FEBRUARY began a little quietly with only a few snowfalls and one aberrant day where all of Japan was hit with an amazing warm snap. On that day temperatures in Tokyo reached over 22 degrees, and Niseko received a day of steady rain. While resorts often take a long time to recover from rain, the ensuing massive snowfalls covered up the frozen base quickly. The powder continued unabated and it was still snowing consistently at the time of going to print. The last two weeks of February had barely a day without snow. These falls, on top of an already massive base, made for some of the best riding of the season.
Local ski instructor Mike Richards, who has been taking snowfall measurements in Hirafu for the past three seasons, had recorded a cumulative snowfall of 10.36m at the end of February, with the month’s total at 262cm. While this season the consistency of its falls has seen Niseko once again be the envy of resorts all over Japan, this time most of Japan received the mid-February falls. Hokkaido resorts kept pace with Niseko throughout the remainder of February, but the warm weather returned to Honshu and most resorts in that area suffered from a return of the rain. Here’s hoping for continued great falls throughout March.