January 3rd, 2008

All smiles yesterday and still mad amounts of powder to be found. Snow came again this AM with 5 cms at the base and about 10 cm up on top. Packed powder and groomed conditions with a superb base to build on here in Hakuba now. Currently patches of blue sky appearing in Hakuba today, but still lightly snowing on top of the upper slopes.


-1 degrees C.


-3 degrees C.


Light – Moderate Easterlies




San Alpina, Yanaba, Hakuba Goryu, Hakuba 47, Happo-One, Tsugaike Kogen, Iwatake, Hakuba Norikura,Cortina, Minegata and Hakuba Highland; all lifts open with some limited service due to heavy snow-fall/avalanche control.


Hope you bought fat skis or powder boards cause they would have got worked yesterday. Likely we’ll see continued flurries through the week. Nice kick-start to the New Year!


Backcountry Travel Advisory:

4 backcountry travelers dead after being hit in their tent by a large snow Avalanche in the Hakuba area. Middle of the night January 1st, 2008.

EXTREME caution should be taken by anyone planning to go into the back country over the next week. Travel in the backcountry is ill advised as all slopes are being rapidly loaded with large amounts of snow, that is over riding the December 29th rain crust that can be found below tree line. Expect large scale loose and slab avalanches occurring in the upper surface layers. There will be definite instabilities in the new snow and possible slabs from the Rain crust / New snow interface. High winds from the North West in the Alpine have produced enormous cornices on lee slopes as well as rapidly loaded South and East facing gullies. Be especially cautious if moving from scoured ridges into gullies and around stressed convex terrain. In addition to being VERY DANGEROUS in the backcountry at present, slogging up through 2 metres plus(+) of deep powder makes for a bit of a mission as well. Not a week for hiking in the backcountry. A great time to stay in bounds and get some great face shots. Don’t get greedy for powder this new snow needs time to settle!


Above tree line: Extreme

Tree line: High

Below tree line: Considerable

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.



BASE DEPTH: 110 cm(at the base); 240 cm(at 1500m)


BASE DEPTH:90 cm(at the base); 280 cm(at 1500m)

Tsugaike Kogen:

BASE DEPTH: 165 cm(at the base); 280 cm(at 1500m)