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Hokkaido, Japan 2012/13

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Hokkaido, Japan 2012/13

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Well, better late than never! After a very hot summer, and a late autumn, we've finally had our first snow in Hokkaido! No pictures yet as the webcams all look very cloudy, but a mate was hiking in Taisetsuzan today and reported around 5cm.

Will try and update with some photos when I can and, as ever, will continue to post updates as the winter arrives.

For now, perhaps a rollcall of Snowheads who are planning to be out here this winter? MikePow, rob@rar, etc, anymore of the usual suspects? Everyone, please post and say hi, let us know where you'll be and when. I'll be riding mostly at Sapporo Teine, Rusutsu and Kamui, plus a few Niseko jaunts. Would love to meet more of you this winter.

よろしくね!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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End of January I'll be there Happy Nice to see the first snowfall of the winter.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Arrive in the Niseko Resort Area on 15 November 2012. Leave on 15 April 2013.

My Season Report will start on or around the 15th.

Most of the time working & playing in the Shiribeshi area - Niseko, Moiwa, Chisenupuri, Rusutsu, Kiroro, Sapporo Kokusai and for the first time Teine.

Also looking to get to the interior at some stage - Asahidake, Kurodake, Tokachi, Kamui.

Look forward to catching up with anyone who's on Fantasy Island.
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Here we go. A photo from a friend who was up close to Asahidake yesterday. Nothing to write home about, but it's a start!

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I'd be skiing that in Wales Wink
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Mike Pow wrote:
I'd be skiing that in Wales Wink


At this time of year, we'd be skiing that in Cham too.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
la la la I'm not listening this year...... Going green
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Not a usual suspect, but I'll be in Niseko from Jan 31st to 6th Feb
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dbeatski wrote:
Not a usual suspect, but I'll be in Niseko from Jan 31st to 6th Feb


First time?

You won't regret it.
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Yeah, I wanted to do it for a few years now, but always blew a load of cash on Christmas/NY skiing, plus was working abroad in February.

Mike, how many times have you been to Japan/Hokkaido/Niseko?
Is it easy to get around?
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This will be my 6th winter.

Yeah public transport is excellent.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Hatsu Yuki - First snowfall - on Mt Yotei

http://www.powderlife.com/news/niseko-news/First%20flakes%20falls%20for%202012/13
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Nice! Looks like we might get some more Weds/Thurs too, down at lower altitudes hopefully.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Tokyo was cooler today. Snow on the way up north.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I was in Okinawa last week, the chain of islands running south from the bottom of Kyushu. Arrived back to a very chilly feeling Hokkaido yesterday. I went from swimming and getting sunburnt here:

Untitled

To seeing feeling pretty cold and seeing snow on the tops of mountains here. This is the Daisetsuzan range at Asahidake.

Untitled

Hopefully more in the week.......
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Snowed down to 1,100m in Daisetsuzan last night.
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Fantastic! I was hoping you'd do another thread this season. All we need now is Mike Pow's report and the universe will be whole again.

I'm planning on visiting Niseko again this season. Nothing confirmed yet, because the accommodation prices seem to have increased unreasonably, but will likely visit at the tail end of February for a week (following an overnight bender in Sapporo) as is my usual routine.

Plan to ski Niseko, Moiwa, and hopefully check out Kiroro or Rusutsu this time around...
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Hello to everyone on this thread! Ordinary Skiier, I am a relative new comer to Hong Kong. The missus and I moved across last Feb. Whilst I heard many good things about Japan, travelling from London with so many alpine resort on the door step felt like too much effort. Whilst being here suddenly made this almost the closest option if we ignore Korea and mainland China. As such, I would like to find out which resorts people would recommend, what flight options there are, how flexible the accommodation is for shorter / longer stays, how transfers work if not booking an all inclusive fair, is complete lack of language skills much of a barrier and of course since it's a weather related part of the forum when does the season run from and to and how cold it normally gets? Thanks.
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For flexibility and choice of accommodation, direct airport transfers, no need for language skills, and size of ski area, Niseko area is no doubt your best option, with trips to Rusutsu, Kiroro etc. Season is from Late Nov to late April/very early May. Best powder will be from late December through to mid/late Feb. Can be pretty chilly, down to -20 or below sometimes, although Niseko is generally warmer than central Hokkaido. It's almost always snowing, so decent goggles with an appropriate lens and something to cover your face are advisable!

There are direct flights with Cathay to Chitose. Or fly to Tokyo/Kansai and get a cheap internal flight with one of the low coast airlines (Skymark, AirDo, Peach, Air Asia, Jetstar)

Also, snow spotted this morning on Pinneshiri, close to the west coast, down to around 800m. There may well have been snow down in Niseko area and the Sapporo hills. This weekend should see more.
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Hi Oleg, MagSeven has just about covered it. Japan, and in particular Niseko, are you're best options. This season will the sixth in a row that I've taken a trip there. I always try to get there around a week after the CNY long weekend. That way, the crowds and prices have settled a little but conditions and regular dumps are still good.

That being said, I'm considering a trip to Yongpyong this season. I expect it to be icy and crap, but it's relatively cheap and I'm curious.

