Hakuba Snow Report Dec. 29

Finally some powder in Hakuba! It started snowing yesterday and didn’t
stop giving us a solid White Christmas. 40-50 cms on my car this
morning and with Goryu reporting a base increase from 70 to 100 and 50
cms of fresh.

Due to high winds up top none of the Gondolas are still presently not running in Hakuba except for Tsugaike which is running to mid station. Lifts running at Goryu are Tommi Sky 4, Tommi #1 Pair, Imori # 1 High speed pair and Imori Milky 4. The Shirakaba lifts 1, 2 & 3 are running at Happo. Thanks to Tokyu! Tsugaike is running a few bottom lifts and the Shirakaba lift giving the best skiing in the valley.

The winds are continuing to increase and will through the day so don’t expect to get up top today. It will be great once we can access the great snows that have finally fallen this white Christmas.

The snows will continue through the day and into tomorrow so as long as the winds die down the snow will be deep and fluffy.


-5 degrees C.


-9 degrees C.




good at the Base



BASE DEPTH: 100 cm (at 1500m)



Limited lift operations – waiting for more snow to open up more. Upper
runs on Goryu, Hakuba 47, Happo One & Tsugaike are open.




50 cm of new snow overnight and 30 cm through the day are adding up to make alot of new snow adding wieght to the weak layers around the melt freeze crust of Dec 23rd. This new snow storm is associated with strong to extreme winds from varrying directions meaning that there may be multiple wind deposits on all aspects. Wind direction has predominantly been North West.

Stay out of steep conplex terrain as avalanches are likely. Especially on complex lee or cross loaded slopes.

Faceting has been found above and below the melt freeze crust of Dec. 23rd. Tests today at 1600 m Tsugaike‚ east aspect resulted in moderate failures at this crust layer found 100 cm below the surface of the snow. 

Due to the strong winds a wind slab varying in thickness can be found across the Hakuba range. Shooting cracks were observed in this wind slab today. Underlaying this dense wind slab is lower density new snow that is a weak layer near the top of the recent new snow. This layer was producing multiple natural slab avalanches also observed below tree line in the Tsugaike area.

Be aware of rapid changes in the snow related to frequent changes in wind direction and heavy constant snow fall.

Extreme caution around cornices and below cornices on steep convex terrain. 

RECOMENDATION: Stay in bounds on the piste until these new layers have time to bond. 

– Heavy snowfall
– Rapid increase of wieght on snow pack
– Suffocation by falling face first in to deep powder
– High danger of falling snow from rooves
– Surface avalanches in new snow due to underlying grauple layer
– Increased snowfall adding load to buried week layer
– Cornice fall
– Increase in loose snow avalanches and suffs
– Falling tree bombs (Possible triggers and cause of avalanches as well as overhead hazards)
– Development of cornices in lee slopes
– Lee side loading
– Windward scouring of ridges and rock out-crops creating uneven loading of slopes
– Due caution on cross loaded slopes
– Poor bonding at or around buried crust
– Facet layer around buried crust
– Wide propagation due to wind slab
– Stay away from steep and convex terrain

Danger level: Extreme

Wide spread natural and human triggered avalanches certain.
Danger level ratings are set for conditions at tree line and may vary from below tree line and High Alpine areas.

Use this information as a guideline only.