The sky is clear and the spring conditions are magnificent in Hakuba at the moment for skiing and boarding. The snow groomers are out every night making sure the runs are perfect each morning. There is still plenty of snow around here for those keen to get away from the cities.
The blue sky backdrop and not a breath of wind is the perfect setting for a morning session on the mountain. It takes about 8 minutes from Echoland to get over to Hakuba 47 which meets at the top with Goryu. The area in the center of the photo is Iimori. All three resorts are linked and are on the same lift pass.
The carpark has maybe 80 cars and there is not a lift line to be seen. Standard for an April weekday in Hakuba.
Coming up the gondola you get a good view of the park. Look closely at the picture and you can see a guy at full flight off the big kicker.
Tanimoto san from Osaka has been coming to Hakuba every year for 32 years. This is a brief stopover for him before he heads off tomorrow to Sendai to assist in the earthquake and tsunami relief effort.
There is still plenty of snow in the valley which is about 700 meters of verticle from this point. The ridge run is a good thigh burner and one of the best runs to get to first up, be it a groomer day like today or on a powder day.
My camera battery ran out so I had to dig this photo out again. Nothing has changed though at the base area. It is still the best spot in Hakuba to finish off a mountain session with a couple of icy cold coronas whilst lapping up some sunshine.