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): CONSIDERABLE
Mid (800-1000m): CONSIDERABLE
Lower (<800m): MODERATE
Current Avalanche Problems
Wind Slab | Likelihood: Likely | Size: small - medium
Storm Slab | Likelihood: Unlikely | Size: small
Winds were nuking out there today! Heavy wind loading and hard surface slabs made for dangerous conditions today. Natural avalanche activity was observed today, big enough to possibly bury a person if caught in a terrain trap. As most of these loaded features are characterized by wind drifts forming over gullies/drainages, it’s not unlikely for them to run straight into an aforementioned terrain trap. Winds will be decreasing overnight, but remaining strong enough to continue transporting snow throughout the day. CONSIDERABLE hazard means that natural avalanches are possible, and human triggered avalanches are likely. This will apply to areas with wind effected snow. If you plan to ski/ride in the backcountry tomorrow, you should be confident in your ability to avoid traveling on AND below slopes with wind effected snow.
Storm slabs from last night’s dumping might still be lurking at lower elevations (below 600m) and on solar aspects.
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 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 years 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 - Niseko’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