There are some absolutes in this world and one of them is if there is thigh deep snow in the front garden of Snowball Chalet the skiing and boarding will be incredible. We tested this absolute and found it to be true. Totally true.
Big storm overnight covering the entire resort in deep perfect shiny white. The tree runs in Tangram and Madarao are really incredible. Thought you all might like to know the path we take to start the day...
1. Hop on the quad in Madarao and ride into Rive...
Posted on Mon 08 February 2021
Today saw bluebird heavenly skies, shin deep fresh snow and hardly anyone on the mountain.
We ride and ride and ride trying to track out the mountain but we know we have no hope of getting close to laying lines down across Madarao Mountain Resort. We wake up in our respective accommodation, pull on our gear, grab a board or set of skis and ride down to the chairlift. It is all pretty casual. No long lift lines here. If you arrive 5 minutes before lifts open you will be on the 4th or 5th...
Posted on Fri 05 February 2021
Today we awoke again to more snow. This time it came in with a bit more wind filling in the last of the remaining tree runs making the whole mountain rideable. There were pockets of windblown in the upper mountain but by and large everything is lovely. It has continued to snow heavily all day bringing another 20 or so centimetres.
The temperatures hovered around -4 degrees C so the conditions have been absolutely perfect. Following this years theme even on a Sunday there is hardly anyon...
Posted on Sun 31 January 2021
It is always so nice waking up to fresh snow and blues skies. The visibility was perfect, there was fresh snow covering all the groomers and the tree runs were starting to fill in again.
We blasted around the mountain finding fresh snow absolutely everywhere. So much fun.
Still wishing all our guests were here to enjoy the fabulous snow we have.
Temps at minus 6 degrees Cs keeping the snow in perfect condition. A light northerly breeze and sunny skies for the morning. As...
Posted on Sat 30 January 2021
Today was just one of those days that we dream about... Bluebird, bottomless light dry powder, uncrowded riding, super fun crew. Wow, wow, wow!
Sometimes I have to pinch myself that I can wake up in my own ski chalet, look out the window at a most gorgeous mountain, ride untracked powder. I know I have been crazy lucky to end up in this situation. It hasn't been without loads of hard work but that is satisfying as well. I am incredibly grateful. I know things are really hard for a lot o...
Posted on Wed 20 January 2021
With only 8 centimetres forecast it was a lovely surprise to wake up to knee deep snow and it was absolutely dumping still which it did all day long.
The whole resort went bottomless and there were just no people on the mountain giving us fresh tracks all day long. It snowed and snowed and snowed. It is still snowing. Snow snow snow. It is dumping at around 15 centimetres and hour. Not the biggest Snowfall for Madarao (we can get 50 an hour) but this one has been non-stop.
Posted on Tue 19 January 2021
No fresh snow and temps hovering around 0 degrees meant we actually managed to have a rest day. It is so hard to rest when you know the snow is perfect so today was a good opportunity to do a little less than normal.
In the spirit of getting into the zen of it all we have added a video of the beautiful cultural craftsmanship of the Japanese people. Enjoy...
Posted on Thu 14 January 2021
Over the last three days we have had really consistent temperatures at -6 to -8 degrees C and around a meter of snow. The riding has been nothing short of perfection and we have found a whole heap of back country runs we never knew existed.
Madarao is really a perfect resort for beginners and intermediates with gentle groomers, intermediate groomers with meters of pow on the sides to learn how to ride in pow in an easy way and you won't get stuck. Where most resorts fall over is the lac...
Posted on Mon 11 January 2021
The Japanese holiday period is finished. It snowed 30 - 40 centimetres overnight and there is almost nobody on the mountain so fresh tracks are everywhere.
The temps were pretty cold between -6 and -8 degrees with a moderate wind from the west. There were some wind loaded sections in the trees today that made for some super fun riding. More snow forecast for next 36 hours so the good times will keep on rolling.
We have changed our morning routine a little because the new run j...
Posted on Fri 08 January 2021
Well it really was a lovely day. The storm has broken, the winds were gentle the skies were occasionally blue and Madarao was beautiful.
Today was the first day of the season we headed into the back country. Did a few avalanche training refreshers hiked to the peak, dug a snow pit, snow pretty stable, dropped in for some perfect turns. Today is a good day.
Am thinking it would be a good idea to rinse and repeat tomorrow. Why not!
Pic today back country joyfullness...
