Separate names with a comma.
We have a vibrant community here conversing about all sorts of non-snow topics such as music, sport, politics and technology. Simply register to reveal all our Après topics.
NOTE: This notice may be closed.
Discussion in 'Japan' started by telenomore, Sep 21, 2019.
Looks great and that little bridge is very civilized !
Yeah, like the bridge. How long has that been there? Better than the stepping stones or skiing across like some crazy Dutch guys did once.
@telenomore wife & I have arrived last night based in Furano for short visit. We move on Thursday but will do a half day somewhere prior to heading for otaru. Was keen to do a backcountry tour at tokachi or asahidake but look like weather rolling in Monday night. Today is planned warm up the legs day on Furano. Was considering a tour tomorrow but it does look like it’s going to warm a little. Tuesday / Wednesday look like good snowfall but am assuming not ideal conditions to be touring. Would you say tomorrow considering the weather would be worth a tour if I could book one? Was looking at the backcountry ski Japan company. Tuesday or Wednesday was considering a day trip over to Tomamu.
you could drop into the shop here and discuss in person
Thanks @Heinz @ACHAD best to drop into the shop later today, say between 4:30 and 6:00 pm when we work out the best conditions and numbers. The change tomorrow night wont effect temps as high as Tokachi but the wind will have an impact. Tomorrow itself looks good up high. I'll PM you.
@Heinz There has been a bridge (2 now) for a few years. The stream is quite braided at that location and seems to change course each year so some locals come up early season and put in the bridges. You wouldn't believe the use this area now gets. Still great and plenty of good terrain, its a big area, but wherever you go out there now you see tracks!
This is the stream directly uphill from the very upper onsen?
No its down at the entrance to the Furano Dake ridges, so just below the lowest onsen/hotel, on the Sanpo creek.
Aahsoo, the stream with little weirs?
Stunning area. Hope it doesnt get too well trodden.
Yes thats it. Interesting story behind those "weirs". They are actually there to slow down the possible flow of "Laha's" or mud flows if the Tokachi volcano erupts and flows down that valley. The idea is the Laha spreads out behind the weir, slowing their flow rate, before dropping into the next one and so on. Nearby town of Kami-Furano got hammered back in 1925/26, 100 plus deaths, from "lahas" traveling about 60kmh. Distance from volcano to centre of t own is about 20 kms, so it can all go belly up pretty quickly if Tokachi blows its top.
At the Hakuginsou Biei backroad turn off. Is getting very well trodden.
Too late I'm afraid. Euro's, Americans and a smattering of Aussies and NZers have well and truly discovered this area. Throw in a large number of locals from all over Japan and it is getting skied out. We used to book accommodation, literally the day before we needed it, in any one of the 3 onsen/lodges up there. Not anymore, mostly now fully booked well before the season. For those day tripping from Furano, the car park is a shit fight at what we call "Baden" corner, where the turnoff to Hakuginso is, as its a very small car park. Police warnings about blocking traffic, skiing on the road etc. if you want to park there and ski the ridges, best to be there very, very early. Still, having said that, plenty of places in Tokachi to find untracked if you know your way round or want to do the extra km's. Most people go straight for what is known as the "giant" course so avoid that if no snow for a few days and still plenty of powder fun to be had.
I guess Hakkoda has become like that too
That explains why I could not understand the purpose of the weirs from a water point of view. They stop bugger all water for the expense but you plenty of expensive infrastructure in weird places in Japan.
For those with a nordic bent, the Furano tracks going well and in good condition. Asahi Dake trails also groomed daily, as are the levee banks just outside Asahikawa Station. Really great skating and classic a short walk from the hotels near the station. Couple of pics from today, tracks very fast on a purple stick wax for those interested in the finer points of track skiing. Meaning its a little warm, around -3 when I went out. Storm coming, warm tonight, but looking very snowy for the rest of the week with possible accumulation up to a metre through central Hokkaido over the coming days but it will likely start with the "r" word, but thankfully the warmer air looks like coming through tonight so may not get warm enough to do much damage.
Yep noticed that last year, quite busy. whereas only a few years ago it was soo quiet. Hakkoda/Asahidake the same. Just like popular surf breaks. Lucky to have had it good for so long. Probably Due to internet social media etc. As you say telenomore Plenty of other places around though.
Central Hokkaido going well since last weeks big dump and the good early season base, but still some areas need a bit more. Currently, there is a sort of triangle including Furano, Asahi Dake and Tokachi which are good as ever. Tomamu and Kamui still light on so off piste still bushy. A coupe of picks side country today at Furano.
Thats Furano today?!!!
Wow, I thought they were struggling at the moment with not enough off-piste.
I heard the gondola just started today, it that off the top of that?
Gondola fixed. This was gate c this morning. Actually been pretty good up high for some time, lower down, lots of fluctuations over the weeks with rain and snow. Now, even down low, base is good with minimal bush.
Be there on the 6th of Feb as a first timer! really looking forward to it.
I arrive for 6 days on 8th Feb after a few days at Sahoro. Can’t wait
Heading to Furano for the first time tomorrow. Hope it the forecasted snow for today comes through!
Does anyone have a link to a Furano webcam? Can't seem to find any online.
Friday 2 days ago bluebird Tomamu Backcountry. The resorts (Furano/Tomamu/Kamui) zero sidecountry powder at the moment. Furano still very good BC access down the range but settled and aspect is critical. Tomamu BC same, still some very good skiing to be had but you have to work for it. Asahi Dake also skied out. Don't recall ever seeing that happen! Luckily Tomamu BC is still very off the beaten track so no one to contest the powder with! Not seeing anything over the next week on the weather forecast to change the current situation. 22/23/24 Jan a long way out but looking pretty snowy at this stage. Fingers crossed.
