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Advice needed Niseko 2018

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Ricardo64, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us

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    Looks like the snow might let up for a few days while I’m there. Sounds like that might even be a good thing with the crazy snow depth there!

    At least it’s good to finally have a trip where there’s absolutely no worries about if there will be enough snow on the ground :D
     
  2. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    On piste and even off piste in bounds it’s not deep to ski thru, just on. You’ll be fine.

    Was at Kiroro today for another cracking day with this crew. We were inbounds with this group but PB and I headed into the trees wherever possible, it was quite heavy. Great fun but certainly not the light fluffy stuff.

    The old boy took me out today LOL ... Last I saw he had popped back on piste a fair way behind me, I got snookered by thick trees in front of me and had to pull up for a quick change of direction to a small tree gap, he was right behind me shooting for the gap...it was quite a big hit, bear hug and a group hug with the forest :whistle:
    No damage bar a wifey with a sore thumb and a repentant husband.

    Very cold, and snowing at the moment.
    Make sure you have extra layers Kim.
     
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  3. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us

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    Layers packed :thumbs: Hopefully my main bag is at my accommodation. I’m sure the luggage forwarding will be fine but it’s my first time using the service so just slightly apprehensive.

    Sounds like you should milk that sore thumb for all it’s worth LMB :D
     
  4. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not even hurting anymore...
    Can’t milk it in good conscience.

    Your gear should arrive fine.
    My boys were worried, never having used it before, when I forwarded their gear to their Tokyo hotel. Was waiting for them as promised.
     
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  5. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Rusutsu today.
    Got the crew well and truly out of their comfort zone again today.
    So impressed with how they’ve progressed over the week. We’ve bred another clutch of powder hounds! LOL

     
  6. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Some lovely lines to be had in full bluebird conditions for those prepared to venture out from the groomers in Hirafu today.


    We played at Annupuri today.
    Gates 1, 8 and 7 offered plenty of untracked still around past lunchtime today. Not bad considering there was very little snow overnight.

    Snow forecast to be back with us on Thursday so for those who like a bluebird I’d be getting out and enjoying while you can. On piste snow is holding up really well under the sunshine, still powdery and soft.
     
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  7. blutek

    blutek One of Us

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    At Kiroro on Sat & Sun.
    Saturday offpiste snow seemed heavy after Niseko last week.
    With more snow, Sunday was "epic" for late Feb. Very cold up top (minus 15 but worse with with wind) & snowfalls most of the day.
    Daytripers should find the new offpiste map a helpfull guide & gives the resort a different feel. However, some areas we used to use are now prohibited.
     
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  8. Olgreg

    Olgreg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    However, some areas we used to use are now prohibited

    That’s correct. And they patrol them with vigour.
     
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  9. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us

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    I made a last minute decision to go to Rusutsu this morning. As you can see from the photo the views were stunning and the uncrowded slopes made for a great first day in snow for over 12 months.
     
  10. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Kiroro was very smooth today, a small resort with it all terrain wise but sadly lacking in any character whatsoever
    Perfect for the Sheraton types......
     
  11. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks for your tips LMB re niseko
    The resort is now fully morphed into a true international destination

    For me that means it becomes
    A step closer to bland and step away from a unique experience
    It one day was

    Hanazano is about to explode in the next 2 years with a new park Hyatt hotel, shops, restaurants and much more including a new gondola to
    the Weis mountain ( the currently mothballed resort )

    This place could rival whistler
    one day, of that there is no doubt
     
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  12. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think you’re right.

    There is good and bad in it.

    I am very pleased to see Weiss becoming part of terrain expansion for the region, especially with the increased hotel capacity over that side. The mellow terrain will suit the demographic that they are shooting for.

    Similar growth explosions will be occurring over the next few years at Kiroro and Rusutsu also. Not so great for quiet pistes and untracked easily poached lines... good for the economy, jobs, and visitors looking for that bustling hub.

    However, with over 500 ski resorts in Japan the ‘undiscovered’ gaijin free locations will still be around somewhere for a while yet.
     
  13. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Lack of Aussie bogan crap has been a great bonus compared to my last visit
     
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  14. PiniPowPow

    PiniPowPow One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Back at work after a fantastic week. Skied Hirafu, Moiwa, Rusutsu and Kiroro. Untracked everyday and dont think i did more than two turns in a row that weren't in fresh powder. Changed a lot in the past 10 years that I have been going. Great diversity of visitors with large scando and north american contingent which is nicely watering down the Australians. Kiroro is doing a great job of managing their off piste. Although i do find the closing of some off piste until 11am unless you have paid a fee to be a little elitist and weird. Overall a fantastic trip, Hokkaido delivers again!
     
