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  1. Next year we are going to Hokkaido to ski at Niseko and Rusutsu maybe also Kiroro. We are planning on being there when the Sapporo Snow Festival will be on and wondering if it might be worth making room in our plan to take that in. Anyone able to offer thoughts on that? Thank you!
  2. Sapporo Teine is my local hill, I've now been here a number of times...enough that I have a good feel for the place. I wrote a review of it the other day, so I'll copy n paste it over but add in some pics from today. I woke up this morning to nice sunny skies, with no new snow to speak of I was in 2 minds at to whether to head up to Teine or not....after a jolly good bullying from Pie Eater, I decided to get out amongst it, with expectations being a nice cruisy day on the groomers, perhaps trying to improve my trick skill set which is sorely lacking. As I get the bus up to Highland base station, those lovely blue skies gave way to cloud, very light snow and greybird skies. The snow was still plentiful and in great condition, when I got to the top of the summit express I found that a nice little layer of fresh had fallen overnight on the mountain, so I decided to head under the lift of Panorama 2 and see how one of my favourite non-gnarly beyond the ropes run was........it was quality! Perhaps only 1 or 2 people had been down before me and I was able to lap the lift run 3 or 4 times cutting fresh paths through boot top powder....nice!! I headed over to Panorama 1 and ripped out the powder under that lift as well.....good times!! After riding the upper mountain for a while I decided to hit another favourite non-gnarly, inbounds slack country pow field......Paradise ridge. This area I only just explored on the 5th, so I was delighted to see our tracks had been filled in and the ridge skiers left was again untouched light powder. After scoring such good lines unexpectedly I decided to go and check out the bowls.... The CHO scary warning sign at the entrance to the path up to the bowls..... went first into bowl 1, it wasn't bad but the snowfall overnight wasn't enough to have filled in the tracks. Snow was still soft and there were still a few untouched pockets to get some face shots. Looking down into bowl 1..... Bowl 2 was a little bit better, still good snow in there but not really worth the extra traverse out to justify multiple laps....not when under the lifts and the Paradise ridge area kept on giving fresh lines. In the end I was happy that I decided to head up today, low crowds and most of them were school groups who stuck to the pistes while I had the trees and under the lifts almost to myself. Thanks for the push, Pies!! Here's the review I wrote of Teine the other day............. Right, since moving to Sapporo at the end of March 2013, I've now ridden at Teine enough times to get a good feel for the place. One thing that has to be said is that this place is split into two distinct parts.......Olympia and Highland. They are connected by a long and winding cat track. If you are a beginner then Olympia is for you as the pistes are not too steep and are nice and wide........some great groomers to hone your basic skills on and there are some side pockets to start getting in your powder legs in. BUT the main event is up the hill at the Highland area. If powder is your thing (and lets face it.....whose isn't it?!) then Highland is a great little hill. The runs themselves are often in great shape, the upper slopes accessed by the summit express are often groomed to perfection in the morning and if its sunny then the views over the city and the sea beyond is quite breathtaking. At the top of the Summit Express there are another two lifts that exfill riders at the same point. Under these lifts can be some great powder runs, often knee deep and better for those who want pow shots without really running the risk of getting in trouble outside the boundary. There are 2 main slopes down to the base station of the Highland area, both are pretty steep. The most direct one is often moguled and a bit of a beginners graveyard. The wind seems to blow right up here and it can be icy or scraped in places. The 2nd main slope is accessed from a green cat track from the top runs. It too is pretty steep but is left ungroomed (the other one perhaps is also ungroomed....I'm not exactly sure). Although it too is wind affected, meaning that some vegetation can still poke through, it usually holds some great powder until even later on in the day. What Teine is best for is its off course runs......accessed from the same cat track as main slope 2, Paradise tree area is fantastic for deep powder tree turns. The access can be a little jungle chopping but it opens up quickly to a nice dovetail run out onto the bottom run next to the base station. There is a short ridge, skiers left and often this is left untouched.....today (Jan 5th 2014) we lapped that 3 or 4 times getting face shots and only crossing our own lines.........the last runs of the day! Awesome!! All this area is easily scoped from the base station, all run outs exfill onto the run at the base station.....you can hardly go wrong! THE reason for coming to Teine Highland though are the bowls and chutes. Accessed from the top of the Summit Express, you turn right and walk under an ominous sign saying DANGER, DEATH, with a few skull and cross bones thrown in, heading for the old abandoned ropeway station a little further up the hill. Below and beside the old station is a series of 7 bowls that when accessed will give you some awesome short, but steep n deep turns. I've only been out as far as bowl 3 as the cat track run back to resort is a bit of a PITA. Remember this area is out of bounds so its totally on you and your ability, when you drop in here. The patrol don't keep an eye here and there are no signposts saying where the resort is at the bottom. That said the cat track is usually very well established and should be easy to spot (keep an eye out for all tracks converging skiers right). If you ride down too far then you are gonna have a long and deep walk out to the resort or the access road so be careful. Today, bowl 1 and 2 were fantastic, even when it was all chopped and tracked, it was still soft to plough through and face shots were aplenty!! If you are in the Sapporo area then you should definitely give Teine a try.......actually no, don't....avoid it like the plague!!!!
