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Ski report for Suginohara, Myoko Kogen, Niigata Feb 13th 2010

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Well I went to Myoko kogen, Suginohara last Saturday, compliments of SnowJapan, for the voucher I won!


Well the voucher gave me a choice of four of the Myoko resorts to choose from, I decided to go to suginohara, mainly because of the very long courses, total length around 8.5 kilometres.

Also some of the top courses are left ungroomed and bumpy just as the snow falls, something I wanted to try.

I went together with my wife and daughter.


We stayed at the Shikinoyado Alpha Inn Shuunso right at the resort, in fact about a two minute walk to the bottom lift.


We actually drove up to the carpark (3 min), as that was more convenient for us.


Although it was snowing when we arrived friday evening, in total there was only about 2cm on my car the next morning, and it was basically light snow falling all day Saturday, but didn't add up to more than about 1-2cm.


The snow conditions at the resort were so-so. There was powder, maybe about 10-15cm in places, but as a whole maybe around 5cm or so, which was on top of a ice / hard crust. It was basically chopped powder in any case.

Parts of the slopes were nice, but in general the slopes were hard, definately not soft powder.

Certainly had been next to nothing in the way of new powder falling while we were there.

The snow conditions actually improved as the day went on and sofened up quite a bit by the afternoon, making carving even better.


Visibility on this day varied from clear with slight bright spells to nearly no visibility at all at the top of the slopes from time to time.


The resort it self is quite big, with one main restaurant at the carpark level and other restaurants / snack rest houses various places on the slopes.

The food that we ate at the bottom was reasonable, typical of most resorts.

Not sure about the selection of foods at each of the buildings as we did not go in the other places.


Rental equipment was available, and I presume clothing also for those who needed to rent.

From what I saw prices are competitive with other resorts if not slighly cheaper then in my area.


The slopes were fun, with varing terrain from bumpy ungroomed top tracks to smoother bottom tracks.

Apart from one alpine course the Jigoku-dani (hell's valley), most of the tracks are aimed at beginner to intermdeiate / upper intermediate maximum. The upper courses suited my daughter and I nicely as she is intermediate and I am upper intermediate level.


Due to the length and contours of the tracks it made skiing great fun albiet a bit hard to turn on the less steaper inclines, especially as I was using my new hard carving skis, which are more for steep slopes. I think some of it was also due to the snow conditions.


The tracks run through the trees with both straight sections and curvy sections, bumpy sections and smooth sections, making the skiing fun and interesting.

The upper slopes also had slalom courses which was a lot of fun too, with an area of jumps about two thirds of the way down.



The bottom slopes however were just way to flat for anyone other than a complete beginner. Having said this, because of the flatness of the bottom parts of the slopes it makes it a great places for beginners to learn.


The bottom lift for the beginner course however was rather long about 10 minutes to wait, no good when the bottom part is frozen and icy as all the beginners kept sliding around. Also if you take the right hand course from the top, and forget to cross to the left before the bottom you end up having to go to the beginner lift and take that to the top of the beginner course, then ski down the left side to the gondola station, as that is the only way to access it, from the left hand side just before the bottom, which I did the first time I decended from the top. You soon learn not to do that the second time unless you enjoy waiting in the beginners queue!!

The gondola queue was fine with only a one - three min wait, except for a short time in the morning when the waiting time was around 20 mins.


All in all we had a great time at this resort, and it was nice to get out on to a resort with nice long winding tracks of varing contours, including ungroomed courses too.

I think had it not of been for the rain a few days before then the snow would have been much, much better, expecially on the lower parts of the slopes.


I would go here again, and this resort would be super fun straight after a huge dump!


Ok I thought it would be good to add a summary as well from now on for any new resorts I visit.


Snow conditions : 5 out of 10

snow depth : 10 out of 10

Fun level : 8 out of 10

Not easy to get bored : 7 out of 10

Terrain : 8 out of 10

Value for money : 7 out of 10

Ease of access : 10 out of 10

Weather : 4 out of 10

Good for BEG : 8 out of 10

Good for INT : 8 out of 10

God for ADV : 5 out of 10


Ok here are a few pictures, unfortunately because it snowed didn't really take many.





























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I rated the snow 10 out of 10 for the amount of cover as there was 2+ metres everywhere, therefore more than enough snow to last sometime yet, even if it doesn't snow much more.



Depends how you define bottomless. To me it certainly wasn't bottomless as my skis did not sink into the snow more than a few inches. Bottonless to me is where you would just sink into the snow without reaching a stop / hardness in the snow.


If bottomless means plenty of snow then yes it was bottonless!

I guess we all have different ideas of what bottomless means.


Anyway there was plenty of snow everywhere!

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Bottomless is not a term about snowdepth at all. You can have 50m of snow on the ground but if the surface is solid ice it aint bottomless. Bottomless is a term for powder. It's when you make a turn you cannot feel any hard base at all. You're edges of your skis or board do not bite into anything. It's just like floating down the slope. You can have bottomless turns even with less than a metre of snow on the ground.

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