Snow and weather reports posted on Thursday 23rd January 2020
Sunday 8th December 2019, 7:55am
It is a windy day but the extreme winds in the early hours of the morning have reduced to a moderate level as I write this. There is a good new layer of snow across the village of around 15cm - this will definitely vary in different locations due to the wind effect though. It is pleasing to see the resort open up more courses, and with Panorama now open there are more options for the advanced skiers. Groomers have been active on Kitanomine in the last couple of days preparing the slopes for opening - this should be soon but no date has been announce yet.
My oh my it is funny sometimes how quickly a situation can change... from today all of the main courses at Geto will be open, and they are rightfully boasting about it! Fastest to be fully open in Honshu, with 14km of rideable terrain.
I am impressed. But more than that, I am excited so forgive me for quickly posting this and getting out there myself...
Oh, being true to my reporting means I feel the need to just fill you in a bit more. Just a little snow the report yesterday and a little light snow now. Bit of a wind too but not too much to be too much of an annoyance. The forecast for today is cloud/snow, with some clearer skies forecast for tomorrow. Should be good!
Official snow depth (as reported by resort):
Upper: 170cm Lower: 90cm
Lifts, courses & tree run info:
Gondola lift operating All main courses open Tree runs not open yet Read more ...
Sunday 8th December 2019, 8:15am
Good morning from Zao.
We got some breaks in the cloud and even some blue sky and sunshine yesterday for the official opening ceremony of Zao Onsen. Lots of official looking folks lined up as well as the traditional things going on.
This morning back to some snow falling and the upper part of the mountain is shrouded in cloud (fog?) - visibility looks pretty limited up there.
Clouds should be clearing again by tomorrow and we're on for a run of a few days of clearer weather if the forecast is right. I just hope it doesn't warm up too much. We shall see...
Nighta in the Uwanodai area is scheduled daily from 28th December 2019 until 1st March 2020 and then 7th, 14th, 20th and 21st March 2020. 5:00pm until 9:00pm.
Nighta in the Yokokura area is scheduled for New Year (28th December 2019 until 5th January 2020); and also on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 10th January and 7th March 2020. 5:00pm until 9:00pm.
The Zao Ropeway opens in the evenings on the below dates for 'Light Up' sightseeing purposes - to go and see the Juhyo monsters (not for skiing or boarding) on the following dates:
December 2019: 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st January 2020: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 10th-12th, 17th-19th, 24th-27th, 29h-31st February 2020: all days apart from Tuesdays
There is an extra charge for this night time Ropeway operation. Read more ...
Aizu Bandai Now!
Sunday 8th December 2019, 8:22am
This morning there is a mix of cloud and some breaks in the cloud with some nice blue sky and even a bit of sunshine, and just a dusting of snow in places.
Looks like it should be a fine day.
OK so the forecast remains --- fine clearer skies over the coming few days and warmer conditions too. From Thursday, a return to colder conditions and fingers crossed some more snow.
So I wouldn't expect more to be open this week so we need to play with what we have, enjoy the clearer skies and look forward to full-on winter to arrive.
Grandeco Snow Resort:
- Number 1 lift and Gondola are operating - 3000m of course available - Rainbow 3500 (upper area) - Lavender B - Connecting to Center course
- B and C lifts operating
Hoshino Resorts Nekoma:
- Forest 3 course open
- Grandeco (2) - Minowa (yesterday)
Opening information - subject to change of course depending on weather/snow conditions.
This morning is one of those cloudy/foggy/trying to snow/damp ones. Almost difficult to describe. It is snowing higher up on the mountain and I see that nearby Kagura are reporting 3cm from up top.
But Naeba is open and the two lifts are moving.
Sunshine is forecast for tomorrow and probably Tuesday too and the sun will be warming us up a little as well. Hopefully not too much.
The next fresh natural snowfall is due for the area around Thursday.
Have a fun Sunday!
Naeba is part open:
- Number 5 high speed lift (8:00am until 5:00pm) - Number 4 romance pair lift (8:00am until 5:00pm) - The lower base slopes between those lifts are open with a fairly narrow course of natural + artificial snow Read more ...
Sunday 8th December 2019, 8:31am
A happy Sunday morning to you all from a cold and snowy Niseko.
I guess some of you reading this will be here and enjoying this relatively quiet early season. I enjoyed few hours at Hanazono with a few friends who were worried about coming early season. They seemed suitably impressed after a few runs, especially when the sun said hello.
I am adding another 8cm of fresh snowfall from base, as observed since my report yesterday. So there is a nice new layer this morning to add to what we got.
Today is the first day of the season when pesky winds are going to affect lifts - booooo! As I post this report, at Annupuri, the Gondola and upper Jumbo Number 3 pair lift are both on hold at the start of the day due to wind warnings on the mountain. Other than that it would appear that operations are unchanged for this morning across the mountain. Of course, that could change during the day. (It didn't seem too windy before when I was outside...)
It is going to get milder around Tuesday and Wednesday and there will probably be sunshine, but there is snow lined up on the forecast beyond that.