I've been living in HK for nearly seven years now and about to apply for PR. I'm happy to meet up for a beer and a chat at some point. PM me if you're interested...
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First snow on Hirafu's upper mountain

http://blog.nisekophotography.com/uncategorized/snow-on-the-slope-in-niseko-beautiful-autumn-colour-with-snow
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
And pics here from the webcams of Sapporo Kokusai and Kiroro respectively:

Untitled

Untitled

Heading up to Sapporo Teine tomorrow to pick up my season pass. Will probably hike to the snow up top so will try to take some pics.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Enjoy.

Doesn't look like it'll be there for long. Up to 40mm of rain forecast for Monday into Tuesday.

Unless the freezing level drops, in which case the groomers will be a go.

http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/KiroroSnowWorld/6day/top
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Are there any particularly good carriers to check with for cheap flights from Europe? I have a mate who is currently in Oz who will be out in Niseko in February and he's 90% convinced me I need to come along.
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meh, kayak.com or the equivalent app....

Key IMHO is check connections to/from Sapporo, a cheaper flight may mean a day or more stop over en route.......so might negate any savings. When I went last year we booked it all in with japan ski experience, inc transfers, overnight hotel on way back etc etc. I didn't think I could do it any cheaper booking each bit seperately, and they have some good early booking discounts...
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meh wrote:
Are there any particularly good carriers to check with for cheap flights from Europe? I have a mate who is currently in Oz who will be out in Niseko in February and he's 90% convinced me I need to come along.


http://www.skyscanner.net/

I use KLM, Korean, JAL and ANA.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Cheers guys.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Pretty cold over the weekend, although most of the snow around the Sapporo hills has now disappeared. Up higher in Taisetsuzan the snow has been falling steadily for the past few days. A mate in Asahikawa said there is a "kak load" of snow on the mountains. This shot from Asahidake's webcam backs up him:

Untitled
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You know it makes sense.
Oh happy day...
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Snow settled on the hills above Sapporo last night. This photo is from the balcony this morning. Still quite hazy, but a nice view to wake up to.

IMG_3626
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Will be in Niseko from the 10th of February through to the 23rd with a crew of Canadians and Kiwis! Very Happy
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Well played meh.

Glen Claydon of 360 Niseko has the lowdown on conditions on the ground in the Niseko Resort Area

http://360niseko.com/blog/
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Mike Pow, I love Glen's photography. Just inspiring!
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Hi snowheads,

I'll be in Niseko for a week over New Year, flying from HK on the 27th. Can't wait, but in the meantime, what sort of conditions can I expect there at that time in the year?

Cheers
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Fergus, Should be cold and very snowy!

Hokkaido is looking beautiful at the moment. Autumn colours and snow capped mountains. I was in Asahikawa at the weekend and the view of the hills was spectacular. Photo shows Asahidake on the right over to Pippudake and Aibetsudake on the left. Maybe more snow in the week in this area, so thinking about a little something next weekend if the weather cooperates...

Untitled
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Fergus wrote:
Hi snowheads,

I'll be in Niseko for a week over New Year, flying from HK on the 27th. Can't wait, but in the meantime, what sort of conditions can I expect there at that time in the year?

Cheers


Based on the above your first day on snow would be 28 December.

For each December period please find the amount of snow prior to your proposed first day of skiing (01 December - 27 December) and the snowfall over the course of your proposed stay (28 December - 03 January)

Niseko Resort Area snowfall recorded at approx 300 m asl

2006 / 07
01 Dec - 27 Dec = 245 cm
28 Dec - 03 Jan = 100 cm (6 snow events; biggest 24 hr snowfall of 30 cm)

2007 / 08
01 Dec - 27 Dec = 313 cm
28 Dec - 03 Jan = 102 cm (5 snow events; biggest 24 hr snowfall of 41 cm)

2008 / 09
01 Dec - 27 Dec = 217 cm
28 Dec - 03 Jan = 155 cm (7 snow events; biggest 24 hr snowfall of 43 cm)

2009 / 10
01 Dec - 27 Dec = 299 cm
28 Dec - 03 Jan = 185 cm (6 snow events; biggest 24 hr snowfall of 50cm)

2010 / 11
01 Dec - 27 Dec = 221 cm
28 Dec - 03 Jan = 30 cm (4 snow events; biggest 24 hr snowfall of 15cm)

2011 / 12
01 Dec - 27 Dec = 469 cm
28 Dec - 03 Jan = 51 cm (6 snow events; biggest 24 hr snowfall of 22cm)


Snowfall can never be guaranteed but Hokkaido is the area with the most consistent snowfall I've had the pleasure of skiing.
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Hi MP, we will be in Higashiyama early Feb. We have a few days there between Rusutsu & Kiroro.
Is the lower gate at Annupuri (no. 4?) safe without avi gear?
Seems that you can stay skiers right, which is closer to the piste?
On a snowboard I don't need ravines.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Every time I leave the resort through any of the gates I wear a transceiver, carry a shovel and a probe, and ski with a knowledgable partner who also has the above equipment.

The vast majority skiing / riding Niseko United don't.

I don't recommend following the herd.
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Thanks Mike, we will lookup Black Diamond then.
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Not a bad week up in Daisetsuzan. Fairly decent cover down to around 800m. Kurodake looks like it might actually open on schedule next weekend. If it does, I'll be there.

The webcams for Kokusai/Kiroro are looking nice, with snow the past couple of days. I think the temperature is due to rise over the next couple of days so it probably won't stick around.

Down here at sea level, it's miserable. Drizzle and temperatures of 5-8ish. Like an English autumn day! Hopefully things will get wintery in the next few weeks.
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