Team LPL stayed with Melanie in Aomori last January, during what was a supposedly bad season (yet still the deepest, dryest powder we’ve ever seen!)
Here’s a link to last years photos – Japan 2003-4

Remember the little opening at the end of the run, where you get on to the road and ride your board back to gondola? The top of that wall is 3 metres high, and the slippery slide bit is about 2.5 metres above the road. Its the steepest run on the hill. Natural jumps that were huge last year are little bumps now because all the snow has covered them up! To get out of the top station, you walk up about 8 snow steps to get to level ground – the building itself is completely buried.

Actually, its a little scary, because we’ve been having some small avalanches on the runs. I started one the other day when I was traversing across the bowl. I warned my mate below me that it might slide, and sure enough, a slab about 15 x 5 metres went and he was sitting on top of it. Fortunately it wasn’t hard to dig him out, but having it happen on one of our favourite runs was pretty freaky.

We’ve got a long weekend coming up this week, so I’ll be out in it again. I am never going to be able to leave this place! Actually, my office has asked me to stay another year, and the promise of more snow next season is too tempting. So it looks like I’ll be missing another Aussie summer next year…

by Melanie Surry.

Hakkouda is famous for its “snow monsters”