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damian

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About damian

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    SJ'er with 5000+ posts
  1. You didn't offend. Stop being so soft. Just follow up if a crowd of people dish up some info in reply to your good question. This would have been a fair response: Quote: Originally posted by WantToSki: hi... i can barely relate to what was posted, and still trying to think things through... having started skiing only around feb/mar '06 - most of my experience are with groomed pistes, and thus never saw the rationale of planning a route. then, seeing and hearing talks about "choosing a line," To which I would have asked, who the F picks their line on a groomed run, especially in Japan?
  2. damian

    Mountaineering books

    Second that one by AK, like wise the recommendation of something like Freedom of the Hills, a very good text book. I am a beginner and found it accessible. Oh yes, here is one of my awkwardly long (embarrassing) posts that contains a few references to some concise and practical books. Its also lists some of the basic snow skills I have recently learnt and found useful. These techniques are repeatedly described in mountaineering books. http://www.snowjapanforums.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/6834.html#000004 Most people (guides) that I spoke to say that the core skills in alpine mountaineering are based on the rock climbing skill set. Thus, to pass as an internationally recognised alpine mountain guide (as opposed top 'just' a ski guide) you need to have a very firm foundation in rock and mountain climbing. In fact, you have to pass exams in those areas to get the guiding certification. This tends to blow the overnight ambitions of most avid skiers out of the water. So if that's what your ambitions are, get a rock climbing book as well, although lot of FOTH is dedicated to rock climbing. Get climbing asap.
  3. Oh shitto, I didn't know it was you. I actually couldn't remember who it was that asked the language question. Twice in a day, sorry man, don't get a complex.
  4. Quote: Originally posted by WantToSki: pardon the inquiry, but... Well, seeing as you extended the opportunity for us to individually pardon you: No need to pardon the enquiry, it was a good one. But I don't feel like personally pardoning your lack of follow up or reply. You got serious answers, fun answers and combo fun-and-serious answers. Surely you could have found a hook in one of them for you to latch onto and offer up something of your own? I guess your name says it all.
  5. Traffic, hmmm. Thanks for the warning. I scoped out some really good looking northerly terrain near to Andermatt a few weeks ago. Access is easiest from the Gottardo pass road, which is of course shut in winter. You could still hike the road route - a very long but mostly gentle option. Or possibly get there from the top of Andermatt with some solid hiking and a few small ascents and descents along the way. Eitherway, its a very long day out, probably a two day effort with a tent. But it looks good and offers a few choices for ending the tour with a really long descent back down to the valley ending up near Realp. Here is the centre of the north face. If you are interested I am planning to attampt it in Feb..... Looking forward to bumping into you.
  6. Just in case no one noticed, this thread and conditions report was for Jan 06. Anyway - Torihada... have fun with your guide. Compared to a lot of Europe, 12,000yen is pretty inexpensive if they deliver a seriously good tour, not just supervised rope ducking. If you get a good guide then he will talk along and answer questions. But remember, you have to ask the questions first, even if you are out of breath. The other issue that gets in the way of education is that you almost always walk behind your guide in the track. Skinning/snowshoeing can be noisy and speed (or at least uninterrupted progress) is important. The end result is that chatting on the move is not very easy or productive. Once you get up and going you may not stop for a while. I suggest that before you get moving, ask the guide to point out the route you will take and more importantly, why you take that route and what the snow pack is like. Tell him you heard about windslab and ask him to point any out along the way (not that he would guide you over a big thick example of it in the first place). If you don't have one at the time then buy a compass from the 100 yen shop and when you are hiking notice the change in snow under your feet as the aspect of the slope changes. Stuff like that will add more to your day than simply walking along waiting fro the ride down. All your posts sound pretty outdoors anyway, so I am pretty sure that how you would approach the day without my advice. I will have the helmet cam out in action this Friday. Its a heavy and bulky addition to my back pack but I think it will produce some great footage so long as I make the effort to use it properly.
