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This report is a little late but I've been busy boarding and now only starting to get through the backlog of trip reports.



Hakuba 27-29 December 2012


27th December 2012


Resort: Hakuba Goryu and 47


Snow condition: Compacted snow on groomed runs. About 20cm or more of powder on the sides of the groomed runs. The overall snow condition was very nice. The temperature was very low which kept the snow light and fresh.


Weather: As I said the temperature was very low. On the drive up I saw a -12 on one of the signs on the side of the road so up the top of the mountain it was very cold. The weather was very clear. I've lived in Japan for more than 5 years and I don’t think I have ever seen as clear skies.


The day: We arrived around 9am after leaving home around 2:30 to pick up friends and drive up from Kyoto. When we arrived I was itching to get on the slopes but one of my friends forgot his boots so we lost another 30 minutes or so while we waited for him to sort out rentals. Around 10am we were finally on our way up the gondola. The slopes were not as crowded as I thought they would be and the longest we had to wait in line all day was about 10 minutes. As we were riding the lift up to the top of Goryu we noticed that many people were climbing up the the top of the resort just above the top lift in 47. They were all climbing up to take a photo of the Hakuba range behind the resorts. This also gave access to the top skiers right side of Goryu that wasn’t open. I made my friends climb up to the top for a photo and also made them bring their boards so we could drop into the top of Goryu for some fresh tracks. It was definitely worth bringing the boards as the run down from the top although short was great fun. We did this a couple more times and spent the rest of the day hunting for any remaining powder stashes and having a genuinely enjoyable day.














28th December 2012


Resort: Hakuba Goryu and 47


Snow condition: Compacted snow and a little icy early in the day. From about 2pm it started snowing and by the end of the day there was a nice layer of fresh snow on most of the runs. Its hard to tell but I would guess that about 2-5cm fell in the afternoon until closing.


Weather: The weather wasn’t a repeat of the perfect weather the day before. The morning was a little overcast with high level cloud cover. As the day went on the clouds got lower and it started snowing. Visibility wasn’t an issue if you had goggles that worked. Unfortunately for me my goggles failed again.


The day: This day we also had a bit of a late start. Which wasn't such a big deal as the best part of the day was at end once it started snowing. Looking back on this day it would have been worth while to get the nighta pass too but unfortunately we didn’t.



29th December 2012


Resort: Hakuba Cortina


Snow condition: Slightly disappointing, with the amount and quality of the snow that was falling at the end of the previous day we had high hopes for Cortina. The snow wasn’t bad and there was about 20-30cm of new snow up high but the snow was a little heavy and turned to crud pretty quickly.


Weather: This day was a mixture of the previous 2 days. The morning was overcast and cloudy with visibility up high quite bad. In the afternoon the cloud lifted and we had some beautiful clear skies in the afternoon.


The day: This was my first time at Cortina and I didn’t really know what to expect. I had heard many stories about Cortina and everyone of them was about tree runs and deep powder. The tree runs looked very fun but I think they are a little outside my ability. On a powder day I could see myself getting stuck or hitting a tree quite easily. The "back country" side of Cortina also looked really fun but I didn’t really know where it goes or what was down there so I thought it would be best to do it another day with someone who has done it before or at least do some research on here about that run first. The day was still an enjoyable day, I could hit some (heavy) powder in the morning then some tree runs later in the day. I think this resort has plenty to offer and is very affordable with a discount coupon. I definitely want to get back there again before the end of this season but not until late Feb or March so I have some time to improve my tree skills a little more.









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So I headed back to Hakuba for the second time this season.


Hakuba January 12-14 2013


Saturday January 12 2013


Resort: Goryu and 47


Snow Condition: Groomed runs were hard packed and fast with some powder stashes on the sides of runs.


Weather: It was very cold on this day but the sky was clear and visibility was great.


The day: We started this day early and were waiting in line for the gondola when it started. The first run on the freshly groomed runs without any new snow was very fast. As soon as the Alps pair Number 4 lift opened we took it up and hit up the powder stashes that could be found by heading as far skiers right as we could without going out of bounds. The snow condition here was great and very enjoyable. We enjoyed the powder until it started getting tracked out and then headed over to 47 to see if we could find some stashes in the trees over there. There were some stashes to be had on 47 but not as much as the morning at Goryu. After lunch the runs were getting pretty crowded and carved up but the snow condition was still ok. We enjoyed the rest of the day trying to get every last powder stash that was around the 2 ski resorts.










Sunday January 13 2013


Headed to Happo to use my free ticket. Thanks SnowJapan, report can be found here.


Monday January 14 2013


Resort: Goryu and 47


Snow Condition: 5-10cm of fresh powder on top of very hard/icy snow pack.


Weather: Snowing and cloudy/foggy, visibility was very low.


The day: We woke this day to find about 5-10cm of snow on the car so we headed straight up to the mountains to get some fresh tracks. To our surprise when arriving at the resort there were hardly any people. It was the compete opposite of the previous day, I guess many people must have left after the Sunday. I even had to check my calendar to make sure I hadn’t made a mistake about the days and it was in fact a public holiday. Needless to say there were plenty of fresh tracks to be had all morning. I was surprised and slightly disappointed the Alps pair number 4 lift wasn’t running so it made it hard to get to the stashes way out skiers right at the top of Goryu. The powder was nice but by the morning there was only about 10cm that had fallen up top which unfortunately wasn’t enough to be bottomless. The warmer weather the day before had made the base very hard and I found myself bottoming out quite easily. I'm sure by the afternoon it would have been much better. Unfortunately since I had a 6 hour drive back to Kansai and work on Tuesday we left around 1:30 and headed home. It was an enjoyable morning of boarding and it was very tempting to stay all day and call in sick the next day.







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29th December 2012


Resort: Hakuba Cortina



The tree runs looked very fun but I think they are a little outside my ability. On a powder day I could see myself getting stuck or hitting a tree quite easily. The "back country" side of Cortina also looked really fun but I didn’t really know where it goes or what was down there so I thought it would be best to do it another day with someone who has done it before or at least do some research on here about that run first.




Hi Kansaiash


Great TR and pics! Im a huge fan of the resorts you went to and will be back that way in a few weeks. If I may can I offer some advice based on personal experience at Cortina and your comments above. If the tree runs are beyond you as you stated so is the slack country and back country. There are numerous good in bounds lines at Cortina that depending on the crowd will be good most of the day, including tree runs. Its an awesome place to build skills. One way to improve your tree riding skills is to find a nice run with trees along it and just go in and out back to the main run. Get to know the place and on the right day it can be as epic as you hear. But please, until you can compentently ride through the trees in deep pow, dig yourself out etc inbounds do not go outside the resort at Cortina, no matter how inviting it looks. Once you have the skills and you find others with the suitable experience etc please ensure you have all the suitable equipment with you should you head out. Whilst it looks really inviting its very serious there. Hope that doesnt come across as anything but advice to help. I've made mistakes that I hope others dont by going into places beyond my capabilities.




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Have to agree with Pete. It's painful to watch the number of people who are in over their heads snow plowing through the trees there... and then seeing the same people preparing to drop off the backside of the resort. People need to make honest assessments of their level and know their limits.

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Thanks Pete. I appreciate the advice. I got into a situation on the weekend where I had to walk through deep powder after exploring and getting myself into a situation I couldn't ride out of. Luckily I only had to climb about 20 metres to get back to a course. I can imagine hiking out of backcountry in such conditions would be quite challenging.

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