Hakuba Snow Report – 12th Mar 2011

New snowfall: 10cm (upper); 3cm (lower) [Goryu official]
Snow depth: Hakuba Goryu Top : 315cm [official]

Beautiful weather with not a cloud in the sky today. One would not even have a clue about the devastation racking Northern areas of the country after the immense earthquake yesterday afternoon felt even by backcountry skiers on top of 4 metres of snow in Tsugaike caused building collapses, fires, power shortages, and a 10m tsunami wave that ravaged Sendai. Numerous aftershocks have followed including one in Niigata felt here that struck just after 4 in the morning.As can be expected today is very slow on the mountain, a combination of highways etc being closed, and people probably wanting to stay put; it’s also hard to just go out and enjoy yourself after such a disaster.Skifields are all operating as normal however Gondolas are not running today. As Goryu upper lifts can only be accessed by Gondola this means that the top runs of Goryu (Alps Daira) are closed and the 10cm of fresh snow reported up there can shine its white light towards the affected regions in peace.

Happo has everything except the Gondola running – I would recommend heading up Nakiyama and then the Riesen Quad to be the fastest way up the mountain today though Kokusai – Panorama isn’t too bad nor Sakka 4 – Skyline.

Iwatake and Tsugaike same story – no Gondola action; making your way up by lift and finding good fast lifts to ride is the best option.

As for new snow – Goryu reported 10cm since yesterday up top, 3 at the base, which is pretty consistent with what we saw on the car overnight though if you count all the snow that fell yesterday afternoon numbers would be higher.

The sun has brought warm temperatures – 4.5 degrees in the valley now, though -5 at 1400m, with only light winds from the NW.

Forecast is still for great weather tomorrow, rain on Monday with temperatures dropping through the week and more snow forecast for later next week.

Japan is well organised and responded quickly, is receiving huge support and aid from outside countries, and citizens and groups are banding together to help with rescue and clean-up operations. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this natural disaster and hope that the aftershocks cause as little damage as possible and the situations at the nuclear reactors see a manageable outcome.