  7. I asked this in the wrong thread. Cut and paste to here: I see the word 'guides' being used a bit more in Hakuba online info these days. I even remember seeing a job ad a while back looking for IFMGA/UIAGM qualified guides. In Europe that is a genuinely difficult designation to obtain, even as an aspirant you can charge 300 euros per day for your services. Anyway, my question: what kind of meaning does the word guides have? Does it imply real guides or is it local crew who know the terrain and can show you around the resort and off piste? Are there many IFMGA/UIAGM guides actually operating in Hakuba?
  8. Hey! Simon is back for his regular friendly start-of-season hello. Hi dude. I was hanging out in Milano on the weekend. Also passing through town next Thursday on the way to Cham. Planning a week hiking and attacking some lines off the north ridge along Tete Nord de Fours, which is a pretty cool low level corner of the massif tucked away part way between les Contamines and Courmayeur. Perhaps the snow wont cooperate, who knows. Let me know if you are in the area over Christmas. Also in Engelberg over NYE. That along with Andermatt are shaping up to be my regulars until spring. That's a quality picture from Verbs. I have seen it elsewhere ... I might join you for the chatter going on there. I missed that powder weekend. Went to the Pitztal glacier the weekend before and it was pretty bad. Then I head to Paris the following weekend and of course, miss out on near waist deep. The way this season is shaping up, you cant afford to miss the dumps.
  9. Fun these days is basically evil. I took about 50 flights last year, so I don't point the carbon finger. Actually, I am at the airport now. I just giggle at all the concern about resorts hitting hard times. I don't think that large resorts are necessary to enjoy mountains. But it would appear that air flights are.
  10. This post has been cut and posted somehwere else. I would have deleted but only forum leaders can delete posts.
  11. > what's wrong with making money off a sport that everyone loves? By our society's standards, nothing at all. You raise an interesting observation. One cant make money off something that doesn't exist. 'The industry' can express no complaint nor feel sorry for itself when the key input resource runs low. Jobs will be lost, hotels, restaurants, bars, pensions, small towns, the local economy... all will suffer, not happy days for those that lose, but such is the flip-side reality of business. All is fair in cash and capitalism, especially when making money off a sport that everyone loves. Snow will still fall and mountains will still be imposing and alluring. Nothing will change at the core. So what if resorts go bust. My main point - Mountains, snow, nature: great stuff. Resorts that try to beat nature to make money: cancer. There are so many mountains that go un-ridden every day. I have no fear for my snow sliding future, in fact there are so many peaks to ride its overwhelming and one life time is too short. I get fidgity just thinking about it.
  12. Protecting your kids must be quite difficult. Not having the time: that’s half the problem. I speak for myself firstly - always wanting to indulge in luxuries that I don’t otherwise have time for. So I fly rather than drive, I use lifts rather than hike etc. Makes perfect sense to do so, but does it make sense to do things for which we do not have the time? Perhaps we should limit our activities according to our resources, time being one of them, rather than adapting destructive technology to manage the time shortage. I don’t expect anyone to start soon, myself included. But its a fair observation. Davo, I also think some resorts are ok. But over population of resorts and lazy demand for easy-access terrain in a setting of global warming is leading to increasingly destructive strategies to keep the money flowing. As the snow dissipates, so too does the resort's 'right' to stay in business. BoC: no need to be defensive, I was ranting the topic, not the guy that posted it. But the people who care about resorts shutting should perhaps learn how to interact with nature in a different way. Sliding on (very steep) snow is fun… and I am totally prepared to walk for it. Lucky for some of us that walking is more than half the enjoyment. I’ll continue to use and pay for one lift ride each day I go touring. It’s the best way to gain altitude to a point from which we might walk for up to four hours. Being my girlfriend and going on a ‘ski holiday’ wouldn’t be much fun for most females. Flaine being not very good: interesting comment. The plateau on which Flaine is situated is a very obvious and striking geological feature; it’s an oddity in the Alps. It really stands out on a topo map and obviously more so when one is physically in the area. It is also home to some very unique limestone caves. “I’ve been to Flaine and it’s not very good” is part of the problem: no one has a clue or a care about what the snow lies on, so long as there is some snow and lifts to drag you up it. The terrain at Flaine (for skiing) is quite gentle and dull, I agree, and that is the more reason not to destroy it in summer so that their 50cm of global warming snow pack is enough to make money from in winter. EBC: thank your for your love and laughter.
