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  1. Last winter i spent the whole month of February in Niseko, always forgot to publish the report, thanks to SnowJapan i won a daily ticket for Hirafu, i don't have a specific report from that day, it was my last one so it was kinda sad, didn't want to leave at all!! I can just say the whoe trip has been epic, in fact it's been so epic i'll be back this winter I spent most of the time in Niseko, mostly Hanazono and Annupuri off the gates. The back bowls and the ridges off gate 5 are simply insane!! But i've been lucky enough to meet some local that brought me to other peaks, Rusutsu, Chise bac
  2. Hi anyone skinned Iwaonuopuri? From the looks of things, Route 58 is closed (in winter) past Goshiki. I'm guessing you could just park the car at Goshiki and skin from there. Anyone got any relevant info e.g. creeks to avoid, best aspect to skin up and ride down, time needed etc + any other relevant info? I've done Nitonupuri (1 peak back towards chisenupuri). Thanks.
  3. Ok, This has probably been done before, so please bear with me. Renting 4wd from Chiotse feb 1 to feb 20 2014. Looking for advice from people who have done this before. What is the best way ? I live in South Island New Zealand and have lots of experience driving in snow and ice. I understand i will looking at app $1500 nzd for the rental. Any advice greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  4. this long weekend myself and mrs Beaver decided to escape the city and head for the hills to enjoy some fresh air, peace and quiet and some beautiful autumn colours. While the trees aren't at their autumnal peak just yet, the colours on view are certainly impressive....... I had never been to Tomamu in any season before but I had heard good things about the snow, lack of crowds and liberal attitude to riding unpisted snow. I was a little surprised to see that the runs, whilst not particularly long, seemed to be fairly steep.....perhaps its just a trick of the eye looking at
  5. I'd be interested in hearing anyone's take on the pros and cons of different routes up (and down) Yotei San. I've never made the peak, but I've gone as far as the alpine (bluebird when we started, puking when we got to tree-line ) starting from the the makkari side. The other approaches I've heard of are from Hangetsu-ko on the Hirafu side. I'm guessing you could also start from somewhere just north of Kimobetsu too. I guess it's all a matter of knowing which plowed roads give the closest approach. I've also heard of people doing the "double car" where you position one car at a differe
  6. First of all, thanks very much to SnowJapan, and to Tomamu for the lift tickets. I have been meaning to head out that way for a couple of years, so winning the SJ Giveaway was the push I needed! We hit Tomamu on Saturday. There had been maybe 5cm overnight, but up on the hill the snow that had fallen midweek was still fresh and untouched. It was also alot lighter than the snow at Teine and other ski jo's closer to the sea. Looking up from the base. Looking up at the highest point once the sun came out Most of the decent powder stashes were accessed from a single
  7. Hi there, i know this is one of the most frequent topic on this board, but still i'm the making of the crucial decision for my winter powder hunt... and i have some more detail that make my decision even harder, so i must ask for suggestions. First: i spent one month in Niseko the past season, and it's been great!! Best powder ever found. I met nice people, hit some close resort (Moiwa, Rusutsu, Chise backcountry, Kiroro backcountry, Yotei bc), so now i have friends there i can ride with, some knowledge of the good areas based on snow conditions, a good deal with accomodation, and so o
  8. Me again. In an unexpected turn of events, I don't have accommodations for my upcoming trip to Hokkaido. I thought I had it worked out, but I was mistaken. I land at Chitose on the 24th. Obviously, cutting it this close is not ideal - while there is some limited availability in Hirafu, where I had originally planned to stay, it is exorbitantly expensive. I was hoping some of you may have some creative solutions. We are not terribly picky (skiing is the chief concern). I have sent inquiries to various lodges, but I have yet to hear back positively. At this point, we were thinking of ventu
  9. Is Niseko still the best place to ski compared to other European and American ski resorts? Where is the most reasonable place to stay in Hokkaido and ski?
  10. Last year we had an awesome trip making our way round with the car. We enjoyed boarding lots of different places with the only thing really keeping us in one area was were we had our accommodation booked (staying Tomamu, Asahikawa, Otaru, Niseko) This trip I was thinking it would be nice to free style it-- ie not book accommodation until there. With the thougtht being we could follow the weather pattern more. I don't think this would be a problem for most places as they seemed pretty quiet with lots of accommodation options -- was but was nervous that Niseko/Kutchan way may get booked
  11. So overnight tonight Kutchan's official snowdepth should finally reach 0cm. Not bad going for a town only 176m above sea level.