Posted on Mon 04 January 2021
Japan is littered with abandoned ski resorts. There are two within a couple of kilometres of Madarao. Sympathetigue (possibly a spelling error) is below Madarao on the way back to Iiyama. It only has two lifts and we rode one of the lift lines today in insanely deep bottomless joy powder. The terrain is super fun. Think small pillow line.
Cold temps today at -6 degrees. We have a couple of very light snow days coming up and a lot of people in the village are going to try and get on top ...
Posted on Sun 03 January 2021
It started snowing in the morning yesterday but not all that much fell and then at around 7pm everything changed. By 8:30 we had 60 c's of fresh on the Snowball Chalet front lawn and at 9:30 pm we knew we had no choice but to start digging Snowball out. a couple of hours later and we had a clear path around the Yurt and from the road to the front door.
It was clear the 152 Storm Chaser wasn't going to be enough board for me so I waxed up the 158 Mind Expander. Still not my step up...
Posted on Thu 31 December 2020
It's a perfect day. Not just the best day of the season but one of our best ever snowboarding days. Very few people around, bottomless pow, tree runs open everywhere, pow on every groomer slope just pow pow pow.
We woke up and it was still a little cloudy but as we were heading up the first lift the blue started to poke through and by mid morning we were riding bluebird bottomless Madarao. We had to hit River Run first and it did not disappoint. Steep tree runs are amazing but for those...
Posted on Sat 26 December 2020
Merry Xmas everyone. We so wish all our guests had presents under our tree and we would be celebrating with all the kids.
We love watching them open all their Chrissy presents and it is even better when it is a white Christmas and today is a white Christmas.
We woke up to 15 centimetres and it has been snowing heavily ever since. Now there is 30 centimetres. The forecast for the whole day was 46 so we will go well past that because most of the snow fall was supposed to be tonight....
Posted on Fri 25 December 2020
Every direction you look today it is just gorgeous. The mountain started the day glowing orange and then it's icing cake mantle shone the brightest gorgeous white. We have so much snow it is silly.
Lot's of roofs in town slid today. You had to be really careful where you walked because many of them had the 2.5 meters of snow still on them. Tractors were bogged everywhere and the Snowball Chalet tractor had its first mini service for the season.
Temps started at -6 degrees C, Brief...
Posted on Tue 22 December 2020
We have been wondering if there would be many people riding this season. Now we know the answer. It is 6. 6 people in Tangram. Just 6. Kudo san and I were two of them. That makes 4. Just 4 people. We now know it is impossible to track out the resort with just us. In fact we did a pathetic job of it. There are too many fresh lines to be had.
Weather today a glorious bluebird blue, a fresh dusting of just 10 centimetres which is nothing for here, a light breeze and -6 degrees C this morni...
Posted on Mon 21 December 2020
The roof of the yurt is now attached to the snow on the ground. Yep. They are one. As stated previously we have lost the snow clearing battle. We are ok with this. We have come to terms with it. so we went riding and we found the deepest, lightest most joyous pow to set our souls at ease despite defeat.
In theory the snow is supposed to let up tonight. We will believe it when we see it. Little to no snow over the next four days and then another beast of a storm will settle upon the kind...
Posted on Sun 20 December 2020
We are battling to clear snow but we simply need to accept the fact that we have lost. We may yet win the war but this battle is over. We lost. We have accepted it.
So far the storm has delivered 250 cm's of perfect light dry pow to Madarao. It has covered every accommodation and at Snowball Chalet we have all but given up.
We managed to dig our way out this morning and we managed to dig our way back in this afternoon.
More snow in the forecast, they are saying ano...
Posted on Sat 19 December 2020
Today the weather went a beautiful blue. Madarao Mountain looked like an icing covered cake without a single blemish. Just perfect un ridden snow staring at us all day.
Temp in the village got to about 1 degree colder on the mountain. There was almost no wind. Just glorious.
It started snowing lightly again tonight and it will get thicker as the night wares on. We managed to dig out the cars, Snowball Chalet and the Yurt AKA Luxury Suite. We turned on the heating and within a ...
Posted on Fri 18 December 2020
We consider ourselves to be extremely lucky and honestly we also feel really sad we can't share this fantastic experience with all our amazing guests. It is just a ridiculous situation. Of course we are also really determined not to spread Covid but it feels like a terrible waste that so many more people can't enjoy the magic of Madarao Mountain with huge amounts of snow everywhere.
