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  1. #26
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    We've got a deposit down on guides in late january, but haven't booked anything else pending entry being allowed. Any more word on the ground that isn't in the news? look like ba.5 is crushing right now which doesn't give me any sort of hope the government will want to open soon.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtran10 View Post
    We've got a deposit down on guides in late january, but haven't booked anything else pending entry being allowed. Any more word on the ground that isn't in the news? look like ba.5 is crushing right now which doesn't give me any sort of hope the government will want to open soon.
    I don't have $ reservations.. Wishing for an open door policy later this year.... Fingers crossed for some more vaccinations that control the latest variants..that might be our only hope��
    what's so funny about peace, love, and understanding?

  3. #28
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    W23 JAPAN

    So, I went to Tohoku December 2019 for a 90-day vacay and ended up staying 16 months. During that run I was hired so the working visa allowed me to slip away and return during summer 2021 for an additional 10 months. I just got back stateside last week.

    As the guy said above, there is some optimism that borders will be wide open to tourists before first chairs in December, but people not involved in tourism remain pessimistic. The federal government has several priorities above inbound tourist promotion, and they have been generously subsidizing prefectural governments, so there is no public pressure to open the borders.

    Most domestic skiers & riders have greatly enjoyed you all not being there and they are not agitating for your return. Public opinion on the matter of open borders is split, but opinions about public safety are decidedly cautious, so one more season of closed borders is not going to upset anyone tremendously. Even the guides I spoke to were indifferent.

    Seemed to me those most interested in opening borders were Johnny-come-lately bogans who had paid too much for their coffee shops and hostels and were now sucking wind while paying mortgages. My two yen.

    While in Tohoku I visited Geto Kogen, Appi Kogen, Hyakuzawa, Owani, Hachimantai, Hakkoda, and my favorite: (______). For all the noise about Hakkoda I must say the terrain is pretty tame, and the crowd (in an off year) can still be thick. A lot of Tokyo folks mob up there.

    I spent 90 days from end of February driving a kei truck around Hokkaido and visited (in order): Rusutsu, Niseko, Iwanai, Otaru, Kiroro, Onze, Kokusai, Fu's, Teine, Asahidake, Pippu, Kamui, Furano, and Kurodake. Unless you have time and fortitude I would not go to Asahidake in January or February because the weather is weathery. But that's me, Mr Softie🍦, you guys are wayyy more core.

    If the borders are open this year I agree with dude above: It's gonna be turdshows at the big shows, so plan accordingly.

    FYI: Check Indy Pass

  4. #29
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    May 2019
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    161
    Meanwhile in Japan....


    The snowcats have morphed into laser shooting robots guarding the slopes until winter returns
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  5. #30
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    Oct 2003
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    Seattle
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    Quote Originally Posted by boltonoutlaw View Post
    I just skied more pow in the last 24 months than all of N. America combined
    FIFY

    Seriously though, it's interesting to read your report! That must have been a real trip traveling around Japan during covid. Did you work as a guide? If so, was the clientele more Japanese than the average year these days?

  6. #31
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    Jul 2022
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    I've been forwarded an e-mail by someone called Tom Bricker who works for a company called 'Travel Caffeine'. He is optimistic certainly and seems to be well-informed as to Japanese culture and news. Might be worth a look.

    In general he feels that the government there is having to do what our governments did: having overdone the corona regulations the public are now keener on restrictions than the authorities. The government has realised that the country simply cannot afford the cost of further lockdowns etc and needs a way out, pronto.

  7. #32
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    Nov 2008
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    I don’t believe anything until it happens these days…

  8. #33
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    Jul 2022
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    Yeah - not a bad view to take. I'm wondering how much of a risk to take: I think I'll book accomm as Rusutsu doesn't have much at a reasonable price and a lift pass as well. Flights etc can wait as I imagine prices will drop when they re-open and start laying on plenty of planes again.

