Friday, February 10, 2017

Asahidake summit and descent via northern face

Japan ski trip 2017 day 2. A bluebird day greeted as we walked to the Gondola after a massive Japanese breakfast.  We did one off-piste run before heading off on a tour to the northern face of Asahidake.  Skinning up was straight forward until we got to ice sastrugi. We continued up on crampons and made good progress.

We got to the top of the descent route Dave had spotted where it got icy.  A guided group of 9 people dropped in from above as we were checking it out. Damn!

We continued to the summit for the superb views. It was cold up high, particularly in the wind but my extra layer of compression tights kept me warm enough without overpants.

My new OMD Mk5 II camera doesn't like the cold though, it conks out.

We skied back to the descent route we had spotted and entered it.  Very steep and icy at the top for a short section then we got fresh cold snow and a really good ski run and fresh tracks.

Near the bottom Dave stuffed up a turn and lost a ski - a binding had torn right off it. The ski took off for a considerable distance but stopped before it disappeared down a sinkhole.  I skied a nice gentle angle run in brilliant snow to get it.  It had launched off a small ramp and speared into the snow.

Dave contoured around on one ski. We met on the way back to the top station.  After a can of hot coffee and a quick late lunch I skied down and back to the hotel to get Dave's spare skis then walked back up to the lift station in time for the last lift at 3:40.

Dave skied down carrying his damaged skis on his pack.  We did a relaxed run in good snow to the skiers right mostly under the lift line, then along the road back to the hotel.

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