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Snow Dude's 2013-14 ski thread (Sun Meadows, Kiyosato, Yamanashi)

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You should! I was loving your photos of Kamafuseyama, and wondering when you'd post a trip report. Now I see you have a blog. Post a thread here and I think you will get more eyes. (At least from us old farts who have not figured how to survive in the 21st century yet.)


I'm working on it now actually. There are a few more pictures I want to take of the resort first. Headed back tomorrow and there are supposed to be ideal conditions so I'm thinking tomorrow night i'll have something to show for it. Glad someones looking at em!


Sorry to steal your thread snowdude!

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I thought it would be nice to make a ski thread as I will be visiting my local resort a lot this year and document the weather/ snow conditions, etc each time I go as a reference for others and as a r

Day 12: December 7th 2014 Woke up to blue skys and a nice cool -12oC outside my house. Had a morning to spare before work so hit the slopes again.

It was empty the groomers were firm and fast so I spent my morning going top to bottom zig zagging down the slopes just enjoying the scenary and empty slopes.


Will be going again tomorrow morning when as I cant go Thursday. Should be snowing time I get up tomorrow so not sure how much fun skiing will be tomorrow but I want to ski in fresh pow and Thursday is a no go for me.

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Day 13: December 8th 2014 It started off frosty and cloudy but bright.

Wasnt snowing when I got up but by about 10:30am it started snowing and by the time we left early afternoon the snow was really coming down.

The slopes where empty so it was like having our own private resort. The snow conditions improving al/ the time but the weather deteriating.


Should be lots of snow by tomorrow although I cant get out tomorrow but should be good for those who can.


Ill take a few pics of the area if I have time before work.

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I'm going to have to make a day trip up there Snowdude as it's probably the closest skijo to me other than Yeti. Damn, going back to Canada for the holidays really screwed up my start to the ski season. I won't be able to get in some real skiing in Hakuba for a few weeks yet due to weekend band gigs. Maybe we could meet up some time at your local spot for a few turns...

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Cool yes let me know if you come up and will have a ski together for sure.

It is only a small jo so dont get excited but it is a fun little place and great after heavy snow.

Pm me if you come up amd we can arrange a day.

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Day 14 January 11th 2014 : Woke up to blue sky's and time on my hands so popped over to Sun Meadows for a few turns, especially after that heavy dump we had Wed/Thur.

The snow ranged from very nice soft powder on A course to Powder pockets and hard patches over on D course.

The weather was nice, except for one thing the wind, so strong at times it nearly blow you over if you get hit from the side. As a result the wind along with the very low temps have turned the snow into super light powder, which is excellent, but it also means the wind can blow it around all over the place, which is what has happened on any wind affected courses.


Away from the wind though the snow was lovely and soft and quiet to ski on and made for some lovely turns especially as A course had not been groomed again, which I like, it is so much softer and nicer to ski in, although it gets a bit bumpy in places, this adds to the fun though, so happy about that.


I had a good morning really just doing my thing enjoying the scenery one minute while enjoy a good fast blast the next.

It was also surprisingly un-crowded for a 3 day weekend, at least on the upper courses. Their were loads of beginners filling up the bottom courses, so that left me with fairly empty upper courses to play on.


I added a few more pics, this time from different angles from the connecting course as well as from the D course which hadn't been open until today, that is the steepest course at Sun meadows.



View from half way down the D course



Connecting course after existing the Bird lift



Same connecting course different view



View from the lift



Another view from the lift





A forest track, that is out of bounds, there is actually a steep climb to get to this, right after existing the Bird lift.



Another view from D course, this time from the top



Looking up D course from half way down



The same out of bounds forest course that I would so much like to ski.

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DAY 15 : January 19th 2014:

Good news I woke up to new snow outside my house, it was some of the finest lightest powder you could imagine, that when you blew it, it just floated around everywhere, proabably as it was around -10 when it was snowing helped.

The bad news is we only got a cm or so, the snow gods where very mean to us here. Although tonight hopefully they will be a bit more generous.

Anyway headed off to my local ski-jo again and was surprised to see that the base only got 1 cm or so as well.

But conditions were good with the top having received around 5cm of super light pow.

Because of the very cold temps, actually only got to -10 at the warmest point yesterday and that was with intermittent sun/cloud/snow.

So the snow was soft and smooth and actually really nice to ski on especially at the top with it being a little more compressed lower down.

The weather was a mix of sun cloud and occasional snow flurries throughout the day, with a super strong wind for the first couple of hours, before actually carming down to just strong at times. At the top we also got a small tornado which lasted for about 10 seconds or so, tossing snow everywhere.

