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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Japanese snow-immersion accidents?

    Hi all!

    At NSAW this weekend, after a great talk about snow-immersion suffocation from Paul Baugher, discussion turned to snow-immersion accidents in Japan.

    As often with Japanese snow-data, especially for foreigners, it can be difficult to pull up incidents with an internet search. From personal experience and anecdotes of friends, some requiring help to get out of deep snow even on benign slopes, I know that the snow-immersion hazard in Japan is substantial.

    Can any of you point to documented incidents or simply share anecdotes of deep-snow incidents you or your partners might have observed in Japan?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    N side, Terrace, BC
    No serious incidents to report but I will say the few days I hard boot boarded (out of the 20 odd that I skied there) were heads up hockey. You wanted to plan your line carefully and avoid falling or stopping. We were skiing deep snow (30 to 90cm + foot pen) most days. I would be very surprised if there wasn't a significant number of very serious incidents every season, especially among boarders and specifically beginner/intermediate riders.
    Last edited by garyfromterrace; 11-21-2023 at 04:29 PM. Reason: Grammar
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    I don't have any reports, just my own anecdotal stuff. Japan is the first place I regularly get snowed out. The first and only time in the US was Jackson Hole. But it's quite frequent in JP to just go home. I think people have quite good instincts and as such, there are few documented reports of needing rescue. When the snow is blower, waist-deep, and you can feel the base, it's almost not even fun. It's scary.

    "I feel like I'm being swallowed."

    The snow will just move with you. It's not like traditional slough that moves along the surface when you disturb the snowpack. The whole snowpack moves with you. It's creepy as hell. And it's super easy to justify going home. It's noticeable early morning in those mellow meadows on the way to my usual lines. I'll just be cruising a 20* field to my next chair, waist-deep and effortless and it's crystal clear that I am not going on anything steeper than that super chill field. And then it becomes unfun.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Thank you for your thoughts/anecdotes. Paul's definitely interested in connecting with snow-pros over there who have experience with immersion accidents, especially if there are folks who maintain an aggregation of immersion accidents.

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