Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:08 am Posts: 128 Location: Melbourne, Australia
*** CAUTION hardcore snowboarders may be mildly offended by partial graphic footage of two plankers ***
After breakfast, most mornings began with looking at this:
and soaking in the fact that it's going to be "just" another day of ridiculously D-E-E-P turns
... then 20 mins of this...
It was always a task that was happily done, knowing what was in store and motivating the troops was never hard.
The drive to the trailhead was always a little slippery and sometimes there was no room to park the car off the road so you just kinda parked as close to the side of the road as you could and surveyed the trailhead telling the newcomers where you were headed.
boots on, skins on it was time to move
Sometimes you got a glimpse of the epicness that awaited
... but more often than not the objective was shrouded in cloud and unrelenting snow
Fresh legs made light work of a flat approach, where sometimes there was a freshly broken trail.
But progress was often slow where breaking trail resembled post-holing
Route finding in virtual white-out and thick trees relied on using "the force"
Glimpses of the vast tracts of untracked goodness injected some vigour back into the legs for the final push
Not that there weren't other difficult moments
Through the trees we often got some nice views
Forays into the Alpine were quite rare, but special when they did happen
When there was a view (er, once) it was savoured
Transitions were always a little challenging in the wind and snow
The two plankers sometimes had issues clipping into their bindings , much to the amusement (possibly with a touch of schadenfreude ) of the split boarders amongst us
When snow clogged bindings were cleared, layers were added and the real fun began...
Each impending turn was greeted with joy...
... as Whiterooms were available for short term rental at the completion of each and every turn
The "surf" was most definitely up!
Friendly skier-snowboarder rivalry was put on hold as everyone's a brother in the white shack!
Nipple massages were common
Camera hands were frozen raw waiting for the right light in the biting cold and wind
Occasionally, there was a pause for a photo or to enjoy the view
The avalanche dragon reared it's ugly head resulting in a partial burial and some big lessons
Speed was of the essence at the bottom...
I went completely MIA at one stage
The flat run outs were often energy sapping for the split boarders
Back at the car, the occasional chilled beverage was enjoyed at the trailhead
Sometimes there was digging to be done at the end of the day too!!!!
At the onsen a few more bevvies didn't touch the sides on the way down , with the soothing relief of hot volcanic water on tired muscles
Evening activities meant some warm Sake from a charcoal grill
As well as trying those more adventurous local foods, such as horse sashimi