Today was a beautiful bluebird day with minimal wind. High winds yesterday have really blasted ridgetops and a number of aspects, but sheltered terrain in the right spots has been heavily loaded. Two runs on northeast aspects up high both had excellent snow. Conditions Report: Hakuba, Japan | Unofficial Networks

Conditions Report: Hakuba, Japan

Conditions Report: Hakuba, Japan

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Conditions Report: Hakuba, Japan

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Today was a beautiful bluebird day with minimal wind. High winds yesterday have really blasted ridgetops and a number of aspects, but sheltered terrain in the right spots has been heavily loaded. Two runs on northeast aspects up high both had excellent snow.

Northeast aspects at high elevations currently have two wind slabs: one that is about two inches deep, consisting of wind loaded snow over the past 24 hours; and the second about two feet deep consisting of storm snow that has fallen over the past week. The two inch slab is quite reactive and suspect spots. The more dangerous two foot slab appears to be bonding nicely to the older snow underneath, although it is certainly something to keep an eye on.

Southerly aspects looked to be heavily wind scoured. However, any slabs on these slopes are sitting on top of a sun crust, and have the potential to be reactive.

Hiking Beneath Happo's Upper Chair

On the approach. Grat (Happo's upper chair) is not open yet.

Grat is still closed, so the tour into Happo’s BC is about 15 minutes longer than usual. Its probably helping to keep the crowds away, though.

 

Kaerazu Face

Kaerazu, between trees and clouds

Kaerazu, looking good (always). The highest peaks were still in clouds today, and appeared to have high winds.

 

Ryan alpine powder turns

Ryan pow slash on run #1 of the day.

Excellent snow on sheltered northeast aspects. This area skied really nice.

 

The top half of Happo's ridge

Happo's backcountry: all the best parts.

A look into the upper half of Happo’s backcountry. Not very filled in yet, but that just makes the terrain look more interesting.

 

Ryan, run #2.

 

Japanese Snow Monkeys

A group of monkeys in search of pow.

Monkeys still hanging out at a pretty high elevation. They seem to be a rare sight up here in the middle of winter. Maybe it hasn’t gotten too cold up here for them yet.

 

Crossing the river

The river is NOT filled in yet.

Normally, this river crossing gets filled in by slides and you can just ski across. Still early.

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