Only day two in Hakuba and I feel like I have done so much already! Woke up this morning a little bit before 7AM to go shred! Went to Hakuba47 again today, but just for lift access to the backcountry in the North Japanese Alps. At the resort you can pay for a points pass that gives you about 4 lift rides. That is the move if you are planning on skiing backcountry! We did two laps today and more would have been a pretty big day. The first lap was a line called “Lone Tree”. It was one of the spine lines in the picture above. So much fun!! First big line of the season!! MUCH NEEDED! I was a little intimated at the top, but not too much. Mainly because I was about to drop into a line that I really have no idea where it goes. Lee dropped into “Southbound Taxi” before us! Another one of the spines. And of course he crushed it. Matthias and I went to Lone Tree. Matt dropped first. He also crushed it! My turn!!! I asked Matt if there was anything I needed to know about the line and he gave me the details. He said basically just stick to his tracks and at the end there will be a cliff option if you want or you can go around. Kooshing! Into the line I went! Such good snow! Blower!! Forgot what it was like to ski POW in a big line… After not having the best season in Alaska last year and skiing low coverage all early season in Silverton, I have been snowboarding so cautiously. Not today!! No worry about ice or shitty snow! YES! The top half of the line was amazing! Deep bottomless POW that supplied great turns! About halfway or so down the line I took it a little slower because it was a bit more exposed and really do not know where I am going. And Matt said there was a cliff…. Found the cliff! He went around. I stood above it for a good minute or so and then finally decided to send!!! Had to work up there nerve for the first big drop of the season. I did not stomp it, but it felt sooooo good! Got that out of my system! The second line was a little more mellow. It was a more of ridgelike kind of a spine. Got to open up and rip fat POW for lots of vert! My leg was kind of bugging me at this point from hitting a tree yesterday… All good tho. For the love of POW! What a day!!! Definitely getting what I came here for. The snow settled nicely from the last storm. North facing stuff felt great. Right side up POW. South facing stuff felt a bit upside down, but it was all good. About 30-60cm of fresh on top of another layer. It was chill tho. Wind slabs was the main concern, but overall felt pretty good about the snowpack.
After skiing Lee, Matty, and I went to a Japanese restaurant in the town of Hakuba! That was a very cool experience. You take your shoes off when you walk in and sit on the floor cross legged at a table. They have hot tea at the table ready for you! Loving the tea game here!! The food was great too! Had chicken cutlet! Mmmm so good! It was 500yen for a really big meal! Thats like $4.50 USD for chicken, rice, soup, and sides! So dope! After food Lee and I went to a onsen! An onsen is a Japanese hot spring. So nice! Felt great! Such a cool atmosphere. You are chilling in an onsen looking out at the peaks of the Japanese Alps! Also a cool cultural experience here. Before you enter the onsen you shower. Not a shower that I am used to what so ever. You sit down on this little chair with a small bucket and shower sitting. There are a bunch of them right next to each other. You shower sitting right next to a bunch of other naked dudes, mainly Japanese dudes. Without Lee I would have been pretty lost on what to do! I think that is the main way to shower here. Sitting down! Feeling like hot spring zombies we headed back to the Powder Lodge, uploaded videos, and made an edit from the day! Oh I almost forgot! On our way to the onsen we stopped by the ski jump built for the Olympics in ’98 and watched some people send it! That was really cool to watch! Those ski jumpers really soar through the air. Lee said you hardly see people jumping it so we lucked out on that! Went to work at the Bike Bar for a few hours and now back at the lodge eating green tea ice cream! Loving this lifestyle over here! Time for bed. Hopefully getting another clear day tomorrow to go big!!!