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Boolugu Mez

SnowJapan Member
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Everything posted by Boolugu Mez

  1. I have the "seirus" wrist guards and they are pretty comfy as these things go... they fit under my gloves ok, but having said that I did get my wrist guards first, and took them into the store when I bought my gloves so I could be sure...
  2. Yes the power lines are excellent and in fact their presence should be celebrated !!! They remind us of mans dominion over nature by virtue of our innate and unsurpassed ability to generate electricity ........
  3. For sure Rucky, always is - last year I got fresh tracks in a foot of fresh pow on the runway at Nairta
  4. Well that's good news, JMA must have updated - I looked at this last week and their prediction was generally for things on the warmer side - still it's hard to put too much faith in a 3 month forecast based on averages, a few cold weeks early on and some subsequent warmer spells can spoil disaster for us short term trippers.... I want to know specifically if there will be massive dumps with low wind when I am there in the first couple of weeks in February.... Where is that reputable clairvoyant when I need him /her ????
  5. Where is this clairvoyant, and how do I arrange to give him / her loads of my money so he / she can tell me precisely when the best conditions will be??????? I have already booked but I'm worried that I could miss out on the very best days of the very best pow of the season !!!!
  6. well that definitely ties in with the results of another study released yesterday entitled " It was a rather cool-ish evening so I turned on my heater " in this study it was shown that it was, in fact, cool enough to require the use of artificial heating in order to overcome the (possibly) localised but more likely global effect of decline in temperature which may or may not be due to the start of an ice age.......
  7. Antarctic sea ice is covering a larger area, but there has been record reduction in the extent of the land based ice.......... which accounts for a huge proportion of total volume of land based ice in the world........ ... and the melting of the land based ice decreases the salinity of the sea immediately around Antarctica because of the massive extra volume of fresh water pouring off the land....... lower salinity of the ocean allows it to freeze at higher temperatures........... so for me, while interesting, not any kind of proof the world isn't heating up..... Just saying.......
  8. Soooo....first snow is earlier this year, but the annual climate change / ice-age debate is right on cue
  9. Boolugu Mez

    Did You Know.................?

    "satan oscillate my metallic sonatas" is the longest palindromic sentence that I have heard....
  10. Well just cause I enjoy a healthy debate backed up with a bit of "Facts" , and without "Cherry Picking" data or hysteria either way - the Bureau Of Meteorology annual reports show 2013 as the hottest year on record for Australia, 2012 above average, 2011 was the only year in the previous decade where ...some..... parts of the country were below average....... so across Australia ( kind of a big place.. ) it hasn't really been that cold lately....... Just sayin.... I would love it to be a bit colder, even if only a few degrees and only in the mountains for the benefit of fluffy white goodness, but I'm kind of hesitant to say the ice age cometh..... unless global warming leads to an influx of fresh water into the ocean and stops the north Atlantic conveyor which may mean Australia cooks while Europe shivers........ Maybe... and so forth....... Science .... Rhetoric...... and stuff........
  11. Speaking of tuition, been meaning to ask you for details of your services - as I don't know how to do private message on this site - do you mind getting in touch with me to discuss? Will be in Niseko in feb 2015 with my family and they will want lessons...... thanks in advance !!
  12. As one who skied regularly up till I was 19, then started boarding at 35, I reckon boarding is a bit harder on a different muscle group of your legs than skiing is, yet is much easier on the knees themselves....( I feel it in the thighs and outside parts lower thighs where the muscle joins the knees ) I reckon you're not as likely to do ACL injury when boarding as you don't have the possibility of stressing your knees if your skis get crossed / out of parallel.... ( in my not so expert opinion )
  13. arrrrgggghhhh - tell us pleeeaaaseee !!! The suspense is killing me already !!!
  14. Boolugu Mez

