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Thread: Japan Jan 2016

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    583

    Japan Jan 2016

    Made a trip to Japan with the boys. Booked our flights approximately 18 hours before departure. Had no car booked, no hotels, no plan and generally no idea what we were getting into. Managed to grab an International Drivers Permit on the way to the airport and lucked out getting the last available car at Sapporo airport which happened to be a 4wd minivan just perfect for 4 dudes to trash.

    Started off at Rusutsu resort riding bell to bell. There was a bunch of snow overnight - we stayed in the little onsen town of Lake Toyako.Click image for larger version. 

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    Day two we went exploring looking for a road that we saw on google maps to see if we could do some touring. Found a car and a nice skin track so followed it. The zone is called Shiribetsu and its off the back of Rusutsu resort. Everyone told us there was no steep terrain in Hokkaido, but this was about 35 or more for a bunch of turns.
    Skinning up thru the forest.
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    Sun popped out.
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    Vision was a problem
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    It was about -15C when this storm rolled in. Lowest density snow for any of us
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    Hard to beat turns like these
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    Beauty day - Beers at the car then off to hot chef for a katsu curry bowl
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    From there we drove to Otaru and to Teine in the morning. Sweet resort with more steep terrain and great views over Sapporo and the Sea of Japan. Also lots overnight snow followed by blue bird days.
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    Steep, deep, light and no crowds.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    With the weather forecast looking clear, we went to Central to try and bag some peaks. We stayed in Furano but didn't ski the resort. Instead we drove Tokachidake to tour and see if we could get some beta for the following day which was meant to be bluebird

    Interesting creek crossing
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    Using a map in Japanese we eventually broke through to the alpine. The whiteout was strong at this point.
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    Snow was almost too deep for the terrain which wasn't as steep as we were hoping.
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    Some fun but mellow turns through the trees and then off to Fukiage Onsen to recover. We were all starting to feel the affects of 5 days off non stop riding at this point, so the onsen was the bomb

    The next day dawned a little cloudy but we drove back to Tokachidake anyway in hope it would burn off. Some clouds were hanging around the face we wanted to hit, and we werent sure whether the couloirs went or not so we played the waiting game hoping they would. Eventually Furanodake came into full view.
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    We followed our skin track from the previous day, right to the knob just as the clouds rolled in.
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    After a few tense moment and debates about whether we were in the right spot, the clouds burned and we dropped in. Two went far lookers left, two in the middle of the face. 600 metres of waist deep blower at 40 degrees with multiple couloirs.
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    Last edited by nortonwhis; 02-08-2016 at 01:19 PM.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2010
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    583
    Click image for larger version. 

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    All four of us have lived in Whistler for the past 8+ years and there were definitely a lot of "best run ever" calls being thrown around after this lap. It was worthy of a second lap. Just for anyone in the area, I would recommend following the creek back to the initial creek crossing and following the initial skin track, rather than trying to push up the closest ridge. It took us much longer and nearly had us out in the dark. Straight to the onsen again after this day. We were bagged.

    We decided to head back to Sapporo and on to Niseko as it was storming there. Unfortuantely we couldnt find accomm so we crashed in Sapporo. On the way we made a couple of stops for some classic roadside lines.
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    Some spines we spied from the side of the road between Furano and Sapporo.
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    We hit up Kokusai which was again lots of fun. No photos from. Had our only run in with patrol here for poaching under a chair. Everywhere else was super mellow for stuff like that.

    Back to rusutsu and shiribetsu for our last few days.
    Not sure if this is the slackcountry or shiribetsu
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    Slackcountry. You got to hit the terrain park after this too which made for fun laps.
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    Shiribetsu
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    Last run of the trip for the boys. Shiribetsu dropping back down to the rusutsu resort in the top corner there
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    was a gooder
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    We went and got hammered in Niseko for our last night as a crew. Fun times
    I did one more night at Bankei in sapporo which was a surreal finish to a surreal trip. Shredding knee deep blower under the yellow lights for 3 hours with no other tourists around.

