What's New at Hakkoda?    

Updated 5/13/07! For those of you who missed last Saturday's tour...
I thought I would show you a picture of the open bowl of Mt. Takada Odake that was so sweet. It was interesting, my friends did the other side of Hakkoda and reported that there was heavy fog and high winds. But this side was sheltered from the wind and fog and was a super(howbeit tough) climb and even a more super run. What can I say, you will have to wait until next year to do this one.The only time I felt the wind a bit was when having lunch with a 360į view including Lake Towada at the very summit! One more week to go! Stay in touch for next Sunday's tour!


1551 meter Mt. Takada Odake's open bowl taken from Yachi Onsen (hot springs) on Saturday, May 12th. Look at how much snow is still at Hakkoda!



Updated 5/06/07! Get it now or wait until next season!
Yesterday we climbed to the top of Mt. Odake 1584m where we did the 45 degree SE slope and proceeded down the 7km run out past the waterfall (which you can only see at this time of the year) down to the Tashirotai plateau with a stop in the middle of nowhere (with a great view) to have our lunch. Hopefully the guys will write a comment soon to tell you in their own words what they were telling me afterwards: "Awesome, fantastic, thanks....."
I am going to do two more tours before I call it quits for this season as I am leaving for Thredbo Ski Resort down under in the land of Oz on the 24th where I was invited to give a speech at a seminar about the avalanche and rescue that my tour was involved in last February on Valentine Day which most of you are already aware of.I will also be going for my certification in advanced medical emergency care.
So that leaves the following weekend dates: Saturday, May 12th and Sunday, May 20th. The plan (weather permitting) is to climb the steep pitch of Mt. Takada Odake from Yachi Onsen and come back the same way down the long open bowl (a must do once a year). This is not a hike for the faint hearted. Last year it took us 2 hrs 45 min. to get to the top for a view of the world plus Lake Towada!
I am also planning a hike from Kasamatsu pass 1040m via the Sennin mountain hut (with a stop at the natural spring)to the top of Odake with the option of coming back the same way or doing the 7km run back down the Tashirotai plateau as we did yesterday but with a variation of yesterday's route.
Let me know of your schedule. Again if you don't do it now, it is a looooong wait for the first snow of the next season!
This is not a hike for the faint hearted. Last year it took us 2 hrs 45 min. to get to the top for a view of the world plus Lake Towada!
It is the only mountain in the North Hakkoda range that you can see the lake from!


Charlie from Colorado (l) and Dave from Utah (r) right before he start on the tour with Mt. Akakura on left, Mt. Ido in the middle and Mt. Odake on the right in the background!



Updated 5/02/07! Never Summer!
For all of you who went on last Saturday's tour, I need say nothing about the perfect snow and weather, the great pics we took looking into the Mt. Ido crater, great company and excellent view during our picnic on the mountain half way down!
For those of you who could not make it, here is your 2nd chance! This will be the last weekend to use the gondola so we should make the most of it (after that we will have to hike from the pass or onsens).
Shall we do another crater? I am thinking of hiking up to the Mt. Odake crater 1584m from the top of the gondola. Then doing the steep back side heading down a different route to the Tashirotai tea houses, stopping somewhere in the middle again for another mountain side lunch!
Saturday the weather man is saying possible rain showers and Sunday will be partly cloudy. So tell me what day(s) you would like to do and how many people in your group.

Updated 5/01/07! More Hakkoda Videos at YouTube!
Although we still have a month of awesome spring sking/boarding left, for those of you who would like to experience the powder of Hakkoda throughout the summer, you should check out some of the videos of Hakkoda on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3AGZXiYZQE.

Updated 4/24/07! Mt. Iwaki snow/Hirosaki cherry blossom tour is on!
According to NHK and Yahoo weather Saturday will be partly cloudy. Sounds good to me!
We will leave from just outside the main gate contracting/pass parking lot on Saturday the 28th at 6 a.m.
I will need to know whether or not you can go, so please shoot me an email. Also tell me how many people in your car. Cell phone number would be appreciated as well.
We will drive over Hakkoda through Hirosaki to the back of Iwaki and park the cars. Drive around the other side to the toll road up to the 8th station, take the lift, then hike 45mins. to the summit and do the 10k run.
I did a tour to Iwaki last Friday. The open bowl from the summit was awesome. The top of the valley was super. But to be honest because of the lack of snow this year, the bottom of the valley was not suitable to board/ski on. This meant we had to traverse the side of the mountain toward the end. It is a bit tough for boarders that are goofy. So be advised.
You do not need snowshoes, but a backpack that will carry your board/skis and poles. I have some for rent if you need them.
Afterward we will go downtown to the festival at the Hirosaki castle park, so you might want to bring some things to eat/drink, sit on, etc. or you can also buy everything you need there.
Any other questions?, let me know!
PS: Today we had the most perfect spring snow conditions at Hakkoda. We still have over a 6 foot base meaning lots of great boarding/skiing left in the season!

