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marku

Myoko (Suginohara & Akakan Resort) Tree run hints please...

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Hey all,

 

We're heading up to Myoko for the first time this weekend and was hoping to tap into some of the enormous

amount of knowledge here on the forum.

 

We're planning on visiting Suginohara and Akakan Resort.

 

Im not expecting you to reveal any of your hidden gems just some helpful pointers of where the good tree runs are.

 

Ive heard theyre are lots but any advice would be very much appreciated.

 

Cheers!

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Go to the top of the resorts and you'll find them. Whatever you do, don't go into the area behind the Etoru restaurant at Akakan.

 

Black Mountain, I knew the mention of tree runs might get you involved! haha!

 

Thanks for that, whats there? a terrain trap??

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mmmmm Ive had my lot of terrain traps this season so I'll be avoiding that! just might give the ramen a go though.

 

Where you off to this weekend??

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Well, stuck working on Sunday so I'll make a day trip to Nagano on Saturday. Probably end up at Kashimayari... but maybe Mt. Norikura (not Norikura Kogen). Kind of depends on snow/traffic.

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I know them both well, my season pass is at Kashimayari and I often head up to Mt.Norikura for a change of scenary.

 

Actually had a powder day up at Norikura earlier in the season, but the northstar crew are quite the powder munchers as I found out.

Gotta be quick!

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Cool, I haven't been to Kashimayari in years. Aokiko is the first place I boarded in Japan actually. Too bad its closed now. Any suggestions for Kashimayari?

 

Norikura doesn't get too many powder days so it's easy to understand why the locals are chomping at the bit to shred it up.

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Yeah I got lucky with the pow at Norikura, but the wind up there scours things so quickly. I also heard that the snow level is relatively low for this time of year...

 

Man thats a shame youre considering Kashima on one of the only weekends Im not there! would love to show you around.

 

If you know Aokiko quite well then youre already onto a winner! Closed = Fresh tracks! Thats all Im going to say!

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Ive got nearly 2 seasons worth of exploring to share. Dont think I can PM yet. Just let me know the next time youre heading up

and I'll gladly show what Kashima has to offer.

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Sweet. Now that I've totally hijacked your thread may as well push it a little further. Does having a seasons pass at Kashima give you discounted lift tickets for Cortina? Also, what's the weekend crowd like there? Cheers

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Nah its cool,

 

yeah my ridiculously cheap kashima pass gets me day tickets at cortina for 1000yen, plus a few other resorts that Ive not been too.

 

The weekend is obviously busier but nothing compared to Cortina (which Im kinda over this season btw). Its generally alot of beginners and families.

Which leaves all the good stuff, if you know where to go, untouched.

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On topic: You can see plenty of tree runs from the top lifts at Akakan and Suginohara as BM said. I'd say Akakan is probably the better of the two for tree runs. At Akakan, if you are a bit more adventurous, I've seen people go far skiers left from the top chair and come out on the other side of the ridge (comes out near the champion 3 lift top station). Also under and around that lift are many lines. You can see most of these areas from lifts and on course, so I'm sure you can find some good runs easily.

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suginohara has apparently a massive bowl to it. But its also got some serious traps and gob in mouth drops that will have you bricking yoruself and/or dead if you dont know where youre going (apparently). My former boss used to ride it all the time and knew all its dirty secrets. I tried to get him to tell me (i wasnt good enough at the time to ride with him), but he said you need to see it to understand what hes talking about. Heres one of the messages he wrote about a ravine somewhere on skiers right near the top:

 

Skiers right can be navigated pretty easily. There's one super big die of shock while you're falling drop of death if your following the creek bed down. It's safest to drop off the cat track at the bottom.

 

 

The summit is a little tricky, if you drop over the back. It's actually 2 more hikes and 2 descents to get out. You gotta stay left and avoid to bubbling hot spring. Best to get a topographic map to plot the routes and end up at the top of Akakura.

And thats about all i can tell you

:)

Honestly, if youre there for a while, just spend a day with a tour then youll know the main lines for your own little hikes.

Oooh, there was thsi dude who did an mspaint job with a map of suginohara, taylor veltrop i think. If i can find the thread ill dig it out. Im pretty sure i read it here around 2009 when i lived in myoko and was getting all cocky.

 

Whee, no post on the forums... but heres what he said about the top line:

 

If you do go all the way to the top be warned: stick skiers right on the way back. Theres a few bowls towards the bottom left of this area that are unescapable once you are in. It wouldn't be a problem except that one or two of these bowls end at a cliff with a several meter wide fissure going very deep. The other side of the fissure is at least three meters lower, so that's a lot of distance and height to deal with. You may be able to see the cliffs and bowls as you climb up.

Those spots are huge avalanche hazards. If you ride laterally across the bottom of this bowl and slice through crust in an attempt to get out, you may cause an avalanche in the right conditions. If you do experience an avalanche here, you need to go for it and jump over the fissure before the snow comes or be buried deep in the chasm after it pushes you over into it. At least in this case the fissure will contain most of the snow coming down so the other side is relatively safe.

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On topic: You can see plenty of tree runs from the top lifts at Akakan and Suginohara as BM said. I'd say Akakan is probably the better of the two for tree runs. At Akakan, if you are a bit more adventurous, I've seen people go far skiers left from the top chair and come out on the other side of the ridge (comes out near the champion 3 lift top station). Also under and around that lift are many lines. You can see most of these areas from lifts and on course, so I'm sure you can find some good runs easily.

 

Thanks RedLotus, would 'champion 3 lift' be in the next resort along? I cant see it on the Akakan resort course map...???

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Ippy - thanks for the info. youve kinda freaked me out abit about going too far off-piste. But thats probably a good thing. Best to err on the side of caution.

 

Jumping over fissures away from avalanches!!! I think Id rather avoid that!! Maybe it was a good thing you didnt ride with your former boss. (-:

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It was only my second season. They actually rode some pretty cute and safe looking lines in the trees. They boot packed for the most part so i doubt it was toooooo far. If youre just after tree riding though, its all over akakan and suginohara. The top of suginohara in between the runs under the lift also has terrain i was struggling with just last year. It kicked my ass to be honest. :) Fun ride though. Also LOADS of lift rides you can do on suginohara. Had a great one last year when i was flying down an untracked ancient lift only to realise i was approaching a blind drop too fast to stop and with tight trees on one side and a lift stanchion on the other. So just had to go for it :) It felt like a 10m drop, but looking back at it, it was about 3 or 4m id say. Landed it safely but definite buttocks clenching pee your pants stuff (at least for me) :) Sugnohara has some dirty tricks.

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yeah.....great line under the top lift at Suginohara BUT not right from the off ramp........you can see the cliff and ravine when you ride up, make sure you bypass that before heading under......great snow usually though

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marku - The 'Champion' lifts are part of Akakura Kanko. I think they were originally a separate resort, but now they are combined (no idea how far back). The lift I was talking about was the right most lift, just before you enter Akakura Onsen ski area.

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they are combined now? Aren't the 2 Akakura resorts always falling out and fighting with each other? Refusing lift passes from the other resort?

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Yeah there are two: Akakura Kanko and Akakura Onsen. They have separate tickets, although you can buy a joint one. But I think a looong time ago there were like 6 small resorts. These eventually merged into the two. The owner of the pension where I am staying still refers to them by their old names which always confuses me.

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In the 8 years I've been going there the joint ticket has changed 4 times. Now that Akakan has closed one of their upper lifts there is almost no reason to get the joint ticket anymore. Onsen is just not that interesting.

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