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: Likely | Size: small-medium
Loose Dry | Likelihood: Possible | Size: small
We’ve had a few reports of larger (size 1.5) windslabs occurring in higher elevation, exposed terrain. Hard to ascertain from photos whether these events were true wind slab releases or just collapsing drifts/cornices. One seemed to be natural, the other likely skier triggered. These were on S and E aspects, respectively. Tomorrow’s hazard level will remain at MODERATE. The primary concern is wind slab avalanches, which could occur in wind affected, mid and high elevation terrain. Winds are expected to remain on the calmer side throughout the day, but increasing during the pm and into Tuesday and Wednesday. Be alert not only to the terrain below you that you want to ski, but also to what lurks above. Avoid getting underneath large, overhanging drifts and cornices. As a general rule of thumb if you don’t have visibility on the terrain above you and it is steeper than 30 degrees, then do not travel near or underneath it.
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