Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 22nd February 2019
Wednesday 9th March 2016, 8:33am
Mostly cloudy, bit of clearer sky in places
Good morning from Niseko.
In my report yesterday I was hoping to be able to bring you news of fresh snow this morning, but unfortunately that hasn't happened. I spent the afternoon and evening over in Sapporo and only just got back a little earlier, and so no first hand report from what went on last night. All there is to show this morning in my measuring spot is a very slight dusting of snow.
Though I can see that the Avalanche Report is reporting some new snowfall higher up on the mountain, even using the word 'gnarly' in there! I'm all for checking out gnarliness, so perhaps some investigations are required. I can't imagine that there's been anything like enough to give the runs a decent refresh though. We need a decent new layer for that.
It is definitely colder though this morning and snowfall is expected, so perhaps there's new cm to report tomorrow morning. Regular snowfall is on the forecast through until the weekend, though currently it's just classified as 'light snow' so I'm not sure we can expect much. I'm very happy to be surprised though.
It looks like there's quite strong winds higher up this morning and they are affecting some lifts at the start of the day (see below).
I'll update you again tomorrow morning of course.
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 lifts are on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds.
Niseko Village The top Wonderland Chair lift is on hold at the start of the day. Niseko Gondola moving at reduced speed.
Niseko Annupuri The Annupuri Gondola and top Jumbo Number 3 and 4 lifts are on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6.00am: -5°C, strong winds, 5cm new snow, snowdrift development 10cm. Moiwa 838m: -7.6°C, NNE4.7m/s, snowdrift development 30cm. Annupuri 1000m: snowpack 292cm. Annupuri 1150m: -9°C, NW25m/s, snowdrift development. Hirafu Ridgeline: -7°C, strong winds, snowdrift development, trace new snow. Coastal data: Benkei Cape:NNW15m/s. Kamui Cape W13m/s, 1015hPa, wave 2.6m.
Mid winter type weather conditions with cold air flowing into the area. Japan sea and at elevations above 1000m strong westerly winds(>15m/s) are bringing blizzard conditions, however not much new snow has fallen. Above 800m, snowdrifts are rapidly growing on leeward slopes and knolls. These are easily fracturing on the Mar 8th layer, up to 30cm thickness. Avalanche risk is moderate to high. Be careful on cornice and open steep slopes. All peak gates are expected to open. Choose your route carefully. Please do not cut cornices or knolls. Snow condition under the new snow is gnarly, be careful loosing control and hitting something. Cracks are starting to get bigger at many places around the mountain. They cant be seen from above and are very dangerous if hit at speed. Ride cautiously. Snow fall will continue until tomorrow then the weather should improve. Relax and take an easy day today.
Official resort snow depths as of Wednesday 9th March 2016:
Yesterday it clouded over in the afternoon with some thick fog in places as well... and rain. Not the most appealing of conditions, it has to be said! It started getting quite colder as well, though not cold enough for it to be snowing.
High up Kagura are this morning reporting 1-2cm of snow overnight with closer to town Maiko reporting 0cm.
It has been raining down at town level this morning though it's trying to turn into snow - and it is already snowing as you go higher up. Definitely much colder this morning, so it would be great if it keeps cold and we get some new cm of snow during the day today.
It's still there on the forecast so let's see what the day brings.
Light snow at times is on the forecast over the next few days as well. Fingers crossed.
Hope to bring you good news tomorrow morning!
Resort official snow depths (Wednesday 9th March 2016) and any specific news at time of writing:
After some very warm conditions over the last week or so, there are some patches of ground on view on some lower slopes around town now. Southern facing slopes are generally most affected. Snow cover is better the higher up you are. More snow please!
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.
Fine day yesterday with lots of cloud hanging around but blue sky and sunshine at times as well, along with those warmer conditions.
Good news folks - it's snowing. There's no new cm of snow on the ground just yet here near Happo base, and resorts are reporting up to a few cm of fresh snow up there and I can see on the webcams that visibility is quite limited in places right now.
Hopefully it will be snowing through the day today and we'll get a new layer out there to play in... it is certainly colder this morning and feels more winter-like though it doesn't somehow quite feel like a blizzard is going to happen. But stranger things have happened though - especially this season - so I'll look forward to my next report.
The 'All Japan Ski Technique Championships' preliminary stage will apparently be held on today on the Panorama area of the Happo-one resort.
