Further in Hakuba

Last night was the Hakuba Premier of the second installment in Big Mountain Legend, Jeremy Jones` snowboard movie trilogy, Deeper, Further, Higher….and i gotta say, it was some inspiring stuff.

In Further Jeremy & pals like Terje Haakonsen & Josh Dirksen push the limits of backcountry adventure, going to some really remote places with really gnarly lines. Camping out for weeks in the Wrangell Mountains in Alaska (an extreme environment where humans aren`t really meant to be) & the Atomfjella Mountains in Norway`s far North (they had clear views of the North Pole from some of their summits!) were 2 of the highlights for me….

….but the real highlight for me (& all the other Hakuba-ites gathered in the theater) was the first segment, where Jeremy & Forrest Shearer discover the magnitude of world-class terrain that is our backyard here in Hakuba. They spent nearly a month here camping, climbing & rapidly descending some of the finest lines on the planet. Indeed Jeremy himself gave Hakuba a heart-felt endorsement, proclaiming it amongst the best terrain he has ever ridden….and lets not forget, this guy has been absolutely shredding Alaska for the past 20 years.

And this wasn` just lip-service as its what we have known since we first  came here 12 years ago. Very good terrain with very good snow!

Anyhow, Further is well-worth checking out.It`s available on here on itunes.

It was great to see all of Hakuba there last night & i think we`re all now eagerly anticipating the coming season. Be safe & pray for big snow!




Yari Central gully Spring tour

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.


late Feb/early March = primetime in the Hakuba Backcountry. part 2

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.

Cold sky.

profile of a madman. Thanks for the season Mathieu!


late Feb/early March = primetime in the Hakuba Backcountry. part 1

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.


The Wonders in Your Own Back Yard: A Stroll amongst the Woods at Morino

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.