31 Dec - Powder

Great news! The rain only went to 1750m, and above that is reasonably deep dry powder. On steep south aspects that took some sun two days ago you can find a weak suncrust below the new storm snow, and this sun crust can be found at higher elevations that the rain crust, but it didn't really impact on ski quality much. On north aspects above 1750m there is no upper pack crust, sun or rain. Great skiing. Some instability observed in the storm snow with fast running loose snow avalanches easy to trigger on steep test slopes. Long steep features would have produces long dry loose snow avalanches. I didn't go higher than 1900m and am not sure of what wind effect can be found above treeline. That would be something to look out for. I'd also be looking out for that new rain crust below 1750m to freeze up quiet hard and act as a sliding surface once the storm snow settles and becomes a more cohesive slab, rather than loose dry powder.

Comments

Good to see you back online, Damian, and nice pics of the local wildlife.

That miserable weather yesterday produced rain at least up to 2000m here in Yatsu, but above that, beautiful fresh snow.

Yes, back online :).

Yesterday was a rainy day across Japan it seems. Have a great new year.

Rain went all the way up to 2000m in Yuzawa. Went out on the 1st and had about 20-30cm of fresh snow on top of the crust. Actually good skiing/snowboarding. Nothing slabbing yet and only had to watch for my sluff on slopes greater than 40. Here we also have unseasonally large glide cracks opening up. Those could be nasty once they get barely covered-up. Nice to spot them and map them out before they do get covered-up.

Lots of glide cracks here for Jan 2nd as well. Also plenty of broken limbs on trees from the early deep wet snow falls. Some rivers are already bridged.