  12. Round 2! The snow kept falling through the week so I went back to Asahidake on Sunday (4/21). Totally different weather from last time, I'll let the photos do the talking. Perfectly clear conditions until around noon, then some high clouds rolled in, but visibility was practically unlimited all day. We got to explore most of the ropeway serviced terrain, accessing fresh runs all day. A 20 minute hike to the skier's left of the ropeway station got us to a beautiful ridge with a decently long line with perfectly spaced trees. We hit several pillows and drops as
  13. For 6 of the past 7 years I've been very fortunate to winter in the Shiribeshi subprefecture on the island of Hokkaido, northern Japan. Shiribeshi has it all - a rugged coastline, mountains, volcanoes, geothermal onsens, rivers, lakes, and marshes, with four distinct seasons all at an agricultural pace of life. A lift accessed winter season stretching from the end of November through to the first week in May, with an average annual snowfall of 12m. Far from average! Spring skiing until the end of July most years, followed by cool, dry summers playing golf, walking in the mountains,
  14. Hi everyone. This is my first post on the forums, although I've been creeping for a while. I got a couple free lift tickets to Tomamu a while back, and I was asked to write a trip report on it. However, on the weekend I visited Tomamu there was nothing but ice all over the mountain, and I ended up just riding the terrain park the whole time, which isn't a whole lot to write about. So I thought I'd write about my trip to Asahidake from this weekend instead. I live in southwest Hokkaido, about an hour west of Sapporo. Spring has hit the region, with the giant walls of snow on the sides o
  15. Here is a trip report from Hanazono/Grand Hirafu. Thank you SnowJapan for the awesome ticket. As I don't have many good pictures of the resorts from this season I collected a few clips from through out this '12/'13 season showing why I love these resorts. Included are 2 short clips from my visit from Tokyo on Mar 21,... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxRdasNQghc The share volume of powder is great. This season the lifts seemed to be affected by wind more than I remember in the past, so it's good they stuck in the new Hirafu gondola last season (being able to remain operational in stro
  16. Time to start the thread for my 2013 trip It's not looking good to start of with sunny days which will be great for photos but not the deep stuff I am hanging out for. Boards (160 Hovercraft and 156 Fish) are waxed and packed wife and kids are back from Kalbarri tommorow. Deals are done and paperwork is nearly completed 2 more days of chit chat and the journey begins. 21st 1:35pm Perth to Sydney then overnight to Toyko , 22nd 11am flight to Sapporo (lets hope the airport is white) then should land at the hotel around 3pm. Fingers crossed a few runs through Giant trees to t
  17. Hi guys, sorry if this has been asked and answered before but does anyone have any experience with checking in snowboards with ANA. We're off to Hokkaido on Friday, most of our party have takyubinned equipment but 1 guy arrives Thursday and will need to check in his Snowboard with ANA. I'm guessing thiey wont have an issue with it but does anyone have any experiences to back my faith up. Thanks.
  18. What an awesome day, http://www.sj.snowjapan.tv/videos/716/boxing-day-hirafu-12/ then afternoon, I somehow was in time to catch the first triple hooded lift as it opened about 1:15PM, for some more untracked goodness.
  19. A few snaps from Sapporo Kokusai, near Nakayama Toge & Lake Toya from top of Rusutsu taken on my season-opening Hokkaido trip. And one for the cheeseman.
  20. Hey guys. I got down to Sapporo Kokusai this last weekend for some fun before my local Kamui opens. On the Saturday, I went by myself. There weren't many people there because there was a tickertape parade being held in Sapporo for the Nipponham fighters baseball team. Sunday, I met with some Japanese friends and rode all day. There were a lot more people there, and the queues into the gondola were long. Thankfully the gondola moves through people really fast so the longest we had to wait was probably only 5 minutes. I made a short video. It's not great, but it was my first time tryin
  21. DAY 1 : WEDNESDAY 28 DECEMBER 2011 Back on Fantasy Island, and it's great to be back. Welcome to Hokkaido (courtesy of Sapporo Classic and Takeo Shimuzi) I was met at Chitose Airport by Ian MacKenzie of Niseko-Wow, regular partner-in-crime from my visit back in March 2011 and all around good egg. http://www.snowjapanforums.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/405321/TR_SPRING_ON_HOKKAIDO.html#Post405321 On the way to Ian M's home in Makkari we stopped off at the Mushroom restaurant for a snack. Grilled pork on a stick and a new one for me, sausage on the bone. B
  22. Hi Guys Popped in to Sapporo last night to have a look around. Didn't have long but managed to shuffle around for a few hours. Pretty impressive stuff although my photos don't do it justice and some were looking a bit weathered. Seemore
  23. Hi Guys Just thought I better get the camera out charged that is. Awesome start was greeted with snow and on the 1st day a bit pissed and jet lagged to enjoy the Friday arvo the 3rd but awoke to between 20-40 of fresh stuff in the morning. Went for a few warm up laps on West mountain great snow face shots up in Natural and Elite before moving over to east Muju for approx 10 runs just to the side of groomers. Got the confidence up and played in the trees all over Isola Great Day legs absolutely rooted although did a million squats before coming over. Sataurady dawned with n
  24. Friday 20th January 2012 until Thursday 26th January 2012 The prizes: This week we have 10 one-day lift ticket vouchers - each one can be exchanged for a one-day lift ticket at Hoshino Resort Tomamu in Hokkaido this winter season. There will be 10 winners, each receiving 1 lift ticket voucher. Who can enter? Any active, logged in members of SnowJapanForums can enter this Giveaway. (You need to have made at least one post on the Forums - not just simply register). >> If you are logged in, click here to enter. >> If you need to register, please do so here. The
  25. Friday 6th January 2012 until Thursday 12th January 2012 The prizes: 10 one-day lift ticket vouchers - each one can be exchanged for an 8-hour lift ticket that is valid at the Niseko Hanazono / Niseko Grand Hirafu resorts in Hokkaido this season. Tickets courtesy of Harmony Resorts. Who can enter? Any active, logged in members of SnowJapanForums can enter this Giveaway. (You need to have made at least a few posts on the Forums, and join in - not just simply register). >> If you are logged in, click here to enter. >> If you need to register, please do so here. Th
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