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Everything posted by beowulf

  1. I do not want to say this place, because people might actually start going there, but Hakkoda in Aomori is pretty good.
  2. 13, though I will head out again in May once or twice. The low attendance is down to only going night skiing twice the entire season. It has not been a very productive season for me with no Hokkaido or Aomori snowboarding too. Next year I must get back to Hokkaido.
  3. I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure you start at the top of the mountain (near the buddha) and then head down the Zangezaka - Juhyougen Course, which leads into Utopia. This is the only place for snowboarders, which might cause them to get off their board, but if you "gun it" from the top of Sailer Course you should be fine. From Utopia you just follow your nose as it connects to the Hyakumannin Slope, which leads onto the Omori Giant Course, which eventually leads you to Omori Slope or whatever course you want to take. As far as I know this is the 9/8 km course, which does not feel
  4. I have been to Zao twice this year and it has been really good on each occasion. I put this down to only choosing to go when there has been practically no wind and a good dump of snow the night before. However, I have a question for Ilovezao. I have been going to Zao for the last nine years, so i know it pretty well, but I have only ridden "The Wall" once, about eight years ago when it was ice. Since that time it has never been open on subsequent visits. IloveZao, how often do they open it and when they do open it what are the conditions like? While I am at it...why do not they put
  5. Can somebody tell me how dangerous Rusutsu is behind the ropes? Because if there is one place that does not seem to care where you go, it is Rusutsu. I am quite conservative when I go off-piste, because I do not want to die. But skiing/snowboarding off-piste to me is very similar to surfing (I have been surfing for nearly 25 years now). You have to be careful and appreciate that things can go wrong very quickly. I snowboard a lot by myself, so basically the one thing I keep in mind is, "where do I come out?" If I cannot see a clear way back to the resort or piste I do not go off-pist
  6. Looks pretty good to me. It appears I will be heading to Nozawa in February for a weekend, so I hope the crowds are similar to what you experienced.
  7. My local here in Yamagata had 20-30cms of fresh snow that fell on a 50cm base. I would like to say I had fun today, but the wind was up, so I packed it in after about two hours. It was fun though. It looks like for the next couple of days we should get a bit of snow. However, from Thursday it looks like it is going to warm up.
  8. In my part of Yamagata the one place that does nighta probably ekes out its existence from its nighta regulars. I absolutely love nightas, because I have all day to decide whether I want to go or not. Last year I went so often at night that I started having problems seeing during the day while snowboarding.
  9. It really depends on the snow and how motivated I am to go early in the season. But I daresay I will get to the mountains between 25 to 40 times this season.
  10. See you in Rusutsu Beowulf Did I meet you two years ago at Rusutsu with your brother? it was really cold, but the snow was amazing and very deep. If so, it would be really cool to meet up with you. Also I cannot remember either of your names. Obviously if you are not the person I am thinking of, please disregard this post.
  11. Rusutsu - 4th of January to 8th of January (Four days is not enough, but I think I will hit Rusutsu and Niseko in March again, but this is heavily dependent on the weather). Naeba - At some point in February. Zao - From the start of the season until the end of the season. Aomori - I am still yet to hit Aomori in winter, but late January is looking on the cards.
  12. There are a myriad of reasons why people go to Niseko, but I think it boils down to two: 1. It is very good. 2. Logistically it is relatively easy to get to. Get on a plane;land at Shin Chitose; take a shuttle bus to Niseko. Easy really.