  3. After moving up to Sapporo last week and finally getting most of my sh#t organised, I managed to get a day out to local ski hill, Sapporo Teine. I had heard that after March 31st (yesterday) that they had closed on weekdays and were only open on weekends....thankfully for me that wasn't the case, although the Olympia area was closed so perhaps its only half open on weekdays from April 1st. I tried to get a JR Ski Pack from Sapporo station but these deals actually did end on March 31st and the daily shuttle bus from Teine station has also stopped. Kind of sucks cos its much easier for me to get to Teine station early morning than take one of the hotel liner buses from Sapporo station. After a little bit of checking on the interwebs (sorry Pies, didn't find any existence of this so called "Porn" you were on about in a different thread) I found 1 company still running a resort bus from the Art Hotel, Tokyu Excel and the JR Tower Nikko hotel in Sapporo up to Teine Highland. I was a little concerned about moving up here as I'd heard that Hokkaido wasn't the steepest of places.......thankfully, as soon as I sighted land, this heinous myth was dispelled It was a beautiful day in Sapporo today, bluebird, a tiny amount of new snow littered the roads around my house....hoping for a good day. Lots of snow around and hardly any people.....I'm liking it already. After getting changed and picking up my pass, I take the summit express to the top. I know that the back bowls are accessed from the top of this lift, a short walk up to the old ropeway station but I'm on my own and its been a fair few weeks since I've been on a board so I stretch my legs on the main slope down. I'm blown away by the view from the top of Teine, clear views right over the city, as far skiers right as the Prince hotel (and my house) and as far left as the ocean....very very cool. The pic below is from about half way down the main steep slope, you can't really appreciate the slope so much, but it was where the womens giant slalom was held in '72 (I think...at least thats what the run is called , womens giant slalom course) Mid morning this was still Death Nugget central so after 1 run I thought I'd give the trees a go under the old ropeway. Its an official expert course that is of course ungroomed. The top section is pretty steep and from the lift looked like it was littered with death moguls....I def wanted to duck the rope further up and get into the trees before I hit the mogul-bahn. The snow in here was also hard and crusty....the moguls of course were scraped and no fun for a boarder, a little into the trees, whilst not exactly soft and fun, were a hell lot better than the main slope.........mind you that didn't stop this young skier rippng it up in my face!! While the snow condition wasn't very good, certainly not what it would be like mid-winter, for a mess around on April 1st, it wasn't too bad. Coverage was excellent and there were loads of easy in-bounds lines that I've mapped out for next season. There are a couple of decent steep sections in Teine, 2 pisted areas and more than a few in-between tree sections that would keep you coming back for more on a pow day. Of course, I didn't get to ride what Teine is famous for...the back bowls accessed off of the old ropeway, but being on my own and the state of the in bounds off-piste runs I didn't want to chance anything. All in all, I had a fun day out. Its always nice to get out on the mountain on such a beautiful day. I was desperate to hit this place once before the close of season, just so I have an idea of what to head for next season when winter starts again. Its got a lot of easily poachable terrain by the looks of it and with all the talk of the more famous resorts on Hokkaido, I feel this is definitely running under the radar a bit. SO close to Sapporo, lots of good looking terrain....with a famous Hokkaido dump, this place will be awesome. I can't wait for next season already!! also.....I'm always intrigued to see some of the strange things you find at Japanese ski resorts.....this one has a Big Wheel
  4. Morning. We are planning a trip up to Hokkaido this winter and thinking of doing the west and easy of Sapporo. Like the idea of a middle bit and taking in some of Sapporo as well as the skiing. Would you say 1 day (well, 1 night) is enough for Sapporo or does it deserve a bit more perhaps. Interested in the festival, a bit of Japan city nightlife and things that being in a city can give you. Cheers.


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