Again, Asahidake delivered and the words “best run of my life” were said at least once. We spent two days laughing, smiling and killing it all over that mountain.
With a late flight out in the afternoon the next day, the crew nailed it for a day at Sapporo Teine. Looking at the weather we expected a bit of new snow, but had no idea it was going to end up being the deepest, face-shottiest day of the trip. Travis was a bit more than excited…
Next stop: Hakuba. We jumped on a plane out of Sappoyro to check out the mountains surrounding Hakuba, located on Japan’s main island, Honshu. Meeting up with SASS Argentina guide, and new Hakuba local, Jon Conway, we spent our first blue-bird day of the trip at Happo One for some early morning resort pow laps and then split up for the afternoon. Half the crew opted for a booze-cruise, Lucas style, around the resort’s many fine drinking establishments. The rest of us continued some recon off of the North-Side and into the backcountry. The terrain was unreal, but the wind and terrain-trap potential were high. After making some choice turns and getting across the river out of harm’s way, it was apparent that 1) this was serious, big and awesome terrain; 2) the snow and weather are, in general, much more variable than on Hokkaido; 3) there is a ton of potential here, but it would mostly be during the spring when the avy danger calms down a bit. Hence our decision to focus on Hokkaido for our SASS Japan program in the future.
After one more day in Hakuba the crew packed up for a final day exploring Tokyo. Dinner and debauchery ensued, but everyone managed to make their flight out the next day.
Overall the Japan Powder Discover Trip was a huge success. Endless amounts of snow helped, but the crew made it even better. Looking forward to helping make experiences like this happen for more people in the future… Could be you next time.