1. There's more to this forum than meets the eye!

    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 or continue browsing and reading as a guest.

    NOTE: This notice may be closed.

    Dismiss Notice

Hakuba -am I jumping at shadows -help wanted

Discussion in 'Japan' started by miro67, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. miro67

    miro67 Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    1
    Some advice from those experienced at Hakuba. For the past three years we have skied at Niseko in late Jan / early Feb. This year we are probably making the change and going to Hakuba (looking for some longer runs, new slopes, and hopefully similar amounts of snow). I have read a whole lot of info on the net about Hakuba and it has left me a little concerned. So, some help please.

    1. How cold would it normally be on mountain in the first two weeks of February? (it doesn't seem nearly as cold as Niseko)

    2. It seems to rain a lot in Hakuba (it has rained at some point each year that I read about 2006-2009), is this a problem? (not much worse than skiing in the rain in my mind).

    Love to hear some feedback from those who have been a few times.
     
  2. timmyhugecans

    timmyhugecans One of Us

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    2,352
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Harrietville
    The Temp is usually around -5 to 0 most of jan-feb.
    It can rain, but rain usually turns to snow.
     
  3. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    63,971
    Likes Received:
    11,261
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    It's NEVER rained when I've been at Hakuba.

    SOME people say I'm just lucky!!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    #3 Sandy, Sep 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  4. John Deere

    John Deere First Runs

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    16,058
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Sydney
    It's never rained when I have been at Hotham....I watch the forecast [​IMG]

    But seriously, worryiong about rain in Hakuba is like worrying about having a hysterectomy and being a bloke! It could happen, but only if lots of things go wrong first!!
     
    #4 John Deere, Sep 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  5. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Messages:
    21,943
    Likes Received:
    1,234
    Location:
    Brisbane
    From my observations, Honshu (Nagano/Niigata) resorts tend to get more rain/warm days (down low) than Hokkaido. However, there is still plenty of snow that falls. I have been to Hokkaido twice, and have now made the change to Honshu for next season.
     
  6. damian

    damian A Local

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Messages:
    5,323
    Likes Received:
    184
    Location:
    Hakuba, Japan.
    I have lived in Hakuba for two years and this is a bad for business fair assessment of the situation. [​IMG] An informed visitor is better than an uninformed and consequently disappointed visitor who then takes bad vibes home with them. But it is hardly worth the beat up it gets – Hakuba keeps a lot of people very very happy.

    I've got personal weather data for every day of the season and most days in the valley it approaches zero. -5C on the hill is typical by midday. -10C is about as cold as you will have to handle unless you go higher into the backcountry.

    Last season is an unfair indicator for rain frequency. But none the less, it still rains once a season just like places such as Whistler. As Timmy said, what starts as rain usually turns to snow pretty fast.
     
    #6 damian, Sep 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2013
  7. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Messages:
    21,943
    Likes Received:
    1,234
    Location:
    Brisbane
    It even rained in Niseko and Furano for half a day both times I was there. Just the reality of weather dependant sports.

    I remember Dad telling me a story about a patient of his who was a manager at one of the hotels in Coolangatta, and about how the tourists were blaming the resort one year when Coolangatta recieved a week of rain over Christmas/ New year.
     
  8. rangerider

    rangerider A Local

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Messages:
    6,549
    Likes Received:
    167
    I went to Hakuba for the first time for a couple of weeks in late Jan/early Feb this year and it rained a little bit for a couple of days but I mostly got great conditions. Mostly top to bottom bluebird days with awesome conditions, especially up high and an epic pow day in what was considered to be a poor season. Needless to say I'm itching to get back there again next year.
     
  9. sli1

    sli1 One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,546
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Perth
    Sandy has been waiting for me to chime in to this one. It has rained every two week holiday I have been on in Hakuba (4x). The periods of rain have been a day or less so you don't have to ski in it ! They get heaps of snow as well though.
     
  10. Hammerhead

    Hammerhead First Runs

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NSW
    What precipitated the change Smitty?
     
    #10 Hammerhead, Sep 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  11. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Messages:
    21,943
    Likes Received:
    1,234
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I must say, after last season I was a little anxious about choosing Honshu over Hokkaido, however I decided to change for a few reasons.

