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Niseko Avy Bulletin

Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan Avalanche Bulletin.

Niseko Avalanche Bulletin for Sunday, December 30th

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

  • Loose Dry | Likelihood: Possible | Size: small

Comments

Seems like we can get settled into this current avalanche risk paradigm, for the short range foreseeable future at least. More snow, more winds, and cold temps. Like most things in life, snowpack doesn’t like big drastic changes. The snow has been falling pretty steadily these last few days, and winds have remained fairly consistent as well. Not currently seeing signs or indications of instability. On slopes both sheltered from the wind and not getting direct sunlight, the snowpack is feeling strong and right side up. That said, complacency is the leading cause of accidents in the mountains. Low danger does not mean no danger, and we’re still in the MODERATE hazard range mainly based on the amount of new snow and a lack of quality observations to tell me otherwise.

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!

Resources:

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