As I write this snow report I am watching heavy snowfall outside, which has been going steady for the last few hours. But let’s rewind back to this morning.

I woke up this morning knowing that the snow was going to start the day, and in no rush to get up the hill until it hit. There had been a small dump of about 10cm yesterday, but that was already a day old so I was keen to wait for the real storm to kick in. A leasurly morning of running errands and getting Ramen for lunch in Iiyama was frequently interrupted by refreshing the forecast and looking at the sky. Only at 1 pm did the thin clouds start to fill in with dark grey and block out the sun. Driving home the precipitation hit, first with sleet then quickly turning to heavy snow as the freezing levels dropped.

By the time we were on our first chairlift, it was almost 2:30 pm, with poor visibility as the snow intensity increased. Togari Onsen was typically quiet, with only small groups of Japanese beginners around. All the ungroomed runs were completely empty, as were the chairlifts.

The first run was a good 10-15cm fresh snow on top of a decent crust. Every run dramatically improved from there, with last lift to the summit at 4pm giving us face shots on every turn. Snowfall on the upper mountain was substantially deeper than the base.

This was definitely one of my better days for having an afternoon start! The forecast is for the heavy snow to continue through the night and most of tomorrow. Tonight will involve some serious debate at our lodge of destinations for the next two days. There are no wrong answers in Iiyama tomorrow!