Thursday 7th Jan

Hakuba this morning is getting a nice reprise from the full-on onslaught of snow this past week. Only 5-8cms of new snow to report overnight and with a high cloud bank and the sun busting through it is a classic Hakuba day for sure. Moderate winds atop the alpine ridges today so be prepared to be blasted a bit but all areas and all runs will be fantastic today. Photo shoot opportunities for sure!

Skiers and boarders can have freshly groomed corduroy, moguls (still slightly powdery) and chopped powder too. Great coverage as we have had over a meter this past week alone.

Light snow turning to moderate snow is expected throughout the day, and more snow flurries are expected overnight. Cold temperatures and a continued low pressure system bringing additional precipitation is also forecasted for this coming week, YAY!

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 (04/050110) 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