Epic Conditions Continue

Lubo skis some of the deepest, driest powder around.

Lubo skis some of the deepest, driest powder around.

Base up top: 345 cm    Temp Top; -4 Degrees

Base at bottom; 220 cm

New Snow since close: 0 cm

Weather; Overcast

 

A bit of a grey old morning today in the village of Nozawa Onsen as high clouds pass over the resort. Moderate temperatures are expected and the clouds are expected to deliver the occasional light snowfall isolated across the region. Hit the powder early today to avoid the weekend crowds and the groomers and park will be worth a look as holiday makers break for lunch.

Yesterday continues on the trend this year of epic days. Light dry powder snow was abundant across the resort and the powder hounds certainly sniffed out these areas with no lack of pace. Lighting conditions were mostly flat until the afternoon when we saw occasionally sunny conditions and the sunset had to be seen to be believed. A good day all round.

Isolated snowfalls will increase tonight falling above about 500 meters. Small totals are forecast but the wind is expected to be NW so we may be in for a surprise tomorrow morning. Unfortunately a warm front will move over the region tomorrow and tuesday but it will be short-lived with very cold temperatures and snowfalls resume Tuesday night into Wednesday.

1am urban skiing, Nozawa style.

1am urban skiing, Nozawa style.

Magic Foot Delivers

Lubo traverses a high ridge line near Nozawa Onsen.

Lubo traverses a high ridge line near Nozawa Onsen.

Base up top: 370 cm    Temp Top; -9 Degrees

Base at bottom; 240 cm

New Snow since close: 30 cm

Weather; Snow

Well, after yesterdays clear blue skies no one was really expecting another hefty fall of snow to occur. But Nozawa Onsen has its surprises. Late last night snow laden clouds marched over from the sea of Japan delivering the goods. 30cm of fresh stuff has blanketed the resort and the powder hounds are frothing at the mouth once more. It remains to be seen whether today will be another bluebird, but at this stage clouds and light snow continue to pass over Nozawa Onsen.

Again, there will be great riding to be had across the board today. Yamabiko trees will be on as usual as will the Challenge area. Groomers will be the pick by the afternoon but for now its all about hunting the powder. Remember to always ski with a buddy to haul you out when you stack in the depths.

Snowfalls are set to clear at some point this afternoon but further light snowfalls to higher elevations are expected tomorrow. Clear weather and warmer temperatures are expected on Monday before another cold front is due on Tuesday afternoon providing yet more fresh snow.

Picture Perfect

IMG_2492_1500

Base up top: 350 cm    Temp Top;  -6 Degrees

Base at bottom; 220 cm

New Snow since close: 30 cm

Weather; Bluebird

Unexpected bluebird this morning; today is going to be epic!! Snowfalls have cleared after continuing overnight at a higher rate than expected delivering 25-50cm of fresh at the resort summit and 30cm in the village. The walls of snow about town are steadily increasing in hight, even touching telegraph wires in places. Nearly on par with record levels this seasons snowfalls are simply amazing.

Like yesterday, which saw outstandingly dry impossibly deep japow, perhaps the deepest so far this season; we expect a continuation of the above today. Riding is downright dangerous in steeper off piste areas with severe avalanche conditions, but the groomers and side trails will offer excellent knee deep powder snow for punters to enjoy.

We may see continued isolated snowfalls today and tomorrow to moderate amounts before a full clearing trend is expected on Sunday. A few warmer days are predicted for early next week at this stage before more snow is suggested in the long range weather models.

2015. The Best Year on Record so Far

Making some fresh lines yesterday.

Making some fresh lines yesterday.

Base up top: 330 cm    Temp Top;  -8 Degrees

Base at bottom; 215 cm

New Snow since close: 50 cm

Weather; Heavy snow

 

Welcome to 2015 from Nozawa Onsen! Partying into the new year in style with festivities about the village including night skiing under fireworks on the Nagasaka slope and sake flowing strong into the night. There is sure to be a few sore heads this morning! Those who held back will be rewarded by feeling fresh and ready to tackle the 50cm of snow that fell overnight. The first day of 2015 is sure to be a good one in Nozawa Onsen with that deep dry powder Japan is world renowned for blanketed across the mountain, getting deeper by the hour as flakes continue to fall thick and fast, woohoo!! Time to get out there!

Yesterday was also a good one, better than expected given the relatively warm temperatures. Fresh snow remained untracked in the well hidden areas of the resort and the groomed runs held up well given the holiday crowds. Snow on the lower aspects of the resort became slushy during the afternoon however the upper slopes remained relatively dry and of great quality.

What a great forecast we have to kick off the year! Snow will continue to fall today in consistent quantities before potentially easing into tomorrow. Another moderate to strong front is suggested to pass over on Friday night before snow showers become isolated by midday Saturday. Sunday is forecast to be a spectacular bluebird with cold temperatures remaining. Best of all, winds are predicted to be less than moderate the entire time. Could this season get any better?

Clearing Fog Today

Jerry skis in the trees at the upper area of Nozawa Onsen.

Jerry skis in the trees at the upper area of Nozawa Onsen.

Base up top: 285 cm    Temp Top;  -3 Degrees

Base at bottom; 175 cm

New Snow since close: 10-20 cm

Weather; Fog

 

Its another foggy morning in Nozawa Onsen today. We had a patch of blue sky before the sea mist once again rolled up the valley and engulfed the resort. There is definitely an air of anticipation about the resort regarding tonights expected dump and new years events. There will be both night skiing with fireworks, highly recommended. There will also be some more traditional events in the temple district of town, with free sake tasting.

Hopefully this fog clears off soon, the forecast suggests it will and if so there will be some great riding about the groomed trails. With around 10-20cm falling about the upper part of the resort there will even be some nice patches of powder collected amongst the trees.

