Furano, Tomamu, Tokachi, Asahi Dake and surrounds 2016/17

Discussion in 'Japan' started by telenomore, Oct 11, 2016.

  1.  
    pedub

    pedub Active Member

    I suppose its doable on the drive back from Central Hokkaido into Sapporo?
    I want to go there if it has dumped.

    Seems like you need to move into a new thread now!!
    There's only ever a Niseko thread (It seems like that place is popular for some reason... ;)) and maybe a Furano thread.
    Sapporo/Otaru is totally underrated ski destination IMO.
    Kiroro/Kokusai seem to get just as much snow (if not more) than Niseko.
    Teine has some of the best terrain in Hokkaido if you want some steeper stuff
     
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  2.  
    travelislife

    travelislife Dedicated Member

    Yes doable in one hit but would be a massive day. We stayed a night at Yubari.

    Skied Tomamu that day after staying at Yorkshire Farm the night before (only 5 minute drive from Sahoro where we skied that day), so approximate 40 minute drive to Tomamu in the morning. Then about an hour drive after Tomamu to Yubari.

    At the mountain so no drive required in the morning to ski Mt Racey. It would then be about a 1.5 hour drive to Sapporo at the end of the day. We went to Otaru after the day so took us about 2 hours.

    Yes, probably a new thread but trip is nearly done! Skied Teine today. Little bit of snow in the morning but not much. It is a great mountain with some great steep skiing.

    I agree Sapporo/Otaru is underrated but you have to remember the majority of people going on a ski holiday want a 'resort style' holiday. I.e. Stay in the one accommodation, don't move around, no car needed, etc. Niseko suits this perfectly. I don't think many of the other resorts do on Hokkaido as I would definitely get bored within a week at any of them.
     
  3.  
    iGlenn

    iGlenn Active Member

    What time is first lifts at the local resorts?
     
  4.  
    pedub

    pedub Active Member

    Usually 9am I think.
    I noticed many people seem to leave early/mid afternoon as well, think a lot of the schools or army groups must do their stuff mostly in mornings and then leave.
     
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  5.  
    travelislife

    travelislife Dedicated Member

    Generally has been 9:00-3:30 at the places we have been to. Occasionally 3:45-4:00pm finish. Today we bought a 6 hour ticket at Kiroro which was perfect.
     
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  6.  
    seekingpow

    seekingpow Dedicated Member

    what's the feeling about the current furano outlook?
     
  7.  
    telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

    Im not looking much past the weekend at the moment. Happy skiers as 30+ cm over the last two days, still snowing on and off and looking like biggest fall tonight. Wind is up and Asahi Dake just on the limit today. Pick of the week will be Friday and Saturday, low to no wind, cold dry, deep snow and possibly sunny on Friday.
     
  8.  
    seekingpow

    seekingpow Dedicated Member

    Thanks mate - I'm keen on early Feb coming into view
     
  9.  
    munders

    munders Active Member

    We are currently in Sahoro and have enjoyed a couple of days of snowfall. Here is a video of the other half on one of the piste runs. Some nice fresh tracks in the trees but having too much fun to video that part. Forgive my comment at the end of the video, just the result of taking the glove off to use the camera.
     
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  10.  
    Tonester

    Tonester Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Looking forward to my first Sahoro trip. Snow looks pretty good. Is the whole mountain open yet?
     
  11.  
    shabu_shabu

    shabu_shabu Active Member Season Pass Gold

    How do you cope with the crowds?
     
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  12.  
    seekingpow

    seekingpow Dedicated Member

    What sort of system benefits Sahoro in terms of snow?
     
  13.  
    munders

    munders Active Member

    They opened the Sahoro Express quad today and we skied the romance run. They have since opened the top runs. A few rocks still showing through.
     
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  14.  
    munders

    munders Active Member

    Loving the no lift lines. Every so often there are ski lessons around, but we seem to have most runs to ourselves.
     
  15.  
    Tonester

    Tonester Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    So, does that mean EVERYTHING open now?
     
  16.  
    munders

    munders Active Member

    Not sure about lift 4, but you can get to most of that terrain by gondola, I will check out later
     
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  17.  
    musehead

    musehead Active Member

    I've found a lot of GPX tracks for ski touring in the Tokachidake Onsen area and Furano via Strava, but there seems to be nothing on there for Asahidake and i'm struggling to find anything online at all to give me pointers about good routes and areas for touring/backcountry there (not necessarily for climbing the peak). Anyone know any resources online?

