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  1. #51
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Fraggle Rock, CO
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    5,426
    Idris for president!
    Brandine: Now Cletus, if I catch you with pig lipstick on your collar one more time you ain't gonna be allowed to sleep in the barn no more!
    Cletus: Duly noted.

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    the junkshow
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    7,372
    Following.

  3. #53
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    In the rain
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    1,522
    Quite a few pics today but not much substance.

    First up Kiyoko (my long suffering wife) enjoying some quiet turns on one of our runs

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    Ryuta my co worker and co guide and the only person I've ski with so far that I trust in Japan, he skis in the weirdest style. No poles and flop (rather than lean) into the turn. Ex national freestyle champion, now backcountry guide.

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    A bit of downtown Naeba in midi wnter

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    Not that there is much too the place, here is more of it

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    Where we lived for the winter, the signpost is 2.5 m (8ft) above the grass

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    This is what the roads look like at 300m absl (1000 ft above sea level)

    Some times we would resort to the train instead

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    Climbing Tairapyoyama

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    This is the view uphill of us at that point

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    Looking back at our ski areas

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    Kiyoko having fun on the way back down

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    Out at Kagura, although it doesn't really look it. If they don't continually plow the lift line your skis drag in the snow.

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    Back at the cat area, the cat trying to look stylish, it has changed it's image since this pic

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    Up at the top of the area I found a little bit of the left infrastructure, there used to be 3 chairlifts here.

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    We skinned up one of the opposing hills to get some views of the area, problem, they are always covered in trees

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    At dusk the place looks kinda nice, especially when you know you are the only one up there, I took the snowmobile for a spin, 4km of separation form all the J-pop and bullshit that Naeba has to offer.

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    The first winter, I left the Cat and the snowmobile parked in the woods, didn't last. Nice walk out on a nice evening, but in after a fresh dump gets old very quick.

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    Knowledge is Powder

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bottom feeding
    Posts
    6,107
    I want to ski this line with the cool steps:
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    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  5. #55
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Between a rock and a soft place. Aberdare and The Brecon Beacons, Wales
    Posts
    2,641
    Great work 👍

  6. #56
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    21
    I can't see pix, just abcd.jpg, what gives?

  7. #57
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    on the banks of Fish Creek
    Posts
    329
    Ya gotta sqint a bit..... it’ll come into focus eventually......

  8. #58
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    the most beautiful place in the whole wide world
    Posts
    1,410
    this thread sucks

  9. #59
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    10,179
    So strange to try and wrap my head around the elevation VS terrain character and all the snow.

    Again, thanks.

  10. #60
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Missoula DMV
    Posts
    328
    unbelievable story thus far. This is real red meat while waiting ski season!

  11. #61
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Alpental
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    4,101
    Quote Originally Posted by Idris View Post
    This is Mat

    Attachment 253423

    Why is Mat important, Mat was just a 1st year ski/snowboard instructor with the nearby Naeba ski school who had injured himself, but unlike the average 1st year who was 19 and clueless, Mat was 27 and a Physicist.

    So I could teach him to drive this

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    Which meant I occasionally go this view

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    Every morning after 4km of access road, I still got to teach beacon/transceiver drills

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    I did spend most of my working days looking after guys like these, not bad but

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    But some were more like this

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    Or even

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    And it takes a while for this to get old, when It's my go first

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    And after a walk up the hill

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    To the top of the ski area

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    More deep stuff or away days tomorrow
    Some awesome shit in this trip report
    I have a responsibility to not be intimidated and bullied by low life losers who abuse what little power is granted to them as ski patrollers.

  12. #62
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    In the rain
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not bunion View Post
    So strange to try and wrap my head around the elevation VS terrain character and all the snow.

