Clear and Blue

Sunset campsite.

Sunset campsite.

Base up top: 430 cm    Temp Top; -2 Degrees

Base at bottom; 210 cm

New Snow since close: 0 cm

Weather; Clear

 

A fine and clear day awaits those ready to ascend the hill this morning. Light winds, light crowds and there is still some good snow at the top. Today will be better earlier with temperatures forecast to quickly warm with the snow becoming slushy by around lunch time. Pack the sunscreen!

Yesterday sensational conditions were found in the mountain resort of Nozawa Onsen. Cold temperatures persisted for longer than was originally forecast and as a result the powder from the previous days dump remain excellent in quality, especially on northern aspects. A perfect bluebird sky was an added bonus.

According to the forecast a extensive run of spring conditions are now expected. Clear skies, warm temperatures and light winds are predicted for tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday. On Sunday there is the possibility of light drizzle.

Another epic day ahead

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Base up top: 440 cm    Temp Top; -7 Degrees

Base at bottom; 220 cm

New Snow since close: 5 cm

Weather; Clear

 

We have awoken to a staggeringly beautiful morning. A brilliant warm alpenglow is shinning on the surrounding peaks while a clear blue sky looks down from above. With deep fresh powder and cold temperatures you could be forgiven for thinking it is still in mid winter, but of course it is late March. We are very lucky to have such conditions, especially considering how much of the northern hemisphere is suffering through a lacklustre snow season. Japan always delivers and today will be as good as it gets!

Yesterday we had heavy snow fall most of the day adding around a further 20cm during the daylight hours. As a result conditions were remarkably excellent. A long line of powder hounds waited patiently at first gondola however everyone dispersed well and fresh tracks were found all day long. An awesome day all round.

According to the forecast we are in for a run of spring conditions with warming temperatures from tomorrow and sunshine lasting until early next week at least. There is potential for some rain mid next week and it remains to be seen, even in the long range forecast, when the next dump of powder will occur.

Wicked Wednesday

Euro carver!

Euro carver!

Base up top: 440 cm    Temp Top; -7 Degrees

Base at bottom; 195 cm

New Snow since close: 30 cm

Weather; Snow

 

30 cm of spring powder, tick. No one of the mountain, tick. The fact that today will be epic, guaranteed. Heavy but isolated snow showers have continued overnight adding no less than 20 cm of the fresh good stuff down in the village and a windblown 30 cm towards the summit of Nozawa Onsen. Break out the fat skis and powder boards once more its clear that spring just isn’t quite here..

Yesterday we had some sketchy conditions earlier in the day with a prominent uneven ice layer making itself known to those passing overhead. However as more fresh snow, that fell most of yesterday, accumulated this ice subsequently became further buried at the expense of overall stability. Common sense needs to prevail today, beware!

Assessing the forecast we can see that snow will fall all day today, becoming isolated with potential breaks of sunshine later. A perfect bluebird in combination with cool temperatures are expected tomorrow with a clear warm day following on Friday. From here on temperatures should stabilise at a warm but not hot level, around 2000m freezing level, until Monday. Sunshine is on the cards for this time period, expect some more good spring skiing.

Spring Powder

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Base up top: 390 cm    Temp Top; -8 Degrees

Base at bottom; 195 cm

New Snow since close: 5 cm

Weather; Snow

 

Looks like we have some big flakes falling from the sky in Nozawa Onsen this morning. With temperatures slightly less than an average mid winter day and strong gusting winds it will be a cold day up on the mountain but the rewards of rapidly accumulating powder pockets will be great. With almost a complete lack of powder hounds in the village at the moment you can be sure that tracked out areas will be few and far between.

A brief look at the forecast gives indicating towards steadily strengthening snowfalls today with high overnight accumulations predicted tonight. Light snow showers will then continue tomorrow easing overnight into Thursday. A long run of clear spring days is expected from Thursday until at least mid next week.

Perfect groomers

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Base up top: 385 cm    Temp Top; +1 Degrees

Base at bottom; 200 cm

New Snow since close: 0 cm

Weather; Clear

 

A repetitive spring pattern has established itself over the past few days across the island of Honshu. Today we have pretty much a carbon copy of yesterday with an light overnight freeze that will soften in the morning in the warming sun, becoming slushy by the afternoon. Expect pretty epic groomers today based on what we had yesterday. Spring corn snow is beginning to form off piste.

By later this afternoon a change will move through from the north west delivering cold temperatures and moderate snowfalls overnight into tomorrow. This extended period of cold weather with snow will last most of the week, with the forecast indicating snowfalls until Thursday. It looks as if the heaviest totals will be deposited on Tuesday night.

A Springy Saturday

The sea of cloud as viewed from the summit yesterday.

The sea of cloud as viewed from the summit yesterday.

Base up top: 390 cm    Temp Top; +1 Degrees

Base at bottom; 200 cm

New Snow since close: 0 cm

Weather; Clear

 

Its an undeniably beautiful spring day in Nozawa Onsen. Clear skies, sunshine; great spring conditions all round. The snow yesterday turned out to be exceptional yesterday, very fast and slightly slushy; we should look forward to similar quality today. Groomed runs will be the pick all day with carving skis and boards remaining a good choice, although the park will also be very good. Look out for slope style training on the paradise course on an intriguing looking park. Hopefully it remains set up after the competition, set to kick off on Sunday.