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  15. PiniPowPow

    PiniPowPow One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    A mix bag of photos

    Endless trees at the su


    Surf looked good from the train

    Me at Rusutsu

    More Rusutsu action


    Moiwa

    Kiroro BC


    Bruno at Kiroro




    Dinner in Kutchan


    Chicken skin Gyoza, new fav






     
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  16. blutek

    blutek One of Us

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    That break near/beforeTiene?
    Lounge surfing at HKG tonight.
     
  17. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I had an insteresting day.

    Dropped a mate off for 5.5hr lesson, then headed to Moiwa (up and over). Food poisoning and a long hike out of Anbetsu was “fun”. But I toughed it out. The untracked turns were worth the suffering. Made it back in time to collect the mate, and I’m feeling much better after a couple of beers!


     
  18. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Niseko weird today must have been the rise in temp
    Snow was average to poor in hirafu today but held up well in hanozano ?
    What's the story there ?
     
  19. Sandy

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

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    Huge high SE of Japan, directing warm air across Japan.
    Probably rain at Niseko later tomorrow and again on Sunday.
     
  20. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    The different aspect of the slopes - it was very noticeable yesterday. Right side of Gate 1/8 gully was crusty and horrid, left side still good although heavy. The warm temps and whether the sun was on that aspect long determined the melt. Snow was great up top, in the trees and where it was protected (I guess Hanazono). But where it had done a melt, as the temps dropped and wind started yesterday it froze up - hence the crunchy, crusty, nasty stuff. A few aspects out the gates had started forming a crust layer over soft snow by afternoon not a thick enough slab to really be annoying at that point but I reckon it was thickening.

    We’ve got some crazy strong winds forecast for today and tomorrow, I doubt much will be open on the hill at all. Although right now it’s eerie - dead calm. Might be able to get a morning ski in before it hits.
     
  21. Sandy

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

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    Winds picking up in Kutchan now, and it's +1.1 degrees, and looks like it's on the rise.
     
  22. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us

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    It doesn’t look too bad in Hirafu at the moment but not sure if I’m going to go out. Have found a way to get a ski in next Tuesday morning before I go home so might save my lift pass money for then instead :)
     
  23. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    You’ve got some time @Kimski the lifts aren’t likely to close until early afternoon now. It’s a little bit blowie out there, but not enough to close lifts yet.

    It’s a big system when it does finally hit!



    @Sandy - snowing in Hirafu village at the moment, but I’m sure you’re right, there’s usually some rain with these big storms.
     
  24. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Rusutsu shut down today
     
  25. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I would lay money that Kiroro is too. Their lifts shut if a sparrow farts.

    Sometimes they can keep the West Mountain open when East is shut at Rusutsu, but with what these winds are expected to be I’d be thinking widespread shut downs.
     
  26. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Small green run open that's all
     
  27. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us

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    Think the real winds have just hit. Can feel the lodge shaking!
     
  28. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Route 276 is closed.
    Mushroom Kingdom just updated FB to say they’re cut off from Chitose, so no inbounds or outbounds will be getting through now.

    This happened 2yrs ago with the girls trip if you recall @Kimski - when I had to give that poor family who came via train/Sapporo a lift to the Alpen. I feel for those travelling today and tomorrow.
     
  29. Sandy

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

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    Winds in Kutchan gusting up to 91kph
     
  30. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us

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    I remember. That’s why I came for 8 nights this time! Sorry everyone for bringing the dodgy weather with me :D
     
  31. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Location:
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    Flights cancelled widespread
    No buses from rusutsu to airport
     
  32. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Why is that? Snow at Sapporo?
     
  33. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wind
     
  34. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Big wind and some snow
     
  35. PiniPowPow

    PiniPowPow One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    wow glad i missed this! hope there is snow in it for everyone
     
  36. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us

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    Looks like a fair bit of snow overnight but nothing will be open for at least this morning. It’s a whiteout and windy here in the village.
     
  37. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sounds like a freight train at times!! Very gusty, not consistent winds.
     
  38. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us

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    I’m certainly happy to be staying in a nice warm lodge with a filling, cooked breakfast. Good thing I picked up some extra food at Seico last night for lunch!

    According to the lodge owner, local schools are closed for the day which doesn’t happen very often
     
  39. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Rusutsu shut down still
    Very steady snow fall will wind
     
  40. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us

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    Quick question. Does anyone know if there are lockers you can hire at either the gondola base or family lift base area? I’m trying a few different options out with footbeds, extra socks etc with my ski boots tomorrow and I don’t want to have to trek back to my lodge.
     
  41. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Schools, rail, roads, mountain passes, airports, all the ski lifts (at 9am none were running)...
    It’s all shut.

    :eek:
    NAC is running the high ropes adventure course on the family run... guess what we are planning on doing. I’m glad the safety lines are solid!
     
