Hakuba Snow Report: Colder start to the day

Not much snow to speak of, maybe 10cm or so, but the weather has become colder again so that is one positive. It was -10℃ when it dawned at Tsugaike this morning. Hopefully will bring snow forth tonight or tomorrow. In the meantime it’s been pretty foggy with the runs mostly fogged over and limited visibility.

Once again avalanche danger is high with some recent incidents (one serious) so please be very careful out there. Check the Hakuba Avalanche advisory before heading out into the backcountry.

Some fairly spectacular fireworks last night over on Goryu

Tsugaike Heli Ski and Snowboard Tours opened this weekend and will be offered until May 6. The cost is 10,000 yen for adults and 9,000 yen for children. This was the view from the drop off point this morning.

Current snow depths in Hakuba (thanks to Snow Navi):

Happo-one 180cm
Tsugaike 250cm
Goryu 255cm
Hakuba 47 249cm
Iwatake 180cm
Norikura 160cm
Cortina 320cm
Kashimayari 150cm

Hakuba Snow Report: 13 February 2012

I spent the day in the backcountry yesterday and was absolutely exhausted last night , so i’ll do a wrap up of today and yesterday.

Yesterday:

Started out at Tsugaike on the 8am gondola and went into the backcountry from there. About 30cm + had fallen at an elevation of approximately 1650m asl, and while not supra light powder, still made for very pleasant riding. The morning consisted of snow, however this began cleaning mid morning and it was mostly clear from around lunch time. There was also little wind about and this was a stark contrast from Happo which we could across the valley and it appeared to have much stronger winds.

The sun warmed south facing slopes during the day and we saw no tracks on any of the larger north facing slopes. Normally this would be surprising for a Sunday, however I think everyone is still spooked after the big slide at Happo.

I have included some pictures below.

Today :

Woke up this morning to no snow in the valley, so decided to take the day off. Went for a bit of a walk around Hakuba and I put some pics up below of the valley and surrounding mountains. Temperatures remained fairly cool, however I would say they peaked around zero, or slightly above (in the valley). Snowing as I type this, but the snow is falling straight down, not the nice fluffy stuff we normally expect. Forecast is for temperatures to rise, but fingers crossed they remain cool enough for snow, even if it will be elephant snot.

Forecast after Wednesday is looking pretty good with heavy falls currently predicted for Friday. Fingers crossed the forecast holds.

Hakuba Snow Report: 11 February 2012

Just a quick report tonight.

Didn’t get out on to the slopes today, so unfortunately I have no pictures or first hand reports. However, there was another few  cm on the car this morning which hopefully meant plenty more on the hills. Reports around the lodge indicated that most of the resorts did have a good top up and that there were some good powder turns to be had.

Some reports going around of a big avalanche of Happo today, so if heading into the backcountry please know what you are doing, travel with competent partners and carry safety gear.

I’ll hopefully be heading into some mellow backcountry lines tomorrow, so I will try and take some pictures for tomorrow night’s update.

Be safe out there!

Hakuba Avalanche Info & Snow Report: 9th January 2012

Thanks to Hakuba Alpine Guides for this info.

For those traveling to Hakuba there is now a detailed and valuable Avalanche Bulletin.The summary information can be found here. The detailed report can be found by clicking on the summary heading and text, or the link that says “more here” (in Japanese). We believe that the bulletin will be available a minimum of three days a week – the weekends, midweek, and also public holidays. Starting soon, the bulletins will also be available in English. Anyone heading into the side country or backcountry should check this report. With future support, hopefully the bulletin will be available on every day of the week. The report currently shows considerable risk of avalanche above the tree line so be careful up there!

Now to the snow. Reasonably warm in Hakuba with not much new snow to talk of since this morning. Hopefully more on the way Wednesday.

Hakuba 47 196cm
Cortina 240cm
Happo-one 150cm
Tsugaike 200cm
Goryu 215cm
Iwatake 120cm
Norikura 175cm

Lee Lyon has been in Hakuba and this is a video from the weekend of him ripping it up. Enjoy!