NISEKO’S ski season is unofficially open after significant snowfalls overnight left up to half a metre of powder up high, with locals hiking up for first runs.
It unexpectedly started snowing at village level across Niseko at about 7pm last night and by this morning a solid amount of snow had accumulated on the main runs and on cars and grass.
Forecasts suggested there wouldn’t be any snow at village level for a few days yet.
Niseko ski instructor Mike Richards may well have been the first skier to descend a Niseko resort this season.
After hiking to the 1000m hut and skiing Centre Course, he followed some well covered roads to the bottom, along the way finding plenty of boot-deep pow.
"Up top the pistes were fully covered and the roads were really well covered," Mike said.
"A few bits were sticking on the main runs so I came down on the road but I still got a few turns in."
Last season’s first flakes fell on the villages on November 4 but we didn’t get this level of snow until mid November.
Niseko is right on track to open on the official opening day November 22 and if these conditions stay around early season skiing should be really, really good this year!
Email your first snow pics to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put them up on the site.