    The cost of owning a house

    Given that the "on Meth" and burglary connection now been firmly established, I reckon I will start up a security company in Toronto.......and maybe as a side business, a chain of Meth Labs & security companies in Japan..........
  15. Well yes... and no - It was a record dump....... for Tokyo ( i recall the news reports saying biggest in maybe 15 - 20 years ? ) As I said though, would rather have had it at the resort. Not a great trip statistic when the biggest dump you get while on your holiday is at Narita airport
  16. Tokyo ( located on an island ) definitely got a mega dump on the 8th Feb - 30cm reported, and we scored first tracks in bottomless pow while our plane made its way to the terminal on the airport taxi-ways when we arrived at 6am on the 9th Feb !!! Unfortunately this mega dump would have been much more welcome had it hit the resort, as it meant we were stuck in Narita for 14 hrs with no flights leaving for Sapporo ( which is located on a separate island - nonetheless, still located on an island..... ) , before the trains started moving again and we managed to get a 3 and a half hour train ride into Kawasaki ( located on the afore mentioned island - the one with Tokyo on it )
  17. From my perspective as viewed from afar ( very afar actually ) there were a couple of things which appear to have made this season a bit less than epic overall, especially when compared with last year (for Niseko at least) Bearing in mind that I only spent 2 weeks "in country" around early- mid Feb, both this year and last year, I do obsessively read the Now Reports, Mike Pow's season report and daily avalanche info. Things that really stood out for me this season as viewed onlline from Aus, and 2 weeks on the snow are: 1) Early season - a couple of good dumps in November followed by rain which obliterated the early base, meaning the resorts opened a week later than planned = NOT GOOD 2) January seemed to be blasting but then around the last week the taps seemed to turn right down through into early Feb. = NOT EPIC 3) My stay this year was summed up by the phrase "when is it going the snow for real so we can get some pow instead of sliding on this crusty and chopped up base ?!?!?!?" While I was there they even groomed Misoshiru FFS cause it was so cut up they would have had to re-name the run "Mogul-Shiru" and re-print all of the trail maps = NOT EPIC 5) Snowfall totals are well down on last year - Now reports this year at end of march showed season total of 1150cm compared with 1549cm last year IE this year had only 74% of the amount received last year - Feb in particular seemed to cop a drought - 178cm this year vs 406cm last year ( A mere 43% of last Feb !!!!!!!!!! ) = NOT GOOD, NOT GOOD, NOT GOOD, and certainly NOT EPIC. Don't get me wrong - I don't want to seem like I am saying it was all Doom and Gloom - while I was there this year we did get some snowfall towards the end of my trip, though the first week we were struggling to break the 10-15cm mark which is nice but surely not EPIC. I did have an absolute blast but compared with last year it was no contest ( I acknowledge that is the randomness of weather over a given 2 weeks, not representative of an entire season ) Interestingly, while riding the lifts /gondolas during that first week I spoke with several groups of folks on their first trip over who were buzzing and excitedly saying "Yeah, WOW !! it's Amazing!! All the locals are saying this is the best season ever!!!!! " so the hype factor was definitely on par with what you would expect.... easily as high as it was last year
  18. Boolugu Mez

    The best way to watch Star Wars

    Do droids have ancestors? Maybe Obi should apologise to his toaster & VCR just in case
  19. Boolugu Mez

    Great live performances

    That is so funny that it broke my brain ( and I actually quite like Radiohead )
  20. Boolugu Mez

