We finally got our car. And what a car it is! I always dreamt about driving a Delica, but I have honestly never thought about driving such a pimp one! Some work was done to build a bed in and we are now all set to hit the road!!!
Before leaving our cozy little cabin, we invited JS L'Heureux, an expat from Quebec working this winter as a lead guide for Black Diamond Tours for some homemade Okonomiaki, our favorite typical dish.
With not much new snow and not being much a groomer fan, we headed out to Mt. Shiribetsu close to Niseko for a backcountry run. Even if the snow on the ground was not able to cover all the 'Sassa' (the green leaves sticking out of the ground), we were still able to get some really nice turns in! The bottom was rather soft and we had about a foot of fresh on top!
Some new snow brought us back to the resort hoping to get some decent turns! The 20cm that fell overnight certainly soften up the conditions, but I was really hoping for more!
We went to the backside of Annuupuri (Mountain on which Niseko resorts are located) for a run I have never done. After putting our skins on in the backcountry in some kinds of stormy weather, we started skinning up. The weather just get worst and worst. Since a fatality happen 2 days ago around the area we were skiing and a little slab was forming as we were getting higher, we stopped our ascension short from the summit. Nevertheless, we still got some really nice deep and soft turns.
On our first night sleeping in the van, as usually, we had slightly opened the windows. The following morning brought us a storm inside the van!!!
After 20 minutes of cleaning inside, we stepped out of the van and realized there was about 1.5 feet of fresh on the ground! We, as you can certainly imagine, rushed ourselves to Niseko to hit this massive storm that was still in full effect!
We rode inbounds and were able to get steady faceshots runs after runs! We skied until 16h30 in a storm that was continuously filling up our tracks!
We were quite glad to have been able to ski this storm that was easing up!
After spending the night in a closed window van, we woked up with a foot of new overnight snow on the ground. The no brainer was to go back to the hill as it was snowing at about 10cm an hour in some points! We tried Niseko Hirafu as a stomping ground for this storm. The first few runs were nice with not many people on the slopes. It soon began to be crowded. The base of Niseko Hirafu is the closest to much of the bars and the accommodation avalaible, it for sure attracts the tourist! The peak gates remained closed all day and we ski the glades that didn't get too much tracked. In fact, we were able to get some really nice deep and soft turns again all day.
At the time of writing, it is still snowing out there and it looks again promising for tomorrow!
From Niseko, your powder reporter!