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Twiki

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About Twiki

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    SJ'er with 50+ posts
  1. Just had a month boarding in NZ. The terrain, people and prices (especially club-fields) are sick, but the snow isn't! We got about 30cm in the whole month I was in the southern Alps with only one substantial fall. Still, it was a great trip worth all the core-shots my board received. The locals couldn't believe it had done three season of off-piste in Japan as the base looked so new to them. Not now! If I went again, I'd plan to stay in Christchurch for a month and just head up to the hills when the snow comes in. Recommendations? Treble Cone for terrain and being the best commercial field on the South Island, Craigieburn for great chutes, steeps and hits - not for beginners though (plus 3man will get you a bed, all meals and passes everyday for a week). Coming back to Japan again soon for the real snow tho... Anyone up for installing a nutcracker rope-tow in the Nagano BC?!?
  2. Biggest in Japan in terms of lifts (unlinked) is Hakuba, in terms of linked lifts is Niseko. In the world, its Les Trois Valee (Meribel, Courcheval, Val Thorens et al.) in France, with over 500 kms of groomed slopes and well over 100 lifts! Vert wise it has to be Chamonix (also France) with over 3000m of lifted terrain. Puts Whistler to shame (1800m)! If only it had the snowfall to back it up... hope that answers.
  3. Gassan, obviously! The question for the mathmeticians is: if it opens in April with 8-10metres of the stuff on the ground, what is the average annual snowfall? Surely a contender for most snow in the world?
  4. Certainly was sick on Friday Matt - what a great end to 6 sweet Hakuba weeks... Was good to get out with you again this season, and I should be there next if the lady lets me... Did you get any more patrol hassles after I left you guys? Dan
  5. anyone else noticed that Tuesday and Wednesday are the phat days this season? It always starts to dump on Sunday night and by tuesday it's huge. A friend told me that honshu has a 4 day cold and 3 day warm sequence for winter and thus the dumps run on a weekly schedule - any thoughts? Glad I'm no longer a weekend warrior but going every day!
  6. Yeah, I was eyeing that sight to, and I think that the 10 snowiest resorts are the ten that are due to recieve the most snow in the next week according to their meteoroligical models. If Gassan opens in April with about an 8m base, how much snow has actually fallen there over a season ignoring compression over time? I wouldn't be suprised if it was in the region of 20m!
  7. A friend of mine was asked to give his ticket over at Tsugaike when he was physically wrestled to a stop by 2 ski-patrollers (I had high tailed it down). He just stood his ground refused to give his name, give his ticket, speak any Japanese, or go to the bottom lodge with them. In the end they gave up and just shouted at him and then followed him for about 20 mins. I know that Mitch from snowbeds lost his season pass at 47 last season (I think it was on one of the first days he used it). Unfortunately for him, the patrol there recognised him and checked his name on their file... My experience an Niseko is that officially they care, but really they don't. I've come out from the OB area onto the groomed right infront of lifties/patrol there and they've never said anything. I'm planning on getting a Goryu/47 season pass this year and was thinking of getting someone's finished "point" ticket (one of those where each lift you use deducts some points off your total bought) to hand over if caught. Will still have to be careful though...
  8. Yo badmigraine! I lived in Switzerland too as a kid (about 12 years ago)! What school were you at? I also lived in the US for a year later on, but I can't agree with you that there is nothing special for advanced skiers/boarders in Japan. Every area's boarding (or skiing) is different and has it's advantages and disadvantages. The European Alps, particularly Switzerland and France offer truly huge ski-areas and fantastic verticals, pretty villages (well Switzerland and Austria!) and seemingly endless sunny days. However, snowfalls are much smaller and less frequent and all the easily accessed powder is rapidly tracked out. North America offers smaller resorts but with bigger snowfalls. The towns may lack some of the alpine charm, but the snow and service makes up for it. Easy to reach powder goes quickly and the vert is usually comparible with Japanese resorts (although Mt Bohemia's web site claimed only 300m!). I too haven't found any great in-bounds steeps like those in Verbier or Chamonix, but the powder stays untracked longer, there is no (or less) attitude like the west and an onsen and ramen are better than a shower and a 'burger! If you want serious challenge, perhaps give hiking and telemarking a go. Personally, I'll be bombing through the trees, fleeing the ski-patrol and lapping up the deep and fluffy. Although I still look up at the North Alps and wonder why there aren't any cable cars going right to the top! If they did that too and opened up some serious terrain, Japan would rule! Today's snowdepths (reported at the lower lifts): Chamonix: 30cm Vail: 81cm Arai:300+cm I know where I'd rather be...
  9. Your welcome pdr! thanks ivo! By the way ivo, how's the season going in CH this year? I hear better in the east than the west but still not good. I used to live and slide there, but now after discovering Japan powder there seems no going back... Still, Verbier's terrain and size has to be seen to be believed!
  10. Try www.snoweye.com but I'm not sure if they have any others.
  11. The problem is the baseplate, not the bindings themselves. You need a 3D baseplate (a 3 holed fitting to screw the binding onto the board) to fit onto a Burton board, but most binding manufacturers and outlets will provide you with one of these for free if you ask when buying. All other board manufacturers use a more standard 4 holed system for fixing their bindings. Does anyone know why Burton insists on doing this? 4 screws must be stronger than 3? You can buy plastic 3D baseplates for quite cheap if you already have your bindings.
  12. I board but still love Happo on weekdays. It's massive with consistent gradients. No flats like those that plague Tsugaike and some great runs. Plus the ski patrol seem much more chilled to access to powder (compared to 47/Tsugaike), even leaving the whole top bowl open most of the time (albeit accessed by slow chairs). Sure the middle of this can get moguled if there hasn't been snow for a while, but there's usually steep powder on the far side of it. Also fewer boarders means more powder! Still, I'll be getting the 47/Goryu season pass this year as it's great value. A boarder who loves Happo! I know I'm a freak!
  13. Yes, it hasn't been flattened by 9:30am on powder days. (off the piste that is...)
  14. sorry the last bit there about dates was for the Scottich geezer. getting confused in my old age

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