  9. #34
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    Oct 2003
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    Tokyo
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    170
    Quote Originally Posted by jtran10 View Post
    We've got a deposit down on guides in late january, but haven't booked anything else pending entry being allowed. Any more word on the ground that isn't in the news? look like ba.5 is crushing right now which doesn't give me any sort of hope the government will want to open soon.
    There is no word on the ground in Japan. There is nothing until there is something. First the news will announce that the government is considering doing something. If several weeks pass and there is no public backlash then it will be adopted. If there is pushback then it will be blamed on an inaccurate report and such a plan will be shelved indefinitely. If you follow any major news outlet you'll get plenty of advance notice about Japan reopening to tourists.

    I also think that if one is hoping for Japan to open to tourists for this season then you should be hoping for this latest variant to spread like crazy. Japan would still most likely be using lengthy quarantines to keep covid out of the country if it wasn't for Omicron getting a foothold last December. The larger the difference in infection rates between Japan and the world the longer and more difficult it will be to reopen the country. Japan was averaging less than 100 cases/day until Omicron. Everyone freaked out in January until 100,000/day became normal. Until this month nobody was batting an eye at 50,000/day. This week it's skyrocketing but once that becomes normal it will help ease the transition to allowing the foreigners to return.

    My 2 yen anyway. I was certain Japan would be fully reopened by now but still we wait. Perhaps we'll get one more empty ski season after all...
    God created skis and surfboards to keep the truly gifted from ruling the world.

  10. #35
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    Thanks for the FIFY; almost spit my bean water

    When everyone bailed for the exits I stayed put sensing a OIAL opportunity. Did not imagine it would go three seasons.

    I was not a guide but did see many guided groups, particularly at Hakkoda, Asahidake, and Kurodake, and met some of those guides. Did join one trip at Hakkoda and was the only round-eye in that crew. That was typical. Most groups were entirely domestic.

    I did not ride much backcountry until March and April each season since my local hill was deserted week days and I was lapping chairs.



    Quote Originally Posted by Dromond View Post
    FIFY

    Seriously though, it's interesting to read your report! That must have been a real trip traveling around Japan during covid. Did you work as a guide? If so, was the clientele more Japanese than the average year these days?

  11. #36
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    Oct 2003
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    Seattle
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    Quote Originally Posted by boltonoutlaw View Post
    Thanks for the FIFY; almost spit my bean water

    When everyone bailed for the exits I stayed put sensing a OIAL opportunity. Did not imagine it would go three
    I think we can all appreciate someone with such a devotion to their craft. You said you were able to leave and return once, right? Did you stay and work during summers?

  12. #37
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    Apr 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by seemay View Post
    I've been waiting to go but obviously the C19 response killed everything off. I'm planning on seven weeks next season. Bearing in mind your advice about Niseko on this thread and that I don't want to spend huge amounts of time driving where do you think I should base myself?

    Would Rusutsu for five weeks then rent a car and go east towards Furano be sensible?

    Does the Rusutsu season pass offer discounts at Niseko/Moiwa in the same fashion as the Niseko All Mountain pass?
    With that time-frame I would be looking at a 3-centre holiday

    1. Either Niseko Resort Area or Rusutsu
    Ski Niseko United, Niseko Moiwa, Rusutsu
    Plenty of ski touring options
    If your budget allows, cat skiing and heli skiing

    2. Otaru or Sapporo
    Ski by day, enjoy city life by night
    Otaru Tenguyama, Asari, Kiroro, Sapporo Kokusai, Sapporo Teine
    A number of even smaller hills for shits and giggles

    3. Asahikawa (for city holiday) or Furano (for resort holiday)
    Kamui, Pippu, Furano, Tomamu, Sahoro, Yubari, Asahidake
    Loads of touring in Tokachidake National Park

    Need a car to get the best out of all of these areas

    Rusutsu is on the K-Pass (Kamori Winter Pass)
    (Rusutsu, Sapporo Teine, Sahoro, Nakayama Toge)

    Also on Epic Pass

    Couldn't find out any info on Rusutsu Pass offering discount in Niseko Area, but I seem to recall it's a NO

  13. #38
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    Oct 2003
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    1,281
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Pow View Post
    With that time-frame I would be looking at a 3-centre holiday

