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Powder, Corn & Sakura

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Heinz, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    My Japan trip over the previous couple of weeks has already been partially covered in this thread : Spring backcountry gathering in Japan

    which made up the first week. But rather than post unrelated pics in that thread, I figured I'll create a new one.

    The idea of the trip was initially to see a bit more of Hakkoda. I had been there a couple of times previously in winter and had some great powder but also sometimes felt part of the film of the military tradegy there 100 years ago with the blizzards up the top. So I wanted a chance to experience it in more benign conditions. Then thought of combining it with a bit of time in Hakuba where I hadn't been before.

    Then as it happened Damians offer of the backcountry gatrhering came up for just the time I was looking at, so that looked a reasonable option although I was only going to into day trips rather than camping out.

    So the plan was made, basically first week Hakuba, second week Hakkoda, tracking back to Tokyo in between and afterwards to experince a little of the Sakura (Cherry Blossom) time. And in the process getting good value out of a 4 day JR East pass.
     
    #1 Heinz, Apr 16, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  2. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    So week 1 (April 01-07) in Hakuba staying at Damians place joined by fast_limey, Inky, Brian Wilson & The Bush Patrol.
    Didn't quite turn out to be the spring conditions we had been building up for apart from my first day.
    This day was warm and sunny and damian, fast_limey & I headed out above Tsugaike for a few shortist climbs. Had some good snow but which quickly turned sticky lower down but was an enjoyable day.

    view from Damians backyard
    [​IMG]

    first turns of the year
    [​IMG]

    a slope we stayed clear of
    [​IMG]

    other views
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #2 Heinz, Apr 16, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
  3. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The rest of the week was quite different though. Rain was forecast and duly arrived so we had a down day. In the afternoon we went to the first of the 4 different onsens around town for the week - always one of the nice things about Japan which the other guys later endorsed. The rain then later continued as snow and kept coming.

    The other guys arrived in the meantime and for the next few days we were skiing powder. For various reasons I didn't take many pics - in part catching my breath, poor vis, being more concerned in just skiing it and on the first day my camera being in an outer pocket decided it wasn't going to play.

    On the first of those days Damian opted to head somewhere in the next prefecture. This was mainly in anticipation of strong winds which meant the possibility of resort lifts not opening to give us easy access to the higher terrain, so to go for a more reliable lower aspect. This was a good call.

    "Wednesday"
    All set to head off on a fine spring day.
    [​IMG]

    we had to cross this creek somewhere - it wasn't going to be here
    [​IMG]

    maybe here
    [​IMG]

    yes, here was good
    [​IMG]

    after crossing the creek and continuing up a bit further we did several laps in some very nice low angle powder in the trees. Higher up we could indeed see the wind was blowing. But no pics of this.
     
    #3 Heinz, Apr 16, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  4. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Then a couple of days around Tsugaike where the snow inbounds was quite heavy but just outside and a little higher it was deep and light. Again though virtually no pics - mostly just getting on skiing it. TBP did take some video footage some of which has been posted in the other thread and possibly more to come.

    A few lame shots.
    Foot onsen at the bottom of Tsugaike.
    [​IMG]

    a quick bite to eat while transitioning
    [​IMG]

    the bottom of the run
    [​IMG]
     
    #4 Heinz, Apr 16, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  5. JoeKing

    JoeKing Old n' Thrusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    I have only spent one day at Tsugaike. I have a very soft spot for the place.
     
  6. Gimp

    Gimp One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    Cheers for the TR Heinz, I just wish our spring snow was as deep and long lasting.
     
  7. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    Hey I recognise some of those slopes at Tsugaike!! Epic [​IMG]
     
    #7 smitty484, Apr 17, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  8. webberchoked

    webberchoked Hard Yards

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    awaiting hakkoda TR!
     
  9. benchives

    benchives Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    Heinz never disappoints [​IMG]
     
    #9 benchives, Apr 17, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  10. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    Note to all: Heinz trips are almost always in early spring. He knows you don't get the deepest snowpacks, mild temps and lots of daylight in January.

