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onji 12-08-2011 01:46 AM

Rusutsu, Hokkaido, Japan
Date: 3-4th of Dec 2011

Lifts Open: Isola #1 Quad

Pistes Open: Steamboat A, Steamboat B

Snow: about 7cm of fresh snow on day 1, about 5-10 fresh, heavy, wet pow on day 2

Since this was the beginning of the season for Rusutsu there weren't that many people and they only opened up 2 pistes, although there was enough snow about to ride a significant portion of the mountain.

On day 1 it was f**king windy and icy at the summit of Mt Isola, but once you descended into the treeline it was pretty pleasant well groomed runs with powder stashes either side. Some minor tree runs *might* have been possible but I wasn't game considering the snow depth. The quality of snow on Steamboat B was a bit icier. At about mid day some fresh started falling, by 14:00 it was dumping and continued through the night.

On day 2 there was very little wind, and the snow above the treeline was very nice. There was a whiteout all day and visibility was about 50m at the start of the day (severe hangover didn't help either). There was a lot of fresh powder, but unfortunately most of it had been groomed, and the guy operating the snowcat of Steamboat A must've been hungover too, there was a trench about 20cm in diameter running down the top half of the run which surprised me a couple of times in the low visibility. You could duck the rope and ride through the Rusutsu No1 piste and cut some fresh powder. After about 14:00 the whiteout really turned it on and reduced visibility to about the distance between 2 ski lifts.

All in all a good trip out considering the relative lack of snowfall in Hokkaido over Nov/Dec, pity the whiteout, and hangover, on Sunday killed it a little.

pjstyles 12-08-2011 03:11 AM

This lack of snow is really killing me.

onji 12-08-2011 03:32 AM

It says you're in Tohoku... You guys still haven't got any snow?

Are you on the east side?

pjstyles 12-08-2011 06:06 AM

iwate prefecture to be exact. we have snow but not enough to get things going. the weather has been really variable. the past three weekends have been nothing but rain. i was able to get my first runs a couple of weeks ago but the snow melted the day after.

pjstyles 12-08-2011 06:41 AM

have you hit up Sapporo Kokusai or Kiroro yet?

dreampow 12-09-2011 03:11 AM

Nozawa onsen in Nagano has 40cm up top of the mountain and will probably be able open next week.

This is where I do most of my riding.
Would love to try out your guys areas too but its just so convenient a 4 hour drive up to Nozawa and it has amazing side country.

I may make a trip up to Hokkaido at some point.

Let me know if either of you find yourselves in Nagano.

onji 12-09-2011 04:01 AM

Hey pjstyles.

I hit up Kokusai on Nov 23. Couldn't have asked for better conditions considering the relatively little snowfall we've received. We got 5cm of fresh, very little wind, and not a cloud in the sky. Lovely weather :D

Dreampow, you'll be 1st on my list if I'm in Nagano. I guess we're pretty spoiled in Sapporo, I can get on the train and be at my local (Teine) in about an hour.

We got a good, but brief, load of snow today. I'm looking forward to riding it in the BC at Daisetsuzan. Should be a cold one tomorrow around -19C :cool:

killclimbz 12-09-2011 06:51 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Damn, so it's been a slow start in Japan too? Lame. I am loving the core Japanese rider group we are getting here. This is good stuff imo...

snowvols 12-09-2011 08:35 AM

Pics or none of it has happened. I don't believe you guys are in Japan so please prove me wrong with some stoke :thumbsup:

onji 12-09-2011 03:58 PM

Some pics of the Rusutsu weekend
This was my 30th, so most of the photos involve varying levels of debauchery.... and.... didn't make the cut.

I'm the dude with the helmet.

I'm off to the BC in Daisetsuzan today, I'll actually try and take some decent photos.

By the way is there any etiquette with regards to max image size, etc.

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