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Advice needed Niseko 2018

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

  1. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Took our mate up Ace 3 for the first time today. I am taken aback at how deep the snow level is! The Ace 3 ramp no longer exists! It’s almost a level dismount! At the beginning of the season this was a wooden ramp that was quite intimidating for a lot of people. :nerd:

    It’s a great area for progression so you get a lot of low intermediates lapping it, especially on days like today when the family course is quite icy. I was surprised with how easy the ramp is today that a couple of boarders in front of us stacked it necessitating some evasive tactics - you could easily walk off!
     
  2. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Rusutsu a dogs breakfast today
    Needs some serious money spent on it
    Tired infrastructure
     
  3. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Were you stuck in that heinous crowd at the Gondola waiting for lifts to be dug out?
     
  4. pedub

    pedub One of Us

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    In what way? Breakdowns? I always thought lifts were good there perhaps a little old
     
  5. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Isn’t that the case for nearly all Japanese resorts?

    It’s part of the charm of the experience
     
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  6. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes indeed
     
  7. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Full price tickets yesterday with one lift accessing 2 green runs .....
     
  8. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    quad chairs accessed by just 2 scanners ...........?

    Couldn't design a better bottleneck surely ?
     
  9. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Tangled chairs post storm by the look of the pics I’m seeing...
    Must’ve been some serious kaze over there!
    Yeah, that’s not great, but if it naturally limits the numbers by people saying “stuff that” then those that do pony up shouldn’t be waiting half an hour for the lift.
    They did the same when we went there early Jan in bad weather. But there were a few West side lifts open. In the end they opened the whole West and most of the East. Maybe they thought they’d get more open..

    Rusutsu also aren’t part of the Hokkaido Net - so no discount for Season Pass holders elsewhere. Kiroro gives a big discount for SP holders AND friends of SP holders. Shame Rusutsu don’t do the same. If it’s much of a muchness which we go to we always pick Kiroro because it’s so much cheaper.
    It’s not too bad if the scanners are far enough back to form fours once through, but those cattle runs onto the quads on West side seem designed to form pairs. So many people going on as a solo or pair. If they had a singles lane you could bypass the crowd and load those lifts properly.
     
  10. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    They need to take a look how kiroro is doing it
    Very slick
     
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  11. sourmash

    sourmash One of Us

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    Our (normally 2.5 hour) bus trip from CTS to Annurpuri lasted 10 hours in the blizzard on Thursday! Ended up going via Otaru after two false starts going the normal direct route past Yotei. Saw Sapporo twice on the one bus trip. Many others had worse when no buses were running late Thursday and Friday morning.

    Got some nice early pow at Hanazono Saturday (beware, may contain HEAD CAM).
     
  12. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wet wet wet today.
    The Wellie Boots came in super handy. Also super slippery out there tonight now that the temp has dropped below freezing again. Saw a lot of sliding going on.
     
  13. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Expect / accept that in a small local resort, but certainly not a place like Rusutsu which claims to be "world-class facilities,"

    As I said it is in need of a big upgrade if it is really aspiring to be world class

    Who owns it now ?
     
  14. pedub

    pedub One of Us

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    I like the way it is. Sounds like you got terrible weather and the lifts got affected. It happens on many ski resorts
    On any normal day I never encountered a lift queue more than 5 or so chairs/gondolas and some of the most friendly lifties around (disclaimer: that was 2 years ago) I did not notice any bottlenecks due to scanners ?
    Only thing I hate is the long slog to get to Mt isola from reception.
     
  15. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Light crowds does not test the effectiveness of the infrastructure, how well it has been planned is put to test under pressure, ridiculous to install 2 scanners to service quad chairs.
     
  16. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Two words
    Rusutsu Vale.
    Its going to change so much
     
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  17. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Works fine at Hirafu and Kiroro where there are less scanners than seats on the chair - but the cattle run is longer - gives you time to sort yourselves to fully load the chairs.
     