Having small regular top-ups, 2-3 cms, on the Furano resort and lots of clear weather. Looking like another 6 or 7 days before any substantial snow falls (if at all!). Backcountry going great though in central Hokkaido. A couple of pics from the last two days. Some rarely skied areas, firstly in the Yubari Range, south of Furano and then in some terrain with longer access further north of the usual Tokachi playground. There is plenty out there in the backcountry in central Hokkaido. Low temps (max around minus 7-12 in these areas), aspect and altitude keeps the snow pack dry in Tokachi. Yubari range has some south facing aspects best avoided but everything else staying cold and dry.
Anyone skied Sahoro yet this season. Starting my trip there in a few weeks. I can see Furano is going well which is the second part of the trip
Still very low tide at both Sahoro and Tomamu. Both open but no side country as still too bushy. You have a couple of weeks though and good things predicted for late jan so fingers crossed.
I see a Trevor!
Thanks. A couple of weeks in the mountains is a long-time and looking forward to trying new resorts either way
Low tide or not, once you have a base, its really only the bit on top that matters. I don't think anyone in central Hokkaido would have missed out today. Cruising the resorts or chasing powder in the BC. -18 his morning, deep blue sky and just incredible powder in the high Mts. Still hoping for big top ups but we are getting little top ups regularly. Monday Tuesday still looking good for 30+cm. A couple of pics from our adventure today down the Yubari Range, south of Furano.
The dry spell came to an end this week with good falls through central Hokkaido, 20-30cm plus at most places, more in the high mountains. Tomamu has come good, but not sure yet about Kamui. Furano going great, although doesn't take long for the fresh to get tracked out on piste. More people than usual chasing the colder snow can be self defeating. Today was bluebird in central Hokkaido backcountry.
Looking good @telenomore - stoked for you.
Thanks @Lucky Pete we got lucky today.
Awesome, love that last shot and the cornice drop one.
Good news to hear about Tomamu fairing better, will be there in 2 weeks.
Anyone in the central Hokkaido currently? I arrive next week. Likely to ski sahoro, Tomamu and furano. My impression is that snow has been decent enough in central Hokkaido to take my new skis rather than older k2 all mountain I use when cover is bad. Due to train journey etc taking both is not possible
Currently in Asahikawa and wondering if it's worth travelling down to Tomamau or Sahoro - anyone in the area can give insight on conditions?
We had 2 good days at Kamui , 1 day at Pippu and Asahidake riding powder at all 3 resorts with decent cover - still some bamboo or sassa grass poking through in the trees/ backcountry but still fun all the same. Bit of a storm coming through next 48 hrs so we deciding where will be best to go.
Tomamu (and Sahoro) looking very good out of this event. 15-20cm overnight and as of 9:00 am still bucketing down.
Decided to head north again pippu and piyashiri if the wind doesn't shut things down.
Heard there was a avi in the BC of Tomamu today. One unconscious? Can you confirm details? I have been reading avi activity in Hokkaido this season. From you experience is it more sensitive this season to the norm?
Apparently south bowl BC, one confirmed dead, a French group with a French guide. RIP
Try to ask some of the local BC people on here @Any @Mike Pow and @telenomore and ....!
But I think their answer will be YES.
Terrible! Shame his friends couldn’t dig him out in time. I wonder if the person had injuries from hitting trees in the slide. I’ve been reading of a bit of avi activity going on this season but not sure if that is just due to access to more information via social media these days. @telenomore would know?
This is news we have here on this. More will come, be patient.
Latest ski & tourism news
Sorry didn't realise I was been impatient. My interest is in the snow pack this year in Hokkaido if its different to other years. John is the expert....it is his backyard and he runs a professional BC company out there and will have sound knowledge on this years snow pack compared to previous years and not just speculation. I'm sure he will comment in due course.
In the newspaper today:
(translated by Stephen Underwood i think. i also removed the guys name cause I thought it a bit tasteless to post that)
In my experience (in Niseko region) this season has actually been more stable than previous seasons.
Less snow, less wind, less temperature change, all mean more stable conditions.
In some cases, it was so stable that I couldn't get my pit tests to show any activity at all unless I really beat the hell out of it or overpowered it. Probably so stable you could put skis on a bulldozer and it still doesn't slide.
But in the last couple of days we've changed quickly from -10 to warm and rainy conditions, with massive wind storms and gusts closing lifts/etc, and windpacked snow forming quickly in some areas and not in others. All bad signs for avalanche danger.
Touring safely in such conditions isn't impossible, but even so, the snow isn't going to be great epic japow skiing and the weather conditions aren't going to be comfortable. Weather lately is a bit like golfing during a thunderstorm, a freak chance that there might be lightning nearby, but if there is its sure as hell gonna hit the guy with the big metal rod. But when you're on a 4 day holiday you force yourself into situations you wouldn't normally. I cant comment on their avalanche without more information tho, I didn't even look at a topo map yet. It could be just freaking unlucky. That it was in trees in the resort area suggests that it could be. They also had the gear to rescue their friend after all, so they weren't completely unprepared like most I see going out here (all people, especially Japanese, not just euros).
Ive put some comments on this thread. Id add here we should be cautious of speculating on the exact conditions on the hill yesterday. https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/latest-ski-tourism-news.82608/page-45#post-4166182
Boarded Furano yesterday and heading to again today. It looks pretty good. Could use a bit more snow in spots but the cover is in great condition. Off piste is not happening though. Very tracked out.
Got about 10cm last night and it looks like it’s coming in again toss after noon.
sorry about the sideways pic. I could not rotate it for some reason