    Again, thanks.
    Elevation in the area 2000m (6600ft) to 400m (1300ft). Biggest practical skiable vert 1200m (4000ft).
    Angle a lot of 20-30 degree stuff in bounds of our little area, a bit steeper if you search. Up to 45 degree on the ski too stuff.
    Terrain character, mostly (and this is true of most of Japan) newly formed mountains, typical water eroded steep valleys, ridges, spines and waiting at the bottom of everything a river or sawa (sawa is like a gultch, but always v sided with water in the bottom).
    Snow in central Japan is like Whistler, maybe slightly more inland BC but can be heavy.
    Knowledge is Powder

  13. #63
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    3
    Keep following
    Awesome place and works.
    Cant wait to plan a trip to Japow.

    THX ^^

  14. #64
    Vets's Avatar
    Vets is online now Orange Mocha Frappuccino!
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Topaz, NV
    Posts
    3,494
    Skiing Japan is high on my to-do list. Seeing your cat adventures bumps it up even higher. It would also be great to make some turns with you again Idris.

  15. #65
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    In the rain
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    I went to visit Hokkaido, but as I've been a bunch of times to visit the same place/research I will talk about that after season 2. But now more of season one. just one teaser.

    On visiting a certain Cat skiing operation in the afternoon, I got offered a free run with their head guide (who has skied the same area for 35+ years) but I had no gear. So Jeans and borrowed late 80's early 90's rear entries and BBR's non stop summit to sea

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    Around Yuzawa (the nearest proper Town) there is some great looking sidecountry.

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    The town's side streets are stereotypical funky Japan

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    Nearby is Tenjindaira

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    During a lull in Cat skiing we drove up north to look at another Cat for sale an pickup a Snowmobile. Our Japanese work buddies thought that the 1800km (1150miles) was impossible in 3 days and thought I was insane when I told them the driving alone was only a day's worth (ok a long day).

    Up the Sea of Japan Coast

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    Lake Towada the deepest lake in Japan

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    The cat in question an '86 Hagglunds, a bit of a pig in deep snow, but a great people hauler. He only wanted about $20K usd. But it needed more than that in Parts form what I could find in 20 min of driving it and probably 200 man hours of work before I could trust it.

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    The new toy in tow

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    A nice hill roadside

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    Back at the ranch, Kiyoko loved the new sled as it is Japanses sized. It's an ancient Yamaha 340 enforcer. But 300km form new and the really special thing was it (and only this model on only for 3 model years) is road registered as a motorcycle!

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    Being end of season we dragged some of the international Ski instructors out of their little resort bubble to Yuzawa for some proper food

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    The cat had flattened it's batteries while I was away, not having anything 24v let alone long enough jump leads. I hauled out the 2 45kg (100lbs) batteries. Hooked em up to the van in Parallel and put a brick on the gas pedal (and a screwdriver under it, to limit to 4000rpm) and left em for 5 hours.

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    Taking the marking post out of the cat road. Matt isn't sitting in the safest of places

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    As I was about to head back to Cham and no one had come up with a good place to store that cat I dug a hole in the snow in the woods and parked the cat in it. The rational being it wouldn't sink when the snow melted and if no one else too responsibility for it, I could deal with it in the Autumn (fall)

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    Thus ends season one, season 2 next. Or rather fixing a cat in Autumn
    Knowledge is Powder

  16. #66
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    North Vancouver
    Posts
    6,165
    If you weren't already a legend Tom, you certainly are one now.

  17. #67
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    100'F and Muggy
    Posts
    568
    Quote Originally Posted by Idris View Post

    The cat had flattened it's batteries while I was away, not having anything 24v let alone long enough jump leads. I hauled out the 2 45kg (100lbs) batteries. Hooked em up to the van in Parallel and put a brick on the gas pedal (and a screwdriver under it, to limit to 4000rpm) and left em for 5 hours.
    Hahahaha

    Thus ends season one, season 2 next. Or rather fixing a cat in Autumn
    Can't wait.

  18. #68
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    In the rain
    Posts
    1,522
    Season 2, or rather autumn and time to fix the cat.

    I arrived in Japan in late October, quite a different looking and feeling place to what I had left in early April.

    No one had touched the cat, it was still sitting under the tarp I had thrown over it. It turns out the woods I had parked it in were very damp, very very damp.

