Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ski day 56 at Yukikura

56th day for this ski season, 33 days for powder, 23 days for backcountry, telemark for 15days

Yukikura 6:45-14:00

Continued from Ski day 55 at RengeOnsen Spa.

Today we were going to Mt. Yukikura, a mountain always seen nicely from Renge Onsen, but I have never been there. I look forward to going there.

But the weather looked bad. The forecast said it would be fine, though.

Skiing down from Renge Onsen and climbing up after crossing a creek.

After we started climbing, it started raining.

Taking a shelter from raining.

It was too windy and it almost blew the shelter away.

We started again after the rain.

We arrived 300m before the peak,

But other dark clouds came.
We decided to stop climbing here.

It started raining again heavily, when we were preparing to go down.

Sooner, the rain turned to hail and then sleet. And lightening!

We probably might be hit where nothing else was there.

Going down very fast. No time to take pictures.

It seemed peaceful down there, but the thunder was chasing us.

Traversing to Renge Onsen.

It is always depressing to pass over several creeks on the way back to Renge Onsen.

The thunder was still rolling, and a flash came in front of me once.
I am not afraid of the thunder when I am in Tokyo, but it was really scary.

Now I felt very happy when I saw the lodge.

We totally got wet.

How reliably the forecast is!!

Continue to Ski day 57 at Renge Onsen

Friday, April 29, 2011

Ski day 55 at RengeOnsen Spa

55th day for this ski season, 33 days for powder, 22 days for backcountry, telemark for 15days

RengeOnsen Spa 9:00-12:45


Today I attended toBanYa tour.

The weather seemed not perfect.

We went to Renge-Onsen Spa through Tsugaike Gondola.

Tsugaike Ropeway.

It is surprising today is the first day of their operation. Usually it is supposed to be open in mid March. The operation was suspended due to the earthquake effect.
It is very good for them to start.

Climbing up on Tenguppara.

It was very windy up there.

Our guide "Shin-chan" considered the snow last night and the wind, then decided to go down on Norikura-sawa (valley).

It was not the perfect powder with hitting the bottom, but it was the powder in 15cm depth, indeed.

No stop snow was found and comfortable touring to Renge-Onsen.

I have not been here for a while. I was supposed to come last month, but could not due to the earthquake.

Today, we ended skiing because we could not expect better conditions.

We went out with skies again after settling down.

We were supposed to end skiing? The destination was...

An open-air spa.


Very nice spa!

Too good to leave.
We gotta go, or it starts snowing.

Koinobori, or carp streamers, were swimming powerful when we came back to the lodge.

It means it is windy. mmm what happens tomorrow?

Continue to Ski day 56 at Yukikura.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

My sweets -Day 13 (Grand four)

13 days for this season

A pattisserie in ITOCiA, Yurakucho.

Baked cheese cake 672yen

I stopped by ITOCiA after a business around there.

Thick cheese and wet base was very nice. Also nice size to have.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My sweets -Day 12 (Lindt)

12 days for this season

I found a new Lindt shop on the way to my client.

I bought macarons.

Clockwise from the front
White chocolate mousse
Passion fruit
250yen each

Very rich and various cream never seen anywhere else and nice chocolate, which is their sales point.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ski day 54 at Norikura(Day2)

54th day for this ski season, 33 days for powder, 21 days for backcountry, telemark for 15days

Norikura 7:30-15:20

Continued from Ski day 53 at Norikura(Day1).

BanYa tour Day 2.

Very nice weather. Today we skied around Mt. Norikura.

We climbed up and saw Yatsugatake (left) and Southern Japan Alps (right).

Nice view.

We came to the end of the road.

This is the goal for All Japan Mountain Cycling in NORIKURA.
I want to come here again by bicycle.

We left our bags and climbed up to Mt. Daikokudake.

We could see a grouse (very rare to see).

Nice view from Mr. Daikokudake.

Summits of Hotaka.

We went down from there.

Wonderful corn snow to ski.

Then, we climbed up to Mt. Marishitendake (Marici).

This slope had also good corn snow.

Perfect film crust.

Traversed to Mt. Daikokudake again.

Now we went down on the east side to home.

Looked back to the big slope.

Great days.

Going back to the ski area we started.

The trees became dense.

Now we came back to the ski area, but...

No snow on the course!

Our guide Shinchan took us to the back side.

Nice advise! The snow was there!

We could ski down to the bottom, otherwise we would have to walk.

Look back to the summits of Mt. Norikura

Now the time to eat Monaka ice cream (crispy ice cream).

We say it is a bad luck to lead you to crispy snow if you eat a crispy ice cream is

Thanks for a nice guiding of Shinchan.

On the way back, I stopped by a kayaking spot called "Azusagawa bashi hole".

It was gone as the current changed.

Movie of the two days.

A spring ski season has started!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ski day 53 at Norikura(Day 1)

53rd day for this ski season, 33 days for powder, 20 days for backcountry, telemark for 15days

Norikura 8:55-16:20

Today, I attended to BanYa tour.
BanYa tour guide, Mr. Matsubara (Shinchan) is one of most reliable mountain guides in Hakuba, I believe.

The meeting time was 6 o'clock. Usually I go there from Hakuba, but this time I could not sleep if I go to Hakuba then to go there.
I went straight from Tokyo and stayed at my car.
It was warm enough to sleep with my chameece and sleeping bag.

The start time was actually at 9 o'clock, after parking cars at the end point.

Abo tunnel is free now.

Today we are going to Norikura. The ski area has already been closed. We have to walk from the bottom.

Looks like raining soon.

It became very dark and we stayed at a rest house for raining.

It start raining heavily.

Thanks to Shincan's nice forecasting. This is one of examples that he is reliable.

After stop raining we started. We did not get wet at all.

It is bothersome to remove and put on skies on the road. Shoveling the snow at the road has started now.

It was snowing at higher place.

Ices on trees. And the sun comes!!

Then the summits come!

Here we go now!

A magic mirror?

"Mirror, mirror upon the wall, Who is the fairest of all?"
"White snow!", of course.

We arrive at a cabin on the saddle.

It was very windy, and the surface above should by icy. Now it should be good to go down here.

Nice hard ground to run at there.

It was too good to miss. We climbed up and ran down again.

It was good to see the blue sky.

We went down to the Kuraigahara cabin.

Hotaka summits and Mt. Yarigatake looked great.

Good day.

To be continued to Ski day 54 at Norikura(Day 2)