Snow! It has been quiet here for a few days while I waited for the rain to finally turn to snow. I had another restless sleep with the sound of snow sliding off the roof. In a normal season, this would not wake me.
We had planned a small road trip for today, so we were out of Togari by 7am. There was only a few cm on the ground, but based on the volume we saw falling last night I had to assume this was due to melt at this low elevation and expected the higher elevations to be carrying much more. Clearing the snow off the car was like moving we cement, which all but confirmed my theory.
We spent the day riding at Yamaboku Wild Snow Park. There is a good chance you have never heard of it, but you should have. It is a small resort with only 3 lifts, but a base elevation of 1500m helps it hold some good snow cover. Unfortunately today it was very much dust on crust on the exposed faces and many convexities had a shine to them. The trees were holding 10-20cm of super dry fresh snow. As long as you don’t mind skiing over the shrub for many of them.
A quick highlight on Yamaboku. It backs onto Shiga Kogen, so it has similar snow. There are 3 stages to the resort, the 1st stage is all lift accessed on Monday – Friday, but on the weekends a snowcat opens up two areas beyond the resort with only 10-30 people allowed to ride all day, depending on the area. There is also a 13km run down to the town of Yamada Onsen, but maybe give that one a pass this season.
Other resorts in the area like Myoko and Madarao reported up to 50cm overnight, however, only a small distance away in Nozawa Onsen and Yuzawa much smaller accumulations of about 10cm were reported. It is continuing to snow heavily off and on this evening and tomorrow will be another great one.