Madarao Mountain Resort resort review (Iiyama City, Nagano)

Madarao Mountain Resort
斑尾高原
Iiyama City, Nagano
Submitted by andy63_5 on 3rd March 2014
In the bowl
My first review here and my first time at Madarao.

I was hesitant to go here after looking at the map, but we managed to get a nice deal on a hotel plus 2 days of snowboarding. From looking at the map, everything seems to converge into that bowl at the bottom. That's exactly true. Everyone gathers there and it's flat. Crossing that flat from one side to the other is a pain, especially when it's crowded with lots of people hanging out.

I'm sure that the snow is nice when the weather is cooperating, but after the week of spring-like temperatures, it felt like snowboarding through slushie. It was still nice to kick up some slush on turns from the top down. When the weather is nice, the powder can be fantastic. That just wasn't the case for us.

There are some really challenging tree courses, where the slope just drops off and you're the middle of a forest. Really cool and quiet. The moguls are the top of Giant are good sized and give even the average skier a challenge. Most beginners and intermediates will just focus on the two main slopes, Giant and Champion.

The snow park isn't much. One run with about 3 jumps, a barrel, and one box. The other 'snow parks' weren't really open.

Overall, my general opinion is, the area feels really old. It has great snow and the slopes are decent, but the equipment and the lifts are ancient. Everything is unchanged from the 70's. The lift to the very top is still that J-style single seater. The lift design could be better to get around in. The flat spots are killer though, especially when you have to shift over from the Tangram area back to the main 'bowl.'

P.S. Free lessons at the top of Lift 1, which is nice for beginners.
Date visited: From March, 2014 To March, 2014
Snow condition on visit: Slushie!
Things I liked: Decent lift lines, good snow (weather permitting),
Things I didn't like: The flat bowl at the bottom, the ancient lifts, expensive food (~1000 - 1250 yen)
Recommended for: Beginner riders
Intermediate riders
Skiers
Snowboarders
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Madarao Mountain Resort

斑尾高原
Iiyama City, Nagano
View all Reviews for Madarao Mountain Resort (24)
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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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Iizuna Resort 25.70km
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Iizuna Kogen 28.80km
Lotte Arai Resort 33.40km
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Shiga Kogen Sun Valley 40.70km
Shiga Kogen Maruike 41.40km
Shiga Kogen Giant 41.80km
Shiga Kogen Hoppo Bunadaira 41.80km
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Shiga Kogen Takamagahara Mammoth 46.50km
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Shiga Kogen Kumanoyu 47.00km
Shiga Kogen Shibutoge 47.00km
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Sugadaira Kogen Snow Resort 48.40km
Shiga Kogen Yakebitaiyama 49.10km
Minenohara Kogen Resort 49.20km
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Location of Madarao Mountain Resort