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Trip Report Impressions of Niseko for First Time Visitor

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Laska Goralska, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. Laska Goralska

    Laska Goralska One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    They have that with at the HK sevens. If they could put troughs running under the seats you really wouldn't have to move all day. That's living.
     
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  2. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks!

    And sorry I missed this earlier, I thought this was the case but recently on this forums I felt that people were referring to a side that was consistent. Although most snow in Australia tends to come from the one direction!
     
  3. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Perisher is a Leeside resort.

    Great examples.
    Sun valley.
    Eyre.
    Brumby
     
  4. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    See that absolute statement is what confuses me! Weather isn't technically an absolute.

    But I kinda get it.
     
  5. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sand dunes
     
  6. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sounds flat.
     
  7. Laska Goralska

    Laska Goralska One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yep, it's definitely jumping into the shallow end of Japan that's for sure

     
  8. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sahara
     
  9. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    They’ve got those pies at other resorts in Japan apparently... ones that get less hate than Hirafu too.
     
  10. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    In fairness. Niseko was 9 years ahead of those other hills.
    * except Kamui. Pies up top
     
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  11. Laska Goralska

    Laska Goralska One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Don't get me wrong, that was second breakfast most mornings. For some reason they're smaller and better there, which is sort of odd but sort of not
     
  12. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    So I’m used to PB doing first dinner and second dinner (metabolism envy) - the second usually being Chicken Curry Naan from the truck on the way home from boozing. However first and second breakfast?!?! Are you some super human with a super charged metabolism?! So unfair! LOL
     
  13. Laska Goralska

    Laska Goralska One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    It’s starting to slow down on me. Gained a few after skiing seven hours a day for the better part of a week :cry::cry:
     
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  14. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I venture that relativity & expectation have a lot do with it.
     
  15. Roymond

    Roymond One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Try Nicks.com.au for Japanese whisky. There's about 150 of them on their website.
     
  16. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Their prices gave me cancer.
     
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  17. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Fujimart in Prahran sometimes stocks Suntory Premium Malt beer.
     
  18. Roymond

    Roymond One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    My apologies- thought the reference was to the malt whiskies!
     
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  19. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Me too initially.
     
  20. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    Yes, there was a pie stand at the Happo gondola this year.

    Sadly Hakuba is well and truly on its way to Nisekofication. Grumble grumble. Time to move.
     
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  21. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    From what I can see it’s permeating a lot further than just Niseko and Hakuba. And the Chinese push is well underway - much bigger numbers and much bigger culture clash there than a handful of Aussies.
     
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  22. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    I feel like there is more than a handful of us...

    To date, the Chinese tourists ski very little and only inbounds. The very many Aussies who buy a beacon and then decide to get rad in the bc are far worse than a pie stand.
     
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  23. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    This is changing.
    Quickly.

    Fair.

    It’s the Insta-Rad generation.
     
  24. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    Plenty of middle aged folk, too. 'spose they all have instagram though, so point holds.

    #needsmorehashtags
     
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  25. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    YOLO backpack.
     
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  26. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I will weigh in here - while there is most definitely evidence of “all the gear, and no idea” in Niseko I do think the area is very much leading the charge on skilling people up.

    Many of the guides in the area equip and train their customers in the use of the equipment on progressively more interesting terrain while pointing out the terrain and snowpack dangers and things to look for on the go.

    It’s a bit like finishing a kids snowboard lesson with 360 flat spins - it’s fun, they think they’re cool and you’re challenging their balance and introducing switch without them even realising it.

    As for Courses - the one I did in an early Dec (before most people got there) was FULL. You couldn’t squeeze another human into the large teaching space. Later courses get filled and have to turn people away who don’t sign up early enough.

    In my group: 2 Chinese, 2 Americans, 1 Brit and the rest Aussies.

    Yes, it’s still an issue, and will continue to be while people are getting lost, hurt or killed because of lack of knowledge. However people are learning. We just have to keep encouraging it AND welcoming newcomers into the fold.
     
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  27. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    I think people are learning, yes, but most are learning only a little which is part of the greater problem.

    Some of the worst etiquette you see is from people who have just done an AST1 and from "guides".

    Japan is not a great place to reinforce anything one learns in a recreational avy course anyway. Particularly in Hakuba where there is proper terrain of consequence. The snowpack is a bit of a magical unicorn. It's too forgiving. You become complacent.

    Anyway, sorry for the thread derail OP. #goNiseko!
     
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  28. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    All the gear and a tiny bit of the idea.
     
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  29. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    People have to start somewhere.
    It’s a pretty rare human who was born in the backcountry to mountaineers and lived and breathed it before they could walk.

    The fact that Japan has a pretty forgiving snowpack makes it a good place to begin that journey. Awareness is gained and better choices are made when it comes to big terrain and high consequences.

    I think it’s a case of the more knowledge you get the more cautious you get because you well and truly understand the consequences of fkkng it up.

    I’ve always been super cautious and timid and wanted to know the ins and outs of what we were doing before we did it - deadset overthinker and prone to panic attacks (not in the situation but prior due to overthinking) but I’d rather be that way than jump in boots and all and then find out I was in trouble. I am certainly more comfortable in the choices I make and voicing my opinions in a group the more learning I’ve done.