    Keep it coming Heinz!
     
  11. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    And a great year for a Spring trip too! [​IMG]
     
    #11 M_G, Apr 17, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  12. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    Awesome.

    I did laugh at the commentary on the video previously posted in the backcountry thread.
     
  13. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    Ah, you can't believe everything that was posted in that other thread.

    Some idiot forgot to pack their skins that day. [​IMG]
     
    #13 Heinz, Apr 17, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  14. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    It was an enjoyable week apart from the skiing as well. The days typically consisted of the skiing followed by a trip to one of the local onsens, a visit to one of the two local supermarkets, dinner in the apartment, then drinks around Damians fireplace where many a good story was related. Turns out that Inky and I were in Gulmarg at the same time in 2008 and knew all about the beer run episode. Many of the TBP stories involved Snow Blowey. Was good to meet these guys. Also had an excellent Yakiniku dinner on my last night.

    Ultimately though I did struggle with the climbing pace and was feeling tired at the end. Had the option on my last day of skiing and catching a late bus & train into Tokyo but in the end opted not to and leave earlier and not have to pack wet ski gear.

    The timing worked out fairly well then with the other guys then leaving for the camp site at Renge the following day.
     
  15. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    Sat April 07 - Ueno


    Leaving in the morning though did allow me to get into Ueno mid afternoon, so a chance to wander around Ueno park and Shinobazu pond and check out the Sakura festivities. What a contrast it is to Ueno park in winter that I was used to - nice but quite austere. Different story with the cherry blossoms in bloom and thousands of people gathered for picnics on tarps spread around the park with plenty of food, beer & Sake.

    Cherry blossoms around Shinobazu pond.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    parties in the park
    [​IMG]
     
    #15 Heinz, Apr 17, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
  16. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Then there are the street food stalls - plenty of choices, interesting to watch them in action and sample several. No need to go out for dinner.

    Scallops
    [​IMG]

    Yakitori
    [​IMG]

    some sort of fish on a skewer (didn't have this myself).
    [​IMG]

    and Okonomiyaki - wasn't going to pass this up - need some of these stalls in Oz.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #16 Heinz, Apr 17, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  17. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    Sandy took DWD and I to a cool night market near Ueno station, lots of fun.
     
  18. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    That would be Ameyoko. Went there for a bit after as well. Despite the crowds in the park Ameyoko was still as lively as usual with it's own street stalls. Ueno is a very convenient stopover spot in Tokyo but I am always happy to have a wander around there.

    This was also Easter weekend but there was absolutely no visible evidence of this as of course it has no significance at all in Japan. It is all about the Sakura at this time.
     
  19. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Then next day it was to continue on to the north and for my first time catch the Tohoku Shinkansen all the way to Shin Aomori. Previously it only went as far as Hachinohe.

    Took this one merely as a demonstration of how carriages are marked. Note the carriage number is marked on the platform, on the carriage itself and on the digital display. The pic was taken at 8:24 so the train is the one due to depart at 8:26 indicated by the digital display. The carriage number may vary depending on the length of the train as indicated by the coloured numbers on the platform. That postion would mark carriage 8 for the train due at 8:30 which would have fewer carriages.
    [​IMG]

    More food - grabbed a prawn tempura bento box before boarding. mmmm.
    [​IMG]

    The new Shin-Aomori station (some distance away from Aomori station).
    [​IMG]
     
    #19 Heinz, Apr 17, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  20. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    Fruit blossoms just beginning here now. Apricots are on, cherries in a week and a bit. Love the views of the mountains, lakes and orchards in full bloom.
     
  21. Olgreg

    Olgreg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    Heinz, I was in Ueno park last Sunday week. The blissful reverence the Japanese show toward their cherry blossom was astonishing. I have never seen so many people so quietly happy. It was the same in temples down at Kamekara, and in the parkland along Odaiba where we were staying. They just love it!,
     
  22. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    This is true. They were all happily sitting on these blue tarps on the grass, shoes off having a few drinks. There was karaoke going on in one part. Others just wandering around enjoying themsleves quietly. No drunken aggro (although it was still fairly early). Was back there again last Friday and you had guys in suits down from the office doing the same - shoes off, sitting on a tarp with a drink. Hard to imagine the same scene in Australia.
     