  42. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes.
    I assume so at Gondola, but definitely at the family lift - in where the NBS office is there are lockers for hire there somewhere - never used them myself but friends have this season.
     
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  43. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wowsers- Via Nadare... thats 100kmph winds at sea level, 130kmph at Moiwa base

    Niseko base 6am: -2℃, stormy, 20cm snowfall. Moiwa800m: -4.6℃, SW34.7m/s, stormy, whiteout. Annupuri1150m: no data, snow accumulating. Hirafu peak: -6℃, strong wind & snowfall. Coastal data: NW28m/s, Kamui cape: NNW22m/s, 981hPa, 1.9m waves.



    “West High East Low” winter pressure pattern has set in as the low pressure moved east. Heavy storm conditions at the base, peak and the ocean. The wave height in the Sea of Japan is still small, however this is due to the strong SE swells from yesterday’s wind are moving against the current strong westerly wind. The wave height is forecasted to rise today. Snow conditions at Moiwa peak to Mikaeri area were not possible to observe due to heavy storm. The cat track between Moiwa and Annupuri has not been groomed.



    The developing snowdrifts are growing huge and are extremely unstable. The new snow accumulation in leeward slopes is drastic and uneven and can collapse in thick slabs from yesterday’s low-pressure snowfall layer. Today’s avalanche danger is extremely high. Better stay indoors today. The avalanche hazard will persist through to tomorrow after the wind settles down below 10m/s. Better not rush out to the back country too soon after the storm calms down.



    Many of the avalanche accidents occur during and just after storms. Be flexible and plan according to the weather. Beware of whiteouts, snowdrifts and oncoming cars on the road to Onsens.

    Have a good day.
     
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  44. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us

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    Have fun! I watched the movie ‘Everest’ yesterday. I imagine being on a ropes course today is going to feel a bit similar ( without the need for oxygen of course) :D
     
  45. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    We watched 6 below LOL

    Topical given we had an hour hike out of Anbetsu day before yesterday, and the storms hit now...
     
  46. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Family Course Hirafu at 11am


    And yes, there were a couple of beginners who walked out onto the run to practice their turns. One competent boarder who did one pass from the Alpen down to the Vale, and a Grand Hirafu employee fanging around on a skido.

    It’s ankle to calf deep dense dry powder with a light sprinkle of sago on top.
     
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  47. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    We did the ropes course IN THE WIND!
    LOLLOLo_O Crazy ppl!


    Family lift is running now (afternoon) possibly the holiday lift as well.
     
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  48. Olgreg

    Olgreg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    @LMB is that where they moved the old Family lift? I haven’t seen it but my mate from Furano is going there to run the ropes course in summer.
     
  49. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Rusutsu open this morning a little late it seems
     
  50. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes @Olgreg thats correct.

    It is huge. Best high ropes course that I have ever seen (not that I’ve seen many, but still..). Although it’s not as high as it was when we had a crack at it in December - it’s 3m closer to the ground right now!

    They opened in November, run by NAC.
    They’ve got all the gear in the shop right on course: harnesses, carabiners, zipline pulley, helmets, and safety system. We take and use our own harness, ski helmet (warmer than climbing helmet), goggles/sunnies, and thin leather gloves that gives dexterity but also protection. We also worked out that snowboard boots are a bit clunky to wear and don’t really fit well in some of the toe holes - so used town boots this time around.

    It uses the Clic-It safety harness system, which ensures you are securely attached to the safety line at all time - it took me until yesterday to find it on line because the guys kept calling it the ‘Cricket’ LOL


    They have multiple courses in increasing difficulty level. Last go in December I did the first one then called it (various reasons including needing to pick up a mate who was arriving in, but also that I wasn’t sure my hands would hold up to another course).
    PB and our (light weight) athlete friend Trish did the first and second.

    This time I wanted to try the 2nd course which was 3 times longer than the first and a fair bit harder, but our mate Roger needed some instruction (because we had done it before the staff left it to me to teach him how to use the gear) - so I had to start at course 1. PB did course 3 successfully from start to finish.
    Rog and I did course 1 and 2 with no problem, but my hands were shot at that stage (inflam arthritis). Rog (who is the size of a jockey) continued with the 3rd course but needed a couple of mid route rescues when he got stuck.

    The last course has only been completed by 4 guests to date. Two needed multiple rescues throughout, two finished clean and only one of those said it was “easy”. PB has his sights set on completing that before we leave.

    The price isn’t cheap.
    5000y for the day (but that really translates to an hour or two...maybe if you were a climber you’d spend all day doing it). IIRC the weeks pass was a good deal if you were going to go a few times in the week, but the season pass was ridiculous price. If they had a 10 use season pass that was a reasonable price we would’ve bought it for sure. We have offered all of our guests the option of doing it - and only Trish and Rog said yes, it’s not for everyone, and the two that said yes are go getter athletes.
     
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