Madarao Mountain Resort resort review (Iiyama City, Nagano)

Madarao Mountain Resort
Iiyama City, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 21st January 2008
Madarao Kogen review by Tubby Beaver
I had a great day out here. I arrived at 7.45am and was surprised to see no one around, even although the lifts opened at 8. The sun was shining, the snow looked great and I was eager to get going.

After first finding out that there was no central pavilion (where you can buy your ticket and get changed etc) I asked at the hotel that is at the start of the slopes and they pointed me to their coin locker room, so changed and out I go, its about 8.10 and again there is no one to be seen, I get my lift ticket and ride down the beginners slope that is also the access slope to the main one here....I approach the 1st lift and I'm told that they aren't ready yet, it'll be another 5-10 mins, finally up I go and the smile on my face just erupts as the lifty tells me I'm the 1st uplift of the whole day!!

This resort is in a beautiful setting, plenty of trees to explore, overlooking the nearby resorts of Mt Myoko (I think). I look back on the lift and guess what...there is NO ONE THERE!! Finally get on snow again and the ride is awesome. Its a groomers day, and riding the corduroy with its distinctive noise is great. the snow is firm but not icy, plenty of give in it. I am tearing down the slope and there still is no one in sight, back to the lift and up I go. Finally, about 8 or 9 lifts back, there are some other lucky buggers on the lift. It did get busier but it wasn't busy. Longest lift line was 30 seconds.

This is a nice compact resort, the runs aren't huge, but there is enough for most people to have a great day out. Plenty of trees to explore, a couple of steep sections right at the top and for the beginners and low intermediates, there are nice wide slopes that all end at the lifts. I really liked this place and with another dump of snow (it hadn't snowed for 1 or 2 days) it would be spectacular, especially if the crowds were just as small.
Date visited: From 28 January, 2008
Snow condition on visit: Well groomed firm on piste conditions, with knee deep and heavyish off
Things I liked: No-one was there, the free onsen at the hotel, the condition of the groomers
Things I didn't like: Kinda slow and ricketty lifts, lifts that didn't link up well, lack of a common changing facillity. The 2 mogul runs coming off the highest lift

Madarao Mountain Resort

Iiyama City, Nagano
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Average Rankings

General score: 85
Snow conditions: 90
Courses/Terrain: 83
Lift system: 72
Apres ski: 46

Basic Resort Statistics

Max. elevation: 1350m
Min. elevation: 910m
Vertical: 440m
Steepest slope: 36°
Longest course: 2500m
Number of lifts: 15

Other resorts nearby

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Shiga Kogen Takamagahara Mammoth 46.50km
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Shiga Kogen Ichinose Family 47.50km
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Sugadaira Kogen Snow Resort 48.40km
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Location of Madarao Mountain Resort