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Snow Sports Thread 2018-19

Discussion in 'Sports Arena' started by Jokester, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. Jokester

    Don

    Joined: Aug 7, 2003

    Posts: 37,701

    Location: Aberdeenshire

    Japan is top of my list of places to go to.
     
  2. DereksDontRun

    Hitman

    Joined: Oct 23, 2013

    Posts: 615

    you/every snow-fan needs to do Japan sometime. it's bonkers in so many ways...

    I went with the intention of making it more than just a snow trip, so did some research and spotted than every Jan 15th is a mental fire festival moderately near Hakuba resort (article about it by Charlie Brooker: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2012/dec/28/charlie-brooker-japan-fire-festival). So, that decided when we should go and where... Hakuba itself is a weird resort - instead of a massive area like 3 valleys etc. it's a collection of small resorts, each almost a different discipline - if you want freestyle then Hakuba 47, all round resort then Happo One, "steeps and deep" is Cortina, etc. It's a bit weird, and makes it a little frustrating meeting others at lunch/whenever if you're wanting different things at the start of the day, but on the flip side, it gives you some focus to the day, as it were. Also, while in Hakuba, there's the http://www.snowmonkeytour.com/information/ which is v touristy and cheesy, but I just felt I'd be kicking myself not to go if I ever saw them on tv sometime.

    Food is amazing, atmosphere and the people are ace. Honestly, it's a level above Canada for pretty much the same price ;)

    do it!
     
  3. mid_gen

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Dec 20, 2004

    Posts: 7,933

    Location: Düsseldorf

    +1 for Japan.

    I've been twice to Niseko. The snow is unreal, the climate and geography means it dumps nice light, dry powder most days. Loads of great off-piste powder fields to plow through (and dig yourself out of). No lift queues, nice people, great food, great scenery. Plenty of stuff to check out around Hokkaido like the Sapporo ice festival, nice little towns like Otaru. Properly cold though, so bring your long johns :)

    Dat scenery :

    [​IMG]

    Europe is toss in comparison tbh, overpriced, too busy, crap snow, full of idiots ;p
     
  4. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 28,935

    The thing about Europe is there are literly thousands of ski areas. The Tourists flock to the big resorts, leaving hundreds of smaller areas with great and untracked powder that you pay 20Eur a day for.
     
  5. mid_gen

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Dec 20, 2004

    Posts: 7,933

    Location: Düsseldorf

    Nowhere with the reliable powder fall you get in somewhere like Niseko though, not even close, the combination of climate and geography just doesn't exist here.

    Plus it's like pulling teeth getting people to go to out of the way areas!
     
  6. Weazle

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 15, 2007

    Posts: 1,055

  7. Amp34

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jul 25, 2005

    Posts: 28,385

    Location: Canada

    It’s a totally different experience. The snows different, the resorts are different and then atmosphere is different.

    Canadian resorts are not like the US ones D.P. discusses IME. Go on a weekday and the place will be deserted, on a weekend the place will be busy, but busy here is a slow day in France. The Rocky resorts don’t get huge pow dumps, but at the same time it’s dry and you can still be skiing powder turns from lifts a week after a dump. The snow stays in great condition for a lot of the season - because it cold, and it can get ****** cold, but don’t worry, lifts are shut when it hits -30.. ;). On the other hand travel a couple of hours south to Fernie and everything changes, localized weather systems can make each resorts weather and snow conditions totally different to each other.

    As D.P. mentioned, you have to pick resorts more carefully in that some have poor terrain or old infrastructure. That said the well known places - Lake Louise, Sunshine, Panorama, Fernie are world class, have big terrain (arguably some have a lack of beginner terrain, but plenty of intermediate/advanced) and have modern infrastructure, but you don’t have to do the fight down the crowded, icy, hummocky home runs at the end of the day.

    There isn’t the resort atmosphere/apres ski in most places like you get in Europe, and ski in/ski out is more rare (only Panorama really does it in the Canadian Rockies), but you can stay in a nearby town such as Banff which has plenty of restaurants and things to do. You can usually also stay closer to resorts too, but it’s usually a 5-10 minutes car/bus. Most people seem to come for 10 days, stay in Banff and do a few days at the three - four resorts in the area and do other things (wildlife spotting, visiting the frozen lakes, hot springs etc.). Personally though I’d do Sunshine and Lake louise and skip the others (Norquay and Nakisha) and then head to Panorama and/or Fernie depending on how far you wanted to drive.

