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Hakuba 2010/11

Discussion in 'Japan' started by TJ, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. TJ

    TJ One of Us

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    Maybe so however with actual due respect to the family of the deceased man {edit} I will not take it any further.
     
    #401 TJ, Mar 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  2. Cham

    Cham One of Us

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    Good to see the love still remains in Hakuba ...

    Cricket season soon gents!!
     
  3. Charles

    Charles Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Some ranting on this thread, lets keep it on topic and keep positive. Japan needs positive threads and Cham, stop talking about the cricket after last nights result [​IMG]

    (Spot the England support sobbing behind his keyboard)

    Back on the topic of avalanches, it it normal for spring snow to be unstable in Hakuba or are these conditions unusual for this time of year?
     
    #403 Charles, Mar 27, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  4. damian

    damian A Local

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    March can generally offer more stable higher altitude alpine powder conditions as the storms are smaller and more manageable.

    Hmm, who knows what is certain. Here some generalities about early spring or the transition from winter to spring:

    RAIN CRUSTS:
    Basically once it rains in a place like Hakuba you have an avalanche problem as you get a crust in there. By the time March arrived, it had rained and suddenly we had problems. Until winter turns into real spring, this remains a problem. That is why a lot of big mountain riding is down here in Feb, before the first rain event. However that has other risks and limitations. These rain crusts then start to break down/transform and that is yet another weal layer in spring (I saw this a few days ago when I was able to trigger deep slab avalanches on small test slopes like it was a game). Of course, if it rains very early in the season, then this crust can be buried very deeply and is not a problem all winter. March rain crusts never get deeply buried, or, they are easily stripped back to the crust by winds on a place like the Happo ridge, just to get the next storm falling as a slab on that exposed crust. There is some classic very steep north facing deep powder out there right now, for example 60 minutes hike up the Goryu ridge, and I wouldn't touch it thanks to a crust that is near the surface. Others would.

    UPSIDE DOWN SNOW:
    Another cause of avalanche problems in Hakuba is upside down snow: dry windless un-rimed low density prefect snowflakes that fell gently onto the air surface and are then covered with dense rimed or windy snow. Those 'preserved stellars' as we call them stay down there for a while and are a weak layer. They also easily turn into even weaker sugary crystals as they were fine and delicate to begin with and transform more easily, or so I am told. You can get that at any time of year I guess, however this March there was a classic episode of it and 'we' (those in the local avalanche community) where well aware of it because it is one thing we are always looking out for and talking about.

    OVERCONFIDENCE FROM WINTER:
    I think what you saw this March was two months of over confidence coming after a consistent stable winter with low temps, no rain and regular small doses of snowfall and predictable short periods of instability that were easily managed. Lots of below treeline powder skiing without a care in the world. Then this population of careless and carefree confidence went charging out into a changed snowpack that was much more representative of a place like this, and, lots of people started to trip over avalanches. Add that to the fact that a number of people have far less intimate terrain knowledge than they'd like to think, and never do any proper trip planning. It happened to foreigners and Japanese regulars alike.

    March has perhaps been a little worse than normal. Perhaps? More likely: I'd say that Jan and Feb were more stable than normal leading to a false sense of 'avalanche wisdom' combined with people grossly overestimating their local terrain and snowpack knowledge whilst thinking that the mountains owe them big lines and an ego boost. A nasty recipe.

    There is very good powder or soft snow skiing that is relatively safe and stable nearly everyday of the season in the Hakuba backcountry. But most people refuse to dance the slow waltz when that is all the band is playing at the time.
     
    #404 damian, Mar 27, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  5. Charles

    Charles Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    I understand and thanks for the reply. I have been on one patch which to me did not feel right and soon a patrol person yelled this area is no longer safe. With absolute care I moved my way of the ledge and just wondered why the thing was open to start with. It felt like nice powder though not too steep and then I felt utter ice slabs under one section and though.. Hello, what is this?
    In Monty Python voices we whispered..
    Run away, Run away....
     
  6. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Yeah it is getting a bit tiresome and unprofessional...
    needs to be sorted out me thinks
     
    #406 Donza, Mar 28, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  7. TJ

    TJ One of Us

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    I need a hug Donz.
    About to head up to 47 to see if I can find some love.
     
