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Japan 18-19

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Breezy, but all lifts open, until the kitanomine gondola closed in the afternoon.

Today was more of the same, but today I found those trees. You know, the birch trees, the ones that are 10 feet apart and the regularity is just so, the slope is strep enough to let the board run, to feel the flow and then throw in the odd roll over, the odd six foot drop, just enough to keep you on your toes, throw in some super light waist deep low and, well today was a good day.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thanks.

Welcome.
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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?
Yesterday (17/01/2018) at the Cat


http://youtube.com/v/f31OvnLRbRM&feature=youtu.be

And one of the clients sent me this


http://youtube.com/v/Nv8Y3F-WNqs&feature=youtu.be

Today (18/01/2018) we ran away to Maiko and skied knee to thigh deep fresh n heavy Yuzawa whiteroom.
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So I've just spent the best part of the day swapping resorts in now installed in Niseko for a week or so, and just for a change its bucketing down. We're due a good dump an at -8 in resort, -16 up top I hope pretty light too. New digs are pretty much SISO to the ace quad pair. Happy days, no more walks.

Last two days in Furano were a mixed bag. I went up the hill on friday, there was maybe ankle deep super light pow on the groomers, I think more had been blown into the trees. I suffered revenge of the overindulgent sushi session the night before and had to retire post haste.

A return to form in Saturday and similar snow stats but it snowed consistently all day, enough to mumify you on an 8 minute chair ride style. A few short inbounds hikes and some judicious routefinding found some waist deep stashes in the trees. All in all a good week to kick off.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Sun 20-01-19 13:35; edited 1 time in total
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Rusutsu yesterday and Sapporo Kokusai the day before. There was powder to be found but generally pretty tracked out and lumpy as there hadn't been significant accumulation overnight at either. The snow was quite heavy due to the wind.

GFS has backed off quite a bit on the snowfall due tonight/tomorrow, and yr.no is not showing much at all. I guess we will have to wait and see.

The models are also having a hard time with the low passing on the 23rd - there could be a good dump over Hokkaido or it may pass too far south over Tohoku instead.
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Snowing pretty hard in Niseko most of the evening so far. If it keeps going overnight...........
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#SnorkelCentral
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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!
Blowing hard in Kagura/Naeba, lots of lifts wind closed.

Human powdered is where it's at today

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I've been in Niseko for 2 1/2 days now. It doesn't always snow here, the sun does come out sometimes, it did about half an hour ago, although normal service has now been resumed.

Monday was pretty breezy, snowing and low viz with the top lifts closed. Lapped all the low level lifts, but didn't get much of a feel for the layout of the place.

Today still snowing , ankle or shin deep in piste and way more in the trees. Better visibility so I got much more of a feel for the layout. Stuck to Hirafu and Hanazoonno lapping chairs when I randomly hit the goods in the trees.
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WEDNESDAY 09 JANUARY 2019

Kiroro

Grace

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsrEX6Fl3FQ/


Louise

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsunjzPFd2A/


Andrew

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bsx1joFljND/


Jimmy





https://www.instagram.com/p/BsyokHKlx_Q/
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Hey Mike I’m looking at Rusutsu on Thursday, its forecast windy in the afternoon, 45 or so. How are the lifts with that kind of wind?
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
rogg wrote:
Hey Mike I’m looking at Rusutsu on Thursday, its forecast windy in the afternoon, 45 or so. How are the lifts with that kind of wind?


Some may close, but you'll get good turns in.
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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
Cheers boss. I’ll book it up.
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You know it makes sense.
Niseko today was a real mixed bag. Sun to start, absolute whiteout fog rolled over the top of the hill for twenty minutes, then cleared. Cloud slowly filled in, the wind picked up enough to shut some of the top lifts and then it was normal service resumed; Snow again on and off all evening. Of to Rusutsu tomorrow so fingers crossed it keeps dropping the goods.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Rusutsu can be good in windy conditions.

Hills with spines and deep valleys...get in the lee of the wind in the valleys, and avoid the on-piste runs that go along the spines.

I saw a snowboarding group get knocked flat on their backs by the wind once....while the valleys were in perfect wind-shadows and full of powder Very Happy
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I was there today and the wind got the better of them. The whole 'big' mountain didn't open, so only the little hill on the go. Some fun to be had in the area around the third chair, booked to be back tomorrow. I think it could be special, 24hrs to this morning was probably 30cm or so at resort add in the fact it snowed all day and the mountain was closed..............
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West Mtn is a hidden in plain sight gem.

But yes East Mtn should be epic tomorrow.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Dumping in Niigata, I've dug the car out 3 times today. Skied over my own track that had filled in after <2hrs up at the cat today!
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Have never been to Japan to ski. I'm in Tokyo next week and looks like I'll have Thursday and Friday free for a quick trip to the mountains. Any recommendations of where to go to close to Tokyo. Keen to experience the powder in all the photos that have been posted. Many thanks
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Get the train to Yuzawa (1hr 25min from Tokyo) . If it's still cold, there are lots of resorts nearby - Skied untracked pillow lines at Kanatsu Kogen all day today. If it's warmed up a bit (as in above Freezing in Yuzawa) get the bus up the hill to Kagura (25min).
If you drop me a message nearer the time I will let you know if I'm running the Cat (skiing) on Friday (Sorry Private group Thurs)
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Thank you so much. That's really helpful. Would love to go cat skiing. Let me know how I should book and pay.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Great conditions in SW Hokkaido over the last several days. The fresh snow has been wind affected/heavy at times but there's always been some great powder somewhere on the mountain (and often over most of the mountain!). Good overnight resets. Lots of falling snow and cold temperatures around the Kiroro / Kokusai area.

