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Wow!! Gifu's got the goods

 

3rd January 2013

 

Resort: Dynaland & Takasu Snow Park

 

Snow condition: Powder and lots of it. About 50cm on the ungroomed runs, even more in some of the off piste areas that hadn’t been hit the day before.

 

Weather: The visibility wasn’t the best, that was partly because of my failing goggles I haven’t replaced yet. It was overcast all day with snow showers from time to time but the cloud level was above the mountain so that helped with the visibility.

 

The day: We left Kyoto for Gifu at around 3 am and it was a good run up until just after Gifu city when the snow started and the traffic slowed. At this time we were slightly concerned by the number of people that were heading up to the area with skis/boards on their cars. It turned out to be a super busy day on the slopes but a majority of the people were beginners. The main slopes in Takasu and Dynaland were extremely busy with big groups of boarders. At one point the main Takasu groomed run was about 5 boarders wide and its not an overly wide run to start with. Even if it wasn’t a powder day I think I still would have been heading in to the trees to avoid the crowds. We started the day by hitting up the ungroomed runs at the top of Dynaland until it was pretty tracked out then we headed over to Takasu for some of the lovely off piste action it has to offer and finished the day off back at Dynaland seeking out what ever powder stashes that were remaining. This was probably the best snow I have experienced so far this year the only problem was digging myself out whenever I fell over. I'm heading back to Dynaland at least 2 more times this year so if its half as good as it was on January 3rd I'll be a very happy boarder.

 

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I've decided to make post more of my Gifu Pow sessions in this thread instead of making multiple thread of very similar stories. Is it possible to have the thread renamed?

 

 

Dynaland 19 January 2013

 

Resorts: Dynaland & Takasu Snow Park

 

Snow Condition: Packed groomed runs, day old slightly tracked powder off piste.

 

Weather: Overcast with snow for most of the day. The cloud level was higher than the resort so visibility was ok for most of the day. Towards the end of the day the clouds got lower and the light got very flat in places.

 

The day: All week I was looking forward to this trip and the snow that was forecast to fall on Friday and through the night ready for me to plow through on Saturday morning. This trip I was using a night bus as my car is out of action at the moment. I also decided to go to Dynaland because it has early morning riding, the main lift opens at 5am and the bus arrives at Dynaland at 4:30. When I arrived I was slightly disappointed to find that the weather forecast was out by a day. On Thursday night they got a decent amount of snow but Friday night had no new snow. I spent the early morning riding the main groomed run with many other people. Apparently early morning sliding is pretty popular. The main run under the lights was nearly a bit too crowded and some people were definitely boarding way too fast for conditions, I actually took multiple breaks before sunrise because there were too many ****heads on the slopes. One of my friends got collected 4 times and another 3 times. Once all the lift opened up around 8 the runs got a lot better as the people dispersed around the mountain. This was also around the time I stopped riding mainly on the groomers. Once the whole mountain opened we headed over to Takasu Snow Park, this place is fast becoming my favourtie place to ride. Its extremely busy on the weekends but its busy with beginners and people teaching their friends. If i guessed I would say only about 5-10% of the people go off-piste. This means the trees dont get tracked out very fast. Even though there was no new snowfall on Friday night I was still able to find fresh pow stashes all day. My tree/pow riding is still not very good but every time I go to Takasu Snow Park I find new lines. It is surprising how much terrain there is to ride. After having some fun in Takasu Snow Park we headed back to Dynaland for a few final runs before heaving to get on the bus and head home. On Dynaland side there was still some nice powder stashes in the tree park and I finished the day hitting some challenging(for me) tree runs and almost collecting big trees on the way down. Luckily I ended the day uninjured but its probably best I had to go and catch the bus. This was the second time I've been to Dynaland & Takasu Snow Park this year and it definitely won't be the last.

 

This is a sneak peak of some video I got on the day. This was my favourite run but I've since found better ones.

