Here is a little helmet cam edit from the last few days skiing here in Niseko. The snow isn't what Niseko is known for, which is to say deep, but the most significant things to note are the clear skies and visiblity.
Today we ski toured on the lower flanks of Yotei and it was probably our best day skiing here in Japan. Not becasue it was so deep, but the most fun and gratifying. Ill have a POV edit from today shortly. Hopefully...
VIO POV camera courtesy of Helmet Camera Central
There has been an elephant in our apartment for the last week or so here in Kutchan. Our elephant was closer to an actual elephant however. Ours was big, smelt and we had no idea what to do with it. It was our trash.
In Japan, waste is categorized into organic, combustible and non-combustible, and then an array of recycling sub categories. It is a seriously mind boggling exercise to sort trash here. Pleading forigner ignorance wasn't going to be an option for us becasue we had a trash flowchart in English. While it generally made sense, there was still a lot that didn't.
Determined to do our part and attempt to assimilate and respect the Japanese way of doing things, Stevie and I rolled up or sleves and went through all our trash that had been put into the "deal with later" bin more commonly know as the back deck.
This is what skiing in Niseko is all about, all the time.
One minute it is like this. (actually most of the time)
The next minute, quite literally, it can be like this...
But it is always deep.
Last night, and all of yesterday as a matter of fact was Stevie's 30th Birthday. The big dirty 30. It was a pretty mellow day. Stevie went with a film crew to the beach to maybe get some waves but it was too flat so they filmed the ocean and squid boats instead.
The skiing has settled down a little here in Niseko the last week after a furious start. We skied the remnants of the last system surrounding the hill, mostly touring off of Moiwa. I would go so far to claim that Moiwa accesses the most slackcountry terrain for such a small lift ever. At least in my experience. In comparison to the mega 3 of An'nupri, Niseko and Hirafu within a stones throw from Moiwa, Moiwa offers the best bang for your buck and the resort manager even invited us back to his place to his private onsen. Not as wierd as some of you might be smirking about. The Japanese are so generous and friendly that you ought to be ashamed of yourself.
Stevie snapped this picture on the bus to the Hirafu ski hill yesterday. It is a Japanese boy doing his algebra homework in the condensation of the bus window. In down town Tokyo, I might not think twice, but on a bus bound for a ski resort, I really don't know what to make of this. Whatever I think about it is really beside the point, but for the record, I think it's great.
Yesterday became a day off pretty quickly as neither Stevie nor I woke the other up. The weather was meant to get warm, and did, meaning yesterday was the last good day before the next storm, but we just didn't make it. The Sweetgrass crew essentially had an easy day also despite getting up to 4am to try and catch the sunrise, only to be back in bed by 7am. So, with so much time and many mouths to feed, we all threw in 1000YEN and bought supplies for a family dinner.
Tokyo, well there is a lot to be said about Tokyo. On Sunday afternoon we visited the Yoyogi Garden in the center of Tokyo. The garden is extraordinarily quiet and peaceful despite being situated smack bang in the middle of the world's largest city. At the entrance however, we found the a rockabilly shin dig in full swing.
We opened our powder account today at a small resort, Niseko-Moiwa. Lastnight brought a full 60cms of blower pow, but it was blown around by equally copious amounts of wind. The resort has 2 small lifts, one of which was closed. We paid our 350yen for a one lift and went and toured the steeped pitch we could find. We had the place to ourselves while people poled across the flats below. Backcountry quite literally in country. But a picture tells a thousand words and a short video a few more.
I dared to venture into the supermarket today. In Tokyo we either ate at the Convenience store—where a lot of goodies can be found—or in restaurants. So finally a week later I made it into one of the more interesting and revealing destinations in any foreign country.
So we made it after an epic flight. I never actually realised that Hong Kong was quite a ways west of Japan. Our flight from Vancouver stopped over in Hong Kong before heading half way back to Vancouver. Kind of the long way around, but since we are headed to India, I guess our ticket is a return from Van to Delhi with a detour to Japan.
Point being, we made it. More updates to come.
So, it is a work in Progress. Learn more about me as I learn more about this.
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