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About Hoverpuma

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  1. Yeah, Akita's a bit far. I haven't had a good look at Iwate yet -- I was at Appi Kougen for three days in December, but it was snowing so hard I couldn't see any of the terrain. Since I've got a pretty brutal lab schedule and no car, I'm trying to keep an eye out for stuff I can reach fairly easily. I'm keeping an eye on the weather right now; we're getting mixed drizzle and sleet here in Sendai right now, and I'm hoping it might be nicer at elevation. Pondering taking the train up to the Omoshiroyama/Sakunami region this weekend to do some lift-served and see what conditions are like.
  2. Hey, thanks for the replies. soubriquet: Nice pic! The manager of the Tsuruoka YH is a telemarker and amateur photographer, and gave me a postcard he made with a shot of the Gassan summit cone. These are just making me want to figure out a way to go there, if/when conditions permit. Presumption of sliding: Yeah, I'm not surprised. I've not been doing thorough assessments (and I'm not really qualified either), but every time I've casually dug a little bit around resorts and roads, I've found at least one really clear granular layer, which looks very slideable if loaded. I don't pl
  3. Some resorts (in the US at least, dunno about elsewhere) will take wooded slopes, thin out the underbrush while still leaving most or all of the larger trees, and designate it as an ungroomed in-bounds "glade" run. They usually jack up the posted difficulty a notch or two compared to wide-open runs on the same aspect and post stern admonishments at the gates about not skiing alone. This seems to be popular in New England (hey, there are about three bowls in all of NH and they're not lift-served; gotta do something to liven up the place). Tree skiing is great fun; it really gives you an
  4. Anyone do much BC around Yamagata (or the Miyagi side of the Zao/Omoshiroyama range)? I'm in Sendai for the year, itching to get away from lift-served areas, and searching for like-minded folk. On the other hand, with the weird-ass snow in Tohoku this year, I'm wondering if anyone's going BC much. (Just got back from a Sendai-Tsuruoka road trip over the weekend; snowed hard the whole time until we got back well into Miyagi, and all the animated road signs were giving avy warnings for all Yamagata.) I've done some basic avy training -- know how to use the gear, but still a lot to le
  5. Alpine, telemark, snowboard, swiss-bob, snow shovel, garbage bag + ice axe... Been snowboarding the longest, but took up tele in the past couple years -- I still suck, but I've been learning a lot. (My answer to "split board or snowshoes?" was "learn to telemark".)
  6. Ah, so they do have a guiding service. My lack of local knowledge is made manifest for all to see. Why is that hypocritical? The problem is that lift-served areas act as an enabler, making it really easy for people who don't know what they're doing to get in over their heads, often without even realizing what's going on. In some areas (dunno about the laws in Japan, but...) the management can be held responsible for enabling those people. Furthermore, people who don't know what they're doing can endanger *others*, not just themselves -- skier-triggered avy and hazard to rescuers are t
  7. Hey, just felt like throwing out a potentially stupid thought (n00b alert!)... I admit that I've not yet had a chance to visit Arai, so I don't know the terrain... but has the management considered combining a carrot with the (apparently justified) big stick? If the BC is worth it there, how about a paid guiding service? Seems like there's at least a chance they could use that as a way to make sure people going out there had proper gear, training, etc... and maybe take in a bit of extra cash at the same time. ISTR some other areas in Japan (Appi Kogen perhaps?) might have such a servic
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