    1. I snagged the cheap 2 for 1 deal flights with Jet* and it was just easier and cheaper to visit Honshu resorts than rather try and fly into New Chitose.
    2. I spent 2 days at New Chitose airport this Feb after I was snowed in, and I didn’t want to experience this again. (However I accept this is a rare thing to happen)
    3. I have visited Niseko and Furano + surrounding areas so the only places I want to visit on Hokkaido now are Kioro Snow World and Rusutsu.
    4. And basically after reading up on a number of the Honshu resorts I am looking forward to testing out new places and exploring new areas. I am not a huge fan of visiting reorts over and over again.
     
  12. fattwins

    fattwins One of Us

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    3,528
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    japan
    Hakubas elevation usually saves it from rain up high. Last year was a slap in the face across all of Japan, Hokkaido had quite a few rain events as well. Even in that bad season we still skied into may no problems.
     
  13. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,611
    Location:
    wollongong
    I can appreciate your concern. Had the same conundrum a couple of years back.
    Its not helped by the last couple of seasons in japan having some variable weather.
    Its also magnified by the marketing arm of those niseko companies that have convinced so many that the best deepest and most reliable snow in japan is in Niseko.
    The mindset i have is the benefits in Honshu (better mountains, less people, cheaper, more variety of ski hil) far out weigh the negatives..(not as much snow, lacks IMHO in some ways the "magical" snowiness of Hokkaido)
     
    #13 Donza, Sep 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  14. miro67

    miro67 Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    1
    Guys, thanks for the responses, it certainly makes me feel more comfortable when the general trend is "yes it might rain, but generally snow quality remains good".

    One other point, are there more or less people in Hakuba v Niseko -I assume (a guess) that Niseko is generally busier but Hakuba is busier on weekends due to proximity to Tokyo?

    Thanks again.
     
  15. TJ

    TJ One of Us

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2000
    Messages:
    3,509
    Likes Received:
    519
    Location:
    Hakuba, Japan
    Best advice is to ask sli1 when he is going and then choose different dates [​IMG]

    Another tip is just because it is raining in the valley doesn't mean it is the same up top. There is a big temperature difference over the 1000+ meters.

    There are 9 resort areas in the Hakuba Valley. It is easy to escape the crowds on the weekends and National holidays. Although if you have ever been to Buller on a weekend you would say that Hakuba does not have crowds at all.
     
    #15 TJ, Sep 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  16. rangerider

    rangerider A Local

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Messages:
    6,549
    Likes Received:
    167
    I couldn't believe how uncrowded it was during the week. When the weekends come around you'll do well to leave Happo or Goryu/47 and venture a little further out. Having said that, from what I saw it never got all that crowded on weekends anyway, just a lot more people than during the week but no hassle and very short lift lines if at all.
     
  17. damian

    damian A Local

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Messages:
    5,323
    Likes Received:
    184
    Location:
    Hakuba, Japan.
    I don’t use the resorts much - usually only when it is stormy and I want a day off from backcountry. But my take on crowds is:

    - Happo: ski onto the chairlifts almost without exception.
    - H47: there is a bottle neck on the chair when you get of the gondola and on a busy weekend that can have a long line.
    Tsugaike: avoid the gondola at all costs on some weekends at around 9am. But the biggest problem is Japanese national holidays. The line up can be massive. I use it a lot for bc access and on those days when I was lazy and slept in, I kick myself in that long line. But Tsugaike has so many lifts that it is impossible not to find some that are utterly empty once you are on the hill. Plus you don’t need to use the gondola anyway.
    - Cortina on a weekday is your own private resort (and a bloody good little one at that, best in the valley)
    - Sun Alpina: empty.
    - Goryu: Ignoring the beinners terrain at the bottom, Goryu is really only a one-run resort but I still usually ski onto the chairs. The lower section is sometimes insanely busy with beginners on weekend. If the upper part is shut due to wind, avoid the base at all costs. I live up hill of the Goryu gondola and see the crowds on the lower beginner runs often.

    Other than that, Hakuba is not typically crowded at all except when upper lifts are shut due to wind. And if it is windy, go to Iwatake or Sun Alpina, they usually have something spinning.

    Keep in mind though that of the 9 resorts to choose from, some are so small that they really don’t count as ski resorts or some are practically the same resort so only count as one.

