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Myoko (review)

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  Quote superdave141 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Myoko (review)
    Posted: Feb/19/2011 at 4:47pm
Thanks for the write up. Went to Hakuba last season and thought it was great, so if you say this is better I'll be looking into it next season!
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/20/2011 at 5:26am
Some quick thoughts on Myoko from my few days there in february (i forgot to update it). This wont be long, primarily because its my bed time, but also because i'm now around 5 months away from the events, so only the big things have stuck :)

1. Mont Cervin people are adorable. The hostel is japanese orientated, so er when i went to buy usual lodger fare (tea bags, sugar, bread etc), they first of all looked puzzled because guests cant use the kitchen, but then decided that they would prepare me a breakfast every morning with the stuff anyway. The husband was lovely, and always accommodated whatever wild plan you had to take you out to the ski field. And every day he'd pick you up at 4.30 to bring you back to the hostel. They are out of the way, but they sure as hell know how to make you forget that.

On to the resorts:

2. Akakura Onsen:

I HATE THIS PLACE. there we go. Poorly linked up lifts, nothing to do, flat lines, wild horizontal all resulting in LOTS of lifts to get back to where you started. The only saving grace is that it spills you out into the main street. But you can take that saving grace and shove it. It saves nothing. The resort is a hole. Good for families with little kids i assume, but thats about it (still, i did see a tiny 7 year old ripping 7s (i kid thee not) on one of the small kickers - the kids going pro).

3. Suginohara:

Theyve destroyed one of the best runs in the whole place. Myoko really needs to sort itself out. if its not akakan and akakura onsen bickering about lift charges and profits, its cost cutting at suginohara by removing one of *THE* most important lifts in the entire resort.
Clearly this decision came from someone who has never used the amazingly slow two seater that gets you back to the main resort area.

Basically, now when you come down skiers right hand side of the mountain - the best run in suginohara - youre now spat out into a very long flat part (that used to be mercifully short) and an invariable unclipping and trek to the slowest, smallest lift on the whole resort to take you back to the main resort and the gondola back up to the near top. An appalling decision that has completely sullied the experience! They should be ashamed!
Still, the ticket price is cheaper now :) And theres a lot more tree riding than i remember (and some of it was bloody difficult - particularly the stuff up the very top which i really struggled with if im honest).

4. My favourite moment of the season:

Whilst mucking about under all these new lines, i went under one of the old abandoned lifts. Its been closed for years.

Happily charging down these amazing untracked clouds of powder and wondering why there were no lines, the thought struck me that just maybe i was going too fast for what was increasingly presenting itself as a serious drop. On the left of me was the lift stanchion, and on the right was a bank of trees. I had one choice. I had to hit it. I didnt know what was under it or how big it was and i had no idea just how far my speed was going to launch me (i was also on my own), it was my first real heart in the mouth moment on a snowboard. And amazingly i landed it! Euphoric i turned back to look at this monstrous drop that had required every fibre of courage just to survive and take a picture to prove to all my friends how awesome i was! Only to realise it must have been all of about 3 meters :( Bit of a let down if im honest. Still, it was the best single moment of the season and it happened at suginohara.

5. Akakan:

Akakan was the strange highlight of the trip. Whereas i came out feeling slightly underwhelmed by suginohara (part of that though is the conditions), i came away from akakan kinda loving it way more than i remembered. The tree riding was honestly fantastic, and even the closing off of part of the resort for time trials didnt damped my spirits. The powder was insane, the lines were great and the joy was heartfelt and bountiful! Um... maybe thats a bit effusive?... it was fun and just one of those days you kinda want. I had a great day there. So many trees, so few people, and no one hassling you about where to ride. Nothing too challenging, but nothing too boring either. And the vibe was always changing depending on where you were on the mountain. Its a really nice varied little mountain with MUCH better tree riding and powder than i remember. Definitely good for a day out on a powder dump.

6. The conditions.

When i rolled into akakan it was just about to dump. The first few lifts, off piste was a sticky wet heavy sluggish mess. But within an hour the snow was tipping down, and suddenly the place sprang to life. The second day on suginohara was supposed to be epic pow because of all the snow that puked the previous day. I arrived and was disappointed to find that suginohara was still kinda sluggish. Dont ask me, im not a meteorologist. Everything was kinda sticky and heavy. It felt looser and fluffier than maybe akakan had felt first thing (and shiga felt later into my trip), but it did still feel kind of heavy. Not quite cement, but not exactly powder either. It really gave me an appreciation of just how awesome the powder is in hokkaido in truth. Nagano might get similar numbers (or rather, better numbers than hokkaido), but ultimately its just not as soft and light as hokkaido pow. Thats now a quantifiable (subjective)objective FACT which one should consider in their decision making process.

I mention it because it really was one of the big features of the nagano trip. Id been fooled by the numbers and my early tasteless lack of experience on the matter. Nagano gets better pow than hokkaido... Seki MURDERS every resort in japan for pow... but nagano pow nonetheless felt kinda heavy and wet compared to hokkaido pow.

I must admit this was also the ONLY pow that dropped in my entire 11 day trip, and it felt fantastic the day it dropped, so maybe i just needed a proper dump to get it all raging again. Still, if given the choice, im taking niseko pow over myoko pow (though Im still taking myoko pow over hakuba pow :p)
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/05/2012 at 5:09pm
Why i <3 myoko...

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