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Spring backcountry gathering in Japan

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by damian, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. damian

    damian A Local

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    The best part is that by this stage in April the road has been cleared for 5km, but not opened. Meaning a dry hump in on boots, and back out (it is not possible to consistently skin or ski along the side of the road so easily).
     
    #301 damian, Apr 19, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2013
  2. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    What's the avy danger like on slopes like that at the moment?
     
  3. damian

    damian A Local

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    Avalanche danger is a constantly moving target. At this time of year you can go from Low to High in the space of a morning, depending on aspect and elevation. Right now, on steep (therefore more shaded) north facing slopes between 2400m and 2800m the avalanche danger is almost Low in the morning, Moderate as the day warms. Three days ago it was Considerable becoming to High with day time warming... with plenty of natural avalanche activity taking place. By tomorrow it will be even more stable on more shaded slopes. On slopes like that one pictured from yesterday, isolated slab from the last new snow a few days ago is what I was looking out for. You can find plenty of exposed 'ice' and scoured areas, then at the ridge it can be 30cm deep, so I ease my way in down a scoured rib then enter the couloir and when skiing, I always feel better when my skis are pointing in the direction of the safe zone to the side (every second turn). Today when I was skiing, each pole plant was a hard stabbing one trying to see if the slab above the crust was suddenly getting deeper, turn-for-turn. At one stage, in the space of two turns, it went from the typical 15cm deep to 40cm deep and became steeper over a roll. So I stopped and went back a bit to where it was thin and more supported. This was at about 2600m where I found some nice snow to the north in a great bowl with ridges that almost never gets skied.

    [​IMG]

    Oh, and the sunsets at this time of year get better with every day. The view from my house.
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    #303 damian, Apr 19, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  4. The Bush Patrol

    The Bush Patrol Addicted

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    That first line looks like the ridge that Rapie wanted to ski the other week & avi in the gully at the bottom, is that right or was it from the col you pointed out to the right of it ?
     
  5. damian

    damian A Local

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    He was talking about the terrain which is accessed via the Happo ski lifts and a walk along the ridgeline. It is in the background of both photos. It is far easier to access, however skiing it also means that descending in tight terrain to lower altitude is mandatory - not what I like at this time of year of I can avoid it, or at least minimise it.
     
  6. BrianWilson

    BrianWilson One of Us

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    Ok, have sorted through some of the photos and posted the ones I think look alright. I have some decent footage on video so will hope to put together something with that shortly.....

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    Arriving at Narita and waiting for the Chuo Taxi

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    The Bush Patrol enjoying some powder

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    Likewise Frast Rimey

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    Got used to seeing this each time we got up in the morning

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    Not the line of people climbing behind us. They were relentless!

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    Setting up camp - nice views [​IMG]

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    After a day's skiing

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    Last afternoon at the camp with beers

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    Digging for beers on the last day of skiing

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    The Bush Patrol struggles on the climb out with a belly full of beer [​IMG]

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    A nice bowl for cruisy turns

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    There are always ninja's in Japan

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    The last night enjoying the outdoor BBQ

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    The exped paying its way - 5am at KL airport operating on 2 hours sleep with nothing open.....
     
    #306 BrianWilson, Apr 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  7. GS

    GS Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    V nice, anymore?
     
  8. DJM

    DJM One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    [​IMG]
    The pic with all the people climbing in the background! ???
    Is that common?
     
    #308 DJM, Apr 21, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  9. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks, [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Not jealous much. Maybe next year.
     
    #309 telecrag, Apr 21, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  10. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    Again, more very nice pix. (maybe not the ninja pic though---that's scary)
    How many 6 packs did you lads lug up the hill?
     
  11. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Epic [​IMG]
     
    #311 smitty484, Apr 21, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  12. BrianWilson

    BrianWilson One of Us

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    The days we were up there, yep it was real common. And the Japanese, well they pick the straightest route between two points and stick too it. Normally that is straight up the hill. On a sunny day the entry point to the backcountry/slackcountry is busier than George st at peak hour.
     
    #312 BrianWilson, Apr 21, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013