    1 last shot that pretty much summed up the whole trip
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    Last edited by nortonwhis; 02-08-2016 at 01:38 PM.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2008
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    Boulder
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    857
    Sweet stoke! Kicking it in my van outside Niseko now

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    PRB
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    21,260
    Damn.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    1,502
    Awesome.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Seattle
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    1,055
    Sweet TR. I'm there in 2 weeks. No solid plans yet so I can play the weather.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2008
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    Paper St. Soap Co.
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    Nice! I was there Jan 11-20 and visited several of the same spots. Had really wanted to do Tokachidake, but weather/logistics issues, looks like a good one.

  9. #9
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    May 2011
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    Sonoma & Truckee
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    Damn. Are those avy barrier pillows as fun as they always look?

  10. #10
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    Sep 2009
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    Down by the river, Terrace, BC
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    3,071
    Done in extremely good style from start to finish! Thanks for posting.
    I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.
    ― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

    www.mymountaincoop.ca

    This is OUR mountain - come join us!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    TCMI
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    688
    Norton, what skis did you ride? I'm leaving in a couple of weeks and can't decide what to bring.

    Phatty, how long will you be in town? We'll be there March 4-13.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    29
    That's awesome! Hoping to visit someday

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    The City
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    Rusutsu pow days. So good. God how much was the flight? 18hrs +

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    583
    blizzard - I snowboard. 1 skier took an old pair of s7's with marker bindings and complained about the weight all trip. Other guy had a pair of Faction Candide and then 1 set of something else faction for resort skiing, same boots though.

    flights with Air canada we 1500, full service, think total travel time via tokyo for me was 13 hours

    tahoeJ - fun yes, but you had to send them deep to get over a flat landing.

  15. #15
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    Oct 2010
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    entrapped
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    919
    Sweet!
    No matter where you go, there you are. - BB

  16. #16
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    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    Nortonwhis rented wheels but if you are shleping it all around on the bus a 1 ski quiver is gona be way lighter, we were busing it so we did the one ski quiver, I took Vulcans/dynafits/lotus 120's and was pretty happy with that, my buddy had the localy made 108 underfoot Paranormal weapons/kingpin/Maestrale RS

    something to consider which is popular in Japan especialy if you wana travel a bit before or after the skiing is couriering your skis to your hostel, its cheap and apparently dead reliable

    my buddy had his luggage bumped on the flight to Vancover but mine were in my carry-on touring pack, his stuff showed up in time before the hop to japan but that old advice about taking your boots carry-on certainly applied
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  17. #17
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    Nov 2004
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    Awesome, thanks for the insight. We are renting a car, so I'm thinking I can pull off a two pair quiver.

    We will definitely be carrying boots on.

    Glad you had fun!

  18. #18
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    Apr 2009
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    FUCK. YES.

  19. #19
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    Apr 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blizzard7763 View Post
    Awesome, thanks for the insight. We are renting a car, so I'm thinking I can pull off a two pair quiver.

    We will definitely be carrying boots on.

    Glad you had fun!
    Make sure you get 4WD. Roads in Hokkaido suck with a 2WD. And x 2 on the one ski quiver. I'm super glad I only brought a single board. I hear the used market here is pretty good should something happen

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Westchester, New York
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    Heard great things about Japan mountains.
    Sucks I didn't get to check them out while I was on that side of the world.

  21. #21
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    Feb 2015
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    381
    Awesome...hoping to make it out there next year.

  22. #22
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    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wickedbrew4u View Post
    Rusutsu pow days. So good. God how much was the flight? 18hrs +
    I just settled up with my buddy, the flight was 1600+ can$ including the hop to vancover and we spent 4400can$ in total for 18days no car, not so bad reallly

    my buddy did find a cheaper flight to china with a 15 hr layover and backtrack to Sapporo but we spent 4 of the 18days traveling as it was
    Last edited by XXX-er; 02-16-2016 at 04:46 PM.
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  23. #23
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    Jan 2013
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    Wow! looks amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  24. #24
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    Sep 2013
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    Sick! Looks like you guys absolutely crushed it! I'll be posting a video from my trip soon.

  25. #25
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    Oct 2013
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    The Wilds of Maine
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    Hell yes! Still remains the highest spot on my bucket list. Next year...
    "We're in the eye of a shiticane here Julian, and Ricky's a low shit system!" - Jim Lahey, RIP

    Former Managing Editor @ TGR, forever mag.

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