Crazy Blizzard

by Mark on February 16, 2014

Darcy tearing yesterday, yew!

Darcy tearing yesterday, yew!

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

Base at bottom; 215 cm

New Snow since close: 30+ cm

Weather; Blizzard

Crazy weather here in Nozawa Onsen this morning. Strong winds and heavy blowing snow are creating a blizzard across the mountain and in the village. The good news is that the main Nagasaka gondola is running at half speed so its still possible to access most of the mountain. Its uncertain how much fell over night (we will get a better idea once mid mountain measurements are completed). 30cm accumulation was recorded at Yamabiko, however the actual totals would have been far higher considering much of the fresh snow would have been blown from this more exposed area. Probably around about 60cm fell over night.

The skiing and boarding today will be pretty good but may be difficult with the heavy snow creating easy conditions for getting stuck. Fat skis and powder boards only in the trees today and be prepared for long and difficult hikes out if you loose speed and get stuck. Those who are equipped and experienced in these kind of conditions should enjoy the deep powder, but those not so should stick to the marked trails. Hazardous conditions in the backcountry, avalanche risk is very high.

Yesterday was also a pretty hectic day. There was so much snow that the ski patrol was forced to close some runs because of too much snow. Skyline and many of the runs dropping off the side were closed during different periods yesterday. The snow was deep and slightly heavy but still awesome once you obtained a bit of speed. Many of the groomed runs became narrow cat tracks with deep walls of powder on either side. Not the best day for beginners, but great for everyone else.

Looking at the forecast ahead, snowfall rates should ease off this afternoon in combination with the wind abating. Light snow will continue overnight and into tomorrow, becoming isolated on Tuesday. Temperatures should decrease over this time with the freezing level dropping down to sea level. Wednesday looks to be partly cloudy before another system moves over Thursday into Friday.

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