I spent the week before christmas and the week of Jan 4-10 exploring a few of the Hokkaido’s back-country and lift-accessed back-country in numerous regions in Hokkaido.
General Hazard / Snow and Avalanche conditions
Although locals claim there is a lower than normal snow levels we found incredible ski conditions. We still had to ski trees with care as the low density snow hides rocks / bamboo / trees. The creeks present a considerable hazard - particularly since they tend to have very steep sidewalls and are slow to freeze given the widespread onsen (hot) water.
We managed Windslab and Storm Slab avalanche problems - which tend to settle out quickly. It snowed 10-30cm nearly every day we were there. Winds come from the W/NW and load the S/SE/E quadrant and often overlay sun crusts. Wind increase rapidly with elevation.