Updated 4/18/07! Mt. Iwaki tour postponed for a week due to weather!
The weatherman just does not seem to cooperate so far this spring. Saturday and Sunday weather will rain and or snow. SOooo, the tour will now be next Saturday April 28th. The advantage being that the cherry blossoms will be out in FULL BLOOM at the Hirosaki Castle Park, so don't forget to bring your cameras! Again departure time will be 6 a.m. from the main gate. For those wanting to meet us along the way, call me and we will make arrangements!

Updated 4/14/07! Hello everyone!
Today Tuesday night NHK is saying that is will rain or be cloudy on Saturday. If this is the case, the Mt. Iwaki tour will be postponed until Sunday April 22. The Cherry Blossom festival will be popping out at that time as well. I am thinking that we leave at 6am Sunday from Misawa, drive over the mountains through Hirosaki to the back of Iwaki. Drop cars off, head around the other side up the switch backs to the 8th station, climb to the top and do the 10km run. After the run we pick up the cars at the top and then drive over to the Cherry Blossom festival at the Hirosaki castle and party! Designated driver applications now being accepted, ha!
Should be a great time.
If the weather is just cloudy on this Saturday, I suggest we leave Misawa at 7am, drop the cars of at the Tashirotai plateau in the back of Hakkoda, drive over to the ropeway. Then climb Mt. Odake to the crater and do the 7km. run down to the cars.
I would appreciate if you email me if you would like to go to Hakkoda on the 14th and/or Mt. Iwaki on the 22nd.
Could you also email me your home phone and/or cell phone in case of last minute changes.


Mt. Iwaki from Hakkoda taken April 11, 2007 - Lookin' good, eh?

Updated 4/11/07! GOT SNOW? We do!
If you are discouraged about the lack of snow this year, never fear! Hakkoda still has a base of 280cm on top of the ropeway and even more in the back country!Here are some pictures we took today.We actually had some powder to play in! I will be guiding until at least mid May! Lots of good boarding and skiing left this year!


Ken from Miami and Bryant who came up from Tokyo making fresh tracks from the top of 1584m Mt. Odake. This was the start of a 7km.run!


Ken continuing down the Hokibatai course with Mt. Kodake on the right and Mt. Takada Odake in the background! No lack of snow and fun here!

Updated 4/10/07! Hello everyone
Today Tuesday night NHK is saying that is will rain or be cloudy on Saturday. If this is the case, the Mt. Iwaki tour will be postponed until Sunday April 22.
The Cherry Blossom festival will be popping out at that time as well. I am thinking that we leave at 6am Sunday from Misawa, drive over the mountains through Hirosaki to the back of Iwaki. Drop cars off, head around the other side up the switch backs to the 8th station, climb to the top and do the 10km run.
After the run we pick up the cars at the top and then drive over to the Cherry Blossom festival at the Hirosaki castle and party! Designated driver applications now being accepted, ha!
Should be a great time.
If the weather is just cloudy on this Saturday, I suggest we leave Misawa at 7am, drop the cars of at the Tashirotai plateau in the back of Hakkoda, drive over to the ropeway. Then climb Mt. Odake to the crater and do the 7km. run down to the cars.
I would appreciate if you email me if you would like to go to Hakkoda on the 14th and/or Mt. Iwaki on the 22nd.
Could you also email me your home phone and/or cell phone in case of last minute changes.

See you soon

Simon

Updated 3/21/07! Hakkoda:The Movie
Recently Chris, Yumi and the boys from Tokyo came up again for a 2 day tour.
Join us as we enjoy two bluebird days of spring-like snow!


Click the arrow to play video


PS: Anyone interested in adding a soundtrack to it let me know and I will send you the original.

Updated 3/01/07! MT.IWAKI SPRING TOUR
Every year we save the best for last and do a tour to Mt. Iwaki (1626m), the highest mountain in Aomori sometime in mid to late April. It is only a 45 min easy walk to the summit after driving to the 8th station and riding the short lift. The 10km. run from the summit to the Yayoi shrine down the open bowl is always the best run of the year. Often followed up by an afternoon run from the southeast peak (20min. hike) to the Hyakuzawa ski park (about a 5km run!)or heading down to Hirosaki to the Cherry Blossom Festival.
Let me know your schedule. We can go April 14 and/or 22. Of course if you have a weekday off and want to go, hey, I'm game. We need as many cars as we can get because we have to park some in the back before we drive around to the top. After the run we go back and pick up the cars at the 8th station. Good weather is a prerequisite, if we can't see it we don't do it. In that case,we go back to Hakkoda and do the Hokibatai course.
Don't miss it!



     

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17