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Some pictures from Alts Bandai on Saturday, 18 Feb. 2012.


A carload of us went up, all first-timers to Alts. The fact that it is bigger than most places I usually visit was brought home from the parking lot, from which there is no walking to the base area -- have to take a shuttle bus. I normally hate little time-wasters like that, but it was a fast, efficient bus with no waiting, so no complaints as it turned out.


Then to the base area. If one wanted to make a movie set in a bubble-jidai ski area, this would be the set to use. This is obviously not a small place that grew organically over the years, it was a single, unified project set down in one go by people who were thinking big. I rather liked the retro triangles of colored lights that came on in late afternoon to guide people down at the end of the day. (In normal years, they would be used for nighters as well, but nighters are cancelled this year to save power, except for special events.)



Besides stylistic notes, the other thing that strikes one immediately is the sheer size of the base area. All areas of the mountain radiate out from the Resort Center, with a giant flat area between the Resort Area and the lifts. This means lots of skating to get from one area to another; even as a skier, this seemed a bit tiresome. Can only imagine how boarders feel. But, once one is away from the base area, this issue goes away.




One of our group was a first-timer, so we started out at the snow escalator area. While there, we heard sirens, and saw a snow patrol snowmobile zip up past towards the back road that snakes through the resort. Later we realized this may have been one of fruity-sachi's group being rescued. :sadface:


Some of us peeled off to hit the #4 quad, which leads to the back bowls. We never hit the back bowls that day -- something I want to check out some other time. Did a mellow long intermediate cruiser back to base, to regroup and have lunch.


We were supposed to meet up with fruity-sachi's group at lunch time, but of course that never happened. At the time I thought the restaurant was just too crowded to find each other. Unfortunately, as we later learned, one of fruity's group had ended up in the hospital with injuries instead...


After lunch, we hit the #5 pair lift to make sure the new skier's legs were somewhat established, then spent much of the afternoon looping the gondola.








The gondola runs are long cruiser type beginner and intermediate runs, with some features like waves for amusement. Very pleasant way to spend the afternoon. Only bad part is the loooong run-out at the bottom.



Some nice treed areas just to the side of the run:



Once the gondola shut down for the day, we did a couple of laps on the #5 pair lift. The weather cleared up enough by then to provide some lovely views of Lake Inawashiro from there:




All in all, we had a very nice day there. Snow was in good condition, both on- and side-piste, and the brief periods of relatively clear weather afforded some very nice views. Some day I would like to go back and check out the back bowls.


Very sorry that fruity-sachi's group was not able to have as nice a day as we did.

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Good work Metabo! :thumbsup: & thanks for the info about the suspension of the nightas, as i was tentatively planning to go to Alts this Friday afternoon/evening!!


Nice Metabo Oyaji, I am glad you enjoyed it and thank you for the photos and report.

Sorry we could not make it to lunchtime!

Maybe next time.


Fruity-sachi, how's your friend?

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its just the bottom thats flat. If you take the run down the very right of the resort (as you look at it) and want to go up the middle or the other side then its a fair skate away....unbuckling was better I thought than labouriously skating across. Plenty steeps, trees and side runs to keep you busy up there though.


The extreme left of the resort (as seen from the base) has been closed for this season. That was mostly the beginners park area, super pipe and some humongous kickers

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Thanks, folks.


1: I believe there is plenty of steep stuff in the back bowls, but we didn't get there that day. More of a mellow day than a gnarly one for us. Definitely on my list to try at some point in the future, though.


muika: It seemed reasonably busy, especially at lunch time when everyone hit the cafeteria at once. You can see some crowding around the base area (though no serious lift lines). From news articles, it seems their customer numbers were 70% of normal in January, and have gradually improved somewhat to 80%-90% now. Of course, the left-hand third of their mountain is closed this year, which will force everyone to the other parts of the mountain.


sanjo: Yes, that area in the photo is all open, at least on weekends. Those are the back bowls, seen from the gondola course. The part that is closed, that Tubby mentioned, is off-frame to the left.


fruity: No need to apologize! Thanks for showing up! How is your friend doing?

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My friend is doing ok, but her season finished.


Send your friend my apologies. (I feel kind of responsible.)


I plan to continue though.


Good! Maybe take some pics wherever you go?

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Yes, I'd like to go back some day and check out the back bowls.

It is a pretty good-sized resort -- really want more than one day to check it all out.


The flat area is not such a big deal if one were sticking to the middle section and the back bowls, say, or the left-hand part (which is closed this year). Only really have to deal with it if looping the gondola, or changing from one of the 3 main areas (left, middle, right) to another. Or if heading to the Resort Center for lunch. (There is also a restaurant on-hill in the bowls area, and another one on the left-hand side of the base area, so normally wouldn't even need to visit the Resort Center during the day -- but they are closed this year.)

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yeah that restaurant over in the bowls is prob the best on-hill food I've had in Japan.....not your usual mud pack curry and 100 yen ramen. I spent most of the day over the back bowls and enjoyed it, even if the snow wasn't really that good. I went late season, I reckon it'd be great after a good powder dump

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