  13. I am just amazed and a bit dissapointed that my trash-fiction forum babble focusing on the "personal choice" term caused so much hell to break loose. It was never intended to be antagonising beyond laughing at the entire internet debate on helmets vs not helmets which on every forum I have seen boils down to it being a politically correct "personal choice" (like toilet paper softness and what you do with your snot after picking your nose). Of course its a damn personal choice. What I childishly poke fun at is the fact that so much heartfelt belief is behind the topic. The reaction to my clear piss-take confirms this. It's all quite unbelievable. Like I suggested - the helmet debate participants should get the sticks out of their uptight butts. I have worn a helmet since day one and only recently have started to leave it at home. But I never got around the place re-assuring myself that it was a special personal choice that I had exercised and that my decisions should be respected on that basis. I just did what I bloody well wanted to do, and didn't give a care about 'the debate'. None of it was a dig at any individual. Regarding the entire multi-series, multi-thread bun fight thats been going on around here that most people seem to blame on me: one of the only sensible objections I have read was skidaiski reminding me about manners - fairly noted. The rest was pretty much knee jerk psychotic. My god. ps - please stop accusing SJ1 of showing me special treatment. It is unfair on him, especially considering the constraint he correctly shows in defending himself when he could quite easily prove that in fact the opposite of special treatment exists.
  14. Quote: Originally posted by Fubuki: no actually it was quite clear that your opinion is advocating helemts, but what it also clearly demonstrates is that you have a propensity to overanalyse a philosophize a phrase that clearly everyone understands except you. Or you are just looking to start an arguement, but the fact remains that no one is mandating that people must wear helmets and if they did then that would undermine the nature of freedom. I am sure your life has the utmost value and maybe more than anyone elses on this forum and for that maybe helmets should be mabdatory, but other are grown up enough to make their own decisions, but maybe you were taking from your mommy a bit to soon so you someone else to make those decisions for you..... if you want to wear one then do so, but don:t sit there and tell me that my personal choice is in fact not a inherant freedom that I posses......so faaac offf yourself! What? You failed to make sense, you failed to be funny, you failed to even be insulting. Your just simply failed. My satirical post wasn't even aimed at you rather it was aimed, with an evident double-does of smart arse pointlessness, at the universe of "its a personal choice" poets. Please don't read and then attempt to respond to things you clearly do not understand. My trash talk shit spinning forum efforts in stupidity are clearly wasted around here.
  15. Quote: Originally posted by mina2: SJ perhaps in future you don't want to consider adding cool stuff to the site for fear of being accused of all sorts by your readers. Sad. Interesting word: Reader. Since 2002 you managed 500 posts. Don't get me wrong, post count is not the measure of a man by any means, but it is certainly indicative of his chosen level of transactional engagement. You are reader. Many of us are contributors. Contributors of flow, traffic, forum content and character. You do not have the same understanding of reciprocity. ps - don't try and use what I posted to support you gutless griping cry of "ooo, he doesn't appreciate the cool features that SJ worked so hard on". Its a sure bet way to drum up a bit of serfdom support from the one-liner thoughtless masses. And it is also factually wrong. Who's idea do you think the cool Google satellite maps were? Who gave input to the new cool review section? Who's contributed to the cool review section? Who was starting a free contribution of north-south Japanese snow density analysis? Don't point your bony poor bastard finger of "he doesn't appreciate" at me in the hope of an easy superficial character assassination.

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