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    The moisture had got into the cabin, the drivers cab was just yucky but the passenger box was rotten. Not nice.

    So box off and start working on the cat, track off etc.

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    To help I had dragged along a friend form Chamonix, Pedro our local mechanic, Landrover addict. Now Pedro is a miss pronunciation of Pero his Irish grand farther's name. But it suits a guy addicted to Mexican food. He is actually form PA! of a French father and Irish mom and learned his mechanics trade as a Tanker in the US forces and in car dealerships in San Diego, perfect guy to drag from Chamonix to Japan to fix a cat?
    On his 3rd day in Japan I made him walk through the woods for 2 hours to experience a real Onsen (Japanese hot spring)

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    And took him to a real noodle house

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    Oil and filter change in a Cat is just like a medium commercial truck or some agricultural equipment. The track adjusters were a bit of a fight, having not been maintained in years. Some grease, a few holes drilled for said grease and a lot of hammering and we sorted them. The coolant filter was the biggest pain, it didn't want to leave it's mounting plate!

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    Time for a new box. No half measures this time. I got a truck cab heater, simple install, power and hot water. Pain in the ar5e that hot water, had to T into the drivers cab heating system, hardest part to get to on a cat.
    Box itself we went with scaffold frame for the box and seats and skin with ply and plexi. Seats camping mat over plywood.

    Mocking up the box

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    Of course winter turns up just when you go outside

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    Nearly done

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    All done

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    I built a roof rack for the drivers cab from small diameter scaffold to hold a cascade rescue sled. Added lights and rear view camera and backup lights to the rear of the cat. Painted the outside red, the inside white and put a ski rack on the back.
    Both the snowmobiles gained A frames to stop the passenger falling off and to have something to tie skis to, along with tow hitches on both for rescue sled and utility trailer.
    Knowledge is Powder

  19. #69
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    In the rain
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    Start of season we had a big (128cm/4ft6) dump of very light snow in one night. This was on a meter (3ft) base. Trying to put a track in was a bit much.

    Knowledge is Powder

  20. #70
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Season 2

    A lot more organised, road markings

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    Better cat box

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    And of course consistent pow days

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    And storm days

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    Unlike the previous season we had a rain event or 2. This gave a base on which to stand and to ski.
    From a work standpoint it made things a lot easier
    Try unloading this for example

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    I didn't have to dig out buried people
    But there was plenty of snow to have fun with.

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    Even just a few cm of snow can be fun when there is no one else around.

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    More deep snow next

    But here is a group that enjoyed their day out.

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    Knowledge is Powder

  21. #71
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Cascades
    Posts
    381
    Quote Originally Posted by Idris View Post
    Ryuta my co worker and co guide and the only person I've ski with so far that I trust in Japan, he skis in the weirdest style. No poles and flop (rather than lean) into the turn. Ex national freestyle champion, now backcountry guide.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Any video of Ryuta? Sounds interesting.

  22. #72
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    In the rain
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddball View Post
    Any video of Ryuta? Sounds interesting.


    Although not filmed at our place, the terrain and foliage is very typical of what you would find.
    Knowledge is Powder

  23. #73
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    In the rain
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddball View Post
    Any video of Ryuta? Sounds interesting.
    His pro ski http://tj-brand.com/product/2016-201...leonfish158ski
    Knowledge is Powder

  24. #74
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wasatch
    Posts
    4,855
    This is a frigging great story Good times
    I need to go to Utah.
    Utah?
    Yeah, Utah. It's wedged in between Wyoming and Nevada. You've seen pictures of it, right?

    So after 15 years we finally made it to Utah.....


    Thanks BCSAR and POWMOW Ski Patrol for rescues

    8, 17, 13, 18, 16, 18, 20, 19, 16

    2018/2019 (4/6)

  25. #75
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Between a rock and a soft place. Aberdare and The Brecon Beacons, Wales
    Posts
    2,641
    Quote Originally Posted by Idris View Post


    Although not filmed at our place, the terrain and foliage is very typical of what you would find.
    Mental.

    Looks so awkward at times but super skilled.

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