Resort news as of 8:45am on Wednesday 9th March 2016 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting up to 5cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All courses set to open this morning. The Tree Riding Zone is closed due to poor conditions. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba 47. Official snow depth: Upper: 190cm Base: 85cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0-1cm of fresh snowfall this morning. 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: 251cm Toomi: 125cm Iimori: 65cm
Hakuba Happo-one: All courses appear to be open. The lower Nakiyama area is open for 'nighta' every day until 9pm. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 180cm Nakiyama: 40cm Sakka: 20cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 0-1cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All courses open apart from Itadaira Ridge, Itadaira Forest and Giant. The Ikenota area will be open for 'nighta' until 8pm tonight (9pm on Saturdays). Official snow depth: Top: 140cm Base: 85cm
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: 208cm Maruyama: 50cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 60cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Areas of Village Side that remain open - Sunny Valley, by1, by2, by3, Shinden connecting. Kometsuga and Paradise part open. Parts of the Mountain Side that are closed - View A, View B, Kamo 4, Dangan, Sonezawa, Five Side. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: Upper: 110cm Lower: 35cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Closed courses are Kamoshika, Highway, Snake and Expert. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Norikura. Official snow depth: 85cm
It's snowing on the mountain this morning and trying to down here as well. There's lots of fog and cloud around making for limited visibility out there even on the lower areas of the resort.
We're enjoying colder conditions as well this morning thankfully and that forecast is still looking promising for the next few days. Just how that will turn out, well we will just have to see. And I'll report to you tomorrow morning.
With all the recent warmth and of course the smaller base than usual, unfortunately there's more patches of ground showing up - especially on lower and steeper runs. Karasawa area now has an official snow depth of just 10cm. Last year on this day, it was 175cm! Remember, do check out the archive reports to see what a 'normal' season is like, rather than this very strange one that we are having this year! The resort has said that from today the Usagi course will be closed. Keep an eye on the data below which is updated every day. The official info has Schneider Course closed today as well, though that wasn't in the announcement...
Anyway, bring on the snow please!
Official info at time of writing on Wednesday 9th March 2016 (subject to change):
It's snowing again here this morning and it looks like it is going to stay that way for most of the day. Hopefully this will help to rebuild some of the snow lost over the past few days. No new cm just at the moment - just a dusting.
Visibility is still good and the wind is relatively calm today.
The trail surfaces are groomed wet snow across the mountain. A bit hard in some places because of the temperature drop today.
There are no crowds or lift lines to worry about as it is a Wednesday.
All lifts and trails are open today, except for the #33 Center Trail, which may open again later in the day, and the Snow Park has has just been re-groomed and shaped.
Roads up to Deco are mainly clear, but as always drive safely.
This morning it's all about fog and light snow, with just a dusting so far.
Happy to say that it is colder and should stay colder today and fingers crossed there'll be some new cm of snow to report tomorrow. Looks like it should keep on the colder side through until the weekend.
Very limited visibility out there at the moment - care needed.
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):
Last night we avoided rain (as far as I can tell!) and it just remained cloudy.
And this morning... light snow is falling.
It's colder than it was but still relatively mild and expected to get colder, and snowier too. Come on snow, start falling with some conviction and give us a new fresh layer. The forecast remains pretty decent so we can expect something out of the next 24 hours and beyond as well actually. It should be keeping colder and snow clouds should be remaining close by through until the weekend.
Well we've lost another 10cm of snow from the base again. Right now we've got sunny skies with steady winds and a temperature outside my door of -5.
Yesterday was sunny most if the day but it was awfully windy. That coupled with the icy snow did not make for ideal conditions. The next few days we should see the clouds roll back in but little to no snow accumulation to speak of. Temperatures will remain below zero for at least 4 days. The mountain conditions should remain the same for a few days with most if not all runs providing a nice icy top sheet in the morning which hopefully gets scraped off by mid day.
Be safe on the ice.
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
This morning, after a lengthy spell of warm, Spring weather, it's snowing at the mid and upper levels of Tenjin. No idea of the quality yet and its raining moderately at the base but the weather is forecast to intensify over the afternoon and by tomorrow morning plumb lows of -5C at the top of the resort.
The forecast going forward is for snow and minus temps up top, right through Sunday.
Hodaigi still has a 1m base and all courses open except one and Tenjin still has plenty of snow as does Minakami Kogen. The lower area of Okutone Snow Park is closed but the upper part of the resort is still open.
It is a blue sky day with some cloud mixed in, and the resort looks great sparkling in the sun. There is a strong wind gusting at the moment and this has caused the operation of the Kitanomine Gondola to be put on hold. The wind is forecast to reduce and be relatively calm by tomorrow morning. Apart from the wind it is a great day. Read more ...