  8. fattwins

    fattwins One of Us

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    An ignore feature would be nice at times.
     
  9. K@os

    K@os A Local

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    You can ignore posts from specific people - go to the persons profile and click 'ignore this user'. I can think of two people who should probably use that feature on eachother
     
  10. TJ

    TJ One of Us

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    C'mon Kaos I thought we were friends [​IMG]
    Anyway it was groomer heaven on 47 this morning with only a few stashes of pow left in the trees. The place was smashed more than I have ever seen. Perfect blue bird day.
     
    #410 TJ, Mar 28, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  11. K@os

    K@os A Local

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    I dont have any problems with either of you, but the two of you obviously do with each other, hence why use of the ignore function might be best for everyone [​IMG]
     
    #411 K@os, Mar 28, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  12. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    ^^^^ this

    its a bit childish .. but with serious undertones

    anyways...
    back to the snow
     
  13. parkmonkey

    parkmonkey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Its awesome, keep it going.
     
  14. MtHakuba

    MtHakuba Hard Yards

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    To Damian,

    Thanks for sharing that intricate knowledge re avos in hakuba with us. Hopefully at least some of us can take part of that info on board. I myself am quite spewing, because although I knew it was probably the most stable winter I had ever seen at Hakuba, I couldn't use it due to my knee injury (ps. I get it operated on next week). Big contrast to last Feb when I remember we either had rain events or heavy snowfall on top of rain events rendering everything unpredictable (or actually predictably extremely dangerous) in the slack and backcountry. With any luck next year we will have another winter like this one. See you up there bro.

    To TJ I have resisted from commenting in the ongoing online brawl between you and Damian, but one thing that is fairly obvious is that it is always you riling Damian. He never has a go at you first-it is always yourself commenting on his posts. Easy fix then just bite the tongue or hold the fingers. Unless you enjoy antagonizing him in which case you are an a-hole.
     
    #414 MtHakuba, Mar 28, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  15. fattwins

    fattwins One of Us

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    Oh both have had a go Mt. hakuba just you are only seeing the last month when TJ has been loosing.
     
  16. Cham

    Cham One of Us

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    Hey whats a bit of banter guys between locals?? To be fair I also agree....this has been ongoing for 2 seasons now so don't jump on the bandwagon of calling TJ an a-hole. You might as well call them both a-holes..haha. Don't take that personally Damian. Just a joke. From my observation it is clearly a difference of opinion on what Hakuba has and not have to offer people. Both are locals and both have their difference of opinion. One looks are Hakuba from just a resort perspective with some easy slack country options whilst Damien looks at it as a bad ar@e back country mecca. Hakuba has something for all right?

    Anyways I don't think this one will be sorted anytime soon. Maybe over a beer at the whitehorse bar at some stage?? Somehow I don't think so. ;-)

    Anyways I have found it entertaining. Keep it up gents.

    So how is the snow today anyhow. That is why we are all here right?
     
  17. andrew7

    andrew7 Hard Yards

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    Agree with Cham, how about you guys get together and smoke a peace pipe? Life's too short....
     
  18. MtHakuba

    MtHakuba Hard Yards

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    I didn't actually call him an a*hole Cham. Only said that IF he is stirring up Damian on purpose then he is, and I still stand by that. Having a difference of opinion is fine, stating it online is fine, but saying something with the sole purpose of provoking someone else is not. Well, let's see what next season brings........ It is entertaining internet that's for sure, but probably not doing either of them any favours business-wise.
     
  19. damian

    damian A Local

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    Pretty good actually, same as yesterday. Not everywhere is great, but certain zones can be milked for an unlimited supply of untracked over boot deep creamy pow.

    A nice view from today's travels:
    [​IMG]

    As for the rest of the current conversation, I hope you all understand that I'll just not comment, but will continue to call a spade a spade every now and then.
     
    #419 damian, Mar 29, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  20. Cham

    Cham One of Us

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    Hmmmm....Some nice lines in those mountains.
     
  21. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    #421 CarveMan, Mar 30, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013