APPI resort review (Hachimantai Town, Iwate)

APPI
安比
Hachimantai Town, Iwate
Submitted by dyna8800 on 10th March 2009
Appi Kogen review
Appi is a classic example of a Bubble Era ski resort, with a grand hotel, high rise condominiums, and several annex buildings surrounding an expansive mountain. I have always wanted to see this resort, as it is very popular, almost always in the top 10 ranking of ski areas in Japan as voted by Japanese skiers.

Perhaps one of the reasons why is what Appi refers to as "Best Snow Quality - Gifted Natural Environment" and the aspirin snow. Their description is "Very light snow is called powder snow, but lighter and drier snow that you cannot even make snowball is called "Aspirin snow" (it looks like a grain of Aspirin drug)."

Why anyone would want to ski on aspirin is beyond me, but thankfully there is more powder snow at Appi than aspirin.

One of the big drawbacks is when staying at the Bubble Era properties, i.e. the Hotel Appi Grand and Towers, or the Grand Villa or Grand Annex, you will pay Bubble Era prices, especially during the peak season of January or February. Thankfully, there is a Pension Village down the road, which is a shuttle bus ride away from the resort, or you can take your chances and go early or late season.

The main mountain is Mt. Maemori, rising 1305 meters with the runs from the top going down the mountain to , and another mountain, Mt. Nishimori, which is 1328 meters but only has 1 lift and 2 runs, one with an "Easy Powder Course" that means that it is semi groomed.

While the description of the mountain states that it is 30% Expert, 40% Intermediate, and 30% Beginner terrain, I would say that less than 15% is actual Expert category. What makes up for that are the long runs, averaging over 2 km and the longest 5.5 km. There is the main Appi Resort Center, with the surrounding accommodations, and a satellite Sailer Ski Center, each with a Gondola that goes all the way to the Panorama top . During non peak season, the Vista Quad lift servicing the Second Ski Slopes is often closed.

One of the problems that I see for beginners is that the main lifts go all the way to the top rather than servicing some very nice beginner terrain such as on the Sailer Ski Slopes. The Yamabato course, 5.5 km long, is more intermediate in some places, so beginners should stick with the Central First Quad and Central Second Lift A.

Skiers have their own lift, the Central Third Lift C, which services 2 runs, Kakko and Kitsutsuki, with Expert level moguls, but other than that, snowboarders have access to the whole mountain.

Experts will only have a few runs to keep them challenged, or can do short laps on the Nishimori Ski Slopes, and cruise the long runs from top to bottom.

Intermediates will find Appi a great place, with variable terrain which changes within the runs, as well as the opportunity to cruise the long runs.

Beginners will be able to progress in the beginner area and practice in the "Progress Zone".
Date visited: From December, 2008
Snow condition on visit: Early season, variable snow
Things I liked: Long long long crusing runs
Things I didn't like: Expensive unless off season
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APPI

安比
Hachimantai Town, Iwate
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Average Rankings

General score: 87
Snow conditions: 70
Courses/Terrain: 82
Lift system: 90
Apres ski: 0

Basic Resort Statistics

Max. elevation: 1304m
Min. elevation: 500m
Vertical: 805m
Steepest slope: 34°
Longest course: 5500m
Number of lifts: 10

Location of APPI