We had a Yamanashi ski competition yesterday so it was more busy than usual around the resort, and with the far D course out of bounds to all but the competitors.

I didn't enter as it was for middle school children only, but was good to watch now and again as I went past.


All in all a good day out, and would have been better without the wind, but there are not many days in winter that we don't get wind anyway.


Here are a few photos from yesterday, again from different angles and from yet a different slope. I also tried to snap a pic of the tornado, but by the time I got my phone out og my pocket to take a pic it had nearly finished.



D-course where the competition was held



Looking back to the bird lift from the edge of the D1-course



Looking down D1-D2 courses from the edge of D1 course



Another view from the same spot



One of the competitors



The competitors getting ready



Can you spot the tornado spiraling through the competitors?



Nice snow here and some untracked, which I just had to ski through, of course!

Good snow, fresh pow, just not much fresh!

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DAY 16 January 26th 2014 : Woke up this morning to light wet snow falling outside my house with no real accumulation.

Although it was snowing in Kobuchisawa it was dry going through Oizumi. As we approached Kiyosato snow was falling and it had been snowing for a while as there was about 3cm on the ground.


Conditions on the slopes were quite good as there was fresh snow albeit heavier than I am used to at Kiyosato, it is usually always powder snow.

The bottom had about 5cm and maybe up to about 8 or so at the top. Because of the warm temps, was only -1 at the base at 9am the snow was soft and a bit sticky, but of course there were no icy patches anywhere. Turns were a bit slower than usual, but fun all the same and on the D1 course there was more than enough untouched powder staches waiting for me to rip it up.


The weather varied from cloudy with bright intervals to turning black at times and puking it down with snow before clearing again, and these conditions continued for the day and in fact was the same weather back at my house a mix of snow showers and brighter weather.

The wind for the most part amazingly kept fairly low for a change and with the mild temps felt more like spring skiing than mid winter. It was much colder in the afternoon than the morning and this was noticeable later on as the snow became faster as the moisture content started to dry up.


Despite the changeable weather skiing was fun and the fresh snow made it nice and soft if not a bit heavy and with hardly anyone on the D1 course I pretty much had the powder to my self.


Didn't really bother to take many pics so just a few this time.








Was really snowing heavy at this point, although my camera is not good enough to really pick it up.

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Yep how I like it. I hate busy. Full of begiinners at the bottom and race practice at the top of D1 leaving D2 empty all for me and a not so busy A course either.

But most weekends it does get very busy actually.

I think the weather yesterday kept all but the locals away.


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DAY 17 : January 31st 2014:

Well after phoning up Sun Meadows and being told that they had indeed got snow, it was throw my gear in the back of my car and 20 mins later I was there. Yamanashi pulled out the goods again!

The weather was nice and sunny with departing clouds and quite warm actually only -3 at 9am, but didn't warm up beyond 0 today, but still that is warm for Kiyosato.

The snow conditions were actually very good with about 5-8cm at the base, but as much as 30cm of new soft pow at the top, especially on the un-groomed courses, there were two today that they left un-groomed, lucky me!

The snow was a little heavier than I am used to, as we mostly only get super light powder snow, but never the less it was not heavy either and in fact to dry to make a snow ball.

One of the courses at the top of A course was left un-groomed and made into a mogul course. It was hard work, but great fun, when ever they have moguls that is my new thing recently to try them out and improve my form (I need a lot of improvement on moguls). The D2 course I had all to my self so I was free to chop up the pow as I saw fit, it was rather bumpy in places with deep to very deep pockets, great fun again!

I basically spent my morning on these two courses chopping up pow and doing the moguls, that with the sunshine and warm temps made for a great morning, except for one thing the bloody wind although it was not constant there were many really strong gusts, which were annoying. If it had not have been for the wind then it would have been perfect!


Anyway I added a few more pics from today.


NOTE: For you Niigata people, you may wish to show these photos to the Niiagata snow gods as some examples of how to snow, even during a mild spell, they seem to be letting you down a lot this year, so may be they can learn from the Yamanashi snow gods!!! J/K



Kiyosato village area, ski-jo side (Not main village)



More snow on the road here as I get nearly to the resort



On the quad lift going up to the A course





Nice fresh POW!



View from the top of A course, just a bit lower down is the start of the moguls, although not clear in my pics.



A little clearer view of the same course area



D2 course looking down



D2 course looking up



Tried making a snowball to check the water content, not right dry, but far from wet either as the snow didn't stick!



A view of Yatsugatake with its fresh snow coat on.

