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Checked out Grandee Hatoriko over the weekend of Jan. 9-10 with the kid. Had low expectations at first, but ended up having an outstanding weekend there. This was partly due to having chosen a hotel/ski plan using their affiliated hotel near the Shirakawa interchange, chosen for ease of access to Hunter Mtn. the second day (I had brought some Hunter tickets that were purchased pre-season, but we ended up going back to Hatoriko the second day instead), and this hotel turned out to be a private luxury golf club! Very surprising for the price, but a verrry nice surprise.


The ski area itself turned out to have enough interesting features and courses to keep the kid thoroughly entertained for two days, and clamoring to go back for more. Expert skiers would be bored, but as an intermediate and beginner family resort, it turned out to be something of a hidden gem; being located just beyond the Tokyoite crowd traps of Hunter Mtn. and Mt. Jeans, it was surprisingly uncrowded, with hardly any lift lines.


It snowed much of the time, and was fairly windy and cold at times, especially at the top of the high-speed quad (which is unhooded). Much less windy around the pair lifts and associated courses, which were better shielded by trees.


Family Course from Pair Lift #3:



High Speed Quad from #3 Rest House cafeteria:



Top of High Speed Quad:



Nanchatte Cross -- one of the kid's favorite spots:



No Entry, observed in the breach:



Wavy section underneath Pair Lift #1 -- another favorite of the kid:



Near top of Pair Lift #1:



Hollywood Course, a pleasant wooded cruiser:



Boarder Valley. Hard to tell from this picture, but the course becomes basically a giant, serpentine natural half-pipe, especially lower down below where this was taken. Tremendous fun for skiers, too:



Family Course:



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Thanks Metabo for the report and pics jland has so many great ski areas to explore.I no I will not live long enough to see then all but will try a new one each year.Maybe zao for 2011

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