There's a low pressure passing today which should drag the temperature up a bit. I'm not sure how much snow will result - GFS seems to have downgraded a bit. Will probably be damp at sea level.

After that, Wednesday night into Thursday and Friday look good for some sustained cold NW winds creating some snowfall.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Just bought flights to Tokyo 8th - 20th Feb, and a snorkel. Aiming for Hakuba. Struggling with accomm - it needs to be dirt cheap, hostels ideally. Slim pickings this last-minute... Confused Any top tips? Or do we try elsewhere?
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Fergus wrote:
Just bought flights to Tokyo 8th - 20th Feb, and a snorkel. Aiming for Hakuba. Struggling with accomm - it needs to be dirt cheap, hostels ideally. Slim pickings this last-minute... Confused Any top tips? Or do we try elsewhere?


Shiga? Nozawa?
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Got 60+cm last night. Ran the cat up to put the road in and re set the road markers. Should take 1.5 hours including setting the markers - took 6!
Reduced to well below walking pace. Had 20+ cases of having to back up and have another go - in a Pisten Bully!
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This week not looking very promising for Hokkaido.

The low yesterday passed and didn't deliver much to the resort areas (10cm reported at Kiroro + Kokusai + Niseko + Rusutsu + Furano). Windy today and any fresh is mostly very wind blown. Many top lifts didn't open. Got a few nice turns in but doesn't compare to last week.

Tomorrow morning might be quite sunny, no new snow expected. Then it should get much colder Wed night into Thurs and Fri, with fresh snow throughout, but the wind looks extremely strong - top lifts won't be opening!
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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.
I was lapping some trees under the gondola in Hirafu yesterday. They went from tracked out to knee deep in the space of three hours around lunchtime. Wind was filling them in pretty quickly. I had great fun.

In Tokyo now waiting for my Heathrow connection. I’m pretty drained, but had a most epic trip. Whilst I’ve ticked Japan off my three stop bucket list I’ve a feeling it might tack itself back on to the end of the list again. Or maybe the middle.
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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
@rogg, Japan was a "bucket list" thing for me. I've now been 4 times in 5 winters!
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You know it makes sense.
@musehead, same - but twice in 3 winters. Be careful Rogg! Enjoying reading the updates.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
In Heathrow now, 27 hours since I left the hostel and running purely on caffeine. Only 5 more to go and I’ll be home, probably sucking up a coffee or two.
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Fantastic at Teine today.

Deep fresh snow (20cm reported but it must be more up top). Some aspects are a bit heavy/wind deposited but lots of areas are pretty light and powdery particularly in the trees. No old tracks visible. Not very windy (some gusts but top lift not affected), and it's partially sunny today - great views of the sea and Sapporo!
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A Teine report! and fantastic too, yeah! The GS slope has always been wind affected creating hard pack or ice in parts....Sapporo's secret weapon in national competitions! Did you venture into the back country......the old gondola track to the right of Summit Express after getting off? Enjoy!
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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?
@Mac46, Yes was great, thanks. I mostly lapped the summit express and hiked 5 minutes past the TV towers each time, skiing down the gullies (and the trees in between). Such a good steep area! Unfortunately they closed the lift today just after 12, probably because of the wind which was increasing.

I think it might be my favourite area in SW Hokkaido - It's steep, fast turnaround (20 minute laps if you don't wait around, with about 300-350m vertical of proper skiing), fantastic views of Sapporo and the sea, easy to get to from Sapporo and Otaru. Often gets good dumps although not as often as Kiroro/Kokusai. If you have skins there's lots of terrain further along the ridge that looks promising.
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The deep pow had sun transitioned and wind blown to initially a bit of soft on heavy cream. Later in the day it all crusted reasonably hard. Still skiable with power (legs and skis). But it's dumping again so no worries down in Niigata
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Mike Pow wrote:
WEDNESDAY 09 JANUARY 2019

Kiroro

Grace

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsrEX6Fl3FQ/


Louise

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsunjzPFd2A/


Andrew

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bsx1joFljND/


Jimmy





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



@Mike Pow, Are they carrying any avi gear?
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jellylegs wrote:
Mike Pow wrote:
WEDNESDAY 09 JANUARY 2019

Kiroro

Grace

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsrEX6Fl3FQ/


Louise

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsunjzPFd2A/


Andrew

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bsx1joFljND/


Jimmy





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



@Mike Pow, Are they carrying any avi gear?


No.

This is all inbounds at Kiroro on ungroomed marked runs or in the trees just beside the run.

If we venture through the exits (not very often, no need) then we always carry avalanche safety equipment.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

I think it might be my favourite area in SW Hokkaido - It's steep, fast turnaround (20 minute laps if you don't wait around, with about 300-350m vertical of proper skiing


Agree, but it also looks like perfect avalanche terrain, more so than anywhere else we skied. That said, I was out with a guide in Livigno last week and he was talking about a trip to Japan last year. He was saying he kept expecting slopes to slide - tonnes of new snow, wind loaded, perfect steepness, critical points, clumsy skiers blasting off cornices etc - but they were somehow always stable. Hokkaido is weird!
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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!
Pretty consistent temperature gradient through the snow pack with low density layers which bond well.

For the most part.

Throw in wind events like we're experiencing now and that's when it gets interesting.
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In Myoko now. Very mild, was sunny this morning and felt like typical April spring skiing in Europe. Right now there's what sounds like a tropical rainstorm raging outside. Rain lashing against the window. Expecting heavy rain and wind all night, up to above the mountain tops. Probably a small amount of snow on the tail edge as the system moves away tomorrow afternoon.

Not skiing tomorrow (Monday). Tuesday looks sunny and mild, Wednesday possible rain again, Thurs/Fri probably a little colder with some snow. Not looking like a good week for Honshu if you like powder...

Should have stayed in Hokkaido!!
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