    The best way to watch Star Wars

    Why didn't obi wan kenobi know who R2 and C3PO were in Star Wars IV when Luke Skywalker introduced them after Obi Wan saved them from the desert monsters......he met them in Star Wars I Good Point......... maybe they are like cars, loads of units made for each model? Or maybe Obi is a droidist and thinks they all look the same
  21. As a lucky recipient of one of the Hanazono Powder Guides “First Tracks Backcountry Tour” giveaway, recently offered by Snow Japan, I herewith gratefully submit my review of the experience- As a bit of preamble to provide some context and a background report on my trip in general, I was boarding with a group of friends in Niseko from February 10th ~ 19th, my second time visiting this region and once again staying in the Niseko Village area of the resort. We landed on snow mid way through an unusually dry spell which had hit this part of Hokkaido. We experienced some spectacular bluebird days which although quite nice, unfortunately brought only minimal dustings of snow occasionally interrupting the generally clear skies – let’s face it if you want sunshine on your snow holiday then Niseko is probably the last place you would choose to go. This weather meant that the resort conditions were packed snow, with a well developed sun/wind crust formed on the exposed areas, moguls on the ungroomed runs, and any remaining powder amongst the trees fairly well shredded to bits by the lack of any recent fresh top-ups. By day 4 we had an improvement in the snow situation - the avalanche report stating 20cm of fresh snow overnight at the base, the day brought sunny skies with only moderate wind. This was good, allowing the top lifts to open and although the wind had scoured a lot of the new snow off the exposed areas, there were some deeper pockets to be found in gullies and amongst the trees. Knowing that my days on snow were limited, and after a taste of a little pow I had to make the call to HPG to book in my guided tour. Weather watch can sometimes be like a kind of torture - short range forecasts were fairly ambiguous, often contradicting and/or changing their tune with regard to the upcoming conditions. It was clear that there was a low pressure system trying to set up for a decent dump, but just when the storm would hit and for how long the wind would shut down the upper mountain was not clear. I took a punt and booked the tour for my second last day, crossing fingers and praying to snow gods that the storm would deliver the goods and then the weather would clear up so I would get to score lovely fresh deep powder and access to the peak gates. Two days before my tour date the storm hit, generating blizzard conditions and delivering 20cm overnight. The strong wind meant that the top lifts closed at all resorts and Niseko Village & Annupuri Gondolas also shut down. Had some good riding down low, with the wind moving so much snow around that there were plenty of fresh tracks found in the more protected areas. The day before my tour the relentless wind continued to batter the area savagely The blizzard conditions had shut down the top of the mountain once again, winds were strong enough that at both Annupuri and Hanazono only the very lowest lifts were able to open. Visibility was atrocious at times – to be able to go anywhere you really needed a guide dog who grew up on the mountain and also possessed some kind of high-tech sonar/radar gear and a GPS device - the lights came on at 1pm over at Annupuri, but they did absolutely nothing to improve the situation!! Still, the snow was quite good, and I was amping for my tour tomorrow morning. On the morning of my tour the harsh weather had not abated. I called HPG, and was told that the tour was postponed due to wind closing the top lifts and avalanche hazard shutting all but the lowest gates. I was advised that it would be possible to do a tour in 2 days once the weather cleared, however as I would be flying out by then I asked if I could do the tour in whatever terrain was available in Hanazono on the day – even if that was only Strawberry / Blueberry fields. The tour operator Joe agreed that if I was happy with this, then it could be done – this meant that I was lucky enough to be the only guest going out that day with the guide Joe jumped in his car and picked me up shortly after 7am, stopping to collect my guide Matt on the way over to Hanazono. Once we arrived at Hanazono I was given a backpack with poles, shovel & avalanche beacon, shown how to switch into search mode and follow a signal should Matt be caught in a slide. Joe stressed that I should only attempt a rescue if it was safe to do so without further endangering myself – if in doubt I was advised to get ski patrol on the scene post-haste !! Although unlikely to be used due to the areas we were able to access, it was nevertheless reassuring to know we had the gear if needed. Matt & Joe were in constant radio contact with ski patrol and the resort lifties, who updated them on the conditions, lifts and gates opening situation. The first tracks tour allows you to ride