Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better!
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Japan 2017/2018

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@PowderAdict, @Mosha Marc, two posts in a row in two totally different places, yet two 'best ski days ever' - Japan definitely gets the prize for consistency.
latest report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I'm due in Nagano prefecture 12-13th for 5 days, nothing booked as yet other than hotels in Yokohama for the business part of the trip. Quick question, I plan to have a couple of days in Hakuba before moving on to either Myoko or Madarao, am I asking too much to try to do 2-3 resorts in 5 days or just ski Hakuba?
snow conditions     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Fogliettaz, If you have your own transport, Hakuba to Myoko is only about 90 minutes so definitely doable.

if I were you, I'd go wherever the snow was best at the time and move if it changes (that was our plan)
snow conditions     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Day 7 : Tomamu. Today was our transfer day from Furano to Otaru, and since we were heading that way, we converted our transfer to a ski day. The semi-abandoned Tomamu has slightly more life in it now that it has been taken over by Club-Med, but it was still relatively empty.

It started as a bluebird day, with -8C at the base and -14C on the peak, but by the end the clouds were building and snow was falling.

The off-piste had had a partial reset, but not enough to fill the deeper tracks. Even so there were plenty of fresh powder lines in the North Bowl off the top chair lift. If any one does decide to ski this bowl, you must be aware of the traverse line to the right which returns you to the piste. Miss this, which is very tempting given the open powder fields below, and it will be a very long sidestep back out again, if you donít have skins.

We finished the day skiing the abandoned lift line extreme skiers right, which drops you down on to one of the resort roads, so you need a vechile pick up.
latest report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Day 8 : Kokusai. The forecast had been indicating a decent snowfall for Kokusai, but once again there had only been a partial reset, with 3 times more needed to obscure the previous tracks.

As is often the case the conditions at the top and bottom of the resort were completely different. The day started with blue skies, sunshine and a slight haze. At the top of the gondola the wind was whipping off the surface snow, and reducing visibility. By the time we hit the exit traverse it was like spring skiing, and everyone was stripping off layers.

The sun and warmth quickly impacted the snow quality, so we were only getting 10 powder turns between the wind effected top and the sun effected crud at the bottom. Since there was nothing to be gained, we cut the day short, and we hope the snow that was dumping when we left continues all night Very Happy
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Mosha Marc, Thanks Marc, I have hired a car so transport is not an issue, I'll have a look at the map and try to find somewhere central to stay and travel to a different resort each day after checking the forecasts.

3 pairs of skis to choose from, only taking one pair but which?

Volkl Kendo 177
Down Countdown 6 185
Rossignol Soul 7 180
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Widest ones. I took Soul 7s and regretted it! Plenty will tell you that you'll just sit deeper in the powder on narrower skis but I just prefer the feel of wider, rockered poweder skis.
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Fogliettaz, Go wide or go home Toofy Grin

I've got my 124mm and 148mm underfoot with me, and don't regret it. The others in my group go from 109mm to 136mm. The guy on the 109mm (Volkl BMT) has more traditional 'turny' style and can fit through any tree gap, while the rest of us make wider 'freeride' style turns.
snow conditions     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I had Volkl BMT 109mm on all the time too; light on the up, the full rocker made them quick in the trees and they GS open powder too.

That said, the width range was 124mm to 99mm.

Somehow we all enjoyed it wink
snow conditions     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I was skiing on 112mm underfoot in Japan. To be honest I wished I had taken some narrower skis, maybe 90-100mm. I sometimes prefer the feeling of skiing deeper in the snow.
snow report     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I have been pondering taking some old 85's underfoot twin tips, but will probably take my Cham's at 95mm.
snow report     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
PowderAdict wrote:
Day 7 : Tomamu. Today was our transfer day from Furano to Otaru, and since we were heading that way, we converted our transfer to a ski day. The semi-abandoned Tomamu has slightly more life in it now that it has been taken over by Club-Med, but it was still relatively empty.

It started as a bluebird day, with -8C at the base and -14C on the peak, but by the end the clouds were building and snow was falling.

The off-piste had had a partial reset, but not enough to fill the deeper tracks. Even so there were plenty of fresh powder lines in the North Bowl off the top chair lift. If any one does decide to ski this bowl, you must be aware of the traverse line to the right which returns you to the piste. Miss this, which is very tempting given the open powder fields below, and it will be a very long sidestep back out again, if you donít have skins.