    I'm going to be in the area next week and am hoping to take advantage of potentially some sunny days midweek for some backcountry powder.
     
  18.  
    shabu_shabu

    shabu_shabu Active Member Season Pass Gold

    In addition to the fantastic snow, the video showing maybe 2 other people on the run was mighty impressive. Enjoy.
     
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  19.  
    Tonester

    Tonester Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    ^^ true that!
     
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  20.  
    munders

    munders Active Member

    And those were our kids :)
     
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  21.  
    munders

    munders Active Member

    Lift 4 was closed and they ended up closing run 3 off the gondola, which stopped a lot of access to the trees on that side.
     
  22.  
    Tonester

    Tonester Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Thanks for the info. Any idea of reason of closure?
     
  23.  
    munders

    munders Active Member

    Would only be guessing, I thought the cover was pretty sketchy in parts, there looked to be ski patrol working in the area and we could also hear chainsaws. That area also seems to be the most affected by wind the last few days.
     
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  24.  
    oreo

    oreo Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Chair 4 used to be open just on the weekend to alleviate some of the queues from the Gondola. I don't think they've opened chair 4 all season, and I doubt they have any intention to. The new chair (Sahoro Express) goes right to the top so you theoretically can access whatever Chair 4 could access. I say theoretically, because, if you've ridden Sahoro Express, you would know that, that side of the mountain up high is extremely scoured and prone to strong winds. So, atm, all the runs bar N5 down to that lift are closed due to stumps, large rocks, lack of snow & the summit pathway back towards the gondola is a rocky war zone.

    Having skied that new side of the mountain a few times last year, I can tell you, the cleared runs never really filled in properly as the wind would consistently scoured them back, but the skiing in the trees is great.
     
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  25.  
    pedub

    pedub Active Member

    Thanks!

    So looking at the trail map, where is the new side?? it looks like 1 bowl only?

    Also, where are the best spots there? where are the good trees?
     
  26.  
    pedub

    pedub Active Member

    Thanks!

    So looking at the trail map, where is the new side?? it looks like 1 bowl only?

    Also, where are the best spots there? where are the good trees?
     
  27.  
    pedub

    pedub Active Member

  28.  
    oreo

    oreo Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

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  29.  
    Tonester

    Tonester Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

  30.  
    musehead

    musehead Active Member

    How's the backcountry snow quality looking over in Furano and Tokachi, and for the next few days? Meant to arrive in Furano Sunday evening but considering a last minute change of plan to have our first day in Kiroro (or nearby) on Monday instead to catch the fresh snow due to fall on Sunday there. Then possibly do some touring near Furano Tues-Thurs.
     
  31.  
    expatgm

    expatgm Active Member Season Pass Silver

    Looks like this: pics taken last couple of days Tokachidake icey and wind blown up high some ok powder further down, also bloody cold -25 perhaps. Don't think you'll have anything to worry about more snow on the way although not in the quantities that Niigata has been getting.
     
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  32.  
    Toto Warmlet

    Toto Warmlet Dedicated Member

    Not sure what sort of belief system works best at Sahoro.
    Mine scored a B+. Though I marked it my myself.
    Like those last 2 pics.
    Pictures actually tell a story lots of the time.
     
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  33.  
    musehead

    musehead Active Member

    Thanks for the Tokachi report!

    The conditions off piste at Furano today were very underwhelming. No powder to be found (at least within an hour's skin of the lifts) - the untracked off piste areas we found on several aspects were heavy and quite difficult to ski. Lots of resistance when pushing a ski pole in more than an inch.

    Does anyone know if the conditions at Asahidake / Tokachidake Onsen are better right now? I believe it snowed at Asahidake last night but the lift seems to have been closed all day today due to high winds. Tokachi mountains have been in the clouds all day as seen from Furano, but unsure if they received any snowfall.
     
  34.  
    expatgm

    expatgm Active Member Season Pass Silver

    Yeah snowed this afternoon.not a lot though.
     
  35.  
    seekingpow

    seekingpow Dedicated Member

    Furano badly needs more snow. The outlook does not inspire confidence for a big dump at this stage
     
  36.  
    musehead

    musehead Active Member

    Found good snow in the trees at Tokachi yesterday. Seemed to be about 5-10cm of light fluffy powder on a heavier but still quite soft base, nice to ski.
     
