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Japan 2016 / 17

 Poster: A snowHead
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@rungsp, good shout on cancelling Furano I would say. Conditions are poor off piste and I doubt will get much better this week.

We are heading down to Kiroro/Teine/Kokusai area tomorrow, the snow forecast for the next few days has persuaded us not to cut our losses and go down to Honshu. Fingers crossed!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Bluebird today - lots of settling with the warming by the suns rays - yesterday lot's of wind effect.

Cat broke yesterday - Got it running again early afternoon.

Wind had refiled a lot of the access road



First real go at climbing the old ski slopes



Almost at the top, run out of daylight

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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?
Has anyone been to/skied the Akita/Tazawako area? Looks like I may be there on a spur of the moment work trip at the end of the month...
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Family spend night in snow cave after getting lost. Make sure your back country survival skills are up to date. At least in Japan there is enough snow depth to dig a cave Very Happy

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/17/australian-family-rescued-getting-lost-japanese-ski-resort-spending/
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Kiroro delivered today.
About 30cm of fresh powder, plenty to find stuff all day.

Rusutsu tomorrow
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@rungsp, Did it snow quite a bit during the afternoon? We skied at Teine today and it snowed pretty heavily after about 1pm, we found about 10cm on the car when we left. The afternoon snow came down on top of the approx. 15-20cm that fell overnight. Looking at the radar, the snow during the afternoon seemed to be very localised to the area roughly between Kiroro, Teine and Otaru. Tomorrow's plan is either Kiroro or Kokusai, maybe skinning if the weather clears a bit.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Yes, and snowing this evening in Niseko
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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!
Somebody put more money in the meter and the switch has been flicked.

I've skied soft snow conditions at Kiroro and Asari since my arrival on Fantasy Island on the 11th but in the past four days conditions have improved dramatically.

Soft, dry, large flakes synonymous with 'Japanuary' have started to pile up.

Gone from boot top to waist deep and over the head Smile

Been flat out since my arrival but will start uploading pics and vids in the coming days.

Anyone heading out in the coming week is in for a treat.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Fri 20-01-17 8:40; edited 1 time in total
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How is furano, can anyone give me an update.
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Kiroro was excellent today - about 10cm reported overnight and a further 10cm or so fell during the day from passing heavy snow showers. Big fluffy flakes without any wind for the most part. The accumulation of light powder the last few days has made any untracked or lightly tracked areas feel bottomless.

As a self confessed weather geek I find the lake effect microclimate here fascinating and have been keeping a keen eye on the charts and the radar (and the sky!)

We are glad we decided to come over to SW Hokkaido rather than cut and run down to Honshu. The period Sun-Wed looks super snowy and cold, and we will be heading back to Tokyo on Thursday.
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@Mike Pow, We skied Kiroro today inside and out of the gates but struggled to find many great pitches to ski powder - it seemed to be mostly a case of 10 or 15 good turns and then ages following ruts through the forest to get back out. A lot of areas the trees were too dense to ski comfortably. Terrain accessed by skins looked great, but we didn't fancy skinning in poor weather. Any tips for good lift accessed powder areas?
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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.
It is strange how places close together can differ.

Rusutsu today was sunny and cold, not a cloud in the sky all day. Almost deserted.

It has had much less snow than Kiroro, which is probably only 50kms away.

Niseko was reported as very crowded, a little snow in the afternoon.

We are based in Otaru for the next few days and will probably ski some micro resorts and Kiroro again.
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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
Would recommend Teine as well, quite easy to get to from Otaru. Good easily accessable open, fairly steep pitches and seemed to be much less foreign powder chasers compared to Kiroro.
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You know it makes sense.
10cm's fresh and blowing this morning in Naeba
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
musehead wrote:
@Mike Pow, We skied Kiroro today inside and out of the gates but struggled to find many great pitches to ski powder - it seemed to be mostly a case of 10 or 15 good turns and then ages following ruts through the forest to get back out. A lot of areas the trees were too dense to ski comfortably. Terrain accessed by skins looked great, but we didn't fancy skinning in poor weather. Any tips for good lift accessed powder areas?


