Dean at Nozawa Onsen

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Pewk-o-fucking-rama is one of the terms you could use to describe this place.

It was THE most beautiful conditions I have ever seen anywhere today. This morning it was 2.6 metres, it never stopped fluffing from the sky. I am def getting better as I had a dream run down to the bottom late this arvo, only stacked it once, and got bogged quite a bit when trying to zoom into big islands of pow. Woke up to snowfall this morning, first day here. Saw the best sun set on the way down, no-one around today, bit spooky, but brilliant. The plow folks have changed some of the grooming here too, mostly for the better or should I say boarder, but I hope they re-open the stash I used to go into, it was roped off today. Can you tell I’m pressed for time? Hey I met Steve Spielberg in Tokyo!!! For real! Will post a photie when i get the time, awesome several minutes in Akihabara…

Ozzy and I are snowballing it tomorrow for most of the day, so not many runs but lots of taboginin and snowmen action for sure.

Mina & Oscar checkin the snow depth

Dean & Oscar roughin’ it Yuki-style

Mitchell does Mizuho

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Snowboarding in Lead Undies, part 1 – Mitchell in Hiroshima

God i’m sore today…

The place we went to was called Mizuho, near Hiroshima.

We got the bus overnight and got to the mountain at 3am thinking fuk we got to sit here for 6 hrs till the lifts open? But noooo….first lifts..get this…5.30am!! still dark…and by this time the carpark was half full..and this is no Hakkouda size carpark either – more like Dreamworld size!

So basically we knew we were in for a day of queuing and barging…and since the carpark was bereft of snow…ice on arse bashing… We bought our tickets and went up the 4 person gondora (sic) and get to the top which is lit up and already full of weekend sliders (about 10:1 boarders:skiers).

Did a couple of warm ups and then went up a chair as the sun was rising. The day turned into completely blue skies and groomed runs – no tree runs to be had at all – tho i did try and duck in here and there to little avail.. That is not to say that no fun was had…some long runs with bermed sides providing us with a bit of satisfaction..

The crowd factor was an influence through out the day. However, it did provide as a side effect an extraordinary number of Nihongen snow bunnies …and comedic relief viewing on the chairs!! There were 2 boarder parks and a half pipe – we hit the smaller park a few times – the larger and the pipe were basically a fashion show! In the end we boarded from 6am till 3pm with a quick ramen stop..and had in the end around 20 runs…

Fun day..and just enough to feed the monkey…

Pov then Mitch shred the rad in the terrain park
Streaming Movie

Pov really likes the taste of Japanese

The hills are alive with the sound of J-pop

Hills of the rising sun

We’re Jomon

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We had to abort todays snow mission due to a very heavy-duty weather system sweeping through – drove up the hill in a total white-out, only to find the Hakkouda ropeway was closed due to high wind. So we went to the fantastic Sannai-Maruyama site. Apparently, they were 1/2 way through building a baseball stadium on this site when they discovered the remains of a village from the Jomon period, so they stopped costruction & built a museum instead! Pretty cool… in Aus, they`d have bulldozed the lot!

Heres we are all dressed up in Jomon clothes inside the museum, in front of a replica hut

Out in the snow, checking out the replica Jomon village

Snowmonsters & bluebird skies

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We had an amazing day at Hakkouda today! White-outs & icy winds at the peak of Hakkouda-san are the norm, so we were really lucky to be there in lovely warm sunny weather, checking out the clear blue skies & jaw-dropping views. It was impossible to take a bad photo in those conditions, so we climbed the radio tower, which was totally covered in rime (crusty windblown snow), & we shot some panoramas before carving up the sparkling snow below us.

Mitchie-san climbing up the Hakkouda radio tower

“Snow monsters” as far as the eye can see…

…Almost looks like they’re marching up the hill at us

Mitchell can hardly contain his excitement!

Absolutely dripping with snow… reminds me of the sandcastles we used to make as kids, by dripping wet sand through your fingers.

Like I said, it was impossible to take a bad photo

Thanks to the local knowledge of Melanie & Mitchie-san, we tried this awesome 20ft cliff-drop – the biggest drop I have ever done by a long shot! MAJOR adrenaline rush. Later that day a Japanese pro did a phat 720 off it, which we watched from the cable-car overhead – later, back at the base station, they showed us the footage & it looked impressive, with the cable-car floating through shot while the pro rider spins in the air.

Al stomps it (the first & only time I did, unfortunately)

Mitchie-san pulls off the big drop on his tele’s – pretty impressive!

The Japanese National Arse-Boarding Championships

Niseko forecast

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WOW!! checkout all these snowmen! Jim & Aaron, you guys are going to have a truly awesome time up here, guaranteed!

Niseko Forecast

Niseko Report

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As you may have guessed, Ive been having far too much fun scoring shitloads of freshies here to be bothered with touching a bloody computer… had today off from boarding due to a throbbin head, after the obligatory NYE boozing, & have just had a fantastically rejuvinating onsen visit, so here i am in the pizza shop/internet cafe finally.

a brief run-down on the trip so far – Kyoto was beautiful, & it snowed there on our first day! It was totaly magical, visiting shrines & temples with a lovely coating of fluff on everything. The Gion district is chokkers with traditional japanese tea-houses & we even spotted a few Geisha scurrying around the place – its like you’ve just time-travelled 300 years back.. incredible!

All up, Kyoto is a great town to visit, & I’ll post some photos when we get back as no description can really do it justice.

Anyhow, cutting to the chase – lets talk snow!

On the bus from Chitose (Sapporo) airport, the lack of the typical 3m+ snowbanks on the roadside was a worry… where was the frosty landscape we saw on previous trips? Our first view of the Niseko Hirafu hill looked somewhat like Thredbo on a bad day… Argh! Pass the razor blades!

So we skipped xmas day as I was a bit ill & the snow still looked terrible, then it started dumping xmas night & kept going for 2 days… scored some of the deepest freshies of my life! really awesome… waist-deep in places! Quite a lot of bamboo poking through in the off-piste areas, but its easy to ride through – kinda fun actually, as it makes you feel like Indiana Jones in a powdery jungle! I’ve taken to wearing some bamboo leaves sticking out of my helmet, which the japanese find hilarious ;)

Brett & Suzanne arrived on the 27th, & since then we’ve been running amok in our favourite secret powder spots, having an awesome time, making the most of the cosy gondolas when the wind is up, & eating piles of great food at the numerous restaurants. Our deluxe pad has a great view of the beginners area, & rather than watch TV in the evenings, we observe the ‘funniest home videos’ antics of learners stacking it at the base if the bunny run :)

Its been snowing quite heavily since this afternoon, & we had a good laugh (once the hangovers had subsided) having an urban jib session around the town before our onsen trip, so I better hit the hay for an early start in the morning… top to bottom freshies will be the order of the day tomorrow… gee its a hard life!

Will post some pics & movies soon – havent actually been taking the camera up the hill much as the visibility hasnt been that great & the snow has been so great we cant be arsed wasting time taking photos!

Just had a look at the
MRF & It looks as if it’l keep dumping for the duration! Hakkouda-san promises to be more of the same – endless deep powder… SICK!

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