When the snow starts to dump we often wonder what the season will hold.
Without a crystal ball, it would be reasonable to assume the best way to predict the future fall would be to look back via historical data and find a trend. The graph below is from data on the Niseko Hirafu’s main website showing ski seasons for the past 10 years.
This information is based on readings at the 1000m mark and shows an average annual snowfall of only 7m or so, which is a far cry from the 15 and 16 metres the Niseko property and Niseko real estate companies state. However, accurate snow data for Niseko is just not available - the numbers this graph is based on is the most accurate data at hand.
With Forbes Traveller last year announcing Niseko as the 2nd snowiest resort in the world it is assumed they used numbers from this graph, Kutchan (Niseko’s main service town) and other lowlying areas around the mountain, applied a ratio and came up with their 15.11m.
Whilst it may seem we are taking a slightly negative approach to Niseko’s official snowfall amounts, it would be bankable that when they douse a measuring system on par with say North American skifields, it would not be surprising if the data actually shows an increase on expectations…the clockwork Niseko snow is almost a phenomenon, as anyone having done a season in Niseko will attest.
So looking back…last year Niseko received an unofficial 10.5m of snow or so, 30% less than its average, or, when taking the highest and lowest years out, it was the lowest amount of snow in ten years. So lets compare this - take Whistler, it averages an official 10.2m…this concludes that Niseko’s 2nd worst season in ten years is better than Whistlers average. So if you have two weeks vacation and your hunting powder, how can you even think about going anywhere else…
Niseko Historical Snow Depths @ 1000m Mark (based on information from Grand Hirafu Website)
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