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About RedLotus

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    SJ'er with 10+ posts
  1. Yeah there are two: Akakura Kanko and Akakura Onsen. They have separate tickets, although you can buy a joint one. But I think a looong time ago there were like 6 small resorts. These eventually merged into the two. The owner of the pension where I am staying still refers to them by their old names which always confuses me.
  2. marku - The 'Champion' lifts are part of Akakura Kanko. I think they were originally a separate resort, but now they are combined (no idea how far back). The lift I was talking about was the right most lift, just before you enter Akakura Onsen ski area.
  3. On topic: You can see plenty of tree runs from the top lifts at Akakan and Suginohara as BM said. I'd say Akakan is probably the better of the two for tree runs. At Akakan, if you are a bit more adventurous, I've seen people go far skiers left from the top chair and come out on the other side of the ridge (comes out near the champion 3 lift top station). Also under and around that lift are many lines. You can see most of these areas from lifts and on course, so I'm sure you can find some good runs easily.
  4. The weekend was epic in Myoko, Saturday would have to have been my best day skiing ever. Off piste the snow was crazy deep, every turn was a face shot (if you could get up enough speed). My skis are 96mm at the waist, and it was hard to keep moving off piste. Watching the weekenders from Tokyo try to follow my tracks with carving skis was just hilarious. I had a gut instinct that they would (finally) open the top chair at Akakura Onsen, and I timed my run just right - they were just starting to prepare the lift as I went past (~11am). I waited for like 20 minutes or so, and got to be first up there. This black run had been closed for almost a week, and had about a meter of untouched powder (well, except for two guys who hiked it). Just amazing! I must have done like 6 or 7 runs before it started to get a bit of traffic. This morning was very sunny and a little warm. I went over to Ikenotaira. I'd heard that it was the least interesting of the Myoko resorts, but I quite enjoyed it. There are many nice mellow tree runs, and easy powder to be found all over the mountain. Not very steep, but just right for my skill level. They do have a big park there also, if you're into that kind of thing. Snow quality off piste was so-so today, but I'll definitely head back there if we get a decent snowfall later in the week. Some pics from today:
  5. Was a great day out on the mountain today with lots of powder and not many people. The snow is already quite deep in places, I saw many people getting stuck off piste. I had a quick look over at Akakura Onsen to see if the top lift was running - but it wasn't . The base of that lift was partially buried. After a skiing to the bottom I realised that more than half of Akakura Onsen's lifts are buried under all this snow! What really annoyed me is that they were digging out this tiny lift that didn't open any new terrain, but they just left their one interesting lift shut all day! I didn't take many photos, as visibility wasn't great, but here are a few: NHK's snow warning was for up to 90cm in Niigata mountain areas over the next 24hrs.
  6. The snow has returned! Looks like about 30cm in town so far, and it is still snowing heavily.
  7. Went to Suginohara again today - I figured it had the highest elevation, and least chance of rain. However, the top lift wasn't running! It was raining most of the day at base, turning to wet snow about halfway up. Visibility was terrible, almost total white out at times. Yesterday was actually quite nice out on the mountain, before the snow got too heavy. Nice blue skies: If you are staying near any of the 'Big 4' resorts (Akakura Kanko, Akakura Onsen, Ikenotaira and Suginohara) there are free shuttle buses between the resorts. Roughly one per hour. If you are coming in by train, Myokokogen station was closed for several days because of the heavy snow. They have probably reopened it by now (with this warm weather), but you should probably check.
  8. I'm here until the 19th, so still got a fair bit of time to explore. I did go over to Suginohara on Saturday. I really enjoyed it! All the lifts on the map were running until about 3pm, when the wind really picked up and the top lift was closed. The snow was deep up on the top chair early on, but it was quite busy (being a weekend). I didn't take any photos over there as the visibility was very low. Planning to go back again before this weekend, maybe Thurs/Fri. Starting to get warm today. Snow was good until lunch though, I was able to find some easy tree areas that weren't trashed from the weekend. Hopefully we don't take too much rain damage before it turns to snow tomorrow.
  9. Some photos from around Myoko over the past few days - mostly Akakura area so far. There's a lot of snow here! Buried lifts and 4m+ snow walls around town, I've never seen so much snow before. Enjoy!
  10. The only issue I've noticed in Furano is with Takyubin services. There are several days delay in sending packages, depending on which prefecture you are sending to. Apart from that, it is just really quiet.
  11. Yeah, have a good trip back south. See you next season!
  12. Yeah, once I knew my girl and her family were all ok, I was fine with going out for a ski. Up here in Furano we only just felt the quake, so I wasn't too concerned. If I was on Honshu though, I'd probably stay in. It was very quiet early on, but by about 10 there were a few people out on the mountain. We've had a high school race meet here for almost a week, and the races where cancelled for today - I think that there might be many Tohoku schools competing.
  13. No worries kokodoko. Furano is looking good for tomorrow anyway. It has really started coming down in the last hour, right as I started walking back from downtown!
  14. Yeah, it wasn't too bad today. Some storms coming in to central Hokkaido on the JMA radar now. Should be good tomorrow! Hey Kokodoko, if you (and anyone else at alpine) are keen for Kamui on friday, could you see if the owner would be interested in going there instead of Tomamu? The forecast has been downgraded a little, but it still should be a good day at Kamui. Tomamu doesn't look like it will get much snow. I have another friend who wants to go also, so that would make 4. Might need a few more people...
  15. Kamui is looking good for Thursday/Friday but no bus on those days Anyone from Furano heading out that way?


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