Furano, Tomamu, Tokachi, Asahi Dake and surrounds 2016/17

Discussion in 'Japan' started by telenomore, Oct 11, 2016.

  1. telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    457
    Time to get the ball rolling as I'm claiming first turns for season 2016/17. Early cover in the Tokachi Mts above about 1100 metres after a good fall over the last few days. More to come by the look of it this week. Furano has had a few falls but still green. A couple of shots from this morning at Tokachi Dake Onsen.
    [​IMG]
    Tokachi range Oct 2016

    [​IMG]
    Biei Dake Tokachi Mts Oct 2016

    [​IMG]
    Track above Ryounkaku, Tokachi Dake Onsen Oct 2016

    [​IMG]
    Track above Ryounkaku, Tokachi Dake Onsen Oct 2016
     
    Any, LMB, Telemark Phat and 7 others like this.
  2. almontyrat

    almontyrat Well-Known Member
    Season Pass Silver

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Messages:
    756
    Likes Received:
    367
    Nice to see you on teles there, I thought we'd lost you to the AT darkside.....
     
    telenomore likes this.
  3. telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    457
    I swing both ways.
     
    JoeKing and almontyrat like this.
  4. Mike Pow

    Mike Pow Dedicated Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2014
    Messages:
    537
    Likes Received:
    596
    Well played :thumbs:
     
  5. telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    457
    Snow pack building much earlier than last year. Been snowing off and on for about a week now in Furano. Got up to Tokachi but blowing a gales yesterday, still, some pretty good snow for this time of year.[​IMG]
     
    Olgreg, LMB, Dumph and 2 others like this.
  6. Ramenman

    Ramenman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    951
    Likes Received:
    386
    It was -12.2 degree around Tokachi - Furano area this morning. And tenki.jp says 8th and 9th can be even colder and the snowfall can be more than 50cm within 24 hours between 8th and 9th. It's only the first week of November, but it seems winter has come there already.
    [​IMG]
     
    skifree likes this.
  7. telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    457
    Great start to the winter in central Hokkaido. Good base to 1600 metres but still a bit breakable above that. Blue bird today after a week of on and off snow. Looking like 50 plus cm over the next two days as per ramenman above, but that is still holding. Furano resort groomed today and looking at opening early. Currently scheduled for November 26. A couple of shots from today hunting for Tokachi gold, across the valley from Furano.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    croanster, prcoy, shabu_shabu and 4 others like this.
  8. ojisan

    ojisan Part of the Furniture
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Messages:
    15,692
    Likes Received:
    4,607
  9. telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    457
    Another day from a great early season. On the flanks of the Tokachi volcano. A few new scratches on the skis as snow lays over the old lava flows, and some of the rocks stay hot through winter. Monday looking good but then a November warm spell with rain down low next week and temps due to get 7-8 degrees in Furano.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Nozawaman, almontyrat, prcoy and 2 others like this.
  10. telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    457
    First day out since rain last weekend. Freeze level went up to about 1700 metres or possibly higher with rain throughout. But, that is good! Its November and it has frozen up high and created a solid base over the "haimatsu", the small bushes above treeline (about 1600m here) that require a good (preferably heavy) cover before you can even tour. Warm wet early snow smashes down the bamboo, Haimatsu etc and ensures a bush free base later in the season. Worst case is light dry snow falling December with no base, it can mean the shrubs stand tall all winter. Compared to this time last year, better snow and deeper cover. Still need more though but can't complain. Another autumn day in the Tokachi powder.
    [​IMG]
    Downtown Furano last night.

    [​IMG]
    Morven in the autumn powder, Tokachi Mts.
     
    Mike Pow, Vermillion and Pez like this.
  11. telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    457
    The season is well and truly on in central Hokkaido. Headed out today to our favourite runs in Tokachi under a thick fog and light snow, and just as we started climbing it cleared. Bushes now well enough covered to go for it anywhere. Still a bit of Sasa, but well out up with that. This has been a very good November. Kitanomine at Furano opening has been bought forward to Dec 14 and the grooming has started.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Silver

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    2,053
    Likes Received:
    1,378
    Utter bastard....
     
    smitty484, telenomore and Mike Pow like this.
  13. Goreng

    Goreng Just Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Can anyone recommend a good guide for a day in Asahidake? Going to be boarding there for 5 or so days from January 15th 2017 and wouldn't mind getting someone to show us around the mountain on the first day. Both advanced snowboarders but don't have any backcountry gear.

    Thanks!
     
  14. ojisan

    ojisan Part of the Furniture
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Messages:
    15,692
    Likes Received:
    4,607
    Can't help you but I hope you get a good weather window when you are there.
    From what I hear, the weather in January up that way can be pretty blardy fierce.
     
  15. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    22,588
    Likes Received:
    4,482
    Obvious answer is the creator of this thread.
     
