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I'm new here and I've been on the forum since last night, spending hours reading through some of these threads. Some great discussions going on.

 

Just to add to this one. Last year I was persuaded by a friend (active on this forum I believe, one of the heavy posting dudes I just found out) to go early to Shiga Kogen. We went, the main disappointment was that the snow sucked big time, and there wasn't much of it. It rained all day. Not all of it was open, cafes etc were closed, it was like a ghost town.

 

Generally the experience sucked. It spoilt the experience of my first ride in Japan. I'd say 70% of that was due to the snow/weather conditions, the rest due to the (lack of) atmo ;\)

 

I'm waiting until I'm guaranteed good conditions this time round.

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If no-one wants to go, that's a good reason not to open (the complete lack of numbers at Hak 47 seem to indicate that no-ones interested in sliding yet). Let's be clear about one thing, though, resorts often open with much less snow than they have now, and i've experienced rain at resorts mid season on plenty of occasions. My 4th Nov sliding experience was dampened only by the lack of lifts running, not the foot of fresh snow awaiting me at my sliding bedroom door, or the constant snowfall. It compared to some of my better mid-season experiences.

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Higuma, as for the 'ice' theory, whether it's true or not, they don't wait here. the only reason they aren't using the snow is that they aint ready. They normally have resorts open (in season) whenever there's enough to slide, good base or not.

 

As for the theory, I heard resorts groom to stabilize the snow. The steeps have skiers employed to stabilize slopes by packing it, not allowing layers to form, skiing a slope leads to a criss-crossing, breaking constant (avalanche prone) layers.

 

Maybe resorts getting less snowfall need to be more carefall with the snow, maybe it's different in diff regions.

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 Quote:
Originally posted by SKI:
Hakuba does seem to have some snow, but I'm sure it's not amazing
You can tell from wherever you are, can you?

The whole point of this thread is that conditions have been excellent. I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if they're worse when the official opening time comes around. Happo's scheduled start is normally around Dec 6, but in recent years they've never opened then. There has never been enough snow.

If everyone is just going to deny what's in the photos, what Nagano-based bulletin boards have been saying, what this website has been saying, what the people who've been out have been saying, then everyone providing such independent information is quite frankly wasting their time.

If you don't want to go, fine. Just leave out the "I know better and it must be rubbish" insinuations, will you?
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Like I said, if you go now - fine, please enjoy it! Hope you have a great time.

 

Conditions may be excellent at 47, OK, I will have to take your word on that, but what about the other 500+ resorts in the country?

 

And I think the other main point of this post was the discussion as to whether millions of people would be on the hills if places were open. But it seems that even if there is wonderful snow, a majority of people will STILL not go out for any number of reasons.

 

That's all! Enjoy it!

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Go NoFakie!

 

So let's get this straight then...

 

There's good snow available ... it's unusual, but it's good ... but the customers don't realise it ... and the resorts aren't telling them it ... and all the customers will go in a big bunch later on ... and the snow will perhaps be brilliant or maybe passable, who knows?

 

BTW, SKI, it's not 'any number of reasons' that people don't go, it's conditioning and lack of information. That's about it.

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back in the US on the east coast when a mtn. was able to open early it generally did...and it would almost always offer heavliy discounted tickets (sometimes free! \:D ), as only part of the mountain is open...

 

the first to open gets boasting rights...and for some reason that carries some weight...certainly Hakuba gets boasting rights on this board!

 

my impression from resorts back home is they really try to open as early as possible....and the big companies like American Skiing Co. (like a skiing zaibatu) would probably not do so unless it made money some how...

 

either way you look at it, resorts that choose to open early most definetly know that they are catering to a select minority of the overall skiing population...and without a long-standing history of trying to open first, like back home, it seems like a risky move...imho ;\)

 

danz

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Miteyak

 

There were very healthy numbers of people at 47 this past Saturday and Sunday on all accounts. There were two false starts on the days before you went, and Usagidaira at Happo was open too (a better course for pow conditions), which may have been why there were only 300 there that day.

 

One of the managers from 47 was on Shinshuu TV yesterday saying how glad they were for the extra income. The free publicity they've had must also run to millions of yen. Given that 47's pamphlets for this year include a long fold-out jobbie that is half-covered with childish cartoons that have nothing to do with Hakuba, the facilities at Hakuba47, or winter sports, some divine marketing assistance may be just what they need.

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I think the reasoning that nori-chan put forth is valid. Some people have a very limited amount of money or time off which translates to them having to pick their vacations wisely. If they only get up once or twice I can see why they would want to wait for the base to be better or for more runs to be operational.

 

Alas, it is the job of the resorts to market to these people and say "Yeah, you only have a limited amount of money...but there has never been a better time to spend it!"

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 Quote:
There's good snow available ... it's unusual, but it's good ... but the customers don't realise it ... and the resorts aren't telling them it ... and all the customers will go in a big bunch later on ... and the snow will perhaps be brilliant or maybe passable, who knows?

