Stories, pictures and video from the mountains of Hokkaido

Mount Racey

March video edit

My friend Sam Brotherwood visited Hokkaido for 5 days in mid March. He just finished putting together an edit with the footage he got.

Here it is. Enjoy.

Final Park Session at Mount Racey

March 29th/30th

The park at Mount Racey has been getting bigger and better as the season progresses. Unfortunately though, all good things come to an end, and this weekend was Racey’s closing weekend.¬†We’ve had some great days in the powder and the park at Yubari this year, and we finished off with a beautiful sunny day lapping the park.

Shinya 540 blunt

Rory on the flat box



Mike getting comfortable in the air

Mike was hitting the biggest kicker in the park with ease by the end of the day, but it took him a few slams to get it right…

Eating snow

The snow has really suffered from all the sunshine we’ve had over the past week or so. There were quite alot of bare patches showing through and one really long stretch of grass, which I just had to ski!

Not always Ezo pow!

It was a wicked final session at Racey. It’s a real hidden gem that very few visitors know about. We haven’t had a bad day there all winter!

Mount Racey Powder Day

Feb 1st 2014

Toshi getting deep at Yubari

We had planned to go to Teine on Saturday, but the forecast had strong winds which we thought might close the upper lifts. So we decided to go to Racey, which is more sheltered from the weather. As soon as we arrived, we realised we’d made a good decision. Probably 30cm of fresh snow had fallen overnight, ontop of a load of untouched snow from the previous snowfall. We lapped the gondola, finding new lines filled with deep light snow.

Clare, all smiles



Riding switch in the pow, inspired by meeting Eric Pollard!

After a late lunch we hit the park for an hour or so. It’s starting to look really decent with 2 very nice sized kickers and some creative jibs. I’m looking forward to a few sunny park days over there in March.

Toshi styling it out

Fun hip / wallride feature

Racey isn’t a particularly well known ski area, especially with foreigners. So when it does snow, there’s never any competition for fresh tracks. It’s not huge, but it has some really decent lines and bowls if you know where to go. It’s a real hidden gem, but don’t tell anyone!




Teine and Racey Again

This was more or less a repeat of last weekend. If it ain’t broke, right?! Saturday it was Teine, with a crew of mostly skiers, plus Toshi holding it down for the snowboarders. Weather was pretty decent so we had great views over the city and the bay. The snow was still nice and deep, especially further out in the bowls.

Grady getting the scenic shot dropping into Bowl 1

View over Ishikari Bay

Top of Bowl 4

The park has been set up at the top of Highland, and for a change, it doesn’t suck!

Grady getting deep

Dropping pillows

There was no new snow on Saturday night, but plenty of sunshine in the forecast for Sunday so we decided to head for Mount Racey. We mostly stayed on piste and in the park. The incredible weather more than made up for the lack of fresh snow.

Panorama from the top

Hitting rollers

Still a few pow stashes to be had

Video edit from the weekend. The Africa Edit


A Deep Weekend

The January snow keeps coming. We had a three day weekend and each day the snow got deeper and deeper. This is what Central Hokkaido is all about.

Saturday 11th at Mount Racey in Yubari, a town famous for $10,000 melons and a bankrupt local government. It doesn’t often get as much snow as elsewhere, so I usually only go there in the spring for their excellent terrain park. Saturday was different though.

Cold light Hokkaido powder at Mount Racey

On Sunday we headed to Sapporo Teine. It was dumping all day. Poor visibility meant we only ventured into bowls 1 and 2, but we still got fresh lines well into the afternoon. The camera was pretty much useless in the bad weather.

Clare in bowl 2 at Teine

Monday was back to Teine with Grady and Meghan. The visibility was better so we ventured further along the summit ridge. Bowls 4 and 5 were chest deep and we had our choice of lines all day.

A glimpse of blue sky as Grady drops into another pillow line

Deep in bowl 4.5

It was good to meet another skier, Urban from Switzerland. He’s finished his post at Hokkaido University and is taking a month off to ski. Great timing!

Urban on the mellow run out to the traverse

Superhero snow!

An awesome weekend, and the deepest turns of the season so far. The snow looks set to continue, so next weekend should be equally good!