Hakuba Snow Report – 16th Mar 2012

Weather conditions: Clear skies
New snowfall: 0 cm
Snow depth: 100cm (Village); 270cm (Top of Goryu)
It’s a lovely clear morning in Hakuba. Nice blue skies, a bit hazy looking in some directions and hardly any wind at all with a cold start to the day. Temperatures dipped to about -5 overnight, but it is warming up and it is venturing above zero already mid morning… a high of around 6 degrees is forecast for today. A fine day to be out on the mountains though.

Still looking likely that we’ll get rain tomorrow, perhaps even up high though the high temperature may well be similar to what we will see today. Warmer overnight though.

Sunday should be colder with a chance of snow overnight into Monday when temperatures are still looking like they will drop considerably.


Avalanche Danger is Considerable at all elevations.

Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern. Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas.

Take due precaution on steep convex terrain around rocky outcrops and below ridges and cornices.

Take care on southern aspects today as solar radiated slopes will decrease in stability as temperatures rise through the day. Be cautious of pockets of newly wind transported snow around rocks and in steep unsupported gullies on these solar aspects as the rocks will warm quickly.

The snow on the northern aspects is faceted above the rain crust with a soft slab on top that has been slowly stabilising but remains tender in some areas of side loading and areas with large variations in depth of new snow over the crust.

We are still seeing new slab avalanches everyday in the backcountry some of which have been big. Remember that the bigger the slope the bigger potential for large slab avalanches to propagate.
It is still wise to stay to supported slopes and ride one at a time.