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Everything posted by IM

  1. Mont Bell may be a good value, but I never liked their designs nor colors. They produce many products but to me none is good nor bad, just bland. And they don't have gaijin sizes (at least I have not seen them at the main store which is only 3 min. from my office). Instead I frequent Patagonia outlet in Maine whenever I go back to Boston.
  2. I can scan this, but this will be sometime next week as I am off to SE Asia on a biz trip this week.
  3. Last weekend was just another fabulous time at Kagura. Sunday was exceptionally good (although, visibility was bad)in terms of snow amount and quality. It was DOH in every run we took. BTW,this year, Kagura has changed the format of the mouteneering plan that you're required to fill out at the ticket booth(if you go off to BC, that is). It has a map with good descriptions and the place names that are not on a 1/25,000 topo map and some areas of past avalanche accidents. Next time you have a chance, ask for a copy when you buy tickets.
  4. Sakaiya seems to have a collection of LA stuff, but mainly packs. They also have an on-line store. http://www.sakaiya.com/
  5. If you are up at Ishiuchi area, try Ishiuchi Drive In along the route 17. Their Yakiniku is very good.
  6. Agree with danz, Kagura has been marked as one of the classic alpine routes for years and very tolernat(compare to say Niseko) for people wants to hike up as long as you register with the office. Hike is easy - 1~2 hours with many different options and you can always come back to the resort. Since its so easy, many commercial tour companies use this area. One time I encountered a group of about 50 people at the top of the #1 Quad.
  7. The top double chair is almost permanently closed due to a past avalanche accident. It was not in the trail, but someone ducked the rope and went to NO NO land and triggered one. Last Saturday was great, while snowing in Kanto, Kagura, altough cloudy, we were able to see Myoko, Hiuchi, Alps, and even Sado Island, not mentioning the entire Mikuni/Tanigawa Renpo. Temperatuer was very cold and the snow was very light from the top.
  8. If you are new, look at this place,which is run by an Assie, located near Kagura. Join his tour and you will start meeting a bunch of BC knuckelheads. http://www.backcountryclub.com/ As for getting around, Car would be the best. But there are shuttle buses from Yuzawa to kagura. Hitch hiking is pretty much X (As for me, I was taught not to pick up HHs when growing up). I thought about season pass myself. If you go about 20 times, it would pay off. I decided to get one for Niseko instead. I have already skied about 12 days this season. A tip from another free heele
  9. I have built up enough tolerance to tune them out,especially those music which is not my taste. But what do you think of the ski area specific DJs? This year Niseko has started the program, but I continue to tune them out, Ha Ha.
  10. crazyski, I found the rentals from NAC dated. Tyru seems to have the latest gear(may be this seaon only!) Also the name of the shop is Sports Takiguchi. http://wwww.spotaki.co.jp They are known to have a great sale on powder skis at the end of the season. This place also owns Ciao, so they do not have rental programs at this location.
  11. The place is called Sports Rent Ciao right at the edge of the Gondola Parking. If you are interested in a quality (I mean the latest)tele gear, the new place called Toyru, a brand new small log building below Ciao on the right side can set you up, also.
  12. Niseko seem to finally had enough snow. Most of the green shurubbs seem to have buried in the back countries and Yotei looks it is bearing the noraml amount of snow.
  13. This year, Niseko (all resorts)installed a new machine from Austria. If you are a multi-day, season pass holder, your photo will pop up on a screen in the lift shack. This supposed to prevent bartering and re-selling.
  14. I am going to Hirafu tonight and the resort is barely open. Still not enough snow to go back country, well I will be hitting mucho onsens in the area.
  15. Yes, Lee side is the protected side where more snow is accumulated = more powder = more possibility of unstable layer. The common sense, yes that would be the first thing for me. Sometimes I hear cracking sound of snow while we hike up, and that is the sign of stress somewhere in the snow. After all, even an extream experienced Kelly even gets caught in one.
  16. Telemark=Free heel Freeski = I don't know, Free ride?=back country free ride. Free your heel, free your mind.
  17. Forcast says the cold air mass will descent down and becomes typical "冬型” Sat. and Sun. Most likely will blizzard in the mountains. Next weekend looks OK.
  18. I have been alpine ski for almost all my life but now switched to tele 5 years ago and board 2 years ago. I still do both. It is a hard question, but in general, if there are possible long traverse, I tele. Little or no traverse, then board.
  19. If you don't mind hiking up a bit, try these guys http://backcountryclub.com/ They are located in Niigata between Naeba and Tashiro
  20. Dec 24-Jan1 is the most high season and 73000 is expensive, but not that expensive. Airfair alone is about 50000 RT plus lodging (approx 6000/nite w/ two meals)if you schedule by yourself. Some tours are running about 55000 for 6 days. BTW, snow is late compared to last season and yes it is late compared to normal, too. I had to cancel my Tateyama trip this weekend. First time in 5 years.
  21. Yes, it does help a lot! For skiers, you can use the snow blade and wrap them with a tape and get a feel of balance in the air.
  22. Boy, I was really hoping this year would be a repeat of the last. But looks like snow is late in coming. Crossing my fingers for this weekend, but Murodo is looking pretty thin still. http://www.murodou.co.jp/kozan/live.htm
  23. My Niseko friends reported that Yotei is pretty white, Annupuri is still green. Only 5cm or so at Tateyama.
  24. You may be better off changing your winter fun to skating. I remember a lot of good skaters are from Kushiro area. Or ice fishing. Eastern Hokkaido is pretty flat, but if you don't mind hike up, Rausu Dake may be OK.
  25. If you use a ski bus that departs from various major stations it is about 12000JPY RT. Both JTB and Sun&Sun operates those things. SJ may have some information. I have never used this but may be someone on the Forum has.
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