  37.  
    pedub

    pedub Active Member

    Anyone know what the road is like from Asahikawa to Mashike?
    It looks like a very snowy place and I am keen to get to that coastline for a general look as well. If I head there after its dumped will the road be cleared?
     
  38.  
    Tonester

    Tonester Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    I drove from Otaru to Asahikawa via Mashike last February. All I can say is WOW! There a many kilometres of road that hugs the coastline. I mean really, really close to the water. It is a sight to behold. All thanks to lots of mountain tunnels and gool ol' Japanese engineering.
    From Asahikawa to Mashike, I think, you will get some of that coastlien. But only for a few kms from memory. After Mashike, we continued along the coast and then chucked a right and started heading inland toward Asahikawa.
    It was snowing heavily at times during our drive and, yes, the road was cleared. At times vis was reduced quite a bit so we drove to conditions. It made for an exciting drive, that's for sure. But not a treacherous one.
    Then, from really low vis suddenly the sun popped out and it was gorgeous.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
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  39.  
    Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 Dedicated Member Season Pass Silver

    It's a pleasant, relatively quiet drive typical of rural Hokkaido. Lots of snowed in farms and low rolling terrain. Quite a snow transect from Asahikawa in the 'snow shadow' to the very snowy western ranges. The low ranges both north and south of the road receive very large amounts of snow and have an extended winter, but seems a perpetual loop of snow clearing teams working on the road. I've never seen less than a foot a day falling on numerous trips through there, but never had any problems getting through in small vehicles, quite fun actually breaking trail in a Cube.

    Quite moody and almost spooky place the western coast of Hokkaido. Many parts of the coast are quite bleak, but atmospheric none the less. The drive south from Mashike certainly is rugged. Heading north is pretty windswept, but lots of places to ride into the sea if you want.
     
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  40.  
    pedub

    pedub Active Member

    A quick search revealed your thread in 2011 (which I have read bits of before) where you pass through Mashike, very helpful!!
     
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  41.  
    Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 Dedicated Member Season Pass Silver

    Yes, never quite finished writing up that one. The earthquake got in the way.

    Went back to that general area last February. 99% backcountry, but scored much goodness, although the usual sorry of too much snow.
     
  42.  
    pedub

    pedub Active Member

    Any update from the ground in central Hokkaido?
     
  43.  
    seekingpow

    seekingpow Dedicated Member

    yesterday looked good with 30+cm. charts improving for end of month / first week of feb
     
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  44.  
    seekingpow

    seekingpow Dedicated Member

    Hi guys, in Furano from next Friday. Thinking about a day trip either tomamu or kamui. Leaning towards tomamu as it's a bit bigger and both benefit off the same weather patterns (I believe). Appreciate any other points that would help decide.

    Cheers
     
  45.  
    munders

    munders Active Member

    Not much snow last week, about 10 cms at Kamui on Monday made for some fun, Asahidake ropeway was closed yesterday morning while we were there. We stopped at Canmore on the way back for a couple of cold runs on hard packed ice. Currently road tripping to the Sounkyo ice festival. Stopped at Pippu and it is snowing big flakes. Might just go for a quick ski
     
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  46.  
    travelislife

    travelislife Dedicated Member

    I would go Kamui over Tomamu. Better terrain I reckon. One half of Tomamu you pretty much won't ski because it is the beginners area.
     
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  47.  
    seekingpow

    seekingpow Dedicated Member

    Cheers
     
  48.  
    Tanuki

    Tanuki Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Kinda, but if take the top lift then walk up further to the 'experts area' you get some nice turn. Appears that it used to be a lifted area
     
  49.  
    pedub

    pedub Active Member

    Both are good I think. I would go wherever it appears the most snow as fallen!

    Kamui is a super chilled out place with basically only locals and a few gaijin. Cheap as lifts and food.
    Tomamu has heaps of tourists but many of them dont ski! More expensive lifts and food.
    Maybe a few more steeper runs at Tomamu but Kamui is more fun terrian-wise I think. Tomamu maybe slightly better tree runs.

    Edit: Tomamu has a decent terrain park too
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017
  50.  
    Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 Dedicated Member Season Pass Silver

    Kamui has exponentially more reliable fresh snow too. Agree about Tomatoes trees being better, but Kamui is real Hokkaido, Tomatoe is just weird.