  18. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    The first couple of times I went to Niseko (2007 and 2008) Rusutsu was a place no one went to, and those that did had crowd free skiing to themselves.

    Sure things have got busier over that way but is it realistic to expect a resort overbuilt in the whenevers...1980’s?...with aged infrastructure, will transform itself presto into a fast quad Vail because it suddenly got popular?

    There’s so many aged uncrowded ski hills in Japan the answer is, I think, to go to one of those uncrowded ones, rather than worrying about whether a resort which a blink of an eye ago no-one went to, has adequate infrastructure.

    Just saying!!! :)
     
  19. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us

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    Tuesday wasn’t meant to be a ski day for me but due to weather issues during the week I decided to do a make up half day. I was on the family lift at 8.30 and even managed to get first tracks on some nice new snow. Conditions where still a bit sketchy lower down. Legend of Shinya looked great but just under the soft layer of snow on top it was still very icy underneath.

    My schedule was pretty tight. Had to catch a train at Kutchan at 11.45am. Well done to Andrew from the Red Ski House where I was staying for making my last minute ski happen :thumbs:

    All was fine until I got to New Chitose Airport where the airline and security lines were insane. There were seriously a few moments where I wondered if I’d make the flight. Pretty sure it was the worst airline security line I’ve ever seen :eek: (never been to the US so I’m sure there’s much worse).

    Photo from Hanazono from my last day showing a decent fall of snow.
     
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  20. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Took my new split out for its Christening this morning.

    Huge thanks to @Any for breaking trail, talking me through my first kickturns, and sharing so much of his local backcountry knowledge. It was indeed a pleasure sir!

    The day started well when the entry from the carpark was a fairly sheer scramble up. PB thought he would help me out by shoving my butt upwards as I climbed; not only was I not expecting it but my foot slipped and I forcibly face planted into the wall of snow. LOL At about this stage I think @Any might’ve been wondering what the hell he had got himself into LOL

    We had a fantastic morning.
    The up was great - steep learning curve for me - but the down was glorious.

    Any:


    PB:


    The boys were talking line selection while I took this pano shot. Obviously PB gestured at the wrong time and we have a phantom disembodied hand in the pic LOL


    First of many adventures on the split I am sure!! :D
     
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  21. Olgreg

    Olgreg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Go @LMB I love your daily adventures, even with a go Gadget partner.
     
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  22. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    LOL
    Keeping it real @Olgreg
    The bloopers are always the best bit in any ski tale.:thumbs:

    (Looking out the window as Spring hits Niseko hard) I’m pretty stoked with that little Iwaonupuri hit out yesterday. It may just be the last cracking untracked powder line with faceshots in every turn that we will get this season.

    A deluge of the unfrozen variety of snow is expected by this afternoon.
     
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  23. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us

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    Wow, that forecast looks nasty :eek:

    So glad I decided on an eight night stay for my trip. Second trip to Niseko I’ve had most of the mountain shut due to wind for two days straight. Luckily I was buying lift passes day by day. I also got given a free 8 hour all mountain pass by a complete stranger on my second to last day while waiting in the ticket line. Always something random on a ski trip LOL

    Managed to escape the skiing unscathed only to eat something in Hong Kong that REALLY didn’t agree with my stomach during my stopover. Oh well, I was planning on starting a diet anyway :D
     
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  24. Any

    Any One of Us

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    pictures make it look like i point at things a lot ;)
     
  25. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah sorry - you were too quick on the skis for me to get my phone unlocked and get an action pic before you dropped out of view LOL
    I did try!
     
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  26. Any

    Any One of Us

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    like a shark.
    if i stop moving, i die!
     
  27. Mike Pow

    Mike Pow One of Us

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    Ha ha.

    There'll be plenty of faceshots yet in Jarch and even in Japril.
     
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  28. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Oh I’ve had epic days in March and April before - but this rain event .... some spots in Hokkaido apparently have got double March rainfall in just one day!

    I’m sure the resorts will be fine with such a huge base to work with but my fingers are crossed that we can come back from it and that this rain layer doesn’t persist and keep us out of the backcountry.
     