  16. Tonester

    Tonester Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    3,721
    Likes Received:
    646
    https://backcountryskijapan.com/
    Can't recommend them....yet. I'm planning on going out to Asahidake with a guide when I'm there in February. Maybe if you end up using them you could report back?
     
  17. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    22,588
    Likes Received:
    4,482
    Well there you go. While Tonester can't recommend them (yet), I certainly can having done several trips over the last 25 years with John. He knows Central Hokkaido backcountry better than anyone.

    The other good option would be these guys: http://www.hokkaidopowderguides.com
    I haven't skied with Chuck myself but he has been in the region for around 10 years so knows it well (just not as long as John).
     
    Tonester and PMG like this.
  18. Goreng

    Goreng Just Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Tonester likes this.
  19. Julio

    Julio Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    52
    Hey Tele, any update on conditions in your neck of the woods…?

    I'm seeing some more white gold heading your way over the coming week. It's usually this time of year I begin dreaming of Hokkaido again. Thinking another white xmas could be on the cards….
     
  20. telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    457
    Hey @Julio see above! Currently getting cycles, with lows spinning up from the south so fluctuating between dry and wet, were skiing the peaks at the moment. Good news though building a great base. Furano was groomed on the weekend and yes, the next week looking like more goodness. Currently all resorts in central Hokkaido open to some extent but not all lifts open yet. Asahi Dake has over a 2 metre base and opened on the weekend, pretty much 2/3 weeks earlier than usual. Wed/Thurs this week looking the goods.
     
    Tonester likes this.
  21. travelislife

    travelislife Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    567
    Any update on how Tomamu and Sahoro are tracking? Have car booked and no accom anywhere yet! Looking to sort some out this weekend probably.
     
  22. Goreng

    Goreng Just Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Does anyone know when the Kitanomine side of Furano usually opens? Will it be open by early January?
     
  23. telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    457
    Was scheduled to open today but has been postponed till next week.
     
  24. telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    457
    Might be too late for you, but still light in over that side. 2 lifts running at Tomamu, not sure about Sahoro.
     
  25. travelislife

    travelislife Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    567
    Hmm bugger, looks like should avoid at the moment. Nah all good, haven't booked anything at this stage. Only have car booked in/out of Sapporo. Might mean it is worthwhile heading your way first up. Have you been out Kamui way at all? I like finishing the trip up with a couple of nights in Sapporo and a couple of midweek days at Tiene and Kokusai. It is just a nice short drive from Sapporo to Tomamu first up rather than trekking to Furano.
     
  26. telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    457
    Blue sky, -20 and no wind. Headed out for a climb up though an area I hadn't visited before (on this route at least), into the foothills of Mt Biei Fuji. First trip so didn't find a lot of vertical but found plenty for next time, and what we found was pretty amazing. Camera failed me at the worst moment. Refused to focus due to some condensation on the filter.
    On to other things, the Kitanomine side at Furano was due to open yesterday but has been postponed. It looks good but just some light patches at the bottom, so assume next snow fall, it will open.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  27. telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    457
    Not sure of your dates? But currently Asahikawa has had a lot more snow than Furano. I saw some local footage from Kamui and it is fully open. Not sure of the backside of the hill though, might still be a bit gnarly.
     
  28. travelislife

    travelislife Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    567
    Thanks. We are in to Sapporo on the 1st of Jan and out of Sapporo on the 12th of Jan.

    Prefer small Japanese style accommodation, just wary of having nothing booked at all as although we are experienced travelling in Japan we have no Japanese! And don't want to be spending heaps of our time on holiday online looking for accom.
     
  29. seekingpow

    seekingpow Dedicated Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    2,701
    Likes Received:
    233
    What's the vibe around the locals etc regarding how Furano is tracking against other seasons and where the signs are pointing?

    Cheers
     
  30. telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    457
    Up on most recent years at the same time, although the last 4 days no new snow so still waiting for Kitanomine to fully open, partially open at the moment. Freeze line went up to about 400 m 2 days ago on the resort, although Tokachi 2 days ago still dry as. Might be best to report back tomorrow though as tonight is looking epic for us, but until it's on the ground, I'll hold off. Forecasts have backed of the higher temps. Still a chance of some rain tonight but most forecasts (and local farmers!) now holding snow to 50+cm over the next 24 hours. Tomamu and Sahoro should definitely do better from a travelling low. Asahi Dake full on and Kamui still needs another 30+ of base snow for the backside to be fully skiable. Skiing Kamui on Saturday and Tomamu on Sunday so Ill report back on that.
     
    travelislife likes this.
  31. Goreng

    Goreng Just Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Sorry what do you mean by "Asahi Dake full on"?
     
  32. Tonester

    Tonester Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    3,721
    Likes Received:
    646
    Will eagerly await the Kamui and Tomamu reports!
     
    travelislife and munders like this.
  33. telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    457
    Snow depth and cover visibly looks like mid winter.
     
    travelislife likes this.
  34. travelislife

    travelislife Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    567
    Thanks for the updates @telenomore Still have no accom booked. Was thinking of heading straight to Kamui way to start and loop back through Furano, Tomamu, Sahor and the resorts close to Sapporo. But concerned if backside of Kamui isn't open yet.
     
