• 30 . 12 . 05
  • Working at the weekend, combined with a natural laziness imbued during my days of general lethargy at university, has conspired to turn me from the county hockey player I was into the unfit programmer that I am. My shape hasn’t changed, but I still feel out of shape. I’m thankful, therefore, that I found snowboarding […]

  • Tags

    , , ,

  • StumbleUpon

Snow Time Like The Present

Working at the weekend, combined with a natural laziness imbued during my days of general lethargy at university, has conspired to turn me from the county hockey player I was into the unfit programmer that I am. My shape hasn’t changed, but I still feel out of shape. I’m thankful, therefore, that I found snowboarding before it was too late and I caught up to my metabolism, which has thus far outpaced me no matter what I do (or don’t do).

I’m back in Hakuba where I started last year and it feels great. More snow has fallen already than the entirety of last year, giving an incredible 3.4m base and a huge amount of powder besides. Of course I’m still not good enough to make the most of it, but a least falling over doesn’t hurt. In fact, compared to the ice of last year, it feels like falling in feathers. The only problem is the visibility, or lack thereof. The same clouds that brought (and are still bringing) all that snow seem glued to the ski slopes and engulf everything in a white haze that reduces visibility to less than 5m in places.

The number of people on Goryu and Hakuba 47, where we spent our first day as well as another cloudy forecast made us choose Minekata, a much smaller hill, for today’s riding. It’s not the largest or most challenging hill, with only 3 chairlifts and a couple of intermediate runs, so it’s not for everyone, but it was perfect for us, with practically deserted slopes that let us goof about and powder that stayed fresh all day. And, being lower than the other mountains, we could actually see where we were going, instead of avoiding crowds in the clouds and out of the blue. Not that snowboarding is stressful, but this was much more relaxing than yesterday. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny so we’re going to try Happo-One, the largest mountain in the area and the scene of my ignominious start last year. Hopefully this time there’ll be more cruising than crashing…