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Japan 2019 - 20

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thursday 02 January 2020

Kiroro Resort

As good as it gets snow wise. Need more terrain to open.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B66dxHzFBcT/
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Mike Pow, that'll do! We're heading out 8th Feb so keep it coming Very Happy
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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?
Was getting worried there. Got a trip planned for Jan 25-Feb 14. Anyone wanna tell me about some tiny little resorts with 1 old ski lift and a whole load of awesome?

Smile
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@Sidog, Which area? Hokkaido?

I'm hoping for a lot more snow over the next 2 weeks but the forecast does not look very forthcoming. I'm arriving in Otaru on the 17th.

The next week looks relatively mild in Hokkaido (but no rain expected unlike further south!). Slack winds expected - which won't bring in any snowfall.

After about the 12th it looks a bit more positive, but that's a long way off in weather terms!

I've seen some good video clips taken in Furano and Kiroro the last few days. But the off-piste generally looks impassably bushy and probably quite hazardous at the moment!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Started my winter on 01 January

01 January @ Kiroro - knee deep
02 January @ Kiroro - over the head. as good as it gets snow-wise, but not a lot of terrain

https://www.instagram.com/p/B66dxHzFBcT/

03 January @ Kiroro - boot top powder, wind had compacted it
04 January @ Niseko Moiwa - boot top powder under bluebird skies

https://www.instagram.com/p/B69DiX3FkK3/

05 January @ Rusutsu - boot top powder under bluebird skies
06 January @ Rusutsu - boot top powder under bluebird skies
07 January @ Rusutsu - knee deep powder under bluebird skies
08 January @ Rusutsu - soft crud, cloudy, snowed about 5cm this afternooon. Snowing when we left

Rusutsu has the most terrain and best conditions in Shiribeshi at the moment IMHO

Snowing lightly in Niseko at 4.10 pm
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Sidog wrote:
Was getting worried there. Got a trip planned for Jan 25-Feb 14. Anyone wanna tell me about some tiny little resorts with 1 old ski lift and a whole load of awesome?

Smile


Where do you intend skiing?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Not sure if this JMA tool is new, but I've not used it before this winter

It allows you to easily visualize current snow depth and also recent 3-6-12-24-48-72 hour snowfall totals

http://www.data.jma.go.jp/fcd/yoho/snow/en/#zoom:7/lat:42.291997/lon:140.965674/colordepth:normal/elements:snowd
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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!
This is a really interesting analysis of this years snowfall data (so far) compared to historic data around Hokkaido

https://hokkaidowilds.org/hokkaido-snow-statistics-a-jan-2020-selective-review

It's certainly a very poor year in Hokkaido this winter - not the worst ever (so far), but not far off.

Sapporo is on track to record it's lowest snowfall in January for at least 75 years!
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@musehead, What is interesting looking at the graphs is that they don’t tend to get the ‘average’ snowfall very often, it is more likely to be see-sawing either side from well below to well above average.

From a selfish personal viewpoint, as long as it kicks off in February I’ll be happy Very Happy
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
As predicted, one of Japan's worst seasons of all time.

Needs snow real bad.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Moved my Japan trip (Whiteroom Tours, based in Niseko but including Moiwa, Rusutsu, Kiroro depending on conditions) from now to two weeks time due to a work commitment. Seems fortunate, although the outlook doesn’t look fantastic Sad
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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.
That JMA data download website is very useful. Definitely a lot for someone to sink their teeth into if they have the time and ability!

https://www.data.jma.go.jp/gmd/risk/obsdl/index.php#

I had a look at the data for Nozawa Onsen

The joint lowest snowfall recorded since 1980 in December was 85cm in 2011 and 2016.

Last year only recorded 57cm Shocked
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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
Yesterday in Niseko Hanazono

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7SwxfhFHsg/?igshid=44nnq7r73ahd
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Mate of mine now out with his daughter and clients

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7UHeYfocJl/?igshid=1d2zdjga757hy

Just under four weeks for us
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Mike Pow wrote:
Yesterday in Niseko Hanazono

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7SwxfhFHsg/?igshid=44nnq7r73ahd


Are you on slalom skis Toofy Grin
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Blades?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Embarassed double post


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Wed 15-01-20 14:15; edited 1 time in total
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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?
BobinCH wrote:
Mike Pow wrote:
Yesterday in Niseko Hanazono

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7SwxfhFHsg/?igshid=44nnq7r73ahd


Are you on slalom skis Toofy Grin


I'm pretty sure Mike skis <=90mm, maybe even around mid 80s for Japow....
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kitenski wrote:
BobinCH wrote:
Mike Pow wrote:
Yesterday in Niseko Hanazono

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7SwxfhFHsg/?igshid=44nnq7r73ahd


Are you on slalom skis Toofy Grin


I'm pretty sure Mike skis <=90mm, maybe even around mid 80s for Japow....


84mm twin tips

Photo is of Jimmy. He was on 106mm waisted Fatypus skis
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Looks pretty good in Hakuba for the FWT
https://twitter.com/freeridewtour/status/1217806650825818112?s=21
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BobinCH wrote:
Looks pretty good in Hakuba for the FWT
https://twitter.com/freeridewtour/status/1217806650825818112?s=21


That's way above and way outside the resort boundary.