 

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There is a kind of time limit on changes ive found in the past, but its usually a few weeks after the OP. If you cant edit it, just ask one of the SJs and theyll unlock the first post (if they aint too busy). However, if you can still edit the first post just click on USE FULL EDITOR and you can change the title yourself right there.

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No worries dude, its good to read a bit about gifu. It doesnt get much of a shout in here. One day i might even end up in the hell of nagoya and need some kind of escape. So its great youre looking after future me :)

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i like the cat sculpture. what ghibli movie is that out of?

 

thanks for the photos.. :)

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Its from Totoro. They had Totoro too but I didnt get a good shot of that. Ill see if I can get it off one of my friends.

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ah yes, the cat bus... i looked it up.. thanks.

I have seen a totoro sculpture in Furano last year. awesome.

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Resort: Hida Nagareha

 

Snow Condition: It was snowing all day with strong winds at the top of the mountain. Visibility was pretty average at times. However the snow condition was very nice. The lower slopes had about 15cm of fresh snow on top of a crusty under layer. The upper slopes had around 20-40cm of new snow.

 

The Day: This was my first time to go to Hida Nagareha and the only reason I went was because it was part of a package tour organised by someone else and I had no say in which resort we were going to. To be honest I was considering not going because I had looked at the ski-jo map online and wasn't so impressed. However, looking back at the weekend I am so glad that I went. This ski-jo had some amazing powder snow but so would most resorts after the dump we had on Friday night. The thing that made this resort so good was the lack of the crazy crowds I usually encounter at Gifu ski-jos. I was enjoying fresh untracked runs on piste for the morning. The strong winds made for some interesting conditions at the top of the mountain. On exposed faces there were hard and wind swept packs however all the snow was being dumped on unexposed faces which made for some lovely powder conditions. As nice as the snow was at the top of the mountain the wind, cold temperatures and slow lifts made it not so enjoyable for me so I headed back to the sheltered side of the mountain to escape the wind and see what powder I could find. With a little exploring I managed to find a couple of really nice tree lines that no one else was hitting. The powder was really deep in these runs luckily I didn't have to dig myself out so I didn't find out how deep it really was but I'm 185cms tall and it was easily waist deep. This day was a really enjoyable one as I was able to charge hard from the first lift of the morning until the last lift of the day hitting powder stashes all day.

 

February 17 2013

 

Resort: Hida Nagareha

 

Snow Condition: The snow continued from the previous afternoon but stopped around 8pm that night. There was about 10cm of fresh snow on the side of the groomed areas.

 

Weather: The day started out lovely with blue skies for most of the morning. Any clouds that were around were up very high so visibility was great all day.

 

The day: Unfortunately my bus back to Kansai was leaving at 2 so I only got half a day on the slopes but made the most of what time I had. The Sunday seemed to bring in a few more people than the Saturday and the lift lines were slightly longer but still nothing to complain about. The groomed runs were nice and fast in the morning and the powder stashes from the previous day were still in decent condition too. Since there wasn't as much snow on the Saturday night and more people at the ski-jo any of the easy to access powder stashes got tracked out pretty fast. However the tree runs were still relatively untouched. I spent the morning exploring these runs and found some really nice runs that were hardly tracked at all. I went to Hida Nagareha expecting to be bored after a few hours but could have easily spent another day there. The lack of the weekend crowds makes it tempting to revisit.

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Meiho 26 Jan 2013

 

Australia Day in the mountains of Japan

 

Resort: Meihou Ski-jo, Gifu

 

Snow Condition: Plenty of snow fell on previous day and continued through the night. The snow condition was very nice with lots of fresh powder. The top ungroomed runs were easily waist deep.

 

Weather: There was a strong wind forecast but luckily it wasn't too bad at the resort. The top runs got a little wind swept towards the end of the day but it didn't cause any major issues. Light snow was falling for most of the day so conditions were a little overcast but visibility was still pretty good.

