A powder day in Nozawa Onsen

by Mark on March 7, 2017

A gust of wind signals an approaching snowstorm on Yamabiko.

A gust of wind signals an approaching snowstorm on Yamabiko.

Base at top: 390+ cm?

Temp at Top: Cold. Winter time cold

Base at Uenotaira station: 300+ cm?

New snow since close: Heaps; been dumping all night 30-50cm?

Weather: A lot of snow

Thick snowflakes dull all sounds. Outside is eerily quiet as attentive listening reveals only the slight patter of snowflakes striking the window pane and the distant rumbling of tractors in an endless effort of removing snow from tarmac. Peaking through the frosted window reveals nothing but a sea of white; a taste of whats to come. Walking towards the elevators of the mountain and the locals are hard at work, moving dumps of snow to be placed in pools of warm volcanic water. The excitement builds as elevation increases, towards a point of release. Momentum of moving downhill, a build of speed and a turn. A waft of crystaline powder engulfs and all is good in the world. This is a powder day in Nozawa Onsen. This is today.

Late yesterday afternoon the snow moved in thick and fast a gust of wind signalling approach. A slight patch of blue sky beforehand giving zero indication of whats to come. With much of the mountain scoured ice snowfalls were sorely needed. A contrast to yesterday, today deep powder abounds.

But thats not all there is much more to come. The week ahead looks ripe with constant falls of frozen water lasting until the end of the week. A brief pause of solar radiation and then its off again as the unreliable long range suggests more of the fresh stuff during the week following.

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