Tuesday, January 5, 2010

JaPOW!!!

Japan is definitively great for skiing, we spent the last 5 days in Niseko skiing mostly Niseko Village resort. After the massive storm that left about 50cm on New Years day, then another 50cm the day after, things eased up a bit...


After another 30cm of a bit heavier snow on January 3rd, the weather cleared up and we even have been able to see some blue sky (for about 1hour, after which snow started again...........until now).

Since the snow slowed down a bit (only 10-15cm per day), we decided to go check out the most underground of Niseko's resorts Niseko Moiwa.
This resort only has two lifts but for what it lacks in lifts, it is fully compensated by access to some incredible backcountry. We only had 6 runs in Moiwa, but the snow was really great compare to what you were able to find in Niseko United (Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Village, Niseko Hirafu). Since it is a little bit further out from Hirafu, there's way less Australians and Kiwis that take the bus to go ski that little resort. That is really the hidden gem of Niseko.


Last year, we looked at the closed area of Mizuno no Sawa in Niseko village. We thought this whole area was the best terrain of all Niseko but unfortunately was closed to the public due to avalanche fatalities in the past. Well, today, we were able to get the first ever public run down this area. To get access to this terrain, you must follow an hour long lecture about avanlanche safety and the history behind Mizuno no Sawa.


Well, it is really the BEST terrain in Niseko. The 2000 Yens to get a winter long access to this area is totally worth it. The trees are just what you'd wish, the snow is really great since the access is controlled and the angle is just sooooooo easy going. We feel so lucky to have been able to ski this area since they shut it down just right after we were done because of high winds.


We'll be taking off from Niseko heading towards central Hokkaido to check out around Tokachi-dake and Asahi-dake.

Niseko prouds itself at being the world's snowiest resort.... well I do think it's quite true!!!

I hope you all have an happy return to work !!!!

evans

3 comments:

jimb said...

excellent, j'aime l'ensemble des photos, on voit le setup de la pow pow, du paysage et des descriptions des centres et une joke à la fin en bonis

Ben said...

Evans! The blog is looking sick once again!

So I'm confirmed for my Japan powder mission. I'll be flying in to Osaka on January 16th to travel the region for one week and then landing in Aomori on January 24th for one week of skiing at Mount Hakkoda! We'll be about 8 people staying in two cabins a short drive from the mountain.

Maybe we will see each other for an epic powder mission followed by some onsen and sake???

- L'Anglais (aka Grelon)

Anonymous said...

I discovered your blog through Neil Hartmann. Fantastic shots of the powder we all love.
Btw Ben, I live in Osaka. If you need some pointers, contact me at vieuxsage[spamoff]@hotmail.com (remove the bracketed stuff).
- Jean-Yves