    As for Hakuba and snow quantity: in the average season you will get 10 meters of snow falling at 800m in the valley. That’s enough.

    And good points about rain in Niseko. It rains there, just not as frequently.
     
  18. rangerider

    rangerider A Local

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Messages:
    6,549
    Likes Received:
    167
    What days are Japanese national holidays? I'll plan around them.
     
  19. benchives

    benchives Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Messages:
    15,858
    Likes Received:
    5,618
    Location:
    sydney
    and any other weird holidays in Feb pls lettuce nose.
     
  20. Ian D

    Ian D Pool Room Staff Member Administrator Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 1995
    Messages:
    45,820
    Likes Received:
    7,032
    Location:
    Newcastle
    #20 Ian D, Sep 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  21. rangerider

    rangerider A Local

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Messages:
    6,549
    Likes Received:
    167
    Yep incredible. [​IMG] Cheers Ian D.
     
    #21 rangerider, Sep 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  22. HakubaBCbum

    HakubaBCbum First Runs

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Hakuba, Nagano prefecture, Japan
    Rain events last year - counted by looking at the snowjapan archives (count em yourself if you don' beleive me!)

    Niseko

    December 5th,8th,9th,10th,17th,20th

    January 19th,23rd,29th

    February 13th,14th

    March 6th,9th,10th,13th,14th,17th,19th,22nd,23rd

    Hakuba

    December 5th,9th,11th,12th,18th

    January 18th,20th,31st

    February 14th,20th,25th

    March 6th,14th,20th,22nd

    Last year was a freak year in terms of mid season rainfall in both Niseko and Hakuba. Funnily enough there were actually more rain days in Niseko which I wasn't expecting with all the hype about the place.

    I wouldn't worry too much. There is usually 1 and possibly two rain events mid season in Hakuba and those rain events for the most part turn straight into humungous dumps of snow. I've been in Hakuba 11 seasons and there have only been two iffy seasons (last season and three seasons ago) and even in those seasons I still got plenty of powder. The other seasons were all pretty much non stop powder the whole way through!
     
    #22 HakubaBCbum, Sep 30, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2013
  23. Go Native

    Go Native One of Us

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,568
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Inverloch
    I checked the Hakuba reports and there were many days where it was mentioned that rain was forecast and then the following report didn't mention if it did or not. I suspect there quite a few more rain events than mentioned above.
    Peak depth in Niseko last season was close to 4.5m at Annupuri whereas Hakuba didn't get much beyond 2.6m. I've done 6 seasons in Niseko and it wasn't the best but it wasn't that bad either, certainly not the shocker experienced down south. I would say last season was better than the year before up here.
    Anyway here's all hoping we have at least a return to more normal conditions this coming winter!
     
  24. fattwins

    fattwins One of Us

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    3,528
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    japan
    Shocker down south? Thats a bit much when you count the rain in Hokkaido.
    20 rain events to the usual 1. Lets be a bit more honest than throwing a bit of
    BS.

    Look at paedde's TRs and youll see how the season really progressed down south.

    http://www.tetongravity.com/FORUMS/showthread.php?t=146237

    Maybe even check
    http://modestbike.com/studio/?m=200901

    My year had horrible luck as it rained only on fridays.
    When I dug pits I hit well over 2 meters at 1300 meters on norikura
    and well over 3meters above Tsugaike. damian has guide data on depths
     
    #24 fattwins, Oct 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  25. Go Native

    Go Native One of Us

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,568
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Inverloch
    I was just looking at official depths fattwins and not everyone is able to ski up high outside of the resort boundary to get to the good stuff like you. From what I saw in the reports for Hakuba there was barely any natural snowdepth to village level until almost the end of December. From what I can find of snowfall amounts on JMA from the region many areas recorded the lowest snowfalls ever recorded. If that's not a shocker I don't know what is. I wasn't suggesting there weren't any good days and we all know how big your mountains are down there so I'm sure you found some great stuff but at lower level resorts and certainly at valley level it would have been one of the worst snow seasons in living memory.
    Up North we actually had more snow fall in Kutchan than the previous 2 seasons and greater snowdepths on the mountain. It wasn't all that bad a season at all. So sure let's be a little honest shall we?
     
