Heaven for powder junkies

Friday 17 January 2014
CATEGORY: Adventure | Travel

…can there be too much snow?

YES (well, almost YES)!! While the days I spent over christmas and New Year in Austria were mostly in green surrounding – (no snow at all this year πŸ™ , it was a total different ball game here in Japan… a heaven for powder junkies!

In seven days, it only once (!!!) snowed less than 20cm overnight… early morning sport consisted of digging out our car. Even local experts claim that the 2metres+ of snow that has fallen this winter are new records. As cold Siberian winds hit the Sea of Japan, they take with them the warm ocean water which then falls as bone dry powder into the mountain ranges of Hokkaido – in truly unbelievable amounts. Global warming β†’ less sea ice β†’ more snow in Japan πŸ™‚  (so, I got told – don’t hit me if I got my physics wrong) 

Breaking trail was a pleasure (of some sorts), as we were pushing on a ski tour up the slopes of Mt Yotei – the largest volcanoe in the region. The snow was hip deep – just moving forward created an issue. Needless to say that the pain on the uphill was the gain on the downhill.

The motto was: “Lean back, enjoy the ride!”

Ah yes, there are also the typical Japan specials, like:

  • Amazing Fried chicken at 7Eleven (why cannot Hong Kong has such well stocked 7-Eleven’s) – best enjoyed after a great day out in the cold!
  • Heated toilet seats (dont think that needs more explanation)
  • Horse Sashimi – as interesting in taste as it sounds; and a nice alteration to the ever fantastic Pork Katsu Curry (which must be the best ski lunch food ever invented)
  • A can of Sapporo Classic in the Onsen!! the best way to recover the tired muscles
    Now there just would need be a way to also have blue skies more often!

    PS: RIP dear Go Pro! While it survived a fall down the Lhotse Face to bring back home some amazing pictures, the masses of powder snow proved too much. An involuntariy rendez-vous with a branch means that some awesome powder skiing footage will never be watched!

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