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About jokemaker323

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  1. Maybe not, but the ski industry is suffering here. Satisfying market demand might be motivation enough for changes to happen faster than normal.
  2. Have an avi course booked in a month. The skiing has long since been the issue for me. I don't consider myself overly great or anything but I also have spent my life skiing with people who are really damn good and I get by. My biggest fears are of the uncontrollable and not of terrain I can't safely ski down due to skill. I'm going to take this one as a learning lesson. I get a knot in my stomach reading your post and thinking about it. I certainly had it on my mind while skiing there. We took turns and I was constantly paying attention to escape routes but that's not enough. I need to
  3. Correct, I'm not sure. Are you implying skiing on the other side of ropes is always idiotic? I'm not sure where you are from, but where I come from ropes are all over the place and often designed to absolve the resort of responsibility beyond them, regardless of whether there is a serious danger on the other side. We went to a place many others were going. Does that mean it was safe? No, it doesn't. But the implication that doing so is always stupid is off base. We were prepared to hike back should we feel the conditions warranted it but with so many other skiers and riders and tracks ar
  4. I just wanted to update that I had an amazing time. I really enjoyed the town and the skiing and snow was totally great. It was good snow and then great snow with some sunshine in between. As for my back country worries, I'm not entirely sure if we did anything dumb but we had a blast. The stuff under the Yamibiko chair was definitely fun and felt totally safe as well as some other trees that were right in between pistes or under lifts. I'm not really sure if it was totally stupid or not but our best runs were getting off the top Yamibiko lift and following a few people straight off the l
  5. Ippy, thanks so much for looking into this. So if you want to avoid any real avalanche risk (and of course I get that there is always SOME risk), is there still a way to ski off piste? Is no area controlled for in any except groomed pistes? Do people ever go with a guide or a group to do it? My skill level is okay. I have skied with some very good skiers in some tricky places. My personal comfort and knowledge with avalanche safety is not anywhere near as solid and since for once I will not be with my mountain guide type friends, I am a bit reserved here. I want to ski powder and fun
  6. Thanks guys. Is it easy/allowed to ski in the trees off the pistes in most places? Are they generally spaced out well enough for good skiing?
  7. Hey all. I've settled on Nozawa Onsen for my first ski trip in Japan and I am incredibly excited. I have just a few questions that can hopefully help me make the best of the trip. I'm a decent skier, but I am not well trained in avalanche safety and when I have skied in places with real risk, I have been with people with a lot of knowledge. This trip I will not have that luxury. I want to be able to ski off piste and enjoy the powder, but I also want to avoid getting into trouble areas where there is legit risk (obviously there is risk even on a flat piste etc etc). Any advice would
  8. ... and the monkey area is covered in pooh so make sure you dont like your shoes too much... Will keep that in mind Are they always there in February or do some people go and see nothing? Also, what do you guys think about me making Nozawa Onsen my top choice? Do you guys like the village and skiing there?
  9. I know it's a little off topic, but have any of you guys seen the snow monkeys bathing? Obviously it'd be a bit touristy but it looks cool too if it isn't TOO huge of an inconvenience. Any sense of getting there from Nozawa Onsen? Are other great ski hills closer to this?
  10. So rental shops just don't have boots that big? Googling around does give some hits but I have no idea how it actually is on the ground...websites seem to be saying they have at least to 30cm (i am 28) but i don't really know if that just means there is one pair and it can easily be out.. Also, totally unrelated, but a friend told me I will be in the region where the snow monkeys relax in their own private onsen and that would be pretty fun to see. I probably wouldn't travel half way around the world to see it, but if I am in the area, it definitely could be cool. What do you guys think
  11. Thanks a ton guys. I am leaning toward Nozawa Onsen right now. How does that sound?? So kind of urgent question since i am packing right now. Bringing my gear is going to be a problem. I am a long time skier. I am not an equipment snob by any means, but I don't want total garbage either. Will renting in the Nozawa/Nagano area be at all problematic to get decent stuff (and I really just mean decent, nothing special)? I would plan to go with a guided group in the back country for a couple of days and then ski the pistes for a day or two. Finally, I am 184cm (6ft) and my foot si
  12. Thanks again guys. These replies are incredibly helpful. I am 184cm (6ft) and have around a size 44eu (12 US) foot so it sounds like that could be an issue. Maybe I will have to lug my boots after all, but I'm definitely not bringing skis. If I didn't bring boots, do you think rental shops would have that size? Also to consider for resort destination is that I want to be able to easily ski off piste powder without us having to be totally clueless and possibly at risk. I have absolutely no idea how Japanese areas control for avalanches or how big of a concern they are. In North Amer
  13. Thanks a ton guys. Is the skiing that is closer to Tokyo good? Why does Niseko get so much more love (at least among the people I know)? Is it bigger/steeper or just more snow?
  14. I am going to be living in Tokyo for the month of February and would love to try to make it up to some of this legendary powder I've heard so much about. The main issue is the logistics for my situation and suggestions would be greatly appreciated on how to go about this trip. I will likely only have four nights (maybe flexible but not sure) to go skiing. First for the practical questions. I will likely have no gear with me and want to know how huge of an issue it will be to rent everything. -Can you even rent ski clothing along with the equipment or only skis/boots? -Are yo
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