Monday, February 27, 2012

Ski day 31 at Charmont Hiuchi

31st day for this ski season, 19 days for powder, 8 days for backcountry, telemark for 8 days
Charmont 12:30-15:00

I went to Charmont Hiuchi, in a long time.

Last night some snow was forecasted on the Japan Sea side, but there would be 10-20cm falls in Charmont.
I assumed it would not be worth to go, then I worked late.

In the morning, I checked the web site and found the snow fall was 30cm!!
I could not predict it. It was already too late to go there.

But the blog said the late comers were lucky on Sunday while it kept snowing all day.
Now, let me think. It is still snowing. It's Monday and there are fewer junkies. Is it worth to go in the afternoon?

It was very nice weather in Hakuba, for orinary skiers. I left sunny Hakuba at 10:30 to Charmont.

The road to Charmont. It was snowing very much. I could not believe it was sunny in Hakuba.

A parking lot in Charmont. There were fewer cars. They finished the powder and already gone?

But it was still snowing. Now I would try one or two, and if it would not be good, I should wait at the rest house until the condition would be recovered.

I could see the main course was already finished, but there were still some fresh powder area.

Now I try one run.

The upper site was flatlight.

It was good not to see the surfice, I just felt the soft snow.
For the first run, I enjoyed some.

And I found the fresh snow.

I got it.

I enjoyed many runs there.

Most of people finished their own with a half-day ticket and already have gone. There were few skiers and boarders.

The powder was still there.

The approach already became rough, and I was very much satisfied with the runs for 2 hours and half.

BanYa ski was good fit with Charmont's powder. It can run even in rough conditions.

As the last powder in February, and perhaps the last good powder in this season, it was worth to drive over 80km from Hakuba.

I wanted to go to Tokyo from here, but I left some stuff in Hakuba.
Then I went back to Hakuba again. Well I feel Hakuba like a home.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ski day 30 at HappoOne/Iwatake/Hakuba BC

29th day for this ski season, 18 days for powder, 8 days for backcountry, telemark for 8 days
HappoOne 7:45-10:30
Gear: BanYa M0809
Iwatake 10:45-12:30
Gear: BanYa M0809
Hakuba BC 14:15-15:15
Gear: Pocket Rocket(Telemark)+GARMONT ENER-G

Today I went around three different ski places.

On Saturday I was invited to a wedding celemony. After the party, I travelled to Hakuba, via a bullet train and bus.

We could not expect the powder snow, but tried the first run on the terrains of HappoOne.

7:30 am.

People were gathering, but they looked much different from the powder day.

We went down on Panorama. No gap and flat. The visibility was not good, but

I could run very fast without worrying about gaps.

The terrain to Kokusai was not groomed and rough.

We went up Kokusai again, and I went down on Riesen twice and several times on Panorama.
I ran less than one minutes to go down on Panorama.

Free coffee as usual.

It was very croweded today.
I came here at 9:30, but I refilled only three times.

I ran enough in HappoOne.
Then I went to Iwatake, other ski area in Hakuba.

It was a long time I have been here last time, except I visited here in summer season. Probably it's been 10 years since I skiied before.

The gondora lift was crowded and I took chair lifts.

I took almost all lifts in 1 hour and half.

Some terrains were very quiet.

Nice moderate terrains.

For lunch we went to Kikyoyoa, a Japanese seafood resutaurant.

Pretty much volume for me.

After lunch we climbed a hill in Hakuba.

The lower site was very rough, but upper was nice with some powder snow.

Looks good.

Nice powder spray.

I enjoyed a long day today.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ski day 29 at HappoOne

29th day for this ski season, 18 days for powder, 7 days for backcountry, telemark for 7 days
HappoOne 10:45-14:30

I went to a new model ski sampling event at HappoOne.

It did not snow last night. Today I just go as a regular skiing.
A new model ski sampling event is that you try many various ski sets for 500yen only.

The first one was OGASAKA SL+FL.
Ogasaa is a Japanese ski brand and famous for basic skiing.

This model seems very popular for skiers and I was asked by someone.
The ski moves very quick. It responses to my initiating my body.

Usagidaira, today.

The trial is allowed for two or three rides for each. I just rided only one run on Riesen course.

The next one was Fischer Hybrid, an all-mountain ski. It has a mechanism to switch between camber and rocker.

An advanced technology...Hmmm.

The first run was with camber on Panorama, then I switched to rocker.

I enjoyed camber run, but I could not see the difference with rocker.
The ski was heavy, probably due to the mechanism. I don't want to bring it to the mountain.

The next one was a fat ski of Liberty. The west width is 15cm!
I knew it was not good to ride on this in today's condition, but I just wanted to try.

I imagined this shape made me turn too much, but in the reality I could not turn without intentionally turn.
The run was not good on the groomed course.
But it was very nice in the powder snow.
I should ride on it yesterday.

The next one was an all-mountain of Liberty.

It uses bamboo for its core material.
Nice pressure on it in the powder snow. Releasing the edges after turning seemed weak.

The next one was Reism SL-C. I wanted to ride on this brand.

The first one was for all-round.

