Wow, what a difference a day can make. We were expecting snow starting at some point during the night, but with the way this season has played out so far our expectations remained tempered. At around 4am the sound of snow sliding off the roof woke me up – always a good sign. It is fair to say I slept pretty restelessly for the rest of the night.
First, I have something to admit. It shouldn’t come as a complete surpise, afterall this website is about being a Jerry, but as you probably know I have spent a fair bit of time in the snow. Today I made a rookie mistake, which in turn brought home an important lesson for this whole ‘lets buy a ski lodge in Japan’ adventure I am on. As I mentioned yesterday, the plan was to get to higher elevation (Okushiga Kogen 1470 – 2000m) as we expected greater snowfall and a better base to start with. Here is today’s lesson for you folks, and trust me I have learned this the hard way too many times!
When you wake up at a mountain that has recieved large amounts of snow overnight and it is still snowing, do not drive to another mountainProfessional Jerry
TLDR; We drove over an hour to Okushiga Kogen which was crazy windy, less snow and the gondola was on wind hold. We then turned around and drove back to where we started, in Togari Onsen.
We had about 20cm on the car when we left Togari at 7:30am, and the snow fell all day at about the same rate. Local reports around Myoko, Madarao and Nozawa Onsen range from 10 – 65cm! I find accurate snowfall measurements in Japan are as mythical as their creatures, but it is fair to say there were good days had all across Nagano and further afield.
I was reminded today that I will always take 20cm of fresh snow to myself over 50cm of powder with an army of gaijin keen to shred it to pieces. Madarao reported 65cm, and we had anywhere from 20 – 40cm on the mountain here at Togari. The difference is that I got to share that snow with just my wife. The two of us put in endless laps next to our own lines, and went extended periods without seeing another person. Powder presure is real, and a resort without it needs to be high in our criteria.
The snow continued to fall until later than expected, stopping around 6pm and temperatures also remained low. Snow was still sticking to the ground down here at around 400m elevation, trust me when you shovel the driveway you will notice such things too.
On a related note, North Nagano Outdoor Sports announced that today’s snowfall will allow them to start Madarao backcountry tours from tomorrow. Aki and the crew know this area better than anyone else so this a huge win in this otherwise cursed season.
Sorry about the rambling today, it is fair to say the weather has got a few of us a little excited. Let’s end this one on a high note and not talk about the forecast for what is coming in the next few days.