel more like sometime later in April than where we are in early March.
Different forecasts are disagreeing with each other as to what to expect over the coming few days. I prefer to believe that we might still avoid rain and that we'll be getting snowed on by the time I come to write my report on Wednesday morning. But we know how fickle the weather has been - and how incorrect forecasts have been - this year so who knows.