Hakuba Snow Report – 11th Mar 2012

Weather conditions: Cloud, clear in places
New snowfall: 0 cm
Snow depth: 100cm (Village); 255cm (Top of Goryu)
A colder morning here in Hakuba, though no new snow to report.

Yesterday the snowfall did ease off in the afternoon but lots of the ski resort runs remained shrouded in cloud until the end of the day, so generally poor visibility out there on upper slopes. Spotted quite a few people enjoying themselves at the festival over at Goryu last night, finishing off with some fireworks which are always fun.

This morning there is still a lot of cloud around but it is generally brighter than yesterday and even some blue sky to be seen behind the clouds in places. Visibility is certainly better than it was yesterday even up on the higher slopes of resorts around the village.

So a cold start down to around -3 degrees overnight and earlier on, with a high of around +3 likely during the day today. We might be seeing some sun today but the local forecast tells us to expect snow clouds to be moving back into the region later today and it should be a cold and snowy night tonight. Snow down to village and perhaps another decent new layer on the slopes too, with temperatures dropping down to more like winter levels for a few days.


Multiple small slabs were triggered by riders and released naturally in the back country and off piste at the resorts yesterday. 2 minor incidents and one more serious involvements were reported and This was to be expected with the new snow over riding the melt layer. The bond between the melt crust and the new snow was improving through the day yesterday. The bond at lower elevation has improved today with last nights cold temperatures freezing the past wet melt grains to the immediate over riding storm snow. These bonds may loosen today with intense solar radiation and warming. The snow on the shaded slopes that has remained cold yesterday and will remain cold today may still see natural releases of slab and loose avalanches. Last nights surface hoar will also no doubt be present on Northerly aspects as new snow starts to fall this afternoon. This will create another low density weak layer between yesterdays storm snow and today’s forecast new snow.

Watch out on wind loaded North and East aspects where wind deposited snow may still not have bonded well to the melt layer. This aspect may have seen near surface faceting due to last nights clear skies and radiated heat loss from the upper snow pack.


EXTRA CAUTION on Steep Solar radiated slopes and also take care on Wind loaded and shady slopes.

Please be careful out there as this are still in a precarious balance.

Please also remember the 3 backcountry riders who lost there lives last year on this day, March 11th. The day of the great Earthquake of Eastern Japan. Remember and respect a moment of silence at 2:46 pm.