  26. fattwins

    fattwins One of Us

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    3,528
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    japan
    Im not talking up that high 1300meters is mid mountain but I actually shouldve written about 1450 for that snow depth. And when it rained last year on friday it rained right to the top. Thus most of my hiking during that time wasnt fun. I walked a few days just to walk.
    I know we had a less than stellar year, but to write shocking while not refering to your own (hoks) 20 rain events as not as shocking, is in itself shocking! Hakuba base hit about 7 meters and people skied into May on piste. We were doing quite well untill the ureal rain happened sometime in Feb. The storm struck from Hoks through Honshu. I forget the volume of water but it was like a typhoon. It turned creeks into rivers that then flowed onto the snow and destroyed the lower base.

    Other people skied well into June and few into July. All in all the season for some started in Oct and ended in July. For me it started on Nov 21st and went till May.

    Take a look at Paeddes reports. He almost never hikes. I got him into short hiking last season but really only on weekends. Paedde has no ties to anyone.
     
  27. Go Native

    Go Native One of Us

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,568
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Inverloch
    I looked at his reports and he mentions that the snow depth was only about a 1/4 of what he was used to. And yes I was shocked at the number of times it rained last season up here but the events were mostly light, short lived and followed by large amounts of snow. We still ended up with snowdepths on the upper mountain that exceeded the average max depth over the last 10 years. Even in Kutchan at only 175m we still got to a max depth of 1.90m on the ground. Looking at snow reports from the Hakuba region last season many areas struggled to get to even that depth. As I mentioned total snowfall in Kutchan was more last season than the previous 2 seasons. Was the snowfall in Hakuba more last season than previous years? That storm you mentioned in Feb did not have a devastating effect on us and overall we had went up in depth significantly. Everyone recognised that Hokkaido did far better than Honshu for snow last season, or are you now trying rewrite the history books?

    I remember many reports from people in Hakuba last season being very shocked at the poor conditions they experienced but if it makes you feel better lets not call it a shocker, just a little below average season that had it's ups and downs. How's that sound?
     
  28. Stemik

    Stemik Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Hakuba, Japan
    call it like it should "it was a crap snow year"
    How Hakuba 47 managed to have top to base skiing until May is amazing.
    Its quite interesting but Hakuba`s overall figures were quite good for last season, I guess this was because that the other resorts in Honshu were a lot more worse off.......
     
  29. fattwins

    fattwins One of Us

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    3,528
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    japan
    I dont know where you get the 1/4 figure that is pushing it a bit. We fell about 20 to 25% less than average and faired quite well compared to other areas. It is like much of the marketing that comes out of Hokkaido "if it aint here you have to worry about the snow". The season there was a shocker but please forget it rained 20 times here as well. The Hokkaido marketing machine works quite well. Heck Charmont Hiuchi and Hakkoda are considered to have the biggest nowfalls in Japan yet somehow Niseko trumps them.

    I think I have been rather honest when it comes to how the season went here. Stating in many posts that we had rain but it went both ways didnt it. Myself have stayed away from big action words about how the season was for others.
    But if you want to go down that road.
    Last season I had guests that werent happy about being skunked 3 times. First by the high yen. Second by not geting snow the prevous season in Hokkaid. Third getting the strike out last season here in Hakuba. It was a bitter pill to sallow for some and a rather expensive one.

    Getting the weather data from some sources is a joke. Most have a vested interest in posting that it is better than it really is. The true indication of weather is to go through the avalanche reports. There is no vested interest there. It isnt run by a book agent or and ski school that needs to put a shine on the weather.

    Lastly Im not talking about re-writing the histroy books but to quote you. For a guy that hasnt even been here how can you use such an action word to discribe a place or places that you have never even seen?
     
  30. sli1

    sli1 One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,546
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Perth
    When you say overall figures - you mean skier no's or snow ?

    The time period over which the lower areas of the Hakuba valley had skiabe cover was very short last year. How many weeks was the bottom of Iwatake skiable ? 6 weeks ?
     
    #30 sli1, Oct 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  31. Stemik

    Stemik Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Hakuba, Japan

    of course ski numbers

    Iwatake had a harder year than most - first they do not have any snowmaking machines, so it was difficult to repair snow cover damaged by rain or by over use.

