The morning sun is just breaking through the clouds today in Hakuba. With another light snowfall of around 4-5cm in the valley the runs on the resorts will all be smooth as silk.
Yesterday we had on and off snow, and the base areas warmed up a bit so the snow was a bit heavy. South facing slopes got a bit heavy in the afternoon, however dry powder was still great on shaded areas.
Current conditions on the hills in Hakuba are excellent coverage on all terrain, packed and chopped powder on main runs, groomed runs and little powder stashes in the trees.
The weather is looking like it is going to remain cold over the weekend, with light snow expected over Saturday and Sunday. As long as it stays cold we are set for another classic Japan Alps winter in Hakuba!
Present Avalanche Conditions:
Surface instability. Facet / New Snow weak layer. Added weight with new snow may cause sluffs or slabs from this interface. Watch for wind increases and lee side loading.
The heavy snow fall of 60 cms in the valley and more at elevation over the past 2 days (04/0…) put immediate excess weight on the underlaying layers and made for very unstable surface snow. This new storm snow was sluffing on any aspect on slopes of 30 degrees plus and was traveling good distances while gaining volume and speed. Early in the morning of 6th January 10 the skies began to clear and the storm cycle passed to leave fair to poor stability at tree line and below and very poor stability (presumed; unobserved) stability in the Alpine. Due to the high density and high moisture content of the storm snow as well as warm day time temperatures there was rapid settlement in the new snow and subsequent bonding due to light winds and mild temperatures. Alpine unobserved but presumed to have greater slab formation due to rate of snowfall and associated winds at elevation. Last nights (06/01/10) clearing allowed for further settlement and bonding. Radiant cooling has also lightened the storm snow (05/06/10) surface and some surface hoar has been created. This low density surface snow combined with near surface faceting and hoar frost may produce a weak interface with the new snow falling today and continuing through to the weekend. Expect the avalanche hazard to rise with new snow and wind effect.
TREE LINE: Considerable
BELOW TREE LINE: Considerable