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About Legion

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  1. Wasting time and came across stuff like this: You could stay very busy off either of those two gondys, if you were allowed by conditions and regulations. Enough to stay entertained for quite some time and both areas funnel back into the resort bounds. Looker's left off the ridge is the sketchiest but even then maps indicate it should be possible to pick a safe route in the worst conditions that would still come back to base. But I guess the easiest way to cater for the lowest common denominator is to forbid access entirely.
  2. I'm quite well versed in snow safety, at a reasonably professional level (once). Me and one other have a lot of experience, like 3-4000 days between us. I don't do super dumb things by choice. I can make good routefinding and snow condition decisions. We carry all safety gear and I wear an ABS pack. I'm more likely to be super conservative than aggressive these days. Not 20 years old and bulletproof now. But I still have the ability to charge and love exploring when circumstances and terrain allow. If I am trying to find an area that's interesting I'm more likely to be interested in long l
  3. Not at all. I appreciate all the help, positive or negative. Finding a place is a delicate balancing act and involves compromise, for sure. That's part of the fun in choosing and we've never been (too) disappointed, even in lean European years. Japan is what it is and we can either appreciate that or decide to go elsewhere. Personally I'm happy with tatami mats, a futon and a place to dump a suitcase, just need a ski room and be able to wax and do some minor maintenance and heat boots. Food I don't care, but enough that's not too out there (probably wouldn't eat horse or whale or fugu) and
  4. No, only done Fernie (and Island Lake) and WH20. Other members of the party have done Red and Kicking Horse as well. Red is interesting but a bit isolated to get to (like WH20). At Fernie we lived in town and hitched, but can't do that with kids. Same at WH20. Sun Peaks and Silver Star are moderately interesting, but I'd do Revelstoke first. The BC double tax kind of sucks and makes it more expensive than you first think.
  5. Hmm, yeah, Naeba could work in combination with Yuzawa centre-of-town trips. And with the Dragondola for added interest linking Kagura. I'm also interested in the stuff the map doesn't show, like lines off the peak looker's right along the prominent ridgeline towards the Dragondola, and lines off the peak looker's left through the forests or along the ridge in the area of the two prominent creeks. Thick trees in the area or skiable? The high tension powerline crossing the ski area is a nice aesthetic touch.
  6. I could have fun there and I have some contacts through TGR, but I'd choose other places first. Namely, Fernie, WH20, Revelstoke. On top of the expense of an overexploited resort, Aussies have long since passed novelty status (decades ago) and I don't want to add to the tally. Or so I hear. When we spent a couple of winters in Fernie, you could count Aussies on one hand (including us). Even the Scandis were few and far between. Mostly just Ontarians and locals. I know it's different now and I probably wouldn't go back but it was nice back then, when it was two bowls. I did look at some int
  7. I don't mind a few countrymen walking around, but I prefer not to encounter hordes of drunken foreigners. Places where those hordes congregate the locals are often bitter and cynical towards them too. And the foreign ownership of Niseko businesses and Australian prices for everything, well, I'd rather look elsewhere. I'm sure I'd enjoy it but I'd prefer not to spend my money there if there are other options. I'll look again at Shiga Kogen area and see if there's anything. I haven't considered it for years. Other desirable (but not typically offered in Japan) qualities: long term discou
  8. I'm from Oz. Same reason I've never really considered Whistler. Plenty of cheaper options that are still awesome and not swarming with fellow countrymen. That sounds more interesting ... It's a big downfall compared to Europe, the sidecountry access. My kids are old enough and skilled enough to start learning easy slackcountry but I don't want to upset patrollers taking a group of a half dozen under ropes. I'm good at stealth alone though ... Europe's don't-care attitude or even North America's bomb everything to bits policies are world's ahead of Japan's restrictions.
  9. We'd be willing to use public transport but would prefer not to rent a car for a month when it would go largely unused and not fit everyone if we wanted to go somewhere anyway.
  10. I mean, we could do that. Be based in Akakan and day trip. It seems like with most places in Japan a few more lifts with a bit more elevation at the top, link the whole area and it would be great. But that's not how it's done there.
  11. Yeah, that's the problem. With kids and a big group not everyone wants to go bell-to-bell like me and one other. And we'll do touring, slackcountry, backcountry quite happily whereas others might want to lap lifts. So we can all end up going home differently and it's great if kids can just go home and chill by themselves. I look at Yuzawa Kogen and see lots of lines under the lift above the village. I see lots of lines off Naeba. I see potential off Ishiuchi. I could definitely stay entertained at Happo One but it seems that competition is high and most people don't stay ski in/out. I coul
  12. Yeah, Yuzawa looks OK. The train station kind of dominates and it has a couple of towers and the Kan-etsu so it's ugly. But there or the other end of the Yuzawa area, Ishiuchi Maruyama, look OK. Still not an alpine village. And getting in taxis/buses/rental cars gets tiring quickly with a group of 10 including kids. Just doesn't work. So it would have to be slopeside. Low rise, a supermarket or two, handful of restaurants, great skiing. Zao seemed to have the cultural thing, onsens, history, atmosphere. I'm used to small farming villages with long ski histories and dirt cheap. Nort
  13. I've been to Nozawa Onsen before. Looking for somewhere different. My criteria are different to most snowjapanforum natives. - advanced to expert in the group - biggish ski hill - village infrastructure - place to stay for a month without constant travelling around - kids, so want to be able to walk/ski to lifts/slopes - liberal ropes policy There are plenty of interesting looking hills around, but Japan has the 80s legacy thing with zero atmosphere or zero town. So that automatically rules out otherwise potentially interesting places like Kagura, Naeba, Yuzawa, Joetsu Kokusai.
  14. Not cheeky. It would've saved a lot of cash, but I prefer to ski at a slightly different level than my son. As it was the kids were in ski school for 11 days out of ~25, so we did ski with them a lot. I taught skiing for many years so I'm a bit over it now. Next time I'll probably take the eldest out of ski school. We like ski school to give us some free time to ski, but also obviously teach them good skills. For reference, Uenotaira is flat, so flat that you barely pick up speed while going straight the whole way (if you go straight the whole way you still have to skate to get back to th
  15. We just had our kids in about 11 days worth of lessons in Nozawa. We paid for regular ski school and in quiet periods they'd end up with a private lesson anyway (often 1 on 1, sometimes 2 kids with 1 instructor). They recommend private lessons for language purposes and we saw lots of people doing it, but it seemed unnecessary for the most part. In particular kids learn by watching and doing more than listening so it's maybe less of a problem for them. The thing I didn't like about the Nozawa ski school is it was hard to negotiate a discount for longer term bookings (1 day rate the same as
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