    Iwatake hosted the Nagano schools, all Japan inter high schools, as well as lot of other competitions last year.
    I think all the above contributed to their poor season.
    I guess top to bottom was open from Xmas though to early march, though a lot of bare patches were showing at different times of the season
     
    #31 Stemik, Oct 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  32. damian

    damian A Local

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Messages:
    5,323
    Likes Received:
    184
    Location:
    Hakuba, Japan.
    Hey Captain Conjecture, why don't you browse my actual reports based on written notes from being out there nearly very day to see if it matches with when SJ report forecast rain, but never mentioned it falling. No vested interest here as these are guides notes and we make safety decisions based on them. So we don’t just lie to make Hakuba look good. Not that I am suggesting the scribe for SJ lies – but you suggested he did. There are several pages, you need to work backwards from page 4 to page 1.

    http://steepdeepjapan.com/diary Just filter on Damians Weather Diary and look at pages 1-4

    If you don't want to do that, just check this, much quicker but less accurate liquid precip indicator because this data was recorded at 7am every day – not over a time window. If it was raining at 7am, it will say so. I did a rough count and saw 12 instances of 7am rain. Look at the column named “precip type and rateâ€.
    http://steepdeepjapan.com/tenki-data

    And just for fun I will thumb through my hand written avalanche field books, I fill about 5 per season, and count every instance where I noted rain…. Just did it: 15 instances. There you go. The data posted to SJ by another Hakuba resident was accurate.

    It is hard to argue with a match between two different sources of numerical data, both collected by different guiding operations.
     
    #32 damian, Oct 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  33. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Messages:
    21,943
    Likes Received:
    1,234
    Location:
    Brisbane
    To GN, Niseko is the world.
     
  34. Charles

    Charles Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    146
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Thanks Damian for the previous info. Well I was in the same boat after doing two seasons up North in Niseko. Last season I was over early February and I think it snowed heavier in the City of Sapporo that it did in Niseko. Made a mess of the snow festival when I visited it.

    I think the snow was better in 2008 in Niseko just with the amount of snow but mainly temperature being warmer in 2009. I still love Niseko and will be back some time in the future but I need a change and Hakuba looks the goods.

    [​IMG]
    Here is a useless comparison from 2008 and 2009

    It never really got as cold compared to 2008. What does this mean?
    Just an excuse to post another pic.
     
    #34 Charles, Oct 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  35. damian

    damian A Local

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Messages:
    5,323
    Likes Received:
    184
    Location:
    Hakuba, Japan.
    ^ Awesome comparative data analsyis! Top job [​IMG]
     
    #35 damian, Oct 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  36. Go Native

    Go Native One of Us

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,568
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Inverloch
    Get your hand off it fattwins. For years you bagged the hell out of the terrain in Niseko without ever having been here.
    I love the way you talk about the 'marketing machine' in Niseko. Exactly who do you think does this marketing? A lot of stuff gets written about Niseko but little of it originates from here. I know the company I work for doesn't ever do any marketing about the snowfalls anymore. As we're mostly marketing in Asia now huge snowfalls aren't the big draw card for that market, few can ski worth a damn.
    Maybe we should just agree that neither of us have any idea about each others ski areas but of course that just wouldn't be as much fun! [​IMG]
     
    #36 Go Native, Oct 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  37. damian

    damian A Local

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Messages:
    5,323
    Likes Received:
    184
    Location:
    Hakuba, Japan.
    You just have to look at the pictures of the off-piste to see where he has been coming from for all of those years.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    More comparative data analysis [​IMG]
     
    #37 damian, Oct 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  38. snowishing

    snowishing Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Messages:
    765
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    WA
    Talk about a thread hijack!!!

    I am going to niseko for the first time this feb. Have spent a month in hak the past two seasons (last year being quite a bit worse than the year before). Hopefully i can get a comparison of niseko vs 2007/08 hakuba season which i understand was a fairly normal season.

    GN, i think all fattwins was elluding to was that niseko had a lot more rain events than usual which from what a lot of people read, they would never expect to happen. Maybe not a shocker in terms of snow depth, but one to do with quality which is normally extremely reliable???

