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Discussion Starter #1
so, after waiting for a bit too long to get everything sorted out for my trips this year i have the following booked:

  • hakuba, japan: 21/2/2020 - 8/3/2020
  • park city, utah: 14/3/2020 - 27/3/2020
the japan trip is a solo mission, will be with a group at park city. not going to be able to make a 3rd trip as i have some family commitments to fulfill that will take the rest of my leave.

been aching to get out into the snow ... let's get this season going :)
 

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I hope the temps fall for you in Japan.....Hakuba is forecast to be +8 degrees this weekend :(
It's been a shitty winter. Hokkaido is still doing fine though temps wise, a little less snow though.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
update: got back from japan yesterday, here's a brief rundown of what happened

  • flight was fine, just takes a while
  • luggage did not arrive with me in tokyo
  • lost 3 days slope time due to above luggage issue
  • bus ride up to hakuba was good, except for the torrential rain
  • once i finally got onto the hills things looked very different to last year
  • zero snow on the lower parts of most resorts meant reduced riding opportunities and having to take the lift down to base at a lot of the resorts
  • first snow was on the second saturday (whole day of horizontal snow, not strong enough wind to close the upper gondolas/lifts)
  • the above snowfall lasted well all told
  • met 2 aussies and showed them around (shout out to m & g ... hope you are not put off japan and come back to expereince all the goodness and not have to hear me say "this is amazing, with a bit more snow" ever again;)
  • next snowfall was the following thursday, which had almost every resort basically shut (i got in a few sneaky runs of some of the untouched stuff that nobody else thought to do)
  • went to 4 resorts on thursday just to get some riding in, ended up at goryu and rode one run for a few hours until closing time
  • the following day (friday) was clear skies and no wind ... ie get out there early
  • the day was great, apart from some high speed tree pinball caused by yours truely being a bit over eager and not respecting the conditions. almost payed dearly for it (twice)
  • last half day was spent on a rather icey iwatake before the bus ride back to tokyo and getting to the capsule hotel at narita
  • thought of the trip: you get what you get, adjust expectations and activities accordingly ... or you will have a bad time
conclusion:
  • i will be back to the land of the rising sun, maybe try out some other locations to get some variety
  • may need to get some snowshoes and get out into the backcountry for my powder fix
 

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This winter has been a bit of a bust for sure. For us living here we can pick n choose our days to get the goods (Friday 2 weeks ago was pretty epic at Kagura) but appreciate for those living out with Japan, you don't have that luxury. You gotta book flights and hotels long in advance. Hokkaido, whilst still being low on snow compared to normal, has fared much better than Honshu, mainly missing the rain events and high temps. Hoping to get out next Tuesday again, after the forecasted storm over the weekend ends.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
update:
  • headed off on morning of 14/3/2020 to park city, utah
  • flight was not a problem, but had to wait for 5 hours for the rest of the group to arrive as they were on different flights
  • got the transfer in to where we were staying in park city ... very nice place
  • arrived at around 2130 local time
  • someone switched on the tv ... to see the announcement from vail resorts that they would be closing all of their resots the next day (15/3/2020)
  • find next available direct flight back from salt lake city, book it and arrange transfer
  • spend the morning of 15/3/2020 walking around the area and having a few drinks at a local bar/eatery
  • barman tells us that everything in park city apart from grocery stores and pharmacies will be closing on 16/17th
  • get transfer back to slc airport
  • arrive back back home this afternoon (16/3/2020)
this was not the trip to utah i was looking forward to :/
 
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