It seems that the Japan Avalanche Network noticed my complaints in the post on Backcountry Safety the other day (or maybe just a coincidence), because as of January 7 they are doing a regularly updated Avalanche Bulletin. This avalanche advisory is for Hakuba only, and is the first of its kind in Japan so far. As of now, it will only be available four days a week (leading up to and including the weekend). Most of the information is only in Kanji right now, but hopefully there will be an English translation soon. Nonetheless, it looks like quite useful and functional. Japan Avalanche Network Begins a Regularly Updated Avalanche Bulletin! | Unofficial Networks

Japan Avalanche Network Begins a Regularly Updated Avalanche Bulletin!

Happo-One and Yari

Japan Avalanche Network Begins a Regularly Updated Avalanche Bulletin!

ALL

Japan Avalanche Network Begins a Regularly Updated Avalanche Bulletin!

By

Happo-One and Yari

Happo-One, Clouds, Yari

It seems that the Japan Avalanche Network noticed my complaints in the post on Backcountry Safety the other day (or maybe just a coincidence), because as of January 7, they are doing a regularly updated Avalanche Bulletin. This avalanche advisory is for Hakuba only, and is the first of its kind in Japan so far. As of now, it will only be available four days a week (leading up to and including the weekend). Most of the information is only in Kanji right now, but hopefully there will be an English translation soon. Nonetheless, it looks like quite useful and functional.

JAN Overall Avalanche Danger

JAN Overall Avalanche Danger

The bulletin consists of a few different parts. It has an overall avalanche danger rating, as well as separate sections for the primary avalanche hazards existing at the time. For each separate hazard, they identify the possible elevations, aspects, size, and likelihood of triggering an avalanche. There is also a Summary and Travel Advisory section, which are unfortunately only available in Kanji at the moment.

Avalanche Problem: Wind Slabs

Avalanche Problem: Wind Slabs

So, here is today’s Avalanche Bulletin. Overall, the danger is rated at Considerable in the alpine, Moderate at tree line, and Low below tree line. (On a side note, I think this rating is conservative for the alpine. We will have to wait and see if the JAN’s forecasting tendencies are similar to what we see in North America and Europe). They also identify two avalanche problems: wind slabs and storm snow. Wind slabs can be found in the alpine or at tree line, on NE-NW aspects, are “Possible” for likelihood of triggering, and are expected to be a 1 or 2 in size. Storm Snow may be a problem at tree line, on NE-NW aspects, “Unlikely” to trigger, with 1-1.5 sizes.

Avalanche Problem: Storm Snow

Avalanche Problem: Storm Snow

Regardless of a few minor issues with the JAN Avalanche Bulletin, it is a huge step forward for backcountry skiing in this area. So if you ski in Hakuba, get in the habit of checking it every morning!

More Unofficial Networks