the lifts from as early as 7:30am, an hour before the general public - giving guaranteed freshies with no crowds competing for the goodness!! With another 30cm fresh snow overnight to add to the previous 2 days of snowfall I was super pumped to ride whatever was on offer - Hanazono #3 was definitely not going to open due to wind, however they were working on getting Hanazono #2 open shortly which would open up a bit more of the mountain. We got onto the base lift just before 8am as the staff were still loading chairs and did our first run through Strawberry Fields – It was wind scoured at the top but once we got amongst the trees the snow was fantastic - fresh lines all the way, knee to thigh deep and great powder conditions. Floating on the almost soundless cushion of powder snow after the abrasive noise of the crust on the ridge area was absolute bliss. This is exactly what started my addiction to Hokkaido snow riding – the effortless delight of weightless powder, coupled with experiencing nature - I love being out in the bush and it was particularly sublime to be there with only one other person riding in these conditions. Truly privileged. Some pics ( with many apologies to all of the good photographers out there ! ) At the entrance to Strawberry Fields: Upper Strawberry Fields: Traversing across to find the sweet, sweet pow: Lower Strawberries - Plenty of freshies !!!! More superb runs in Strawberries then Blueberries followed, with fresh tracks each time. Once the Hanazono #2 lift opened we headed up for a run out of Gate 9. Immediately out the gate there was a short hike across a forested plateau through thigh to waist deep snow ( initially Matt broke a trail and I tried to follow him on my board using the poles provided – but as the poles were sinking all the way down in the fresh snow I was making slow progress so I elected to unstrap and slog it on foot ) Although somewhat exhausting (Note to self – more training is required for next season!!), the effort was well worth it as Matt had lead us to a drop in point at the start of a great run down a wide open slope of deep powder which resulted in yet more fresh tracks and face-shots-a-plenty before winding our way down through the trees and joining the piste again. By now there were more punters at the bottom lift line, but Matt kept ahead of the pack by taking us through different tree runs, sometimes traversing further to get fresh lines and we rarely saw another skier. After we had gone through an area once, on the next run he would pull up at the top of a slope, discuss lines, show me our exit point and say “Plenty of room to move, some good deep snow over there – go for it mate” giving me miles of fresh untracked snow. Although we were in generally mellow terrain due to not having access to the peak gates, it was great to have a guide to lead me through the tree runs, sniff out the best powder and easily find the piste again without hitting any flat spots resulting in unnecessary walking out, or coming upon any of the nasty surprises which can happen if you are in unfamiliar terrain ( EG cliff drops, open creeks or glide cracks ). On one run we pulled up to check out a potential line near the edge of a drop in to find a newly formed cornice which had partially collapsed, Matt who pulled up first spotted it and warned me to stay back, and chose another safer entry point away from the cornice area. In all it was a great experience, I am very grateful to Snow Japan and Hanazono Powder Guides for giving me the chance to explore the great snow conditions with them. I will definitely be booking with HPG next year and hoping that the weather co-operates and allows access to the upper mountain! Thanks again for the awesome prize !!!!!!!!
  22. Boolugu Mez

    Hiking Hiyoriyama

    Doing that in one climb is pretty gnarly - most folk need to do it in stages over several days or even weeks in order to acclimatise and avoid the seriously debilitating and often deadly effects of altitude sickness.
  23. We really need the Royals, and a Royal visit is Just Super !!! If we didn't have the Royals, what would be the point of our fearless leader bringing back the honour system of recognising highly all of the acheiving Aussies with a Knighthood / Dame title? Plus, we mustn't forget the huge contibution that the Royals make to our economy - without them some excellent, highly credible and respected journalistiic publications like Womens Weekly and New Idea magazines would be forced out of business due to a lack of Royal Family news items, which are a source of vital information to the majority of Aussie society.......
  24. Boolugu Mez

    Smoke

    I myself am one of those filthy smokers, but cannot stand the act of doing it indoors or even in a car. Was very pleased when pubs & clubs banned indoor smoking in Aus. Almost vomit when I'm in Japan having a smoke in those tiny little glass rooms at airports & hotels.... my theory is that they do it not as a convenience for smokers, but rather as a form of punishment for their evil habit.

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