Saturday, February 28, 2009

Furano rules ?!?

Furano is about two hours drive (on regular conditions) north of Sapporo. It is having a continental climate and is usually staying colder all winter long. They are usually having a little bit less snow than Niseko, but it is usually of better quality and it usually stays a little bit longer.

The resort is located on a nice mountain is having perfectly space trees and somw nice steep runs and a lot of mellow blueish/greenish runs. The only things that is bugging in Furano is that they don't allow ANY tree skiing, any runs under the lifts, an illegal backcountry and the only blacks (all 3 of them) that they are legally letting you skiing are pretty much ungroomed blues...
Oh yeah, Furano seems to be the official training ground of the japanese army... I guest the terrain is quite perfect when you are skiing in leather boots with leather bindings!They have the reputation of being really strict about it. But after holding ourselves for a full morning of skiing, we realize that a lot of japanese were poaching there own rules! Apparently, there were some signs about the backcountry rules...

But we had some really hard time about reading them.

Since we didn`t see them, we kept skiing some really good powder! The runs were long into some perfectly steep and spaced trees.

Then we went to Mt Tokachidake to try some real backcountry. We haven't found the best spot to do some backcountry on the day we skied, but we scouted us some really nice steep lines.

After a last quick day we headed back to Chitose, where we had to take the plane on the 26th.

After the biggest food sampling session ever (crab, chocolate, cheese cake, candy) at the airport, we had to go back.

I left Japan figuring I definitively didn't had time to really figure it out. We skied only 12 days in 7 differents resorts and had only one day of real backcountry.

Considering the fact that there are more than 300 ski areas in Japan .
Considering that we only checked out Hokkaido (north island) and that we didn't even checked out Onshu (the main island).
Considering the fact that no one is even using the slackcountry, you can imagine how pristine the backcountry stays for a long time...

So, I guess if someone could take a full winter off to go skiing, that would be a really good place to hang out...
Since Mt Baker justed received more than 34in of snow this week, I guess I might go check it out with JS tomorrow!

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