Niseko, Japan, Jan. 17-18

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Niseko, Japan, Jan. 17-18

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:24 am

Sunday Jan. 17 was the grand finale (one foot new) of nearly two weeks of a minimum 4 inches snow each day.
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Without having to buy tickets we got up top pretty quick. Here are a few of the people ahead of us getting first tracks under the lift.
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We were early enough to take one lap here before heading out the gates.

The G1 trees served up multiple face shots. Then Jenny, Liz and I skied the G2 line I had skied Friday.
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I went for a G2 encore while Jenny and Liz went for G1. Then Jenny went to meet up with Mary while Liz and I hiked G2 so I could show her the second bowl.
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Much more deep untracked awaited us in the trees below.
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Our busy morning was well timed because it started dumping again when we got back up top. I had intended to show Liz G11 but the visibility was bad so we skied to the Hilton for a well deserved all-you-can-eat sushi lunch.

After lunch there was a short sunny break. Upper mountain view from the Wonderland chair:
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Only one of the single chairs ran while last night’s snow remains on the other one.

We skied a final G1 run in the trees and got on the 3:45 bus.

We skied 18,000 vertical, 10K of A+ quality powder. This was Mary’s final day of skiing. She flew home Monday and Jenny also left to meet her mother at the airport and visit her brother in Sapporo.

Monday, Jan.18
The run of new snow days came to an end, though weather was not great. It was windy, so the upper mountain chairs closed around noon and even Hanazono 3 by 2PM.
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With new snow every day, terrain choices had been dictated by powder potential. So we used our last day to ski some new terrain. From Annupuri I first took Liz to the G11 terrain above Niseko Village.
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Warning sign for G11 sidecountry with Engrish punch line.
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Liz got a pic of these fashionistas in the Hilton gondola line.
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More Engrish instructions in the Hilton gondola:
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We next skied the Super trees and bowl along the southern Hirafu boundary. Noting the lift lines despite the bad weather we took an early fondue lunch at the Ace Hill restaurant. Niseko thermometer outside Ace Hill:
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After lunch day we skied from the Hirafu gondola. We tried the G9 Waterfall gate. It led to some untracked open terrain and then these trees.
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No surprise the price for second day untraccked was a tedious traverse back to the Hirafu base.

Next we took the ~5minute bootpack above the gondola to ski the Miharashi trees. These have been thinned for some fairly wide open skiing. For those based in Hirafu this would be a promising start ot a big powder day. View partway down Miharashi to the Waterfall area.
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The weather had severed Niseko into its separate base areas so we took the 3:20 bus from Hirafu. We skied 19,000 vertical with about 3K of powder.
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Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: Niseko, Japan, Jan. 17-18

Postby jamesdeluxe » Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:29 pm

Looks great. Exactly what you expected snow-wise.

Maybe you can compare and contrast your experience with this guy from Alpinforum. You both went to Furano, Niseko, and Rusutsu (he joked that it was pronounced by locals as "Sssutttt").
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Re: Niseko, Japan, Jan. 17-18

Postby jasoncapecod » Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:21 pm

Loving the reports!!

Is that a helmet Tony is wearing?!?!
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Re: Niseko, Japan, Jan. 17-18

Postby Admin » Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:25 pm

jasoncapecod wrote:Is that a helmet Tony is wearing?!?!


Pfffffffttttttt! I recognize that hood.
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Re: Niseko, Japan, Jan. 17-18

Postby jamesdeluxe » Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:36 pm

Very sad to see that he's abandoned his 50-year-old aviator glasses for the dubious advantages of... goggles.
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Re: Niseko, Japan, Jan. 17-18

Postby RainbowJenny » Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:38 pm

Snowsnake took me down on that G2 first bowl run shortly after the photos, two Aussies extricated me. Should have known better than skiing between those two tight birches. Perhaps built up some karma with Mary helping a Japanese man back on junior length skis with 70's underfoot in 8 inches of powder off G7 the other day.
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Re: Niseko, Japan, Jan. 17-18

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:57 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:Very sad to see that he's abandoned his 50-year-old aviator glasses for the dubious advantages of... goggles.

There are some places (Whistler also comes to mind) where the prevailing weather forces wearing goggles upon even the most stubborn of us.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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