Very sharp and quick. But the ride was not good for bumpy area. while Reism is famous for mogul skiing.

The next one was a mogul ski of Reism, the name is KO-B (Kobu means bump in Japanese).
I went to Usagidaira, a mogul zone.

This ski was very good for mogul. Quick response and easy to turn.

The trial was until 2pm.
I wanted to try a technical ski of OGASAKA, but it was used by someone else.

HEAD Supershape, the one I asked as "technical ski".
The runs so far were very fast, but I ran very slowly on this ski, to turn with carving.

This was also good for technical skiing. On the steep terrains it did not slide or be blurred.

I enjoyed the trial without lunch until 2.30pm.
All skies were new to me except the fat ski of Liberty.
I found another fun with them.

But all were heavy. One reason is for the rental binding, but I realized how BanYa skies are very light.

Very late lunch at Bankokuya, a Thailand restaurant.

My ex-paddling mate visited me.

I enjoyed the nice runs.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ski day 28 at HappoOne/Sanosaka

28th day for this ski season, 18 days for powder, 7 days for backcountry, telemark for 7 days
HappoOne 7:45-10:40
Gear: BanYa M0809
Sanosaka 13:00-14:20
Gear: Pocket Rocket(Telemark)+GARMONT ENER-G

HappoOne powder ski, in a long time.

It was snowing in Tokyo Friday night, when I left.
I was worrying about the traffic, the highways could be easily closed due to the snow in Tokyo.

It snowed much in Nagano, too.

In the morning I realized it did not snow much in Hakuba.
It snowed much in Otari, but there should be the other risk that the upper lifts would be closed.

After I considered much I decided to go to Happo. If the condition would be bad, I could go to Cortina.
Also I wanted to ride on BanYa M0809 in HaoppoOne.

Alpen lift.

The gaps were not covered well.

The first ride was not so good as hitting the bottom.
For the second and third runs were good.
For the third run I went fown to Skyline through Kurobishi, even though the lifts were not running yet.
The thrid run was beautiful.

I went down to the bottom of Sakka, then could catch the Skyline lift.

At 9.30am the powder was almost finished.
I came back home and did some work for my business.

Hrmmm, it's early to settle down myself.

Then I went skiing again.

The second area was Hakuba Sanosaka Snow Resort.

I have been here once, came down to this ski area from the mountain, but did not run on the terrains.

Powder area.

The powder was almost finished, but I enjoyed running on the telemark ski.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My sweets -Day 2(Itohkyuemon)

2days for this season

Ujimacha (Uji green tea) chocolate

Itohkyuemon in Uji City, Kyoto, is famous for making high quality Japanese teas.
This chocolate is made of their green tea.

The photo of it looks like pavement covered with green moss.

Rich flavor of the green tea and rich taste of soft and melty chocolate.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ski day 27 at HappoOne

27th day for this ski season, 17 days for powder, 7 days for backcountry, telemark for 6 days
HappoOne 7:45-13:30
Gear: BanYa M0809

We enjoyed powder snow in HappoOne.

The forecast said it snowed at night and we planned to go to Cortina, but the morning report said the fresh snow in 5-10cm. Not good enough.

We went to HappoOne then.

The lift was not busy in the early morning.

Skyline cource.

We enjoyed unexpected powder snow.
Today I rode on normal ski of BanYa, but it was still a fun for skiing today.
Snow Navi (Japanese only) took my photo.。

After several runs we went to Sun terrace Panorama, where free coffee is provided by 10am.

Very croweded. But everybody leave after the free time.

After the coffee time we went out and found it became very windy.

The lift often stopped.
We could not go up higher than Usagi. We went down on Riesen.

The lower side was very calm.

Lunch at Hüttenzauber.

After lunch we went up again, but

it was still windy.

Lifts of Panorama were stopped.

We attepmpted to go around on Kokusai lift, but

It had a long cue. Then we finished.

Snowy road. It will disappear in next few weeks.

Coffee house Senju.

Rich flavor coffee, chocolate and homemade bread. Reluxing time.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ski day 26 at Hakuba Cortina

26th day for this ski season, 16 days for powder, 7 days for backcountry, telemark for 6 days
Hakuba Cortina 8:30-12:00

The powder day again in Hakuba Cortina.

It rained last week. The soft surfice was destroyed and I could not believe it was covered enough. Not expected much but we came here anyway. Facebook site said the new snow was 20-30cm.

Powder junkies were gathering.

Usually we put ski sets or boards at the lift, the staff set the rope and the boards in order again, but today they did not.
Then we became behind.

The condition was the best. We never hit the bottum.
The snow was light.

The first lift was very busy on the national holiday.

Then we could not run many, but we enjoyed very much.

For lunch we went to Frontier (Japanese only).

A new menu, hamburg steak. Very nice!

After skiing, I went to Rapie.
I decided to sell the powder ski Salomon GUN Lab, that I bought in 2005.
I rode this ski 26 times.
I did not ride many and it's pity to sell, but it cannot beat a rocker ski or a fat ski more than 15cm width.

I bought a new ski BanYa M1102 and have not used it recently.

Nice ski, though.

Buy it at Rapie, a used section.