Hakuba Snow Report February 28th

A little bit of snow yesterday but no accumulation in the valley. Sunny this morning with some cloud hanging around the tops of the mountain that should clear as it warms today. We had a chilly night and temps were -4 at 6 this morning with a predicted high of around 5 today. With no real wind and nice weather today should see a mix of some nice groomers getting beat through the day and snow softening around midday. Being the weekend there are tons of people out already…today will be a busy one as being the last weekend in February and everyone wants to make the most of the snow while it lasts.

Forecast for a cloudy morning tomorrow clearing by the afternoon and we have snow forecast for next week.


The weather of late has been very unstable with rapid warming and equally as rapid cooling‚ 4 rain events in the past week; unheard of; along with cooling turning to snow to the valley. the rain of 2 days ago has setup into a hard crust at the surface below tree line with overnight clearing and cooling. A short flury of new snow fell with mild temperatures yesterday and will be easy to warm on solar aspects and especially around rocks‚ trees and under cornices. Any new snow that falls on the ice crust created on the 26th will see high probability of point release slides and slab avalanches on steep convex slopes in avalanche terrain. All recent snows in the alpine are over riding the multiple rain crusts and with mid day solar radiation there is the chance that slabs down to past melt freeze crusts may propagate from shallow points neer ridges and around rocks and trees on solar aspects.

Stability Tests:
February 23rd North aspect‚ 13:10 @ 2000m Happo One:
CTM (11‚13) Resistant Planer‚ down 25cm in the new snow on facets and decomposing crystals 2cms above the Rain Crust of Feb. 20th

February 24th East aspect‚ 14:20 @ 2000m Tsugaike‚ Yamakami no One:
CTE(5) Sudden Collapse‚ down 65cm on crust
CTE(7) Resistant planer‚ down 75cm at Facet / melt freeze crust interface
CTH(22) Sudden planer‚ down 75cm at Facet / melt freeze crust interface

Skier controlled size 1 on East aspect‚ 38 degree slope @ 2000m Tsugaike‚ Yamakami no One.

February 26th East Aspect‚ 10:30 @ 2050m Happo One:
Hand test: Moderate shear down 25 cm in storm snow below February 25th rain crust. (after cutting through crust at surface)

Travel Advisory:

Travel in unsupported solar radiated steep terrain around rocks may produce slab avalanche releases at one of the many recent melt freeze crusts. Overnight clearing is supporting the creation of near surface facets around the recent ice crusts. Areas below tree are still retaining the warmth from past rains and warm weather‚ solar radiation and rain could rapidly loosen the present moist snow pack below the frozen surface snow. It is still possible that weak layers with in the wet snow may produce a wet slide with warming day time temperatures and solar radiation. Slides with in the new snow once snow amounts increase is also a concern. Any new snow on the Feb. 25th rain crust may also prove to be a concern; especially; with increased day time warming.

Avoid steep rocky or sparsely treed slopes on solar radiated aspects.

Avalanche Hazard Rating:

Below Tree Line: Considerable trending to High danger with rapid warming and rain.
Tree Line: Considerable trending to High Danger with increased rain or snow.
Alpine: Considerable trending to High Danger with increased snow and wind.
Steadily increasing air temperature
Radiative cooling of snow surface causing low density snow and frost at surface
Warming of surface snow causing instability in surface and near surface layers
Use caution if crossing solar radiated slopes.
Increased instability of solar aspect start zones especially under cornices and very steep slopes.
Increased caution advised around rocky outcroppings‚ cliffs and well spaced trees in start zones.
Facet layer around buried crust
Due caution in steep and convex terrain

Danger level 2 : Moderate

Natural avalanches unlikely. Human triggered avalanches possible.

Danger level ratings are set for conditions at tree line
and may vary from below tree line and High Alpine areas.
Use this inormation as a guideline only.