We finished the day skiing the abandoned lift line extreme skiers right, which drops you down on to one of the resort roads, so you need a vechile pick up.


Tomamu owned by a Chinese company who also bought the Club Med brand and Sahoro.

Great terrain skier's right down to the road. The lifts were never put in which is a real shame as that would be some of the best lift-accessed terrain in Hokkaido.
latest report     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Day 9 : Kokusai. With limited new snow in the region, Kokusai was once again our best option. Being a Saturday the car park was much busier, but fortunately they were mainly piste skiers, with only a few boarders getting serious in the powder. There does seem to a new trend of beginners going into powder, when they havenít a clue what to do with it. In Tomamu a boarder side slipped the entire lift line while filming themselves with a selfie stick. Today it was skiers snow ploughing through powder.

The 20cm+ that fell overnight, brought much better conditions than yesterday, with most of our lines reset. With less wind and sunshine, the powder lasted much longer, but we still had to get creative with our access points to ski the few remaining untracked lines.

Not sure where we are going tomorrow, as little new snow is forecast.
latest report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Hope your guide gets you to Kiroro
snow report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Knee deep and untracked today (Sunday 25th) in Rusutsu 👍
snow report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Mike Pow wrote:
Hope your guide gets you to Kiroro

Day 10 : Kiroro Very Happy

Things didn't look good when we arrived as we were directed to the overflow car park, but I guess it was always going to be busy at the weekend. Fortunately the vast majority of the vehicles contained piste based boarders and skiers. The day started sunny but cold, and got more cloudy and windy as it went on. The temperature was between -12 and -14C, but the wind chill at the top dropped that to -25C.

There had been new snow overnight, which covered many of the tracks and the wind blown snow helped to fill in some more. With our guide we had the mountain passes so were able to exit from the resort gates, however there was some rope ducking going on, as the number of tracks on the exit traverses far exceeded those going in from the top. We logged about 5500m vertical and had some fresh lines and even the occasional face shot.

There was new snow falling as we left, but it stopped as we descended from the resort. The Norwegians were in a good mood as the 30Km Women's Cross Country was won by a Norwegian as we were sitting in the Sheraton bar Very Happy
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
PowderAdict wrote:
Mike Pow wrote:
Hope your guide gets you to Kiroro

Day 10 : Kiroro Very Happy

With our guide we had the mountain passes so were able to exit from the resort gates, however there was some rope ducking going on, as the number of tracks on the exit traverses far exceeded those going in from the top. We logged about 5500m vertical and had some fresh lines and even the occasional face shot.
D


That's better.

There's another exit into the Asarisawa gulley further down the piste and the exit on the Nagamine side funnels back to the bridge as well 👍


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Mon 26-02-18 14:12; edited 1 time in total
snow conditions     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Day 11 : Teine. This was the first visit to this resort for everyone apart from the guide. For those that don't know Teine was the alpine skiing destination for the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics. The cable car from those games is still in place but isn't in use.

The day started sunny with -4C at the base and -8C at the top, but also dumped snow quiet heavily at times. I doubt that there were 20 cars in the car parks at 09:00. The main lift station is actually part way up the hill, and is accessed either by road, or by the only decently size gondola (6 person, all seated) that I have come across in Japan, and the first with snowboard racks. However, the lifties wouldn't let us put our fat skis in the snowboard slots, we had to take them into the gondola. The main lift station also has multiple escalators, and has inside racks.

The main lift is a high speed chair, which takes you to the peak (covered in TV masts) from there you have a choice of easy/intermediate runs and return to the peak via a couple of chairs. We started of by trying the slope side trees, but these had suffered due to weekend traffic. We then tried the steeper runs off the peak, which are accessed via a short boot pack past the top station of the obsolete cable car, and found quite a lot of untracked snow. Ski Tracks logged a slope angle of 51 degrees which seemed about right. We made 5 more return trips to this slope after lunch, pushing further down each time, to find the limits of the return traverse to the high speed chair. A word of warning in a couple of places there appeared to be cornices, but from below we found that they were snow covered avalanche barriers.

A couple of the chairs weren't working. Whether that was due to them being obsolete, or weekend only operation, I don't know.

