The calm before the storm

by Mark on January 8, 2017

Huge old tree in Nozawa Onsen.

Huge old tree in Nozawa Onsen.

Base at top: 145 cm

Temp at Top: -5 Degree

Base at Uenotaira station: 100 cm

New snow since close: 0 cm

Weather: Clear

The wait could be over very soon in here in Nozawa Onsen. After much flip flopping the predictions have come into line once more for the past 24 hours. And they are suggesting something big. From tomorrow afternoon until about the 16th or 17th we are expecting consistent moderate to heavy snow. This is the most impressive run of snow I can remember as far back as dec/jan 2014/15.

To begin with there will be some rain today and early tomorrow from mid mountain and below, snow up high. From then on the heaviest falls of snow looks to be on Tuesday night and then every day from Thursday until Monday. Temperatures will be cold, coldest over the weekend. The perfect wind direction from the north west is checked, hovering at moderate levels for the duration. We will see how much eventuates but our expectations here in Nozawa Onsen are very high indeed.

Right now in the village its clear and calm. I can hear quite a few cars driving up to the parking area so its going to be a busy day on the slopes, as expected for the long weekend. Again groomers will be the pick for the day, smooth and fast early becoming icy up top and softer/slower down low later in the day. Expect high clouds to move over the resort later, but as we will be impacted by easterly weather I don’t think there will be much fog.

Yesterday was a picturesque day on the mountain. Views off to the Sea of Japan, Northern peaks piercing the clouds and even the Hakuba range was visible way off in the distance. Light winds and warm sunshine made for a pleasant days skiing and with the holiday crowds there was a very mellow atmosphere on the slopes. Last night the village was jam packed for the Niko Niko Matsuri, a gigantic contest of paper, scissors rock.

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