After a nightmare jam on the Kan-Etsu coming up here we didn't get on the snow until about 11.30am. When we arrived it was uber bluebird conditions and the views were fantastic. Snow was surprising soft and powdery for it being mid morning of such a sunny day and having had no fresh snowfall for a while. Resort isn't huge but the runs are pretty good, from top to bottom the run is pretty long and quite a lot of natural features to slide and jib from. The runs at the top are a bit narrow and on a busy day it could be a bit scary for inexperienced sliders but at the bottom they all come together and the slope is nice and wide. The snow was still decent and powdery but due to the numbers on the mountain it was scraped in places and it really maxed out your edge control ability.
There is a major choke point at the Gondola and the line was very long every time we had to use it to get to the very top. The closing time of each lift isn't very well advertised, it appeared like the Gondola closed at 3.30pm and all other lifts at 4.30pm but as we found after riding the last Gondola up, the back lift also closes at 3.30pm, so when we rode down to that lift there was no uplift out again. We did get to ride on the ski patrol's ski-doo though which was cool! :) They really should rope off the run BEFORE they stop the lift so that people don't ride down there (there is no other way out).
It's a nice place to ride, lunch wasn't expensive and usually included with your lift ticket if you buy them from a nearby 7-11. I'd like to time it after a dump and see what it really has to offer.
Difficult to access if you don't have your own transport as its a fair way from the Numata IC.
From 19 February, 2011
Snow condition on visit:
Groomed packed powder(ish)
Things I liked:
High resort so snow condition can be maintained when its sunny
Things I didn't like:
The Kan-etsu expressway on the way up, the queue for the Gondola