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O.K. now that the secret's out, yes, I own Rusutsu. That's why I started this thread to stir up some interest and get some free advertising so as to steal some business from our close rival..Niseko.

So just mention you heard of Rusutsu through SnowJapan and you know Markie and you'll get a 50% discount. But hurry, this offer is only good till sunset (I mean only as long as sunrise is there so it's a double bonus...you get a discount and you also get to see sunrise perform live)

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That 50% discount sounds good.

Still waiting hey Markie?


I'm surprised this Rusutsu place has gotten such a big thread going for it. I must put it on my to do list.

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Yeah, Rach, still waiting. I'm assuming (and hoping) sunrise is having such a good time, she is too busy to keep in touch with us.


On your list, eh? Good, then my strategy is working.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I was surprised to see the thread's back myself. Ender, you must feel happy now....


Have a great weekend up there, sexer. Say hi to Carl in the piano bar if you're staying at the resort.


Well, Markie, to answer your question of a few weeks ago I had a totally fantastic time. It was just so good to get back in the snow again after so long, and for a whole month at that. Actually, going anywhere away from Tokyo for a whole month is such a wonderful thing.... I hope they ask me back again next year, I think they were happy with my performances. As for the snow we did have a couple of warm spells (especially last weekend! ugh!), but in general the snow was great and conditions were cold and it snowed very consistently - ie - 2 days without any snow was very unusual. Good quality, too most of the time. And it's not really busy - weekends, esp Sundays can get busy, and also during the week (mainly on west mtn) when schools come up and stay and learn skiing/boarding on the slopes. But in general the lift queues were really small. If things got crowded somewhere you just went somewhere else, and of course skied thru the others' lunch breaks. There were some nice ungroomed runs that were great to hit after big dumps and my skiing definitely improved as I diligently practised the one-footed skiing techniques of Harold Harb and Lito (argh, can't remember his surname!), I really love the shaped skis. I'm sure that helped my skiing also. The skis they let me use were Salomon Crossmax 8, carving skis, reasonably narrow waisted and very fat at tip and tail, which was very helpful in the fresh snow. Zippy little things they were. I quite enjoyed them.


The Rexxam boots I got in Sapporo held out, they weren't the perfect fit, wound up just a tiny bit big, but not too bad... still very usuable, though even after getting them tweaked with some extra foam, in the end I was having to unbuckle them everytime I got on the lift cos I had to have them on so tight when skiing. Maybe those others I tried on would have been okay after all, the ones the guy in the shop thought were too small... Next pair of boots I buy will be overseas where they sell high performance women's boots in my size.... I also want to get aligned properly. Although I got new footbeds, etc, I could feel my tendency to be a little knock-kneed and that showed up on some video also. Nothing substantial, but I'm sure it affects performance to some degree.


As I mentioned elsewhere I managed to get a day in at Niseko. The snow was great that day and I lay (okay, fell) down in it a lot while trying to learn how to ski in the fresh powder. That was my first real powder day, the deepest stuff I ever tried to ski (and that was 'only' a little over knee deep). But it got me hooked. I'm determined to get it down one of these days. I definitely improved, I noticed this later on back at Rusutsu where I finally had one breakthru run on a gentler / less deep place, but I doubt I'm quite at the level where I can chase Fattwins, Zwelly and co thru the trees and keep up with them down the steeps, well not just yet....


Fortunately I went by car with one of the staff. Turns out your "30-40 min bus ride" is actually a 1 hr bus ride, and the first morning bus leaves at 9am, and the last bus returning leaves Niseko at 3.30pm.

I had hoped to hook up with Sam and co and Danz, but I just couldn't get there while they were still there.


The food in the resort was great and the people working there were great, too. The gig was really laid back cos the staff and customers were all laid back. Nice change after Tokyo's intensity and so nice to have audiences where the men aren't wearing suits! Most requested song was probably a tie between Let It Be, Change The World, and that damn Titanic song, something I find far more fun to sing than to have to listen to... They finally got a mouse pad for the lobby computer the day before I left. It was driving me crazy and I kept away from it as much as possible.


Music on the slopes - I do apologise Ocean, I was just too busy skiing to have time to have meetings with the management about the state of the music. It got annoying at times, mainly on the lifts. On the runs it wasn't usually noticeable but on the ones where you could hear it I didn't really notice it, lost in another world......


All in all, it was a fantastic place to be 'stranded' at for a long gig. Certainly a lot better than my 3 week stint some years ago at Joetsu Kokusai (don't bother going there). I'll never leave skiing out of my life for such a long period of time again. How stupid of me to have done that to myself. I was seriously tempted to stay a few extra days after the gig was over and go to Niseko and do some back country tours with NAC, but work commitments and the fact that I'd have to buy a new return air ticket got in the way. Who knows, maybe I'll have some time to do some BC in April/May, whether in Hokkaido or elsewhere. But if not then definitely next season.


I also noticed a lot of Chinese-speaking people and there were often a busload or so of them around not skiing but just playing in the snow on plastic sleds. Maybe their first snow experience. I'm not sure where they were from, but I assume either HK or Taiwan or maybe even both...


Very few westerners staying there. I bumped into a couple here and there, but rare, though I did spend a couple of days skiing with a snow boarder, Canadian living in Saitama. I also went out with a couple of the staff so I wasn't always skiing alone, which was nice.


I'll try and remind Carl about the egg rolls, they must be still there somewhere, and the music you left. I was baby-sitting his keyboard, but they left the rest of his stuff in storage somewhere. Never touched his keyboard, too busy skiing during the day....


Eventually I'll post some journals and photos, when I have some time.

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Originally posted by Markie:
Zero-man, you must be really bored. Maybe it's time to whip up my Rusutsu thread again, especially now that sunrise is back.
So now, by popular request,....the saga continues and the B/S piles up even higher!
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