Hakuba Snow Report Dec 30th

Japanese holidays have started and everyone was treated yesterday to one of the best days of the season so far with bluebird skies after the last snowfall and sweet stashes of windblown powder all over the mountain. Ticket and gondola lines were super busy in the morning as everyone wanted to be the first up there.

Warm last night, no real precipitation but there was a real slight drizzle almost rain-like and water is dripping from roofs this morning with the mercury sitting at 4 degrees at 800m and measured at plus 1 this morning on the top of Goryu.

Forecast for snow today so hoping the temperature drops a few degrees early! Tons of snowmen on the radar though temperatures don’t look like they’re gonna stay fully in the minuses. The next snowfall is really what we need to get our base on.


4 degrees C.


1 degrees C.


Moderate Westerlies at altitude


Good; limited above 2000m



BASE DEPTH: 180 cm (at 1500m)



Most runs/resorts are open…check with resorts for details.




Clear skies and warm temperatures today meant rapid settlement in the snow pack allowing bonding to take place. The snow depths are extremely varying over terrain‚ shallow in wind scoured ridges and around rocks and very deep in lee ward pockets. This varying snow depth means that there are areas heavily loaded with thin fragile borders at the ridges. Be very careful entering into steep complex terrain from scoured areas into loaded areas. 
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. These facets will be gaining in size in shallow snowpack areas‚ around rocks and on scoured ridges. However should start to bond in areas of deep snow pack. Tests on east facing wind deposits today found Hard or no compressions at the crust at a depth of 110 cm below snow surface. 

Due to the strong winds a wind slab varying in thickness can be found across the Hakuba range. 

Be aware of rapid changes in the snow related to solar radiation and rising air temperatures.

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

High danger of falling snow from rooves
High density new snow over lower density snow layer
Rapid air temperature decrease
Cornice fall
rapid settlement of surface snow causing load on buried weak layers
Increased instability of solar aspect start zones especially under cornices and very steep slopes. 
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
Stay away from steep and convex terrain

Danger level 4 : High

Natural and human triggered avalanches likely.

Use this information as a guideline only.