  23. main street

    main street Sun Peaks Resident

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    & when I drove home from Penticton last Sunday, it was bucketing down with snow at the Pennask summit !!
     
    #23 main street, Apr 18, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  24. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    I love ohanami time. Nearly every time I end up sitting drinking with some people I've never met before!
     
  25. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    And yet the locals around here let it pass with hardly a mention. The blossom season is just amazing.
     
  26. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    And so after covering the 710km from Ueno to Shin-Aomori in a mere 3.5 hours it was a considerably slower bus trip of around an hour to Hakkoda or more specifically the ropeway base station. Despite the fact the the resort staff have jackets with 'Mt. Hakkoda' it doesn't strictly exist. The ropeway actually takes you to near the top of Tamoyachidake which is in the Hakkoda mountain range.

    Basically there are 2 reasons to head to the Hakkoda region.

    1. In winter it gets quite a large amount of snow which means regular powder skiing, along however with regular strong winds and blizzard conditions.

    2. In spring with a good base the ropeway gives you easy access to a large amount of terrain for day touring trips.

    I had experienced the first a couple of times. The intention now was the second.

    Views of Tamoyachidake, the top of the ropeway station and part of the Hakkoda range from the bus.
    When the bus approaches this part it plays the music from the film dramatising the tradegy around 100 years ago when around 200 japanese soldiers perished in a blizzard in the area. They used to play the film in the top station but not any more - just have a photo gallery.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The base station. I arrived on a Sunday and it was the busiest I had ever seen it - cars parked some way down the road. Rest of the week though was back to normal and much smaller numbers.
    [​IMG]
     
    #26 Heinz, Apr 18, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  27. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    One issue I had this time was that Simon the guide I normally use here was unavailable at this time so I ended up going with the a group from the ski school as the token foreigner. Apart from a few probable ex-pats I saw around on Sunday I didn't see any others for the rest of the week. The pace of the group was pretty cruisy which I didn't mind after the week in Hakuba.

    Being spring however I discovered doesn't necessarily mean the end of the strong winds. The first day it hit the 25m/s threshold which meant the ropeway closed, so no tour.
     
  28. JoeKing

    JoeKing Old n' Thrusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    Liking this.
     
  29. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Tue April 10 - Hakkoda

    The next day however came up fine and sunny with only a light wind up the top. We had a group of around 15 including 4 staff assembled at the top. Once organised a 5 min walk from the top station to the peak then a short ski. Then skins on for a fairly easy climb of around an hour up to Odake.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    One of the features of Hakkoda in winter are the Juhyo (Snow Monsters - snow covered trees). By spring the ones by the ropeway have almost returned to normal but higher up there are still snow covered ones.

    [​IMG]

    Odake hut
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #29 Heinz, Apr 18, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
  30. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Didn't go to the very top of Odake as it got very firm which would have required ski crampons which I doubt everyone had and the ski down wouldn't have been much either. We skied this face in softer snow which hadn't really consolidated enough to be quite corn but was still fun.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #30 Heinz, Apr 18, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  31. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    A break for lunch.
    [​IMG]

    Then a short climb up through the trees to Kodake.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #31 Heinz, Apr 18, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  32. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    This left us with a very long cruisy ski in spring snow in open terrain, then through the trees and eventually down to the road on the other side of the range near Sarakura onsen where we had a bus waiting for a 20 min drive back to the hotel.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #32 Heinz, Apr 18, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  33. markopolo

    markopolo Naughty Corner Resident Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    great stuff heinz !
     
  34. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    Epic. Still sooooo much snow
     
  35. webberchoked

    webberchoked Hard Yards

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    awesome heinz

    in regards to your winter trips to hakkoda, what % of days are non-ridable due to weather? how long would you recommend staying there?
     
