What's New at Hakkoda?    

Updated 11/19/05! Hakkoda snow sports season finally opened on Saturday November 19th! The current snow depth is 115cm.




Updated 10/10/05! We hiked to the top of Mt. Odake (1584m) The autumn colors on the mountain were perfect! It won't be long until we have our first snow of the year! I will let you know when and give updates as the snow depth progresses! THINK SNOW!


"Looking at Mt. Ido(1555m) from Kenashitai. You can see the remains of a former mountain hut; we boarded past it last spring on our way from Mt. Tamoyachi to Sukayu Onsen."


Updated 6/5/05! Today we climbed from Kasamatsu Pass (1040m)over Mt. Io Dake, over to the Sen-nin mountain hut and up to Mt. Odake(1584m). The last 20 minutes to the summit were on the summer trail as the snow melted at the top. The weather was foggy until we got to the top of Mt. Io and then the sun came out for the rest of the day. There was so much snow that we were able to board from Mt. Odake back to the car with no obstacles (brush, trees, grass, etc.). This is the latest in the year that I have ever gone boarding at Hakkoda. I am going back up tomorrow (June 9th) and if the weather is good over the weekend, I will be back up again! This had truly been the best year for snow at Hakkoda! Who know how late we will be up there this year!

A BIG thanks to all my friends that joined my tour this last season. It was a lot of fun! I will be looking forward to seeing you again next season!

I hope to compile a list of this year's major events and festival in Aomori. So check back again sometime soon.

I leave you with a picture of Simon's sign. Those of you who have gone back country with me know the story and have played the temperature game. Good memories, eh? Think snow!


"Simon's sign"


Updated 3/29/05! Read my articles entitled "Spring in Japan?...not so fast please." and "Hakkoda: Ride smart, ride safe!"

Updated 3/20/05! I am planning a tour to Mt. Iwaki (1626m), the highest mountain in Aomori sometime in mid to late April. Only a 40 min walk to the summit after driving to the 8th station and riding the short lift, the 7km. run from the summit to the Yayoi shrine is always the best run of the year. Followed up by an afternoon run from the southeast peak (20min. hike) to the Hyakuzawa ski park (about a 5km run!)

Updated 3/17/05! The 2004/2005 winter season has been the best ever for snow at Hakkoda in 20 years! Just in the first 2 weeks in February when the first group from Australia was here, they added the snowfall of everyday and it added up to 499 cm of snow (that's about 18 feet!)

Spring snow is just around the corner. The Golden Line (Route 103) between Sukayu Hot Springs and Yachi Hot Springs will open on April 1st. The walls of snow on either side of the road could be as high as 15 meters in places. Just coming up to travel that section of road would be worth it, not to mention the skiing and boarding. I will be on the mountain at least until the beginning of June, so make plans for spring now!

Be on the lookout for a big feature on Hakkoda to be seen in the October/November 2005 edition of The National Geographic Adventure Magazine. When I asked the journalist/photographer whom I guided for a week, to describe his first experience in Hakkoda, all he could say was "Awesome! VERY awesome! Cool! Fantastic!!!" I am sure he will come up with a few more adjectives in his upcoming article!

     

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