Down low it's thin much like all of Japan.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Kiroro today!

Despite all the doom and gloom, the snow was great! We only skied in the backcountry so I can't speak for the areas inside the resort boundary, but there was a good 50-60cm of powder on top of a hard base. Skied as bottomless. The top layer was incredibly light and fluffy.

Lots of bushes and branches, but I've found that to be the case at Kiroro the last several years too. I think Kiroro more than anywhere you need to know exactly where you're going to make the most of it, and I don't.

Slopes facing towards the sun were getting quickly humidified and heavy in the afternoon.
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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!
Flying out now
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Big change in SW Hokkaido and more snow on the way.

If you're heading out soon, great timing
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Mike Pow, Very Happy
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Mike Pow wrote:
If you're heading out soon, great timing


Good news snowHead Heading out next weekend for my first trip to Japan and really looking forward to it.
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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.
Sapporo Kokusai yesterday:

My first day skiing an off-piste resort area that I've skied in previous years so I could do a direct comparison.

There was a 30cm+ dump the previous 24 hours and it was snowing heavily on and off all day. The snow was EPIC and the first few runs before it got tracked out were frequently over the head (not that common on my 112mm waist skis!). The snow was as good as the best I've skied in Japan previous years.

The base is very noticeably lower than this time of year the last few seasons. There are lots more exposed shrubs and bushes, and hence far fewer lines that can be easily skied. Many features that I remember people jumping off etc would be totally impossible this year.

While the snow was excellent yesterday, it got tracked out very quickly due to lack of easily accessed clear terrain. You had to ski a lot more carefully because there are far more potential hidden branches to trip you up!

The backcountry areas at Kokusai (30-40 minutes skin around the ridge from the top of the gondola) are really coming into their own this year as there are far fewer bushes out there. There were several groups that headed straight there - I think they were going for quality over quantity!
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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
Excellent.

Kiroro on the other hand needs way more base to cover up the sasa (bamboo) and new trees.

Out the gates up high the skiing is much better.

Did have over the head with some of the best snow I've skied inbounds though. Just not long runs.

Rusutsu has been my go to this season. Consistent snowfall means much less sasa exposed.

And if you're prepared to ski the lower angle terrain it's boot top to knee.

I've skied 20 of the 22 days this January and skied boot top minimum on 18 of them.

Niseko Hanazono - 2
Niseko Moiwa - 2
Kiroro - 5
Rusutsu - 11

Deepest days have been at Kiroro.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Heading out now to join a Whiteroom Tours offpiste group on Saturday. First time in Japan - can’t wait Smile
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Themasterpiece, Which tour are you doing? I’ve been with Whiteroom the last 4 years, and they have been excellent. I’m going back to Japan with Whiteroom on the 5th Feb Very Happy
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@PowderAdict, @Themasterpiece, Amazing, go and say hello to my son Jack, he graduated from Glasgow last year (I think this is him putting of entering the adult world and getting a 'proper' job Laughing )

He's working the bar at Whiteroom for the season, am sure he'd be partial to having a beer or two. Spoke to him earlier, apparently they have just had the best powder of the season Razz Razz
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Should be heading to Hokkaido in 10 days provided no dramatic escalation with the new virus .... fingers crossed Skullie
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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?
Extremely jealous of everyone in this thread. Please keep the posts coming.
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@Mike Pow, I guess it was you who outlined the benefit for specific areas/resorts (Niseko, Kiroro, Otaru, Rusutsu, etc) from a particular wind direction? Can you share that again please?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
mooney058 wrote:
@Mike Pow, I guess it was you who outlined the benefit for specific areas/resorts (Niseko, Kiroro, Otaru, Rusutsu, etc) from a particular wind direction? Can you share that again please?


Majority of storms come in from the NW meaning the Niseko Resort Area cops it the most.

If it tracks anticlockwise coming from S to N then Rusutsu cops it.

Clockwise N to E then S then Otaru area cops it.

Very rough estimation.

People bag snow-forecast but they're rarely wrong about freezing level, wind speed, wind direction, and who's going to get snow.

Snowfall totals always all over the place. Massive underreporting.
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PowderAdict wrote:
@Themasterpiece, Which tour are you doing? I’ve been with Whiteroom the last 4 years, and they have been excellent. I’m going back to Japan with Whiteroom on the 5th Feb Very Happy


I’m doing the powder progression. I guess I could probably cope on others, but don’t want the risk of being trail end charlie for a week Smile

michaelbury17 wrote:
@PowderAdict, @Themasterpiece, Amazing, go and say hello to my son Jack, he graduated from Glasgow last year (I think this is him putting of entering the adult world and getting a 'proper' job Laughing )


Will do!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Themasterpiece, I’m sure you will be fine. The standard process on day one is to take everyone up one of the main lifts, then with one guide in front and one at the back, ski back down to the base station again. The guides will be skiing at average pace, and may take in some off piste on the way down. They are basically checking that everyone can ski, and the initial split of the group will be made into faster/slower groups, but that can change, and obviously if you are will a mate or family that will be taken into account.

Despite the skill level questionnaire, they do occasionally get people who really cannot ski that well. You are on the Progression tour, so they are not expecting experts and instruction will be given.
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