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Mt Bandai accommodation

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Tonester, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. MadPow

    MadPow Hard Yards

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    Thanks Ramenman,
    I have got a a very good promotional deal to stay at Urubandai lake resort with lift tickets and breakfast etc and thought I would like to to go. I am happy to go backcountry with a Japanese guide if you have any links or information to any. I have had trips to myoko, iiyama area previously and also yuzawa in January this year and would like to explore this area and maybe go back there again with the family January next year. i know March has less chance of more snow but could get lucky, and as you have indicated the snow base seems still very good to explore backcountry. I am trying to get a friend to come along but I think unlikely so I would still love to go. So yes I am happy to go with a Japanese guide.
    Cheers
    Harry
     
    Ramenman likes this.
  2. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well Bandai brains trust, reality is biting hard right now. I have an evening flight back home and to the real world.
    Japow 2018 was a great road trip. While travelling solo did put me out of my comfort zone, especially in some of those more remote areas, the Japanese people were always most helpful and amiable. That goes a long way in transcending language and cultural barriers. And don't they insist on "just one more sake" all too often??
    I had some of the best skiing that I have ever been lucky to experience on this trip. No doubt any other time might have produced very different conditions, so I'm grateful for that. And despite the recent back operation and a dicky knee I was still able to put in some long days and keep up a pretty quick pace (largely thanks to anti-inflammatories and paracetamol cocktails!).
    However, a big thank you to the brains trust here. In particular @Ramenman , @Heinz (sorry your trip got cut short), @PMG , @Donzah , @Vermillion , @blowfin , @bluestick for all your ideas and advice.
    Now I have to do the hardest thing I've had to do on this trip....pack for the last time.
    At least I get to spend it in Tokyo, right?
     
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  3. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hats off to you for doing it solo. Don't know how you, Verm? and Heinz do it. :)
    You didn't get sick?
     
  4. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thankfully not yet.....but every time I heard someone sneeze nearby I held by breath for fear of sucking in their virus laden muck.
    I'm not sure if I had mentioned anywhere, but about a week before leaving I was seriously considering pulling the pin due to some ongoing back and knee issues (ironically flared up from rehab work at the gym). But I stalled (accidentally on purpose) and passed the point of no return (where I could cancel and only lose a couple hundred dollars). I figured if I wasn't fit for skiing I could just do a road trip and scope out future ski locations or at worst, come back to Tokyo and spend time her. As luck would have it I didn't have to do any of those things.
     
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  5. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    :thumbs: It's been over two weeks now since I caught it and I'm still coughing.
     
  6. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Good work. I've been home a week now, been struggling and only now just starting to feel better. Couple of doctor visits. Not sure if it was all the same virus or a I picked up something else on the flight home.
     
  7. bluestick

    bluestick One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Must have missed you at Appi I was a day late in contacting you even though we were there at the same time. On ya for doing it solo, enjoyed your updates. How was Aomori?
     
  8. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Glad to see you had a ball, it was great following your trip even though I couldnt get over there this year.
     
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  9. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I am a bit of a cheater. Yeah I do a fair bit solo, and a lot of meeting up with people along the way and then ditching them, but my brother lived in Japan for 6 years that I was going over and I met up with him a lot, plus he speaks fluent Japanese and is only a phone call away which helped enormously. I proposed to my wife amongst the Juyho at Zao in 2014 so that has kinda locked us in to going back to Japan, well at least I can keep working that angle :p
     
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  10. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    That's some great leverage you have right there
     
  11. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Aomori is a mellow mountain. I found some great trees and lapped those pretty much most of the day (once I found them). The groomers are great for a fang. But, there's not much of challenging on piste. It's a beginner's to intermediate mountain. The drawcard, I think, is Mt Iwaki which stretches easily 700 m from top of Aomori gondola to its peak (fact check please @Ramenman )
    And that was the reason I had dialled in Aomori....to do some guided BC. BUT the knee was flared up and I didn't think it wise to hike under those circumstances. There's always next time ;)
     
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  12. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    もくもく自然塾 = Mokumoku Shizen Jyuku = the pink one is outdoor activity tour guiding company in Urabandai region. They have backcountry tours and sidecountry tours everyday. Their office is very near Urabandai Lake Resort. They have many guides, and some of them might speak English a little bit but their service is basically for Japanese speaking people.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    Only 9 mins to the backcoutry / sidecountry tour guiding company from your hotel = Urabandai Lake Resort.
     