We did have some trouble getting out of Snowball Chalet accommodation today on account of the snow. ...
Posted on Thu 17 December 2020
It is hard to believe a one run day could be the day of days but wow wow wow. Today exceeded all expectations. We hiked to the peak of Mount Madarao and rode down it's perfect face in bottomless joyful pow.
It has been snowing non stop for days. The snow in the front yard of Snowball Chalet is well over a meter now and it has stayed nice and cold so the snow is as dry as dry could be.
We hiked from the very bottom as no lifts are running yet and breaking trail in this much snow is...
Posted on Wed 16 December 2020
We have already lost count of how much snow has fallen in Madarao Mountain Resort and it is still snowing.
We know this though. In the Snowball Chalet front garden it is thigh deep. We are very very happy.
Today we headed over to Nozawa Onsen to ride fresh pow and check out the new gondola. Madarao Mountain and Nozawa now have a joint lift pass so you can stay at Snowball Chalet and use your Madarao pass at Nozawa for fun day trips.
It was so good to ride perfect powder agai...
Posted on Tue 15 December 2020
The snow has been falling in earnest all morning and the temperature is -3 degrees in the village. After yesterday's 10cm’s base that was laid down this is the start of the main part of the storm cycle. The Snow forecast is calling for storm part 1 over the next 4 days to deliver 150cm’s (not a typo). We will then have a day of bluebird followed by storm mark 2 with another 45cm’s. Typically the forecasts predict way less than Madarao gets as it creates it’s own weather pattern and it must b...
Posted on Mon 14 December 2020
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...
Posted on Sun 13 December 2020
Last night we had 10 cm's of fresh snow fall from the skies and it has made for a super fun day with excellent conditions across the mountain.
There were no face shots to be had buit we rode fresh March lines all day long with just a handful of people on the mountain.
It couldn't have been more fun in the trees.
Gotta love March Madness.
Today's pic is Snowball Chalet's Harriet in the back bowls of Mount Madarao.
Posted on Sat 10 March 2018
So sorry for the radio silence over the last few days. We have had a bit of everything, wind, very cold temps, rain, warm temps, sleet, snow and madness.
Snowball Chalet has been totally booked out and the crew have been loving life.
We had a fresh top up of 5cm's and the kids at the Chalet are having a ball.
On Monday night we are expecting big falls in the range of 40-80cm's and days of cold temps after wards. Given today there are about 20 people on the mountain we are ex...
Posted on Fri 02 March 2018
The conditions at Madarao over the last few days have been excellent.
Our guests are still finding plenty of fresh in the trees. We had just 1cm overnight which won't change the resort but expect to have excellent skiing and boarding across the whole resort.
This morning bought strong winds but everything has settled down now so it should be a very nice day out there.
It is snowing lightly now so bring your light lens and get on out there.
Today's pic - Emma and Tom po...
Posted on Sat 24 February 2018
We had a forecast of 2cm's and scored 20cm's of the most perfect, light and dry Japanese Powder.
Woohoo... It is going to be fantastic out there will plenty of untracked areas from the day before being topped up.
It is still lightly snowing now so stick close to the trees or in the trees so visibility is good.
Posted on Wed 21 February 2018
Today will be excellent at Madarao with plenty of snow, blue skies this morning and no crowds.
Chinese New Year saw more people than normal on the resort although by all other ski resort standards it was still uncrowded and they are now gone. We have returned to our normal happy place with less people and excellent snow.
There were still fresh tracks to be had all over the resort. Our guests absolutely loved it out there in the trees today. The groomers were also totally perfect a...
Posted on Tue 20 February 2018
Today is going to be absolutely perfect.
There were still fresh untracked lines everywhere when the lifts closed yesterday so all of those spots will be good to go this morning with temps cold overnight.
Inbounds resort riding will be sensational!
Get on it...
Posted on Mon 19 February 2018
In classic Japanese snow reporting fashion they have predicted far less than the massive dump we received and we love it!
We have had more than a metre of the most magnificent Japow. Madarao is truly going to live up to it's Madapow reputatioon today.
Yesterday the Snowball Chalet crew went up and scored perfect powder turns all over the resort.
Today's pic is Ari again discovering that face-shots are awesome!
Posted on Sun 18 February 2018
The snow has started falling at around 6:30 am. We are expecting around 20cm's for the day.
The day will just keep getting better and better. There's still bucket loads of untracked terrain out there from yesterday and today will be no different.
