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Having pondered the absence of chocolate vending machines, the solitude of the chair lifts and the incongruous, mystical enigma that is Ocean11, I turn my thoughts to the ski patrol. Lack of.


NOT, however, that I am complaining in my present state of perfect health and happiness (with a touch of adrenalin thown in for good meaure). Having had the good fortune to ski for a good while in Lake Louise, it was par for the course to all to regularly encounter ski schools and patrol out and about. Perhaps more so on the sunny days (not to accuse them of being fair weathered bods at all). Perhaps more so ski schools than patrols, but still, dressed in their bright red suits it was kinda hard miss them wherever you went. And on the unfortunate occasions that one breaks one's ankle at Sunshine, ski patrol are there before you can say "F*&(#K my ankle is really hurting right about now". And that is a good thing (except they were Kiwis, both of whom were called Bob and spoke with atrocious accents - there, is my Australian upbringing showing thru now? [Apologies to fellow Mexicans, no insults intended].


I have often wondered about the response of ski patrols here in Japan, because contrary to all these powder hounds being chased by patrol (Kuma and Nat to name but a few), I have actually only seen one patrol. I would like to think that is because I am now (a) a boarder and (B) shit hot, but the reality is sadly different in respect of (B) at least. I like to think I am now going places I never used to go (the only way is down, the faster the better), where no ski patrol has dares go. Alas, sadly not the case I fear.


Has anyone actually ever seen these men of mystery? Had first hand encounters with them to prove their existence? The "Idiot's Guide to spotting a Japanese Ski Patrol" is the book within me dying to be written.


I can sense it.


[Edited because my first post was cut off when I submitted it, not because I am a revisionist!]




[This message has been edited by belle (edited 30 January 2002).]

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they are really good at

digging in waist deep powder

under lifts to recover some idiots



I actually felt sorry for a japanese

ski patroller once...US ski patrolers

would probably slap you in the face if

you asked them to retrieve your stupidity...



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I've seen them occasionally at Nozawa. Once when a skier hurt himself it took them the time I took to ride that run three times before they showed up with a snowbike and gurney.


The other time was when I got stranded on a long flat stretch half way up the mountain at dusk. A young skipatroler appeared and hung around behind me while I variously jumped about like an SM bunny and did the boarder's doggy paddle. Finally I got sick of his presence as I made a fool of myself, so I addressed him thus; "Young man. If you're going to be creepy and hang about, at least make yourself useful. Push me." So he put his stock against my back binding and pushed me. He pushed me for nearly half a kilometre. Can't grumble about the service, especially as they don't bother me when I'm dodging trees.

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Hey Ocean!


We often seem to be online to same time.

Fate perhaps smile.gif


So what do you think of Suginohara - have heard good things about it from many people.

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rach, it's no good just being online together, we need to be onslope together sometime.


Suginohara was OK. Nice to see so many boarders. Although there hadn't been any snow, and lots of places at the top looked tracked out, I spent nearly all day in the areas around the top two quads and was riding in trees and pow. There are some mental lips to fly off, but you gotta be careful as there's nothing under some of them!


Sugi has a really long 4 km run, and coming down it at the end of the day was a reet crack. Everybody was going hell for leather for the carpark, boarders and skiers, following their own lines. The snow was all cut up, and beginners were wiping out left and right. Personally I was at the very limits of my control. It was like 4 km of the Whacky Races.

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May I eat my own words.


Riding under the most awesome lift line I have ever taken at Shin Akakura, through the trees (hit a few by mistake, but you get that) and this guy over head on the chair starts screaming at me.... of course it was in japanese, and me conveniently no speaka japanese (!) so i just kept going.


Not to be ignored, the ski patrol chased me, caught up with me when i stacked and said "no no no" (not the most articulate in my language, but I got the drift). I sorta spoke a few words of Japanese and then he just smiled and said "Tanoshi katta?"


"Hai" said I, before I meekly rode out from the powder and back onto the run.


A lesson well learned (until next weekend).

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A patroller at Kiroro once told me not to ride in a roped-off area under a lift.


When I asked why, he said "it's dangerous because of the lift poles..."


All around us were other lifts with poles aplenty and no roped-off areas around them. Some small stands of trees to, not roped off.


I guess maybe they just ran out of rope.

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  • 1 month later...

This season I have seen almost no patrol at the 6 resorts I have been to, namely





-Hakuba 47




Seem to be very few around from where I was.

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