Stories, pictures and video from the mountains of Hokkaido

Nakayama Touge

100 Day Season and an East Hokkaido Roadtrip

April

We haven’t really been riding much recently. We’ve had a couple of visitors, and some weekends of rainy weather. I did have one really good day down at Nakayama Touge last Monday. The park down there is in good shape and due to stay open for the spring period and into May.

Spring Park at Nakayama Touge

I also bagged my 100th day of the season. It’s the second time I’ve managed a 100 day season here in Hokkaido. The last time was in 2011/12 when I got 102 days. I’m hoping to comfortably break that record by the end of the month!

At Sapporo Teine, 100th day for the season.

We missed a weekend skiing when we headed out to Eastern Hokkaido with my brother who was visiting earlier in April. We were lucky with the weather and saw some really spectacular scenery. A few photos:

Kurodake. They say there’s no steep terrain in Hokkaido.

Oakan-dake at sunset with Meakan smoking in the distance

Lake Kussharo from Bihoro Touge. Shari dake in the distance.

Not eastern Hokkaido, but Lake Shikotsu, near Chitose. We hiked Fuppushi-dake straight after picking up my brother from the airport. View of Yotei, Shiribetsu-dake and Rusutsu resort in the distance.

After some crap weather last week, the forecast is looking more promising for the coming weekend. Hoping to get a final lift access day at Teine, and then a park session at Nakayama Touge. After that, we’ll be hiking for turns.

Advertisements

Finishing the Season at Nakayama Touge

Nakayama Touge

Yotei from Nakayama Touge

We finished off the 2013/14 season just before Golden Week with a park session down at Nakayama. This is where we had our first lift served day almost six months ago. A very different vibe down there this time. T-shirts, sunglasses and park hits were the theme of the day. The park setup was looking really nice, a solid jib line and small rhythm jumps high up, leading down to a couple of nice large step down jumps lower down.

Park hits and slush. Good times

Two large step downs at the bottom of the park

It was fairly busy with local riders getting their last fix for the season. There was some real talent on show, especially some of the young rippers, probably half our age but going twice as big!

Local kids lining up to hit the bottom kickers

We had a good days riding though, slowly building up to hitting the biggest features and finishing off the season on a high.

Mike spinning and getting corked

Dub 10 from Riot Skis Rider Tsubasa ‘TBS’ Tanimura

The old favourite, 360 mute. I’ll learn some new tricks next year, definitely

Down at the bottom of the slope were a load of different demo tents and the smell of grilled meat wafting from the numerous yakiniku BBQs. A very pleasant way to spend a spring day.

Demo tents and barbeques

So that’s it for the resort skiing, but definitely not the end of the season. There’s still turns to be earned with some spring touring. Even with the super warm weather we’ve had in Hokkaido through May, the snow sticks around in the hills for weeks after the lifts stop turning. Stay tuned!


Hokkaido Season Edit

 

This isn’t all skiing, but a general Hokkaido winter edit, by Dan Andrews. Nice work Dan, great edit. Shame about the Coldplay soundtrack.


Nakayama Touge, November 23rd 2013

Nakayama Touge. Busy carpark and cars parked all along the access road.

Perched on the pass between Sapporo and Rusutsu, Nakayama Touge is one of Hokkaido’s smaller ski areas. Thanks to its position in the mountains, it is usually one of the first hills to open and almost always the last to close. It’s somewhere we rarely go, except in the autumn, when they have decent early snow, and late season, when they have a legit terrain park. It only has a single chairlift and a short, relatively mellow slope.

At this time of year, and with the warm weather during the week, I was more than happy to make the drive out to Nakayama to get our first lift served skiing of the year. With only a few hills open (Kokusai and Rusutsu being the other two options) it was always going to be busy. The lift line was 10-15 minutes or so for a chairlift ride of about 5 minutes!

Quite a wait for the lift. 10-15 minutes, for a short uplift.

We got there early, so the snow was still decent through the morning. Boot deep powder at the edge of the piste. Lots of lumps and rollers all over the place so we had fun jumping around and making the most of the short run.

Having fun on the small lumps and rollers

Soft snow in places

Clare, first day back on skis this winter

We were riding with Hattie, Dan and Mike who also got the K-Pass this year. Hopefully this’ll be our regular crew for the winter.

The K-Pass Crew. From left Hattie, Mike, Dan and Clare.

A fun morning, good to get back on the snow and start finding our feet again. Hopefully after some rain on Monday, we’ll get some decent snow through the week. Teine should be open next Saturday, so we’ll be heading there if mother nature cooperates…