  36. ojisan

    ojisan station master Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    Fantastic.. thanks for sharing Heinz [​IMG]
     
    #36 ojisan, Apr 19, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  37. fattwins

    fattwins One of Us

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    Hakkoda terrain just doesnt do it for me skiing wise but.... That spring touring potential if the weather is right looks epic for lots of laps. Sometimes I wish I didnt have a lodge and didnt want to try to build a stronger business but such are the choices you face in life. Keep it coming if there are more pics please.
     
  38. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    I think I understand what you mean. Hakkoda is a large expanse without the long steeps that are around Hakuba from the litle that I have seen. There are steep sections off the peaks which you could lap if you wanted - they are exposed to the wind though. What Hakkoda does give you is easy access (when the ropeway is running) to several peaks and a host of long cruisy runs back to the road. Just a matter of coordinating a pick up on the road where you plan to exit.
     
  39. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    I've stayed there for just under a week for both the winter trips. From memory on both of those trips the ropeway was closed for a day when the wind hit the 25m/s (90kmh) threshold up the top. On other days it got close 15-20m/s without closing - meaning the conditions aren't very pleasant as you walk out the top station, but normally once you drop around 50m you are sheltered in the trees.

    I stayed at the Hakkoda Resort Hotel which is about 2mins walk from the ropeway. It is not cheap but is very nice. There are not many other options - there is a lodge nearby which is probably a bit cheaper, otherwise other hotels where you would need to get bussed or drive to the ropeway.

    You would want to have a few days to make sure you get a day of riding. If the ropeway does close there is the option of a chairlift which could be ok for a few runs.
     
    #39 Heinz, Apr 19, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  40. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    I do like the hotel there. For location 2 mins from the ropeway it is the obvious choice. It isn't cheap at Y11,000 but that does include breakfasts and dinners as well as a large onsen. As I have mentioned before I really enjoy the dinners there.

    Here are a few examples :
    Sashimi prawns were a regular and there were always scallops in some form (something I had noticed previously). Would hate to have to prepare these myself or wash up though. These don't even show all the plates. They always brought out another couple including a desert afterwards, plus you would help yourself to Miso & Rice.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    While I enjoyed almost everything in the dinners, breakfasts were sometimes a bit more challenging. I left the natto alone as well as the pickled plums and a couple of other things I wasn't sure of. The smoked fish was fine. As for this particular one below - normally I can handle most stuff pretty comfortably with chopsticks but the boiled tofu (top left) had me beaten.

    [​IMG]
     
    #40 Heinz, Apr 19, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  41. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    My experience with Hakkoda so far is that it doesn't apear to stay fine for extended periods and the next day dawned overcast with rain forecasted later. We did a shorter tour in the morning with a long traverse (no climbing) around Maedake and skied the Dozo route in fairly sticky snow. Intention was to head back for lunch and assess conditiojs again in the afternoon. As it turned out the rain didn't arrive but the wind did and the ropeway closed for the afternoon so called it quits and hit the onsen a little earlier.
     
  42. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    11,000 including brekky and dinner doesn't sound too bad Heinz, as long as you're not staying more than 2-3 nights.
     
  43. damian

    damian A Local

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    Have you been there?

    Hakkoda has far too much very low angle stuff, but if you tour with intent, there is more to it that you see from the tram. Worth it to visit, couldn't ski there season after season though. Hakuba would be better if it less steep and more touring terrain like in Hakkoda. Terrain balance is important is a full backcountry life from autumn to late spring.

    The Dozo route has been mentioned - very low angle. Not actually skiing. More nature-sliding with skis/board.

    But the snow quality makes Hakuba look like a porridge farm even on a good day. True blower. Amazing stuff (which is good as it makes the low angle stuff skiable)
     
    #43 damian, Apr 19, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  44. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    That food looks amazing.
     
  45. damian

    damian A Local

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    That hotel does serve great food. Quite a highlight and worth the stay.
     
