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Japan 2019 - 20

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Back to Kokusai today to see what the wind had left. It looked good in places but wasn’t really worth the effort, some fresh snow but since it was on top of refrozen crud, it was a case of five bad turns for every good one. The off-piste from the top of the gondola skiers right which normally delivers the good was sun affected from 10am and the low snow base made the exit a roller coaster, with the stream barely covered. We left after trying every option and again hit the Onsen.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@PowderAdict, We never bothered with the exit gate due to the weather but looking at the map I imagine that the normal route is skiers right of the resort to rejoin somewhere near the bottom, but I didn't spot the reentry point on the piste ?

Although if you are crossing the river you must be dropping further south east ?

Map courtesy of Hokkaido Wilds:
https://cdn-images.hokkaidowilds.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/matashita-yama-ski-tour_route_Ver1.pdf
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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?

@AndAnotherThing.., You rejoin almost level with the netting that stops people skiing under the cabins of the main gondola as they leave the base station. You arrive below piste level and have to side step up a piste machine track.

I'm fairly sure we don't cross a river, just small streams. So in the picture track 1 is the piste warmup, and track 2 is the off-piste run. Pretty much everything between the piste and the return track (which follows the drainage) is skiable terrain, but if you go further you would need skins to return the the resort. In previous years our group has lapped this terrain maybe 10 times in a day and had fresh lines all day. You basically follow the same initial entry, but instead of the 90 right downhill, from that point you would put in a series of lines to intercept the exit traverse.

The snow cover is the worst I've seen in 5 years in February. Normally the powder turns are payback for the exit traverse, but today the snow wasn't worth it and the exit was a comparative nightmare. I know it is an 'official' unofficial route, but its a case of a day spent with a mini-digger in the summer could remove 75% of the issues with the traverse.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@PowderAdict, Cheers, that's really helpful. Plenty of scrub and bamboo for us too.

When we were there a small self guided American team were about to skin up the ridge to Mt Asari and then loop around the ridge and drop down the slopes on the opposite side of the valley you skied. The weather and viz were not compelling. One of the piste security guys had a word with them but the continued anyway. I assume they survived but they had to nav through some interesting avy terrain.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Boot top untracked around the corner at Niseko Moiwa today (Tuesday 18th February)


4cm reported


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Wed 19-02-20 9:57; edited 1 time in total
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Over the head at Kiroro today (Wednesday 19th February).

Tomorrow should be epicer.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Mike Pow, You must have skied in different parts of Kiroro to me today, as we found 25-30cm new snow tops, resulting in boot to knee deep snow, but frequently cut through to the crud underneath if you crossed anyone else’s tracks. The lack of base is also evident on the exit traverses which are a rollercoaster compared to previous years.

Consistent snowfall during the day should make tomorrow “epicer” as mentioned, as even after a single lap of a lift, the snow had obscured some of our tracks.
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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!
Stayed on the lower mountain. As I did today.

It was epicer.

Faceshot Friday tomorrow.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
At Rusutsu today, I've only been there twice before and both times either at end of February or early March, and both times it was a waste of time.

Today was different as there had been new snow fall and there were some great lines to be had. The snow was inconsistent however, with altitude and aspect not a great indication of what to expect. Today gave me a hint of what Rusutsu can offer with a decent dump Very Happy
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I went to Rusutsu for three days last year. The first was a gamble to see if they opened the East mountain during the tail of the passing storm, which they didn't. The next day was indeed quite fabulous. Every piste I went down was at least knee deep and in the trees, I simply couldn't tell you. It's a resort I'd add to any future itinerary.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.

If you have a few minutes left at the end of a day at Rusutsu, it’s worth spending a few of them to experience some “Weird Japanese Stuff” at the main resort hotel complex, it’s a sort of Willy Wonker meets Chitty Chitty Bang Bang fantasy Shocked

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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.
If still heading to JPN and looking to hire a car, I received a discount code after I rented via ToCoo. 3000yen off with this code: JHJU7I
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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
With all the bad news and the effective end of the season, here is a video diary from Tom who was on the same Whiteroom Hokkaido Backcountry Tour as me in early Feb 2020. Top production work with much of the footage taken with a pole mounted camera which automatically removes the pole from the image (although it can occasionally be seen as a shadow).


http://youtube.com/v/PEJ8F6dJMaY


http://youtube.com/v/wt7WdNuZNyw
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Get your facts straight

Everything open in SW Hokkaido.

Only resort I've heard close is Mt Racey in Yubari.

And it's been absolutely dumping with brilliant conditions.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Great vids
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Been a March for the ages on Hokkaido.

Everything open.

Regular snowfall, cold, no wind.

Deserted.

Stable snowpack in the backcountry.
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