Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Rain, warm temperature and flurries in Japan...

The forecast was right about the rain.
It rained everywhere around Hakuba, Myoko and Nozawa Onsen all the way to the mountain top.
With not much snow on the forecast for the upcoming days and no rain reported in the resort in the northern part of Honshu, after a hearty breakfast, we packed our gear and hit the road for an 8 hours drive.

I've heard great things about Hachimantai.
This tiny resort was supposed to have some nice trees just next to its boundary that you can ski. While not being legal, it was supposed to be tolerated by the patrol. That area is just left of the runs that are forming a 'Y' on the following picture.

I guess that intel changed, since as we made it to the top of the resort, they made it somewhat clear that it was not allowed! There was also not even a single track!

We nevertheless poached it once.
As reported, the trees are nicely spaced and the angle steady and there was no trace of a rain crust.

 On our following lap, there was a patrol looking around and making sure no one would re-poached it.

We followed other tracks on the lookers far right side onto quite a mellow balade all the way down to a closed road.

Since that wasn't much of a great interest, we were kind of forced to ski inbounds.
The on-piste that are offered in this little resort has close to no interest. As the temperature got really warm, the groomed runs soften, but after a few laps, we were kinda bored…

Snow forecast of Geto Kogen were of 15cm of snow for the upcoming night.
We drove the hour and a half south to make it to this renowned powder magnet.
I've skied Geto Kogen a few years back and I've kept a good memory of it.
There was effectively some nice snow, but that was laid over a crust that formed yesterday due to the warm temperature.

With no new snow on the forecast for at least 3 more days, we faced the dilemma of either waiting 3 days for it to come or drive even further north to Aomori and catch a ferry to Hokkaido where new snow was reported.
The latest won and after grabbing some warm canned coffee, here we were driving again and heading to Aomori to catch the ferry to Hokkaido!

Fingers crossed that the conditions would gets epic again!

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