    Both you guys seem very bias and each love where you ski for reasons that you know about. In the end does it really matter or does it effect each others egos when something negative is written about either?
     
  39. Simonw

    Simonw First Runs

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Poor form.

    Both areas have their merits. Having not ridden at Hakuba (I have ridden Nozawa though), I cannot make comment, though it would be reasonable to say that both areas get a lot of snow, and both areas have great terrain.

    One day I would love to have a hike at Hakuba.
     
  40. timmyhugecans

    timmyhugecans One of Us

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    2,352
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Harrietville
    The thing I noticed last year, as mentioned by charles in his"comparative data analysis"
    was the high temps in the middle of winter. Very unusual. a lot of the time when it snowed, followed by warm temps =no good.
     
  41. TACKIE

    TACKIE One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2002
    Messages:
    1,803
    Likes Received:
    1,201
    Location:
    warmer climes
    Does not matter if you go to Honshu or Hoks,or if its a good season or indifferent one, it's still going to be consistantly better that anything we get in Aus. Just dont let your percieved expectations outweigh reality.
     
  42. HakubaBCbum

    HakubaBCbum First Runs

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Hakuba, Nagano prefecture, Japan
    A lot of the powder days were in the valley this year actually. When it did snow it dumped down to valley level..

    We just shuttled our guests along the road to Tsugaike and Cortina which had 1-1.5m down bottom and over 3m up top.

    In a usual season that end of the valley ends up with over a 5m base up top

    I usually mostly ski the Goryu, happo end of the valley but this year I spent most of my time over that end.
     
    #42 HakubaBCbum, Oct 2, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  43. fattwins

    fattwins One of Us

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    3,528
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    japan
    When you make posts such as this GN or mikepow's or timmys pictures or my TRs it is marketing pure and simple. You are trying to effect the decisions of others to justify your own agenda. As much s I hate to admit it it is true. I used and still post because I love TRs. I did it when I had no agenda. I still like to make myself believe that I dont have an agenda but as a lodge owner now that is far from the truth. Some would say "well I would post even if I wasnt working here". Sure I would still post I love snow and I love following winter 365 days a year. But the cold hard fast is we are part of the industry. The Niseko marketing machine is great, it is works well. I wish Hakuba could understand proper marketing, it sure as hell doesnt. Hakuba is re-action marketing basically it copies and pastes what Niseko does, normally 2 years after Niseko!

    Now a Reply

    Ill pass the compartive ball to Damian. Ive been down that road and most people only need to search the net to find out my opinion. Still love those pics!

    My point being is if you think Hakuba had a shocker then what is 20 rain events? To a ski patroller, guide maybe a guest expecting -10 light dry snow, isnt this shocking? In a thread that is talking about whether someone should or should not go somewhere, it is important to get some truths out there. The winter in Japan was off the rockers strange last season.


    My ego is fine. Im happy Niseko gets large numbers of guests.
    If Niseko went bust that would truely hurt the Japanese ski market. Which means hurting Hakuba as well. If the Niseko property market blew up completely what good would that do? Who would buy those apartments? Not Japanese you only have to drive to Yuzawa to see what happened there. (Get Sandy to show a picture of all the empty apartment blocks, you can have a 3LDK for 5million yen, 1.5hours from Tokyo, 400 inshes of snow near Kagura. the ski property market in Japan in almost all foreign capitol). I have actually expressed this to GN on more than one occasion. In 30 years the Japanese ski industry will have shrunk to a more sustaintable size. Niseko and Hakuba will more than likely be some of the bigger winners hopefully when this happens.
     
  44. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,611
    Location:
    wollongong
    I've said it before and i'll say it again.
    If the Hakuba Valley was in North America. (large vert Ie it got 400 inches of snow a year, had say 10 resorts within 30mins, BC access like it does and it had 50 buck a day tix) it would simply be one of the best resort areas in the world.
    You'd put up with a bit of rain...
    You'd also prob see this area (eg below) absolutely getting smashed with more tracks than on a punk rock CD.
    [​IMG]
     
    #44 Donza, Oct 2, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  45. damian

    damian A Local

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Messages:
    5,323
    Likes Received:
    184
    Location:
    Hakuba, Japan.
    What ever type of ball that is, I don’t think I want it.

