Saturday 9th January

Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 1-2cm
Snow depth: 200 cm (Goryu base) 345 cm (Goryu top)

Hakuba is presently sitting under clouds with the sun trying to break through. Cold temperatures overnight have kept the dry snow dry, but any wet snow will be frozen hard until the temperatures warm up or the sun gets to it. A light dusting of about 1-2 cm of snow fell in the valley overnight with approx 5cms up on the higher slopes of the resorts.

Expect nice corduroy on the groomers, packed powder and chopped powder on the edges of the runs and still some nice lines to be found through the trees. The resorts will be a bit busier over the weekend, but still rarely are there big lift lines.

The weather is expected to remain below zero throughout the weekend, and get even colder next week with more snow on the works for late next week. Not a lot of precipitation on the forecast for the weekend but with the current snow accumulation and nice powder around we should be able to play out there happily for a while longer.

Present Avalanche Conditions:

Surface instability. Facet / New Snow weak layer. Added weight with new snow may cause sluffs or slabs from this interface. Watch for wind increases and lee side loading.

The heavy snow fall of 60 cms in the valley and more at elevation over the past 2 days (04/0…) put immediate excess weight on the underlaying layers and made for very unstable surface snow. This new storm snow was sluffing on any aspect on slopes of 30 degrees plus and was traveling good distances while gaining volume and speed. Early in the morning of 6th January 10 the skies began to clear and the storm cycle passed to leave fair to poor stability at tree line and below and very poor stability (presumed; unobserved) stability in the Alpine. Due to the high density and high moisture content of the storm snow as well as warm day time temperatures there was rapid settlement in the new snow and subsequent bonding due to light winds and mild temperatures. Alpine unobserved but presumed to have greater slab formation due to rate of snowfall and associated winds at elevation. Last nights (06/01/10) clearing allowed for further settlement and bonding. Radiant cooling has also lightened the storm snow (05/06/10) surface and some surface hoar has been created. This low density surface snow combined with near surface faceting and hoar frost may produce a weak interface with the new snow falling today and continuing through to the weekend. Expect the avalanche hazard to rise with new snow and wind effect.

Avalanche Hazard:
TREE LINE: Considerable
BELOW TREE LINE: Considerable

Official resort snow depths on 8th Jan 10:

100cm (Shirakaba)
165cm (Sakka/Kitaone)
320cm (Kurobishi/Usagidaira)
Hakuba Goryu:
150cm (Iimori)
180cm (Toomi)
345cm (Alps daira)
Hakuba 47:
Tsugaike Kogen:
130cm (Kanenonaruoka)
160cm (Maruyama)
325cm (Tsuganomori)
Hakuba Iwatake:
160cm (Shomen)
240cm (Sancho)
Sun Alpina Sanosaka:
Hakuba Minekata: