After the cherry blossoms come out in early May it’s hard to think about snowboarding any more, especially as the powder is a long and distant memory.
There’s still plenty of snow left on the high peaks though and we planned a mid May expedition to take advantage of the spring snow pack.
From the valley I’ve often gazed up at the Hakuba three peaks and my eye is always drawn to Hakuba Yari. In particular the beautiful symmetrical East face cradled between steep cliff buttresses funneling down into the mother of all gullies in Hakuba – The Yari central gully.
- East face of Yari. Yari onsen (campsite) in bottom left of shot
So it is, as we found ourselves snowshoeing up from Sarukura early on a Sunday morning. It was a stunning day and the Japanese backcountry enthusiasts were out in force. There was just enough snow to snowshoe straight from the car and full cover a hundred metres above the car park.
With all the new snow in Hakuba over the past 48 hours - not to mention the currently super unstable snow-pack – look for your bottomless turns & face-shots on the resorts, in the trees & in the safer Hakuba side-country early this week. Hopefully things will stabilize in time for the clear skies forecast later in week & some big hikes will be possible.
In the mean time, here are a few more random pics from the back-country last week.
Don`t hit the tree.
profile of a madman. Thanks for the season Mathieu!
The past week has been heavy on the hikes……lots of clear skies & limited snowfall have made it perfect for long leisurely hikes to any of Hakuba`s endless bc lines. Here are a few pics from my fancy new phone.
North Face Lines.
Walk above the clouds.
frozen tree with mountain.
A glorious and sunny afternoon was the perfect opportunity to explore the “Mori” (woods) surrounding Morino Lodge.
The tall, trees that surround the lodge create a surreal and dreamy landscape.
Rabbit, Fox, and even Tanuki leave their tracks in the snow.
Deep epic blower powder today but stick to well treed areas and/or ridge lines.
The faceted melt crust is still there and still weak, now under over a metre of storm snow. Today a huge class 5 slide on the south side of Goryu buried a Japanese skier who sadly didn’t make it.
The instability may linger for a while until the facets are crushed by a lot of snow on top.
Hakuba – Jan 28th 2012 from morinolodge on Vimeo.