  14. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    This was filmed in Urabandai area on March 13, 2016. 2015 - 2016 season was the worst season in the last 20 years, but still the mountains in the region had plenty of snow in mid March 2016. So I assume there will be plenty of snow there in mid March this year as well. So which dates you want to join their tours?. I can ask them if they can guide people who can not speak Japanese on the specific dates.



    This was filmed on April 6th, 2014 in Urabandai. It's April, but the snow condition can be this good on mountains there:thumbs:.
     
  15. MadPow

    MadPow Hard Yards

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    Ramenman, I will be at Urubandai from March 11 to 16, so I am happy to do tours in this date range.
    Thanks so much. Do they have an email or website link?
     
  16. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    All written in Japanese, though. I'll ask them today or tomorrow. You can send them an email through the website by yourself as well. http://moku2-outdoor.com
     
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  17. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    Yep, it's about 700m. Tonester-san was planning to join Aomori Spring Ski Resort's backcountry tour, right?. Where were they supposed to take you and ski?. Black = the top lift station. Red = the peak of Mt.Iwaki. Some people hike to the peak in wintertime too, but most hike to Saihojimori = Blue to ski on the Yellow lines. I mainly ski in Tohoku, but Aomori is a bit too far north, so I don't know much about there, though.




    There used to be spring time cat tours at Mt.Iwaki. Blue = a road. It's closed between late autumn and early spring. Yellow = a lift line very close up to the peak of Mt.Iwaki and the lift line is also only for green season and it's closed during winter. Black = the peak. The CAT tour used the Blue road to ski on the Red area. Treeline of Mt.Iwaki is about 1200m above sea level and the elevation of Mt.Iwaki is about 1650m, so it's over treeline skiing.
     
  18. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    Teiji Watanabe is a backcountry ski tour guide at Mt.Iwaki. Now he works for Aomori Spring as well. He uploaded this picture onto facebook last week. He says the guy on the left is a skier from Sydney. I wonder if he is a member of this forum. Teiji Watanabe uploaded the picture last week and I knew Tonester-san was there last week, so I was thinking "This guy is Tonester-san?":p
    [​IMG]


    You see Teiji Watanabe in this video. It's a video of Aomori Spring Ski Resort backcountry tour.
     
    #568 Ramenman, Feb 26, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
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  19. MadPow

    MadPow Hard Yards

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    Thanks Ramenamn, I have sent them an email also so I will see if they can respond

    Harry
     
  20. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    They have facebook and you can contact them through facebook as well. Anyway, if they don't respond, tell me, I'll call them and tell them "Hey, I know you want more guests on weekdays, why not target at advanced skiers from abroad:mad:?".
     
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  21. bluestick

    bluestick One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Did you find the trees at the top left lift (looking up)? Both sides off the piste. That is the best bit at Aomori spring within resort few other bits around too.
     
  22. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    That a negatory @Ramenman ...that is not me. As I said, I cancelled the guided BC day because of my knee. Next time though!
     
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  23. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    yep...they were the trees I was referring to. I kept getting fresh each and every turn....but I did have to go higher each time. Nicely spaced trees, I thought.
     
  24. Endless_Winter

    Endless_Winter One of Us

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    Just a note if you're going to go out into the Iwaki-San BC on the Aomori Springs side to AVOID the big gully called Onaru-Sawa below about 1000m. This gully is the big creek to the lookers left of the top gondola station. This is the same gully you cross on a bridge (although you may not notice) near the bottom of diamond chair,
     
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  25. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    You mean the Red gully, right?. You skied at Aomori Spring this season?. I wonder where their BC tours take us to ski. Black = top lift / gondola stations. Blue = winding road close to the peak.


