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About jondreads

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  1. 54 days, mainly half. Snowboarded until midday then worked until midnight. Pretty tiring. Ran out of steam by March. Needed a holiday
  2. I think there was still the odd patch of snow on Yotei last July. I have no idea when you are no longer able to ski or board down.
  3. Around Niseko some farmers put ash on the snow a few weeks ago. The theory is that this makes the snow melt more quickly because it will reflect less sunlight. I don't know if it helps, but it certainly looks ugly. We also had a good dump of snow last week which covered all the ash so maybe they were a bit premature.
  4. You don't need an adapter as USB 3 devices can be plugged into USB 2 ports (which the mac has). The new iMacs are rumoured to be out in June or July.
  5. It maybe April but today was one of the best days boarding I've had. Fresh powder and nobody else around. I mean nobody. Easy to hit powder available all day long. Where are you all? ;-)
  6. Somehow I managed to dig the front of my board into the side of a piste back in December when trying to get back on the piste. As I was cartwheeling over much of my weight must have been supported by my front knee which I could see was bending at a crazy angle. I was shouting "no no no!" as I was going over. Really thought that was the end of my season. Luckily it only partially tore the ligaments in the knee. It was very painful for a month but completely fine when snowboarding. Then in January I managed to hit a tree knees first when doing an emergency stop. Damn that smarted! Not been
  7. I first came to Niseko in the summer and liked it so much that I decided to stay ;-) It's not too hot so you can get outside and enjoy yourself. Camping, hiking, barbecues, rafting, driving around with the sunroof open, etc. Everybody's chilled out. It's the complete opposite to Tokyo! And as a bonus it's got all these great apartments that are mostly empty in the summer and can be rented at a reasonable cost (last year there were a lot of Fukushima evacuees in town). It's well worth a visit in summer. You do need a car though.
  8. It's my first year in Niseko but I'd say it's been pretty awesome . We've had over 13m of snow so far at village level and I believe it is more than they had all of last year. It is a bit of a pain to get to Niseko from Tokyo - it's a good 6 hours from central Tokyo to piste. If you're short on time then you may want to head to Yuzawa which is less than 2 hours from central Tokyo.
  9. Welcome to the forum! You can get an idea from the April 2011 snow reports at http://www.snowjapan.com/e/daily/niseko-now-archive.php?month=04&year=2011 It looks like the first week was a mixture of sun, snow and rain, and the snow was wet & heavy as opposed to the famous dry & light Niseko pow.
  10. The only one I can think of is at the top of hanazono 2 if you turn left to get to Holiday or the Waterfall gate it's uphill. The drag lift there is turned off, but's only 20m or so. I have been wondering why they didn't put the top of that lift just a little further up the slope... However I feel sorry for the skiers because I can scoot faster than them uphill (but then they overtake me when I stop to buckle up)
  11. May be a translation thing. Japanese often use the word "kawa" to refer to a river or stream, but it is usually translated as "river".
  12. My friend visited last month and he used the gps-motion-x app on his iPhone. He used wifi to download the maps and start the tracker, but after that he was fine and didn't need to use roaming. The big downside is that it drains the battery, and personally I'd rather have some juice left in case I need to call rescue!
  13. If you have Google Earth on your computer then you can download the The OpenStreetMap overlay for Google Earth. This is a map similar to google maps but it also has the lifts on the map (at least for Niseko). You can then just hover your mouse over the start and end points to find the altitude. (For instance it looks to me like the Hirafu Gondola starts at 303m and ends at 752m). @Mamabear, if you have an iPhone or Android phone you can download a GPS tracker app which will collect lots of funky information like distance travelled, max speed, total ascent etc. If you have wifi access you c
  14. The Grand Hirafu map gives Ski Patrol's number as 0136 22 2167 (you may need to use +81 136 21 2167 if calling from a foreign phone). http://grand-hirafu.jp/winter/en/mountain/gelande.html If that doesn't work try one of the standard emergency numbers (110 for police or 119 if for fire & medical).
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