Can't wait to get out there. Woot woot!
Have fun. Don't kiss trees!
Pic today... More of guest Ari from yesterday in perfect light and perfect trees.
Posted on Sat 17 February 2018
Yesterday's 10 cm's has been topped up with another 15 cm's which has well and truly opened up all the tree runs of Madarao. The sun is peaking through the clouds so the riding is very pretty.
There is an excellent base and no people around. There are fresh tracks to be had just about everywhere. We spent the morning doing our best to leave our mark at Tangram. We didn't get close to tracking out even one tree run.
Get up there if you can!
The pic today is guest Ari from Plu...
Posted on Fri 16 February 2018
10 cm's of fresh snow fell overnight.
The resort has had a top up overnight making for some lovely ski runs at Madarao and Tangram Ski Circus today. It's not bottomless but it is definitely nice.
Get on up there for some perfect groomers and powder stashes in the trees.
That's Snowball Chalet and Shaggy Yak on the right in the pic.
Posted on Thu 15 February 2018
We have had a few cm's of fresh snow overnight and it looks like a winter wonderland again here in Madarao.
The conditions on the mountain will be good for intermediates and beginners but we will need more snow to really open up the tree runs. Lucky more cold dry stuff is on the way today and tomorrow.
Get out there...
Posted on Sun 11 February 2018
We have more stunning bluebird conditions this morning with mild temps around -1 c in the village. The afternoon will bring the start of a snow storm which is forecast to drop less than 10 cm's across the resort. Last time they forecast 10 we got 40 so we are all pumped about tomorrow.
We will be getting 4 days of snow with Monday looking like the pick of days with heavy snow forecast Sunday night and Monday morning.
Madapow is on the way!
Posted on Sat 10 February 2018
If you are a fair weather skier or boarder you will love today...
There isn't a breath of wind or a cloud in the sky. It is bluebird in the most extreme sense of the word.
We had no new snow overnight so get out your carving gear and hit the perfectly groomed groomers.
We have snow coming... for four days... starting tomorrow in the afternoon.
Today we will be heading over to Maguse Onsen to watch the sun set up Kijimadaira Valley while soaking in the healing hot water...
Posted on Fri 09 February 2018
The forecast 2 cm's fell yesterday afternoon as perfect light dry snow across the resort.
We woke again to perfect bluebird so skiing conditions across the mountain are excellent. Views are magnificent of course.
There will be powder stashes in all the trees and the groomers will be corduroy joy for those that want to feel the wind in their hair.
Snow has been forecast for Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday so we should have epic conditions all over for the lucky few who w...
Posted on Thu 08 February 2018
For the first time this winter the snow report predicted more than what fell.
We have had less than 5cm's fall across the resort overnight. It is pretty much blue bird out there today.
The riding out there will be fantastic and there will still be loads of fresh dry powder snow in the trees and the groomers will be perfect as temps have stayed low since yesterdays snowfall.
Pic for today is from yesterday's session. Our guest Jason was testing the depth in the trees at Cryst...
Posted on Tue 06 February 2018
We had a forecast of 12 cm's and in true fantastic Madarao Mountain fashion we have had 35 cm's fall at the bottom. Will update with snowfall up at the top later.
The start of the storm came in with a bit of wind which will have filled up all of the tracks from yesterday and then turned to windless lovely light snow making for the perfect face shot producing turns.
We have a forecast of heavy snow tonight as well. Bring it on.
Today is a good day to be alive here in Madarao ...
Posted on Mon 05 February 2018
We haven't had snow for a few days now but the temps have stayed cold so we still have really nice conditions on the mountain.
For those willing to hunt there's still fun fresh tracks to be had in the trees especially in the secret spots in Tangram.
This morning is bluebird so head up to the top of the single chair for stunning photos of Lake Nojiriko, Mount Myoko and the Sea of Japan.
We have heavy snow forecast for tonight... The report is saying just 12cm's but they typic...
Posted on Sun 04 February 2018
We have a perfectly clear bluebird day today at Madarao.
The groomers will be magnificent early and there is still plenty of fresh high quality powder in the trees for those prepared to go hunting.
The Snowball Chalet and Shaggy Yak team are heading into the back country today with North Nagano Outdoor Sports the local guiding company.
We will make sure we share lots of the pics of our imminent mission.
There is a very light snow forecast for this evening. It doesn't l...
Posted on Sun 07 January 2018