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Niseko Avy Bulletin

Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan Avalanche Bulletin.

Niseko Avalanche Bulletin for Saturday, January 5th

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): LOW

  • Mid (800-1000m): LOW

  • Lower (<800m): LOW

Current Avalanche Problems

  • Loose Dry | Likelihood: Possible | Size: small

Comments

Tomorrow’s avalanche hazard rating will remain at LOW, however be alert to changing conditions. After a few days of high pressure, it looks like we’re heading into the next storm cycle beginning tonight. The heaviest snow should be hitting late in the day and into the pm tomorrow. If heavy snow starts falling sooner than forecasted, then expect the danger to increase. We’ll likely be back into the MODERATE or CONSIDERABLE zone by Sunday if these storms deliver as forecasted.

Limited, but targeted observations today indicated that we have not had any significant surface hoar development overnight. So that’s good. There are already some glide cracks opening up, notably at around 1,000m on the Annupuri East Ridge. I haven’t personally had eyes on that one, but our guides have seen a person completely overhead in the hole. I observed a smaller one at 950m on the Annupuri West Face, still big enough to mess you up if you were to ski into it. Think the size of a couple adjacent snowpits. Be wary as fresh snows come in and start to cover these cracks up.

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