    Anyway, your points are fair. I’ve been posting a lot of web content (snow pack beta, weather data, written work and lots of photos) for two seasons in Hakuba… all without a vested interest to motivate me. I now have a small vested interest. But more important to me than short term client flow is seeing the right people come here for the right reasons, which in the long run will benefit core alpine service. By ‘right people’ I mean people who want what Hakuba uniquely offers in Japan.

    As for last season, and the topic of this thread, for the nth time, it was a shocker across the country it seems. I don’t follow Niseko’s weather at all and so was amazed to see that it had 20 rain events there. I would have bet money against that happening a few years ago.
    Hey Donza, if you boned about the south side of Happo, you''l cream over the less frequently photographed north side (the giant treeless ridge in the middle, as if you didn't know that [​IMG] )

    [​IMG]
     
    #45 damian, Oct 2, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  46. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,611
    Location:
    wollongong
    Do you think Hakuba is marketing itself to the wrong customer (In regards to Australia)..I get that feeling.
    IMO some of the crew that goto Hakuba expect something and reality is its alot diffirent.
     
    #46 Donza, Oct 2, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  47. damian

    damian A Local

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Messages:
    5,323
    Likes Received:
    184
    Location:
    Hakuba, Japan.
    I would get hunted down and executed if I answered that question.

    Let me just say that plenty of visitors to Hakuba would be just as happy in, say, the Yuzawa area. Yet, by comparison, there are better places in France for a family ski holiday than Chamonix, yet plenty of families still want to go to Cham.

    And on the other end of the spectrum, I get a quite a few complaints from people who came here expecting endless inbound steep gnar... and asking where the hell it is. They are North Americans, typically from ski areas with genuine gnar. I usually end up inviting them along for a non-guided backcountry trip.

    All up, what Hakuba has that no other established resort town has in Japan is... genuinely something for everyone. From beginner to world class extreme skier with solid mountaineering skills. Haks is more than a set of ski resorts and should not be viewed just as that. It is a mountain environment with ski resorts: the closest thing to Chamonix in Japan (yet WAAAAY below Chamonix, don't get me wrong there!)
     
  48. HakubaBCbum

    HakubaBCbum First Runs

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Hakuba, Nagano prefecture, Japan
    I've spent a month skiing in Niseko back in 2001 and my business partner spent two seasons there and now we both live in Hakuba. Does that give me the right to Bag Niseko?

    Actually, I don't want to. I didn't post the rainfall data to diss Niseko, I posted the rainfall data because I was getting sick of GN telling people not to go to Honshu because it rains and come to Hokkaido because its always perfect.

    GN and SKI and a few others up there have vested interests in the area. Me, TJ, timmyhugecans and FT and a few others have vested interests in Hakuba.

    Why on Earth that means we should bag each others ski resorts I don't know.

    Do you think "vested interests" in Whistler and Fernie slag each other off for snow conditions?

    Its not an american election campaign - negative campaigning isn't going to win the race its just going to harm both places and eventually the "vested interests" in these places.

    I for one am up for starting a "Hakuba stoke thread" and a "Niseko stoke thread"
     
    #48 HakubaBCbum, Oct 2, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  49. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,611
    Location:
    wollongong
    I totally agree with that.
    ..throw in jibber as well with yanaba and 47 (which is the most "fun" ) resort i've been too.

    Hakuba just needs to collectively brand itself correctly. It is such a place of mixed messages from the tour operators (lets face it most Australians that goto japan book with value tours, skimax travelplan etc ).
    Its almost marketed as the next big thing after Niseko ie "done Niseko...now we've got something bigger and better." Hence why i thing a few crew don't really get to experience it properly. Might not get the dreamboat powder. Then feel hard done by.


    Haks is less obvious, but has more to offer should be the catchcry. It has so so much potential.
     
    #49 Donza, Oct 2, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  50. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    63,971
    Likes Received:
    11,261
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    I agree, I'm not sure why the bagging in these threads goes on either!!!

    I don't have a vested interest in any particular place in Japan, and I try to ski a few different places. I've talked up Kagura/Naeba plenty of times, but not out of the ordinary way. And still nobody from here goes there!! So much the better for me!!!!! If somebody comes to Japan for the snow in March, go to Kagura!! Ask TJ about Kagura in March!!