That's the nature of Kiroro.

Short pitches of 10-15 turns, then a traverse, then another 10-15 turns.

Very much quality over quantity.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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clarky999 wrote:
Has anyone been to/skied the Akita/Tazawako area? Looks like I may be there on a spur of the moment work trip at the end of the month...


Ok looks like the trip is on Very Happy

Anyone know how the snow has been shaping up in northern Honshu? As much as further south in Hakuba/Myoko?
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Snow started this afternoon in Otaru. It's meant to carry on pretty much continuously until Wednesday. Snow-forecast says 75cm @ Kiroro for Sun-Wed inclusive. Excited!
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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?
@musehead, where are you staying in Otaru?
We are in the Sonia...if you are on-line drop me a PM with your phone number and meet for a drink?

Today we had a real taste of true Japanese skiing...we didn't meet another Gaijin all day.

Started off with a short visit to Snow Cruise Onze...a tiny place near Otaru, but with AMAZING views of the sea and the town.
Really special...but really crowded, you can get there on the normal town bus service and every kid had done so!
Still, we only bought a 2 hour lift pass as we knew the only real reason was the views.

Then a short drive to Asari Hot Spings.
A much larger area, but still only four lifts, all without safety bar (!), I was bricking it...I know I'm not going to fall off...but... Embarassed

Incredible vale, simply incredible: jpy4,200 (about 30 pounds) for all day skiing, lunch (whatever you like off their menu) and an Onzen visit in the luxury hotel next door.

The skiing was good, local racers were training too...some really top class slalom from the guys in Japan National Team kit!

Kiroro tomorrow (less than an hour away)
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Any powder at Asari?

25cm since 5pm at Kiroro Smile

Tomorrow is going to be rather special 👍
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Some parts of Northern Japan have seen 10ft of snow in the past 2 weeks.

Plane skidded off the snowy runway in New Chitose, Sapporo, a couple days ago.

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@rungsp, Have sent you a PM.

@Mike Pow, I was also in Asari today...! Had some nice powder in the trees. Even in some really accessable places like skiers left off the first double chairlift. Didn't duck any ropes. I could see it being a really great place to visit after a dump.

Went to Tenguyama today too, some great steep pitches which would be fantastic after a good snowfall.
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Hi everyone I'll be in Asakidake and Furano area beginning of February..I heard very poor season / conditions very little snow no powder at the moment...thinking to divert my travel plan to different locations..
Anyone up there at the moment could give an update and some suggestions?
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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!
musehead wrote:
@rungsp, Have sent you a PM.

@Mike Pow, I was also in Asari today...! Had some nice powder in the trees. Even in some really accessable places like skiers left off the first double chairlift. Didn't duck any ropes. I could see it being a really great place to visit after a dump.

Went to Tenguyama today too, some great steep pitches which would be fantastic after a good snowfall.


Agreed.

Next season one of my groups is going to do 1 week in Niseko Hirafu to ski Niseko United, Niseko Moiwa and Rusutsu.

And the second week in Otaru to ski Otaru Tenguyama, Asari, Kiroro, Sapporo Kokusai and Sapporo Teine.

So much good skiing out of Otaru.
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Monday morning update (23rd)

Blowing a gale and snowing in Niseko Hirafu.

Similar at Kiroro, with the possibility that the top lifts will be closed.

Going over anyway as some great stuff to be had off the lower lifts.

@rungsp and @musehead say hi if you see me

White helmet, two tone blue jacket, burgundy pants, red backpack, plenty of Welsh whooping.
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toro wrote:
Hi everyone I'll be in Asakidake and Furano area beginning of February..I heard very poor season / conditions very little snow no powder at the moment...thinking to divert my travel plan to different locations..
Anyone up there at the moment could give an update and some suggestions?


Had a very good start, in a holding pattern right now, but snow forecast.

Things change very quickly on Hokkaido 👍
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Monday 23 January

Kiroro. As good as it gets 👍
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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.
@Mike Pow, it was epic....

A friend of The Lad is a season worker in Kiroro and said it was the best day so far.