    For a honeymoon where you’re probably not just skiing then the Canadian Rockies should definitely be on your list IMO.

    @DereksDontRun day passes at the hill can be expensive but most more local people don’t pay those prices. There are discount tickets available in lots of places (20% off is common) and there are lots of multi day/multi resort tickets you can purchase at cheaper rates too. They aren’t easy to find for tourists though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  8. DereksDontRun

    Hitman

    Joined: Oct 23, 2013

    Posts: 615

    cheers - I'll have to ask/research if/when I head back that way.
     
  9. richyfingers

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Feb 6, 2006

    Posts: 1,610

    Location: Glasgow

    Awesome, thank you. Lots to think about.
     
  10. Furyus

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 15, 2010

    Posts: 858

    Location: Weston-super-Mare

    So what's everyones plans for the coming season?
     
  11. Syla5

    Mobster

    Joined: Feb 13, 2012

    Posts: 4,626

    In the process of planning a driving trip to Tignes for the first week of April next year. Went there a couple of years ago and it was great. Tried Bulgaria last year and it just wasn't even close to good enough so back to france we go.
     
  12. izzop

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jul 7, 2009

    Posts: 2,204

    Location: Wiltshire

    Hopefully a 2 week trip to the Dolomites January/February and have spent this afternoon looking at a week in Austria - Saalbach-Hinterglemm.

    Fingers crossed they come together :)
     
  13. Amp34

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jul 25, 2005

    Posts: 28,385

    Location: Canada

    Start skiing around the middle of November and continue through until May. Hopefully get to at least two new resorts as well, rather than just ski the same two or three.

    It’s been unseasonably cold for the last month and the mountains already had 2-3 foot of snow (we had 15 inches at home on Tuesday, which is not even in the mountains) so hopefully is should be a great early season.
     
  14. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 28,935

    A bit of an Indian summer here still but I prefer it this way. Early season snow can end up causing horrific depth hoar which plays havoc with the snow pack right through the season with a persistent weak layer giving way full-depth slides. Much better to stay warm and dry until nearer winter proper and then start dumping properly when the snow has a just to build a proper base.
     
  15. Amp34

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jul 25, 2005

    Posts: 28,385

    Location: Canada

    We have exactly a month until the lifts open and it doesn’t look like it’s going to warm up any time soon so we may be lucky. That was my worry too, but so far it may not be the case.
     
  16. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 28,935

    It is actaully a problem if it stays cold and dry though. This is the issue that plagues the rockies from New Mexico up to Banff. Early snow stays in sheltered north faces slopes but if there is no additional moderate snow then large ice crystal form. Then when it really start snowing heavily in December these crystals are buried. I've seen some nightmare full depth slides in Colorado and Utah, 3meter crown walls on a bed of sugar.

    If it keeps snowing and building a base that is great, and that is sometimes the case in the rockies. No big dumps but continuous smaller storms that slowly pile up. If it turns very mild or rains the the crystals will melt which will also be good for the snow pack come winter proper.

    In the alps and the US west coast things tend to stay dry until there is a really big dump early to late November (early December in bad years), but then snow is usually continuous and the lifts can open within a couple of weeks.
     
  17. Amp34

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jul 25, 2005

    Posts: 28,385

    Location: Canada

    We’ve been having snow on and off the last few weeks, and it’s predicted to continue snowing on and off for the next week or two at least (resorts open 9th November). We’re having an abnormally wet, cold autumn as there’s a large high sat over Alaska at the moment, channeling arctic air down into the Rockies which is mixing with wet air from the pacific.

    It could still go bad, and there is a warmup predicted for next week, but so far it looks like we it may just mean a good early season, especially for resort skiers.
     
  18. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 28,935

    Sounds good.

    long term forecast her is for cooler and wetter and that should start building a solid safe base at altitude. it will likely take time for the temperatures to drop sufficiently for resorts to open though
     
  19. Furyus

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 15, 2010

    Posts: 858

    Location: Weston-super-Mare

    Has anyone got any waxing kits for sale?
     
  20. Amp34

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jul 25, 2005

    Posts: 28,385

    Location: Canada

    Ordered a pair of Smith I/O MAGs to replace the IO7's I got last year. Hopefully the lenses stay on and are easier to change than the system used on the 7's - the lenses kept popping out. Anyone else have 7's with the same issue?