I'm sure with a bit more local knowledge some of the slopes could be extended a fair way down the mountain, with maybe road pickups. I guess that Teine exceeded expectations given the lack of new snow.
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Waist deep, bluebird powder with face shots for fun at Niseko Moiwa today (Monday 26th February).

Magic 👍
snow conditions     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Mike Pow, next year no more mistake in choosing powder destination..
Back to Japan for sure!
Is almost guaranteed powder
latest report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
toro wrote:
@Mike Pow, next year no more mistake in choosing powder destination..
Back to Japan for sure!
Is almost guaranteed powder


If you're prepared to move around then no better chance of getting fresh every day IMHO
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
musehead wrote:
I was skiing on 112mm underfoot in Japan. To be honest I wished I had taken some narrower skis, maybe 90-100mm. I sometimes prefer the feeling of skiing deeper in the snow.


What were the skis and conditions?

In mellow terrain with deep snow wide rockered skis come into their own. Apart from Mike, who is a pro and unconventional in his choice of ski, I just canít believe most people would have more fun on a narrow ski in Japan than a wide, rockered powder tool that will give you that elusive feeling of skiing on air.
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@PowderAdict, what a trip!
ski holidays     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Day 11 : Kiroro. With little new snow forecast we went back to Kiroro, and were very surprised to find around 25-30cm of the good stuff at the top. What a difference a weekday makes compared to the weekend, with the previous Sunday visits hundreds of cars replaced with maybe 15.

We were in the 3rd gondola up, with only 5 people in the first 2. As a consequence we had first choice out of the top gate, and farmed the powder making quick laps via the chair. However within an hour or so the warm temperatures and sunshine had already started to turn the snow on the East faces, so we switched to the opposite side of the ridge line.

With less snow forecast I was on my Lotus 124's rather than the Spoon's which turned out to be a wise choice as the exist traverses had become high speed concave bobsleigh runs, littered in places with boarders.

Final days skiing on Wed 28th, not sure where yet.
snow report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
En route to Hokkido for a week . Staying in Niseko to begin with. Anyone around for a coffee / beer / ski.
ski holidays     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Idris wrote:
En route to Hokkido for a week . Staying in Niseko to begin with. Anyone around for a coffee / beer / ski.


Enjoy 👍
latest report     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

With little new snow forecast we went back to Kiroro, and were very surprised to find around 25-30cm of the good stuff at the top.


This has been my experience with (first time) Japan in 20 days. You can throw away most forecasts out of the window. Snow-forecast, as everywhere else on the planet is just a random number generator here, but even forecasts (meteoblue) that I have usually considered at least semi-reliable for short term (24-72 hours) failed miserably. It either just snows like crazy out of nowhere, or it barely dusts, regardless of what most forecast said. Or in the extreme case you go 35km away after 17 hours of uninterrupted heavy snow in town to find barely 10cm in resort.

Also, you should try to go away from lifts every once in a while. Get your touring gear and go deep (in any sense). First time splitboarding in untracked neck-deep. It was barely doable...

@Mike Pow, what do you usually use for forecasts? I don't mind moving around, but would be nice to know where to move to.

On the topic of moving around - public transportation does not really work for skiing/snowboarding here... Buses to more interesting places are infrequent, they are not scheduled to correspond with trains at all (at least in winter), you arrive late and if you go further than 50kms, you quickly start to approach car rental prices... I had more luck relying on buses in Chile, than in Hokkaido.
snow conditions     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
moridinbg wrote:
Quote:

With little new snow forecast we went back to Kiroro, and were very surprised to find around 25-30cm of the good stuff at the top.

@Mike Pow, what do you usually use for forecasts? I don't mind moving around, but would be nice to know where to move to.


Snow-Forecast.com

Normally spot on for freezing level, wind speed and wind direction.
Typically underreports snowfall.

For SW Hokkaido there are three different weather areas - Niseko Resort Area; Rusutsu; Otaru/Sapporo Area.

Depending on wind direction all three or just one will get hit by a storm.

If it's dumping in Rusutsu it may well be sunny in the other areas.

And all things being equal, Kiroro gets more snow more regularly which remains less tracked than the other two areas.

Look at Facebook and Instagram and talk with people on the lifts and in bars.

And yes a car gives you far more flexibility.

And don't underestimate the knowledge of someone who has spent extensive time in the area.
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Mike Pow wrote:
For SW Hokkaido there are three different weather areas - Niseko Resort Area; Rusutsu; Otaru/Sapporo Area.