  35. telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    457
    Dont despair, big system overnight, we are there Sunday for first hand look but I'd say its all go central Hokkaido after this storm. Been snowing and blowing since midday yesterday, haven't been out yet but am seeing big accumulations in Kitanomine. 6:30 am here and wind still rocking the house with heavy snow continuing to fall.
     
    travelislife likes this.
  36. pedub

    pedub Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2015
    Messages:
    517
    Likes Received:
    297


    Anyone know what this means? Are they changing their attitude to off-piste? Thought they were always pretty relaxed on that.
     
  37. telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    457
    Its just standard ski resort rules, nothing to do with out of bounds. Speed, control, braking, obey patrol etc. Same stuff you'll find at any resort
     
  38. pedub

    pedub Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2015
    Messages:
    517
    Likes Received:
    297
    Ah OK. Previously I thought they said pretty much "ski wherever".

    Looking forward to my visit in Feb :)

    A question on the back side of kamui: I didn't ski it last time but assume you head straight ahead off the gondola then head left semi traversing around until you meet up with the area accessed from the gate at the top of the far left chair (looking up from the base)?? Any tips for this area? Is it all still marked with those orange tags?
     
  39. telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    457
    Merry xmas all. Couple of pics from yesterday. Tomamu really delivers the goods in terms of blue sky and boot deep powder. It is rarely bottomless but hey, not complaining. This last storm has ensured Tomamu is fully skiable, although the top chair wasn't running yesterday.
    Just on that, the wind pretty much scoured everything above treeline in central Hokkaido, so Asahi Dake wont be great till the next snowfall (a couple of days by the looks of it) and the high gullies at Furano are very scoured, so stay in the trees for the next few days. Kitanomine now fully open and gondola's first day is today.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  40. telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    457
    Follow your nose !'d say. Bit reticent to give advice on out of bounds on a public forum. There are signs at the top, near the top of the gondola indicating it is out of bounds and their is avi risk and a rope to go across and you are meant to sign in and back out with the ski patrol. Most people ignore this but that is a personal choice. The most objective danger though is glide cracks, and these rarely avalanche, but very big crevasse like cracks open up, which in most cases can't be seen from above. People have been injured skiing into them.
     
  41. oreo

    oreo Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,452
    Likes Received:
    173
    Bit more than boot deep yesterday at Furano...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Draizuh, Froff Life, Gimp and 3 others like this.
  42. pedub

    pedub Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2015
    Messages:
    517
    Likes Received:
    297
    Cheers.

    Saw glide cracks last season out the gate from the top of no 5 lift. Patrol had actually put a rope up with a sign saying "cracks". I have avi gear, my only concern is missing the way out to the lift, but from the videos i've seen you need to head left of the fall line. And I could spot a rope or markers in the video which seem to indicate point of no (easy) return.

    The reason I'm asking as it seems like a small area to shell out for a guide on. There's plenty of inbounds goodness at Kamui but since people talk about the back bowl a lot, I feel like trying it.
     
  43. travelislife

    travelislife Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    567
    Can anyone recom
    It is good fun out there. We headed a bit far right one time and it was a bit of a slog back in towards the bottom but otherwise you just have to watch for where the scrubby trees get too thick and you can get a bit stuck.
     
  44. Toto Warmlet

    Toto Warmlet Dedicated Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2003
    Messages:
    3,164
    Likes Received:
    224
  45. Tanuki

    Tanuki Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,018
    Likes Received:
    1,249
    Apparently a bear was seen up top at Furano today. Shut down some of the lifts
     
    Michkin and pedub like this.
  46. telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    457
    So Gulliver was a skier. Speaking of Yezo, or I think Ezo as its used here (phonetics vary), Mt Yotei is also known as Ezo Fuji, the Mt Fuji of Hokkaido.
     
  47. travelislife

    travelislife Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    567
    How are the ski schools in Furano? My wife is an intermediate skier and looking to get some tips on progression, I have tried to help out a bit but am in no way a skier with the right technique so she shouldn't be learning off me! Is there someone who people would recommend?

    Also interested in anyone's recommendations on Accommodation around the area. Do have car. Last time stayed at North Country Inn. Prefer lodge or ryokan style over hotel.
     
  48. pedub

    pedub Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2015
    Messages:
    517
    Likes Received:
    297
  49. pedub

    pedub Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2015
    Messages:
    517
    Likes Received:
    297
    I must say
    He'd struggle to fit in the gondola
     
  50. travelislife

    travelislife Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    567
    Thanks. Looks a bit 'soulless'. But might not have many options, look like we left the run a bit late, looking for accom 1st Jan- 5th Jan most likely. Would be nice to get something around $150 (12000-14000Yen) a night for a couple.
     
    #50 travelislife, Dec 26, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016