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Old 01-13-2013, 04:50 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Ahh Ippy, will I give up the goods just like that?

Not on our first date.c
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:01 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilpea View Post
I have a trip booked to Niseko again this year (March) but next year would love to try somehwere else. The hubby and I are into the snowboarding but equally into the food and relax aspects. Your business idea sounds like it would appeal to the time-poor set, if you could offer the full package - ie arrange airport transfers, accomodation, show the best places on the mountain and some technique improvements. We are expats living close to Japan (on a formerly Japanese island) and did consider branching away from Niseko this year but decided in the end due to our lack of language skills and tight schedule that we'd stick with the known area.

By the way, do you have any good contacts or recommendations for some instructor/guides in Niseko? We're considering taking a private guide for some good off-piste without ending up having to walk out of gullies etc.
We are offering custom packages for small high end groups. We can tailor the length and contents to suit the group and organize everything needed while in Japan.

Including travel within Japan, translation, exclusive places to stay and eat that would only usually only be available to Japanese speakers.
As I said in earlier posts we have top class guides and coaches.

As for now I will ask the guys about a guide in Hokkaido.

How serious do you want to get?

Full on hiking in the BC? Maybe a CAT tour with a guide (no hiking) or just someone to show you around a resort and the back door runs?
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:07 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Curious for deets. i doubt id be doing the tour if its just what i think it is. But would be interested in finding some of the lesser known nozawa lines.
so, you don't want to take his tour, you just want his info so you can do the lines yourself stay classy
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:06 PM   #24 (permalink)
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any recommended fun spots to grab a drink in NISEKO?
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:05 PM   #25 (permalink)
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so, you don't want to take his tour, you just want his info so you can do the lines yourself stay classy
You miss-read what i wrote. I live in the area, i have a nozawa season pass, i spend a considerable period of my day in the slackcountry there. Im pretty aware of most of the lines he'll likely be riding if its lift accessed and grey area stuff. So i dont need to do a tour that tells me where they are. I would however be up for one that is a bit more interesting and isnt just popping under the ropes and hitting up ta~~~i.

(i should also add that i didnt mention specific lines that i know about PRECISELY because hes trying to plug his tours - ive also edited out of this thread the phrase (and he likely knows what it is) of one of the best poachable lines, and from where you drop in to find it. Again, its not something i care about others knowing personally and im happy to show or tell anyone how to get there (i think the nozawa review i wrote last year pretty much tells you rather direct), but its likely one of the lines he'll send you to once hes comfortable with your ability and happy that its safe to ride. Im not here to shit on his endeavor, im actually happy to hear there are nozzie tours. I do however want to know what hes offering and whether its worth it - and since i dont really care about coaching (im shit anyways and too old to give a crap)) its pretty much all about the lines.

Last edited by ippy; 01-15-2013 at 04:18 AM.
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:36 AM   #26 (permalink)
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A quick additional general point about Nozawa.

Nozawa is pretty dangerous. Because its kinda flat in teh middle and because loads of people duck ropes on it or slide those grey areas in the various tree runs, its easy to let your guard down on it. But there are plenty of cliffs, plenty of places youll get stuck, and plenty of areas you can seriously fuck up your day by ending up in a stream or triggering a slide. Its also very easy to get lost in and lose your bearings. Theres a great thread on ski.com.au with some fun horror stories about it. Theres a particularly funny account of one person taking one run on the line hinted at above and witnessing 3 slides. 2 of which they triggered and got a waist deep burial, and one they saw that was apparently rather large but didnt come on their line. Its a tempestuous line that you really should be more educated about before hitting it up. Then theres the story of the dude who popped towards said line, went too far, and turned up four days later the next village over. I dont recall hearing about any deaths so far, but the slackcountry is busy and i rarely see anyone with safety gears (unlike at kagura or niseko which honestly both have much more straightforward slackcountry thanks in part to kagura being very straightforward/flattish with the real slackcountry requiring a decent hike, and niseko offering the gates system). Its also predominantly japanese people riding these lines before people talk about gaijins ruining it for everyone.

So yeah, take a guided tour if youre unfamiliar with it. I strongly recommend it. Because i do explore things, Ive ridden up to a couple of seriously drops trying to tease lines out a little further than i should have and got myself in a little over my head on other occasions. When it gets deep as well, it can get pretty serious (took a header under the lifts at yamabiko a week or two ago and ended up in one of those nasty bottomless dives. If i was going faster then it could have been pretty nasty). Definitely be careful on that mountain (any mountain of course!), but that one particularly because it seems more simple and straightforward than it in fact is.

Last edited by ippy; 01-15-2013 at 04:21 AM.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:53 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Yeah Ippy,
I know what you are talking about. We won't be hitting THAT run because its potentially lethal and one of the biggest problems is the number of people who don't have the skills or knowledge to be in there (not saying thats you, its as you say mostly young Japanese guys) . I have seen some absolute ridiculous stuff in there.

If the snow conditions are very stable its not that dangerous because of the abundance of small trees buried underneath the first 2 meters of snow. Lots of anchors. If conditions get bad it can slide for sure.

You are guessing right and I doubt we will do much you don't already know about on the tour. Maybe a few little pow stashes or lines you might not know that I have discovered in the last 5 years riding Nozawa. Its going to be mellow and sociable and I will have to adjust to the level of the worst rider in my group. At the moment it looks like 8 people (all Japanese) and we will probably do a few runs all together then split into 2 level based groups.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:26 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I wouldnt say im not one of them. Im an opportunist and i make decisions disproprotionately based on numbers of lines i see heading in a direction. I do look for cracks there though, and do a few cuts and jumps just to get the feel of it on my first run down each time im there. If i plan on riding it beforehand ill also have my beacon, probe, shovel, but if not, i wont.

Its super dangerous not necessarily because of the line itself (which is super dangeours, but probably no more so than any backcountry line with a slide path leading into trees), but because its so easy to find and access.

You speak with the patrol, so you probably know the answer. But whats their actual policy on it? ive never seen them enforce the rope there. But nor do they publicise information on stability ratings in off piste areas.

They need to decide what theyre doing with it to be honest. They need to either have zero tolerance on it and pull passes at the entrance/exit of it, or they need to have a gate system on it (or at the very least inspect it daily and publish a report on it). I know gates sounds more dangerous, but if you learn nothing else from niseko, the one thing you learn is that when its shut, its shut with good reason. And if theres one thing you learn about japan its that when people know theyre leaving the resort they usually come prepared (the sheer number of bags of gear you can find in kagura at lunchtime tells you that those people aint dicking about).

I appreciate its a dangerous run, but the resort honestly needs to take responsibility for it. It needs to protect against people riding it completely, or it needs to carry out scheduled checks on the snowpack and publicise this info so people can at least have some information about it and at least have some kind of idea on when to risk it. As you say, when its stable its fine, ive never ridden it yet when its unstable, and its certainly pretty decent. But once that avi level goes up to moderate or severe then id probably think twice on hitting it. Throw in a gate when they can shut it on slide days and youll have a much safer and more aware public on not just that line, but also on most of the lines in and around nozawa.

In addition, the sheer number of tracks as well as the cut up state of it last saturday (first day i popped in it this year and i was GOBSMACKED at how tracked it was), tells you that its a pretty popular run now and really serves to illustrate that this is a decision they should be taking sooner rather than later. Maybe they could go tomamu and do a bib system. There are ways to regulate it. I just dont think roping it off and assuming the rope is enough to deter all but the most determined is the way. Well, not without consistent and regular enforcement.
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