BTW, SKI, it's not 'any number of reasons' that people don't go, it's conditioning and lack of information. That's about it
:rolleyes:

In some cases lack of info, maybe. But in many cases just like myself, others posting here and the majority people who just enjoy skiing or boarding a few times a year - that has nothing to do with it.

Do you not comprehend that many people would not go now even if everywhere were open with more snow than there actually is now?
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This places gets busier all the time, hey? Difficult to keep up if you've been away a few days...

 

I've not much to add to this apart from it seems there's a few points going on here and some mixed up responses. An interesting read anyhow.

 

It seems to me that the resorts are not too flexible, that's their lookout. Also seems that there are obviously people out these not quite as 'into' the winter sports scene as most of us are and would not venture out now even if they knew there was 2 meters of powder hanging out. Difficult to believe, but true.

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Sorry SKI, being a rational person myself, I do find it hard to comprehend irrational behaviour, although I see it all the time. Anyway, it's pretty clear that you represent the conditioning that I mentioned - and not one of any number of other reasons.

 

'I will only go in Jan when I assume for no good reason that the snow will be good. Even if told that the snow in Nov is good, I will not go, and will doubt the reliability of the info. I will go in Jan, even if the snow is not good.'

 

Certainly I acknowledge the attitude, but I don't share it. You can roll your eyes until you're green in the face... :p

 

BTW, have you ever seen the film 'They Live'? It's very funny.

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I should perhaps have known better.

 

It must be hard being so perfect Ocean11 and having to listen to all the peasants around you (everyone) all the time. Good luck with it anyway.

 

To everyone else who might decide not to go skiing or snowboarding in the next 3 weeks - Ocean wants to know why you are being so irrational by not doing so? How could you do that! No excuses now! \:\)

 

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

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I'm not going for another few weeks yet at least.

 

I know places a handful of places are open - heck, I am looking at the Now pages every day on this site and reading all about it on here.

 

But I will probably first go out myself in mid December. I'll plan the weekend with my friends, get my skis tuned up soon, book a hotel, etc and most of all go when I actually feel like going. I don't particularly feel like going right now.

 

Are you saying that makes me irrational?

If so, that is just so arrogant.

And if so, WHY????

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Mr SKI - No need to be insulting .

 

Irrational behaviour in the face of uncertainty and a complete misunderstanding of randomness is what characterises any large number of humans (ie on average amongst the masses).

 

Ocean demonstrated a perfect case of irrationality. He did'nt insult anyone so no need to respond like he did. Nearly all humans at all times in all places and in large enough numbers behave in very irrational manners. To point this out is not an insult and nor is it a claim to perfection above all other people.

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 Quote:
Originally posted by MalcolmB:
What exactly is irrational? Not going skiing if you don't want to???
More so WHY you don't choose to.
1) Certainty today, uncertain future.
plus
2) postpone consumption until the future
equals
irrational behaviour.

Everyone is irrational. Humans can't help it, they are wired that way. I can be VERY irrational. But I dont get all confused and narky when someone points it out to me.
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You fail to point out why it is irrational for someone to not go skiing if they don't want to at that particular time. I just don't get that. As akibun said, if people don't want to go skiing this weekend, then don't go. Going would be the irrational thing to do in that case, don't you think?

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What's irrational is to think that, just because you dont want to go, that there are not enough of us who do. This isn't North America, this is JAPAN, where MILLIONS of people live within a few hours of the ski areas. That kind of pop. density creates large numbers of 'fringe' elements. Within the ski industry, slide kichigais are probably approaching half the sliding population.

 

I for one, am willing to drive from Osaka starting now, every free weekend I have. If the resorts are closed, thats one less 20,000 yen from me and my girl. There's plenty more like me in Osaka, and we represent the last 10 million in a 40 million person catchment area.

 

There's actually a few dollars to be made...no?

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Interesting.....

 

Personally, i'm looking forward to reading Blair's next edition of the journal to get some real insights into why ARAI isn't open yet.

 

Having worked at the world wide ski mecca that is Perisher Blue, i am well aware of the difficulties that exist in trying to manage a large workforce around the vagaries of snow. The problems we had with coordinating the arrival of groomers, patrollers, snow makers, caterers, bed makers you name it, with the arrival of the snow was a nightmare. Many of these people come from all round the world to follow the season, working on contracts, and when they arrive they want to be paid. Difficult to keep them busy when there's nothing to do. I imagine the same situation applies in reverse.....hwo do you get the people to the resort to work early if they are coming from other jobs with other commitments. I'll be interested to see if this is the main issue at ARAI. I imagine it would be a major issue at the big resorts, but i'm not so sure about the smaller, locally staffed operations.

 

All that said, from a pure marketing viewpoint, there is certainly an opportunity available for those resorts who can respond to the weather flexibly. Whether or not it would be profitable, only the people with access to the books could tell you... and if experience or maths tells the resorts that it isn't profitable, then i'm not surprised there still shut. Perhaps if one of the resorts was prepared to take a few hits to the books in the short term they could develop a reputation and turn it to the advantage over a few years....however that seems a big gamble to take when your betting on the weather.

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