  46. fattwins

    fattwins One of Us

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    I wouldnt change hakuba one bit. It gives what it gives really. If you can travel then so many options open up in Japan. Opening up a hotel really dented the BC ski life that and kids. We try to stay open all season long to build up Japanese customers for summer numbers. Our golden week looks good so far with a few nights sold out but that means no hiking far for me. Going to try ski something off of happo tomorrow. Damain have you ever considered biking up the obinata road? It is pretty much a sit down ride with not many real steep bits on a bike.

    And no I havent been to Hakkoda but I have studied it enough to know that it isnt high on my wish lists of places Id like to ski in Japan. To each his own really what floats one persons boat doesnt always float another persons boat. Ive skied great snow in Canada -25 snow which is pretty special but id take the hakuba snow and terrain balance any day. That doesnt mean it is the best just what I personally like.
     
  47. damian

    damian A Local

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    - If you were into backcountry ski touring (or guiding), you'd likely want some more balance in hakuba's terrain style.

    - Ever tried to ride up a road for 5km in with 8km pack, plus skis, plus boots on your back? I'd rather walk. Even pushing my bike up the road would not be worth the speed at which I can come back down. I've boot walked that road (snowless, before the gate opens) perhaps 30 times and would not call it a sit down ride with that gear in your back at all. No offense, but how many times have you walked or skinned up that road with ski gear as part of a 2000m climb? Never?

    - Hakkoda appeals to people who enjoy some backcountry touring in their life, and in different locations. Besides, the more terrain and snow climates you experience, the better backcountry skier you become from an avalanche, trip planning and route finding perspective. Experience in different terrain shapes and snow types is essential. Too much of the same thing is 'bad' if you want to advance. It is an endemic problem in Hakuba, for example.
     
    #47 damian, Apr 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  48. fattwins

    fattwins One of Us

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    Re: Powder, Corn & Sakura

    Why do you have to put it all on your back? I used to strap my baords to my bike and had a bag carrier on the back. I Japan I better you could go the the recycle centers set up though out town and find a basket as well. Of course if you are lugging camping gear then it might be a bit too heavy.

    Damian some people choose different lifestlyles. We all cant have a lifestyle like yours so we make due with what we can get.
     
  49. damian

    damian A Local

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    Nah, tried it and it was a PITA. Perhaps works for some. I get out plenty and know what works best for me. Walking at a rapid pace with load for 5km up 400m vert generates far less cardiovascular strain in my body than riding the same gradient/distance with the same load. If the bike ride was the entirety of the trip then perhaps no problems, but considering it is only the first 5km and 400m vert, I can't go having pumped legs and bulging jugular at teh end of that otherwise easy stage of the trip. I'm vey fit, but perhaps not bike-fit. Dunno.

    I wasn't questioning your life[style] choice. I was highlighting that internet opinion should be backed up with first hand experience.

    Lets get back to Heinz's TR... [​IMG]
     
    #49 damian, Apr 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  50. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hakkoda (from what I have seen) and Hakuba (more from what I have read here and the glimpse I got) are two completely different experiences. There really isn't much in the way of 'big lines' at Hakkoda.

    As I mentioned before the appeal for Hakkoda is the amount and quality of snow in winter and the range of terrain easily accessed by the ropeway in spring. I'm just not capable of regularly climbing 1000m+ a day - that's what helis are for [​IMG] , so a couple of shortish climbs and a long ski suit me. I'm not tied to any particular area so am free to try what suits.

    Damian, having seen you tree skiing I can understand you point on the Dozo route. If I was there for an extended period I'd probably get bored with that aspect. From the few routes I have seen that is actualy pretty typical of the lower aspect terrain at Hakkoda. It is a vast expanse with several peaks but it all mellows out below treeline towards the road. For many of the people there (the majority of the people staying at the hotel were retirees) it is about the touring aspect with different views in a attractive setting in a relaxed style rather than out trying to score big lines.

    For steeper lines I would imagine that you would climb and probably lap a few of the peaks before heading back below treeline again.Though from what I saw they are mostly pretty exposed to the regular winds up there.

    I certainly enjoyed the experience. If and when I would go back I'm not sure.
     
    #50 Heinz, Apr 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013