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Niseko Avy Bulletin

Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan Avalanche Bulletin.

Niseko Avalanche Bulletin for Monday, December 17th

Eddie Schoen

Note: this bulletin is published in the pm and effective for the following day. Be alert to differences in the forecast and actual snowfall amounts and weather activity overnight.

Backcountry Avalanche Danger Rating




Current Avalanche Problems

  • Wind Slab | Likelihood: Possible | Size: small - medium


Overall snow stability today seems to be improving since the 12/14-15 storm events. Worth noting is the presence of a crust down about 20cms spotted on sheltered SE facing slopes and unsheltered S facing slopes, between 800-900m in the general vicinity of Rusutsu. Today’s freezing level noted to be around 700-800m around Rusutsu. It’ll be interesting to see how today’s rain event impact’s our snowpack. As I type this up, the rain has shifted back to snow in Hirafu. My guess is that this will end up being a bit of a right-side up storm event if the snowfall keeps up overnight as forecasted. That said be alert to any weirdness from today’s rain, especially below 800m.

As a local guide and avalanche professional, I have chosen to share this hazard assessment in the interest of encouraging better information sharing within the local community. This avalanche bulletin is to be used at your own risk and is based on very limited data gathered by myself and other guides working for Japan Powder Connection. Please use this information in addition to other resources and take responsibility for your own actions in the backcountry. Also, please respect and abide by all Niseko Area Rules. This information applies only to backcountry areas accessed externally from all area resorts. This information is normally published the evening before and in effect for the following day.

As always, remember that making good decisions in the backcountry takes a lot of practice and experience. Having the gear is a small part of the equation. Take an avalanche safety course and hire a properly trained guide so you don’t learn the hard way!


Japan Powder Connection - Professional Backcountry Guides and Instructors

Niseko Avalanche Information - Shinyasan’s avalanche information page. Not a ‘bulletin’ by Western standards, but Shinyasan has been doing this for 20+ years and knows these mountains far better than myself.

Snow-Forecast - Niseko Area Weather Forecast

Niseko Now - Local Weather and Conditions Summary