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Everything posted by Twiki

  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
  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
  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 acc
  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
  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
  15. Huge amounts of untouched powder snow and a unique cultural experience. Corny, but great! Looking at the skiing alone: if you want extreme steeps, cliffs and couloirs your better of in Europe or the Rockies, but if you don't want to get up at 5.30am to be the first in line so that you can get a patch of powder then Japan is the place. The larger ski areas are comparible to US/Canadian mountains but nothing like the huge French and Swiss areas. If you want it a bit more lively at night you need to hit the bigger resorts, ie Niseko, Yuzawa and Hakuba (or bring loads of friends). These all have g
  16. You should give Shiga a go, but I found (about 40 days in Nagano-ken over the previous two seasons) it lacks steeps and most runs lacked vert. It also gets less snow and has more flats and walking. On the otherhand it is a big interlinked area and very good for beginner/intermediate boarders. This early in the season though, you should definately go for Shiga though as it's extra height gives more reliable coniditions.
  17. The snow was late last season, only about 30cm in Shiga by mid December and similar amounts in Niseko as now. And that was an amazing season with some resorts claming the highest snowfalls in 17 years!!! It will come...
  18. woops, sorry! just noticed the "hey skiers!". 32 probably are no help at all then as they just do snowboard stuff as far as I know.
  19. Danz, 32 does liners and has a pretty good name. Generally economical and good standard, am hoping to get some of their boots this season. Check out www.thirtytwo.com (I think).
  20. Yo, powpow, what's the SM handle like? Tempted to get one cheap for this season's pow
  21. Where you planning on staying this season Don? If you're in a powder resort check that the goggles have massive air-intakes that will suck air well over the lenses. It never seems to stop snowing in these resorts and so fog-up can be the boarder's biggest problem. I haven't found the solution yet, Oakleys and Dragons didn't work. I found that "Iris" were definately better and have larger air-inlets. Forget the marketting and check out the actual product.
  22. Stand by the ticket refund machine at lunchtime in resorts that use refundable electronic tickets (ie Hakuba...) and ask people who are returning them if they'll take your 1000 yen instead. Works a treat and gives you a free pm boarding. Don't do it when I'm there though...
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