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Last time I went to Gassan (http://www.snowjapan...magata-2014429/), I wrote, "I will definitely go back some time." So I did, today.

The weather forecast looked reasonable, and I figured the snow coverage should still be pretty good, so I thought, what the heck.

 

As it turned out, the entire population of Japan thought the exact same thing.

 

Hit the road at 4:30, made it there by 9:00, and was one of the last cars allowed into the parking lot. Those behind us ended up parking alongside the road going down the hill from the pension mura.

 

Looking up at the hill, look at all those ants!

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And the lift line! This is not Naeba ca 1988:

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Well, I guess once everything else is closed, where else are you going to go?

 

The inhabitants of Honshu took up residence on the (greatly-expanded since last month) mogul courses:

metabo%20oyaji_571.JPG

 

Kyushu and Shikoku battled it out in a snowboard mogul (!) competition off the first T-bar lift:

metabo%20oyaji_572.JPG

 

Okinawa went hiking beyond the pale:

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Hokkaido was lost in the trees.

 

Other than some bare spots near the top of the chair lift, coverage seemed still pretty complete.

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Last time, there were two mogul courses. This time, there were more mogul courses than you could shake a stick at.

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Actually, this was a nice thing, if one is at all interested in moguls. One could go hunting for a mogul course at one's level. I hunted around and found some (many) too hard, some too easy, and some... just right! めっちゃ楽しい, as the kids say.

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Wow, interesting.

 

MO, that first photo. Are you sure they're ants? If they were ants, you very probably wouldn't be able to see them from such a distance. (Unless of course the surrounding mountain and trees were a small 'model').

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That is a crazy amount of people queueing for the lift. How long did it take?

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metabo%20oyaji_579.JPG

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Backpack tree:

metabo%20oyaji_583.JPG

 

If you're not interested in moguls, the trick is to take the T-bar lift up. As Rock-hand reported previously, it is all clear, fast, wide open-face carving from there:

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metabo%20oyaji_585.JPG

metabo%20oyaji_586.JPG

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Down below the base, a snowboard park was set up:

metabo%20oyaji_588.JPG

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Lots of whooping and hollering. Looked like fun.

 

Then one last glance up and the drive home:

metabo%20oyaji_589.JPG

metabo%20oyaji_590.JPG

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Pie-eater: Good point about the ants. They may have actually been people. Or else exceptionally large ants. It was hard to tell at that distance.

 

Onehunga: We timed it to be about 30 minutes round-trip to do one run, a bit after the busiest time. So, 5-10 minutes skiing/boarding, and 20-25 minutes queuing?

I should observe that the lift lines did go down as the day went on. By mid-afternoon, the lift line was down to 5-10 minutes. But the sight that greeted us first thing in the morning was quite a shock.

 

Also, lunch lines were not as bad as feared. We ate at the cafeteria, but most others, apparently having more experience than us, brought their own picnic lunches with them.

 

The weather, I should add, was actually cooler than it was last month! Which was a pleasant surprise. And made for better (firmer) snow conditions.

 

To sum up, I would say that the basic relaxed snow-lovers vibe was the same as before. Everybody was having an un-self-conscious good time. Just magnified by the number of people attending this time as compared to last month.

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If they were exceptionally large ants, Metabo Oyaji, that would be well scary.

You didn't mention them again in the report, so perhaps they weren't.

Or... you were just lucky that the exceptionally large ants had moved on.

 

:thumbsup:

 

4:30am start! Harsh, I was Kipling for another 4 hours!

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Just think how many French Fancies you could scoff in 4 hours!

 

Thanks for the report MO. Interesting how so many more people/ants this time.

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Good stuff Metabo Oyaji.

 

:thumbsup:

 

I wonder why so much busier? Were that many more alternatives still open when you went the first time?

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Cheers, guys.

 

I wonder why so much busier? Were that many more alternatives still open when you went the first time?

 

The first time was the first day of Golden Week, so there were quite a few places still open. Well, maybe not a lot in absolute numbers, but I would guess that for most people wanting to ski at that time, there would likely be somewhere closer they could hit before making the trek to Gassan, no?

 

Can you explain the first photo for me? Trying to get an idea of the lay of the land!

 

That photo was taken from the back corner of the parking lot, so parking lot and pension mura to the left off-frame. The ski center/lift base is in the dead center of the photo, with the lift going up and to the right, and the main slopes behind. A line of people is snaking from the opposite end of the pension mura to the ski center. (You can see the ski-carrier cat vehicle near the left end of the line of people.) The snowboard park was set up in a valley that you can't see in that photo (blocked from view), below the line of people.

 

Make sense?

 

Many gaijin ants?

 

None others I could detect. There was one other there when I went last month, though.

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Saw your two reports MO.

 

Very nice, thank you for sharing them.

 

I am usually really busy this time of year and never seem to get over there. I think I'd like to go when it first opens.

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Thanks, guys.

 

Where does めっちゃ楽しい come from, anyone know?

 

Web search indicates めっちゃ originally came from Kansai, then spread from there:

めっちゃ

 

「非常に」の意。「めちゃくちゃ」の転、若者言葉。「めちゃ」「めっさ」「むちゃ」「むっちゃ」などのバリエーションも存在する。

もともとは関西の方言だったが、関西出身のお笑い芸人などがメディアで発言するようになり、若者言葉として一般にも普及。「めちゃ×2イケてるッ!」のような番組名、松浦亜弥の曲名「YEAH めっちゃホリデー」などのように使用例が広がっていった。2000年のシドニーオリンピックにて、田島寧子が発言した「めっちゃ悔しい」はその年の流行語になった。2007年には「広辞苑」第六版に収録されている。

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If they were exceptionally large ants, Metabo Oyaji, that would be well scary.

You didn't mention them again in the report, so perhaps they weren't.

Or... you were just lucky that the exceptionally large ants had moved on.

 

:thumbsup:

 

4:30am start! Harsh, I was Kipling for another 4 hours!

 

Classic game! http://en.wikipedia....from_the_Desert

Also, gassan can now shove it. Sorry gassan. Love the pics and report, its been incredibly helpful. That snow looks rough.

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Still, better than none!

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Thanks, Hokkaidough. And Ippy.

 

And yes, 1, I think the sales point of Gassan is not so much the quality of snow, as the existence of snow, this time of year.

But the terrain and atmosphere are actually quite nice, when the crowds are not too insane to enjoy them.

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I may well have missed this but does it not open during winter due to 'too much snow' and bad access?

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I may well have missed this but does it not open during winter due to 'too much snow' and bad access?

 

Yes, they do not open until mid-April, after the access road is cleared.

 

As popular as they evidently are in May, they probably couldn't compete during regular winter season with the likes of, e.g., relatively nearby Zao.

So probably makes sense to focus on late/post-season enthusiasts.

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