Well 2020 has been a truly insane year and it has had an enormous impact on the planet. Sadly there will be almost no international travel to Japan and that means no guests at Snowball Chalet but it doesn't mean we won't try and bring you the joy of Madarao to keep you going.
We just want to start by saying how sorry we are about all the people on the planet suffering at the mercy of the virus and its effects on health, community, mental health, jobs, businesses, education, security and the rest. We are overwhelmingly relieved there are now a number of vaccines that are proving effective in inoculating people and just know that this time next year the world feel like a very different place for the better.
Onto the snow... Late November and early December 2020 have brought some really nice snow falls. In the Snowball front garden we clocked just under a foot from each of the two storms and as a result we have had snow on the ground from Late November which is earlier than any of the last 4 seasons we have been here. For the last 12 days we have been tracking a monster storm bearing down on us and hoping that it would stay on target as the storm to deliver a perfect opening weekend for the resorts in Nagano and Niigata and it looks like it hasn't disappointed and it has only just begun. We woke up to blue skies and a stunning view of Mount Madarao. Went for an early mountain bike ride on the mountain and a stroll around the very very quiet village. At around 10am cloud cover started coming in and by 11am the clouds were looking full of snow. Since then the heavens have opened and we have measured 8cm's of snow on the Snowball Chalet woodbox and the snow keeps falling. The forecast today called for just 2cm's by now so it is off to a good start. Looks like it 'll lighten up this evening followed by heavy falls starting early tomorrow morning.
The forecast is for well in excess of a meter over Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Am hoping that is true. If it is we will be riding fresh perfect pre-christmas lines and woot wooting all the way to the bottom of the jar.
Stay tuned for more snow reports for the season and don't forget we now have a live stream cam looking from Snowball Chalet to Mount Madarao so you can keep an eye on progress.