January 24th, 2008

What started out as a nice morning to get some powder has turned crazy. Huge winds came in, white-outs on the mountain and roads, lifts stopping, gondolas swinging like monkeys in trees. Huge amounts of new snow with waist-deep powder up on Goryu Alps Daira this morning. The new snow isn’t bonding well and is slipping everywhere with snow slides down on to cat tracks witnessed on Happo and at Goryu. Early morning was great but a lot of people have called it a day now and gone back to coffee, onsens and DVD’s. Be careful if riding of strong winds, getting stuck on stopped lifts, and terrible visibility. Stay safely on-piste; snow is sliding on faces, under trees, everywhere. Goryu gondola is stopped probably for the day.

Temperature is -5 in the valley now but taking wind into account in the low minus tens on top. 30-50 cms of new snow but as yet unsure how much of that powder will stay on the pistes due to the wind. Expect limited lift/gondola operation.


Snow through today and tonight.



-5 degrees C.


-9 degrees C.


Strong North-Westerlies


Poor to terrible.


Goryu Toomi, Hakuba 47 the Gondola, Happo-One, Tsugaike Kogen, Iwatake, Cortina, Sanosaka, Sun Alpina, open.


Backcountry Travel Advisory:

New backcountry advisory from the team doing the Canadian Level I Avalanche Course.

Strong to extreme winds in all areas today – there was 30-50 cms of new snowfall overnight, lee-ward slopes will be much more loaded due to wind. Multiple size one to two off-piste slab avalanches have been witnessed slipping easily on the crust from two days ago and these could possibly crack down to the rain crust of January 12th causing very large slab avalanches. Travel out of marked ski areas is very strongly discouraged. New snow is sliding easily even on-piste on the sides of the runs. Be careful even on-piste in all ski areas.

Avalanche Danger Scale:

Alpine: Extreme
Tree-line: Extreme
Below tree-line: Extreme

See Below for International Danger scale classifications or click on the Canadian Avalanche Association web page for the International Danger Scale.

International Danger Scale


Natural avalanches very unlikely. Human triggered avalanches unlikely.
Travel is generally safe. Normal caution advised.


Natural avalanches unlikely. Human triggered avalanches possible.
Use caution in steeper terrain on certain aspects.


Natural avalanches possible. Human triggered avalanches probable.
Be increasingly cautious in steeper terrain.


Natural and human triggered avalanches likely.
Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.


Widespread natural or human triggered avalanches certain.
Travel in avalanche terrain should be avoided and confined to low angle terrain, well away from avalanche path runouts.