Depending on wind direction all three or just one will get hit by a storm.

Which wind direction favours which areas?
ski holidays     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
hd wrote:
Mike Pow wrote:
For SW Hokkaido there are three different weather areas - Niseko Resort Area; Rusutsu; Otaru/Sapporo Area.

Depending on wind direction all three or just one will get hit by a storm.

Which wind direction favours which areas?


From the W = Niseko Resort Area
From the SW = Rusutsu
From the NE = Otaru / Sapporo resorts
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@BobinCH, Volkl Katana V-Werks. Varied conditions - almost everything apart from slush really! Probably had really deep powder only about 1/3 of the time. Overall they were good. Next time I might take them along with some narrower ones and see how I get on.

Feel like I've missed out on a really epic season in Japan this year, I'm definitely going back next winter!
latest report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
2 days of waiting for the wind to drop. Lifts now open but not to top. 10-20cm fresh wind affected and heavy.
First time skiing Niseko in 8 years, friends here tell me it's the least busy day they've seen (bar 27th Jan day after aussie day ) to me it's 5hit show busy compared to anything bar newyears/half term, won't be back soon!
snow conditions     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Idris wrote:
2 days of waiting for the wind to drop. Lifts now open but not to top. 10-20cm fresh wind affected and heavy.
First time skiing Niseko in 8 years, friends here tell me it's the least busy day they've seen (bar 27th Jan day after aussie day ) to me it's 5hit show busy compared to anything bar newyears/half term, won't be back soon!


Where did you start your day?
latest report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@Idris, that's exactly what we experienced the one and only day we skied Niseko. Though the top was shut, in fact it was only open twice in the seven days I think.

Way too busy with Aussie grommets lapping everything that was available, hence we got the hell out of there!!
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Weathercam wrote:
@Idris, that's exactly what we experienced the one and only day we skied Niseko. Though the top was shut, in fact it was only open twice in the seven days I think.

Pretty much sums up my experience as well. In 2016 it was closed for one day due to wind, and the next day was open for wind blasted snow and near zero visibility at the top, and sun crust at the bottom. In 2017 the snow was like skiing on chalk, and we ended up lapping the park.

My (admittedly limited) opinion of Niseko is that it is similar to Whistler, an all or nothing resort for powder, that gets tracked out immediately.
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Mike Pow wrote:
Idris wrote:
2 days of waiting for the wind to drop. Lifts now open but not to top. 10-20cm fresh wind affected and heavy.
First time skiing Niseko in 8 years, friends here tell me it's the least busy day they've seen (bar 27th Jan day after aussie day ) to me it's 5hit show busy compared to anything bar newyears/half term, won't be back soon!


Where did you start your day?


Hirafu, skied all that was open there and Hanazono and a few bits I had to skin back from (needed some peace and quiet)
latest report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Idris wrote:
Mike Pow wrote:
Idris wrote:
2 days of waiting for the wind to drop. Lifts now open but not to top. 10-20cm fresh wind affected and heavy.
First time skiing Niseko in 8 years, friends here tell me it's the least busy day they've seen (bar 27th Jan day after aussie day ) to me it's 5hit show busy compared to anything bar newyears/half term, won't be back soon!


Where did you start your day?


Hirafu, skied all that was open there and Hanazono and a few bits I had to skin back from (needed some peace and quiet)


For you and others, start your day in Hanazono (no accommodation and no night skiing) or Annupuri (limited accommodation, limited night skiing)
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Would have but with todays wind direction. Hirafu opeed on time and Hanazono opened late.
snow conditions     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@PowderAdict, based on the description of your trip - I think my wife and I met you in Haneda while we were transferring to our local JAL flights.

We have a great time for our 8 days - split 4 days around Furano and 4 days around Niseko. Our first day in Furanno was powder and amazing - one of our best powder days ever. The next 3 days were less good and I have to say we preferred our time in an around Niseko given the more frequent refreshes vs Furano (including a visit to Kiroro with good powder which was nearly deserted in the week). It seemed to us that you would have better powder around Furano if it came (lighter and less competition) - but there were fewer snow days. Looking at the snow reports - this pattern seems to be representative of the season as a whole.
ski holidays     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@SkiingQuinHat, Did we go on the internal transfer bus to the domestic terminal together?
ski holidays     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy