Stories, pictures and video from the mountains of Hokkaido

Posts tagged “skiing

Deepest day so far at Teine

Saturday Feb 22nd

We had planned to hit Rusutsu on Saturday, but after hearing that it had been dumping all day Friday in Sapporo, we changed our plans hoping for an epic day at Teine. We weren’t disappointed. It was the deepest snow we’ve had there this season. Faceshots and no consequence drops were the order of the day. Big smiles and high fives all round.

Clare’s pole and forearm

Hattie in bowl 4

As always, the further we went into the bowls, the better it got. We ventured out as far as 6 and 7 which gave us some great views over the bay.

Florent warming up in bowl 6

Scenic shot overlooking the bay

We had been eyeing up a big pillow and dropping off the side of it, getting progressively bigger. On the last run of the day Flo (aka Air New Zealand) sacked up and hit it straight on carrying alot of speed and stomped the landing.

Air New Zealand

We got a little bit of video, but not much as we were too stoked on riding to get the camera out too much. Most of the decent footage was of Flo:

 

 

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Hiking Asahidake

February 15th 2014

The summit of Asahidake from the base of the ropeway

Asahidake, an active volcano, is the tallest mountain in Hokkaido at 2290m. There is a single ropeway which ascends to about 1500m, from which you can access a ton of different lines, from pillows in the trees, to alpine style chutes. On Saturday morning the sky was clear, the wind was low and the ropeway was busy, so we made the call to hike for the summit. From the top station, there is a mellow skintrack to a hut at the base of the crater, followed by a steep hike up the ridgeline around the crater to the top.

Heading up the skintrack

The volcano still pumps out smoke, and stinks of sulphur

Fumeroles billowing steam

The wind had been strong during the week, so the ridgeline was windblown and very icy. We abandoned our skins once we got higher up and bootpacked the rest of the way to the summit.

Bootpacking up the south ridge

Lone climber taking ‘route one’, going straight up the middle of the crater

Final push for the top

The wind really picked up by the time we got to the summit and the sky had turned overcast. We didn’t stick around, just enough time for a couple of quick photos before clipping into our skis and heading down the backside of the mountain. The wind scoured snow was pretty unpleasant skiing, with only a few pockets of powder in the gullys. It was worth the effort though to bag the summit of Hokkaido’s highest mountain in mid-winter.

On top of Hokkaido. 2290m.

Hiking buddy and Team Daiso member, Ross Nixon

Stoked summit photo

 


A few shots from Sapporo Teine

Sat Feb 8th

It was a stunning day at Teine on Saturday with incredible views over the Sea of Japan and downtown Sapporo. There wasn’t too much fresh snow, and the bowls were quickly tracked out as it was a busy day for powder hungry foreign riders. We didn’t get too many powder shots, but hit the park in the afternoon, where the bottom kicker has been set up to give an incredible backdrop for photos.

Toshi styling it over the city

Scrappy looking jump, beautiful backdrop

View of downtown Sapporo from Teine Highland

 

Tues Feb 11th

Tuesday was a public holiday, so we got a bonus day on the hill. It turned out to be a real bonus. Alot of Hokkaido has been hurting for snow for the past few days, so we didn’t expect great things from Teine. But we were wrong. Snow had been falling steadily overnight, so we had 30cm or more of light powder. It seemed like we were the only people lapping the bowls, so we got line after line of faceshots.

Clare in bowl 4

Deep untracked powder. This is what Teine is all about.

Grady laying down a slash turn

Grady and I found a nice big drop that neither of us had hit before. It’s way out beyond bowl 5, so the landing was totally untouched and deep. We went for it, and caught it on video:

 

 


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

Toshi

Dan

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!

 

 

 


A Weekend at Rusutsu

January 25th and 26th

We skied at Rusutsu both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. We stayed at Iwanai overnight on Friday and Saturday, giving us an easy drive up to the ski hill each morning. The weather had been really warm, with rain on Friday. Saturday it was still warm, with a dusting of new snow with a hard crust underneath. Sunday was way better, with 10 to 15 centimetres of new snow.

Clare skiing crusty snow on Saturday

Mike taking too much speed into a natural hit and getting off axis!

We headed over to West Mountain after lunch on Saturday to check out the new Sidecountry Park.¬†With the crappy snow and bombed out landings, we weren’t going anywhere near the features. It’ll need a deep powder day for most of the drops and jibs to be rideable by even the best amateur riders! We headed further down West Mountain and spent a couple of hours at the end of the day lapping the terrain park. First time I’ve been in there and I was impressed with the setup. Although the landings were surprisingly hard! I’ll be back in the spring for sure.

Mike getting more comfortable in the air

With more snow on Saturday we had alot more fun. Lots of nice lines in the trees, and a few drops. Plus, I was using poles again, so I felt more comfortable and balanced on my skis.

Powder lines in the trees

Hitting the classic Rusutsu chairlift drop

Also on Sunday, we saw the crew from Nimbus Independent who are in Hokkaido for a month or so skiing and filming. I got a photo with a skiing hero of mine, Eric Pollard. Stoked to meet them, and to see them shredding at one of our home mountains!

With Eric Pollard. Getting photo bombed in the background by Pep Fujas

The wind really picked up on Sunday afternoon and it got pretty unpleasant on the mountain. We called it at around 2, and hit the road. Hopefully the wind and unsettled weather will bring more snow this week.