  29. Mike Pow

    Mike Pow One of Us

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    Time will tell / time will be the healer
     
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  30. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nice day on the hill today.

    Spring has sprung, but incredibly the Ace 4 lift (a double) had a sign up saying it was running as a single because of TOO MUCH SNOW. o_O

    Fair bit of glossy polished ice up the top thanks to the wind, from the 3rd lift top down to about half way up the 2nd lift it was very good condition dry snow, nice and fast, and very few exposed ice sections. Below that spring corn - really nice to board.

    It was the end of night skiing today.

    We are picking up our parents from Chitose in the morning, so ski days will become a rare treat from now on, stepping into tour guide mode.

    PB and I have absolutely loved our first ever season - it’s unlikely to be our last! :thumbs:
     
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  31. Any

    Any One of Us

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    bottom of hanazono and bottom under the hirafu gondola had some quality slush at about 2-3pm today.
    afterwards it got so cold so quick it went icy straight away, but just to make it worse, walking through the village on the way home afterwards somehow it was hot and could feel tiny bit of rain :(
     
  32. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Bugger!
    I must’ve called it at the right time.
    The melty stuff right into Welcome Centre was just the right consistency.

    But man! The glide cracks are getting huge!
     
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  33. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    Still hanging around!? Hear snow is not that great now. Daughter went to Kiroro Yesterday and said it is a bit more like real mountains. Wife is in Tokyo for a month - looking at the weather I am quite happy not to have gone along for skiing.:D

    Take care and mind the cracks.:whistle:
     
  34. Any

    Any One of Us

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    yeah it hasnt been so good.
    i went to Kiroro on friday (28cm) and saturday (25cm i think?). but because of the wind actual snow on the ground was about half those values. their reporting spot is in a wind protected natural gully I think, so that they get better stats. but it was pretty fantastic quality, almost february type medium-light powder snow.
    Kiroro's runs are so short that its a little frustrating tho, but its still worth it if theyre getting better snow on that side of the pass.

    on friday half the roads and nakayama pass were closed because all the snowbarriers are full, and it all avalanched down onto the road. made it difficult to get to Kiroro, and the lack of snow clearing made the roads extra treacherous.
    the weatherman was kind enough to give me a quick lesson in respect and humility. i lost it on a downhill offcamber sheet of icey road, hit the snowbank, and rolled my little truck. it was a bit like in the cartoons where a car is on the edge and a little bird lands on bonnet and then it tips over. still very scary tho.
    [​IMG]
    some passers by helped me out, and the three of us easily tipped it back up. only damage was my pride, my underwear and a wing mirror.
    shes still running strong, and i still skied all day afterwards.
    i even made it there and back the day after without crashing too ;P
    two days later im finding lots of sore spots and bruises, ive even got a seatbelt shaped bruise going over my shoulder and chest.
    very embarrassing for me, but hope it can be a lesson for people that on bad days its not just the avalanche danger on the mountains that is escalated. on those days you need to be more careful on the hill, and on the road.
     
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  35. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Indestructible kei truck!
     
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  36. Olgreg

    Olgreg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Indestructible @Any too
     
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  37. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’ll say!!!
    Hope the bruising settles soon!
    Car tipping is the new cow tipping?




    Well I had my first slip in the village for the season tonight. I thought I’d make it through unscathed but I was holding PBs Mums arm and trying to teach her how to spot the icy sections and avoid them and BAM - down she goes! (Her first time to see snow EVER). Already getting steroid injections in knee, hip and back for a fall 3 months ago this isn’t what she needed at almost 70. I managed to slow her fall, and reduce the impact somewhat, but she pulled me down with her in the end. I’m hoping she pulls up ok in the morning otherwise I’m gonna wear that guilt of not forcing her to wear the spikes because the roads were so clear...
     