Mike....where is your traditional Face-Shot video clip?
We had many, but this mini computer does not have the power to take them off the camera and upload.

In my life my two best ski days ever have been in Kiroro, and I've only ever had three days there.
Both have been with The Lad...even more special.

Sapporo Kokusai tomorrow.
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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
He is used to a little snow this year:

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=128099


Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley
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You know it makes sense.
Likewise - best day's skiing I've ever had was Kiroro! Sadly not there this year, but here's some gratuitous face shots (mostly from Kiroro) last year (apologies -think I may have posted it at the time Smile


Japow 2016 from James Coulson
https://vimeo.com/176425989


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Tue 24-01-17 13:48; edited 1 time in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Damn, bad timing to be ill today. Don't think I'll be skiing and Kiroro has had another 15cm or so on top of yesterday's to reset the tracks.
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@musehead, sorry to hear that dude, at least the forecast remains snowy right, hopefully you'll be back on the snow soon.

So I'm 10 days away from my trip to Niseko, just wondering does anyone have any recommendations for mountain restaurants in Niseko, and also Rusutsu & Kiroro too as planning to take some day trips to those resorts too.

Also any tips/advice for a Niseko noob?
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Any reports from Furano area please?
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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?
@toro, There were some incredible low temperatures this morning in central Hokkaido. -29c at Furano and -32C at Tomamu. Video on the Tomamu Facebook page shows someone throwing a cup of water in the air and it evaporating/freezing instantly!
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Can i reasonably hit Niseko trip Tokyo in a weekend?

Work is sending me to Tokyo for a couple weeks. I will quite new on the job (only my first month when I visit) so I'm trying to avoid taking PTO. I'm wondering if I could reasonably fly Tokyo to Sapporo Friday evening, hit Niseko Saturday and Sunday, jump on 7-ish PM flight to Sapporo and be back in the office Monday morning.

It'll be a rush, but I think it'd be do-able. My biggest concern is timing getting to and from Niseko from Sapporo airport. My flight into Sapporo would land around 9 PM, and my flight out would be around 7:30 PM.
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kimchijajonshim wrote:
Can i reasonably hit Niseko trip Tokyo in a weekend?

Work is sending me to Tokyo for a couple weeks. I will quite new on the job (only my first month when I visit) so I'm trying to avoid taking PTO. I'm wondering if I could reasonably fly Tokyo to Sapporo Friday evening, hit Niseko Saturday and Sunday, jump on 7-ish PM flight to Sapporo and be back in the office Monday morning.

It'll be a rush, but I think it'd be do-able. My biggest concern is timing getting to and from Niseko from Sapporo airport. My flight into Sapporo would land around 9 PM, and my flight out would be around 7:30 PM.


When are you going? If it's soon then why not go to somewhere on Honshu that has had snow, might be a lot easier? I think you're right the transfers to Niseko might screw you up a bit.
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Lots of possibilities along the Niigate Shinkansen, and so much snow now. Puzzled
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@kimchijajonshim, why Niseko?

By all means fly to Sapporo but stay there and do two day trips:
sapporo Kokusai
Tiene Highlands

Taxi/Bus/Train direct from Tiene to airport

It is 2.5 hour bus Niseko to arport
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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!
Honestly, I know nothing about Japanese snowboarding scene, I just know Niseko is a legendary destination spot. If there are more accessible areas that are 85% as good and far less hassle, I'm game. Just want to try out this allegedly epic Japanese pow.
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kimchijajonshim wrote:
Honestly, I know nothing about Japanese snowboarding scene, I just know Niseko is a legendary destination spot. If there are more accessible areas that are 85% as good and far less hassle, I'm game. Just want to try out this allegedly epic Japanese pow.


Forget 85% as good, many options are BETTER than Niseko in my experience - Niseko got too famous, and so too tracked too quickly. Sapporo Teine is the money shot for steep(er) powder on Hokkaido.

I don't know Honshu at all, but the media coming from various pros in places like Myoko and Hakkuba looks just as epic too!
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Yeah Honshu has been getting dumped on a lot, when are you there @kimchijajonshim?
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