Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ski day 54 at HappoOne

54th day for this ski season, 22 days for powder, 12 days for backcountry, telemark for 13 days
HappoOne 10:30-11:30
Gear: Pocket Rocket(Telemark)+GARMONT ENER-G

The forecast called the bad weather in this afternoon.
I got a short ride in HappoOne,

by bicycle.

Cherry blossom at the gondola station.

Directly accessed to Grat.

The three summits were still seen.

I got to Skyline through Kurobishi.

The half of the course lost the snow.

Panorama also lost half.

I was exhausted with the climb yesterday, and quit one ride on each course only.

On the way back I went to Shijuikin for Magnolia flowers in my neighborhood.

The ride today in HappoOne will be the last one, or the second last.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Ski day 53 at Mt. Harinoki

Enjoyed the nice wide terrain just beneath Mt. Harinoki.

53rd day for this ski season, 22 days for powder, 12 days for backcountry, telemark for 12 days
Mt. Harinoki 9:30-14:50

Today we wondered the bad weather but we could have visibility in the morning. Good start.

Today we aimed Harinoki snow valley.

At 9:30 we left Ougizawa station for Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine route.

The snow got dirty.

The snow disappeared several times at the beginning, which forced us to walk.

At 11:30 we came to Harinoki snow valley.

There are two options: one is to climb up on the snow valley, or the other one is to climb up to Mt. Harinoki.
We chose Mt. Harinoki, as I have never been there.

The terrain after this place was very steep and the snow was very slippery.
It was very difficult to use climbing skins.
I almost slipped away but somehow I could hold.

Last attack to the ridge line.

And we had to carry the skies for the last approach.

At 13:18  we reached to the ridge. We spent almost 4 hours so far.

And the last attack to the peak.

Then finally we arrived at the peak of Mt. Harinoki at 13:23, 2820m above the sea level.
The elevation we climbed were 1400m. Long walk for 4 hours.
I was exhausted with the difficult climbing on the skins.

Mt. Yari was far in our sight.

Then we came back to the ridge and started skiing down at 14 o'clock.

The terrain is over 40 degrees.

Nice and wide slope. The snow was also good.

Our hard climbing was rewarded.

Keep going down.

This was the place we struggled to climb. It does not look so steep if we look down.

We really enjoyed.

But the joyful time ended here, at 2000m above the sea level.

From here, there are a lot of debris and bad wet snow all the way to the end.

I could not believe there was the fantastic place up there.

Dirty annoying debris.

And we travarsed through a trail like a rail track,

And walked on the annoying part for the end.

At 14:50 we came back to Ougizawa station.

We spent 4 hours for hard climbing but skiing was only 1 hour.

Many buses were waiting for the tourist of Tateyama Kurobe Alpine route.

It is awful there were so many tourists to fill these buses.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ski day 52 at Mt. Chokaisan

One day tour to Mt. Chokaisan, 400km away from Hakuba.

52nd day for this ski season, 22 days for powder, 11 days for backcountry, telemark for 12 days
Mt. Chokaisan 9:20-14:00
Gear: Pocket Rocket(Telemark)+GARMONT ENER-G

The forecast was called worse in Hakuba after April 28th, which brought us to Tohoku area.

At 5pm we left Hakuba.

Arriving in Nikaho city at 11pm.

Morning at the beach of Japan Sea. Nice blue sky.

Haraigawa parking lot.

Mt. Chokaisan, that's where we are going today.


Today we got cold against wind all the way, which allowed us to climb up very fast as cooling down.

In 2 hours half we reached to the peak of Shichikosan.

And we could see the peak of Mt. Chokaisan.
We still had pretty much time to go there.

Climbing down a cliff.

Then we reached to the Peak.

I have been here 6 years ago.

We could look down the nice slope of Senja-dani, or thousands-snakes-valley.

We would like ski down there again.

Then we climbed up the cliff to Shichikosan again.

Now we go down.

Nice mellow terrain for telemarking.

Nice film crust.

Nice day for skiing.

I love Mt. Chokaisan.

After Onsen we had early dinner of Kaisendon, or a seafood rice bowl with looking at the mountain.

We planned to ski tomorrow, but the weather was getting bad.

Then we decided to go back to Hakuba.

Over 800km for a round trip. A short, but nice tour.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ski day 51 at HappoBC

Happo Backcountry skiing was not easy.

51st day for this ski season, 22 days for powder, 10 days for backcountry, telemark for 11 days
HappoBC 9:30-12:00

Kokusai chairlift.

This would be the last time to ride on.

At Grat, as the top of the ski resort.

The snow on the ridge line is gone. There was the snow two weeks ago.

We walked up to Happo-ike, the lake, but the snow is gone.

We had to walk on the walking trail beyond here, but it does not look worth to go further.

We started skiing but the terrain had few snow..

The snow was good, though.

We wonder how far we can go.

It got annoying.

Finally we walk through the bush.

Then we pulled out the secret weapon.

to cross the river.

It is not always perfect for back country skiing.

but generally ok with the good snow up there.