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
Glide Slab | Likelihood: Unlikely | Size: medium
Today’s hazard level may have been a bit overstated as we did not see as much snow as I was expecting. However, forecasts are still calling for pretty good dump tonight and throughout the day tomorrow, so the hazard level will remain at CONSIDERABLE at the mid and upper elevations, and MODERATE down low.
Surface instabilities remain the primary concern, specifically wind slab problems on exposed and wind affected slopes. Many areas had a firm surface prior to this storm coming due to either solar exposure or wind affect, which will increase the likelihood of triggering surface slabs.
Also avoid skiing near existing glide cracks. The slabs below them may be primed to release under the added stress of new snow.
Please familiarize yourself with the danger rating scale. You can find some great information on it here
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