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Tut, tut, tut! How dare those snow gods do such a thing. I reckon you are going to have to gather together some new snow gods some that understand the meaning of heavy snow. Hehe!

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DAY 18 : February 1st 2014:

Started off sunny and cold but with gradually increasing clouds throughout the morning. Actually got down to -17oC at the peak of Sun Meadows last night. Was -8oC at my house!

By midday the temps were up to a very warm -3 at the peak and only just below zero at the base, so very spring like weather today, but.......

Because it was very cold last night and then warming up today the snow is actually very good, not super light, but far from heavy either, in fact really good conditions, lots of soft pow with lots of deep pockets everywhere.

So I decided to hone my slalom skills a bit today by going as fast and as low as I could down D1 and D2 courses, "A "course had too many people on it for my liking. D1 and D2 courses seems to scare most away, which is great, means more space for me.

For a while there were actually lift lines for the Quad lift that goes up to the top of "A" course and I had to wait 1-2 mins, which for me is a long time, I am used to no queues!

But the lines seemed to disappear by about 11am so it was all smooth again.

It was pretty busy on the lower slopes and on "A" course today so the snow got well chopped up all over the place.

D1 & D2 on the other hand fared better as there were less people.


It was a really fun day with great snow and warm temps, it felt like spring skiing weather wise only the snow was very much winter like, so one of the best days of the season in a lot of ways.

I am used to it peaking at around -8 to -10 during the day with a biting wind so today felt almost summer like compared to other times this year.


Just a few pics from today, nothing worth getting excited over though, just some new angles!







Took this last pic because the lady in the chair in front of me was using really short skis, more like micro skis. First time to see them so short, they were literally about the same length as my actually ski boots, about 40cm I reckon. First time to see such short skis on an adult. Anyone seen such short skis?

Wonder what they are like to ski on?

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That's them, when I first started skiing many moons ago I had fun skis at the start, but they were much longer than those, well about half the length of normal skis, but these ones are even shorter, so I wondered what they are. Now I know, they are also called fun skis, thanks!

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DAY 19 : February 2nd 2014:

Main reason to go skiing today was because my daughter was competing in a ski competition, not because the great conditions.

When we got to Kiyosato it was snowing and by the time we got to the resort it was really coming down and starting to settle. So while my daughter and her group were doing the pre-race practice I went for a few runs. It varied from wettish snow at the base to quite dry snow falling at the top with almost zero visibility at the top.

Snow for the first 2 hours was not that bad actually at the top, but not so good at the bottom, was a bit heavy.

By the time my daughters race started around 10:30 or so the snow at the base had turned to sleet/rain with wet snow falling up top, but no longer settling.

By 11:30 it was mostly raining at the base and half way up while still snowing at the top, by midday it had all pretty much cleared up, and we were left with a cloudy afternoon with occasional bright spells. By the time we left around 4:30 the sky had mostly cleared to leave a nice orange sunset and had turned very cold after a very brief, but very warm +5oC today!

Snow conditions as you would expect were rubbish by midday and not much better in the afternoon, having said that it was fun to watch my daughter and her friends race, while getting in some turns myself. After her race and presentation finished we skied together and practiced high speed slalom skiing, as the slopes were pretty much empty by late afternoon.


She needs to get lower and put here weight further forward so she can get a better time, that is what I helped her to do. She really has the technique down now, she just got to go the next step and get her position further forward on her skis so she is using all 100% of them and not just half, which is what most of the time she was doing. So I ironed that out of her, so hopefully by the time she has the next race she will be a little faster, with some more practice.

A lot of it comes from her doing horse riding every week, which is the opposite to skiing , she needs to put her weight back for horse riding so not easy for her to switch between the two, but she is getting there.


Anyway a few pics from today:




White out conditions for a while, before the wind got up and it cleared.



Snowing on the way up



Race preparation on the way.

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DAY 20 : February 8th 2014:

Woke up to about 10cm of fresh pow outside my house and snowing heavily. Time I got to Sun Meadows was probably about 15 at the base.

Snow conditions today were perfect soft pow everywhere with pockets of 40cm + up top and actually by the time we left around lunch time closer to 25 at base and way more up top.

As it was very cold didn't go above -9 the snow was light as flour and really lush to ski on.

Snow wise today equaled if not bettered last Saturday and was certainly a hundred times better than last Sunday.

Weather wise heavy snow of course with limited albeit not to bad visibility actually, probably the absence of wind helped a lot.

We had a really great time even with the snow coming down hard, with the unlimited super soft pow and lots of untouched too it made for a really perfect day.

And if we are actually able to drive to the resort I will be going again tomorrow.






Light pow




My daughter making new tracks through the forest course!


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