    And I take the role as the most experienced in a group very seriously. Took out 3 x 20yr olds a few weeks back - first foray into Strawberry Fields for 2 of them and no understanding of snowpack and terrain and what to watch for. We did a heap of education spotting safe lines and glide cracks from the chair, deliberately heading to the side of the cracks to check them out and see how they were blind from the top and what the consequences would be if they hit it without awareness. The snowpack was very safe with a small fresh layer - however it cracked and propegated as a small slab ~ 5-6 ft around - only a cm or so deep and in a safe location with little chance of more than a bit of slough. But it was a great opportunity for education where you could extrapolate that circumstance to a steeper pitch, deeper slab and higher consequence slide path. Those boys won’t be heading into proper bc without training and a guide. They got the message. This is what we need to do. Encourage responsible participation and growth.
     
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  30. Laska Goralska

    Laska Goralska One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Not sure if it's just me, but since this was the first time I'd skied outside NSW I was surprised to note (which may just have been my perception) that the overall level skill level of the average skier/boarder is lower there than it is Oz (at least where I tend to ski). I saw a lot more near misses, yardsales and ski patrol call outs than I do when skiing here.

    Maybe it's the tourism factor vs NSW majors being frequented more by regulars perhaps? Not sure, was interesting observation either way though.

    Oh and also in six days on snow I only saw one tele skiier. He was absolutely slaying it, but he was the only one I saw. Odd.
     
  31. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I spotted quite a few tele’s but probably because I was actually keeping an eye out to spot @Telemark Phat.

    The skill level comment is interesting.
    I think there are more unskilled people tackling steeper terrain in Niseko than say Thredbo - but I think that is a product of wider pistes, generally more forgiving snow, and less crowds. When you’ve gotta get down Supertrail on sheet ice with a billion other people you kinda wanna be in control.

    It’s also a lack of lessons.
    People think they are better than they are.

    @Any was telling me that there were some groups of Chinese first timers turning up for a lesson at Go Snow in jeans and sneakers thinking the instructor would kit them out. o_O
    But at least they were taking lessons.

    I had 3 boarders I organised a lesson for.
    I taught one for 3 days - day one his progression was incredible, but then he got on steeper terrain and let rip - all technique went out the window and he stopped listening to me. Both men thought they were WAY better than the girl, and my errant student actually told me he wouldn’t get anything out of the lesson because he was so far ahead of the other two. I insisted. Love love love that the instructor (a mate of mine) told the boys their form was shite and the girl she was perfect - just needed to let the board run more and smile.

    I think a lot of people stop taking lessons once they THINK they know what they are doing, but really it’s just survival and dumb luck.

    I was hit hard while totally standing still off to the side of the piste waiting for friends by a Chinese guy on a board. Zero control, just pointing the board and hanging on for dear life. He looked at me - so he careered over in my direction - I didn’t move because he had so much space to correct... nope... faster and faster toward me - in the end the board was in the air. I’m truly fortunate it wasn’t worse. After a quick but unconcerned “sorry sorry” he got up and repeated the same out of control descent.

    The good thing about Niseko is there is usually plenty of space and time to identify the dangerous skiers and riders and get the hell out of their way. And it’s anothet reason why I like the trees and the gates - less out of control peeps out there and trees don’t come at ya!
     
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  32. Laska Goralska

    Laska Goralska One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yikes that's pretty unpleasant, glad it wasn't worse for you.

    One of the gents I was there with had a lesson and I was pretty gobsmacked at the cost. I wonder if this has anything to do with it?

    Never having skied deep powder I was initially intending on having a lesson myself but decided against it once I got on the hill and realised the snowpack was much the same as at home due to the lack of snow!
     
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  33. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’m sure the cost of lessons is a big factor.

    My brother took his family (all first timers) to Club Med. Lessons included. 2 a day each. $2k for accom, food, non alcoholic drinks, lessons, ski pass... it’s a great way for beginners to get loads of lessons. I’d recommend that to newbie people asking me in future.

    Yeah, I was so lucky.
    I was actually on my knees looking up hill scanning for my friends. He hit me on my side boob, across my chest, I dropped my head to protect my neck so I copped a board to the face and helmet before the back of his board which was still in contact with the ground crushed my left hand. With the force of impact I flew over the top of him and he came to rest under my thighs/knees.

    This is the worst damage I sustained.


    The same day a friend of a friend was hit skier to skier in Zermatt - face now looks like Tyrion Lannister’s from Game of Thrones - Heli Medivac for plastic surgery and plates to repair broken cheekbone!

    You’ve gotta thank your lucky stars when you come home with all your bits unbroken.
     
  34. Laska Goralska

    Laska Goralska One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Jaysus that's worse than you initially made it sound. Lucky for sure MB, that sort of collusion has all the necessary ingredients for serious injury.

    If you were wearing a ring you'd have been fortunate to get it off without a saw
     
  35. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    No rings. Haven’t worn them since I started snowboarding. Just unnecessary inconvenience.