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Niseko Avy Bulletin

Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan Avalanche Bulletin.

Niseko Avalanche Bulletin for Tuesday, December 18th

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

  • Upper (>1000m): MODERATE

  • Mid (800-1000m): MODERATE

  • Lower (<800m): LOW

Current Avalanche Problems

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

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

Comments

No real field observations available from today. Made the drive to Sapporo from Niseko and noted wet snow in the valleys which diminished up on the passes. Heavy snowfall noted in the PM on Nakayama pass. Since I don’t have much certainty on how yesterday’s rain impacted the snowpack higher up or how tonight’s snowfall is being distributed, I’m keeping tomorrow’s hazard rating at MODERATE for the upper & mid elevations and LOW at lower elevations. There are some shallow buried crusts lurking on mid-elevation solar aspects. The missing part of the avalanche equation is slab formation on top of them. Be alert for 40cms or more of fresh snow on the surface and steep (35 degree+) unsupported terrain features. Know your red flags and stick to safe terrain if you see the signs.

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 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!

Resources:

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