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): MODERATE
Current Avalanche Problems
Wind Slab | Likelihood: Possible | Size: small-medium
Loose Dry | Likelihood: Possible | Size: small
Tomorrow’s avalanche problems remain more or less unchanged, though I am dropping my hazard level down to MODERATE for all elevations. Today’s storm snow seems a little more cohesive than we’ve seen, but still not quite getting into slab territory. Underneath our most recent storm layer, I saw some moderate hand shear results on a 1F slab, breaking about 50cm deep. I’ve still got my eye out for various mid-pack layers that could potentially be a problem, but as I haven’t seen any strong evidence of reactivity, I’m not putting persistent slab on the problem list. Do your homework though if you are pushing into steeper, less supported terrain.
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