 

The day: This was the first time for me to visit Meihou, a friend of mine recommended it a while ago and based on his recommendation I purchased some discounted lift tickets at the start of the season so this day seemed like a good day to go and check it out. I had a lot of fun but I think that was mainly due to the crazy amount of snow that had fallen. I spent the morning bombing the ungroomed runs at the top of the mountain until the powder was pretty tracked out. This was also the first time that I got my new board and bindings set up right at the start for a powder day. I was really impressed by how well it handled the snow, I was getting plenty of float so I could basically straight line down the deep snow. Unfortunately I forgot my gopro pole this day so I only have video from my helmet and also I lost a fair bit of footage by my gopro not recording properly. After this day an upgrade to the new model gopro is looking like a really good idea. Meihou seems like a pretty popular place and as soon as I stopped hitting up the ungroomed advanced runs at the top I was shocked by how many people were there. This is the same at all the Gifu resorts I have been to on weekends. The beginner and intermediate runs are very busy with beginners, people teaching their friends and people buttering around and doing spins. Getting down off the mountain at the end of the day was almost challenging as I had to dodge so many people. I didn't have that much time to go exploring and finding tree runs. Under the top lift looks like it would be very fun but pretty steep in parts and this day I really didn't need to venture off the runs very far to ride nice deep powder. Also the patrols seemed to be a bit more active at than other places in Gifu I've boarded so far this year. In the morning they were lapping the top runs warning people who were going off-piste to stop. From what I could tell it was only a warming and nothing more.

 

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27th January 2013

 

Resort: Takasu Snow Park

 

Snow Condition: Powdery, about 10-20cm of new snow fell overnight.

 

Weather: Overcast on the mountain, blue skies everywhere else.

 

The day: This day was a bit of a mixed day for me. It started out bad with horrible traffic heading up to Gifu. The trip which should take 3hrs ended up taking close to 5.5hrs. There was a bit of snow on the road between Shiga and Nagoya so the highway patrol where out and blocking both lanes to make everyone drive at 50km/h. After Nagoya they disappeared but then there were a couple of accidents and heavy traffic all the way up to the highway exit. We finally arrived at Takasu at 10:30. I helped my friends get there rental gears and we were finally ready to hit the pow at around 11:30, well what was left of it anyway. The groomed and ungroomed runs were all pretty well tracked out but that wasn't an issue because in the trees there was still plenty of pow to be had. The pow was pretty deep and I managed to stay upright a lot more this week than previous visits on the same runs, I think this had a lot to do with setting up my bindings appropriately for powder riding. I went over to Dynaland for lunch and to meet up with some people who had been there since 5am. They said the morning was amazing with even the groomers having nice powder conditions early on. I didn't stay at Dynaland for long and headed back to Takasu to get some more tree runs in before leaving for the day. As is was getting more confident with my boarding in the trees I also became a bit more complacent and had 2 instances this day that could have ended a lot worse. The first was when I was exploring a ridge line trying to get to a big open face that drops onto the main run. I ended up heading a little bit too far down one side of the ridge and couldn't get back so I had no option but to go down which unfortunately led to being stuck in a gully and having to take off my board and walk/dig my back to the course. The snow was too soft to get good footing and took about 10 minutes to get about 20 metres. Looking back this was potentially a dangerous position to be in and a mistake I will do my best to avoid in the future. The second close call was not as avoidable as the first, it also happened on the last run of the day. I was coming out of the trees after taking a slightly new line I hadn't tried before. The run through the trees was great and again it was mostly untracked snow but when I went to join the main course all of a sudden a hole appeared in the snow. I couldn't do anything except try to jump it, luckily I had enough speed and the hole wasn't very big so I managed to get over the hole. Even though I had a few close calls it was still an enjoyable day on the snow. We left around 5pm and the traffic was horrible again. The Takasu area really is shocking in the evening as everyone from the 5 or so ski-jos in the area are trying to leave at the same time. This time the 3hr trip home took around 5hrs. A great day on the snow but a shocker on the roads. From this day on I will not go to the Gifu area on a snowy day unless I can leave much earlier to beat all the crazy traffic.

 

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