  38. Any

    Any One of Us

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    Testing out a jacket I purchased via kickstarter was a good enough excuse to get out today. Somehow I timed it perfectly and hit spring slush at just the right altitude just on time in the Niseko slackcountry.
    1 run from the peak and 3 cheeky laps traversing out to some of my my favorite spots for 10cm deep windblown stashes and spring pow. While there was an occasional icy patch surprise with one that nearly resulted in more late season broken ribs (like last year), it still turned out to be one of those great days to be outdoors.
    The only problem .... the jacket isn't green! :eek::eek:
     
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  39. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well that won’t do!!! :eek:
     
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  40. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Kamimura.
    Dear God!
    Kamimura-San, Gochisosama deshita!!!

     
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  41. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us

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    Got to love the ‘happy cows’ milk’ :D
     
  42. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Super is roped off partway down - closed due to avalanche risk. And this is why... the glide cracks on Ace Super Ridge are getting mental!

    With such a big snowpack and such a sudden and total flick of the switch from Winter to Spring this is happening all over the place. Backcountry safety is all important right now.



     
  43. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    That reminds me of a little hidden gem many years ago. A restaurant calling itself Secret Restaurant in the Izumikyo 1 area. Very small place and very, very good. Sadly, not there any more as far a I can tell
     
  44. Any

    Any One of Us

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    i think they moved out near Kabayama?
     
  45. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’m getting a bit melancholic and nostalgic now....
    Handing back my car today :cry:
    It’s been brilliant, we have had it from brand spanking new and it feels like ours!


    Fields are being ploughed, the ash is on the rest...


    And here’s a sad little yesterday evening pic of Mt Annupuri - Grand Hirafu - taken from near the top of Asahigaoka from the ‘one last time’ hike of the now closed again ski field. We were snowshoeing up before it opened and now after it closed. The little light on the distant hill on the left is the temperature gauge at the top of the Ace Quad.

    We had a couple of little red foxes hanging around for our snowshoe - not coming too close - the noise the snowshoes made on the frozen over slush was like very loud breaking glass - I think it scared them off from coming too close.

    On the descent we noticed a long (but thin) crack on the skiers left of the steeper piste - stayed well away from that given how much slippage is going on around the place!

    Arghhhhh!!!!
    I’m going to miss it here!!
    :cry:
     
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  46. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us

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    It will be like reverse culture shock coming home. Even after only a couple of weeks in Japan I found myself thinking ‘do you have to talk that loudly’ on public transport LOL
     
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  47. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Last full day today.

    We are on the train at 9.30am tomorrow morning

    So we thought we would take it easy...

    NAH!!! JKs!! LOL

    We decided to give Yotei a nudge.

    Due to the glide cracks and recent death on the easier/better skiing sun softened side from Makkari we decided that we would take on the challenge of the steeper/cooler Hangetsu-ko (Half moon lake) approach.

    I was thankful for my guide coming up behind me when I overbalanced on a steep section and tumbled down a fair bit - over the top of a small tree that was growing sideways (ouch!!!). He played wicket keeper and arrested my fall a bit quicker than I would’ve been able to do by myself. I was a bit shaken up by that...I’ve wobbled snowshoeing up before, but always managed to save myself without a big fall...so took a little while to gather myself and then slowed down for the rest.



    PB summited in 5hrs 15.
    I got there 6hrs 30.
    I’m ok with that. Could’ve easily bailed at the fall....but I toughed it out.

    The ride down was steep sheet ice until the trees - not fun at all! But the next 15-20 was great spring riding!

    Woot!!! Another tick off the bucket list.

    And thanks to @Any who went up Yotei earlier this week and was positive and encouraging about his experience and made me believe it was within my ability. In fact, thanks for all the catch ups this season @Any! See you next season for more adventures :thumbs:
     
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  48. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    @LMB

    Thank you for reporting this season.
     
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  49. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    It has been a pleasure @Hyst

    And I hope I get to do more of it in the near future.
     
  50. Any

    Any One of Us

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    I couldn't believe I made it either. Little thing like crushing a few vertebrae can be so much more of a mental limitation than physical.
    Hope to see you here again next season?!
     
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