Japan

Kurodake dates for 2017

Kurodake dates for 2017

Kurodake have posted their opening dates for 2017.

The gondola and lift will close on the 4th of January.

The gondola re-opens on the 27th of January (the top lift will still be closed, so you'll have to buy single-ride tickets for the gondola).

The lift re-opens on the 17th of February.

There's already 2m of snow under the lift, and there have been some slides in the steeper terrain, so hopefully the gullies will fill in nicely down low for later in the season.

See you out there!

Trip report: Skiing with James

Trip report: Skiing with James

Keen followers of the Powder Project instagram account (@thepowderproject - it's good) will no doubt be wondering, "Who's that guy in the orange jacket?"

It turns out he's my brother, James. Not only is he ruggedly handsome, he's a good ski touring partner and we've done a bunch of good trips together in New Zealand and Japan. He's basically the perfect photo model. At least until we can afford pro skiers.

Trip report: Skiing with Anto

Trip report: Skiing with Anto

Before I left for Japan last winter I put the word out to everyone I knew: If you're thinking about heading to Hokkaido, let me know and I'll help sort you out with a fun trip.

An old school buddy of mine named Anthony (Anto) took up the offer. He was in Australia visiting family before heading back to the US, where he's been living for a few years, and was swinging through Hokkaido on the way.

We had plans to roll around for a week or so chasing good snow, but some visa delays meant that Anto had to push his flight back and ended up with just three nights in Japan. For a lot of travelers, trying to get decent skiing on three night stopover would be almost more trouble that it was worth. After you've caught trains and buses and found rental gear and checked into you accommodation, and then done that whole process again in reverse, it doesn't leave a lot of time to ski. So just how much can you do with three nights in Hokkaido?

Resort Write-Up: Kiroro

Do you like skiing?

Do you like going fast?

Do you like having fun?

If you answered “not really” to all of these questions, then you’re going to love Kiroro.

The skiing

Kiroro is something of a mystery in the world of skiing. It gets a lot of snow. Really a lot. It’s one of the first ski resorts the northwesterly storms hit as they come over the Sea of Japan, and those storms bring pow in large quantities.

But it’s also very flat. It has the flattest chairlift I’ve ever seen (and I grew up skiing in Australia). If you turn on bottom third of the main groomer under the gondola, you probably won’t make it back to the base station. At other skis fields, I sometimes worry that I’m going to crash into something or fall off something and hurt myself. At Kiroro, I couldn’t shake the fear that I’d get stuck in a flat spot and have to walk out.