With the 2017-18 all wrapped up, we thought it was time to reflect on the season that was...
We are excited to say we were able to share our second operational season with a diverse group of guests from Australia, Europe, South East Asia, North America and New Zealand and its fantastic to have so many snow lovers of all different experience levels choosing to stay with us. We were fully booked over the peak months of January and February, indicating that more and more powder hounds are searching out quality accomodation in the snowiest place on earth!
Speaking of snow, now for the run down on the the fluffy white stuff! We started the winter season with a bang in early December with a some solid snowfalls followed by one very large storm that placed a fantastic base over the entire resort. This allowed for an earlier than scheduled opening for the Myoko Big 4, as well as the surrounding resorts. As usual crowd numbers on the hills are very quiet in December , there was some fantastic skiing and riding to be had.
With more staff and additional vehicles we were able to start chasing the best conditions as soon as our first guests arrived. This season we ran regular trips to Suginohara, Ikenotaira, Madarao, Tangram, Lotte Arai, Seki Onsen and the Snow Monkeys.
Several days in particular though were as ‘good as it gets’. The Pacific Prizm shop trip scored an amazing bluebird day at Lotte Arai that consisted of bottomless powders, views to the Japan sea, sun and no crowds. Most of the guests decided to make the short hike to the peak which opens up some of the most amazing untracked alpine powder bowls you can ski in Japan.
In Early January we took a punt on showing return guest Alex just how deep it can get in Seki Onsen. Under the cover of dark in the wee hours of the morning we began clearing snow - at this point my Seki snow guesstimate advisory index (;p) indicated it would be deep. That is, if its over knee deep in our driveway its going to be waist deep AND some at Seki. On this occasion it was at least thigh deep and still snowing. I wasn't sure what the weather was going to throw at us as we were in the midst of a series of fronts and the forecasts were not giving away any secrets. We arrived at Seki to find the weather clearing and bottomless snow averaging over hip deep in most places with significantly deeper snow in the deep pockets. After a few recalibrating runs and some amazing chute skiing, we all got our powder fill and returned to relax back at Myoko Vista . . . . with sizeable grins all round.
We took quite a number of guests to Madaroa and Tangram and everyone from the seasoned rider, beginners and kids all had a great time. The Dent kids had an amazing day and progressed so quickly with some fresh snow, great tree runs and progressive fall lines. We just love day tripping there for the huge variety of terrain, tree runs and the views across the valley to Myoko, Nozawa, Shiga Kogen and the Sea of Japan. The highest point of Madarao is a must on a clear day. Not only for the views but for the ‘pizza box’ single chair ride.
On down days we shuttled guests to nearby areas to relax in Onsens and enjoy the scenery as well as visit the famous snow monkeys. Everyone is always amazed at how much you are allowed to enter into the snow monkey terrain when you go to the snow monkey park. By their terrain I mean their onsen and valley. The great part is they couldn't care less that we come and vist them year round. I always laugh when I watch someone taking a photo of one of the monkeys relaxing in the onsen become startled when another one runs under their feet and it ALWAYS makes them jump several feet! And yes, I have been caught out many times too!!!
So season 2017-18 is being heralded as a great season: we had a great time with all our guests and enjoyed some priceless moments on the snow, in the car and at the lodge. Many laughs were had and thousands of snowballs thrown. For those that had the pleasure of meeting Billy (our resident puppy pal) he also says thanks for a great season. He appreciated all the pats and games and is now enjoying summer life back in Yokohama enjoying a well deserved rest and trips to the beach!