Saturday, February 25, 2017

Kitesurfing the bay surf at Mentone and a wedding on the beach

Session 410 (out of sequence).  I drove to Mentone and was on the water a bit late at 6:30.  The wind had dropped but I was able to get going on my 10m Union.  Getting out was a bit tricky but the wind was better a bit further out.  I did some tacks up close to the Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron then back.  The bay surf was good and the water nice and warm.

A large crowd was on the beach at the end of my session - it was a wedding. I landed my kite well away from them, packed it up then skirted around the group to get back to my car.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Kitesurfing at Brighton, first session after Japan

Session 409 (number out of sequence). Just back from Japan ski trip. SO GOOD to get on the water. A good northerly at Brighton provided some nice kitesurfing on fairly flat water.  A race of big yachts was in progress further out.

Great to be kitesurfing again. Yeeha!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Summited Shiribetsu then a superb ski run down in deep snow

Japan ski trip 2017 ski day 10.  Mt. Shiribetsu!  Our last day in Japan and we scored a great run.  The bus was leaving Rusutsu around 4pm so Dave and I packed our gear then headed of for the summit of Mt Shiribetsu, a big volcano close to Rusutsu.  We skinned up from Pension Sky Be in overcast weather towards the mountain up a wide open valley, then more steeply up the valley side to gain the ridge.  It was icy - skinning without ski crampons was dicey, so I started walking in the boot trail.

There was nobody else around as we climbed steadily towards the summit.  The top was broad and quite flat. The visibility was poor but a few breaks in the clouds revealed tree clad scopes to the north and brief glimpses of distant views.  On a clear day you could see back to Yotei and Niseko.

It was chilly so we didn't waste time and traversed of the summit looking for the best snow.  The slopes and gully we came up were mixed quality snow so we were in search of nicer snow, and we found it!

The westerly aspect had really nice powder and only two snowboard tracks so we skied it and loved it.  Dave took some video of me descending.

This was one of best runs.  We earned our turns, bagged a peak and scored some fantastic snow.

We came out at the main road and started walking.  Hitch hiking didn't work but after a brisk walk we were back to the Pension, got our gear then boarded our bus back to Sapporo Chitose airport.

It was snowing all the way back and felt like the depths of winter again.

Dave and I said farewell then it was time to board our planes.

I was put on an early flight as they said the runways might close if it kept snowing.

Overall, we had a great trip and really enjoyed the skiing.  We shall return!

Skiing up the valley towards Shiribetsu

Looking back towards Rusutsu

Climbing the ridge

Looking towards Rusutsu

Dave on the summit of Shiribetsu

Dave on the summit of Shiribetsu


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Another big fresh Rusutsu powder day skiing with Team Kiwi

Japan ski trip 2017 ski day 9.  More fresh snow overnight freshened up the slopes at Rusutsu.  What a joy!

Dave and I met with Boyd and Steve in the lift line and we skied together - first dropping into the powder shot of the East Mountain then at our favourite location - the trees between Heavenly Ridge A and Heavenly Ridge B.

We spent the entire day finding new stashes of powder and dodging through trees.  Some caution is required as hitting a tree at speed is not a good idea.

The lift lines were not long and all the chairs have hoods - they are good for snacking and chatting on the way up.

Boyd and Steve had small two way radio in case they got separated - a good idea.

Dave, getting the goods!




Some views late in the day

At the end of the day we skied down a ridge from Mt Isola and the clouds lifted for a superb view acorss the planis to Lake Toya and the ocean which was a revelation.  Then on our final run down from East Mountain we got some nice views across to Mt Shiribetsu.

Looking south to Lake Toya

Mt Shiribetsu almost free from clouds

Steve and I did a run off West Mountain on the other side of the road to check it out.  This is where they have the night skiing.  There was fresh snow to be had there too.

Skiing down through the hibernating deserted theme park near the bottom is a strange experience.

Skiing off West Mountain

The amusement park, dormant until spring

This was our last night in Rusutsu. Dave, Lou and I had dinner at Rusutsu Izakaya Tampopo Shokudo, a very friendly and authentic Japanese restaurant. They had a wide variety of tapas-style dishes, including local crab, cockle shells, venison and other tasty items.

Tomorrow we hope to ski Mt Shiribetsu.

GPS log