    1. Either Niseko Resort Area or Rusutsu
    Ski Niseko United, Niseko Moiwa, Rusutsu
    Plenty of ski touring options
    If your budget allows, cat skiing and heli skiing

    2. Otaru or Sapporo
    Ski by day, enjoy city life by night
    Otaru Tenguyama, Asari, Kiroro, Sapporo Kokusai, Sapporo Teine
    A number of even smaller hills for shits and giggles

    3. Asahikawa (for city holiday) or Furano (for resort holiday)
    Kamui, Pippu, Furano, Tomamu, Sahoro, Yubari, Asahidake
    Loads of touring in Tokachidake National Park

    Need a car to get the best out of all of these areas

    Rusutsu is on the K-Pass (Kamori Winter Pass)
    (Rusutsu, Sapporo Teine, Sahoro, Nakayama Toge)

    Also on Epic Pass

    Couldn't find out any info on Rusutsu Pass offering discount in Niseko Area, but I seem to recall it's a NO
    Thanks Mike!. Please give me your Instagram again.. I stopped following you somehow and can't remember your Insta ID
    what's so funny about peace, love, and understanding?

  14. #39
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    Jul 2022
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    8
    Mike, do you or anyone else have a pass from Rusutsu last year? I ask as there's a 5% discount available if you mention their name/pass number when buying for 22/23.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by up an down View Post
    Thanks Mike!. Please give me your Instagram again.. I stopped following you somehow and can't remember your Insta ID
    My pleasure

    https://www.instagram.com/mikethesnow/

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by seemay View Post
    Mike, do you or anyone else have a pass from Rusutsu last year? I ask as there's a 5% discount available if you mention their name/pass number when buying for 22/23.
    Sorry, no

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dromond View Post
    I think we can all appreciate someone with such a devotion to their craft. You said you were able to leave and return once, right? Did you stay and work during summers?
    6 on 6 off schedule

  18. #43
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    Sep 2005
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    Wasatch Back: 7000'
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    I just read that the 2030 Olympics is Sapporo's, if desired (The Park Record)
    “How does it feel to be the greatest guitarist in the world? I don’t know, go ask Rory Gallagher”. — Jimi Hendrix

  19. #44
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    Keep Tacoma Feared
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    Good luck hosting ski racing during February when it doesn't stop snowing. The skiing events prefer places like China, where it doesn't snow.

  20. #45
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    Was not a problem in 1972

    Quote Originally Posted by altasnob View Post
    Good luck hosting ski racing during February when it doesn't stop snowing. The skiing events prefer places like China, where it doesn't snow.

  21. #46
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    Jan 2005
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    I wonder if they will try to put the downhill and super G on Mt Eniwa again? The downhill course in 72 was built in a National Park on the condition that it be completely removed after the games (which it was at the cost of 160 million yen). Can't think of any existing already cut ski runs on Hokkaido with the requisite vert and pitch as required by the FIS.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by altasnob View Post
    I wonder if they will try to put the downhill and super G on Mt Eniwa again? The downhill course in 72 was built in a National Park on the condition that it be completely removed after the games (which it was at the cost of 160 million yen). Can't think of any existing already cut ski runs on Hokkaido with the requisite vert and pitch as required by the FIS.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I've toured there and skied that area

    Back to wilderness

    Amazing views

    Proposed course for downhill is off 'The Peak' at Niseko United down through the closed area between Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri

    Long enough and steep enough

  23. #48
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    Jan 2005
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    Interesting. So cut a new run down the face below? What are the odds they will get 6+ days of good visibility in a two week window in February so they can host mens/womans DH/SG and the training runs? They didn't have the Super G event in 72.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  24. #49
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    Slim odds. Source is snow-forecast.com

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by altasnob View Post
    What are the odds they will get 6+ days of good visibility in a two week window in February so they can host mens/womans DH/SG and the training runs?

  25. #50
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    Nov 2008
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    Gonna be pretty sweet to finally have that part of the mountain opened up to skiing!

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