A change of scenery today, with a trip to Togakushi. We left our base in Togari Onsen where temperatures were already +2c and largely clear, but by the time we reached Shinano it was snowing lightly. The road up to Togakushi from the east looks barren in comparison to a normal season in this region, however it has a lot more snow than roads up some of the neighbouring resorts at lower altitudes.
The ski resort at Togakushi runs from 1300m up to 1750m, compared to Madarao which spans 900m to 1300m. In poor snowfall seasons like this, the increased elevation really makes a difference. These two resorts might recieve similar snowfalls in each storm, but the lack of melt due to rain and warmer weather that impacts the lower elevations is apparent.
The snow at Togakushi was suprisingly good. I expected that despite the improved snow cover compared to other Nagano resorts, the quality would have been impacted by the recent warm weather. It was a cold day on the hill today, and the 20cm+ fresh snow that had accumulated over the last week was fantastic. I helped myself to a number of lines in the trees, and despite being limited to the short pitches with northerly aspects it was enough to bring a few wooops out of me.
The forecast for tonight and tomorrow is for decent snowfall at higher elevations. It looks like it will be an early start up to Shiga Kogen to see if the usual 2x – 3x still applies to the snow forecasts this season…