According to the forecast the next four days could be some of the most impressive of the season so far. At least a half meter should fall overnight tonight and the freezing level will nosedive back down to sea level. Following this moderate to heavy snowfalls will continue until Saturday before gradually clearing into Sunday.

Fog and Light Snow

The undulating textures of an unridden slope.

The undulating textures of an unridden slope.

Base up top: 290 cm    Temp Top;  -4 Degrees

Base at bottom; 180 cm

New Snow since close: 10 cm

Weather; Fog

 

Heavy fog has enveloped the village of Nozawa Onsen this morning inducing a definitive maritime atmosphere about the mountain. Squashed between an inversion layer, it should hopefully clear with an increased wind speed later in the day. Best skiing will be had on tree lined groomed runs where points of focus will improve depth perception. At the moment elevations between 1000-1400m are sandwiched in a clear layer so these altitudes offer the best visibility at this time.

Yesterday was a similar story with low fog limiting visibility and light snow showers in upper areas. Again, the skiing was best on the groomed runs with off piste snow somewhat variable in quality.

The build up to the much anticipated new years dump is upon us. Tomorrow night is the starting point where by heavy snow is expected, continuing until Friday before clearing at the weekend. A good few days will be had for all in Nozawa Onsen.

The chute

The chute

Nozawa Pillow Factory

The pillow factory

The pillow factory

Base up top: 295 cm    Temp Top;  -2 Degrees

Base at bottom; 190 cm

New Snow since close: 5 cm

Weather; Light snow

 

Looks like we have some light isolated snow showers across the region this morning. With a less than ideal wind direction, amounts will be fickle compared to forecasted totals but expect these isolated falls to continue all day. We have had five centimetres of fresh fall across the upper half of the mountain, sure to produce some quality riding in most areas such as Yamabiko.

I think its safe to say we can add yesterday to the steadily increasing list of superb days so far this season. Deep fresh powder was still available in the early morning, somewhat compacted to previous days making exploration manageable. By mid morning the holiday crowds had smashed the remaining powder and punters moved onto the groomers backed by one of the most science backdrops around. The views had to be seen to be believed, with the sea of Japan visible off to the west and the surrounding Japanese Alps soaring into the stratosphere.

This weeks forecast holds so much promise. Light isolated snow showers should continue above five hundred meters until New Years Eve. From then we expect an intense cold front to pass over the region with very heavy totals predicted into New Years Day. At this stage, half a meter overnight is not out of the question. Would be a great start to the new year!

Picture Perfect Day

In the trees at Nozawa!!

In the trees at Nozawa!!

Base up top: 300 cm    Temp Top;  -5 Degrees

Base at bottom; 215 cm

New Snow since close: 0 cm

Weather; Clear

We woke to a perfect sunny morning, the first truly spectacular morning of the season so far. Views over to the Myoko volcano were something that had to be seen to be believed with an intense alpenglow radiating off the peak in the early morning light. With the depth and quality of snow we have in Nozawa Onsen at the moment, the riding will sure to be top notch. Make sure you pack the cameras to capture the views from the summit!

Yesterday was so so epic. Deep perfect snow. Amazing. Again, the best day of the season so far. Outstanding groomers and the trees were as perfect as they get, apart from the sketchy avalanche conditions. A 60-70cm crown was spotted just off piste. Make sure you never ride alone and carry the necessary equipment for self rescue.

According to the forecast we should expect clear conditions all day today before snow showers set in, predicted to fall on and off all week long. The most intense snowfalls are expected of Thursday at this stage.

Best day of the season

Yesterday.

Yesterday.

Base up top: 330 cm    Temp Top;  -9 Degrees

Base at bottom; 215 cm

New Snow since close: 30 cm

Weather; Snow

 

How many best runs of the season can you have? If you were to say one, you’d be wrong as this line was dropped more than a few times yesterday. Deep blower dry pow is what we all came here for and it was delivered in ample amounts on Boxing Day as moderate to heavy snowfalls continued from first to last lifts. The winds were also lighter than expected. Epic, just epic.

The bets are in that skiing and boarding should be similar to yesterday, perhaps even better as skies are forecast to clear and winds drop by the afternoon. I don’t need to tell you where will be good today as it all will be. Get yourself out there.

Tomorrow should also be a clear day but the freezing level will take a hit up to around 1000m. Therefore expected warmer, but not too warm temperatures tomorrow. Looking further ahead next week should be a snowy one with light to moderate falls continuing from monday to friday.

Cultural Nozawa Onsen.

Cultural Nozawa Onsen.

Nozawa gets Buried

Cooking onsen disappears

Cooking onsen disappears

Base up top: 310 cm    Temp Top;  -8 Degrees

Base at bottom; 215 cm

New Snow since close: 75 cm

Weather; Snow

 

Ok, this winter in Nozawa Onsen is getting ridiculous for big dumps. Just another 75 cm overnight, pushing storm totals well over a meter and a half. I hope you all had an awesome Christmas. A bit of a repetitive statement so far, but yesterday was one of the best days of the season. Light, deep powder that challenged worlds arid zones for its dryness. Faceshots were the order for the day, the real issue was avoiding them to maintain a path of visibility.

Today should be similar to Christmas day, albeit with stronger winds forecast and potentially deeper powder. If you don’t have utmost confidence in your riding and self rescue abilities then id recommend sticking to the marked trails. It will be deep out there today, maybe too deep. Pack the fattest planks available!

The forecast continues to impress, especially a very strong system on the long range forecast around new years day. Subject to major revisions as the date draws closer, but at the current time well over a meter in 24 hours is predicted. Snowfalls are expected to continue today, before easing overnight and clearing to perfect bluebird at the weekend.

Storm riding

Storm riding