Richard's Report - Friday, 27 February 2009 5:30:42 PM

A Very Late Season or a Very Poor Season?

Around Feb 15th heavy snow began to fall on the island of Hokkaido. I was lucky enough to have continual snowfalls for the following 8 days. During this time I skied 3 different resorts and had some days with knee-deep snow and an occasional face shot. Despite stories of some getting waist-deep powder, the Japanese snow season was not up to par. Niseko (generally considered to have the deepest snow in Japan) would normally have had a base depth at this time between 4 and 5 metres but was struggling to hit 3 metres. At the time of this report, Niseko had finally reached a base depth of 3.6 metres.

The snow was generally wetter and heavier than in past years spent in Japan and there appeared to be more wind blowing across the island than I could remember. This also impacted on the snow quality. Sapporo airport was again closed last weekend due to heavy storms Ė luckily I was in a ski resort at the time.

Rosco leads the merry band of powder hunters up another hill
Rosco leads the merry band of powder hunters up another hill

Rosco (aka SnowFighter) savours his reward
Rosco (aka SnowFighter) savours his reward

Traktorman
Traktorman

Imōto
Imōto

Button
Button

SnowFighter (Orange) and SnowFighter (Red)
SnowFighter (Orange) and SnowFighter (Red)

Can you see his track?
Can you see his track?

One resort required you to wear a target to go off piste
One resort required you to wear a target to go off piste

Oops Ė a snow cat driverís worst nightmare
Oops Ė a snow cat driverís worst nightmare

Thatís a person standing above and a gondola below
Thatís a person standing above and a gondola below

The CMC Country Music Festival in Thredbo is only 7 days away. A couple of cold changes next week should keep temps at an alpine level and may even keep the flies away.

Disclaimer: 
The views and opinions expressed on this page are my own personal observations and in no way represent the views or opinions of the resort or any other person.

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