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.
From March, 2014 To March, 2014
Snow condition on visit:
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)