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So, last time (http://www.snowjapan...ushima-2014211/), I reported that skiing the trees off-piste appears to now be officially sanctioned at Grandeco. It appears I may have to issue a correction on that.


What made me think the policy had been liberalized was a wall of PR material, posters and travel mag spreads, in the main building. In particular, a couple of bits of text from there caught my eye.


The first one quotes a manager as saying:




The second has more details, though no direct quote:



So, I thought, and reported, that skiing off-piste appears now to be officially ok, as long as one does not duck ropes to do so.


With that in mind, I peeked a bit into the edges while killing time when the kid was occupied elsewhere. Here is what I saw:






Now, I was alone, and had a kid to drive back home at the end of the day, so was not about to go following the tracks above to go far from view of the piste. But clearly there are others not so constrained. In fact, if one looks closely around, there are tracks all over the place through the trees.


Spotting a particularly well-travelled path leading to an unroped area just parallel to the course, I popped over to investigate...




My face turning as red as my coat, I heeded the loudspeaker and hurriedly popped back onto the piste proper. After calming down, I thought, oh, perhaps that is one of the places they offer a warning about. Not seeing any ski patrol about to ask about where is safe, I asked a lift attendant, who replied all areas off-course are forbidden. Really? I asked. I thought I read that it was ok in places. Nope.


Later at the base building, I inquired of someone else, pointing to the text on the wall. The clarification I got was that it is ok to hike UP from the top lifts in order to visit the snow monsters at the top of the mountain. That's it. No other off-course areas either in or out of resort bounds are ok to enter.



So what to make of this? I guess either the travel writers quoted above got it completely wrong, or it's a wink-nudge kind of situation: maybe they won't yank your ticket for skiing the trees (if the quoted article is even right about that), but they'll still yell at you over the loudspeaker? Not a very relaxing experience, that, so I'll keep out of the trees in any case.


No matter for me, I'm happy on-piste, but just in case anyone else is influenced by my previous trip report, or by the travel magazine quotes, I feel obliged to report that the facts on the ground show that it is clearly NOT open season on the trees at Grandeco. Don't believe everything you read on the internet (even if it was written by me).


On a lighter note, I close with some gratuitous shots of a hard-working tiger and a reclining mannequin:







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