  13. Given that Tokyo gets very little snow except maybe well out in the Okutama area, I doubt Nino/Nina have much effect. What snow Tokyo does get tends to come in very late winter and melt away in 12 C sunshine the following day. Absolutely, Tokyo does not get that much snow, but I was thinking of ski resorts closer to Tokyo that might get a bit more snow because of "El Nino". The reason why Tokyo gets more snow in an "El Nino" year is due to the warm ocean water south of Tokyo caused by "El Nino". They were saying on NHK the other night that the snowfall misses Kansai, but hits Kanto, du
  14. Traditionally in an "El Nino" year Tokyo gets a lot more snow than normal, so one can assume that some of the more southern lying ski resorts in Gunma and Tochigi will probably have some good dumps as well. The last genuine "El Nino" winter was back when they held the Nagano Olympics (1998), so if people are worried about snowfall for this coming winter I would check the winter of 1998 for an idea of what to expect at your local ski resort. It is always difficult to predict snowfall, but I will go out on a limb and say that the season will start early this year with some good dumps in late
  15. I have never been to Furano, so I am generally curious to know what it is like. However, I have formed a very strong relationship with Rusutsu, and go there every year, so I would appreciate it if you did not. The nightlife is pretty non-existant, but they have some nice restaurants. I think that if you snowboard from 9 in the morning to 9 at night, the nightlife is really not that important.
  16. As always Ippy your advice is salient and to the point. Thanks for the advice everyone, I do not plan to buy a board until early November, so I have a bit of time to research the different kinds of boards I might potentially purchase. Very cool video...he is a bit better than me....
  17. Thanks for that. It looks like a really good board, but I will wait to hear from a few of the other members before I make a decision.
  18. Good question! I knew I should have written my stats down. Male (sorry about that, but you can all at least imagine her voice when you read my posts) Height: 170cm Weight: 64kg Shoe size: 27cm
  19. I have decided to buy a new board for this season, so I am looking for suggestions regarding a good board to buy. Basically I am looking for a good, free-ride board that handles well in powder, but still allows me to have a bit of fun in Park. Ostensibly I like to go off-piste and/or slack country when the snow is good, but I also go out with friends who like to muck about in Park. As an old man I tend to enjoy cruising between the trees the most these days. Any suggestions good people of Snow Japan?
  20. I do not wear a helmet, but I do not really do anything that dangerous. I go off piste all the time, but I am more concerned with avalanches than things falling on my head or running into trees head first. I think people who do park should consider wearing a helmet, or anybody who does half-pipe. I mean it is pretty dangerous and skateboarders who do half-pipe always wear a helmet.
  21. This place is not really central, but it is cheap. http://www.newkoyo.com/ I stayed here about ten years ago and really liked it, mainly because it had no curfew. In Japan backpackers/hostels tend to have a very early curfew. This place in a Hatagaya is a bit more central. http://www.sakura-hotel-hatagaya.com/rooms.php This place as well is not too bad and it is in Ikebukuro, so it is on the very easy to understand Yamanote line. I stayed here many moons ago and I did enjoy it. http://www.kimiryokan.jp/location.html I have listed cheap places that have English speak
  22. Rusutsu, because nobody goes there. It also gets about as much powder as anywhere else and it has some truly great tree runs that are always fun. I must admit though that in all the time I have spent there I have only seen the sun on two occasions. Zao on a really nice day is also really cool. Even if the snow is terrible, on a nice day it just does not matter, because it is so beautiful. Seriously, on a clear day when you can see Mount Chokai it is just perfect. Obviously if the weather is not so nice and the snow is terrible it can also be the worst experience, but that is lik
  23. To the Op: The above is a very good question, because if you are staying at Rusustsu they should offer you a shuttle bus to come and pick you up from the airport. If I remember correctly it costs about the same as Donan Bus. Having said that though Donan is also good and pretty easy to find from the train station. Last question.....Can your computer read Japanese characters? If not then I guess one of us can write out the times for you.
  24. If you have not booked already you might want to shoot an e-mail off to Rusutsu Resort and find out how much they are charging for people to stay in the Highland Lodge section of the hotel this year. If memory serves me correctly it is not usually featured in English, but it costs about 15,000 yen a night, which includes a lift pass and breakfast. I love Niseko, but I continue to spend most of my time at Rusutsu when I make my annual trip north to Hokkaido. Having said that though, I agree with Mick Rich, spend four days in Niseko and then two at Rusutsu. You should have a lot of fun.
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