Official snow depth (reported by resort): - Peak: 85cm - Base: 55cm
Ski lifts operating: - Upper Village Gondola - Village Express - Community Chair - Banzai Chair
Night time operations are available in the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri resort areas from Wednesday 11th December 2019. There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO resort area. Read more ...
Sunday 8th December 2019, 8:37am
Good morning from Hakuba.
A mostly cloudy day yesterday, fairly calm, quite a few people around to enjoy their first turns of the season. It kept pretty cold too so the snow should be in decent condition this morning.
There's no fresh to report - either by my own eyes or reported by the ski resorts - and from what I can tell operations remain the same at the resorts that are open... a large part of Hakuba 47 is open, the upper area of Goryu is open and upper areas of Happo-one are also available.
The forecast today is mostly cloudy (what we have now) but a chance of some clearer conditions later on in the day.
From tomorrow slightly milder temperatures are forecast and we shall probably get to see quite a lot of sunshine. Lets just hope that it doesn't warm up too much. On the other side of the warmer spell, the next snow looks likely around Thursday.
I hope you enjoy your Sunday. I know where I'm going! :)
This morning Kagura are again reporting some fresh snow - 3cm - and yesterday they got to open their 4000m long Gondola Course.
I'm not seeing that Gondola Course being mentioned again this morning on official sources, but I presume that it will be open again today so keeping it in the info below. I hope that is correct.
Down in town we were hoping for a bit of snow overnight but things are a bit... wet. It's raining, you've got to get higher up for it to be snow. Hopefully that will stop sooner than later.
Forecast? It is still showing milder conditions along with lots of sunshine from tomorrow; that will all last through around mid-week.
Expect slightly later opening times for the lifts at Kagura from tomorrow for weekdays.
Kagura is currently part open:
- Mitsumata Ropeway (7:30am-5:00pm, last one up a 3:30pm) - Mitsumata Number 1 quad (7:30am-4:00pm) - Mitsumata Number 2 romance pair (7:45am-4:30pm) - Kagura Gondola (7:45am-4:00pm, last one up at 3:00pm) - Kagura Number 1 romance (9:00am-3:30pm) - Kagura Number 1 quad (8:00am-3:30pm) - Kagura Number 4 romance pair (9:30am-3:00pm)
- Main course (1500m) - Panorama course (700m) - Family course (1,100m) - Gondola course (4,000m)
- Ichinose Family: Number 2 pair lift A line operating - Ichinose Diamond: Diamond quad lift - Kumanoyu: Number 2 pair lift A & B line operating - Takamagahara Mammoth: Number 2 triple lift operating - Yakebitaiyama: Number 4 romance lift - Yokoteyama: Number 1 Sky A line and Number 5 lift operating
Other areas of Shiga Kogen are waiting for more snow
- The section of road connecting the southern area of Shiga Kogen (from Yokoteyama onwards) with Gunma Prefecture is now closed for the season. It will be closed until 24th April 2020. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Sunday 8th December 2019, 8:58am
Morning from Nozawa.
It's a foggy and damp kind of morning. It is sort of trying to snow, but it's not the kind that is going to give us any cm on the ground. It does look like there might have been a cm or two up top, but it's nothing significant.
Tomorrow will at least be clearer and we can probably enjoy some sunshine - and as I said milder temps.
The forecast for next week is still showing snow for Thursday.
One thing I'd like to stress - things can and often do change very dramatically. I am looking forward to reporting relentless dumps of 30+cm. Soon!
We just need to wait patiently. (Yes, I know. It's not easy!)
Madarao - Saturday 14th December 2019 Tangram Ski Circus - Saturday 21st December 2019 Read more ...
Sunday 8th December 2019, 11:16am
Well, the season has commenced here in Minakami as of yesterday with first turns at Tenjindaira Ski Resort.
The snow base was sitting at 60cm yesterday and the quality was excellent. Nice and soft and cold enough to be crisp and fast too.
In terms of the weather, it's been snowing sporadically for the past 3 days and the snow base on resort at 1300m has increased by 50cm in that time.
Down here by the base of the ski resort, it's been less dramatic and my total fresh snowfall is a little more than 10cm. Part of what's been working though is the weather; down in the town it seems like it's generally been sunny whereas up here at my place, it's been clouded over virtually 100% of the time and it's mostly been snowing lightly. Temps and conditions are certainly on our side.
So the Tenjin open yesterday only involved the middle lift (smallest one) and today they'll be running the Takakura lift as well (lookers left). Tenjin Toge lift still needs a good dump and even then, they'll want it well settled before anyone starts ripping it. I was out doing a ski lesson and had to look on enviously but a few people hiked the lifts and scored a proper, early season powder run. In the fresh they were sinking in about 20cm max but the stoke was completely evident when they got to the bottom.
I drove past Okutone ski resort a few days ago, looked rather grim, they need some serious snow to even consider opening. Same goes for Norn and Hodaigi are telling me they open on Dec 21st and they sounded quite confident so fingers crossed. It's snowing right now but next snow after this is forecast for Thursday night.
Looks like warmish weather on Tuesday and Wednesday but hopefully the trusty clouds can keep the sun off my snow!