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Everything posted by RedLotus

  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 fi
  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
  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,
  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 fr
  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, 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.
  12. 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!
  13. 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...
  14. Kamui is looking good for Thursday/Friday but no bus on those days Anyone from Furano heading out that way?
  15. Nice day out there today, but yesterday was even better. Plenty of powder to be found all over the mountain. Some photos from yesterday: Riding the lift to the top of giant course. Snow boarder ahead of me (Mick Rich?) straps in while on the chair to avoid an evil skier overtaking him for first tracks. First tracks down the giant course. Kokodoko on the right. Dynamic course My favourite part of the giant course, right hand side off piste. Trees at the entrance to the premium zone. Snow here was quite deep and mostly untouched all day. No ropes
  16. Been in Furano for a week, and the only time I've had to wait at a lift line was because of the school groups. Usually only a minute or two, and only on the bottom quad, which is easily avoided. They also don't load them properly here, often one or two people per quad seat!
  17. I'll add a few photos from around Furano today: Looking up the hill on the Kitanomine side, from the lower chair lift. Single chair lift, Kitanomine side. A good visual indication of the additional snow we have got recently. Three days ago, this flag was completely exposed (now just top 1/3 showing). They had better re-set it soon, or they may lose it for the season. Easy powder to be found, even at 1pm (when this photo was taken) View out to Furano from the link lift. And a photo from a few days ago, before the recent
  18. Tomamu does have a decent park, they had a fairly large half pipe and a whole range of kickers and rails last year. The accommodation/eating situation, however, is nothing like Furano. You are basically stuck in the resort complex and there isn't much choice. I don't think there is any cheap accommodation near the lifts. Maybe a few pensions, but I don't think they are within walking distance. It is best done as a day trip from Furano. Last season, Furano had nighta on both sides of the mountain every night. In kitanomine it was just the bottom lift, which covers green runs only - but thi
  19. I can recommend Pension Lavender. Stayed there last season for a few weeks - good value, 100m or so to lifts and good breakfasts! Will be heading back in January. I think the cheapest option close to the lifts is probably Furano Alpine Backpackers. They also run a bus to Kamui and Tomamu for day trips.
  20. Skiing for me, just started recently - Two trips to NZ and one to Furano.
  21. Thanks everyone for the responses. By 'intermediate' I mean that I can handle blue runs at decent speed and getting ok at off piste. Still got heaps to learn, especially in powder! I'm planning on being in Japan for a long time, maybe even the whole season, so I'll have plenty of time to improve my technique. This will be my first set of skis, just been using rentals on previous trips (have my own boots). Tried a few 80 width (Recon and Salomon XWing etc) in NZ a few weeks ago and was quite happy with them on the groomers. Unfortunately, we didn't get any fresh snow while we were the
  22. Hi All, Going to be coming to Japan this season, and I'm looking to buy a set of skis in Tokyo when I arrive. I've been doing a lot of research, but I'm interested to hear what people's personal experience with different all mountain ski widths in Japanese conditions are. Myself, I'm 170cm, 70kg and an intermediate skill level. I'm after an all mountain ski that I can take anywhere in Japanese ski resorts (especially in Hokkaido). My dilemma is trying to decide which side of the 50/50 line I should go... Top of my list right now is the K2 AMP Rictor 127/80/109 (or last season's
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