Since the crust was still quite present, we moved towards Myoko Kogen which is about 1hour from Nozawa. That seemed to be the perfect place for Babiche to get his skills back...
Myoko receives an average of more than 14m of snow per year, so we figured it would be one of the first place to receive some snow to cover the still present rain crust. This area consists of 3 main resorts (Myoko Suginohara, Myoko Ikenotaira and Myoko Akakura (which is also subdivided in Akakura Kanko and Akakura Onsen)) all of them are on the slopes of Myoko-san. There are also some smaller resorts nearby like Seki Onsen that receives more than 16m of snow!!!
We skied the slopes of Akakura Kanko which of the big three, seemed to suit us the best.
By getting in the wood (skiers left of the highest chairlift), we found some nice powder stashes but the crust was still present. At the end of the day, we met Bill Ross, who works for Myoko Backcountry Ski School as a ski guide. He gave us some really helpful information about some backcountry possibilities. After about 2 hours chatting, we had backcountry, slackcountry and riding options for the next month!
We then headed towards Tsunabe Onsen, which is a really great place to have a onsen. After soaking ourselves, we realized that it was snowing quite hard, so we parked the car in Seki Onsen ski area for a good camping-style curry and slept there.
On the following morning, we woke up to 30cm of fresh snow in the parking!!! After driving back and forth to Akakura Kanko (to realize they had receive only about 15-20cm), we made up our mind to hit the slopes of Seki Onsen.
We made the right choice!!!
There wasn't much skiers on this 2 lifts ski area (one double and one single!) so we were able to get some nice turns in.
After lapping the bottom chair for the whole morning, they finally opened the top lift. Babiche and I lucky out as we were able to get the first and second run from the top!!!
We were finally able to get some nice turns without feeling the crust. It was so good to get that soft feeling back again after about 10 days.
Today, it was a nice, warm and sunny day, so we went back to Akakura Kanko to ski some nice north facing slopes that we skied two days ago. We soon realized that we really made the right choice yesterday by skiing Seki, since only 15cm was sitting on top of the still present rain crust and every turns was coupled with a screaching noise...
So we made the decision to get back to the car, had some sake and enjoy some sunshine.
Etienne will be going back soon, so we'll head towards Hakuba from where he'll be able to get a direct shutlle bus back to the airport.
So we'll keep our fingers crossed to be able to get some more overhead turns!!!