Saturday evening meal: "Genghis Khan" barbeque lamb....delicious
Our first morning in Furano: the best weather so far this season, and what a view!
Powder skiing was hard to find but we spent a few hours doing circuits through this stash.
Awesome, soft, light reasonably deep and only our tracks.... fantastic.
And the mandatory shot of Gary doing nothing... and our pension right next to the ski slope!
Monday at least another 10cm fell while we were skiing it just got colder and better
Monday: A lot of the tracks from Sunday were filling in by the afternoon and the tree skiing was great, but very cold.
Tuesday we caught the bus to Kamui for a great day in the trees
The on piste skiing was fine and certainly not crowded. Here is Annette enjoying an open run. This was pretty much s busy as it got!
But the trees where we wanted to be and they were well spaced and FUN!
At the top which was only 750m ASL the snow made the trees look like a fairy land.
Annette heads off for another out of bounds run near no 5 chair
Another big open virtually untracked glade. Kamui was fun fun.
Tomamu Ski Resort, with its skyscrapers was our destination on Wednesday 8th Jan. It was a little over an hour South East of Furano.
As expected the snow cover was not yet deep enough to cover all the bamboo and the top single chair was not opening until the 11th Jan.
John had told us about where to go slightly out of bounds near the top of the "free ride quad chair" and it was sweet!
This is us on the chair during one of the few time the sun came out. You can see the skyscrapers in the background.
And another shot of Annette enjoying a large open glade of fresh untracked powder... awesome fun!
Thursday evening (10th Jan) we went to a tea ceremony put on by a local High School "Tea Ceremony Club"
Eating dinner in our room at the Young House Pension. There is a raised platform beyond the beds.
A view from the Kitanomine Gondola. Our Pension ("Young House") is 2 doors up (right) from the large Naturwald Hotel, opposite the chairlift.
Annette on the Premier Area run on Friday.
Saturday there was a bit more snow and Annette couldn’t see what she was taking, hence my head is chopped off but I think you get the idea.
By the way that is me and that orange thing is the marker for the edge of the run, this is on piste skiing!
The only thing you can’t see is the huge smile on my face, we are having FUN.
Sunday this was the scene as many people stopped to help look for a lost ski at the bottom of the Premier Run.
Sunday afternoon we headed out from the top chair into the side country and after a tricky traverse through some trees....
We reached a huge open slope of the deepest snow we had ever skied. At times Annette had trouble breathing.
And it just went on and on. Amazing.
And down to a creek for a long single track out.
On our next run we took a different route and had a difficult, steep treed teaverse to the creek and then to the track, but well worth the hour plus round trip.
And here Annette is skiing to our pension. The photo is taken from our Pension front door.
First tracks down the "Premier Zone on Tuesday 13th.
A rare patch of clear and a view from wide of the resort back over Furano. Tuesday 13th.
Wednesday we went to Asahidake with John Morrell. This is all the cars in the carpark when we arrived about 9:30am.
On our first run a group of snowboarders headed off before us, all with ski poles.... interesting.
Our group preparing to go.
John pointing out the best line to Noel
Annette trough the fairyland trees.
Amazingly the sun came out and you can see the 500m below to the Gondola and valley
On our last run at Asahidake.
Thursday (16th) Gary her the dam/weir on a skinning adventure up the valley from the New Prince Hotel.
There were just for of us, Annette (here in the lead) Bin (Belinda Cameron) and our leader/guide Chris Smart with the blue pack.
Chris making a path for us to cross the creek.
Annette crossing Chris's snow bridge.
Skiing up through the forest
Annette removing her skins and re-fastening the bindings
And then skiing down our hard earned turns.
In the afternoon I went for a few hours skiing in the resort (Furano) and this shows the snow that accumulated on one chair-lift run.
The view from the Furano side of the ski area with the New Prince Hotel on the right of the picture and Mt Asahidake (where we had skied the day before) in the distance to the North.
Friday (17th) was a cold (minus 20°C) clear blue sky morning and here you see a hot air ballon above the snow covered rice paddys.
We drove to Tokachi Spa to start our "back country" experience.
We were amazed to see a cyclist climbing the 14% hill as we drove up. Her you see his studded tyres and mtb with racing bars.
The view (with cyclist) to the adjacent ridge.
Annette follows Noel down the first pitch. Note the snow depth of her tracks.
The two of us. What a perfect day!
Our guide (John Morrell, an old canning friend) takes a run through the powder.
And we head back to the road and the car (Annette again following Noel)
The sign to our next starting point which I think was Fukiage Spa (note I did a Strave GPS trace of the run down)
It was a popular place to start hiking from.
Here is a view back towards our starting point
From the top you could see all the way back to Furano ski area.
Here I am at the top of our climb removing the skins from the skis.
Annette taking her skins off.
A fantastic panorama
After lunch we started out on a third hike but it became a bit overcast and late to be safe so 4 of us returned to the car
The slope behind is as far as we got and I skied down that before walking and skiing back to the carpark