You think you have snow you dont know what snow is!!!
04.01.2010 - 11.01.2010 -5 °C
So been here in Hakuba (Japan) a couple of days and well its crazy. the Snow is immense like the road was covered with about 2 ft of snow when i arrived in town and had to be cleared by big dozers which are parked at every other street corner then on top of that every shop and house has snow machines to clear there drives and pavements equalling some stupidly large piles if snow lining the roads in places 4 meters high and twice as wide!
anyway yeah i arrived here at the Mt Hakuba Backpackers Hostel at about 130 in the morning with instructuions to look in the post box for my key and directions of what to do. So went through the door realised had to take off my shoes and put on some slippers provided by a basket in the corner of varius sizes and colours, so put my shoes on the rack and slipped on my slippers and headed up stairs to my room entered it and found it full bar the top bunk in the corner. tried unsuccessfully to get in without waking the other guys dumped my stuff, apologised and climbed into the top bunk and slept for the first time in about 36 hours from leaving SA.
Woke the next day to the guys in my room packing and heading out exchanged a few words about the place and what happens then they left. after organising myself and working out where things where and having a play with the heated toilet and the buttons that shoot water into places i didnt no i had!!! i headed downstairs to check in with the owner Hiromi. did that paid for everthing and went to check out my rental gear. wasnt surprised that it was shockingly Shizer but oh well put on my boots that were too small and my board which was unbelivably long and hit the slopes literally. spent most of the afternoon on my face, bum,side or back trying to get used to the board and real snow. With the added bonus of being able to see about 5ft ahead of myself the afternoon was a bit of a slap in the face. headed back to the hostel and got my boots and board changed. now iv got good gear that is now only 2 sizes too big and a board that is sweet but has bindings too small for the huge boots! Hit the mountain the next day with alot more control and shredded the day away had the same issue with not being able to see, and hit the deck a fair few times, due to surprise trees jumping out of the snow infront of me but on the hole a good day.
So the next few days really got the boarding nailed bombing down every run and heading down some closed trails and hitting a few tree runs which are unbelievably good fun but did mean i lost myself in the snow at one point heading into some fresh powder. Saying lost myself i dont mean navigational wise i ment lost my body i just bombed threw and sank slowly till all that was above the snow was my shoulders. Anyway half hour later lots of digging and climbing i got out and continued. and have been shredding since slowly working my way to each mountain.
Apart from the slopes there not much to do so everyone hangs out at the hostel and with movies, pool table, internet and alchol its all gooood. So on the whole having a wikid time in the next week im going to try and get on some tours to the local(well in the region) sites to a couple of temples and traditional towns even see some snow monkeys that just chill in the Onsens (hot spring baths) all day in this really beautiful part of Japan (not that the rest isnt). but that is if i can sort out my money because at the moment im struggling all my money is on a card that i cant access here so im relying on what i have atm and the japanese efficency to deliver me a card reader to transfer my money to an account that works!!!
Anyway peace enjoy the pathetic snow you have in the UK and ill port some photos of reall snow asap!!