Looking at the forecast ahead a clear weather is predicted for all today. From then on a promising series of cold snow fronts will move across the region commencing Sunday night. Snow will fall to moderate levels up until late Wednesday at this stage. Should be a very good week ahead.

Improving Conditions

Rain soaked farmland.

Rain soaked farmland.

Base up top: 395 cm    Temp Top; +2 Degrees

Base at bottom; 205 cm

New Snow since close: 0 cm

Weather; Partly cloudy

 

Very interesting weather in Nozawa Onsen today. The rainfalls over the past 36 hours has created some steamy tropical valley fog which dissipates above 1200m. With clear and sunny skies up top that classic cloud sea is occurring when view from up high. Should be good photographic potential for anyone with a camera.

The skiing today will probably be ok, far better than yesterday at least. Its possible that the groomers will be faster by comparison. Otherwise the snow is wet and heavy across the mountain. Conditions should improve as the freezing level gradually declines later today.

Yesterday was pretty much a write off when it came to skiing and boarding. Moderate rain fell for most of the day creating poor snow conditions. However it was a good day to explore the surrounds of Nozawa, such as the world famous snow monkeys, the quaint traditional village of Obuse or even the city of Nagano.

Looking at the forecast ahead we should expect improving conditions for about the next week. The rain should move away, clearing later this afternoon. Tomorrow should also be clear with light winds the freezing level declining to around 2000 meters. Snowfalls are predicted from Sunday night onwards with next week looking particularly tasty for mid winter snowfalls and temperatures. Lets hope the forecast holds true.

Cruising in the sun

Amazing atmospheric clarity.

Amazing atmospheric clarity.

Base up top: 415 cm    Temp Top; +5 Degrees

Base at bottom; 220 cm

New Snow since close: 0 cm

Weather; Clear

 

Its possibly the warmest the warmest day of the season so far with the temperature earmarked to ascend upwards of 15C in the shade down at village level. Sunburn, goggle tans and t-shirt skiing weather is on the cards for today. Hard to imagine but exactly one week ago we awoke to 40cm of pow and extreme cold. Conditions can change fast at this time of the year in the Japanese high country. Nevertheless, many people are looking forward to a great day of skiing in the warm sun. The groomed runs will be the pick, especially earlier and on the upper slopes. These areas will retain the greatest snow speed.

For such a warm day yesterday we experience some remarkable atmospheric conditions. It was startlingly clear up high with visibility stretch for hundreds of kilometres from the peak. The Hakuba range and high peaks of the Japan Alps were revealed in stunning detail. Usually these ranges are washed out for fine detail due to slight haze, especially during warm weather where pollution is blown in from the south.

Tomorrow will be the designated rest day for the week with moderate rain and warm temperatures forecast. Expect poor skiing conditions. Things should cool off and become sunny again by Friday and continue this way until Sunday. Following this we are looking at a nice run of snow and cold weather. Based on current long range predictions moderate snows are possible most of next week.

Spring has Sprung

Blake gets a taste of gravity dropping one of the biggest cliffs around. Amazing to witness.

Blake gets a taste of gravity dropping one of the biggest cliffs around. Amazing to witness.

Base up top: 420 cm    Temp Top; +4 Degrees

Base at bottom; 220 cm

New Snow since close: 0 cm

Weather; Clear

 

Its already a very warm sunny morning in the village of Nozawa Onsen. With a mid teen top temperature in the village later the feel of spring is well and truly here, temporarily at least. The skiing and boarding to day will be very slushy and hopefully not too sticky. Warm weather wax and sunscreen will be the choice items of the day.

Yesterday we also had quite a warm sunny day. The skiing was ok, slushy and sticky in parts however the spectacular views and light crowds made it an enjoyable day all round. The soaring Japanese Alps are looking almost ready for some multi day ski touring adventures. Great times await.

Looking at the forecast we expect a few more warm days before the next cold front. Tomorrow will be even warmer than today, again with sun. Light rain is predicted for Thursday. A week cold front is expected on Friday with light flurries above 1000 meters. A stronger cold front with top to bottom snow is showing up in long range predictions for early next week.

Spring Returns to Nozawa Onsen

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Base up top: 430 cm Temp Top; 4 Degrees

Base at bottom; 220 cm

New Snow since close: 0 cm

Weather; Clear

Looks like potentially one of the most epic weeks of the season has finally drawn to a close today. Not to worry as we are currently experiencing some beautiful spring weather, warm with beautiful sunshine and clear views. Of course, the snow is still here too however the quality could be best described slushy, not the dry powder we have recently been lucky enough to ride in. Fun skiing and boarding will be on offer on the groomed pistes of Nozawa Onsen today.

Looking at the forecast we are due for an extended period of sunny warm weather probably lasting until next weekend. Some rain is possible later in the week as a tropical influence makes itself known. In the extreme long range forecast more snow is possible from Saturday onwards.​