Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

March 24, 2011

Skiing at Ashahidake

Filed under: Skiing — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:59 am

Asahidake, Hokkaido, Japan.

Today I was invited by the boss of the hostel where I am staying, Alpine Backpackers, to go with them on a staff day out to Asahidake for some powder skiing. We set off about 8am and arrived at Asahidake Ropeway a bit before 10am. So I am guessing that it takes about an hour and a half to get to Asahidake from Furano. The cable car or Ropeway as they are called in Japan, leaves every twenty minutes. I paid 2800 Yen for a four hour ticket. I reckon that is pretty good value.

Asahidake Volcano
Steam pouring out of vents in the side of the mountain

When we got up the top you could smell the sulphur in the air and up the mountain you could see steam pouring out of these vents in the mountain. I do not know how active the volcano is, but I was glad that it was letting off steam both literally and metaphorically.

Asahidake Skiing
You can see the tracks at the back where everyone was skiing

We went off down Skier’s left and it was wide open. Just a big expanse of fresh snow. It was a little bit heavy but it was still good to ski in and I was getting some pretty good turns in. I was just happy to be able to be able to ski this sort of fresh snow and not fall over every five minutes.

Yuki and Hiro
Yuki and Hiro

The crew from the Alpine were having a ball and I was enjoying myself as well. We had a lot of laughs and had a lot of fun. When we got further down, it started to flatten out a bit so we just skied down the cat tracks that led back to the bottom of the ropeway.

Cat Track
Cat track through the trees

There were quite a few back country skiers taking off up the hill further and traversing to some higher ground so that they could get some better and steeper lines.

Climbing Up
Some dudes climbing up higher

There was this wanted poster in the smoking room at the bottom of the ropeway. I was fascinated by it. I am not sure of the full story but I think it is some kind of criminal activity and they were offering rewards of five and three million Yen for these fugitives from justice.

Wanted Dead or Alive
Wanted Dead or Alive

There was still heaps of back country further out that could be skied by some extreme doods. There were mountains everywhere just covered in snow.

Asahidake Back Country
Asahidake Back Country

We skied from 10am until 2pm and then called it a day as we only had the four hour passes. On the trip back I saw two white foxes. I was stoked. One of them was out in the fields and he was really white. The other one was nearly a reddish colour and was in a backyard in the town of Biei. I also want to see a bear. They say there is one living in the ski resort at Furano. I hope he wakes up soon.

Hiro and Reflections

I liked these reflections in Hiro’s goggles. We are like the paparazzi pestering him.

I finally edited the video. Most of the footage was shot by Hiro.

Asahidake Powder Skiing

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