My trip to Japan this year started with a missed flight the day after my Birthday (January 26th) that I celebrated at the P-dog in Alta. I rebooked and changed my plans just a bit, but it ended up working out in my favor. My new ticket took me to Hawaii for a 24 hour layover, the tickets you can find on Kiwi.com are pretty bizarre!
A layover in Hawaii? Sure why not!
I showed up to Hakuba just as a sunny window in the Alpine was approaching. I linked up with Colter and stayed on his floor at the lodge as we geared up for our mission into the highest peaks of the Japanese Alps.
A few scenes from the top of Hakuba, the top of the Japanese Alps, basically the top of the world!
It was a dream come true to show up in Japan with a few days of cold arctic air and sunshine in the forecast. Also to be there with my favorite ski partner, you can’t plan to hard for something like this! I have to thank my favorite bar tenders in the world up in Alta who helped me celebrate the best birthday of my life! It was go time and Colter and I got on first chair and got a few thousand feet of elevation head start on our 2k vert of skinning off the top of the highest chairlift.
Flipping out in Japan.
Our run was unreal, blower pow up top and playful terrain below with the snow quality being prime all the way into the canyons outrun below. Navigating these canyons was a bit of a chore and we crossed our fingers we would be able to make it out before dark. We ended up at the 7-11 at sunset and I ate the best tasting corn dog of my life in the 7-11 parking lot!! Wow... Japan doesn’t get much better than this. Oh yeah and then we finished off this epic day with a night of partying at White Hakuba while our friend DJ'ed, the Capitań!
The best corn dog ever after the best ski day ever!
Ducking under the rainbow tree.
After three solid days in Hakuba which included a down day hanging with the monkeys, I headed to the North Island to meet up with Caldera guides along with my girlfriend Megan!l We had an awesome cabin at the base of Grand Hirafu in Niseko walking distance to the chairlifts. Since we had so many days here (I think 8 full ski days) we mixed it up with resort days and ski touring days.
Touring is a great way to see the country, and get away from the resort crowds!
Touring was an easy way to find fresh untracked pow, and with snow falling every day of our trip it was easy for us to find the goods. Resort days were great and full of untracked snow, but the problem then became skiing to much and being fatigued and just plain exhausted from long ski days! We had to visit the Onsen often to keep us going and the rejuvenate ourselves because the snow was just to good to take a rest day. The cabin was cozy but cabin fever would take over if I had to sit in there all day.
Pow Pow Pow and don't forget night skiing!
If you travel to Japan I suggest taking a day to visit Tokyo on the way home. Of course I am always to excited to get to the snow, so I plan a day in Tokyo to decompress at the end of my ski adventure. After going to Japan twice I have made a stop in Tokyo both times. I have learned how to navigate the subways and find cool places to visit.
Visiting a Temple in Tokyo!
I hope I get back to Japan in the near future, thanks again to Caldera Guides for showing me a good time!
Huge Thanks to the guides!
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This trip to Japan was monumental. Kai’s first International trip and my first time competing in the Freeride World Tour! Our team was ecstatic and excited to be traveling to the land of Powder. We had our camera crew and we were ready to see if Kai could tunnel his way through the deep snow of Japan. Kai already scored some deep days at his home resort of Targhee but would it prepare him for the deepest snow in the world? We would soon find out. Kai and I showed up in Tokyo and