    There used to be this CAT tours. CAT on the winding road + Lift /リフト = very close to the peak. The three backcountry courses = The Yellow lines on the image above.
    [​IMG]
     
  26. Slowpony

    Slowpony Addicted

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    hey all, read an article this morning http://jnto.tohokumoment.com/en/findingtohoku-en/spot02/ , it mentioned a backcountry snow tour (skiing & boarding using the snowmobiles to access the goodies) based somewhere around Urabandai,anybody have any knowledge or links about this?
     
  27. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    In a video of the link, I saw Narita-san, a Japanese skier working for Hoshino Resorts Alts Bandai and Nekoma. He is a CAT driver and CAT tour guide. Well, at least he was 2 years ago. I don't think Hoshino Resorts have backcountry tours by use of snowmobiles now. There are snowmobile cruising tours in Urabandai, and I often see snowmobile tours around Lake Hibara but not on the mountains. There are a lot of family owned small lodges in Urabandai Highlands and some of them offer their guests backcountry tours, and might have started backcountry tours by use of snowmobiles recently, but I'm not for sure. Anyway, I'm very interested in it now because I'm not a big fan of long tiring hikes, so I'll ask my ski mates if they know there are backcountry tours by use of snowmobiles there now.
     
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  28. Slowpony

    Slowpony Addicted

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    Thanks your help is appreciated
     
  29. Endless_Winter

    Endless_Winter One of Us

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    Yes, the red gully is Onaru-Sawa. Lower down it gets quite deep and has very steep walls, which is why I suggest avoiding it. Riding the middle of gullies is a really bad avalanche habit in any case!

    Where the guided groups go is mostly dependant on weather and time of year I would say. Mid-Winter they are probably limited to the tree line terrain above the resort. We saw guided groups in this area when we were there this year. In good weather the peak is easily achievable, but there's a lot of avalanche terrain in the alpine, particularly on the south side (your yellow runs) and after snowfall (er, every day most winters!) this would require some caution.
     
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  30. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    I received an email from もくもく自然塾 = the biggest outdoor activity tour guiding company in Urabandai.


    They say you need to understand basic Japanese or you need to join with an interpreter. You have a Japanese speaking friend?. It's a pity that they have many good tours but those tours are only for Japanese speaking people. もくもく自然塾 is a private company and there is Urabandai Sight Seeing Information Center near the office of もくもく自然塾. I'll visit both of them next week. There are many family owned small lodges in Urabandai Highlands, and some of them offer their guests backcountry tours. People at Urabandai Sight Seeing Information Center might know the lodges that can guide English speaking people too.
     
  31. MadPow

    MadPow Hard Yards

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    Thank you for that.

    The company also responded to me with this information. I will ask around when I arrive next week.


     
  32. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    You'll see some groups of backcountry skiers / boarders around the top lift / gondola stations of Grandeco = Red because it's the most common, popular and easiest backcountry route in the region. If you find a group, you might be able to hike and ski after them:p. This Friday is likely to be very heavy rain even around the peak of the mountain but Sat and Sun are likely to be cold and snow. Powder or not depends on snowfall on Sat and Sun. Without snowfall after Friday's heavy rain, the backcountry area will be just icy.


    This was filmed on March 15th and it's the average mid March. It can be a lot better after snowfall.
     
  33. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Real busy at Takahata on this day:
    [​IMG]
     
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  34. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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    Urabandai at 800m above sea level is 3.4 degrees now and raining. I think it's snowing upper slopes of Grandeco and between the top lift / gondola station = 1600m above sea level and the peak of the mountain = 2000m above sea level. Sat and Sun are likely to be cold. I assume Alts Bandai, Inawashiro, etc are terrible now after heavy rain, but Grandeco might not be that bad this weekend.